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

The nation’s top teachers met with Betsy DeVos, and not all of them were thrilled with what she had to say
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos met privately with the nation’s top teachers Monday and asked them to talk about the obstacles they face in doing their jobs. At least one of those teachers told DeVos that some of her policies are hurting public education. “We have a problem where public money is siphoned off from the public schools and given to children who are going to charter and private schools,” Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Jon Hazell said. (The Washington Post)

When ‘Universal’ Child Care Isn’t Universally High-Quality
It was one of the more surprising presidential vetoes in U.S. history. Having passed Congress in 1971 with bipartisan support (and with input from the Nixon administration), the Comprehensive Child Development Act arrived on President Richard Nixon’s desk with decent prospects. The country was poised to rebuild the national child-care system it had built during—and abandoned after—World War II. (The Atlantic)

Ed-Tech Leadership Is a Tough Task for Principals
Principals sit in a very difficult position when it comes to educational technology. They face pressures about what digital learning approaches to take and what tech products to buy—from the central office, education companies, teachers, parents, and students. Some will embrace their choices, while others will question them—or in some cases, even try to undermine them. That’s why many ed-tech experts say that the success of digital learning initiatives often hinges on the principal’s ability to find the right balance among all the various groups in a school community. But, ultimately, principals also must make tough decisions based on the best interests of students. (Education Week)

Two local charter schools recommended for probation
State education officials are recommending limitations for all four charter schools up for renewal this week. Two — New Beginnings Family Academy in Bridgeport and Stamford Academy — are being recommended for probation when the state Board of Education meets Wednesday in Hartford. Explorations Charter School in Winchester will also be recommended for a three-year renewal and a corrective action plan. Brass City Charter School in Waterbury is being recommended for a four-year renewal. Under state law, charters may be renewed for up to five years. All four of the state-funded schools that run independent of local school board control had areas of concern cited by the state. (CT Post)

‘Signing day’ celebrating Delaware students employed right out of high school
National signing day is a time-honored tradition. Usually held the first Wednesday in February, high school seniors are celebrated for agreeing to play sports at an NCAA college. But in 2016, former First Lady Michelle Obama turned the event on its head by holding College Signing Day, celebrating seniors who have made a commitment to go to college and get a degree. (Delaware Online)

New Jersey
For the first time in a generation, Newark will pick its own schools chief. Meet the interim leader hoping to get the job.
A. Robert Gregory, who became interim superintendent of the Newark school system in February, did not wait to shed the interim status before settling into the corner office reserved for superintendents. He has adorned the walls with graduation pictures of him and his parents, awards he won during his nearly 20 years as a Newark teacher and principal, and a black-and-white photo of Muhammed Ali knocking out an opponent. On his desk, he placed a well-worn copy of “Savage Inequalities,” whose inside cover contains an inscription his late father — himself a well-known Newark principal — had written when Gregory considered quitting during his second year of teaching: “Never give up on our people!” (Chalkbeat)

New Mexico
Criticism of PED teacher prep proposal mounts
Ridiculous, overreaching, premature. That’s how speakers at a public hearing Tuesday described a rule proposed by the state Public Education Department that would allow the agency to oversee educator preparation programs. Although the PED has cited state statute that allows it to create an accountability reporting system, some think the rule’s evaluation system – which would implement site visits and a scorecard system – was out of the statute bounds. (Albuquerque Journal)

North Carolina
School leaders across N.C. brace for mass teacher absences during upcoming protest
As Durham considers closing schools because of massive teacher absences, other districts across North Carolina are trying to gauge the scope of a May 16 march in Raleigh that could leave schools scrambling for subs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools expects to have a preliminary tally Friday of how many teachers are taking leave that day, said school board Chairwoman Mary McCray. Meanwhile, district leaders are trying to line up all available substitute teachers and drawing up plans to send top administrators in to teach classes. (The Charlotte Observer)

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


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