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:
Lawmakers Gear Up for Action on K-12 Issues

State lawmakers will attempt to tackle a range of issues in legislative sessions getting under way this month, from making common academic standards a reality and funding schools based on performance, to allowing armed teachers and staff members on school grounds. (Education Week) 

What’s next for ‘No Child Left Behind’?
No Child Left Behind turns 11-years-old tomorrow. The Bush-era law ties federal education funding to student achievement. Schools that don’t meet its targets risk losing federal funding. The law wasn’t meant to get this old. It’s been due for a rewrite since 2007. “You’d think Congress would be embarrassed at this point,” says Charles Barone with Democrats for Education Reform. “This is the longest it’s ever taken to reauthorize an education law in U.S. history.”
(American Public Media – Marketplace) 

Illinois Pension Crisis Breakthrough: Madigan May Defer Contentious Teacher Retirement Issue
The prospects for solving Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension crisis may have grown brighter Friday when powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan said he was open to deferring a contentious teacher retirement issue that has deadlocked lawmakers for almost a year. (Huffington Post) 

Analysis: Education will dominate Mississippi legislative session
Want to know who’ll control the narrative of the 2013 Mississippi legislative session? Look first to the lawmakers who will handle education proposals, and to the private groups lobbying for or against charter schools. (Sun Herald) 

New York:
Talks on Teacher Evaluations Disintegrate as Deadline Looms

New York City and its teachers union are stuck in their negotiations over a new teacher evaluation system, jeopardizing $450 million in state aid if they have not reached a deal in less than two weeks. (New York Times) 

DOE Seeks to Phase Out 17 Schools in First Wave of Proposed Closures
The Department of Education released Monday its first list of schools it would like to close or phase out for poor performance, with a second set of schools to be announced Tuesday. This kicks off the next phase of the school closure process which has come to be a controversial hallmark of the Bloomberg administration’s effort to replace struggling schools with better performing ones. (SchoolBook) 

Reading School District Millions Short Due To Auditing Error, Payroll Jeopardized

Pennsylvania’s Reading school district is facing a $11 to $15 million shortfall due to an auditing error, potentially leaving thousands of school staff and educators without paychecks come March, 69 News reports. (Huffington Post) 


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