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

What Could Betsy DeVos Really Get Done as Education Secretary?

The prospect of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education has some school choice supporters riding high, while many educators, members of the civil rights community, and disability advocates are taking to the streets in anger, literally. But what if her nomination is approved? (That looks more likely than not for now, even though a couple of GOP lawmakers said Tuesday they’re not sure about the nominee heading into the full Senate vote.) How much could DeVos really do at the U.S. Department of Education without the help of Congress or state policymakers?​ (Education Week)​

DeVos Set to Take Over Education System Where Test Scores Have Stalled
If confirmed as education secretary by the U.S. Senate, Betsy DeVos will take over a national education system with an improving graduation rate but stagnant test scores, despite a reform effort under the Obama administration that pumped billions of dollars into the worst-performing schools. (The Wall Street Journal)

Many KIPP charter school alumni face financial hurdles in college, survey shows
The KIPP public charter school network prides itself on its mission of putting disadvantaged students on the path to a college degree.​ ​But a new survey of thousands of KIPP alumni nationwide has found that many of these students face daunting financial hurdles once they get to college, including worries about where they will get their next meal, and whether they can find work-study jobs and internships in line with their career goals. (The Washington Post)

What Trump’s Ban Means for 17,000 Students From 7 Nations — and the Future of the U.S. Tech Industry
President Trump’s immigration ban was billed as a critical measure to keep out foreign threats, but when the executive order was issued on Friday, international students were among those who found themselves in the crosshairs of a new policy that barred citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.​ ​Media reports and social media posts have documented the stories of dozens of students and academic researchers who were prevented from getting on flights to the U.S. or deported after landing at American airports.​ (The 74)​

Can Vouchers Save Failing Schools?
As the Obama administration came to a close, it quietly released a study finding that its biggest education initiative—a $7 billion program to dramatically improve the performance of struggling schools—was a failure. The massive School Improvement Grant investment “had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment,” the study concluded. (The Atlantic)


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