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

Any educational reform that ignores segregation is doomed to failure
“In education, America does everything but equity.” With these words, Failing Brown v. Board, a new report from the civil rights group Journey for Justice Alliance, makes plain how the machine of educational reform, with all its innovations and disruptive technologies, is missing an essential cog: the resources to deliver a quality neighborhood school. (The Hechinger Report)

Teachers Need New Tools to Make School Discipline Fair
School safety is, rightly, a key priority and responsibility for teachers and school leaders as they work to foster a school climate that is welcoming, protective, and supportive of all students. Disciplinary policies are at the nexus of our ability to foster this school climate. Effective and equitable discipline practices not only keep students safe; they can also contribute to a learning environment that promotes engagement, trust, and academic achievement among all students. (Real Clear Education)

The Radical Self-Reliance of Black Homeschooling
BALTIMORE—Racial inequality in Baltimore’s public schools is in part the byproduct of long-standing neglect. In a system in which eight out of 10 students are black, broken heaters forced students to learn in frigid temperatures this past winter. Black children in Baltimore’s education system face systemic disadvantages: They’re suspended at much higher rates than their white peers; they rarely pass their math or reading tests; their campuses are chronically underfunded. Yet this stark reality is juxtaposed with a largely unnoticed educational phenomenon underway in the city. (The Atlantic)

Gov. Carney creates Advisory Council on English Learners
Gov. John Carney (D) signed an executive order this week creating the Advisory Council on English Learners. The group will track the state’s progress on the English Learner Strategic Plan released by the Carney Administration in December. The plan says the number of English learners in Delaware has increased more than 400 percent in the last two decades, and identifies goals for improving educational outcomes for them. (Delaware Public Media)

Orleans School Board considers ban on industrial tax exemptions
The Orleans Parish School Board on Thursday (May 17) is set to consider a resolution that would place a three-year moratorium on awarding industrial property tax exemptions. School Board member Ben Kleban, who is sponsoring the resolution, is questioning whether the tax exemptions are worth the money that is given up in exchange for economic development. The exemptions shield companies from having to pay local property taxes, sometimes for as long as 10 years. (The Times-Picayune)

New Jersey
N.J. schools are among the most segregated in U.S. This lawsuit could change that
New Jersey has been hit with a major legal challenge calling for the statewide desegregation of its public schools, which remain some of America’s least integrated despite the state’s increasingly diverse population. Led by a retired state Supreme Court justice, a coalition of civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Thursday to challenge the state’s school system as unconstitutional and request sweeping action to end segregation. “The fight to integrate New Jersey’s schools is the great unfinished civil rights struggle of our time,” said Christian Estevez, president of the Latino Action Network, one of the plaintiffs in this suit. “This lawsuit is the next step in building a future where all children get the chance to succeed.” (NJ Advance Media)

After another bumpy testing year, Tennessee likely will slow its switch to online exams
Tennessee education leaders are rethinking their timeline for adopting computerized testing after a parade of technical problems bedeviled students taking the state’s TNReady exam for a third straight year. Most students are scheduled to test online next school year under a three-year transition plan. But since keyboard testing had significant challenges this year with half that number of students, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is backing off from that timetable. And while there’s disagreement over exactly how to move ahead, there’s consensus about one thing. (Chalkbeat)

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


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