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:
House Education Panel Discusses NCLB Renewal

Will this finally be the year that Congress actually reauthorizes the No Child Left Behind Act, which has been awaiting renewal for more than six years? Most folks aren’t expecting that to happen, given how difficult it is to get anything done in Congress these days. But it sounds like lawmakers on the House education committee are going to give it a shot, even though the partisan divisions that doomed the last attempt at a renewal don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. (Education Week – Politics K-12)

Are Teacher Evaluations Public? Assessing the Landscape
In the wake of several states releasing large sets of “value added” data on individual teachers to media outlets last year, I wrote a widely read story for Education Week on whether formal teacher-evaluation records are publicly accessible. We found quite a lot of variation in the scope of states’ open-records laws. (Education Week – Teacher Beat)

In California, Push for College Diversity Starts Earlier
As the Supreme Court weighs a case that could decide the future of affirmative action in college admissions, California offers one glimpse of a future without it. (New York Times) 

Licensing-Test Gaps Exist in Every State, Federal Data Show
Every state sets the cutoff score on its teacher-licensing tests below the mean of test-takers, according to federal data—a pattern suggesting that most of the tests are probably pretty easy for a majority of those candidates taking them. (Education Week – Teacher Beat) 

Teacher Pay Hurt by Recession, Report Says
During the recession and its aftermath, public schools took a hit as both state coffers and local property taxes shriveled. That showed up in shrinking employment, but also in teacher salaries. (New York Times) 

CPS School Closures: Independent Hearing Officers Oppose Closing 14 Schools On List
Independent hearing officers tasked with reviewing Chicago Public Schools’ list of 54 slated closings are opposing 14 of the proposed shutterings saying those schools don’t meet the state standards that warrant a shutdown. (Huffington Post) 


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