Beth Milne is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis 
A series of technological difficulties prompted Montana officials on Wednesday to declare that statewide Common Core-aligned tests will be voluntary this year—the latest blow to the rollout of such tests across the country. (The Wall Street Journal)
A Senate committee made progress Wednesday on a bipartisan update to the No Child Left Behind education law with a final vote expected Thursday afternoon. (Huffington Post)
A problem with a computer server is stopping Common Core testing in Nevada, Montana and North Dakota after a previous technical issue delayed it last month, officials said. (ABC News)
PARCC and test provider Pearson are trying to trim the time of their Common Core tests by combining the two waves of testing into one. (
A controversial bill to require vaccinations for all California school children ran into trouble Wednesday, when its author delayed a key Senate committee vote after enraged parents opposed to the legislation demanded lawmakers answer a central question: Don’t all kids — whether they are vaccinated or not — have a right to a public education? (San Jose Mercury News)
Tony Smith — a charismatic but sometimes unpopular leader who closed struggling public schools, butted heads with teachers unions and created more privately run charter schools in California — was hired Wednesday as Illinois’ new state school superintendent. (Chicago Tribune)


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