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

School choice is crucial for African-American students’ success
Once upon a time it may have been unheard of for the head of an urban league dedicated to the improvement of lives for African-American children to partner with a Republican to work on school reform. As part of one of his education reform efforts, Florida governor Jeb Bush convinced me to help him go around that state in an attempt to get school choice legislation passed. I leapt at the opportunity because I was desperately concerned about the lack of quality educational options for children in Liberty City, a neighborhood of the city of Miami where a branch of the urban league is headquartered. ​(USA Today)​

How One Group Is Working To Build A More Diverse Teaching Force
There are more nonwhite teachers than there used to be. But the nation’s teaching force still doesn’t look like America. One former education school dean is out to change that.​ ​New research shows that the number of K-12 teachers who belong to minority groups has doubled since the 1980s, growing at a faster rate than the profession as a whole. But big gaps persist, with around 80 percent of teachers identifying as white.​ (NPR)​

What We’ve Forgotten About School Reform: Courtesy of Messrs. Tyack, Cuban, and Payne
This is a busy, busy, busy era. We’re beset by accelerating news cycles, a fascination with social media, the crisis of the week, and endless spats over manufactured offenses. All the noise makes it easy to forget that there are larger lessons or truths that can help steer us when it comes to school improvement. Add to that a steady influx of energetic new advocates and wide-eyed funders and the whole world seems to start anew every half-decade. Don’t forget that we read less and less of anything longer than a blog post, while the most popular education books tend to be screeds, hagiographies, or magic cure-alls. What it all adds up to is a dearth of hard-earned wisdom.​ (Education Week) ​

Hawaiian Charter School Concerns Dominate OHA Meeting
A controversial decision by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to contract with a new organization to manage $1.5 million in annual funding to Native Hawaiian charter schools drove opponents of the move to voice their displeasure at a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, and the discussion will continue next week.​ ​At least a dozen speakers implored trustees to reconsider the decision to turn over management of the funds to the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement following a competitive bidding process.​ (Honolulu Civil Beat) ​

​New Jersey
Bayonne residents may soon know where school budget went wrong
BAYONNE — Nine months after the Board of Education discovered its fiscal fiasco, city residents may soon have answers as to how the district fell into last year’s multi-million dollar deficit.​ ​A forensic audit of the Bayonne BOE’s finances, originally reported in March, is in its final stages and is expected to be published by “the end of October, early November,” said Stephen Eells, state auditor of New Jersey.​ ​”I’ve met with my guys and they’re doing some finalization work; the report will then go through the quality assurance process within our office in the early time frame of October and depending on that process, if there’s not a lot of questions or cleanup, it should be released by the end of October or early November,” he said.​ (​

New Mexico
SFPS board questions ‘troubling’ science curriculum proposal
New Mexico’s dramatic overhaul of science education standards, which is drawing criticism from across the state and around the nation, is “troubling,” Superintendent Veronica García told Santa Fe school board members Tuesday.​ ​Reading from a prepared statement, García said the state Public Education Department has “omitted key concepts, most notably, climate change and evolution.”​ ​“I believe we are doing our students a disservice by omitting these topics,” she said, “and essentially denying them an opportunity to explore these issues in an unbiased manner.”​ (Santa Fe New Mexican)​

New York
KIPP NYC College Prep: Tracking Students Through Graduation — and Then Through College — Like No One Else in America
Nobody tracks their alumni into and through college like KIPP.​ ​And that was strikingly clear the day I spent at KIPP NYC College Prep, a school that’s about half Hispanic, half black — and nearly all low-income.​ ​Just a day at the school in New York City’s South Bronx explains how KIPP has made such rapid gains in its college success rate: In a college prep class for juniors, KIPP alumni from two different colleges came to tell the highs and lows of college life. A college prep session for seniors had several KIPP Through College counselors conducting role-playing sessions designed to guide the soon-to-be college students around danger areas.​ (The 74)​

Three things we learned about the state of school segregation in Memphis
Memphis is as segregated as it is today because of a series of historical twists and turns, as well as recent decisions that deepened the racial divide, a panel of experts said Tuesday night.​ ​About 50 residents attended the discussion on Memphis’s history and present state of segregation. The event was the kickoff of a speaker series led by the National Museum of Civil Rights MLK 50 project, Stand for Children and the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition. ​(Chalkbeat)​

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


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