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:
Study: High School Grad Rate Highest Since ’76

The nation’s high school graduation rate is the highest since 1976, but more than a fifth of students are still failing to get their diploma in four years, the Education Department said in a study released Tuesday. Officials said the steady rise of students completing their education is a reflection of the struggling economy and a greater competition for new jobs. (ABC News) 

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Wisconsin Law Curbing Public Unions
A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a Wisconsin law curtailing the collective-bargaining rights of public-employee unions, including the teachers’ unions. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago, ruled in a challenge to the measure brought by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, an affiliate of the National Education Association, and several other public-employee unions in the state. (Education Week – School Law) 

Obama Evaluating Early Childhood Education Push In Second Term
Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama’s education secretary, has a slogan that summarizes his tenure and the view of his mission that he shares with his boss. “Education is the civil rights issue of our generation,” Duncan says. (Huffington Post) 

Philadelphia School District sets up lottery for spots in a popular kindergarten

The Philadelphia School District is moving to a lottery-based kindergarten registration system for Penn Alexander School in West Philadelphia, one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhood schools. (

View Point:
Margaret Spellings: Congress Cedes Authority to the Obama Administration… Yet Again

The fiscal cliff isn’t the only ledge the nation is in danger of heading over. As the 113th Congress begins, we are no closer to a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA). The law is six years overdue for renewal and there is no sign of movement in the Congress. Rather, Congress is ceding its authority to influence the future of education policy to an Obama Administration handing out waivers to states like candy to kids. The federal law — and all of its protections for students and families — is being gutted. (Huffington Post)


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