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

Inside ESSA Plans: How Are States Looking Beyond Test Scores?
School officials: Get ready to figure out whether your students have a problem with chronic absenteeism. And while you’re at it, see if you’re getting them ready for college and the workplace. Attendance—particularly chronic absenteeism—and college-and-career readiness are by far the most popular new areas of focus for accountability among the 40-plus states that have filed their plans to implement the Every Student Success Act, an Education Week review shows. (Education Week)

If the kids aren’t alright, blame the parents
Don’t grow up too fast. It’s the refrain of country singers and misty-eyed grandparents across the nation. Surprisingly, the kids are taking their advice. At least that’s what the data seems to show. According to a study published Monday in the journal Child Development, teenagers are increasingly putting off traditional markers of adulthood. In particular, the percentages of adolescents (ages 13 to 19) who date, drink, have a driver’s license or work for pay have dropped drastically since 1976, with the sharpest drop occurring in the past 10 years. (The Washington Post)

Analysis: Florida’s ESSA Plan Ignores Rule On Counting Minorities, Others in Grading Schools
Florida may be trying to skirt the law when it comes to its public education plan. The result could mean a delay or denial in federal education funding, an unscheduled overhaul of Florida’s school grades system, or a wink and a nod from a Trump administration which may not be very keen on enforcing the law. The Every Student Succeeds Act says each state has to measure certain things for specific groups of students. (The 74)

42 DeKalb Schools classrooms still missing full-time teachers, officials say
A month into the new school year, the DeKalb County School District still has 42 teacher vacancies to fill. Everett Patrick, the district’s interim human capital management officer, announced the number Tuesday during the district’s monthly school board meeting, delayed a week as Irma caused chaos and closed schools in metro Atlanta. District officials see the number as progress. At the same time last year, Patrick said the district had 176 vacancies. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New York
De Blasio slammed with thousands of letters from families seeking public space for charter schools
City Hall is getting deluged with thousands of letters from families seeking public space for high-performing charter schools. Parents with the pro-charter lobbying group Families for Excellent Schools on Thursday delivered 3,561 copies of a form letter signed by city parents that calls on Mayor de Blasio to respond. More will be delivered by email and snail mail. “Public charter school students are being denied access to empty public space,” the letter states. “Please give our kids the space they need to learn.” (NY Daily News)

North Carolina
Court: State, not counties accountable for poor school funds
RALEIGH, N.C. — Students and parents still fighting for sufficient school funding decades after they were guaranteed the right to a sound, basic education should make demands of the governor and legislators, not county officials, a divided state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. Schoolchildren can’t sue Halifax County commissioners for unequally funding the county’s segregated public school districts, a majority of the three-judge panel ruled. Students inside substandard Halifax County Schools’ buildings are sometimes forced to walk through sewage to reach their lockers, yet they get less local tax dollars than the majority white Roanoke Rapids schools, lawyers for five students said. (WRAL)

Pennsylvania to audit Woodland Hills in response to ‘unprecedented’ concern
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday that his office will audit the troubled Woodland Hills School District a year earlier than scheduled in response to concerns raised by government officials in the district’s communities. At a news conference announcing the audit, one of those leaders, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, called for Woodland Hills Superintendent Alan Johnson to resign. Johnson declined to comment on Fetterman’s call for his resignation. (TRIB Live)

South Carolina
Mandarin Charter School Breaks Ground
West Columbia, SC (WLTX) — A ground-breaking ceremony for South Carolina’s first Mandarin Immersion public charter school took place Tuesday afternoon. East Point Academy was founded seven years ago with 85 students. This year, the public charter school has 550 students. “We had community leaders who had the foresight to understand that for children in education, we need to think more globally. The number one export for BMW in South Carolina is to China. The number one language spoken across the world is Chinese. We need to think more globally when we think about the education of our children. It was the foresight of the founding board members who realized that there was something we can do to help our children learn another language,” said Joan Hoffman, the Board chair. (WLTX)

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


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