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EduClips: Texas Special Ed Reform Faces Mistrust; LAUSD: Suggestions for New Chief Beutner’s To-Do List — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | May 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

TEACHERS — The extraordinary wave of teacher strikes highlights these crucial but often forgotten facts: In number, teachers are the largest profession in the United States. And collectively, they have the power to demand and win changes to funding and salaries. It’s a stark reminder in an era characterized by diminishing labor influence. And yet political scientists, researchers, and labor watchers say it’s tough to predict how teachers’ reawakened activism will continue to evolve.

“Teachers are very humble. They just go about their business — we do the best with what we have and we don’t complain,” said Alberto Morejon, a teacher and the grassroots organizer of the Oklahoma walkout last month. But now, “People are finally realizing what we’re dealing with. … They didn’t know the truth, and now they know the truth. It’s slowly going to spread around the country.”

Perhaps, but there are other possibilities, too. The activism could fade slowly away, as Occupy Wall Street and other protest movements of the past decade did. Or it could find a more permanent channel for its energy, perhaps through the regeneration of teachers unions — which are facing the probable loss of dollars and members as the result of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision. (Read at Education Week)

National News

TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY — More Than Just a Job: Stories of Teachers Who Deserve an A+ (Read at NPR)

FIRST LADY — Melania Trump Unveils Initiative to Bolster Emotional Health, Combat Bullying and Opioid Crisis (Read at Politics K-12)

ESSA — Betsy DeVos Greenlights ESSA Plans for Alabama, Colorado, and Kentucky (Read at Politics K-12)

TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY — Teacher Appreciation Day: A Look Back at 18 Incredible (and Inspiring) Ways Students & Schools Celebrated Their Teachers Over the Past Year (Read at The74Million.org)

District and State News

TEXAS — Texas Special Education Reform Comes With Mountain of Mistrust (Read at Texas Public Radio)

CALIFORNIA — Analysis: What should top Austin Beutner’s to-do list (Read at LA School Report)

TEXAS — Feds Expand Investigation of Dallas County Schools (Read at NBC Dallas–Fort Worth)

NEW YORK — Teacher evaluation fight spills into New York’s Board of Regents meeting (Read at Chalkbeat)

PENNSYLVANIA — Landmark Pa. school-funding suit clears legal hurdle (Read at the Philadelphia Inquirer)

NEW YORK — Asked about a ‘divisive’ tweet about segregation, Carranza directs an Upper West Side parent to implicit bias training (Read at Chalkbeat)

CALIFORNIA — Opinion: Could Beutner’s Lack of Ed Background Become His Greatest Asset at LAUSD? (Read at City Watch)

NEVADA — Déjà vu: Clark County schools face $60M-plus budget deficit (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

ILLINOIS — Illinois Lawmakers Consider Change for Physical Education Requirements (Read at NPR Illinois)

Think Pieces

DENVER REFORM — Analysis: In Denver, Rising Expectations, a Generational Divide, and a New Education Reform Revolution on Its Way (Read at The74Million.org)

POLITICS — How social pressures drive the partisan education gap (Read at The Hill)

CHARTER SCHOOLS — Nina Rees: National Charter Schools Week, a Time for Celebrating Great Public Schools — and the Teachers Who Make Them Possible (Read at The74Million.org)

TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY — So This Is What You Call ‘Teacher Appreciation’? (Read at Education Post)

Quote of the Day

“It’s really too little, too late. Especially [for] those children who needed early childhood intervention. You can’t get those years back.” —Jill Goolsby of San Antonio, Texas, on the state’s attempt to make reforms after the U.S. Department of Education found it had illegally barred tens of thousands of children with disabilities, including her son, from a free and appropriate education. (Read at Texas Public Radio)

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