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:
Districts face roadblocks in developing teacher evaluations

School districts around the country are facing obstacles as they attempt to finalize new teacher evaluation systems in time for the 2013-14 school year. At least 30 states have passed laws requiring new evaluation systems, but many cities are experiencing pushback from teachers and unions, particularly on requirements to include student test scores as a part of a teacher’s rating. (Hechinger Ed) 

Education reform aims to expand voucher program, reduce funding gaps
Gov. John Kasich’s school-funding plan attempts to reduce the wide gaps in spending among poor and wealthy school districts while calling for a sweeping expansion of the state’s tax-funded voucher program for low-income students. (The Columbus Dispatch) 

School districts turn to public relations aides when trouble surfaces
Suburban school districts are increasingly turning to public relations professionals to manage crises and help them communicate with parents and residents, often at a cost of thousands of dollars to taxpayers. (Boston Globe) 

Pensions Have an Impact on Achievement– But It’s Not What You Think
According to important new research, teacher pensions—both how generous they are and how they are structured—have important effects on the quality of the teaching workforce. This research provides some insight into how the looming retirement of the Baby Boom generation may affect students. (The Quick and The Ed) 

Charter School Students, Parents, Teachers Lobby Lawmakers

Ten years after Maryland’s charter school law was enacted, more than 200 student, parents and teachers from charter schools around the state were in Annapolis today to urge lawmakers to make changes to the charter school law. The effort was organized by MarylandCAN, the Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now. (WBAL) 

Rhode Island:
RI-CAN: R.I. student achievement stagnant

Rhode Island’s gains in student achievement have been small in recent years, according to a report released Wednesday by the Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now. (Providence Business News) 


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