Education Opportunity Network

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7/5/2018 – After An ‘Educator Spring,’ Teachers Storm Elections

THIS WEEK: Educator Spring … Trump Hates Affirmative Action … Robo-Grading Writing? … Southerners Support Edu Spending … Schools Have Changed


After An ‘Educator Spring,’ Teachers Storm Elections

By Jeff Bryant

“As an outcome of the wave of teacher walkouts and protests that swept through West Virginia, Oklahoma, and elsewhere – a chain of events increasingly referred to as an “Educator Spring” – “angry educators are flooding down-ballot races,” Politico reports … By taking their cause to the streets and then to the ballot box, teachers have made education a top election issue – not just in states, like North Carolina, where walkouts occurred – but also in states, like Florida, where they didn’t. It’s an electoral phenomenon that is little understood, much less reported on..”
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‘Educator Spring’ Spawns Wave Of Teacher Candidates


“Angry educators are flooding down-ballot races in the wake of recent red-state teacher strikes, accelerating the Democratic Party’s rebuilding process at the statehouse level and raising the prospect of legislative gains after years of decline … The teacher candidacies suggest that the wave of teacher strikes and protests that began last winter in West Virginia and later spread to Oklahoma, Arizona, and elsewhere created a grass-roots political opportunity … The teacher candidates are hoping to unseat conservative majorities that have dominated state legislatures since the Obama years … There are some early signs of success, and not just among Democrats. ”
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What Trump’s Plan To Ignore Race In School Admissions Actually Means For Students

Mother Jones

“The Education and Justice departments pulled seven Obama-era guidances that laid out how schools could voluntarily promote diversity through admissions and school assignment. In addition to those guidances, the Justice Department pulled 17 other policy directives it deemed ‘unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper’ … ‘To remove the guidances now can only be described as a political attack on efforts to bring communities together and as a policy of separation and division.'”
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More States Opting To ‘Robo-Grade’ Student Essays By Computer


“Computers are scoring long form answers … Developers of so-called ‘robo-graders’ … insist, with computers already doing jobs as complicated and as fraught as driving cars, detecting cancer, and carrying on conversations, they can certainly handle grading students’ essays … Several states including Utah and Ohio already use automated grading on their standardized tests … Longtime-critic of automated scoring, Les Perelman … designed what you might think of as robo-graders’ kryptonite, to expose what he sees as the weakness and absurdity of automated scoring … Because computers can only count, and cannot actually understand meaning, he says, facts are irrelevant to the algorithm … Students … will quickly learn they can fool the algorithm by using lots of big words, complex sentences, and some key phrases.”
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Poll Finds Southern Voters Want More Education Spending

The Hechinger Report

“The majority of voters in 12 Southern states … said states need to adjust funding to improve outcomes in these states … 74% of voters … said there are differences in the quality of education across the South, and 85% of voters said states need to take action to remedy that. According to 84% of voters, the remedy should involve changing school funding formulas to close the achievement gap between wealthy and low-income communities … The majority of the voters polled supported state and local tax increases … Even more voters said their state should ‘shift resources from other areas into education.’ Improving K-12 schools and higher education was a top concern for voters, after the economy and jobs.”
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Century-Old Decisions That Impact Children Every Day


“One of the most contentious issues in education today is how much our schools have, or haven’t, kept up with the times … Everything from the dimensions of a room to the height and placement of windows can make certain kinds of learning easier or harder … That standardization, and the image of American schools … is a drum often beaten by critics … The tale … leaves out an entire epoch of school buildings, inspired by the progressivism of John Dewey … These schools were part of a movement to give more autonomy to children.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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