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 and Analysis:
School Districts Brace for Cuts as Fiscal Crisis Looms

During the campaign, both President Obama and Mitt Romney repeatedly extolled the value of schools and teachers. Mr. Romney, in their first debate last month, even vowed, “I’m not going to cut education funding.” (New York Times) 

Mississippi pushes for literacy, merit pay over pre-k
Mississippi will probably not fund or create public pre-kindergarten opportunities next year, but will prioritize teacher merit pay, literacy, and dropout prevention, according to the proposed budgetreleased Tuesday by Gov. Phil Bryant. (Hechinger Ed) 

Head of ed: Rate schools on minority progress
Texas’ new education commissioner said Thursday that he is considering a new system for rating school success and he thinks it should take into account how well districts are closing the achievement gap between Anglo and minority students. (Education Week) 

Charters not immune from closings, CPS says
Chicago Public Schools officials say they plan to get tough with privately run charter schools that are failing academically this year and could shut down those that aren’t making the grade. (Chicago Tribune) 

Affirmative Action Ban in Michigan Is Rejected
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled, 8 to 7, on Thursday that Michigan’s voter-approved 2006 ban on affirmative action was unconstitutional. (New York Times) 

High Standards Help Struggling Students: New Evidence
The Common Core State Standards, adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, promise to raise achievement in English and mathematics through rigorous standards that promote deeper learning. But while most policymakers, researchers, and educators have embraced these higher standards, some question the fairness of raising the academic bar on students who are already struggling. (Education Sector) 

Rhode Island:
Chafee picks George Caruolo to head merged R.I. education board

In a move expected by close observers of Rhode Island’s education and political worlds, Governor Chafee announced Thursday his intention to appoint George D. Caruolo as chairman of a new merged education board scheduled to take effect in January 2013. (Providence Journal) 


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