Education Opportunity Network

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7/2/2015 – Making It Work For American Families

THIS WEEK: Media Neglect Education News … Texas Schools Leader Homeschooled … Colorado Vouchers Nixed … Teachers Lack Common Core Materials … Teacher Protests Go Worldwide

TOP STORY

Can The 2016 Election Be About Making It Work For American Families?

By Jeff Bryant

Elaine Weiss of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education writes, “The United States has spent the past few decades gradually becoming the least family- and child-friendly nation in the Western world … This election must be about changing that reality and giving our children and their families a real future … These ingredients – a strong early start for children, sensitive and well-targeted supports for struggling parents, and new hope, with reason to believe in it – are key to reviving the middle class that is the basis for a thriving democracy.”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

Report: Education Media Coverage More About Sports Than Policy

Education News

“According to a recent report … almost 7% of all regional news coverage was found to pertain to education in comparison to the 2.3% of national news stories that was found to cover education … Almost 25% of all K-12 news stories focused on school sports, local school events, or education funding, with 13.6% of all education coverage involving sports – almost twice as high as any other topic. Special events, including open houses and field trips, came in second with 5% of all reporting … Stories pertaining to education policy were found to be on the decline. All policy-related reporting done by local, regional and state news sources was found to account for just 7.5% of all education news. Policy topics that saw an increase in coverage in 2014 included education standards, school safety, and school choice.”
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Picks Homeschooler To Chair State Board of Education

Raw Story

“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott … announced that he was appointing Houston Republican Donna Bahorich, a former communications director for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to chair the Board of Education. According to Texas Public Radio, Bahorich homeschooled her own sons before sending them to a private high school. The Texas Freedom Network, a watchdog group, warned that Bahorich would ‘put culture war agendas ahead of educating more than 5 million Texas kids’ … Even Republican State Board member Thomas Ratliff called the move a mistake. ‘Public school isn’t for everybody, but when 94% of our students in Texas attend public schools I think it ought to be a baseline requirement that the chair of the State Board of Education have at least some experience in that realm.'”
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Colorado Court Rules Use of Public Funds for Private Schools Is Unconstitutional

The New York Times

“Colorado’s highest court … struck down a voucher program that allowed parents in a conservative suburban school district to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to private schools. The split decision … was a blow to conservative education advocates and those who want to redefine public education to funnel tax dollars directly to families who then choose the type of schooling they want for their children … The court’s decision will also stop other school districts around Colorado from pursuing similar voucher programs … Many states are moving forward with programs that allow families to apply public money toward private school tuition.”
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Years Into Common Core, Teachers Lament Lack of Materials

Associated Press via ABC News

“Five years into the implementation of Common Core, standards meant to steer students from rote memorization toward critical thinking, 45% of school districts reported ‘major problems’ finding good aligned textbooks, and another 45% reported ‘minor problems’ … Publishing industry executives said some education publishers produced materials more quickly than others, but other factors have been at play. Most significant are the shift to digital learning and the lingering effects of the recession, which left many school districts without money to replace textbooks published before the new standards took hold … Even some textbooks that say they are Common Core-aligned aren’t necessarily so, analyses have shown.”
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When Teachers Protest

The Atlantic

“In an effort to voice their frustration, conquer injustice, or show how integral they are to the social fabric, teachers often resort to protest … Educators around the world have taken to the streets to speak out against issues such as failing schools and subpar working conditions. The discontent seems to be particularly intense in certain countries and regions – throughout Latin America, for example – and sometimes these are the same areas where teachers’ status in society is notably low … Although better wages are the common thread throughout most of the demonstrations … most of the world’s teacher protests probably amount to something much deeper than a call for fair pay. They’re a desperate effort to salvage education when it feels like the government is abandoning it.”
Read more …

Category: EON Newsletters
  • Niki Hayes says:

    I wanted to read more on the story about the TX School Board’s new president, especially since “Republican Thomas Ratliff” was quoted with concerns about her appointment. Ratliff is a paid lobbyist for Microsoft, an illegal action as a board member, so he doesn’t carry much weight in criticizing anyone else at this point. Second, when I read the posted comments, I was stunned by the name-calling and immature remarks by the readers. If those are the readers of that media outlet, I don’t have time to wade through such silliness or to click on their site again.

    I accept your political philosophy is different from mine, but I can always learn something from those with whom I disagree. However, I won’t keep bringing a toxic environment into my little world, if I can prevent it. I can prevent it by unsubscribing to your website now.

    July 2, 2015 at 4:08 pm
    • Jeff Bryant says:

      Niki, thanks for your comment. I posted the article because I thought it was important for my readers to see what is happening in a big state like Texas where policy is being led by people who have no knowledge of public schools. I never intended for people to see it as my somehow endorsing the appointment. I know you’ve been a reader and commenter on this blog for some time. So I hope you choose not to leave.

      July 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm

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