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

Khan: Too Many Poor, Minority Kids Attend Low-Performing Schools. That Doesn’t Mean Their Parents Don’t Care About Their Education
Let’s try a thought experiment. Imagine a school where most students are white and affluent, where 100 percent pass state math tests and 99 percent pass English Language Arts. Would reporters, politicians, and other members of the vocal public actively search for ways to explain away the results? I think not. More likely the response would be: “Wow, that must be a great school, with excellent teachers and invested parents.” (The 74)

After Florida Shooting, The Teens Become The Strongest Voice For Gun Control
On Wednesday, as a shooter rampaged through his high school with an AR-15 rifle, David Hogg pulled out his phone and started to ask his classmates questions. Hogg, 17, is a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where at least 17 people were killed this week in one of the deadliest school shootings in modern U.S. history. He’s also a journalist. And so, as he hid from the gunman inside a crowded classroom that afternoon, Hogg decided he wanted to help create a public record of the moment his school came under attack. (Huff Post)

Report: States implementing practices to increase educational equity
While the report focuses on state-level efforts, the ideas presented can also inspire school and district leaders to examine their own practices and structures from an equity perspective. Local district leaders can also influence state officials as they work to design education report cards or make policies regarding improving opportunities for underserved students. For example, in Illinois, after hearing from multiple school and community representatives, the state created IL-EMPOWER, a school improvement plan that allows districts to choose from 30 different providers to focus on the areas where they need the most support. Previously, only one provider was offered. (Education DIVE)

Do I Really Have to Say That Suspensions Hurt Kids?
In the recent article “Suspension Bans Hurt Kids,” which argues that a ban on “willful defiance” suspensions in Los Angeles public schools has led to lower academics, Max Eden ends his argument with a call to trust teachers. Yes, we should, and over 5,500 Educators for Excellence-Los Angeles teachers like me want to reduce our reliance on suspensions for minor, nonviolent infractions. Schools should not be a place where we marginalize students, but a place where we find ways to include everyone and hold them accountable by helping them learn from—and repair—their mistakes. (Education Post)

Amid anti-immigrant and racial clashes, ethnic studies programs blossom in public schools
As public debates swirl around “Dreamers,” President Trump’s border wall and Black Lives Matter, the study of race and ethnicity is booming in public schools. Nationwide, states and school systems are refining, expanding or adopting courses that explore history, literature and politics through the eyes of people who aren’t white. The programs, which until recently were banned in Arizona and derided as anti-American, are thriving in unexpected places. Some districts are making ethnic studies compulsory — for whites as well as minorities. (Los Angeles Times)

Plan to close Wilmington schools in Christina not supported by city council
Members of Wilmington City Council do not support last week’s vote by the Christina School Board to consolidate schools in the city. “Mayor Purzycki has been absent, totally void, and it’s disgraceful,” said Councilman Ciro Adams about the process. The Christina School Board voted to approve a plan that would consolidate the district’s Wilmington schools from five to two. (WDEL)

Hogan backs using casino funds for K-12 public education
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to introduce legislation similar to a bill proposed by Democrats last month that would require the state’s share of casino money to be spent on K-12 public education. The Democrats’ proposal includes a constitutional amendment that would need voter approval, while Hogan’s bill does not. The state promised to allocate casino money to schools when voters approved a constitutional amendment that allowed slot machines starting in 2008 and table games starting in 2012. But the amendment did not require that the revenue be spent that way. (The Washington Post)

State gives good grades to Tennessee teacher training programs
Many of the smaller, non-traditional programs that prepare Tennessee’s teachers are outperforming some the larger university programs, according to a new report. Graduates of some of the smaller programs, like the Memphis Teacher Residency, were more effective in their public school classrooms, the report showed, highlighting the importance of community-immersed training for teachers. But many larger programs still fared well, including University of Tennessee Knoxville and University of Memphis. (Commercial Appeal)

Washington D.C.
Deputy Mayor for Education Jennie Niles Resigns After Letting Schools Chancellor Bypass Lottery System
D.C. Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles has resigned after she helped schools chancellor Antwan Wilson bypass the public school system’s competitive lottery system to secure a seat for his daughter at a top high school. Niles’ departure comes after revelations that she gave one of Wilson’s children preferential treatment for an out-of-boundary school placement, in a direct violation of a mayoral order issued last year. (NBC)

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


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