Education Opportunity Network

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9/25/2014 – Democrats Can Win With A Public Education Agenda

THIS WEEK: Homeless Students At Record High … Right Way To Look At Ed Tech … Solar Powered Schools … Business School Fund-Raisers Bomb … Colleges Prefer Rich Kids


Democrats Can Win With A Public Education Agenda – By Fighting To Fund It

By Jeff Bryant

“Both anecdotal information and empirical data drawn from surveys confirm that voters don’t just value public education; they want candidates who will support classroom teachers and oppose funding cuts to public schools. The evidence is strong that Democrats can make support for public education a winning issue – if they’re willing to take the advice.”
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Number Of Homeless Students Reaches All-Time High

U.S. News & World Report

“There are more homeless students in the nation than ever before, and many are living completely on their own, without parents or guardians … During the 2012-13 school year, 1,258,182 students enrolled in public school across the country were homeless … an 8% increase from the previous school year, and more than an 85% increase from the 2006-07 school year … The number of homeless children is likely under-reported … 81% of homeless youths are essentially invisible under the current guidelines … Studies show homelessness contributes to a range of other problems facing students, including physical and psychological problems, safety fears and academic struggles. Because homeless children move frequently, they’re more likely to miss school and have lower test scores.”
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You Are Asking The Wrong Questions About Education Technology


Contributing op-ed writer Jordan Shapiro says, “Hardly a day goes by that I don’t read an article or have a conversation in which someone makes the familiar argument that ‘education is the one industry that hasn’t embraced the technologies of the 21st Century’ … The very notion of education as an industry is problematic. School is about transmitting values and principles from one generation to the next, not skillfully organizing labor toward productivity … For industry, however, applicability is always prioritized over ideology. Thus, running schools according to the wisdom of the business world is precisely the thought paradigm which led to the high stakes testing procedures that currently plague the United States … We’ve chosen the wrong perspective … We need to make sure that these tools are also aligned with learning outcomes which prioritize human dignity rather than haste, consumption, and algorithmic metrics.”
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Putting Solar Panels On School Roofs Could Dramatically Increase America’s Solar Capacity

Think Progress

“If schools took advantage of their full potential for solar, they would add 5.4 gigawatts to the country’s solar capacity … That would be enough to power roughly one million homes, and a carbon emissions reduction equivalent to taking around one million passenger vehicles off the road … The electricity generated by the 3,727 school solar systems already in place adds up to $77.8 million in utility bills per year, freeing up enough money to pay 2,200 new teachers a starting annual salary of $35,672 … 450 individual school districts who currently lack solar could save themselves $1,000,000 each over a 30-year period by installing a solar system … Solar systems could provide teachers with an opportunity to give their students a hands-on educational experience in science, technology, engineering, and related subjects.”
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Schools’ Activities to Raise Money With Businesses Don’t Pay, Researchers Say

Education Week

“School districts that boost their coffers by entering into money-making agreements with companies rarely gain much in return … [The] impact is marginal, and the cost of administering and maintaining such contracts is seldom factored into the equation … Looking for alternate sources to raise revenues and to provide tax relief … the numbers don’t add up … The efforts might not be worth the potential down side, which includes exposing children as a ‘captive audience’ to the commercial messages, and promoting unhealthy products.”
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Colleges Let Taxpayers Help Poor Students While They Go After Rich, Report Says

The Hechinger Report

“Universities and colleges are shifting their financial aid from low-income students to high-income ones to bolster their prestige and raise them up the rankings … Universities are leaving their poorest families to vie for a piece of billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded Pell Grants … Because of this, the federal government continues to spend more and more on Pell grants … The proportion of private, nonprofit universities and colleges that now charge the poorest families $15,000 or more in tuition and fees – even after financial aid and discounts are accounted for – is rising sharply. That means the neediest students are paying an amount that equals at least half of their families’ annual incomes … The trend is not confined to private institutions. Forty percent of public universities and colleges also now charge $10,000 or more a year to students from families in the $30,000-or-less income bracket.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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