Rise & Shine: These seven educators are finalists for 2020 Teacher of the Year

Good morning!

Welcome to Tuesday's edition of Rise & Shine.

Higher ed is supposed to be a meritocracy, but our system is tilted in favor of those who already have advantages. Author Paul Tough has a new book out examining inequities in access to higher education, and he's particularly critical of the College Board, the organization that administers the SAT.

Our national team has a Q&A with Tough and digs into the competing claims about the test and whether the College Board has taken meaningful steps to reduce inequity — or just engaged in corporate rebranding. Find that below

Care about improving access for first-generation college students? We'll be talking more with Tough at a free event Sept. 24 at the University of Denver. All the details are here.

Plus: These seven educators are finalists to be Colorado's next Teacher of the Year.

Read on.

— Erica Meltzer, bureau chief

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.

‘UNFAIR’ Thousands of first-generation college students overcome great odds to change their families’ trajectories, but the higher ed system as a whole remains rigged in favor of the well-off and the connected, Paul Tough argues in a new book. Chalkbeat

TESTING Tough is particularly critical of the College Board, which administers the SAT, for equity initiatives that he argues amounted to little more than corporate rebranding, with little evidence they moved the needle. The College Board is pushing back. Chalkbeat

BEST OF THE WEST The Colorado Department of Education announced seven finalists for 2020 Teacher of the Year, from a pool of 43 applicants. Chalkbeat

FIRST PERSON This Chicago teacher decided that avoiding the topic of gun violence in his media class would be like “teaching about the solar system while a spreading wildfire raged nearby.” Chalkbeat

NEED TO KNOW When schools receive threats, administrators usually notify the police, but rarely inform parents. Some are calling for that change. Associated Press via Gazette

OPINION Free full-day kindergarten helps parents re-enter the workforce. We should recognize the skills they have, not focus on resume gaps, argues Shannon Block, executive director of Skillful Colorado. Colorado Sun

With numerous career and technical pathways for students and extensive business partnerships, the St. Vrain district represents the future of education, Tom Vander Ark writes. Forbes

As America debates Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, we also need to look for big solutions to school funding, writes Scott Sargrad, vice president of K-12 education policy at the Center for American Progress. The 74 Million

BULLYING PREVENTION A small but growing number of states are fining parents of children who bully, but experts warn that doesn’t get at root causes. Ed Week