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:
Chiefs Group Terminates Role in Social Studies Framework

The Council of Chief State School Officers has bowed out of its role as the convenor of a group of states and organizations writing a shared social studies framework. (Education Week – Curriculum Matters) 

Grouping Students by Ability Regains Favor in Classroom
It was once common for elementary-school teachers to arrange their classrooms by ability, placing the highest-achieving students in one cluster, the lowest in another. But ability grouping and its close cousin, tracking, in which children take different classes based on their proficiency levels, fell out of favor in the late 1980s and the 1990s as critics charged that they perpetuated inequality by trapping poor and minority students in low-level groups. (New York Times) 

Obama Pushes Faster Internet, More Tech Funding for Schools
President Barack Obama is calling for an ambitious overhaul of the federal E-rate program, a step that many education and technology advocates have been urging for years to improve what they see as schools’ badly out-of-date technological capabilities. (Education Week) 

The big squeeze
There’s no shortage of bad news in education these days, nor any dearth of stasis, but at least education reform is a lively, forward-looking enterprise that gets positive juices flowing in many people and that is leading to promising changes across many parts of the K–12 system. We are focused on making things better—via stronger standards (Common Core), greater parental choice (vouchers, charters, and more), more effective teachers (upgrading preparation programs, devising new evaluation regimens) and lots else. (Fordham Institute Flypaper) 

Teacher contract talks begin this week in Minneapolis

Negotiations start this week for the labor contract governing working conditions for the Minneapolis district’s more than 3,000 teachers for the next two school years. (Star Tribune) 

View Point:
Jack Markell: The tea party is wrong on the Common Core curriculum

Over the past three years, 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards. These objectives were developed to ensure that America’s students acquire the academic skills they need to reach their full potential. (Washington Post) 


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