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:
Small Improvements Characterize Latest NAEP Results; D.C., Tenn. Stand Out

The 2013 NAEP scores are out, and they’re predictably unsurprising: The nation’s 4th and 8th graders are making only modest progress in math and reading. And there’s been no headway in easing racial, ethnic, and gender achievement disparities in the past two years either, based on the new data. (Education Week – State Ed Watch) 

Secretary Duncan Links Federal Race to Top Investments to NAEP Gains
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is spinning the new NAEP results as a payoff for the Race to the Top program, even though not every state that received money under the federal competition soared on the “nation’s report card.” (Education Week – Curriculum Matters) 

U.S. Reading and Math Scores Show Incremental Gains
American fourth and eighth graders showed incremental gains in reading and math this year, but achievement gaps between whites and blacks, whites and Hispanics, and low-income and more affluent students stubbornly persist, data released by the Education Department on Thursday showed. (New York Times) 

Teachers in High-Poverty Schools Eligible for $25,000 Prize
TNTP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that “all students get excellent teachers,” is now accepting applications for the 3rd annual Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice. Teachers working with low-income students are eligible for the prize, which is awarded to four teachers annually. Winners receive $25,000 and participate in a six-week summer residency. TNTP also publishes papers by winners about their teaching experiences and offering advice to other teachers. (Education Week – Teaching Now) 

Rural Dropout Prevention Strategies to Be Focus of National Project
Fifteen states’ rural dropout prevention efforts will be analyzed and studied as part of anew federally commissioned project. The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a contract to the Manhattan Strategy Group to do the work over a two-year period. (Education Week – Rural Education) 

New Jersey:
Christie First Stop After Reelection: Abbott School in Union City

Four years ago, the day after his election to his first term as governor, Chris Christie made his opening stop Newark’s Robert Treat Academy Charter School. (NJ Spotlight)

Teachers union leader urges Chris Christie to apologize to teacher he yelled at
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sent a letter to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), asking him to apologize to a teacher whom he yelled atduring a campaign event a few days before he won re-election this week and saying that he had no right to “bully her in such a hostile and intimidating way for simply asking a question.” (Washington Post) 


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