Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

See Betsy DeVos’ Update on Cutting Education Regulations
Back in February, President Donald Trump asked U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—and the rest of the cabinet—to toss out regulations and guidance that was either “burdensome” or expensive for school districts, states, and colleges to implement. The idea was to get rid of regulations that are redundant, “inhibiting job creation,” or outdated.​ (Education Week)

When Communities Secede From School Districts, Inequity & Segregation Follow. But 30 States Let It Happen Anyway
The judge was blunt: Although parents in a suburban Alabama community argued that their desire to secede from their county school district centered on local control, race was undeniably a motivating factor. Gardendale, a Birmingham suburb composed of predominantly middle-class white residents, had been pushing for years to secede from the predominantly black Jefferson County school district. Proponents argued that the move would give local residents greater say over education decisions and how their tax dollars are spent — or, as the mayor told The Washington Post, to keep “our tax dollars here with our kids, rather than sharing them with kids all over Jefferson County.”​ (The 74)​

Growth plus proficiency? Why states are turning to a hybrid strategy for judging schools (and why some experts say they shouldn’t)
A compromise in a long-running debate over how to evaluate schools is gaining traction as states rewrite their accountability systems. But experts say it could come with familiar drawbacks — especially in fairly accounting for the challenges poor students face.​ ​Under No Child Left Behind, schools were judged by the share of students deemed proficient in math and reading. The new federal education law, ESSA, gives states new flexibility to consider students’ academic growth, too. (Chalkbeat)

How It All Turned Out: A Kindergarten Story, 13 Years Later
Today we’re going to update a story we first brought you back in 2004. That September, NPR set out to document what may be the most important day in any young child’s life — the first day of kindergarten. For parents it’s a day filled with hope, anxiety and one big question: Is our child ready?​ ​The answer back then, as far as 5-year-old Sam Marsenison was concerned, was “No, no, no!”​ (NPR)​

Faith and federalism: The key decision points for a K–12 scholarship tax credit
As the Senate continues to attempt a fix of Obamacare, debate continues on the contours of a sweeping federal tax reform to be acted upon once health care is put to bed. The idea of a national K–12 scholarship tax credit continues to gain steam as a key aspect of overall tax reform and as a measure that would put a human face on an otherwise arcane bill. But important disputes remain over what a national K–12 scholarship tax credit might look like. The two key areas to be decided are faith and federalism.​ (Fordham)​

Charter school founder accused of theft, use of school money on world trips, mortgages, other luxuries
The founder of a charter school company that managed two schools in Jacksonville was charged Monday, along with a business partner, with racketeering and organized fraud allegedly involving 15 charter schools in Florida.​ ​(The Florida Times-Union)

Governor Approves Loans For Energy Savings In Schools
The governor signed a measure giving the Department of Education access to more than $46 million in loans as part of the cooling classrooms initiative. Gov. David Ige on Thursday signed into law a bill authorizing the Department of Education to borrow up to $46.4 million through a “green energy” loan to reduce energy usage in its schools.​ ​Part of a broader initiative to air condition Hawaii’s classrooms using a $100 million appropriation signed last year, the interest-free loan will speed projects that increase energy efficiency and lower electricity costs in public schools.​ ​(Honolulu Civil Beat)

Pitbull considering opening Baltimore charter school
The rapper Pitbull may open a charter school in Baltimore.​ ​WBFF-TV reported on Wednesday the rapper says an application for opening SLAM Academy will be submitted soon, and that the school could open by September 2018.​ ​Sports Leadership & Management (SLAM) schools exist nationwide, including in Miami and Atlanta , with a 96 percent graduation rate.​ (The Baltimore Sun)​

N​ew York
Carmen Fariña wants to help New York City teachers get better at teaching. But some of her own reforms are getting in the way​
​It was a Monday afternoon and school was out at P.S. 294. But there was plenty of learning happening inside the blue-and-yellow building in the Bronx.​ ​Teams of teachers were gathered in classrooms on almost every floor. One group discussed a recent math lesson on how to identify patterns; another analyzed which questions had stumped students during recent statewide tests. A third was thinking about new ways to encourage discussion in the classroom.​ (Chalkbeat)​

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


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