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

DeVos’s Hard Line on New Education Law Surprises States
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who made a career of promoting local control of education, has signaled a surprisingly hard-line approach to carrying out an expansive new federal education law, issuing critical feedback that has rattled state school chiefs and conservative education experts alike. (The New York Times)

Why the Long Arc of School-Choice Research May Bend Toward Vouchers
Past research on Louisiana’s school-voucher program came to a bleak conclusion: Students who used the program to transfer to a private school saw their test scores plummet. A new study complicates that narrative, finding some good—or at least, less bad—news about the closely watched program. (The Atlantic)

Antonucci: NEA’s New Charter Schools Policy Isn’t New, Just Matches Union’s Long-Held Action Plan
Delegates to the National Education Association Representative Assembly approved a new policy statement on charter schools last week. The new policy’s language is significantly more hostile to charters than the 2001 policy it supersedes. The number of charter schools in the U.S. has more than tripled in the 16-year interim and spread to 44 states. It is natural to expect that NEA policy would adjust accordingly. But the new policy statement is simply a matter of NEA documents finally catching up to the union’s long-standing practices. (The 74)

New Jersey
5 things parents & students should know about N.J.’s new education budget
TRENTON — The dust has settled on New Jersey’s final 2018 budget, approved earlier this week after a political standoff and three-day government shutdown. Education funding, including the expansion of pre-kindergarten, was a key part of the negotiations. Here’s what parents and students should know about the state’s spending plan. (NJ Advance Media)

New Mexico
Expert: NM teacher evals are toughest in the nation
New Mexico rated more than twice as many teachers below effective than any other state in a 24-state study conducted by a Brown University economist who studies teacher evaluation systems across the country. New Mexico placed 28.7 percent of its teachers in that category in 2015-2016, while the majority of states rated fewer than 4 percent of teachers below effective, according to Matthew Kraft, Brown University assistant professor of education and economics. “The New Mexico system is very different than others,” Kraft said. ” ‘Tough’ would be one way to describe it.” (Albuquerque Journal)

New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to a series of changes that will benefit New York City charter schools, a group he’s publicly battled in the past.
It comes shortly after a big win for de Blasio: a two-year extension of his control of the city’s schools. City officials indicated the deal, outlined Thursday, came out of that bargaining process, which pitted the pro-charter State Senate against the more anti-charter Assembly. (Chalkbeat)

Over objections, SRC authorizes $10m new special ed program for Philly kids
Over objections, the School Reform Commission on Thursday authorized a $10 million, 100-student program to serve Philadelphia children with special needs. The program, which will operate in three existing Philadelphia School District buildings, will be open primarily to children with emotional disturbances and severe disabilities who had been educated at Wordsworth, a private provider that lost its contract with the school system after a child’s death in one of its residential programs. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

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


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