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

National
Key Takeaways: State ESSA Plans

Twelve states and the District of Columbia have submitted plans for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The law gives states significant new leeway to set student achievement goals and calls for looking beyond test scores in gauging school performance. (Education Week)

Teachers union hosts DeVos on visit to public schools in rural Ohio
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited an Ohio school district Thursday at the invitation of one of her chief critics, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who used the occasion to make a case for investment in public schools. The two combatants in the nation’s education battles met for several hours, touring classrooms and hearing from teachers and students in Van Wert, a rural community of about 11,000 in northwestern Ohio.​ (The Washington Post)​

Educators On A Hot Topic: Global Warming 101
Organizers of Saturday’s nationwide March for Science have some pretty lofty goals: supporting science “as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” Promoting “evidence-based policies in the public interest.” Oh, and don’t forget highlighting “the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.” Whoa, that’s a lot of exalted ground to cover with one cardboard sign! (NPR)

Why Do Private School Teachers Have Such High Turnover Rates?
Federal data from the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) offers a potentially surprising revelation: Private school teachers have higher turnover rates than their public school counterparts, and it’s not particularly close. The data below capture what NCES calls the “leaver” rate. NCES regularly surveys teachers, and it divides respondents into three categories: stayers, movers, and leavers. Stayers are teachers who were teaching in the same school in the current school year as in the base year. Movers are teachers who were still teaching in the current school year, but who had moved to a different school. And the leavers, represented in the graph, are teachers who left the profession entirely. (Education Next)

State
Florida
Florida House backs private school choice legislation unanimously

The Florida House this afternoon unanimously passed legislation that would strengthen two private school choice programs. HB 15 would increase per-student funding for tax credit scholarships. Children would be able to receive larger scholarships in high school, where private school tuition tends to be more expensive. The bill would also allow military families to apply for the school choice program year-round. (redefinED)

Pennsylvania
PennCAN Supports Charter Reform Legislation

Charter School Reform Legislation House Bill 97 HB97 is a comprehensive charter reform bill. It reflects years of compromise and negotiation with all of the major education stakeholders. Over time, all of the controversial provisions have been stripped away (e.g. independent authorizers, direct pay) so all that remains are commonsense policies that meet the needs of both charter schools and traditional public schools. While this bill does not capture all that is necessary to create the conditions for high-quality charters to grow, it is an essential first-step towards modernizing Pennsylvania’s outdated charter law, which Auditor General DePasquale has called “the worst in the nation.” (PennCAN)

South Carolina
SC House Panel Passes Bill Requiring Opioid Education in High School

COLUMBIA, S.C.—A House Education and Public Works subcommittee passed a bill late Wednesday afternoon to require all high school students to get opioid abuse education as part of their health curriculum. The bill now goes to the full committee.​ ​Rep. Eric Bedingfield, R-Greenville, is the main sponsor of the bill. His son Josh died a year ago from a drug overdose. “In my own child’s life, it kind of began in much younger years in high school with going to things they called ‘pill parties.’ Not really knowing what they were taking, taking medicines from momma or daddy’s medicine cabinet or gramma or grandpa’s medicine cabinet and just taking turns just taking pills,” he says.
​(WBTW News 13)​

Tennessee
Karl Dean says charter schools not the focus of his education agenda

As mayor of Nashville, Karl Dean was the city’s leading champion of charter schools, supporting their expansion and even recruiting some charter operators to Davidson County. But as he begins his Democratic run for Tennessee governor, Dean says publicly financed, privately led charter schools won’t be a centerpiece of his statewide education platform. (The Tennessean)

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