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 
The education community seems to agree that the federal Every Student Succeeds Act corrects many flaws of the No Child Left Behind Act, while preserving what worked and presenting huge opportunities to refocus the lens on student success. As our peers in states nationwide wait for ESSA’s provisions to become concrete regulations and turn their attention to implementing the law, we have some advice for them when it comes to collecting and using data: Don’t just simply follow the rules on this one. (US News)
The Common Application used for college admissions at more than 600 institutions is changing a question it asks about student criminal records, as the U.S. Department of Education urged schools Monday to consider dropping the question altogether. (Associated Press)
The Obama administration is urging universities and colleges to re-evaluate how questions about an applicant’s criminal history are used in the admissions process, part of an effort to remove barriers to education, employment and housing for those with past convictions, in many cases for minor crimes. (The New York Times)
For over a decade, “big data” and “analytics” have increasingly become a part of the education world. (Big data is a term used to describe data sets so large that they can only be analyzed by computers, and analytics is used to describe how the data is collected, analyzed and used.) Big data lovers believe the information can help policy-makers make systemic improvements in student outcomes — but, so far, that hasn’t happened. Here is a post about the problems with big data in education and about something new that could actually make a real difference: “small data.” What is it? Here’s the post by Pasi Sahlberg and Jonathan Hasak. (The Washington Post)
A teachers union-funded report on charter schools concludes that these largely nonunion campuses are costing traditional schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District millions of dollars in tax money. (Los Angeles Times)
Nothing has defined and even driven the fractious national debate over education quite like this city and the transformation of its school system in the decade since Hurricane Katrina. (The New York Times)
North Carolina
North Carolina receives more than $4 billion in federal education funding each year. Now the federal government is considering withholding that money because, the Justice Department says, the state has passed a law that violates the civil rights of transgender individuals by forcing them to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates instead of their gender identity. (The Washington Post)
A cluster of local foundations, nonprofits and businesses has pledged $25 million for innovative education efforts in the Pittsburgh region through May 2017. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


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