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

Personalized Learning: Modest Gains, Big Challenges, RAND Study Finds
There’s new evidence to suggest that customizing instruction for every student can generate modest gains in math and reading scores, according to a report released today by the RAND Corp. Despite the promising signs, though, the researchers behind the most comprehensive ongoing study to date of personalized learning describe their latest findings as a “cautionary tale” about a trend whose popularity—and backing from philanthropists, venture capitalists, and the ed-tech industry—far outpaces its evidence base. (Education Week)

Battling School Lunch Shaming and End-of-Year Debts
Adelle Settle was driving to her house in Gainesville, Virginia, in April, when she first learned about school lunch shaming – embarrassing tactics some cafeteria workers use to remind students who have racked up unpaid lunch debt. The story documented an especially humiliating incident in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where a woman running the cash register in the school lunchroom told a 4-year-old girl who had missed successive payments that she had no money and threw her lunch in the trash. (U.S. News & World Report)

Competency-Based Education, Put to the Test
Kassidy Fann clears off the table in the tidy kitchen of the wooden triple-decker north of Boston that she shares with her husband and a pair of inquisitive cats. Fann takes a seat and opens her laptop. There’s no sound but the creaking of the pipes and the rain against the windows. Then a disembodied voice with a slight southern accent says hello. “I will be your proctor today,” says the voice, which belongs to a woman named Leigh Ann Majerik, who’s in an office in Hoover, Alabama. Majerik will supervise as Fann takes a test—called, in this case, an assessment—to gauge her progress toward the master’s degree she’s pursuing in science education and physics from the online Western Governors University. (EducationNext)

Delaware’s kids need conviction not compromise from Carney’s administration
The picture of Governor Carney proudly parading a signed budget bill accompanied by applauding legislators from both parties will be one of the lasting images of Carney’s first legislative session. The smiles and the across the aisle high-fives were the climax of a contentious negotiation process that required overtime to pass a $4 billion budget and close a $400 million budget gap. Yet, outside of the circle of political insiders responsible for the grand budget compromise, you would be hard pressed to find anyone smiling about an outcome that will leave us in the same place next year. That is the seductive thing about compromise: You work so hard to achieve it that you can easily mistake process for progress. (Urgency of Now)

New Mexico
Districts may get more leeway on plans for ineffective teachers
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Public Education Department is considering rewriting its regulations to give school districts explicit discretion to decide whether ineffective and minimally effective teachers are placed on performance improvement plans. (Albuquerque Journal)

New York
400 unassigned city teachers could move to permanent jobs under Education Department’s new policy
The city will place up to 400 unassigned teachers into vacancies at public schools whether principals want them or not, Education Department officials said Monday. The new policy begins in October and differs from the usual method of staffing city schools, where principals select teachers from an open market. The city hopes to shrink a costly pool of roving educators — known as the Absent Teacher Reserve — who lack permanent assignments. Teachers may be assigned to the reserve pool under circumstances that include a downsized school. (NY Daily News)

Pennsylvania school districts stockpile billions in cash
PITTSBURGH —Action News Investigates has learned Pennsylvania school districts are sitting on more than $4 billion in cash. Some districts are raising taxes even while holding onto millions in cash. School officials said they need to save money for soaring pension costs and other expenses. But others wonder why some of this money could not be sent back to taxpayers, or used to improve schools. The South Fayette school district has a state-of-the art football stadium. Inside the stadium’s press box, the school board met last month to vote on a budget. (Pittsburg’s Action News)

Tennessee lands a first among states in reconnecting adults to education
In Tennessee we’ve created innovative workforce partnerships and game-changing education reform for skills in high demand. The result is a steady pipeline of qualified candidates for companies doing business in our state. (CNBC)

Washington D.C.
D.C.’s Misguided Attempt to Regulate Daycare
In Washington, D.C., daycare for infants and children younger than preschool-age costs $23,000 per child on average, only $2,000 less than the countrywide average for out-of-state college tuition. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, in her latest State of the District address, said high child-care costs are a major factor driving people out of the city. (The Atlantic)

​Last, but certainly not least​, ​be sure to c​heck out the 2016 ​C​annual Report and explore​ ​50CAN’s adventures in advocacy!​​

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


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts