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:
College Board Steals Stefanie Sanford from Gates

A few years back, when the Gates Foundation started recruiting a slew of super smart, extraordinarily influential people away from their old jobs, I observed that Gates had become the New York Yankees (or, less charitably, the Washington Redskins) of education. Well, now, after Common Core impresario David Coleman took the helm of the College Board a few weeks back, he has quickly made it clear that, if Gates is the Yankees, he’s ready to be the big-spending Boston Red Sox. In the first of what I suspect will be a series of attention-grabbing hires, he’s recruited policy/advocacy rock star Stefanie Sanford away from Gates to serve as the College Board’s chief of policy, advocacy, and government relations. (Education Week – Rick Hess Straight Up) 

Teachers leaning in favor of reforms
Teachers appear to be changing their minds about how they should be hired, assessed, paid and dismissed. This merits attention because we cannot have good schools if teachers are not happy with their compensation and working conditions. (Washington Post) 

Gates Foundation gives $25 million to help charters, traditional schools cooperate
Seven cities that are forging new bonds between traditional public schools and public charter schools received $25 million in private funds Wednesday to propel their progress.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced multimillion-dollar grants to Boston, Denver, Hartford, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Spring Branch, Tex., to deepen a new kind of collaboration between charters and district schools. (Washington Post) 

American Federation of Teachers Calls For Bar-Like Certification Exam
Schoolteachers should have to pass a stringent exam – much like the bar exam for lawyers – before being allowed to enter the profession, one of the nation’s largest teachers unions said Monday. The American Federation of Teachers called for a tough new written test to be complimented by stricter entrance requirements for teacher training programs, such as a minimum grade point average. (Huffington Post) 

Chicago Public Schools’ Experiment With Common Core State Standards Sees Positive Result
As a guinea pig in a nationwide experiment, Chicago’s Philip D. Armour Elementary School is seeing drastic improvements in student performance. Even the most ardent critics of the nationwide Common Core Standards initiative can’t dispute the school’s strong student improvement: Armour’s state standardized test scores have moved up 16 points, in a school where 98 percent of students are low-income and come from a high-crime neighborhood, PBS NewsHour reports. (Huffington Post) 

New York:
Walcott outlines cuts that could take place without an eval deal

If the city and its teachers union do not agree soon on new teacher evaluations, class sizes will likely rise, teacher training suffer, after-school activities be eliminated, and guidance counselors cut, Chancellor Dennis Walcott predicted this morning. (Gotham Schools)


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