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
High court rules public schools must do more to educate special-needs kids

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that school districts must go the extra mile to accommodate students with disabilities in a unanimous decision that could dramatically expand the rights of special education students.​ ​All eight justices sided with the Colorado student in the case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in one of the most significant special education cases in decades. Endrew was diagnosed with autism and his parents feel his public school and individualized education program had failed him. They sought reimbursement for the cost of sending him to private school.​ (Politico) ​

Trump administration’s delay of rule to regulate career-training programs sparks protest
To obtain an associate degree in medical assisting at McCann School of Business & Technology in Pennsylvania, students can expect to pay $30,860 for a program that runs a little over a year. Nearly all students borrow to cover the costs and wind up with more than $26,000 in debt, but only 7 percent of them graduate on time. Of those who complete the program, barely half find work and typically earn around $20,300.​ (The Washington Post)​

School Suspensions Have Plunged: We Don’t Yet Know If That’s Good News
We are in the midst of a quiet revolution in school discipline.​ ​In the past five years, 27 states have revised their laws with the intention of reducing suspensions and expulsions. And, more than 50 of America’s largest school districts have also reformed their discipline policies — changes which collectively affect more than 6.35 million students.​ A new paper from Max Eden, a senior fellow at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, argues that this is all too much, too soon. In New York City, for example, suspensions have fallen by half since 2011.​ (NPR)

Exchange students say U.S. high schools easier and puzzle over all the sports
A funny thing happened on the way to making U.S. high schools harder: The rest of the industrialized world made theirs even harder.​ ​A new survey of foreign exchange students who spent time in U.S. high schools last year finds that nine in 10 of them think school back home is more challenging. And the percentage who think so has grown.​ (USA Today)​

Washington D.C. ​
D.C. Approves ESSA Accountability Plan That Emphasizes Testing Standards & Transparency

The D.C. State Board of Education voted 6–3 Wednesday evening to approve the city’s proposed ESSA plan.​ ​“We’ve come a long way with this plan, but in the interests of all of our students in all parts of the city, we must go farther,” said Markus Batchelor, one of the three members who voted against the plan. (The other no votes came from Ruth Wattenberg and Joe Weedon, who with Markus wrote an op-ed earlier this week describing their opposition.)​ ​Several members of the board said they wished the plan included a measure of high school growth and a school climate survey, but those measures just aren’t ready, and delaying until the September submission deadline wouldn’t change that.​ ​​(The 74)​

New York
Despite pushback, education panel votes to close five schools in de Blasio’s turnaround program

After outcry from some school communities, and near silence from others, the city’s plan to close five schools in its signature turnaround program was approved Wednesday night.​ ​​The vote from the Panel for Educational Policy, which must sign off on school closures, came after nearly four hours of angry comments from parents, educators, and elected officials, many of whom said the city had gone back on its promise of giving their schools time to improve.​ ​(Chalkbeat)


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