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

10 Charts That Changed the Way We Think About America’s Schools in 2017
More than two-thirds of America’s 74 million kids attend K-12 schools — buildings where tens of millions of teachers, administrators, and staffers go to work every day. Between educational and retirement costs, they represent most states’ biggest expenditures. And their end product, the promise of our nation’s kids? You could say that’s pretty important too. (The 74)

How A Deregulated Internet Could Hurt America’s Classrooms
Schools across the country are nervously watching to see if the Federal Communications Commission chooses to repeal Obama-era regulations that protect an open internet, often referred to as “net neutrality.” The 2015 rules are meant to prevent internet providers, such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, from controlling what people can watch and see on the internet. Companies can’t block access to any websites or apps, and can’t meddle with loading speeds. (NPR)

Five Years After the Sandy Hook School Shootings, a Focus on Preventing Violence
City buildings in Newtown, Conn., will close for 45 minutes Thursday morning to provide a moment of reflection five years after a school shooting that shook the town and became a new focal point in ongoing debates about school safety and gun laws. Unlike smaller-scale events of violence that tragically feel more routine, the details of that day are etched in public memory: On December 14, 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School where he shot and killed 20 young children and six adults before killing himself as law enforcement arrived. (Education Week)

America’s teachers don’t move out of state much. That could be bad for students.
Certification rules can make moving to a new state a serious hassle for teachers. That might explain a recent finding: Teachers are significantly less likely to move between states than others with similar jobs — and past research suggests that students suffer as a result. (Chalkbeat)

What Pre-K Means for Your Pre-Teenager
Just how important is good preschool in the course of a child’s life? Skeptical researchers have contended that it doesn’t really matter, that preschool provides only short-term educational assistance that fades out after a few years. But new findings from a continuing study of 4,000 children in Tulsa, Okla., should put that contention to rest. High-quality prekindergarten has powerful long-term cognitive effects. (The New York Times)

Tension between Christina, state complicate school consolidation plan
The Christina school board postponed voting on a memorandum of understanding with Gov. John Carney, with one member calling the latest draft of an agreement to improve academics in Wilmington “a power-play gut punch” that doesn’t focus on students, but on buildings and “adults” instead. “If we voted on this tonight, I would absolutely say no,” said Elizabeth Campbell Paige on Tuesday night. Paige actually voted against tabling the item because she wasn’t sure if further negotiations with the Governor’s Office would make any difference. (Delaware Online)

New Jersey
District ousts superintendent, and parents want to know why
After hearing passionate pleas from dozens of parents and teachers asking the board to reconsider, the North Plainfield Board of Education voted on Wednesday to not renew Superintendent of Schools James McLaughlin’s contract. McLaughlin, who has been with the district for three years, learned the board expected to place him on administrative leave with pay, effective Dec. 1, through the end of his contract, which expires on June 30. The board voted 5-0, with one abstention, to not renew his contract. He was paid $167,500 in 2016. (NJ Advance Media)

New York
Kids are the collateral damage of de Blasio’s war on charters
Looks like the clock is about to run out on thousands of out-of-luck kids at Success Academy charter schools. To please his union pals — who fear competition from Success and other non-union charters — Mayor de Blasio is intent on killing off any possible growth of these high-achieving schools. So he’s refusing to provide Success with seats for its soon-to-be middle-school kids, even though there’s plenty of good space available. (New York Post)

McAuliffe wants option of undergraduate teaching degree to address shortage
Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants Virginia colleges and universities to offer the option of an undergraduate degree in teaching — rather than only a master’s program — to help fill what he calls “a severe and growing shortage of qualified teachers.” McAuliffe signed an executive order Monday that directs the Virginia Board of Education to adopt emergency regulations to allow institutions to confer undergraduate majors in education for teachers. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Metro housing board set to move forward with $25M charter school at Cayce Homes
The Metro Development and Housing Agency plans to use an unprecedented financing structure to pay for the construction of a $25 million charter school that is the linchpin of its plan to attract mixed-income residents to its redevelopment of the James A. Cayce Homes public housing. (Tennessean)

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


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