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:
Senate Panel Approves Big Early-Childhood Education Boost

President Barack Obama’s high-profile push to expand prekindergarten programs got a big assist from a Senate Appropriations panel today. The panel, which is controlled by Democrats, approved a $1.6 billion increase for Head Start—the main federal program financing early-childhood education—plus $750 million in new money to help states bolster the quality of their preschool programs. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

Head Start Announces Awardees in First-Ever Grant Competition
The Office of Head Start has released its long-awaited final list of entities that have been awarded federal funds after the agency’s first-ever grant competition among low-performing grantees. (Education Week – Early Years) 

New York:
Superintendent submits plan to transfer students from low-performing schools

Patricia Elliott-Patton is ready to send her child somewhere else. Her 11-year-old daughter has been at Buffalo’s Waterfront School for four years, ever since third grade. She hasn’t been doing well. (Buffalo News) 

North Carolina:
National group seeks N.C. teacher reform

Former presidential adviser and CNN political analyst David Gergen will lead a push for changes in teacher pay, evaluations and tenure in North Carolina. A national group known as 50CAN, for the 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now, on Tuesday unveiled a branch calledCarolinaCAN. Executive director Julie Kowal, recruited from a Chapel Hill education consulting firm, says one of her first tasks is finding N.C. residents to serve on the board. (Charlotte Observer)

View Point:
Why We Need State-Based Education R&D

In recent surveys, state education officials have indicated that they recognize that better decisions require better information, but few said they have the capacity to analyze the education-related data they are required to collect. This year, research from the Government Accountability Office and the American Institutes for Researchcorroborated the state surveys, revealing that states rarely use research and analysis in their decisions to reform and improve schools. Although this problem is unlikely to be resolved soon, and certainly not by every state, a makeover of the federally supported regional research-and-technical-assistance infrastructure into a state-based arrangement could make a big difference in fostering the adoption of research- and evidence-based programs and practices. (Education Week) 


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