Lisa Gibes is 50CAN’s vice president of strategy and external relations. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

News & analysis:
New Breed of Community Partnerships Aiding Schools

New kinds of agreements between school districts and their neighboring communities to share space and assets are on the rise. These symbiotic “joint use” partnerships enable districts and entities such as cities, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to maximize the use of facilities and money, while meeting the needs of children and others in the community. But from joint land-development initiatives to the shared use of building space and playfields, those involved in these relationships are finding their navigation can be tricky. Without the money-saving measures, though, many districts and communities are struggling financially to stay afloat. (Education Week) 

Obama Warns of Ed. Cuts, Touts Vision on K-12
President Obama argued that his economic policies would do more to protect the needs of students and schools than those of his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, in a speech Thursday night in which he accepted his party’s nomination to pursue a second term. Obama’s address at the Democratic National Convention stuck mostly to broad themes articulating his view of government’s important role in society—a role which includes supporting a strong education system, and the needs of impoverished students within it. “I refuse to ask students to pay more for college, or kick children out of Head Start programs,” Obama said, offering a list of programs and services that might otherwise get cut, “all so those with the most can pay less.” (Education Week – Education K-12) 

Could Cutting Special Ed. Spending Improve Student Achievement?
A new analysis of the cost of special education concludes that by cutting special education personnel in high-spending districts to the national average, the country could save up to $10 billion a year and improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities. In “Boosting the Quality and Efficiency of Special Education,” former Arlington, Mass., Superintendent Nathan Levenson analyzed spending and staffing patterns in 43 percent of all school districts with at least 3,000 students, looking closely at how those districts spend money on students with disabilities. (Education Week – On Special Education) 

D.C. Public Schools Initiative Will Boost Salaries For High-Performing Teachers In Low-Income Schools
Under a new D.C. Public Schools “career ladder” initiative, high-performing teachers in low-income schools will see a streamlined process to salary raises and more leadership opportunities, theWashington Post reports. According to Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, the goal of the Leadership Initiative for Teachers (LIFT) is to attract educators to the District and encourage them to remain in the city’s classrooms. The career ladder features five rungs, with the “teacher” designation at the bottom denoting someone who receives normal pay and is subject to four formal classroom observations annually, the Post reports. To climb the ladder, an educator must earn “effective” and “highly effective” ratings on yearly evaluations. Reaching the top rung — labeled “expert teacher” — requires at least six years’ experience. (Huffington Post)

New York:
Mayor Bloomberg defends education record as 1.1 million students head back to school 

The new school year opened Thursday with 1.1 million city students hitting the books — and Mayor Bloomberg defending his record during the 10 years that he has controlled city public education. In a morning visit to well-regarded Middle School 327 in the Bronx, Bloomberg blasted as a “disgrace” that he was blocked from shutting down 24 struggling schools last spring. “These kids are going to go a whole other year of their lives without an education, where they’re never going to catch up, never going to catch up, most of them,” said Bloomberg, opening his last full year as the principal in chief. “I think it’s indisputable that our schools are heading in the right direction.” (NY Daily News) 

View Points:
Jonathan Zimmerman: Romney’s radical vision for education

As schools around the country open their doors for the fall term, here’s a quick end-of-summer quiz: Which major presidential candidate has offered the most radical proposal to change public education? And here’s a hint: It’s not Barack Obama. Emphasizing high-stakes tests and charter school expansion, Obama has simply continued — or accelerated — the policies handed down by George W. Bush in his signature education reform, No Child Left Behind. By contrast, Mitt Romney has put forth a plan that could completely transform the way Americans organize and fund public schools. And that’s why it has little chance of being implemented any time soon. (Los Angeles) 


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts