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:
20 Districts, Nonprofits Set to Share $150 Million in New i3 Awards

Twenty winners are slated to share $150 million in prize money from the third round of the Investing in Innovation competition, the U.S. Department of Education just announced. Eight of those won “validation” awards of up to $15 million, and the remaining 12 won “development” awards of up to $3 million. (Education Week – Politics K-12)

Obama Education Policy: Second Term Direction Still Not Clear
In Rick Hess’s eyes, President Barack Obama has a big choice to make. “The president campaigned with a different face of education reform than what he championed during the first term,” Hess, an influential education scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said in an interview. “I’m curious as to whether what he said on the campaign trail is more reflective of what a second term will be or whether the first term will be reflected in the second term.” (Huffington Post) 

School and city officials address truancy rates in District
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson said Thursday that the school system’s high truancy rates amount to an educational “crisis,” as D.C. officials disclosed that more than 40 percent of the students at Ballou, Anacostia, Spingarn and Roosevelt high schools missed at least a month of school last year because of unexcused absences. (Washington Post) 

Tennessee Achievement District To Take Over 10 More Memphis City Schools
Ten more Memphis City Schools will be run by charters or the state through the Achievement School District next fall. Staff at schools in Frayser, North Memphis and the southwest corner of the city got the word in meetings with ASD staff Monday and Wednesday. The teachers were invited to join the ASD or look elsewhere for jobs. (Huffington Post) 

District borrows $300m to cover operating expenses

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission today authorized the sale of $300 million in bonds – money it needs just to pay teachers, heat buildings and buy books for the remainder of the school year. ( 

View Points:
Andy Rotherham: The Election Has Compromised Education Reform

The 2012 presidential election sidestepped the issue of school reform. Neither candidate spent much time laying out, let alone talking up, an education policy agenda. But around the country, there were ballot referendums and state and local races with big implications for schools. Teachers’ unions had a good night, but so did charter schools. In other words, Nov. 6 left the country with an education mandate as unclear as the electoral mandate overall. Still, what happened in various states will influence what happens in Washington during President Obama’s second term. (Time – School of Thought) 


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