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 changes in Trump’s first 100 days

Those who follow federal education policy or work on education at the state level are well aware of a few big changes wrought by the Trump team (with some help from Congress) in its first hundred days, including wiping out the late Obama ESSA accountability regs and easing off on bathroom access rules.​ ​But another quintet of recent ed-related developments in Washington begs for attention by anyone wondering what may actually be changing (or hoping or fearing that change will occur) in our schools and for our children in the Trump era.​ (Fordham)​

To Test or Not to Test: As Tax Credit Scholarships Expand, Questions About Accountability and Outcomes
“Parents need to have information on how their child is doing,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently said at the Brookings Institution. “That is, I think, the first form and the best form of accountability. That information needs to be more broadly shared with those who would consider a choice for their child.” Yet this vision — of families empowered with information — might contrast with DeVos’s push to expand tax credit scholarship programs, which offer tax breaks to individuals or corporations that donate money to fund private school scholarships. (The 74)

Under Trump, Ed-Tech Leadership Is Big Question Mark
From his seat in the East Room of the White House, Joseph South had a clear view of Barack Obama’s teleprompter, and he watched as the president veered off script during a 2014 speech to more than 100 school superintendents. The leaders were assembled to sign a pledge committing to improve digital learning in their districts, part of the federally supported Future Ready program. Off the cuff, Obama began telling stories about the inspiring ways he had seen educational technology being used in classrooms across the country. (Education Week)

After reshaping itself to combat declining interest, Teach For America reports a rise in applications
Teach for America says its application numbers jumped by a significant number this year, reversing a three-year trend of declining interest in the program. The organization’s CEO said in a blog post this week that nearly 49,000 people applied for the 2017 program, which places college graduates in low-income schools across the country after summer training — up from just 37,000 applicants last year. (Chalkbeat)

School testing reform faces pass/fail exam Friday in House

TALLAHASSEE–After several days of private collaboration among lawmakers, one major late-night rewrite and some last-minute tweaks, senators unanimously passed a sweeping education bill on Thursday — the main feature of which is to address excessive testing in Florida’s public schools. HB 549 eliminates only a single test — the Algebra 2 end-of-course exam — and it requires the state Department of Education to study by Jan. 1 whether national exams, like the SAT or ACT, can be used as alternatives to the Florida Standards Assessments and other statewide tests. (Miami Herald)

New Jersey
New Jersey Judge Tosses Parents’ Lawsuit Claiming Last In, First Out Layoff Rules Harm Students

A New Jersey judge swiftly dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday that challenged state rules requiring school districts to base teacher layoffs on seniority regardless of performance in the classroom. New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson told a Trenton courtroom that the plaintiffs had failed to establish how seniority-based layoff rules known as “last in, first out” were harming their children. (The 74)

New York
Gov. Cuomo touts $1.1 billion in new education funding

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is touting a big jump in public education spending. The Democratic governor traveled to a school in Queens on Wednesday to celebrate a $1.1 billion increase in school funding. Overall the state will spend a record $25.8 billion on public education under the budget approved by Cuomo and lawmakers last month. (Daily News)

Rhode Island
RI Charter Public Schools Receive More Than 15,000 Applications – A New Record

Rhode Island charter public schools received a total of 15,430 applications for the 1,770 open sets available for the 2017-18 school year. The number represents an increase of 5.5% over the previous record of 14,628 set last year. The numbers come according to data put together by the Rhode Island Department of Education. (Go Local Prov)


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts