Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis:
When it comes to discussing the link between poverty and education, education reform debates, often times, diverge into two “corners.” In the blue corner, one can find the “poverty is not an excuse” camp. While in the red corner, one will find the “poverty is an explanation” group. Both corners vehemently defend their positions with “data,” coupled with a heavy dose of anecdotal evidence. Both sides claim student advocacy. The good news is that both corners are right. The bad news, however, is that both are also wrong. (Education Week)
President Obama and the first lady met with dozens of higher-education leaders at the White House on Thursday to promote an array of new measures that colleges and others are taking to get more students from poor families into college. (Washington Post)
A spinoff of the controversial Teach For America teacher-placement program has expanded rapidly in recent months, pursuing a goal both specific and dizzyingly broad: helping TFA’s 32,000 alumni rise to civic-leadership roles. (Education Week)
In Arizona, the charter school movement has sold itself as a safe alternative for middle-class families looking to avoid the maze of underfunded neighborhood schools. The movement is now expanding into this city’s most impoverished area for the first time, starting, in effect, an experiment in urban education. (New York Times)
For two years in a row, Baltimore-based school turnaround organization Success for All has earned the top score in the scale-up category of the federal Investing in Innovation contest, only to be passed over, U.S. Department of Education records confirm. (Education Week)
New Jersey
In education circles, one of the more notable parts of Gov. Chris Christie’s State of the State address on Tuesday was something he didn’t mention: school vouchers. (NJ Spotlight)
New York
The city’s once-mighty charters have fallen sharply out of favor post-Bloomberg. Mayor de Blasio, siding with the critics who contend the charters’ success came at the expense of public schools, has vowed to charge them rent, threatening their ability to survive. But charter schools won’t go down without a fight. (NY Daily News)


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