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

National
The Growing Achievement Gap
Kids arrive at school with large achievement gaps between rich and poor, and that achievement gap grows over the summer. Now two new studies show that the summer learning gap between the lower and middle classes may be narrowing while the rich surge ahead of everyone. A May 22, 2018 report from the National Center for Education Statistics tracked more than 18,000 kids who attended kindergarten in 2010-11 and followed up with their parents in the fall of 2011 to see how they spent their summer. It’s a nationally representative group, expressly selected to mimic the actual racial, ethnic, income and geographic diversity of the country. (U.S. News & World Report)

SURVEY: Boys Less Interested In STEM … But Not Girls
The proportion of male students interested in STEM jobs has fallen from over a third to under a quarter, a Wednesday study found. Only 24 percent of boys 13 to 17 years old indicated they wanted a STEM career — a stat which fell from 36 percent in 2017 — according to a survey conducted by Junior Achievement USA and Ernst & Young LLP and obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “These kids are more interested in careers that have altruistic outcomes,” Junior Achievement president and CEO Jack Kosakowski told TheDCNF, noting a spike in students interested in the medical, dental and first responder professions. “They’re motivated by helping people.” (The Daily Caller)

Report: Elevating College Completion
We’ve reached a fever pitch in the press when it comes to issues of college affordability. But there’s another aspect of higher education that often doesn’t get near the attention it deserves – college completion. While more students than ever are going to college, the reality is that only about half who enroll go on to earn their degree. This new series of five in-depth reports, published in partnership with AEI and a team of talented researchers, spotlights the completion problem in higher education and elevates ideas for policy solutions that could incentivize institutions and programs to address it. (Third Way)

States
Hawaii
This Unique Maui School Encourages ‘Wild Ideas’ Through The Arts
Word spread fast about Pomaikai Elementary School’s unusual curriculum. Pomaikai, with support from local and national arts organizations, opened in 2007 as Hawaii’s first arts integrated school with 330 students. Within a few years, the public school’s student body almost doubled. Now, a decade later, the school lures students from all over the island. About 40 percent of the nearly 600 students live closer to other schools but requested to come to Pomaikai. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

North Carolina
Republicans release legislative budget with pay raise for teachers, principals
North Carolina’s legislative leaders released their budget for the next year Monday night, on the tail end of the Memorial Day weekend. And because they have already said they plan to refuse any amendments or other attempts to change the budget, this plan is likely to become law as-is. The top Republicans in the legislature, Sen. Phil Berger and Rep. Tim Moore, have previously said they plan to hold a vote on the budget this week. As long as enough of their fellow Republicans go along with that plan in the next few days, the budget will pass and can also survive a potential veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, since Republicans hold a veto-proof supermajority in both the Senate and House of Representatives. (The News & Observer)

Washington D.C.
D.C.’s private school voucher program hurt low-income students’ math test scores, according to federal study
Low-income students who used a voucher to attend a private school in Washington, D.C. continued to see substantially lower math test scores as a result of the program after two years, according to a federal analysis released today. It amounts to a blow to school choice advocates like U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, whose department released the report; at the same time, as test scores of private school choice programs have soured, supporters have increasingly argued for judging the initiatives by other means, including high school graduation rates and college enrollment. (Chalkbeat)

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

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