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

Supreme Court wrestles with defining rights for students with disabilities, including autism

The Supreme Court Wednesday seemed ready to increase the educational benefits the country’s public schools owe to millions of children with disabilities, as the justices considered one of the most significant special-education cases to reach the high court in decades. (The Washington Post)

Five Cabinet Nominees Who Could Affect Education
Control of school-related issues is spread across a number governmental agencies, and President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. education secretary, Betsy DeVos, won’t be the only member of his cabinet to have a say in student-facing policy. The Michigan philanthropist and billionaire will face her Senate confirmation hearing next Tuesday, and many of her fellow nominees already have education records of their own. We examined five of the potential cabinet members who could influence America’s schools and what their past actions might mean for students around the country. (The Atlantic)

3 Big Problems in How Schools Hire Teachers — and What Research Says About How to Solve Them
Every year, 15 percent of teachers quit, either switching schools or leaving the profession entirely, often to retire. That, in turn, means that each year, schools get a new slate of teachers to replace those who leave. Often, though, the subsequent hiring process represents a missed opportunity for increasing the quality and diversity of the teaching staff. Several recent studies suggest that many principals, schools and districts have considerable room to improve the outcomes of this annual cycle. (The 74)

Personalized learning and Common Core: Mortal enemies?
Can students learn about what they like, at their own pace, and still pass standardized tests at the end of each year? It’s a dilemma facing a growing number of schools and districts that have jumped onto a new tech-fueled trend in education known as “personalized learning.” The goal of personalized learning is to tailor lessons for individual students to help them master content on their own schedule, whether it’s faster or slower than their same-age peers. At its most extreme, personalized learning can also unfetter kids to study whatever they’re most interested in, although experts say most schools still require students to cover key subjects and skills. (The Hechinger Report)

Debate over charter schools puts Memphis in spotlight

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. (The Commercial Appeal)


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