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

Trump directs $200 million to tech education for women and minorities
President Donald Trump on Monday directed at least $200 million a year to technology education grants for women and minorities. The president signed a memo instructing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to prioritize STEM through existing competitive grant programs that will encourage women and minorities to participate in coding and other computer-based careers — though senior administration officials offered few specifics on how they would fulfill that goal. (Politico)

New SAT scores sow confusion over how to tell a good result
The perfect score of yore — 1600 — is back and just as impressive as ever. But many students could be forgiven these days for puzzling over whether their own SAT scores are good, great or merely okay. The first national report on the revised SAT shows the confusion that results when a familiar device for sorting college-bound students is recalibrated and scores on the admission test suddenly look a bit better than they actually are. (The Washington Post)

Three lessons from rigorous research on education technology
School district administrators and principals are inundated with salesmen peddling computers and software programs. Many claim that scientific research proves their wares work. Can they be believed? The researchers at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), an organization inside the economics department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scoured academic journals, the internet and evaluation databases and found only 113 studies on using technology in schools that were scientifically rigorous. (The Hechinger Report)

Hurricane Maria could send wave of Puerto Rican students to Miami
When Hurricane Irma sideswiped Puerto Rico in early September, the storm knocked out power to about 600 schools and left 400 with no running water. As Hurricane Maria approached the island this week, 20 schools had yet to reopen. Now, with power knocked out for the entire island, roads impassable and widespread flooding, it could be weeks — or even months — before some of Puerto Rico’s 350,000 students are able to return to their local school. (Miami Herald)

How Louisiana cut number of tenured teachers in half
BATON ROUGE — In fall 2012, Mike Myers was debating how much longer he would keep coming to work each day at C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, the only school he’s ever taught at. It was his 33rd year in the classroom; it would turn out to be his last. What clinched it for him, he said, was a raft of changes in Louisiana education law pushed through earlier that year and how they changed the teaching profession. The centerpiece of those changes were strict new limits on which teachers could enjoy tenure and the job protections that come with it. (Houma Today)

New York
Thousands of Parents Write Mayor De Blasio as NYC Stalls in Identifying Available Space for Charter Schools
Thousands of charter school parents across New York City are trying to get their mayor’s attention. As the New York Daily News reported late last week, an initial mountain of letters were delivered to City Hall last Thursday, all signed by parents petitioning Mayor Bill de Blasio to speed up the city’s approval process for charter schools still awaiting classroom space. (The 74)

Top Tennessee House Democrat calls for halt to student data pursuit
Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Mike Stewart called on the state’s education commissioner to stand down in her demands for Memphis and Nashville to hand over student contact information to Tennessee’s state-run district. Stewart, a member of the House Education Instruction and Programs Committee, said in a statement Monday that he believes Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is basing her demand on a flawed interpretation of a new state law. (Tennessean)

Washington D.C.
Monument Academy in D.C. Tries a New Model to Help Kids in Foster Care — a Charter Boarding School
The students at Monument Academy get two lessons in every class: academic and emotional. One August day early in the school year, a seventh-grade English class lesson, on how the setting of a novel affects character development, came with a side of gratitude and empathy. “Stuff doesn’t define your character, actions do,” DaShawn, one of the students, said, summing up the lesson on being kind to others who don’t have the same material advantages, taught by one of what’s known here as well-being coaches who give “positive action lessons” every day before the teachers take over. (The 74)

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


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