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

Education Groups Push Congress to Fight for Title II Funding

A coalition of groups that represent tens of thousands principals, teachers, and school administrators are calling on members of Congress to preserve funding for Title II, which President Trump wants to eliminate as part of sweeping education budget cuts the White House has proposed. The National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, American Federation of School Administrators, ASCD, New Leaders, and Learning Forward are leading the effort to sustain funding for Title II, which gives states the opportunity to boost efforts to improve school leader and teacher effectiveness. (Education Week)

Melania Trump, Jordan’s Queen Tour Girls-Only Charter School
Melania Trump on Wednesday highlighted her interest in empowering women and girls along with the administration’s focus on school choice by touring a girls-only charter school with Queen Rania of Jordan and the U.S. education secretary.​​ The queen was in Washington with her husband, King Abdullah II, who met with President Donald Trump at the White House. (U.S. News & World Report)​

Outside the limelight, rural schools face challenges in finding, and keeping, teachers
Walking through the hallways of Tranquility Elementary School, Principal Matt Kinnunen regularly pokes his head into classrooms to check on his teachers, especially the newer ones. He asks about their day, assists them with student lessons and offers advice. It’s part of a routine to help them feel valued and supported. And maybe that will keep a few from leaving the small, rural campus in California’s Central Valley, a region hit especially hard by the state’s ongoing teacher shortage. (EdSource)

Maryland Governor’s Veto a Last-Ditch Attempt to Halt Bill Limiting School Accountability, Ed Reform

In the gymnasium of a Baltimore charter school Wednesday, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed legislation that he said would “directly threaten Maryland’s well-earned reputation as a national leader in education” by substantially restricting local education officials’ say in reforming low-performing schools under the new federal education law. “This afternoon, I’m calling on the members of the legislature, on both sides of the aisle, to do the right thing for our kids,” Hogan said at the Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys. “Please, put aside the partisan politics and sustain this veto. Please don’t turn the clock back on all of the progress that we’ve made together for our kids. Every single one of our Maryland children who are trapped in these failing schools deserves better than this.” (The 74)

The fate of Maryland’s achievement gap is in the hands of state legislators. Tell them to support high standards today.

Philly teachers: District windfall should mean new contract

The Philadelphia School District stands to receive $65 million annually in new money, thanks to the city’s reassessment of commercial properties.​ ​District teachers, who have gone without a contract for almost four years and without a raise for almost five, think they know just how to use that revenue stream: Give them a new deal.​ ​Backed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, educators are tweeting, emailing, and calling Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. and the School Reform Commission, demanding that the district put its money where its mouth is.​ (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)​

Effort to roll back A-F grading plan dies in Tennessee legislature

Tennessee will move ahead with its plan to give schools a single letter grade after lawmakers shot down an effort on Wednesday to roll back the requirement.​ ​With a 4-4 split and one pass, a proposal to replace letter grades with terms like “priority school” effectively died in the Senate Education Committee after a successful run through all House committees.​ (Chalkbeat)​


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