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NEWSWIRE: December 8, 2015

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Vol. 17, No. 48

This week’s Newswire is brought to you by the letter “I” for Innovation (cue Sesame Street)

WHY INNOVATION? Because there can be no systemic education reform without innovation. And at the core of The Center for Education Reform’s focus is the understanding that flexibility and freedom in US education is a necessary precondition to implement innovation! As Tom VanderArk and his team at GettingSmart often note, innovative ideas and products play a gigantic role in improving teaching and learning here and abroad.

FEDS & INNOVATION. The federal role in education is a hot topic now that Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.02.22 AMthe reauthorization of NCLB, or the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), will head to its final stop before hitting POTUS’ desk with a Senate vote at 10:45am tomorrow morning. With this legislation rolling back federal oversight, fingers crossed that states use their power to embrace creativity and a “whatever-it-takes” mentality that will lead to innovative ways of educating kids.

IN THE KNOW. If you aren’t signed up for the quarterly newsletter, Entrepreneurship at a Glance, you’re missing out on some of the latest insights and innovations in edtech. Get on the list.

IGNITING INNOVATION. Ted Kolderie’s new book brilliantly notes that education must become a self-improving system, and innovation is a critical component to getting there. He dives deeper during AEI’s Google Hangout event here.

7407623110_e7e892e088_oINNOVATION SHARK TANK. Lessoncast is one of three national edtech organizations competing in an Education Shark Tank put on by EdSurge and the Gates Foundation at 8pm EST today. The challenge? Finding professional development that’s short, easy to digest, and relevant. Register to watch the webcast competition.

AFRAID OF INNOVATION. In an open letter on the Detroit union’s website, the local Motor City leader raised alarm to head union honcho Randi Weingarten about “widespread charterization” in Detroit. It’s no secret unions are quite fond of the status quo, but if they’re against charter schools, then why are they pushing so hard behind the scenes to unionize charter school teachers in the Michigan city? Stay tuned…

ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF INNOVATION. “CER was the first, most resolute advocate for lasting, substantive and structural change in U.S. education,” says Board Chair Jon Hage. And today, we recognize the innovations needed and how far we have to go to make all schools work better for all children. As you consider your year-end contributions, please consider the Center so we can continue to push for novel thinking and results for our kids in 2016.