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:
‘Personalized Learning’ Varies for Race to Top Districts

The 16 Race to the Top district winners, pushed by $400 million in federal grants that put a premium on personalized learning, are embarking on vastly different makeovers of the classroom experience—from districtwide approaches to a narrower blueprint focused on middle school math. (Education Week) 

Texas End-of-Course Exams Targeted for Rollback by Lawmakers
An ambitious set of high school graduation requirements for Texas would be dramatically overhauled under legislation to be considered today by the state’s House of Representatives, including lowering from 15 to five the number of end-of-course exams students must pass. The state tests for Algebra II, chemistry, physics, and English III, to name a few, could be skipped if the plan becomes law. (Education Week – Curriculum Matters) 

Louisiana overhauling teaching goals, standardized tests in effort to raise the bar for students
In 1997, fed up with social promotions and straight-A seniors who couldn’t spell, state officials launched their first big effort to hold districts accountable for student performance by tying grade promotions, graduation and school ratings to test scores. (Times-Picayune) 

Indiana Supreme Court Keeps School Voucher Program Intact
Supporters of school choice in Indiana received a major boost today when the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld a school voucher program that affects the state’s middle- and low-income families. (Education Week – K-12 Parents and the Public) 

Study: Northfield, southern Minnesota struggle with achievement gap

Minnesota has some of the worst academic achievement gaps in the nation between white kids and students of color. For example, Minnesota has the nation’s worst on-time graduation rates among Latinos and American Indians and is among the worst for black and Asian students. (Northfield News)

View Point:
John Wilson: Common Core: Mend It; Don’t End It

I have watched and listened very carefully to the debate on the Common Core Standards among many people I respect and know to be knowledgeable on the subject. Of course, this debate comes after 45 states have adopted these standards, after hundred of hours of professional development by teachers and administrators, and after millions of dollars spent on implementation. (Education Week – John Wilson Unleashed) 


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