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Newswire October 3rd, 2017

BLACK COLLEGES & CHARTER SCHOOLS. In opeds appearing around the country, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund says HBCUs are intricately connected to the movement for better opportunities for students and opposition from groups like the NAACP and the AFT aren’t helpful whatsoever. “Better parental choices are, frankly, a matter of life or death for many of our country’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities. And the only way to impact that is to ensure that high-quality secondary school choices abound and that parents are aware of the options that exist to help them take their families out of traditional district schools that have long failed their precious youth.” More at the CER Voices of Color, Voices for Opportunity page and here .

UNCHAINED MELODY. Yesterday was “Cut the Red Tape” day in Washington. We participated at the White House kick-off hosted by VP Mike Pence. No matter where you stand politically, you’ve gotta give this Administration credit for its honest efforts to trim back the regulatory briar patch that entangles us all. The Council of Economic Advisors has issued a nifty report on the subject, “The Growth Potential of Deregulation”. We voted “yes” on ending bureaucracy and made our feelings on the subject known last January in our own nifty little report, “The First Hundred Days: The path to going bold on education innovation & opportunity”. Among the recommendations – a commission to explore opportunities to send funds to states to use on innovative, flexible learning arrangements. We recommended the ED Feds also “review all federal regulations and the thousands of non-statutory guidelines that are essentially bureaucratic dictates accumulated over time, governing the distribution of state and local funds such that states might feel free to do as the law intended, but that federal policy was created to obscure.” They have indeed undertaken that process. A report that promises to identify bureaucratic offenders with a recipe for change is expected by year’s end.


A REAL STEM-WINDER. In another White House-driven initiative, last week the President sent an official memorandum to the Secretary of Education; subject:  “Increasing Access to High-Quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.” The memo directs the Secretary to make STEM education “…including, in particular, computer science,” a priority, and to take it into account when awarding grant funds. The initiative has a goal of devoting at least $200 million in grant funds to the effort per year beginning in FY ’18, which began October 1. Exactly when these funds kick-in and how to go about getting them is not yet known, and we’ll let you know more as soon as we can find someone with some answers. In the meantime, all innovators, charters and innovative districts within the sound of our voice, should be working up grant proposals NOW!

DON’T MISS OUT. EDTECH NY IS ON THE HORIZON. New York Ed Tech WeekThe Global Education Innovation Festival, is coming up December 18-20, and you may want to make plans to attend while early-bird tickets are still available. Join great people, important topics and informative speakers (including CER’s own Jeanne Allen). It is really a must-attend year-end event. Produced by StartED, Ed Tech Week facilitates some of the most impactful and memorable ed-tech experiences of the year, bringing together more than 200 companies, 200 investors, and 1,500 attendees which includes technology innovators, early-stage investors, EdTech entrepreneurs, media representatives, policymakers, corporations, educators, and students.