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:
4 Decades After Clashes, Boston Again Debates School Busing

Nearly four decades after this city was convulsed by violence over court-ordered busing to desegregate its public schools, Boston is working to reduce its reliance on busing in a school system that is now made up largely of minority students. Although court-ordered busing ended more than two decades ago, and only 13 percent of students in the public schools today are white, the school district buses 64 percent of its students in kindergarten through eighth grade to schools outside their immediate neighborhoods. The city tried twice in the last decade to change the system and failed both times. (New York Times) 

Teachers give contract big thumbs up
Chicago’s public school teachers overwhelmingly approved a contract agreement in a vote taken this week. Members of the Chicago Teachers Union OK’d the pact with 79.1 percent in favor, the highest approval rating for a contract in the CTU’s history, union officials said Wednesday night. Of the 20,765 valid ballots, 16,428 were for the new agreement and 4,337 were against it. (Chicago Tribune) 

North Carolina:
Update: 1 in 8 N.C. teachers left jobs

The rate of North Carolina teachers leaving their classroom jobs increased slightly last year to nearly one out of eight, but only about 7 percent of those reported leaving because of a career change or because they were dissatisfied with teaching. An annual report received by the state Board of Education today shows that about 11,791 of the 97,184 teachers employed in the state’s 115 school systems left last year. The turnover rate of 12 percent was a slight increase from 11 percent the previous school year. ( 

Private Dollars for Longer School Days
Schools in North Carolina may be lengthening their calendar in an effort to improve high school graduation rates, but footing the bill with at least $55 million in donated dollars, according to an article in The Charlotte Observer. According to the article, the North Carolina legislature authorized nine schools in the Charlotte area to lengthen their school days, but didn’t authorize any additional funding to pay for the extra costs accrued with more time in school. (Education Week – Beyond the School) 

View Points:
Thomas Espenshade: Moving Beyond Affirmative Action

ON Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, the latest in a long line of conservative assaults on affirmative action that dates to the late 1970s. Nearly a decade has passed since the court, in Grutter v. Bollinger, approved the continued use of race as one factor in an individualized, “holistic” review of an applicant’s qualifications for higher education. Now even such limited consideration of race is being challenged. (New York Times) 



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