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:
Obama Budget Would Invest in Pre-K, High School Overhaul

President Barack Obama’s budget unveiled today proposes new money for a big expansion of prekindergarten programs, a new competitive-grant program for high school improvement, a new Race to the Top competition focused on higher education—and level funding for the two formula grants school districts depend on most: Title I grants for disadvantaged students and special education. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

Texas Considers Backtracking on Testing
In this state that spawned test-based accountability in public schools and spearheaded one of the nation’s toughest high school curriculums, lawmakers are now considering a reversal that would cut back both graduation requirements and standardized testing. (New York Times) 

‘Parent Power Index’ Puts Familiar States in Top Policy Spots
The Center for Education Reform, a group with a relatively long tenure advocating for charters, vouchers, and test-based teacher evaluations, has released its state rankings on its “Parent Power Index.” The center classifies such power as when parents have “access to quality educational options and are provided with good information to make smart decisions about their children’s education.” No. 1 on the index is Indiana, which scores an 87 out of 100. (Education Week – State Ed Watch) 

DFLers say their education plan will close the achievement gap

Democrats in the Minnesota House are proposing an ambitious agenda for improving public education by raising taxes and increasing funding for schools by $550 million. (Minnesota Public Radio) 

New Jersey:
New N.J. school reports released by state education department; bring new rankings, data

New school performance reports released today by the state Department of Education place each school in a new “peer group” with 30 other schools with similar demographics. ( 

Group wants Philly teacher, principal reforms

A newly-formed umbrella group of many of the city’s leading education nonprofits hopes to affect the upcoming Philadelphia teachers’ contract. The “Coalition for Effective Teaching,” made up of the Aspira Association, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Education Voters of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Education Fund, Public Citizens for Children and Youth, The Urban League of Philadelphia and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey has studied the current Philadelphia Federation of Teachers contract and is today announcing recommendations for changes, both for teachers and the Philadelphia School District management. (Philadelphia Inquirer) 



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