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

Do ‘no-excuses’ charter schools lead to success after high school? At one high-profile network, the answer seems to be yes
Many so-called “no-excuses” charter schools — often featuring longer school days, intensive tutoring, and strict discipline — have high test scores. But critics often say those scores are unlikely to translate into outcomes that really matter, like getting through college. This debate is far from over, but a new study offers evidence that attending the Chicago-based Noble charter network does help students succeed after high school. (Chalkbeat)

Schools in poor, rural districts are the hardest hit by nation’s growing teacher shortage
Last school year, when Cierra was a junior in high school, her math teacher quit and a substitute teacher with no math training filled in. That’s not unusual in McDowell County, West Virginia, where Cierra lives. The school district has such a hard time recruiting math teachers that Cierra had a string of substitutes in ninth and 10th grade, too. (American Public Media)

A School Counselor Takes To The Floodwaters To Rescue His Students And Their Families
Brandon McElveen’s Ford F150 pickup is lifted up about six inches. He says that’s just the style in the South, but this week, “it’s come in handy” for driving through up to four feet of water. McElveen’s a counselor at the KIPP Explore Academy elementary school in Houston. Within hours of the flooding this week, he began getting calls and messages asking for help. One was from a family with two girls on the middle school softball team he also coaches. (NPR)

Firm hired to probe graduation rates in Prince George’s County schools
Maryland officials have hired a Washington-based firm to audit graduation rates in the Prince George’s County’s public school system, following recent claims that grades and credit counts were tampered with to inflate the district’s performance. State officials announced Tuesday that Alvarez & Marsal Public Sector Services will begin work on the project immediately and deliver a final report Oct. 31. (The Washington Post)

New York
NYC charters receive less money per student than public schools, study shows
Charter schools in New York City receive almost $5,000 less per student each year than traditional schools, according to a study to be released Tuesday by researchers at the University of Arkansas. The researchers found city charter schools received $21,281 per pupil in total funding for the 2013-14 school year, compared with $26,169 for district schools. That figure includes federal, state and city funding, plus private money. (NY Daily News)

Why Pennsylvania cyber charter schools keep growing
A few weeks before the first day of school, a package arrived at eighth-grader Michael Darbous’ home in Vandergrift. It was full of school supplies, and the 13-year-old student could hardly wait to tear it open. Buried under layers of bubble wrap were textbooks — math, science and history — along with art supplies. Michael examined materials for science experiments — thermo­meters, pH testing strips, eye droppers — and tried on a pair of safety goggles for size. Eventually, he uncovered an essential piece of equipment for any cyber school student: a set of headphones to plug into his computer so that he can listen to lessons. (Trib Live)

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


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