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

‘They are so underpaid’: School support staff scrape by on meager earnings
Jessica Morales gets to Prairie Queen Elementary before the bell rings. In class, she is a lifeline for recent immigrant students, translating lessons they cannot understand. Last year, when a teacher had to leave school unexpectedly, Morales filled in, decorating the classroom, teaching the class, holding parent-teacher conferences. Her job as a teacher assistant is more fulfilling than the one she held at a meatpacking plant, but it pays far less: $12 an hour. (The Washington Post)

No Child Left Behind Had a Lot of Problems But I Miss the Days When We Cared About How All Kids Did in School
Once upon a time, well-heeled suburban schools used to have to worry about whether all their students made the grade—not just some of them, not just the White ones and the middle-class ones. The “good schools” could no longer hide the lackluster performance of their most vulnerable groups of students—students with disabilities, English-language learners and low-income kids—behind rosy test scores. Because if the vulnerable students were failing, then the whole school was considered failing (or “not making annual yearly progress,” as the feds gently phrased it). (Education Post)

Discipline Disparities Grow for Students of Color, New Federal Data Show
At a time when the Trump administration is contemplating rolling back discipline guidance with protections for vulnerable groups, new federal data find continuing disparities in how students of color and those with disabilities are disciplined and in the opportunities they get in schools. The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday released two reports highlighting statistics from the 2015-16 school year’s civil rights data collection on school safety and discipline and on students’ access to science and math courses. (Education Week)

Task force calls for property reassessments
A task force looking at merging school districts isn’t recommending consolidation. But it is urging the state’s three counties to reassess property values, something not done in decades. In July state legislators passed a resolution establishing a group to study whether significant savings could be achieved by reducing the number of school districts, an idea that has been tossed about over the years but seen little action. (Delaware State News)

Louisiana vouchers have led to big drops in test scores, but they also might boost college enrollment
Students who won a school voucher in Louisiana to attend their top-ranked private high school were 6 percentage points more likely to enroll in college than students who lost the lottery, according to a new study. The findings are reasonably good news for voucher supporters, who recently had to confront huge drops in test scores because of Louisiana’s program. Still, the results were not statistically significant — meaning the researchers can’t confidently say that the voucher made the difference. (Chalkbeat)

New Jersey
Court rules for Camden voters in school fight
Advocates for city voters won a round Tuesday in the fight over who can determine the classification of Camden’s school board. But the court victory won’t have an immediate impact, according to a ruling from a three-judge appellate panel. That opinion said city voters have the right to choose the school board’s classification — whether a Type I panel of mayoral appointees or a Type II board with directly elected members. A trial judge in Camden will have 30 days to set a date for a public vote on the board’s classification. (Courier Post)

North Carolina
CMS to Matthews families: It’s time to choose between our schools and town charters
Eight members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board vowed Tuesday to fight for the loyalty of Matthews families, going on the offensive against town officials who want to open the door to municipal charter schools. The CMS board used most of Tuesday night’s meeting to make speeches saying the town charter bill would raise Matthews taxes, undermine participation in the public schools many residents love, increase segregation and divide the people who care about public education in Mecklenburg County. (The Charlotte Observer)

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


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