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

Culturally Responsive Teaching: A Promising Approach—But ‘Evidence-Based’?
Over the last two decades, teachers, administrators, and policymakers have taken part in a hard-won campaign to find “evidence-based” solutions that can promote equity in student outcomes. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) launched the movement, increasing pressure on states, districts, and schools to find “what works”—and just in case they missed the message, the word “scientifically based research” was famously included in the bill over 100 times. Its successor, the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), extended efforts to promote the use of evidence, becoming the first federal education law to distinguish between levels of evidence and to provide clear guidance on “evidence-based” decision making. (New America)

Coffee Break: Talking Pour-Overs, Implicit Bias and Empathy with Seth Gershenson
2015, a study showing how implicit bias affects teacher expectations by Seth Gershenson and two colleagues made waves throughout the profession. Gershenson, an associate professor of public policy at American University, has continued to examine the effects of implicit bias and examined how role models can support students to succeed. He talked with Education Post about his research and how the teaching profession is now trying to address implicit bias and promote empathy among teachers. (Education Post)

Why teachers are training themselves to be ‘dreamer’ allies
In California, home to the largest number of undocumented students enrolled in public school, many are scared they may not reach graduation amid political uncertainty over DACA protections. But an increasing number of educators are getting training to become Dreamer advocates. Fernando Cienfuegos of Northview High School and NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs reports. (PBS)

Future of anti-discrimination regulation remains hazy
A proposed anti-discrimination regulation continued to deeply divide Delaware parents Wednesday night, with some disgusted over public comments that seemed to dehumanize transgender students and others afraid kids were being indoctrinated into believing they were a different gender. It remains unclear if the regulation, which would let students self-identify their gender and race, will actually be amended or just “clarified” in response to an outpouring of mostly negative public feedback. More than 11,000 comments were submitted during a 30-day review period, despite the fact it was held over the busy holiday season. (Delaware Online)

Georgia’s most and least financially ‘efficient’ school districts revealed
Forsyth County Schools is the only district in metro Atlanta to receive the highest marks under Georgia’s “financial efficiency” measure for 2017. The district, along with Oconee County Schools and Jefferson City Schools, received five points on the Financial Efficiency Star Ratings released Friday by the Georgia Department of Education. Atlanta Public Schools, meanwhile, had one of the worst scores in the state, with one and a half points. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Phoenix Academy students are tired of watching their classmates get murdered.
After the shooting death of 17-year-old Terry Bosley in November 2017, Bosley’s classmates asked their teacher, “When’s it going to stop?” “I asked what they were going to do about it, and they didn’t think they could do anything. I told them, ‘Yes you can,’” government and special education teacher Maurine Liakos said. “Not many adults, if any, have ever asked them what their opinions are. (Capital Gazette)

Rhode Island
In America’s Smallest State, a Proposal for a Colossal Surge in Public Dollars for Private Schools
A proposal in America’s smallest state could offer a massive surge in public dollars for children to attend private schools. Rhode Island state Rep. Robert Lancia, R-Cranston, introduced a bill last week to raise the scholarship tax credit to $5 million from its current $1.5 million. If passed, the move would mark the second and the largest limit hike to the program, which was boosted by $500,000 in 2013 after its enactment in 2006. The state’s existing program gives businesses a minimum 75 percent tax credit for donating to scholarship-granting organizations, nonprofits that offer scholarships to students from low-income families to attend private schools. A business can receive a tax credit for donations up to $111,111 a year. (The 74)

Gov. Bill Haslam touts education gains, says Drive to 55 two years ahead of pace
Gov. Bill Haslam plans to seal his legacy on education through his final budget, boosting teacher pay and placing more money into higher education. Meanwhile, the governor in his final State of the State address on Monday said that Tennessee’s efforts to get more adults earning college degrees is paying off. “Our goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans having a certificate or degree by 2025 will happen,” Haslam said. “In fact, if we sustain our current momentum, we are on pace to meet the Drive to 55 goal two years early.” (Tennessean)

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


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