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:
Education cuts at stake in tax battle

Let’s cut through all the baloney being spread in California’s tax brawl and go straight to what’s basically at stake. At stake, at least in the near future, is whether public school funding will be slashed from kindergarten through the universities. If Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 passes — and receives more votes than wealthy attorney Molly Munger’s Prop. 38 — K-12 schools and community colleges will be spared $5.4 billion in budget cuts. Plus, the two university systems won’t be dinged $250 million each. (Los Angeles Times) 

State proposal would give Michigan schools a break on MEAP scores
Schools that succeed in helping poor-performing students improve academic achievement could soon get a break from the state. The Michigan Department of Education is proposing to amend its accountability system to allow students who fail the MEAP — but whose scores show significant improvement — to be considered proficient on the exam. The change would mean some schools could get a better rating from the state when it introduces a new color-coded accountability system next year. (Detroit Free Press)

Schools dilemma for gentrifiers: Keep their kids urban, or move to suburbia?
When his oldest son reached school age, Michael Petrilli faced a dilemma known to many middle-class parents living in cities they helped gentrify: Should the family flee to the homogenous suburbs for excellent schools or stay urban for diverse but often struggling schools? Petrilli, who lived in Takoma Park with his wife and two sons, was torn, but he knew more than most people about the choice before him. Petrilli is an education expert, a former official in the Education Department under George W. Bush and executive vice president at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education think tank. (Washington Post) 

New York:
Stretching New York’s Public Education Dollar

New York’s public schools are noted for their extraordinarily high spending. Yet the conventional response to problems in the state’s educational system usually boils down to a demand for more money. As pressure mounts to increase school aid in the next state budget, state leaders should focus less on increasing spending and more on redirecting existing funds to better meet student needs. (Huffington Post) 

Dear Teacher, Johnny Is Skipping the Test
LATER this month, children at 169 New York City elementary and middle schools will, for the second time in a calendar year, take a 40-minute “field test” in math and English language arts to determine which questions will go on future state standardized exams. (New York Times)

North Carolina:
Multiplying math-science success for urban kids

Take a charter school where low-income African American students shine at math and science. Add a university that specializes in urban education. Create a program that spreads success to struggling students across the country. That’s the vision of Schoolwise, a partnership between Sugar Creek Charter in north Charlotte and UNC Charlotte’s Urban Education Collaborative. It made its public debut Thursday with a lunch that drew more than 400 people to the Ritz Carlton to hear renowned urban educator Geoffrey Canada. (Charlotte Observer) 

View Points:
Deborah Kenny: Want to Ruin Teaching? Give Ratings

As the founder of a charter school network in Harlem, I’ve seen firsthand the nuances inherent in teacher evaluation. A few years ago, for instance, we decided not to renew the contract of one of our teachers despite the fact that his students performed exceptionally well on the state exam. We kept hearing directly from students and parents that he was mean and derided the children who needed the most help. The teacher also regularly complained about problems during faculty meetings without offering solutions. Three of our strongest teachers confided to the principal that they were reluctantly considering leaving because his negativity was making everyone miserable. (New York Times) 


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