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

GOP House members seek to cut education budget — but not nearly as deeply as Trump proposed
House Republicans are seeking to cut the Education Department’s budget by $2.4 billion, or 3.5 percent — a substantial reduction, although far smaller than the $9.2 billion in cuts that President Trump proposed. The House GOP also appears to have largely rejected Trump’s proposals to expand private- and public-school choice, according to education advocates who have studied an Appropriations Committee bill released Wednesday afternoon. Expanding school choice is a key priority for the White House and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. (The Washington Post)

On Education, The States Ask: Now What?
The new federal education law is supposed to return to the states greater control over their public schools. But judging from the mood recently at the annual conference of the Education Commission of the States, the states are anything but optimistic about the future, or about the new law. The apprehension reminded me of the 1989 education summit convened by President George H.W. Bush. Back then the goal was to persuade governors to adopt a set of national education goals. All but a couple of states bought into the idea of “systemic change” with support from the federal government. (NPR)

Shift From Pre-K to Kindergarten “Fraught With Stress and Uncertainty”; Report Points to 4 Model States Easing the Transition
The path between preschool and kindergarten can be rocky for both families and educators, argues a new paper from New America’s Education Policy program. In the wake of research suggesting that young students often struggle to adapt to a more structured classroom, the report examines efforts in four states to help better manage the transition through data collection and parental outreach. (The 74)

Do school vouchers ‘work’? As the debate heats up, here’s what research really says
The heated national debate about whether families should get public money to send their kids to private schools is full of big questions. Do vouchers raise test scores or lower them? Do they help or hurt students over the long term? Do they damage public schools or push them to improve? Chalkbeat combed through some of the most rigorous academic studies to get the answers. (Chalkbeat)

State seeks feedback on new plan that will grade Harford schools
​Harford County Public Schools officials are spending part of their summer studying and formulating a response to the state’s plans to meet new federal guidelines for grading how well each school performs. The federal plan could be implemented in Maryland as early as the 2018-19 school year. Officials expect to submit their input on how to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act to the state by the Maryland State Department of Education’s Aug. 10 deadline, according to Nancy Reynolds, president of the Harford County Board of Education. (The Baltimore Sun)

New Jersey
Turning Red: New Jersey’s Well-Heeled Teachers Union Backs Trump Supporter Over State’s Top Democrat
They’re not up there with Billy Graham, but teachers unions continue to be trusted by much of the American public. Their success at projecting a we’re-in-it-for-the-children-like-Jonathan-Kozol image has been a bitter pill for many reformers, who see someone more like Frank Underwood across the table, with Luca Brasi outside the door. Not all reform leaders are as discomfited. Many say, “The union is doing what it’s supposed to be doing: putting members first.” They explain that unions are not monolithic, pointing to the head of the American Federation of Teachers: “Randi would be more conciliatory, but she’s trying to wrangle her left flank.” (The 74)

New York
After years of battle, de Blasio and charters weigh a truce
After four years of intermittent battle, Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to have reached a truce with New York City’s powerful charter school sector. The mayor, who spent the first months of his tenure embroiled in a feud with the city’s most influential charter operator, Eva Moskowitz, allowed a series of concessions to the sector last month as part of a deal to secure a two-year renewal of mayoral control. (Politico)

Former administrator files bias case against Philly School District
For nearly 13 years, Bridget Taylor Brown worked in the Philadelphia School District department that tries to prevent bullying, and dispatches counselors and psychologists to schools when trauma occurs. In February, she was fired as director of prevention and intervention, a job for which she was paid more than $82,000. In a federal civil rights suit filed against the district last month, Brown, who is African American, alleges that she was discriminated against and subjected to a hostile work environment by three white administrators who schemed to terminate her on false grounds. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

Nashville schools lose half of newest teachers within three years on the job
Over 50 percent of the teachers leaving Metro Nashville Public Schools are within their first three years of teaching, according to district officials. It’s a concerning statistic for Nashville schools leaders, who presented retention and recruitment numbers to the school board on Tuesday.Due to the high turnover, district leaders said they hope to expand retention initiatives in the coming year by making mandatory a new teacher introductory program, as well as ensuring all new teachers have a seasoned mentors to guide them. (Tennessean)

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


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