Education Opportunity Network

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3/10/2017 – Yes, Schools Can Improve; Here’s How

THIS WEEK: Slashing School Spending … Governors Prioritize Funding … Suspensions Cost Billions … Labeling Students Failures … Beating DeVos


Yes, Schools Can Improve; Here’s How

By Jeff Bryant

“The policy agenda Obama set for the nation’s schools was never going to work … Similarly, voucher-funded, unbridled ‘school choice’ DeVos and Trump want is a false road too … Where both sides in the policy debate start is with the assumption that real progress can’t come from schools themselves but must be imposed from outside by folks who aren’t professional educators … What if that assumption is wrong? … Recently, I traveled to a school district to search for answers to that question.”
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Federal Budget Knife Could Slash Into K-12 Programs

Education Week

“President Donald Trump’s push to drastically reduce domestic spending as a way to boost defense spending could have a significant impact on programs at the U.S. Department of Education, where the biggest streams of funding go toward low-income students and those with special needs … The single biggest budget item included in that amount are Pell Grants for low-income students attending college … The biggest program by dollar amount at the department related to K-12 public schools is Title I, designated for disadvantaged students … It’s also unclear to what extent the Trump administration’s budget would push cuts to programs like Head Start, Preschool Development Grants, and the National School Lunch Program.”
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State Of The State Education Priorities


“The Education Commission of the States (ECS) released its annual summary of the top education priorities identified by 42 governors … The top priority for governors is school finance … Priorities included increasing overall funding, updating funding formulas, and improving infrastructure. Some governors focused on equity by proposing changes to the dispersal and utilization of state education dollars to improve opportunities for at-risk populations … Other top K-12 priorities included teacher issues such as recruiting, retaining, and better compensating teachers.’”
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Suspending Students Costs Billions in Economic Losses, New Study Finds

Education Week

“Researchers followed a single cohort of California 10th grade students through high school for three years and found that those who were suspended had only a 60 percent graduation rate … The result: An economic loss of $2.7 billion over the lifetime of that single cohort of dropouts who left school because they were suspended … Researchers said suspensions are still overused in California and that district leaders and educators must do more to further reduce them, especially for special education students, blacks, and Hispanics.”
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Students’ Worry: Education Technology Might Predict Failure Before They Have A Chance To Succeed

The Hechinger Report

“A high-tech program designed to predict which students are at risk of failure … will be used to label them before they have a chance to make their own impression on a teacher … They want their teachers to get to know them personally, not blindly usher them down a path set into motion by an algorithm … Students … worry that they often don’t get to see the data that is being kept on them, and that computers lack the ability to form human relationships needed to gather contextual information about their lives.”
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Betsy DeVos’s Education Agenda Can Be Overturned. This City Shows How.

The Nation

Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym writes, “In Philadelphia, we have learned a thing or two about beating back a top-down, anti-public school agenda. From our experiences, we’ve learned how to build a movement that will not only hold accountable people like Betsy DeVos but will also lift up a vision of vibrant public schools and restore them to the center of our civic life … While the challenges remain large, we’ve shown that the march of privatization and vouchers is far from inevitable.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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