Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
President Obama and firstlLady Michelle Obama both would see key initiatives whacked if the $1.01 trillion spending bill unveiled by congressional leaders this week passes without changes in these areas: the president’s chief education initiative, Race to the Top, loses all funding, and the first lady’s effort to nutritionally improve school lunches takes a hit with language that allows schools to take their good old time about meeting a mandate on serving whole grain. (Washington Post)
New York State’s education commissioner, John B. King Jr., who has been a staunch advocate for the Common Core standards and a frequent target of those who criticize them, announced on Wednesday that he would step down at the end of the year to take the second-highest-ranking job at the federal Education Department, senior adviser to Secretary Arne Duncan. (New York Times)
To hear Mikia Hutchings speak, one must lean in close, as her voice barely rises above a whisper. In report cards, her teachers describe her as “very focused,” someone who follows the rules and stays on task. So it was a surprise for her grandmother when Mikia, 12, and a friend got into trouble for writing graffiti on the walls of a gym bathroom at Dutchtown Middle School in Henry County last year. (New York Times)
A new report from the from Koya Leadership Partners and Education Pioneers finds that racial and ethnic diversity is lacking in the leadership ranks of K-12 public education organizations even as the student population becomes increasingly diverse. (Education Week)
New York
Joel Klein discusses his tenure as Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Appointed by mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002, Klein’s background as a lawyer from outside the education establishment made him a controversial choice for the job. In Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools, Klein writes about his eight-year mission of improvement: demanding accountability, eliminating political favoritism, and battling a teachers union that, according to Klein, was determined to protect a status quo. (WNYC)


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