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 
When I looked at The Washington Post’s latest rankings of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” my heart leapt. My daughter’s school, Washington International School, ranked first in the Washington, D.C. area. My husband and I chose the school because of its International Baccalaureate, or IB, program, its international community and its focus on foreign languages. The fact that it ranked high on the list confirmed that we had made the right choice. (U.S. News)
On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced that one of his former rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, will be his running mate as vice president if he’s the nominee. So what has she said and done with respect to K-12? Not a whole lot, but during her 2016 campaign, we did get a few details from her about what she envisioned for education policy. (Education Week)
The Obama administration announced plans to ramp up efforts to reach Americans who have defaulted on their student loans and enroll them in debt-relief programs, reflecting concerns that millions of borrowers are damaging their credit. (The Wall Street Journal)
Big Bird and Elmo are getting a tech savvy upgrade. IBM on Wednesday announced a three-year partnership with the nonprofit that produces “Sesame Street” to develop educational products for pre-schoolers, including a smart Elmo doll and software personalized for specific learning needs. (U.S. News)
It was almost exactly a year ago that 11 former Atlanta educators were convicted of conspiring to tamper with thousands of students’ test scores. The cheating scandal, which led to years of prison time for some of the offenders, has grown to symbolize the ills of America’s emphasis on standardized testing. Tell teachers their salaries are tied to test scores and, the thinking goes, they’ll do whatever it takes to ensure those scores are up to par—even if that means fudging the numbers. Even if that means hurting student achievement. (The Atlantic)


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