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

Nearly 9,000 DACA Teachers Face An Uncertain Future
Of the 690,000 undocumented immigrants now facing an uncertain future as Congress and President Trump wrangle over the DACA program are about 8,800 school teachers. The real possibility that they’ll be deported if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is allowed to expire has put enormous stress on them. Maria Rocha, a teacher in San Antonio, Texas, says it’s gut wrenching, but she’s trying not to show it in front of her third-graders. Rocha has been teaching at KIPP Esperanza Dual-Language Academy for three years. (NPR)

Districts give new life to old school buses
Repurposing buses no longer suitable for daily transportation has provided schools with mobile makerspaces, traveling cafés and bookmobiles. The practice allows for extended use of an asset and adds a mobile dimension to programs that districts cannot always find space for in traditional classrooms. Cheatham County Schools in Ashland, Tennessee, is in the process of repurposing three of the district’s older school buses that were no longer suitable for daily transportation of students. The district polled its staff and community about possible new uses, and received many creative ideas, including a bookmobile, mobile food pantry, an art center, and a space to reward positive behavior, according to district communications director Tim Adkins. (District Administration)

The Outdated Study That Education Reformers Keep Citing
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, made a bold statement in a recent essay: By giving students individual help, average students can be turned into exceptional ones. “If a student is at the 50th percentile in their class and they receive effective one-on-one tutoring, they jump on average to the 98th percentile,” Zuckerberg wrote. (The Atlantic)

Public meeting on proposed anti-discrimination policy to be held Wednesday
Public comment will be limited to 30 minutes Wednesday night at a meeting to discuss a proposed anti-discrimination policy designed to protect transgender students and other vulnerable groups. Alison May, spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Education, said comments will also be limited to what is actually discussed at the meeting, the purpose of which is to “react to and consider changes to the states draft Regulation 225” based on feedback already received during a 30-day public comment period. (Delaware Online)

New Jersey
NJ May Expand All-Day Kindergarten To Every District — At What Cost?
Lawmakers are forging ahead with plans to expand early childhood education in New Jersey, including a statewide requirement for full-day kindergarten. More than 90 percent of school districts with kindergartens have full-day programs already, but 42 districts don’t – including some big ones, such as Cherry Hill, West Windsor-Plainsboro and Edison. Another big district, Woodbridge, is already switching to full-day kindergarten in September. Under state Sen. Shirley Turner’s bill, S1055, the 42 districts with half-day programs would have to have full-day kindergarten by September 2020. Three would be required to start a year sooner, in 2019 – Egg Harbor, Monroe in Gloucester County and Lopatcong. (WOBM)

North Carolina
NC and the rest of the South need to improve education, report says
North Carolina and other Southern states need to quickly do more to improve K-12 education as the number of “disadvantaged students” increases in the region’s public schools, according to a new report. “Accelerating the Pace: The Future of Education in the American South,” a report released Tuesday, found that student achievement has increased significantly overall in the South in the past several decades. But the report found that Southern states must deal with historic inequities in education – student performance varies widely by race and income – that hold back many parts of the region. (The News & Observer)

Best, most improved schools in Philly honored
They are charters and traditional public schools; elementaries, middle and high schools. And on Monday, they were named the city’s top and most improved performers, honored with cheers, banners, trophies, and handshakes from Mayor Kenney and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. Twenty-six schools earned laurels for their marks on the Philadelphia School District’s school performance report, an internal measure that examines 2016-17 test performance, student growth, climate, and other factors to arrive at a single numerical score. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

South Carolina
New South Carolina Study of Public Montessori Schools Shows Majority Low-Income Students Outperforming Peers
A five-year study analyzing the impact of South Carolina’s nearly 50 Montessori public schools has found that their students perform significantly better than those in traditional public schools, closing the achievement gap especially for children from low-income backgrounds. Montessori students demonstrated more growth in reading and math, earning state test scores that were 6 to 8 percentage points higher. But they also bested their non-Montessori peers in the soft skills inherent to Montessori education: creativity, good behavior, and independence. (The 74)

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


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