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EduClips: Grad Rate Controversies in NYC, MN; Budget Showdown Redux — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | February 8, 2018

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

BUDGET DEAL — The Senate is poised to pass a bipartisan budget deal today that would avert a government shutdown and suspend the federal debt ceiling, but the bill faces less certain prospects in the House, where the chamber’s top Democrat and GOP conservatives are raising objections.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi emphasized her opposition in an unprecedented eight-hour address on the House floor Wednesday because the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 does not include a promise of open immigration debate. And some conservatives oppose the deal because it calls for increased domestic spending. The mood in the House was in stark contrast to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer delivered laudatory back-to-back speeches on the accord, which would add nearly $300 billion for government programs and suspend the debt ceiling until March 2019. (Read at Bloomberg)

National News

DEVOS — How Betsy DeVos Softened Her Message on School Choice (Read at Politico)

‘TECH ADDICTION’ — New Campaign to Pressure Silicon Valley on ‘Tech Addiction’ and Kids (Read at Education Week)

CLIMATE CHANGE — In Fight Over Science Education in Idaho, Lawmakers Move to Minimize Climate (Read at The New York Times)

DEVOS — Betsy DeVos: Outsider Status Has Been ‘Asset’ in First Year on the Job (Read at Politics K-12)

GIFTED EDUCATION — Want to Make Gifted Education More Equitable? First, Be Aware of the Political Winds That Drove (and Derailed) Innovative Policies in These States (Read at The74Million.org)

District and State News

NEW YORK — Analysis: New York’s graduation rates are up. Does that mean students are learning more? (Read at Chalkbeat)

CALIFORNIA — California’s largest districts address chronic absenteeism with focus on why students miss school (Read at EdSource)

PENNSYLVANIA — Schools Set to Close Thursday for More Than 200,000 Students in and Around Philadelphia as Super Bowl Celebration Marks ‘Chance to Witness History’ (Read at The74Million.org)

FLORIDA — Miami-Dade School Officials Sought Compromise, Not Legal Battle, on Charters — and Might Get One (Read at WLRN)

CALIFORNIA — Research shows California schools are narrowing achievement gaps (Read at the Vallejo Times-Herald)

HAWAII — Emotions run high as Big Island charter school faces uncertain future (Read at Hawaii News Now)

NEW YORK — Queens school rejects student’s bid to add his name Malcolm X on senior sweater, then mocks him (Read at the New York Daily News)

Think Pieces

GRADUATION RATE — Analysis: Minnesota Cheers a Booming Graduation Rate — Even as Fewer of Those Grads Can Read or Do Math at a High School Level (Read at The74Million.org)

SCHOOL TURNAROUND — OPINION: This high-poverty district learned to think differently about teaching and learning (Read at The Hechinger Report)

TAX LAW — The New Tax Law’s Subtle Subversion of Public Schools (Read at The Atlantic)

Quote of the Day

“Certainly, it’s an easy thing to say. It doesn’t get you into trouble to say it. On the other hand, it doesn’t have much promise of impact.” —Sandy Kress, an adviser to former President George W. Bush who helped crafted his signature No Child Left Behind Law, on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s emphasis on school innovation. (Read at Politico)

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