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

After Shooting, Tension Mounts Between Security Quick-Fixes and Long-Term Solutions
Since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 14, educational leaders around the country have reassessed their safety plans, sought to reassure anxious parents amid an uptick in copycat threats, and heard calls from policymakers to “harden schools” with more armed staff and physical security measures. It’s sadly familiar turf for district and school leaders, who faced the same concerns after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, stirring calls for beefed up school security and debates over gun laws. They instituted more lockdown drills, rebuilt entrances to limit access, and reviewed safety procedures with law enforcement. (Education Week)

Is School Desegregation Coming to an End?
Judge William Pryor is likely not accustomed to being praised by civil-rights advocates. The judge is not a liberal lion. A Bush appointee currently sitting on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which serves much of the deep South, Judge Pryor’s writings have been critical of gay rights and abortion protections. His conservative bona fides have, reputedly, helped earn him a spot on President Trump’s shortlist for Supreme Court nominations. But earlier this month, as part of a twisting, turning school-desegregation saga in Alabama’s Jefferson County, Judge Pryor struck a strange blow on behalf of integrated schools. In an appellate decision, he forbade a heavily white city from breaking away from a diverse district and running its own separate school system. (The Atlantic)

New Jersey
Paterson students aren’t missing as much school as in the past, thanks to a task force
The number of students deemed chronically absent this year has dropped by almost 43 percent, a dramatic reduction that education officials say ultimately will improve the academic performance of city children. In a recently released report, the school district said 5,467 students have been chronically absent, which is defined as missing 10 percent or more school days, for the first five months of this school year. During the same time period for the previous academic year, the district reported 9,554 Paterson students were chronically absent. (

New York
Alberto Carvalho Backs Out of New York City Schools Job
It was supposed to be a triumphant moment for Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City school system. The mayor had lured away one of the nation’s most successful educators to become the city’s new schools chancellor. Then, in less than 24 hours, triumph turned to embarrassment when the official, Alberto M. Carvalho, abruptly — even impulsively, in his own telling — changed his mind and renounced the job during a dramatic spectacle broadcast live on television Thursday. (The New York Times)

Mayor Kenney to seek property tax hike to help offset schools’ nearly $1 billion deficit
Mayor Kenney stood in front of City Council last year and pledged to seize control of Philadelphia’s schools — and cover most of their nearly $1 billion shortfall. “The buck will stop with us,” he promised. On Thursday, he’ll put his money where his mouth is. At his annual budget address, Kenney will propose directing somewhere between an extra $700 million and $1 billion to the city’s schools over the next five years, according to sources in City Hall who were not authorized to speak publicly about the financial plan. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

Washington D.C.
Nearly 60 Percent Of DCPS Class Of 2018 Are Currently Off-Track To Graduate
With just three-and-a-half months until graduation, just 42 percent of the 3,692 students in the D.C. public school class of 2018 are on track to graduate in June, according to mid-year data from the system. DCPS says it’s releasing this data for the first time to increase transparency after an investigation found that one-third of last year’s graduates received diplomas even though they didn’t meet all the graduation requirements. “We are focused on making sure the students who graduate have earned their diploma and the students and communities feels that way as well,” said Michelle Lerner, Deputy Chief of Communications for DCPS. (WAMU)

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


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