Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
The education technology business is chock-full of fledgling companies whose innovative ideas have not yet proved effective — or profitable. But that is not slowing investors, who are pouring money into ventures as diverse as free classroom-management apps for teachers and foreign language lessons for adult learners. (New York Times)
I think the conventional wisdom on charter school evidence could be summed up thusly:  ”some charter schools appear to do very well, but on average charters do no better and no worse than public schools”. But I would like to propose a better conventional wisdom: “some charter schools appear to do very well, and on average charters do better at educating poor students and black students”. If the same evidence existed for some policy other than charter schools, I believe this would be the conventional wisdom. (Forbes)
Public pension systems have gained national attention in recent years. The primary focus of the policy discussion to this point has been on the cost of these systems, and for good reason. State and local governments have accumulated more than a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for pensions owed to public workers for past service. And payments on that debt have resulted in great financial strain; annual contributions have grown two-and-a-half times larger since 2001, forcing difficult fiscal tradeoffs in many jurisdictions. (National Affairs)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is using a speech here Monday to assert that the Obama administration is not backing off on K-12 policies it has pushed for the past six years, even as Republicans in Congress are poised to release proposals to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would significantly scale back the federal footprint in education. (Education Week)
New York
Overall, schools in poorer districts spent $8,733 per pupil less in 2012 than those from wealthier ones, an inequity that grew by nearly 9% from before Cuomo took office in 2011, according to the study by a coalition of education advocacy groups opposing many of the reforms pushed by Cuomo. (New York Daily News)


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