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

Education Community Takes Trump to Task for Charlottesville Remarks
Like the rest of the country, school leaders are coping with the fallout from a far-right rally last weekend that drew white supremacists and other extremists to Charlottesville, Va., and resulted in the death of at least one counter-protestor and injuries to more than a dozen others people. And many have singled out President Donald Trump’s response for harsh criticism. Several K-12 organizations and leaders emphatically condemned the Unite the Right rally, which included racist and anti-semitic participants, and descended on Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. And several of them spoke out against Trump’s contention that “both sides,” including counter-protestors, were to blame for the violence. (Education Week)

‘Just Plain Wrong.’ Betsy DeVos Condemns White Supremacists After Charlottesville
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday condemned the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., as “cowardly, hateful and just plain wrong” after President Donald Trump said “both sides” were to blame for the violence.”There is fear, pain, anger, disappointment, discouragement and embarrassment across America, and I know, too, here within the Department,” DeVos wrote in the memo, which was published by Politico. (TIME)

One cynical play of the race card by Success Academy foes
Race matters. This could be news to some, but for African-Americans — who have our own complicated relationships with each other and with America — this is perhaps now truer than it has been since the civil rights revolution. One need only read the headlines to see that racial tensions, which once seethed out of sight, now spill over into plain and hurtful view. (NY Daily News)

Hawaii Gov. David Ige Talks Schools With Civil Beat
Hawaii Gov. David Ige is full of praise for Christina Kishimoto, the new state public schools superintendent. He’s encouraged by how Kishimoto is already visiting schools around the state. That, he said, “is a terrific change.” He added later that, “she’s committed to empowerment and community engagement in a different way.” But the first-term governor is emphatic that he played no direct role in her selection or the decision not to renew her predecessor’s contract when it expired this year. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Betsy DeVos approves Louisiana’s new education plan, under Every Student Succeeds Act
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has approved Louisiana’s plans to operate under a new federal education law that shifts power from Washington to the states, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced No Child Left Behind in July after the law governed schools for more than a decade. Now Louisiana schools next year seeking an “A” grade in the school rating system must have a 90 percent graduation rate, as well as students with “full proficiency of literacy and math skills,” according to a U.S. Education Department news release. (The Times Picayune)

New Mexico
For Our Future: This Week’s Education News & More
August is back-to-school time and a reminder of the trust parents place in schools to provide safety and learning to their most valuable possessions, their children. I can’t help but smile at the excitement (and nervousness) of students and teachers alike as they engage in the sacred ritual between educator and pupil. This week’s news brings several stories from here at home as well as the latest results from one of the country’s largest education polls. As always, your feedback is welcomed, as are social media and other sharing. (New Mexico Education)

New York
State ed officials rip into ‘insulting’ SUNY charter proposal and ‘outrageous’ Success Academy chair
The state’s top two education officials did not pull punches at a panel Wednesday that touched on everything from last weekend’s racist violence in Charlottesville to recent charter school debates. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia took an uncharacteristically combative position against SUNY’s proposal to let some charter schools certify their own teachers — arguing it would denigrate the teaching profession and is not in the best interest of children. (Chalkbeat)

North Carolina
Trouble on the school bus? This school year, CMS will have new tech tools to check.
Maybe your child’s principal calls to say he caused trouble on the school bus. Or you hear the bus driver has been using a cellphone when her eyes should be on the road. Or maybe it’s half an hour after the bus should have dropped off your child and you’re starting to freak out. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has new tech tools to deal with all of these situations, as it prepares to put a record-breaking 1,078 buses on the road. (The Charolette Observer)

BLOG: We Tell Our Students They Must Graduate Twice
An article in the 74 shares that students in some charter schools are attaining college degrees at three to five times the national rate. That is outstanding. The article reminded me of our community’s aspirations for our children and how our school partners with families to help them reach similar goals. Although our school ranks pretty high for high school graduation, college acceptance, and direct enrollment, for us, this represents the floor, it’s not even close to the ceiling. (Philly’s 7th Ward)

Crosstown High School lands surprise $2.5 million grant
The high school that will open next year inside Crosstown Concourse won a surprise $2.5 million grant as part of an initiative to redesign high schools in the U.S. The school will also be featured on an hour-long special surrounding the idea of rethinking high school that will air on the four major broadcast networks Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Crosstown High was one of 50 finalists last year for 10 grants worth $10 million each through the XQ Super School Project. The school didn’t win one of the top prizes, but XQ leaders kept in touch and regularly asked for updates on the school’s progress, Crosstown Director of Strategic Partnerships and Programs Ginger Spickler said. (The Commercial Appeal)

Washington D.C.
D.C. teachers’ meeting turns tense after comment about ‘those’ Southeast children
A D.C. schools official who addressed a group of teachers gathered for professional development sparked outrage Wednesday after making a comment about children in the poorest, predominantly black part of the city that many attendees perceived as derogatory. The topic was social and emotional learning, a priority for the new chancellor, Antwan Wilson, that puts an emphasis on educating with the well-being of the child in mind, not just grades and test scores. (The Washington Post)

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


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