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:
LAUSD Not A Race To The Top 2012 Finalist, John Deasy Reacts: ‘We’re Not A Finalist? I’m Shocked’

Finalists for the White House’s 2012 Race to the Top grant competition were released Monday. To no one’s surprise, the Los Angeles Unified School District is not a contender. In a phone call with The Huffington Post, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy feigned shock at the news. “We’re not a finalist? I’m shocked!” he said, jokingly. But Deasy also expressed sadness that the district’s application, which did not have the required support of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) teachers’ union, did not place in the contest. (Huffington Post) 

City schools unveil 10-year renovation plan

In the next 10 years, Baltimore’s school system will have a leaner, modernized look under a proposed $2.4 billion facilities plan that calls for closing 26 school buildings and upgrading 136 others in a large-scale face-lift of Maryland’s oldest school infrastructure. (Baltimore Sun)

New Jersey:
New Jersey Charter School Study Shows Gains In Newark Schools

Students in New Jersey charter schools perform better on average than those same students would in traditional public schools, according to a highly anticipated Stanford University study released Tuesday. The study, which looked at the state’s performance relative to charter schools nationally, found that while New Jersey charters tended to have more promising outcomes, Newark’s schools are responsible for the bulk of the gains. (Huffington Post) 

Sydney Morris and Evan Stone: My View: The lesson in Newark
School and union leaders in the nation’s largest school districts who are waging epic battles over teacher evaluation, compensation and the future of the teaching profession could learn a lesson from their colleagues in Newark, New Jersey. That’s where the city’s 3,300 teachers  recently ratified a groundbreaking new contract that provides them unprecedented support and compensation. (CNN Schools of Thought) 

View Point:
Thomas Friedman: My Secretary of State

President Obama is assembling his new national security team, with Senator John Kerry possibly heading for the Pentagon and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice the perceived front-runner to become secretary of state. Kerry is an excellent choice for defense. I don’t know Rice at all, so I have no opinion on her fitness for the job, but I think the contrived flap over her Libya comments certainly shouldn’t disqualify her. That said, my own nominee for secretary of state would be the current education secretary, Arne Duncan. (New York Times) 

Kenneth Campbell: OP-ED| Measuring quality in D.C.’s school voucher program
On Saturday, November 17, 2012 the Washington Post published an article entitled “Quality controls lacking for D.C. schools accepting federal vouchers”. As the only national Black organization focused on empowering low-income and working-class Black parents to choose where and how their children are educated, the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) has been and continues to be a strong supporter of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. (Washington Post) 



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