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

National
What Is the Future of Public Education?

It’s shaping up to be a contentious year on the education beat, fueled in part by Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election. For starters, in the weeks and months since his election, his campaign call for expanding school choice has sparked widespread discussion and debate. And while federal policy is often a slow-moving train, it wouldn’t be difficult for the president-elect and the GOP-led Congress to change tracks on many key initiatives enacted by the Obama administration, affecting everything from the recent rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act to school-lunch menus and oversight of for-profit colleges. (The Atlantic​)

Special Education at the Supreme Court: 7 Things to Know About Wednesday’s Endrew F. Case
Republicans in Washington will spend Wednesday charging full bore into the start of the new administration. President-elect Donald Trump is slated to give his first press conference since the election. The Senate will hold an hours-long series of votes related to repealing Obamacare. And at least four Cabinet nominees will face their confirmation hearings — including Education Secretary–designate Betsy DeVos. (The 74)

State
New York
New York Proposes Increased Flexibility to Teacher Certification Process

New York’s education department has released proposed regulations that would give teachers more flexibility in earning a permanent classroom certificate or a supplementary certificate. ​The move comes almost a year after state experts warned of a looming teacher shortage—which some attributed partially to New York’s complex certification process, Politico reported. According to U.S. Department of Education data, New York is facing statewide shortages of teachers primarily in bilingual education, special education, and career and technical classes. There are even more shortages concentrated in New York City​. ​(Education Week)

Georgia
AJC poll finds support for school choice, vouchers

Georgia voters appear ready to embrace more charter schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools, even if it means sending tax dollars to private or religious institutions, a new poll for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found​. ​With the election of Donald Trump, the diversification of America’s educational system is on the national agenda. Betsy DeVos, his pick for education secretary, is an advocate for charter schools and for subsidizing private school tuition with public dollars using so-called vouchers.​ (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)​

Tennessee
NAACP to put Memphis in spotlight in national debate over charter schools

In the national debate about oversight and funding of charter schools, Memphis is at the crossroads of efforts to use charters to move students from bad public schools to classrooms with higher-quality seats.​ ​Since Tennessee began authorizing charters in 2003 to bring innovation to its low-performing schools, the sector in Memphis has mushroomed to nearly 75 schools overseen by either the local system or state-run district. Though the performance of charters has been spotty thus far, most agree that their presence has been a catalyst for improving the city’s traditional schools​. (Chalkbeat)​
 

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