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

Some schools much better than others at closing achievement gaps between their advantaged and disadvantaged students
Recent research demonstrates that the test score gap between relatively advantaged and relatively disadvantaged students is much higher in some school districts than it is in other districts. But measured school quality often varies dramatically within a school district, and therefore it is important to know whether individual schools differ in the relative success of advantaged and disadvantaged students. We make use of detailed, linked birth and school records in Florida to investigate the degree to which this is true. (Brookings)

Howard Fuller: Advancement — the Second ‘A’ in NAACP — Should Apply to Our Children Too
A bad school is our common enemy.” Those words from Dr. Cristina de Jesus of Green Dot Public Schools rang true for me the first time I read them — and they obviously had an impact on the NAACP too. Members of the NAACP’s public education task force included this phrase in their report last week calling for major reform in the charter school movement.​ (The 74)​

Behind the Battle Over Mexican-American Studies in Public Schools
A federal judge is set to decide the fate of an Arizona state law that forced Tucson’s majority-Latino school district to shut down an influential Mexican-American studies program credited with boosting Latino students’ grades and graduation rates.​ ​Judge Wallace Tashima is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether the 2010 law, which let the state pull funding from any district that offered classes designed for students of a particular ethnic group, is discriminatory or violates students’ constitutional rights.​ (Bloomberg)​

Middle School Suicides Double As Common Core Testing Intensifies
Here’s a high stakes testing statistic you won’t hear bandied about on the news.​ ​The suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds doubled between 2007 and 2014 – the same period in which states have increasingly adopted Common Core standards and new, more rigorous high stakes tests.​ ​For the first time, suicide surpassed car crashes as a leading cause of death for middle school children.​ ​In 2014, the last year for which data was available, 425 middle schoolers nationwide took their own lives.​ (Huffington Post)​

Why Baltimore dance doc ‘Step’ is actually a superhero movie
Let’s hear it for the girls.​ ​This summer has been a triumph for women, from the unstoppable Wonder Woman (officially summer’s biggest hit, raking in $789 million worldwide to date) to Charlize Theron’s butt-kicking Atomic Blonde.​ ​But the blockbuster season is ending on an equally powerful, low-budget true story from Baltimore with a different superhero weapon at its core: education.​ ​”The greatest superpower you can have is your mind,” says filmmaker and Broadway producer Amanda Lipitz, whose new documentary, Step, hits theaters Friday (in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington; expands nationwide Aug. 18).​ (USA Today)​

North Carolina
Research Explores How Private Schools, Families Make Voucher Decisions
North Carolina State University research about a publicly funded voucher program designed to help lower-income students attend private schools sheds light on the reasons that North Carolina school leaders and families decide to accept or turn down vouchers.​ (NC State University College of Education News)​

New York
NYC’s plan to place teachers from its Absent Teacher Reserve pool could take a bite out of school budgets
When city officials announced a plan to place hundreds of teachers without permanent positions into classroom vacancies this fall, an immediate question arose: Could schools afford them?​ ​That’s a critical question because the pool, known as the Absent Teacher Reserve, has historically been made up of teachers who are more senior than average, and therefore more expensive. Some principals say that makes an already bitter pill — having a teacher they didn’t choose — even tougher to swallow.​ (Chalkbeat)​

Draft of Pa.’s plan for measuring school performance released
A draft of Pennsylvania’s new report card for school performance released on Wednesday proposes moving away from generating a single aggregated score for school and replacing it with a dashboard of indicators to show how it is measuring up. ​(Penn Live)​

Tennessee’s plan to ensure schools help students of all races raises red flags for advocates and feds alike
An unusual way that Tennessee wants to hold schools accountable for helping all students is drawing the same reaction from groups that ordinarily agree on little: skepticism.​ ​Both U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and local advocates for students of color say they have concerns about the state’s proposal for measuring whether schools are helping students of all races.​ (Chalkbeat)

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


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts