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:
L.A. mayoral candidates support making teacher evaluations public

Los Angeles’ two mayoral candidates said Tuesday that they support making teacher evaluations public, going well beyond a level of disclosure that is supported by top school district officials. (Los Angeles Times) 

Charting Pre-K’s Value for All
When President Barack Obama announced his support for universal preschool in his State of the Union address this year, he rekindled a fierce debate. Supporters praised universal preschool as an excellent “investment” in the nation’s future workforce. Critics lambasted it as yet another example of wasteful federal spending. (Education Week)

D.C. to establish a hybrid traditional-charter school in Southeast
A long-struggling Southeast D.C. elementary school will undergo a renovation and then reopen under the management of a high-performing charter school, Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Wednesday evening. (Washington Post) 

Texas Senate Votes To Substantially Reduce Number Of Standardized Tests For Students
The Texas Senate approved a bill Monday that would substantially reduce the number of standardized tests students need to take in order to graduate. The bill must be reconciled with an earlier House bill, which also loosens graduation standards for students, according to the Associated Press. (Huffington Post) 

St. Paul schools: District plans to tap reserves to boost spending on goals

The St. Paul district plans a third round of beefing up spending in what leaders called a “seminal year” for its schools in 2013-14. (Twin Cities) 

New York:
Teach-eval ball in state’s court

The state’s top education official has been tapped to finally end the city and teachers union’s long-running dispute over a new ratings system for educators. Under state law, the two sides were required to come to an agreement — or else submit separate proposals for a rigorous evaluation system to the state by midnight yesterday. (New York Post) 

View Point:
Jay Mathews: Two D.C. high schools dare to require deep research

I often despair over the sorry state of writing and research in our high schools. Only private schools and public schools with the International Baccalaureate diploma program require research papers of significant length. Two million new high school graduates head to college every year — but only 10 percent, by my reckoning — have had to write a long paper or do a major project. (Washington Post – Class Struggle) 


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