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:
Scores Drop on Ky.’s Common Core-Aligned Tests

Results from new state tests in Kentucky—the first in the nation explicitly tied to the Common Core State Standards—show that the share of students scoring “proficient” or better in reading and math dropped by roughly a third or more in both elementary and middle school the first year the tests were given. (Education Week) 

CPS School Closings Guidelines Announced As New CEO Promises To Include Community Input
Chicago Public Schools said Wednesday no schools are currently slated for closing, but maintained half of the district’s schools are “underused,” with nearly 140 schools sitting half empty. CPS’ recently-announced draft guidelinesare supposed to help determine which schools can be closed, consolidated or otherwise phased-out. (Huffington Post) 

L.A. Unified competes for U.S. funds without key element
A handful of California school districts have overcome hesitation or distrust from teacher unions to agree on applying for a high-profile, controversial federal grant. Los Angeles Unified, however, has opted to compete for the award without union endorsement, which it could not obtain. (Los Angeles Times) 

Roy Roberts, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager, Threatens To Leave If Proposal 1 Fails
Roy Roberts, the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, says he may leave the job if voters reject Proposal 1, the statewide ballot proposal that would affirm the state’s ability to take over financially struggling school districts and municipalities. The proposal would uphold Public Act 4, which took effect in 2011 and gave broad powers to emergency managers to, among other things, modify or terminate collective bargaining agreements. Roberts said if it fails, it would jeopardize the reforms he has put in place since he was appointed 15 months ago. (Huffington Post) 

New Jersey:
N.J. schools feel Sandy’s effects as hundreds close, plan next move

The hurricane that devastated coastal towns and knocked out power across the state, also forced at least 370 school districts to close all week and has some planning to close next week. School officials from Moonachie to the Jersey Shore were assessing the impact to their buildings and children’s education Thursday, and trying to pick up the pieces. (NJ. Com) 

Philly district suspends school rating system, seeks fix

The Philadelphia School District revealed Wednesday that its system for rating schools is faulty. The District has suspended use of its “School Performance Index,” or SPI. District leaders are now seeking outside help to fix the complicated formula that converts more than a dozen factors into a single score given to every public school in the city, including charters. For the last two years, SPI scores have been used to help guide a wide range of major decisions, including which schools should be closed down or converted into charters. It has also been used to evaluate charters’ bids for renewal or expansion. (The Notebook) 


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