Education Opportunity Network

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5/7/2014 – Charter Schools Fail

THIS WEEK: US Teachers Lack Diversity … Scary Common Core Cut Scores… Common Core vs. Real Issues … Funding For Higher Ed Not Recovering … Young Workers Face Tough Climb

TOP STORY

Charter Schools Fail: New Reports Call Their ‘Magic’ Into Question

By Jeff Bryant

“In today’s climate of trumped up political truisms … the supposed necessity of charter schools is just the latest one to hit The Hill … But upsetting the ad campaign are a number of recent revelations showing that among ‘what is possible’ from charter schools is a lot of bad education, ridiculous hype, wasted resources, and widespread corruption.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

U.S. Teachers Less Diverse Than Their Students

Aljazeera America

“While almost half the students attending public schools in the United States are minorities, fewer than 20 percent of their teachers are nonwhite, demonstrating the gap that exists between educators and students across the country … There were about 3.3 million teachers in American public elementary and secondary schools in 2012 … 8% were Hispanic, 7% were black and about 2% were Asian. Students are a different story … 48% of the students in public schools are nonwhite – 23% Hispanic, 16% black and 5% Asian – and that percentage is expected to continue to increase. ‘We project that this fall, for the first time in American history, the majority of public school students in America will be nonwhite,’ Education Secretary Arne Duncan said … It will take political will to change those numbers, advocates say.”
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The Scary Way Common Core Test ‘Cut Scores’ Are Selected

The Washington Post

Award-winning Long Island, NY principal Carol Burris writes, “Common Core tests’ cut scores – which classify and sort students by test performance … sometimes designed to produce high rates of failure, create an urgency that undermines local control and forcefully imposes unproven reforms across states and the nation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in New York State … The College Board was asked to correlate SAT scores with college grades to create probabilities of college success … Keep in mind that research shows that the SAT’s predictive power is only 22%. High school grades are a far better predictor of college success … By picking different SAT or ACT ‘benchmark’ scores, states can raise and lower the percentage of kids you want to pass … There is no objective science by which we can predict future college readiness using grades 3-8 test scores. You can, at best make assumptions, based on correlations, with score thresholds that are capricious. To make college readiness predictions for 8-year-olds is absurd and unkind.”
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Debate Over ‘Common Core’ Distracts From The Real Issues

NC Policy Watch

“From a purely political perspective, the current debate between the right and the far right over the public education initiative known as the ‘Common Core’ is morbidly fascinating … The strange thing about the growing hubbub is that the parties have chosen this subject about which to fight … The central message of many Common Core proponents – that higher standards are all we need (and that the U.S. can dramatically lift student learning and performance by simply commanding it) – is simply not true. While high standards are great as far as they go, what ultimately lifts student performance are the same, good old tactics that have always worked … The problem, of course, is that all of these traditional tactics cost money – lots more than the corporatists or, Lord knows, the tea partiers are willing to spend … For some percentage of children, broad-based higher standards will probably help. By the same token, however, it’s also important not to kid ourselves. For the vast majority of children not currently achieving at desired levels, it will take lots more than just tougher standards to lift them up.”
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States Are Still Funding Higher Education Below Pre-Recession Levels

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities

A new report finds, “In almost all states – including those that are have boosted their support – higher education funding remains well below pre-recession levels. The large funding cuts have led to both steep tuition increases and spending cuts that may diminish the quality of education available to students … 48 states – all except Alaska and North Dakota – are spending less per student than they did before the recession … The average state is spending $2,026 or 23% less per student … Just as states have an opportunity to reinvest, lawmakers in many states are jeopardizing it by entertaining tax cuts their states and citizens can ill-afford … Considerable evidence suggests that many public colleges and universities have constrained spending to make up for lost state funding, often in ways that reduce the quality and availability of their academic offerings … The reduced college access and graduation rates that research suggests are likely to result from budget cuts affect more than just the students, because college attainment has grown increasingly important to long-term economic outcomes for states and the nation.”
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Young Workers Face Tough Climb Out of ‘Great Recession,’ Analysis Says

Education Week

“The nation’s slow recovery from the ‘Great Recession’ has been especially difficult for young workers, with many of those under age 25 remaining ‘idled’ – out of work and out of college … There are few signs that young adults have been able to find ‘shelter in school’ from the job losses and other negative economic effects of the recession… There are about 1 million ‘missing’ young workers – defined as those under age 25 – in today’s economy – those who are not employed and not actively seeking work meaning they’re not counted in the unemployment rate … Several policies could improve the economic prospects for young workers. Those steps include re-establishing public-sector jobs cut during the recession; work-sharing, which they say would encourage employers to keep more workers on the payroll; and allowing early entry into Social Security and Medicare for older workers wanting to retire early.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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