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:
The New Dropouts? The States Divide on Testing and Accountability

It’s funny how things work.  For some people in this country, the idea of the Common Core State Standards—national standards for student achievement—was more than they could bear, an affront to their sense of the right relationship between government and its people. (Education Week – Top Performers) 

Indiana Chief Finds ‘Manipulation’ of School Grades
An initial examination of Indiana’s school grades from the 2011-12 academic year show”manipulation” by former state K-12 officials, state Superintendent Glenda Ritz told the Associated Press today. The statement by Ritz is the latest chapter in a story that began late last month, when emails between former state education chief Tony Bennett and his subordinates last September showed how they discussed changing the state’s A-F accountability model after they discovered that a Bennett-backed charter school would not receive an A grade as he had promised lawmakers and others. (Education Week – State Ed Watch) 

Study: Many Teachers Still Need Common-Core PD
Many teachers in states that have adopted the common standards have not had any professional development to help them adjust to the new expectations, a new study shows. (Education Week – Teacher Beat) 

Head Start tries to track down more than 27 million alumni
Chuck Mills was the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother with no high school diploma who cleaned houses and clerked at the U.S. Postal Service to support the family. Many of Mills’s neighbors and some of his siblings dropped out of school, battled drug addiction or spent time in prison. (Washington Post) 

E3MN will work on issues that can help us make a difference in students’ lives

“Why did you choose to be a teacher?” I recently asked my mom, who just retired after 37 years working as a schoolteacher in Wyoming, this question. A son and grandson of educators, I grew up witnessing my mom’s joys and challenges as a teacher: the foot-high piles of student work to grade, the exasperated dinner-table conversations about distressing new state legislation, the weekend trips to her classroom to keep up with the demands of the job. (MinnPost) 

View Points:
The Bourne Hypocrisy: Matt Damon’s Peculiar School Choice

Oscar winner Matt Damon has earned millions successfully playing a super spy, tortured genius, rugby icon, and poker player.  Yet a new role is turning out to be a challenge for the actor and activist: Parent forced to square his public stands about other people’s children with his private choices about his own.  When the avowedly liberal actor revealed in an interview last week that he was sending his children to private schools – despite his vocal criticism of education reform efforts and statements about his staunch public school support – it was catnip for conservatives.  Damon’s choice also raised the question of whether it is hypocritical for education reform opponents to make choices they would deny to others through public policy. (Time) 


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