Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
Will the Senate Block Betsy DeVos?
Two Republican senators announced on Wednesday they would oppose Betsy DeVos’s nomination for education secretary, presenting the first serious threat to one of President Trump’s Cabinet picks. (The Atlantic)
Number of Students Attending Charter Schools Surpasses 3 Million
Each year, as the holidays end and school is back in session, the National Alliance determines the number of currently operating charter schools and estimates the number of students who attend them. Figuring out the number of schools is not that complicated. We simply ask each state for the names of any new charter public schools that opened this school year and for the names of any that were open last year, but did not re-open in the fall. To estimate the number of students, we collect charter school enrollment data from any states that have already released numbers for the current school year, typically based on counts taken in October. And, for states that have not yet released data, we estimate the number of students in each currently operating charter school, on a school-by-school basis, either based on their own growth rates or, for new schools, on state-level average growth rates and average school size. (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools)
Donors unite nationwide to pay off kids’ school lunch debt
Ashley C. Ford felt driven to act by a sad fact of life in the nation’s school cafeterias: Kids with unpaid lunch accounts are often embarrassed with a substitute meal of a cold cheese sandwich and a carton of milk. Ford, a New York City writer, appealed to her 66,000 Twitter followers with a solution. “A cool thing you can do today is try to find out which of your local schools have kids with overdue lunch accounts and pay them off.” (CBS News)
Decades after civil rights gains, black teachers a rarity in public schools
WASHINGTON — After a semester spent wrangling preschoolers, Ricardo Carter has learned one important lesson: Never say no.
“I don’t use the word ‘no,’” he said recently during a break at Aiton Elementary School in Washington’s Deanwood neighborhood. “I like to say ‘not right now.’” Carter, a soft-spoken 20-year old who graduated from high school just seven months earlier, is part of a bold, if small, experiment here. Last fall, the school district began placing the first of 10 young African-American men in preschool classes citywide, hoping they’ll fall in love with the work and eventually train to be teachers. (USA Today)
Antwan Wilson takes over as chancellor of D.C. public schools
It was the middle of the academic year, but Wednesday marked the first day of school in the District of Columbia for Antwan Wilson. The new D.C. schools chancellor spent the morning high-fiving students as they entered school. He watched elementary students solve problems with fractions, and then he sat with high school students for a lunch of pulled chicken with rice and a pineapple parfait. (The Washington Post)