Education Opportunity Network

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3/16/2017 – What Betsy DeVos Means When She Says ‘Public Schools’

THIS WEEK: Schools Are Falling Apart … Teachers Oppose Trump … Charter School Corruption … School Rankings Suck … College Student Poverty

TOP STORY

What Betsy DeVos Means When She Says ‘Public Schools’

By Jeff Bryant

“Betsy DeVos once called public schools a ‘dead end,’ but now that she’s U.S. Secretary of Education, she’s suddenly all for them … Has DeVos had a sudden change of heart? That’s doubtful … What does DeVos mean by ‘public school?’ It turns out that’s becoming a squishy term … at least if school choice advocates have their way.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Public Schools’ Infrastructure Gets Near Failing Grade From Civil Engineers

Education Week

“The American Society of Civil Engineers gave public schools a D-plus in its report card on the nation’s infrastructure … A D grade means that buildings are in fair to poor condition, with many elements nearing the end of their useful life and showing significant deterioration … Nearly a quarter of permanent public school buildings were in fair or poor condition. In more than 30% of public school facilities, windows, plumbing, and HVAC systems were in ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ condition. 53% of public schools needed to make repairs, renovations, or upgrades to be in ‘good’ condition.”
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Teachers Will Be A Formidable Force Against Trump

The Nation

“Teachers are working to protect undocumented immigrant students, trans students, and any student whose chance at an equitable education is at risk … Educators are pressing for more decisive protections for … immigrant youth, many with refugee and undocumented family members … School districts … in Pittsburgh and several California cities [are] barring ICE agents altogether, without prior government permission.”
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An Alarming Study Links Fraud In The Enron Scandal To Similar Practices At Charter Schools

Business Insider

“The charter-school industry … is rife with the same types of fraud and mismanagement that led to the Enron collapse … Related-party transactions, or deals between entities that have preexisting relationships, in charter school relationships [have] the same types of activities that Enron executives participated in before the company collapsed … So-called gatekeepers, like the Department of Education and charter school authorizers, must do more to prevent this type of abuse.”
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A-F School Rankings Draw Local Pushback

Education Week

“As states overhaul their accountability systems under the new federal K-12 law, officials in some are pushing to replace or revamp A-F grading for schools … In some states that already have them, A-F systems have received fierce backlash from local superintendents and school board members. They complain that the letter grades oversimplify student success or shortfalls, increase pressure to pay attention to tests, ignore school quality factors other than test scores, and demoralize teachers and parents. Local officials in at least four states are using this year’s window of opportunity provided by the Every Student Succeeds Act to push back against A-F systems.”
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A Striking Number Of College Students Are Hungry And Homeless

The Atlantic

“Many more community-college students are homeless or lack food than previously reported … Around two-thirds are ‘food insecure,’ meaning they have limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods. Around half of these students are also ‘housing insecure,’ meaning they are forced to move often or cannot afford rent or utilities. More striking still is the number of community-college students who are homeless: around 14 percent … Nearly a third of homeless students at community colleges rely on loans to finance their education … Another third of students who are food and/or housing insecure are employed and receive financial aid.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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