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

Five Big Wins You Didn’t Hear About
State laws get made one state at a time, but as a whole, policy making tells a collective story of how education reform is advanced. AS MOST LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS CLOSE, THE STORY OF 2017 IS EMERGING. Some advocacy victories are high profile. Others happen incrementally, building the runway for larger, long-term goals to get off the ground. As we lead up the annual PIE Network Summit—a space to reflect on lessons learned and plan for the coming year’s legislative sessions—we’ll be highlighting both types of success from members across the Network. (PIE Network)

What the Public Wants From Schools
When it comes to judging a school’s quality, what matters most? A new poll suggests the American public puts a premium on offerings outside of traditional academics, including career-focused education, developing students’ interpersonal skills, and providing after-school programs and mental-health care. At the same time, even as local schools were generally viewed favorably in the national survey, parents said they would consider taking advantage of vouchers for private or religious schools if the price was right. (The Atlantic)

New Study Questions Links Between Race, Disability in Students
A group of researchers is challenging the long-held notion that students of color are identified as having learning disabilities at a greater rate than white students – a controversial finding that undercuts a key assumption of the Obama administration and could lead to significant changes in how the federal government requires states to spend their special education dollars. (U.S. News & World Report)

Teaching Civility In The Time Of Trump
The first week of the new school year for Hawaii’s public school students had just ended when the violent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked by a rally organized by white nationalists exploded onto the national consciousness. The two days of tumult on Aug. 11 and 12, which led to the death of a 32-year-old woman when a car driven by an alleged neo-Nazi sympathizer rammed into counter-protestors, served as a grim reminder of racial strife and political divisiveness in the country. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Hogan proposes $68 million cut to this year’s Maryland budget
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will push for about $68 million in budget cuts next week, a move to rein in spending approved by the General Assembly earlier this year. Although there is no sign Maryland will have less money than anticipated this year, Budget Secretary David R. Brinkley said Thursday that the administration is “trying to get ahead of the curve” on a revenue shortfall projected for next year. (Baltimore Sun)

New Jersey
Are charter schools contributing to segregation? What New Jersey can tell us
The Red Bank Charter School, one of New Jersey’s longest-running, occupies an old home joined with a former elementary school building. Its brightly decorated classrooms are filled with a mix of faces: white, Hispanic, and black students, dressed in navy blue and khaki.“What makes the school special is, we are integrated. That’s hard to do,” said Meredith Pennotti, the charter school’s principal. Critics see it differently. By competing for students in Red Bank, the charter school has been accused of contributing to segregation of the Monmouth County borough’s traditional public schools, where 82 percent of students in the same grades are Hispanic, compared with 44 percent in the charter. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

North Carolina
Nearly 2,500 students have left NC’s online charter schools: Why did they leave? Where did they go?
DURHAM, N.C. — Jennifer Murray remembers the first time she heard about virtual charter schools. The Wendell mother was at a ballet fundraiser with her teenage daughter Macy when a woman sitting nearby suggested they check out North Carolina Connections Academy, one of the state’s two new virtual charter schools. The classes were online and flexible and would allow Macy to keep up with her demanding ballet schedule. (WRAL)

Nashville schools update child abuse reporting policy after Tennessean investigation
Nashville educators are now directly forbidden from conducting their own investigations into suspected child abuse or neglect, one of several changes included in a new Metro Nashville Public Schools reporting abuse policy. The changes come after a Tennessean investigation found potential problems with the district policy and teachers who said there was confusion or conflicting information about where and how educators should report abuse. (Tennessean)

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


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