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Newswire November 7th, 2017

CONGRESS, TAXES & EDUCATION. CER’s focus on Helping Learners at All Levels” to access the American dream is at the heart of a new proposal being considered on Capitol Hill. Expanding the economy requires more skilled workers, but not without the depth of education and training that will help them succeed. Read what we have to say about how to achieve this.

HIGHER ED & CONGRESS. And, since it’s important to always keep innovation at the forefront of the conversation, Congressional leaders would do well to read this evergreen piece by the Christiansen Institute– College transformed:  Five institutions leading the charge in innovation – which points the way to how we can transform higher education. Christiansen also has published a great resource on how to innovate under ESSA – The state innovator’s toolkit: a guide to successfully managing innovation under ESSA. This is a great homework assignment for all the nation’s educators.

EDUCATION & BLACK COLLEGES. The bold and forthright leader of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Johnny Taylor, has some strong words for the NAACP. Talking about his own experience, and his mother’s decision to send him out of his neighborhood to a better school, Taylor said,

“The notion that someone sitting in the NAACP’s headquarters in Baltimore could take that choice away from my mother is unacceptable.”

Taylor’s comment, from an interview that appeared in the WSJ this past weekend, expands on an op-ed he penned earlier last month as part of CER’s Voices of Color, Voices for Opportunity series where he wrote: “If the NAACP continues to reject the educational opportunities school choice provides them, they risk becoming irrelevant – or worse – an enemy of the very people they claim to fight for.” Every day more and more leaders from communities of color are coming together to fight arcane efforts to protect the status quo. Kudos to Taylor, T. Willard Fair, Donald Hense and others who step up every day and put the interests of kids and families first.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO. Congratulations to Kansas City’s University Academy—Upper School, and to all the other winners of the Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools award for 2017. Pictured above: Tony Kline, University Academy Superintendent; Bush Helzberg, University Academy Board Chairman; Jeanne Allen, CER Founder and CEO; Barnett Helzberg, University Academy Founder; and Elizabeth Helzberg, CER Policy Associate.

TEACHERS & HIGHER ED. Not only did the State University of New York last month adopt a path breaking plan to allow charter schools to train their own teachers but just yesterday the NY Times editorial board endorsed the plan. Yes, we’ll repeat that: the NY Times editorial board endorsed the plan. Under the headline “The Best Charter Schools Deserve More Leeway on Hiring”  the board writes, “The new certification rules represent a reasonable attempt to let these schools avoid the weak state teacher education system that has long been criticized for churning out graduates who are unprepared to manage the classroom.” It’s a good editorial from start to finish – which isn’t something we can always say about a Times’ editorial. You should read it.