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:
Antonio Villaraigosa Led The Way On Education Reform, But His Potential Successors Are Reluctant To Pick Up The Torch

For the last eight years, education reformers have had a staunch ally in the L.A. mayor’s office. From the start of his administration, Antonio Villaraigosa showed he was willing to fight the teachers’ unions, and to pay a political price for it. (LA Weekly) 

Charter-school kudos — and a wish list

A national organization Tuesday named Minnesota’s charter school law the best in the nation. It’s the fourth time the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) has conducted the survey and the second time Minnesota has come out on top. (MinnPost) 

New Jersey:
Advocates for Newark Education Make Their Case in D.C.

Joining counterparts from a dozen other cities nationwide, Newark education advocates landed in the spotlight yesterday as they testified in Washington, D.C., against school closures in New Jersey’s largest district, calling the closings discriminatory and a violation of civil rights. (NJ Spotlight) 

New York:
Bloomberg Outlines Tight Education Budget

With the city losing nearly $250 million in state school aid this year for failing to negotiate a new teacher evaluation system, Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented a fiscal year 2014 budget with deep cuts to education. (SchoolBook) 

Urban education’s breadline problem

Around 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 18, a small clutch of parents wearing thick coats, scarves and gloves were milling around the entrance to West Philadelphia’s Penn Alexander School, eyeing each other warily. They were obviously there for one reason, but they preferred not to admit it. “We’re just talking,” they told me as I dropped my children off at the neighboring daycare. “We’re not in the line.” (The Notebook) 

View Point:
Walt Gardner: The Sunk-Cost Effect on Standardized Testing

I know why you’re reading today’s column: What in the world is the sunk-cost effect and what does it have to do with standardized testing? The sunk-cost effect is a classic economic dilemma (“That Sunk-Cost Feeling,” The New Yorker, Jan. 21). In short, it means that once lots of money and energy have been expended, the costs are simply too great to ignore. “This means that we often end up sticking with something when we’d be better off cutting our losses.” In fact, it frequently follows that we invest even more money and energy because we can’t bring ourselves to acknowledge we were wrong. It’s throwing good money after bad on a grand scale. (Education Week – Walt Gardner Reality Check) 


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