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

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

News and Analysis

Senate postpones confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education pick
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has postponed the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary.​ ​DeVos’s hearing, originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning, has been rescheduled for Jan. 17 at 5 p.m., according to a joint statement from the HELP committee chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and ranking member, Patty Murray (D-Wash)​. (The Washington Post​)

More States Mull Changes to Teacher Evaluation Systems
Since last year’s passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, state lawmakers have had broad latitude in deciding how—and even whether—they evaluate their teachers. Before the new law, the Obama administration had been pushing states to adopt systems that were “in significant part, based on student growth.” With their newfound freedom, policymakers spent 2016 rehashing how to rate teachers, often reducing the influence of students’ standardized test scores in evaluation systems. Continuing that trend, 2017 is shaping up to be another big year in reforming how teachers are evaluated.​ ​(​E​ducation Week)

Educators worry schools are botching student discipline reform
Teachers in Fresno, California, and Des Moines, Iowa, have come out against their districts’ efforts to reform how students are disciplined. Teachers in Indianapolis and New York City registered similar complaints earlier this year. Teachers are arguing that efforts to change student-disciplinary practices—largely in an attempt to address big racial disparities in who gets suspended and expelled—are making their classrooms harder to manage.​ (The Hechinger Report) ​

New York
Trump’s voucher plan would strip funding from over 1,200 schools in New York City, union analysis shows

Just two days before the U.S. Senate begins its confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos — Donald Trump’s pick to lead the country’s education department — New York City’s teachers union took a swipe at Trump’s central education policy proposal.​ (Chalkbeat) ​

Maryland teacher of the year becomes one of four national finalists​

A Maryland teacher has been tapped as one of four finalists for the 2017 National Teacher of the Year Award.​ ​Athanasia Kyriakakos, who teaches in Baltimore city and previously won top teaching honors in Maryland, was described by her principal as “an internationally award-winning artist who has sacrificed her personal ambitions to share her passion of art with students.”​ (The Washington Post)​


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