Education Opportunity Network

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3/22/2018 – Betsy DeVos Wants To Cut Public Education To The Bone

THIS WEEK: Limiting School Security … Oklahoma Teachers Strike … Return Of Zero Tolerance? … Education And Income… School Funding Inequity


Betsy DeVos Wants To Cut Public Education To The Bone

By Jeff Bryant

“U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s testimony before Congress this week was … to defend the Trump administration’s 2019 budget for her department … Trump’s budget – and in turn the one DeVos defended for her department – is straight out of conservative doctrine for stripping government to the bone. In other words, it’s right in line with what nearly every conservative Republican governor has been inflicting on education systems in the states for years.”
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The Case For Limiting School Security

Education Wek

“We may think that more metal detectors, more sniffing dogs, and more armed police officers will keep students safer … The darker side of all these safety measures is that they conflate schools with prisons, engendering the school climate with fear, distrust, paranoia – and, yes, violence … It is ridiculous to believe that anyone capable of carrying out a mass shooting would be deterred by locked doors or police presence. The majority of mass shooters are mentally ill … They believe they have nothing to lose … Turning our schools into maximum-security prisons, with more guns, police officers, and locks is not going to solve the problem … Explicitly promoting a culture of empathy … could prevent a great deal of school violence.”
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Oklahoma Teachers Plan A Strike: “Our Children Cannot Wait Any Longer”

The Progressive

“A seemingly spontaneous teacher revolt in Oklahoma has resulted in a potential statewide walkout to shut down schools beginning April 2 … The grievances of Oklahoma teachers stem from deeply-rooted fears for their students’ future … While the state has cut taxes on oil, state employees have not received an across-the-board pay raise in twelve years. The state is among the last in the nation in teacher pay. The starting salary for a new teacher is $31,600, and the poor pay and lack of resources has resulted in an acute shortage of teachers across the state … It would take about an $800 million tax increase to fund teacher raises and a restoration of basic education and social services. Instead, the state Senate recently passed a proposal for raising $84 million for teacher pay by cutting Medicaid for 43,000 of the poorest Oklahomans.”
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Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies Won’t Fix School Shootings

The Conversation

“Trump officials and supporters think – or would have people believe – that the new push to improve school discipline had something to do with the Parkland shooting. It didn’t … When students see a school’s discipline approach as overly strict or harsh, they see school authority as arbitrary and unfair. When student bystanders see schools suspend friends who are struggling due to factors beyond their control … students come to see suspension and expulsion as downright perverse … The best chance of reducing violence, and also improving the overall academic achievement and environment of schools, rests in rejecting punitive school discipline and replacing it with supportive systems.”
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U.S. Income Inequality Hits A Disturbing New Threshold


“U.S. wage growth remains slow and uneven, with African-Americans and women still at a clear disadvantage … Wages for African-Americans declined in most wage brackets, while women with graduate degrees made less money than men with only college degrees … ‘You do see college wages rising faster than high school wages, but that differential is not nearly large enough to explain rising wage inequality in the economy today … You can’t educate yourself out of gender or racial wage gaps.’”
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Most Schools Funded Far Below What’s Needed To Achieve Average Outcomes

Education Law Center

“Most U.S. states fund their public schools at a level far below what is necessary for students in high-poverty districts to achieve at even average levels in English and math … In numerous states … only the lowest-poverty districts have sufficient funding to reach national average student achievement outcomes … Only a few states … have higher levels of funding across all districts and have near-average outcomes, even in the highest-poverty districts.
The cost of achieving national average outcomes in very high-poverty districts is three times higher – or $20,000 to $30,000 per pupil – than in low-poverty districts … There is wide variation in spending and student achievement outcomes, with strong performance in a few high-investment states and in low-poverty districts … ‘Some states need to increase school funding across the board …. Others need to target increases to higher-poverty districts. And the federal government should find new avenues to support states with comparatively less ability to boost school funding.'”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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