Education Opportunity Network

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10/22/2015 – Federal Funds For Charter Schools Go Into A Black Hole

THIS WEEK: Integration Benefits White Kids Too … State School Districts Don’t Work … Graduate To What? … Taxpayers Still Funding Scam Colleges … What’s Causing Teacher Shortages


New Report: Federal Funds For Charter Schools Go Into A ‘Black Hole’

By Jeff Bryant

“Very little is known about how charter schools have spent over $3.7 billion the federal government has used to fuel expansion of the charter industry since 1995 … Millions in federal grant money has gone to charter schools that were closed after brief periods of service and to ‘ghost’ charter schools that never opened … The revelation that federal funds to charter schools generally go into a ‘black hole’ further calls into question U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s decision to award even more money to these schools.”
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The Evidence That White Children Benefit From Integrated Schools


“There’s plenty of evidence that suggests … White students might actually benefit from a more diverse environment … Their test scores won’t be any lower … The federal government just released a report … It found … white students essentially had the same test scores whether they went to a school that was overwhelmingly white or one that was overwhelmingly black … They may work harder and smarter … There’s evidence that corporations with better gender and racial representation make more money and are more innovative. And many higher education groups have collected large amounts of evidence on the educational benefits of diversity … They may become more empathetic and less prejudiced … Your willingness to stereotype declines, and that in turn is linked to a reduction in prejudice.”
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Are Turnaround Districts The Answer For America’s Worst Schools?

The Hechinger Report

“State-run school districts have a shaky track record, but more are on the way … Louisiana’s Recovery School District is the largest … Graduation rates are up and nearly 60% of RSD 3-8 graders now pass state tests – but more than half of high school students fail. ACT average scores have improved, but at 16.6 out of 36 (around the 25th percentile) remain far below Louisiana’s already low statewide average … Tennessee officials pledged that the state’s Achievement School District … would take schools in the bottom 5% and get them into the top 25% within five years … Lackluster results led Tennessee legislators, during the 2015 legislative session, to introduce 22 bills aimed to curb the ASD’s growth … Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority also struggled in its infancy. At the high schools it took over, four-year graduation rates decreased from 64% to 54% after the first year, rising only to 62% in the second year. And ACT scores in those schools have remained at 13.7, far below the national average.”
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High-School Diploma Options Multiply, But May Not Set Up Students For College Success

The Chronicle Of Higher Education

“For too many students, high-school diplomas are ‘tickets to nowhere’ that offer ‘false assurances’ that graduates are ready for college or a job… As states try to increase their high-school graduation rates and tailor programs to different goals, the number of diploma options has become ‘incredibly complex’ … About half of first-year students at two-year colleges and 1 in 5 of those entering four-year institutions require remedial coursework before they can start college-level classes … 20 states do not offer a diploma that requires students to complete college- and career-ready standards in English and math … Only 9 states that offer multiple diplomas report which students complete which requirements, making it hard for policy makers to interpret high-school graduation rates.”
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For-Profit Colleges Accused Of Fraud Still Receive U.S. Funds

The New York Times

“The Education Department, despite a crackdown against what it calls ‘bad actors,’ continues to hand over tens of millions of dollars every month to other for-profit schools that have been accused of predatory behavior, substandard practices, or illegal activity… Hundreds of schools that have failed regulatory standards or been accused of violating legal statutes are still hauling in billions of dollars of government funds … For-profit schools enroll about 12% of the nation’s college students, yet they account for nearly half of student loan defaults … Education advocates have also accused the Education Department of not more aggressively policing for-profit schools that convert to nonprofits as a way of sidestepping federal regulations.”
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To Fix Teacher Shortages, First Understand What They Are

Education Week

Chicago classroom teacher Xian Barrett writes, “Teacher shortages come in part from a lack of candidates interested in teaching in highly demanding settings and, even more so, from an inability to retain teachers in those settings … Many top-down education reforms to address teacher quality only exacerbate this situation by focusing teachers on areas that are unhelpful to their students. For every teacher who is pushed out by tougher, nonsensical evaluation systems, there are a dozen who leave due to toxic stress caused by these systems … We can begin to heal toward solutions … Allow communities, students, parents, and educators the agency to self-determine our own definitions of success … Build strong induction programs targeting and effectively preparing candidates who are most likely to stay in our communities … Shift accountability for school climate from classroom teachers to administrators and district leadership … Teacher shortages are merely symptoms of the same problems that drive inequity in our society in general.'”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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