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

Derrell Bradford Is Right: Single-Site Charters Need Support Planning Too
A recent article by Derrell Bradford identifies lack of access to experts and technical assistance as a barrier for many single-site charter schools seeking to improve or grow. Bradford argues that this is especially a problem for charters led by people of color. I couldn’t agree more. It is imperative for the next generation of charter schools to grow into strong charter management organizations (CMOs) — or high-performing standalone schools — in order to meet the demand from students and families across the country for an outstanding education. (Education Next)

Feds Release New Stats On Restraint And Seclusion In Schools
New data on nearly every public school in the nation shows that students with disabilities continue to be disciplined and experience restraint and seclusion at far higher rates than others. The figures come from the latest data collection from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. It reflects the experiences of more than 50 million students at over 96,000 public schools across the country during the 2015-2016 school year. (Disability Scoop)

Report: A Seat at the Table: African American Youth’s Perceptions of K-12 Education
A Seat at the Table examines the perspectives of low-income African American youth on their educational aspirations, barriers to achievement and priorities. The report offers meaningful commentary on students’ educational environment and recommendations for improvement. (UNCF)

Schools skeptical about adding climate change to curriculum
With Connecticut mulling whether to add climate change to the curriculum, some schools are pushing back. Many schools already teach about the topic, but a proposal would make it a requirement. Critics say that would cost too much money to create lesson plans and train teachers. Jamie Klein, a science teacher at Turn of River Middle School in Stamford, says it’s important to teach students about the issue to counter ubiquitous misinformation. “They will talk about it, discuss it, and they’ll come back with all these different ideas for me,” Klein says. (Connecticut News 12)

New Jersey
Given all the debate over what is indeed “full funding” of school aid in New Jersey, the state’s nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services has provided the latest estimate of what every district would receive under the school finance law in the best of circumstances. But beware of sticker shock; the OLS estimates that 70 percent of all districts are underfunded by more than $2.2 billion if the state were to meet its full obligations under its decade-old law. Meanwhile, the remaining districts are seeing $660 million in aid that exceeds the state formula, leaving a net of $1.5 billion. (NJ Spotlight)

Check out the Philly charter school that’s Apple-approved: Cool Spaces
Philadelphia Performing Arts, a String Theory Charter School is not your average high school. So it makes sense that its building isn’t either. Housed in the former GlaxoSmithKline building at 1600 Vine St. in Philadelphia, the school has eight stories and great views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Logan Square. Inside, there some hints of its past as a pharmaceutical company’s office building — the most noticeable being on its top floor, where half of it is still in its old configuration. There are white walls, beige carpet and numerous offices, each with a window. (Penn Live)

TBI and Tennessee Office of Homeland Security launch probe into TNReady assessment cyberattack
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and State Office of Homeland Security have launched probes into a reported cyber attack on the vendor that runs the state’s TNReady assessment. A TBI spokeswoman confirmed Friday that after receiving a request from District Attorney Glenn Funk on Wednesday night, the bureau opened its investigation. A State Office of Homeland Security spokeswoman on Friday also confirmed the agency has launched an investigation. Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said Wednesday evening she would request Funk ask for the investigation. Funk sent the request soon after, the TBI confirmed on Thursday. (Tennessean)

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


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