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 
There are 5 million schoolchildren in this country for whom English is not their native language. They’re called English-language learners – ELLs for short. And this week, the newspaper Education Week released a survey showing that these kids aren’t getting the quality of teaching they need. Claudio Sanchez of the NPR Ed team has more. (NPR)
Career and technical education in high schools has gotten lots of attention and lip service in recent years. Business and industry see it as a long overdue focus on preparing students for the world of work. Educators say CTE — once called vocational education — is an alternative path for high school graduates who don’t plan to go to college, at least not right away. (NPR)
Are teachers losing out on thousands of dollars in potential extra pay because states are behind on maintaining pensions? In a new study released by, Chad Aldeman relied on federal data to compare the wages and benefits of public-school teachers to those of other workers. He found that states and districts on average put 12 percent of teacher salaries toward the pension programs millions of school employees rely on for their retirement. That means more than $6,800 public dollars per teacher go toward supporting the pension funds states and districts promised to maintain. (The Atlantic)
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance to schools stating that they should allow transgender students to use the restrooms associated with their gender identity. Elected officials, advocates, and others in influential education positions quickly weighed in with their views. (Education Week)
The mostly poor and black students enrolled in Detroit Public Schools have been exposed to lead, have endured crumbling classrooms, and have some of the lowest literacy rates in the country. They’ve also seen one neighborhood school after another shut down. (Los Angeles Times)
Now that it is clear that Texas’ complicated school finance system is here to stay, districts around the state must find a way to move forward — whether that is by pressuring lawmakers for more money or by raising property taxes. (The New York Times)
Starting this fall, Denver Public Schools will use three criteria to decide whether to shutter low-performing schools, according to guidelines unveiled at a meeting Thursday. (Chalkbeat)


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