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

This Week’s ESSA News: And Then There Were 6: A Look at How — and Why — 6 States Have Yet to Get Their ESSA Plans Approved
The U.S. Department of Education has approved 44 state ESSA plans (plus those from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) so far. Which states remain in federal approval limbo? What are the problem with these plans? What have these states done — if anything — to update their ESSA plans to help earn the federal nod? Below, we take a look at these and other questions regarding the six remaining states: California, Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah. (The 74)

A World Where School Shootings Feel Inevitable
The school year at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas—roughly 30 miles outside of Houston—was winding to a close. The seniors would be honored on Saturday during a baccalaureate ceremony, and they were just weeks away from graduation. Then, on Friday morning, a 17-year-old male student allegedly opened fire on campus, killing 10 people, according to Governor Greg Abbott, and wounding several others. There is one suspect in custody, and at least one other person of interest who has been detained. (The Atlantic)

Selected’s recruiting platform matches teachers with schools they’ll love
A “dating app for teachers” is an odd but useful way to describe the startup Selected, which has just closed on $1.2 million in seed funding for its recruiting platform for educators. And, in all fairness, Selected said it first. The startup’s own website describes itself (a bit tongue-in-cheek) as a “dating app for job-seeking teachers and hiring schools.” (Tech Crunch)

States & Cities
Parents, Residents Speak Out On Dismal Budget Picture For Hartford Schools
Opposition to funding cuts for Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet and concern about cuts in federal funding were among the issues that a small group of parents and residents brought up Tuesday at a public hearing on the proposed budget for the Hartford Public Schools. “Annie Fisher Montessori is one of the schools hardest hit in the proposed budget, when you compare the projected increase of students with a disproportional decrease in staffing,” Andrew Clark, chairman of the magnet’s School Governance Council, told the board of education. (Hartford Courant)

Civil rights group demands Miami-Dade allow immigrant teens to enroll in high school
A national civil rights advocacy group sent a demand letter to the Miami-Dade school district on Thursday urging administrators to address “the systemic denial of enrollment” to thousands of immigrant teens with limited English skills. The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center sent the letter on behalf of a 16-year-old immigrant teen from Guatemala who was allegedly denied enrollment at South Dade Senior High and “pushed into adult education.” (Miami Herald)

New Mexico
More than 50 Gadsden High students suspected in scheme to alter grades
More than 50 Gadsden High School students were involved in a scheme to alter grades, the district reported on Tuesday. The 29 seniors alleged to have taken part will not graduate this semester. In a news release, the Gadsden Independent School District said it has notified parents of 55 students in various upper-grade levels who accessed a computer program and changed the grades on their online coursework for the better part of the second semester. A total of 456 different grades were found to have been altered, the district reported. The district said it has suspended five students and the other 50 students have been given various options “to rectify the coursework.” (Las Cruces Sun News)

Rhode Island
Central Falls teachers and school district agree on 3-year contract
The Central Falls School District has reached a three-year contract agreement with the Central Falls Teachers Union.The agreement will extend for one year the 2016-2017 contract to the current school year, with a new three-year contract beginning in September 2018. State education Commissioner Ken Wagner, with the support of the state Council for Elementary and Secondary Education, approved the contract proposal Tuesday night. Central Falls is a state-run district. The new contract gives district administrators and principals significant flexibility in hiring decisions and in implementing the district’s redesign plan, according to Supt. Victor Capellan. (Providence Journal)

South Carolina
South Carolina state employees and teachers gathering Saturday to demand higher pay
State employees and teachers will call on South Carolina’s leaders Saturday to boost their salaries or face a growing workforce crisis. But they’re not threatening to strike. The gathering at the Statehouse is intended to empower workers to fight for themselves and get legislators’ attention. The event, dubbed a “mobilization,” comes three days after an estimated 19,000 teachers marched in North Carolina’s capital, forcing dozens of school districts to cancel classes for the day. (The Post & Courier)

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


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