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

A Conversation With Black Parents, Teachers and Students
What happens when you get Black teachers, parents and students in a room with no talking points, no filter, just honest conversation? Well, as a Black baby raised in the ’90s would say, “it got real.” We recently invited more than 40 participants to share the joys and frustrations of being Black in America’s public schools. Their conversations were moderated by a few education advocates we invited from around the country. (Education Post)

How Feedback for Teachers and Principals Helped Their Students Do Better in Math
Providing extra feedback for teachers and principals may help boost student achievement in math, according to a new federal study. While more districts nationwide are incorporating classroom observations and feedback into teacher evaluation systems, there have been relatively few studies of whether such feedback improves student learning. Researchers from the American Institutes of Research, on behalf of the federal Institute of Education Sciences, randomly assigned more than 100 elementary and middle schools across five states—including 1,000 math and English teachers—to either their usual professional development or additional observations and feedback in the areas of classroom practice, student growth, and principal leadership. (Education Week)

Your 2018 Guide to Public Schools in Delaware
It sounds like it’s too good to be true. Just fill out a form online and you can send your child to any public school in Delaware. Filling out the form is the easy part. Figuring out which school is best for your child is the challenge. “It’s project management. I’d compare it to selecting a college. I’m seeing parents with six binders” filled with information, says Tatiana Poladko, founder and CEO of TeenSHARP, a nonprofit that helps high school students of color prepare for top colleges. (Delaware Today)

Frigid Baltimore City schools: The racism we haven’t confronted
Earlier this week, amid freezing temperatures, students across Baltimore City returned from winter break to face unheated classrooms. About 60 schools — nearly one-third of the entire system — reported issues, leading to the closure of four schools on Wednesday and early dismissal in two others. The teacher’s union condemned the conditions as “unfair and inhumane.” And teachers quickly took to social media to post images of shivering students and thermostats registering harsh temperatures. (CNN)

New Jersey
Student-driven, collaborative learning make Cape May Elementary a ‘Lighthouse District’
CAPE MAY — Cape May is known for its Victorian architecture, white sandy beaches and its iconic lighthouse. And now it will be known for educational success, as the local school district was named a Lighthouse District by the New Jersey Department of Education in the fall. Cape May City Elementary School was one of seven districts in the state to receive the inaugural honor this year — a designation to recognize its academic achievements, especially on the statewide standardized test, with a diverse student body. (Press of Atlantic City)

New Mexico
New Mexico Legislature, governor set spending priorities
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday recommended a $250 million increase in state general fund spending for the coming fiscal year, emphasizing the need for investments in the criminal justice system, economic development incentives and early childhood care and education. The Democrat-led Legislature convenes Jan. 16 to craft a state budget for the fiscal year starting in July. (KRQE News 13)

Diverse Virginia school district makes push for more teachers of color
A student who steps into a classroom in Virginia’s largest school district is likely to be Hispanic, Asian, black or multiracial. Chances are, that student’s teacher will be white. Students of color made up more than 60 percent of the Fairfax County school district’s enrollment last fall, according to state data. Meanwhile, teachers of color were about 18 percent of the school system’s teaching staff, data from the school district shows. (The Washington Post)

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


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