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:
Conservative Rep. Todd Rokita Named Chairman of K-12 Panel

Rep. Todd Rokita, a conservative Republican from Indiana, has been tapped to oversee the House education subcommittee on K-12 policy. That puts him in a powerful position for education policy—particularly if Brokedown Congress surprises everyone and somehow makes significant headway on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

New Jersey:
In New Jersey, teachers union fights blended learning

When 11-year-old Rachelle Rosado opens up her laptop and puts on her headphones in her sixth-grade classroom, she hears an electronic voice: The prefix “sub” goes with “mit” and that makes the word “submit.” (Hechinger Report) 

New York:
N.Y. Reform Commission Stresses Teacher Prep, More Learning Time

The N.Y. Education Reform Commission, summoned into existence by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo last April, has released its report containing several recommendations for big changes to New York state’s K-12 public schools that include setting a new, higher GPA for admissions to teacher and principal preparation programs, extending the school day, and using educational technology to overcome barriers between high school and higher education. (Education Week – State Ed Watch) 

N.Y. and Conn. Team up to Launch Charter School Network
The New York Charter Schools Association and the Connecticut Charter Schools Association will be merging into a new group—the Northeast Charter Schools Network, the organizations announced today. Bill Phillips, the former president of the New York Charter Schools Association, will become the president of the new association. Michael Sharpe, who led the Connecticut Charter Schools Network, will join the network’s board of directors. The new association will support almost 200 schools between the two states. (Education Week – Charters and Choice) 

View Points:
Better schools equal better scores: Editorial

After Katrina and the levee breaches, New Orleans’ failing school system was broken up. The Orleans Parish School Board kept the small number of schools that were thriving, and the state-run Recovery School District took over the rest. Now, seven years into the transformation, charter high schools in the Recovery School District posted a better average ACT score for the Class of 2012 than the high schools the Orleans Parish School Board runs directly. Students at the RSD charters had an average composite score of 17.9 compared with 17.3 for the School Board’s direct-run schools, according to a new report by the Cowen Institute. (The Times-Picayune) 


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