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

The Federal Education Funding Picture Is Getting Clearer, as House and Senate Advance Bills
Congress concluded an action-packed week — one full of administration moves on DACA and Title IX that impacted the education world — with forward movement on 2018 funding for the Education Department and other government agencies. The bills currently pending in Congress largely reject the Trump administration’s major education budget proposals: eliminating federal grants for teacher training and after-school programs, making big increases to the federal charter school program, and adding new money for public school choice and a pilot voucher program. (The 74)

Minimum progress for students with disabilities “preposterous,” Betsy DeVos says in Denver
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, flanked by school officials at a private autism center in Denver, called on the nation’s public schools to work with parents to better serve students with special needs. Minimum progress for students with disabilities, she said, “is preposterous. Our students deserve better.” DeVos’s statement comes nearly six months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that set a new — and higher — standard for how schools educate students with special needs. (Chalkbeat)

States Adjust Course on School Turnaround Districts
In the waning years of the No Child Left Behind Act, school turnaround districts became a solution du jour for many state legislatures: Take all of your worst-performing schools, place them in their own state-controlled district, and either run them directly or hand them over to a charter school operator. A network of autonomous, independently-run schools was seen as a route to swift, efficient, and inspirational improvement. (Education Week)

Inspiring #GirlsInSTEM: New Video Series Profiles Top Women in STEM Looking to Motivate the Next Generation
In the United States, despite making up nearly half of the workforce, women hold just 25 percent of all STEM jobs. And in recognition of this inequity, there are now multiple efforts underway across the public and private sectors to encourage more women to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Our nation’s K-12 schools play an essential role in inspiring and supporting aspiring female scientists from an early age — and later exposing them to professional opportunities and connecting them with top mentors. (The 74)

Report urges major changes in career education at Maryland school system
After years of focusing on getting kids into four-year colleges, Maryland’s largest school system should redesign and ramp up its career programs to keep pace with the changing world of work, a report released Tuesday said. Montgomery County has created “a clear and commendable culture of high expectations” in its public schools, but career preparation “has been marginalized as a priority, sometimes being inaccurately perceived as the antithesis of the college-going culture,” the analysis by the Bethesda consulting firm Education Strategy Group found. (The Washington Post)

North Carolina
Judges weigh law moving control over North Carolina schools
RALEIGH, N.C. –Judges are taking a new look at whether North Carolina legislators can shift power to the elected state schools superintendent over about $10 billion a year in taxpayer spending and contracts worth tens of millions of dollars. The three-judge panel hears Thursday from lawyers for the State Board of Education. It wants to block the Republican-led legislature’s boost to new GOP Superintendent Mark Johnson. The state school board wants to keep the status quo while it appeals the panel’s July ruling favoring Johnson. (The Charlotte Observer)

1,012 charter school parents send letter to Nashville schools board after railed resolution
Over 1,000 Nashville charter school parents penned a letter to the Nashville schools board asking for better treatment. The letter from 1,012 parents is in response to a failed June resolution from board member Mary Pierce that she tabbed as a way for the board to recommit to its policy to “advocate for the organization and all of the students it serves.” The resolution was specifically targeted to support charter school parents’ choice. In the letter, the parents say they were “dismayed” to see the resolution fail. (Tennessean)

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


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