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

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

EduClips is a compilation of the most significant education news from the largest school districts in the United States, where over 4 million students attend school in eight different states. If you’re interested in reading past EduClips installments, you can find them here. To receive the top school and policy news directly to your email, sign up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

Top Story:

There is a bipartisan budget deal that is expected to be passed by the Senate today, preventing a government shutdown and suspending the federal debt ceiling. However, this bill may not have the same level of certainty in the House, as the top Democrat in the chamber and GOP conservatives have expressed concerns.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, made her opposition to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 clear in an unprecedented eight-hour address on the House floor. Her main objection is the absence of a promise for open immigration debate in the bill. On the other hand, some conservatives have reservations about the deal because it includes increased domestic spending. The atmosphere in the House stands in contrast to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer delivered positive speeches about the accord. This agreement would provide nearly $300 billion for government programs and suspend the debt ceiling until March 2019. (Read more at Bloomberg)

National News:

Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, has softened her stance on school choice. (Read at Politico)

A new campaign has been launched to put pressure on Silicon Valley regarding the issue of "tech addiction" in children. (Read at Education Week)

In Idaho, lawmakers are taking steps to minimize the teaching of climate change in the fight over science education. (Read at The New York Times)

Betsy DeVos claims that her status as an outsider has been an advantage during her first year in office. (Read at Politics K-12)

Making gifted education more equitable requires an understanding of the political climate that has shaped and hindered innovative policies in various states. (Read at

District and State News:

There has been an increase in graduation rates in New York, but it’s unclear if this signifies improved learning outcomes. (Read at Chalkbeat)

California’s largest school districts are addressing the issue of chronic absenteeism and exploring why students miss school. (Read at EdSource)

More than 200,000 students in and around Philadelphia will have their schools closed on Thursday for the Super Bowl celebration, which is seen as an opportunity to witness history. (Read at

Miami-Dade school officials are seeking a compromise rather than a legal battle regarding charter schools and may achieve a resolution. (Read at WLRN)

Research indicates that achievement gaps are narrowing in California schools. (Read at the Vallejo Times-Herald)

A charter school on the Big Island of Hawaii faces an uncertain future, sparking emotional responses from the community. (Read at Hawaii News Now)

A Queens school in New York rejected a student’s request to have his name, Malcolm X, added to his senior sweater, and then proceeded to mock him. (Read at the New York Daily News)

Think Pieces:

In Minnesota, there is celebration over an increasing graduation rate, but fewer of these graduates possess adequate reading and math skills. (Read at

A high-poverty district has adopted a new approach to teaching and learning, challenging traditional methods. (Read at The Hechinger Report)

The new tax law subtly undermines public schools. (Read at The Atlantic)

Quote of the Day:

"Betsy DeVos’s emphasis on school innovation is an easy thing to say, but it lacks promise of impact." – Sandy Kress, an advisor to former President George W. Bush who played a role in crafting the No Child Left Behind Law. (Read at Politico)

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  • hugoellis

    Hugo Ellis is a 27-year-old educational blogger. He has a love for writing and educating others about different topics. Hugo is a self-taught writer who has a passion for helping others achieve their goals.