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:
No Child Left Behind Hearing Features Waiver Attack By Obama Ally

The Obama administration has been under fire for watering down the No Child Left Behind Act by granting waivers that exempt states from its stringent test-based annual goals. Now, the critique is coming from close quarters. (Huffington Post) 

‘Big Three’ Publishers Rethink K-12 Strategies
Arizona’s Vail school district is the kind of customer that gives big textbook publishers pause. The 12,000-student school district swapped out printed textbooks for digital material in 2006, but students aren’t using e-textbooks. Instead, the district collects instructional materials the way a teenager creates a song playlist, taking digital content from various places, often for free. Meanwhile, for a fee, the Vail district shares its electronic library of resources with 68 partner districts across the state. (Education Week)

California Districts Misuse School Meal Funds, Report Finds
Several California school districts—including Los Angeles Unified—have been illegally diverting tens of millions of dollars in federal and state funds meant to pay for school meals programs for low-income students, a new investigation by the California State Senate has found. (Education Week – District Dossier) 

North Carolina:
State’s new Pre-K chief opposes pre-K

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos announced Tuesday that Dianna Lightfoot has been appointed the state’s new director of Child Development and Early Education. (WRAL)

Rhode Island:
Union officials who oppose Gist get initial OK for board

The Senate Education Committee Wednesday evening approved four of Governor Chafee’s 11 appointees to the new Rhode Island Board of Education. Among the four are two top teacher-union officials whose organizations have frequently clashed with Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist and her aggressive plans to improve the state’s 306 public schools. (Providence Journal) 

View Point:
Chris Minnich: Update Our Education Legislation

More than 11 years ago, our government enacted the No Child Left Behind law, a reauthorized version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that increased focus on standards and assessments and required each state to set annual targets for student performance. This law has since helped the country’s education system by serving a critical purpose in raising awareness, setting high expectations for all and driving states to meet those expectations for every student. However, our ability to best serve all students has evolved over the past decade. As a result, the law is now outdated and is no longer assisting states on the way to improving their systems. (Roll Call) 


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