Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

New Federal Rule Could Force States to Lower Graduation Rates
A little-noticed change in the country’s main federal education law could force many states to lower their high school graduation rates, a politically explosive move no state would relish. Indiana is the first state to be caught in the crosshairs of the law’s new language, but other states are likely to be affected soon. The resulting debate could throw a sharp spotlight on a topic that’s been lurking in the wings: the wildly varying levels of accomplishment signified by a high school diploma. (Education Week)

How Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Is Traumatizing Students Across the U.S. — Including Many Born Here
Gathered around a camera in their family’s kitchen, the four Duarte children pleaded for help. When their undocumented parents were picked up by border patrol agents outside their home in National City, California, the full-time students, ages 12 to 19, were unable to pay for food, let alone rent. Yarely and Aracely, 12-year-old twin sisters, had watched it happen. The girls were eating breakfast last May when their father, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, went outside to grab a newspaper and was swarmed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. When their mother went outside to investigate all the commotion, she, too, was arrested. (The 74)

The Urban-School Stigma
Urban schools don’t inspire much confidence these days. Politicians and policy leaders routinely bemoan their quality. And media outlets regularly run stories of “failing urban schools.” Middle- and upper-income parents have expressed misgivings, too. But they’ve done it much less volubly. With relatively little fuss, they’ve simply picked up and moved—departing from city school systems at ever-greater rates. Among expressions of no-confidence, this has arguably been the most significant, because it has reshaped district demography. Each year, it seems, urban schools serve larger concentrations of poor students, racial minorities, and English-language learners. As higher-income families depart, resources go with them, and schools are faced with the daunting prospect of doing more with less. (The Atlantic)

Schools with more students of color are more likely to be shut down — and three other things to know about a big new study
Shutting down schools with low test scores doesn’t help student learning and disproportionately affects students of color, according to one of the largest studies ever of school closures. The results, released Thursday by the Stanford-based group CREDO, indicate that closing a school doesn’t help student achievement as much as advocates have hoped — or harm it as much as some have feared. (Chalkbeat)

Brittany Lyte: These Kauai Schools Opt For Farm-To-Table Lunches
Living with the highest food and energy costs in the nation, many Hawaii residents face difficult choices when it comes to reining in monthly expenses. Rather than cook a nutritious, culturally authentic meal at the end of the work day, it’s not uncommon for parents to opt to save money, time and energy by feeding their families high-calorie fast food. In some communities, cheeseburgers and french fries have all but replaced a traditional diet of poi, squid luau and fresh tropical fruit. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

***PRESS RELEASE*** Louisiana Supreme Court to Hear Type 2 Charter Public School Lawsuit September 5
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday, September 5, in a watershed case that could affect the education of more than 13,000 Louisiana children. Initiated and aided by the state teachers union, Iberville Parish School Board, et al v. Louisiana State Elementary and Secondary Education Board, et al, attempts to cut off funding to Type 2 charter public schools in the state that serve over 13,000 students. (Public School Options)

New York
Charter officials blast de Blasio for ‘normalizing’ bad test grades
Riding high on their latest batch of superior test scores, Success Academy charter-school officials took dead aim at Mayor de Blasio Thursday for “normalizing” the city’s improved but still abysmal state exam results released this week. At a press conference, Success execs ripped de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña for lauding minor hikes among district students last year while 179,000 kids flunked English and 193,000 failed math. (NY Post)

North Carolina
Modeled after a charter, this $32 million Charlotte school sets trends for 2017
When about 360 students walk into Renaissance West STEAM Academy Monday morning, they’ll see the future of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The $32 million building, which will eventually house up to 1,000 preK-8 students at the site of the demolished Boulevard Homes housing project, could serve as a demonstration of what to look for in the school year that begins Monday: CMS is part of a public-private team that has worked together on a vision – and pooled money to provide extras for students and families. (The Charlotte Observer)

South Carolina
SouthCarolinaCAN Launches Parent Empowerment Program Charleston RISE
SouthCarolinaCAN launched a new program to empower parents to improve how their children are educated. Charleston RISE brings together parents invested in improving their neighborhood schools and provides them with 20 weeks of intensive curriculum on the education system and how they can be effective advocates for change. SouthCarolinaCAN decided on Charleston because the city is home to some of the best schools in the state and also some of the worst. (PIE Network)

Tennessee sets higher standards for TNReady grades 3-8 grading
It will be harder for Tennessee elementary and middle school students to score high on the state’s assessment. But the move to tougher scoring standards is meant to better judge Tennessee student progress against national measures. The Tennessee State Board of Education unanimously approved cutoff scores Friday for TNReady grades 3-8 that will align closely with two national tests — the National Assessment of Education Progress and the ACT Explore. (Tennessean)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


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