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:
NBC News Tackles Race-Based Goals in States’ NCLB Waiver Plans

Tempers have flared in states like Florida and Virginia over new academic goals that are being set in states with waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act. As allowed by the U.S. Department of Education, some states set goals that vary by race—with the aim being that minorities and other at-risk students must make faster progress. I wrote about this tricky topic for Education Week, and then the New York Times followed suit. (Education Week – Politics K-12)

Diane Ravitch Announces New Network for Public Education
This morning Diane Ravitch announced the launch of a new organization to connect supporters of public education across the country. (Education Week – Living in Dialogue)

Governors Take Varied Paths in Boosting K-12 Aid

As states consider increases to K-12 spending amid better economic conditions, governors on opposite sides of the partisan divide are proposing significantly different plans and arguments for the best ways to use new education aid. (Education Week)

Gleason, Wang: Debate over school closings asks the wrong questions

Far more important than the question of whether schools should close is why some neighborhood schools work — even when serving the same students with the same funding — and others don’t. We don’t need to look far to answer this question and don’t need to engage in some hypothetical debate over models, governance, theories, or systems. We need only to look at the dozens of successful neighborhood schools in Philadelphia and find the common threads: focused leaders, resourceful and committed teachers, and the conditions that enable these educators to thrive. (The Notebook)

View Point:
STEM Education Must Start in Early Childhood

According to a 2010 survey by Change the Equation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporate initiative to further math and science learning, nearly one-third of Americans would rather clean their bathrooms than do a math problem. In a globally competitive economy, with employers of all shapes and sizes increasingly seeking workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math, this is humorous and more than a little troubling. (Education Week)

The five most important ed-tech trends at SXSWedu
I’ve been on the ground in Austin for the South By Southwest Education Conference & Festival for 22 hours. In that time, I’ve interviewed six people, chatted with many more, and hit the Java Jive in the Hilton four times. Here’s what I see as the biggest trends coming out of the conference. (Hechinger Report)



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