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:
Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K

Nearly two decades ago, a landmark study found that by age 3, the children of wealthier professionals have heard words millions more times than those of less educated parents, giving them a distinct advantage in school and suggesting the need for increased investment in prekindergarten programs. (New York Times) 

Knowledge for earnings’ sake
There are few policy questions to which improving the quality of education is not a reasonable answer. Yet assessing teachers is far from straightforward. Pupils’ grades or test scores may reflect any of a host of influences, not just the standard of instruction. Neither can one take for granted that good teaching, however it is measured, will translate into better lives for its recipients. In two new working papers , Raj Chetty and John Friedman of Harvard University and Jonah Rockoff of Columbia University deploy some statistical wizardry to tease out the value of teaching. Good teachers, they find, are worth their weight in gold. (The Economist) 

Common Core and Disadvantaged Students
It’s no secret that there has been plenty of heated debate about the Common Core State Standards. Supporters say we need the standards to strengthen our workforce. Opponents contend that control over educational expectations should rest with local school boards and teachers, causing some lawmakers to back away from the standards. In May, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation delaying common-core implementation in his state; funding for the standards has stalled in Michigan; and bills scrapping the common core are pending in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. (Education Week)

An improving record for D.C. Public Schools
The timing couldn’t have been more propitious as Kaya Henderson delivered her first formal address since becoming D.C. school chancellor three years ago. A study had just been released attesting to the effectiveness of the system’s teacher evaluation program. Equally significant was the news that enrollment had apparently increased. The two developments are but the latest evidence of what Ms. Henderson called a “turning tide” that is transforming public education in the nation’s capital. (Washington Post)

School reforms should put children first

There is no question that public schools in Philadelphia need to be fully funded, and that obligation ultimately rests with the governor and those of us who serve in the state legislature. (Philadelphia Inquirer) 


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