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

Betsy DeVos Greenlights ESSA Plans for Connecticut, Louisiana
Add two more plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act to the “approved” pile: Connecticut and Louisiana. The states become the fifth and sixth to be approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Connecticut’s plan was approved even though it didn’t make some big changes that the feds wanted to see, including when it comes to calculating student achievement and measuring the performance of English-language learners. Instead of making the revisions the department suggested, Connecticut provided long explanations of why the state thought its approach was permissible under ESSA. (Education Week)

Resources For Educators To Use In The Wake Of Charlottesville
How should educators confront bigotry, racism and white supremacy? The incidents in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend pushed that question from history to current events. One teacher wondering aloud about his role is Derek Weimer. He taught James Alex Fields Jr., the man charged with murdering a woman and injuring multiple others by driving his car into a crowd of anti-racist marchers this weekend. (NPR)

Why Suburban Schools Are Inflating Kids’ Grades
PITTSBURGH—Monet Spencer remembers traveling to affluent suburban high schools when she was a member of the marching band at Brashear High School in this city’s low-income, high-crime Beechview neighborhood. The suburban band members’ uniforms were brand new, Spencer noticed—not passed down and worn-out like hers. So were their instruments, unlike the scratched and tarnished castoffs her school loaned her and her bandmates, including the secondhand flute she played. (The Atlantic)

Exclusive: Teachers Union Document Reveals Master Plan for Unionizing Charter School Networks
Over the past few years we have seen major efforts to unionize teachers in charter schools in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Some have been successful, others not, but teachers unions and their allies continue to hope they can make significant inroads in the charter school movement. These efforts face significant challenges, not the least of which is the unions’ continuing opposition to the establishment of new charter schools and hostility to many that currently exist. (The 74)

At odds over Trump, Democrats for Education Reform chief resigned from Success board
Democrats for Education Reform president Shavar Jeffries resigned from the Success Academy board of directors earlier this summer, POLITICO has learned, the latest sign of how Donald Trump’s presidency is dividing the national school choice movement. Jeffries, one of the charter school sector’s most prominent black leaders, has emerged as its most vocal critic of Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. That’s put him on a collision course with Success CEO Eva Moskowitz, who has made a point of defending both the president and DeVos. (Politico)

New York
1 in 7 New York City Elementary Students Will Be Homeless, Report Says
There were 100,000 homeless students in New York City public schools during the 2015-16 school year, a number equal to the population of Albany.​ ​The daunting challenges that creates, both for individual children struggling to learn and for schools trying to improve performance, are laid out in a report to be released on Wednesday by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness. If current trends continue, the report’s authors say, one in every seven New York City public school students will be homeless at some point during elementary school.​ (The New York Times)​

North Carolina
North Carolina’s Digital Success Story
​For over a decade, North Carolina has been the site of one of the most sustained, successful initiatives in education: giving all students in all schools access to broadband internet with WiFi in every classroom by 2018. Stakeholders—from educators and nonprofits to politicians and private companies—have all rowed in one direction to spur the strategic use of technology to ensure that all students have access to a great education. (Ed Surge)

New Tennessee law creates showdown with charter school over student data
In the first test of a new law that took effect in July, Shelby County Schools is rejecting a charter operator’s request for student contact information, potentially setting up a legal battle with the state. Shelby County school officials said in a letter Thursday that it denied the request for the information from Green Dot Public Schools made under the new state statute because of federal student privacy laws. (The Commercial Appeal)

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


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