Education Opportunity Network

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8/27/2015 – People Don’t Like Current Education Policies, So Why Do Policy Leaders?

THIS WEEK: People Hate Education Reform … New Orleans Miracle Is A Myth … No Quick Progress From Common Core … Don’t Let States Take Over Schools … Rep Mark Takano Talks Education


People Don’t Like Current Education Policies, So Why Do Policy Leaders?

By Jeff Bryant

“The big annual poll on how Americans view public schools and education policy is out, and people who are eager to don the mantle of ‘education reform’ might want to rethink their wardrobe … What is particularly jarring about the findings of this year’s PDK-Gallup poll is how much those results contrast to the pronouncements of current policy leaders from the Democratic Party and Republicans who are vying for their party’s presidential nomination. Recent policy pronouncements in the halls of Congress and from political speeches betray a staunch adherence to education policies that are completely not in favor, or are becoming less favorable, among the populace.”
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Poll: Most Americans Oppose Key Tenets Of Modern School Reform

The Washington Post

“The 47th annual PDK-Gallup poll, the longest continuously running survey of American attitudes toward public education … finds that a majority of Americans, as well as a majority of American public school parents, object to some of the key tenets of modern school reform … 64% say there is too much emphasis on standardized testing (7 percent say there isn’t enough) … Most Americans have an issue with evaluating teachers with student standardized test scores… About 80% of Americans said that student engagement with classwork and a high level of hope for the future are very important for measuring the effectiveness of public schools … Fewer rated the percentage of graduates attending college and getting a job right after high school as very important. Testing came in last as a measure of effectiveness.”
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The Myth Of The New Orleans School Makeover

The New York Times

“At a time when states and municipalities nationwide are looking to New Orleans, the first virtually all-charter urban district, as a model, it is more important than ever to accurately assess the results … Stark problems remain … Principals engage in widespread ‘creaming’ – selecting, or counseling out, students … No agency is responsible for keeping track of all kids … Louisiana’s official dropout rates are unreliable … A new report … found that over 26,000 people in the metropolitan area between the ages of 16 and 24 are counted as ‘disconnected,’ because they are neither working nor in school … Adding to the difficulty … Louisiana education data has been doled out selectively, mostly to pro-charter researchers, and much of the research has been flawed.”
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Lessons From New York: Don’t Expect Fast Change Under Common Core

The Hechinger Report

“As frustration about Common Core has mounted across the country, New York’s experience suggests that it might be many years before there is evidence of success under the new standards and it’s not clear if parents and educators whose patience has been tested are willing to wait that long … Scores have not improved much in the three years … The gulf between black and Latino students and their [white and Asian] peers has widened … These results buck the conventional wisdom that as teachers and students get more comfortable with a test, scores increase.”
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State Takeover Of Schools Harms Black, Latino Communities, Report Contends

Education Week

“A new report … traces the history of what the group calls ‘market-based intervention and reform,’ from the state takeover of three New Jersey school districts in the late 1980s and mid-1990s to the present-day push to allow state-run schools in Georgia. The authors contend that the growing number of state takeovers and achievement districts has increased segregation, dismantled community schools, and undermined the financial stability of the affected school districts … None of the current takeovers affect majority white school districts … 97% of the students in the currently operating state-run districts are black or Latino … The … report also criticizes the charter school industry, claiming that it has spearheaded the growth of state achievement districts by promoting charters as the solution to poor student performance.”
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Right On Banks, Wrong On Schools: “No Child Left Behind Wasn’t Designed For The Types Of Realities In My School”


Jeff Bryant interviews Democratic Representative Mark Takano who says, “I am surprised to the extent to which my own party has members who are true believers in the education reform movement, who take on the mantle of reformer … Where we’re not united is this issue of accountability … That accountability said if your students didn’t meet certain targets on standardized tests, you had to take a number of harsh measures or lose your federal funding. So we had this list of accountabilities that were really punishments … Effective education doesn’t work that way. Effective education is building relationships with students. It’s about teachers strategizing on how to engage students … Test-driven accountability is like constantly pulling the plant out to see if the roots are growing … If you liken education to bean counting, that’s not going to work.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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