EduClips: FL Senate Votes to Arm School Staff, Not Teachers; NYC Hires Houston Schools Chief as New Chancellor — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

Top Story

DEVOS — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, 13 months into her term, was cautious in her first months on the job after a wounding confirmation process and widespread public protests. She largely toed the party line, keeping to Republican orthodoxy that there should be less regulatory interference from Washington, and pledged she’d approve every state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act that met the law’s minimum requirements without asking for more.

Now, though, she’s stopped holding her tongue, offering state education secretaries what she called “tough love” for their failure in her assessment to embrace the law’s flexibility and opportunities to address local challenges. Too many plans “only meet the bare minimum,” and though they may comply with the letter of the law, that doesn’t mean they do what’s best for students, she told attendees at the Council of Chief State School Officers’ annual conference in Washington. (Read at The74Million.org)

National News

NYC CHANCELLOR — De Blasio Picks Houston Schools Chief to Become NYC Chancellor — and This Time, the Candidate Said Yes (Read at The74Million.org)

WV STRIKE— West Virginia legislators eye measures to end teacher strike (Read at USA Today)

PEARSON —Educators Carefully Watch Pearson as It Moves to Sell Curriculum Business (Read at Education Week)

District and State News

FLORIDA — Florida Senate votes 20–18 to approve gun restrictions and arming school officials (Read at the Tampa Bay Times)

TEXAS — Texas AG makes ‘odd’ request of public schools following effort to regulate their role in elections (Read at Dallas News)

NEW YORK — Optimism, relief, and an open invitation to visit schools: New York City responds to Carranza’s appointment as chancellor (Read at Chalkbeat)

FLORIDA — After dramatic rejection of New York job, Carvalho gets the royal treatment in Miami (Read at the Miami Herald)

NEW YORK — In Carranza, de Blasio finds a new schools chief cut from the same cloth as the one he’s replacing (Read at Chalkbeat)

VIRGINIA — Va. House backs bill to expand recess in elementary schools (Read at the Richmond Times-Dispatch)

CALIFORNIA — L.A. officials push for new focus on school safety after Parkland (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

ILLINOIS — Opinion: Deep-Blue Illinois Leads the Way on School Choice (Read at RealClear Education)

HAWAII — Feds Say Hawaii Falls Short in Dealing With School Bullying (Read at Honolulu Civil Beat)

CALIFORNIA — California’s funding formula tries to close the achievement gap for disadvantaged youth — but how is the money spent? (Read at LA School Report)

NEVADA — Women underrepresented in top Clark County School District jobs (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Think Pieces

DACA — I’m a Bronx teacher, and I see up close what we all lose when undocumented students live with uncertainty (Read at Chalkbeat)

PARKLAND SHOOTING — Can the Parkland Survivors Inspire a New Focus on Civics Education? (Read at Education Week)

SCHOOL SAFETY — Nobody Knows How Many Kids Get Caught With Guns in School. Here’s Why. (Read at The Huffington Post)

WV STRIKE — Fighting Poverty, Drugs and Even Violence, All on a Teacher’s Salary (Read at The New York Times)

LOCAL CONTROL — In Defense of Local Schools (Read at The National Review)

CLASSROOM EMPATHY — In a ‘Difficult and Divided Time,’ New Harvard Initiative Encourages Empathy, Dialogue, and Equity in the Classroom (Read at The74Million.org)

STUDENT ACTIVISM — 7 Times in History When Students Turned to Activism (Read at The New York Times)

Quote of the Day

“Even the best plan is short on the meaningful solutions that the law encourages. Even the best plan doesn’t take full advantage of the law’s built-in flexibility, and launching a PR push to defend these plans doesn’t change that.” —U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, accusing states of submitting underwhelming accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (Read at The74Million.org)

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