Education Opportunity Network

Education Opportunity Network -

9/22/2016 – Solutions To A Teacher Shortage Crisis Even Republicans Will Like

THIS WEEK: U.S. Way Behind On Pre-K … Spending On Higher-Ed Falls … Another Wall St. Rip-Off … Student Debt Relief … Charter Moratorium

TOP STORY

Solutions To The Emerging Teacher Shortage Crisis Even Republicans Will Like

By Jeff Bryant

“A new report is making big headlines for showing that public schools across the nation are experiencing severe problems with teacher shortages that are apt to develop into a ‘crisis’ if left unaddressed … The report offers three broad recommendations to address shortages through policy changes related to teacher compensation, distribution and, retention … Only the fourth and final recommendation, to develop a national teacher supply market, would need to be carried out at the federal level.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

On Early Ed, The U.S. Is Light Years Behind Other Industrialized Countries

U.S. News & World Report

“Out of 36 countries, the U.S. ranked 29 in enrollment rates for its 3- and 4-year-olds … 42% of 3-year-olds and 68% of 4-year-olds enrolled in early childhood or preschool programs in 2014 – far below the OECD average of 71% of 3-year-olds and 86% of 4-year-olds … The figures for the U.S. are nearly unchanged since 2005 … Affordable early childhood care has ballooned as a campaign issue recently as it’s become more and more expensive and as research builds regarding how impactful it can be in ensuring kids don’t fall behind.”
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As Economy Rebounds, State Funding For Higher Education Isn’t Bouncing Back

The Hechinger Report

“Higher ed funding remains stubbornly down since the beginning of the recession. Unlike after previous economic downturns, state spending on higher education has not bounced back as the economy rebounds. And in some states, a bigger and bigger share of what they do spend on public universities and colleges is going to such things as employee pensions, not instruction … More than seven years after … the end of the recession, states on average are spending 18% less per student on public higher education than they did in 2008 … This has helped push up by 33% the average annual published tuition at four-year colleges and universities.”
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Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success

Counterpunch

“Investment banks … have been aggressively promoting Pay for Success (also known as Social Impact Bonds) as a solution to intractable financial and political problems facing public education and other public services … By 2020, market size for impact investing will reach between $400 billion to $1 trillion … Pay for Success does not solve the historical failure to adequately fund public education or other social services … Because it costs more, Social Impact investing raises this debt burden while delaying it, thereby destabilizing the public system further. In this sense, Pay for Success is an elaborate form of public relations that makes a failure to address a public problem look like innovative action.”
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Soaring Student Debt Prompts Calls For Relief

The Wall Street Journal

“A tripling of student debt over the past decade to more than $1.3 trillion has unleashed a torrent of Washington lobbying from outside the education sector … Many industries argue that freeing up student debt, even for well-paid workers, would help the economy … The proposal with the most traction would allow employers to contribute up to $5,250 a year toward an employee’s student debt without it being taxed.
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Why The NAACP Moratorium On Charters Really Matters To Our Public Schools

The Huffington Post

Historian and university professor Yohuru Williams writes, “Advocates of charters attempt to dress up support for these schools as a matter of choice and thus consistent with the democratizing impulse … But they do so as part of an attempt to dismantle a well-funded and equitable system of public education open to all, which the NAACP fought hard to ensure … The Civil Rights Movement was about inclusivity, while those who appropriate its language to buttress corporate education reform do so largely in support of programs that promote exclusivity at the public’s expense.”
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9/15/2016 – Is Donald Trump The Charter School Industry’s Worst Nightmare?

THIS WEEK: Teacher Shortage Crisis … Wealth Gap In Schools … Limits On School Cops … Is Literacy A Right? … School Choice Guidance Needed

TOP STORY

Is Donald Trump The Charter School Industry’s Worst Nightmare?

By Jeff Bryant

“In unveiling his education plan, the Republican candidate proposed a $20 billion federal block grant to allow states to give vouchers to low-income students to attend whatever school they want. The proposal is the most full-throated support for school choice ever issued by a presidential candidate in a general election campaign. It’s also an ill conceived, grandiose, and politically polarizing gesture that many charter school proponents feared most.”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

America Has A Teacher Shortage, And A New Study Says It’s Getting Worse

The Washington Post

“The U.S. is facing its first major teacher shortage since the 1990s … According to a new study … the shortfall is a result of increased demand for teachers as schools reinstate classes and programs axed during the Great Recession. It has been compounded by a dramatic decrease in the supply of new teachers entering the profession. Enrollment in teacher-preparation programs dropped … 35% … ‘U.S. classrooms were short approximately 60,000 teachers last year … Annual teacher shortages could increase to over 100,000 teachers by 2018 … Teacher attrition … remains high and is the single-biggest contributor to the shortage.”
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In Connecticut, A Wealth Gap Divides Neighboring Schools

The New York Times

“In Fairfield, a mostly white suburb where the median income is $120,000, 94% of students graduate from high school on time. In Bridgeport, the state’s most populous and one of its poorest cities, the graduation rate is 63% … Seemingly intractable contrasts like those last week led Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher to tell the state that it had 180 days in which to rethink almost its entire system of education … Across the country, school funding cases have often resulted in more money being funneled into poorer districts to help offset the effects of poverty on their students. That may well be the end result in Connecticut.”
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Obama Administration Pushes To Limit Police in Schools

U.S. News & World Report

“The Obama administration is pushing school districts to ensure that school discipline is being handled by trained educators, not by law enforcement officers … At any one time there are about 400 to 500 federally funded school resource officers nationwide. That’s out of the approximately 17,000 in place in schools around the country, or between 2 and 3% … The goal is to ensure that anyone who is in charge of discipline has the proper training, limits suspensions and expulsions and creates a more trusting environment between students and administrators.”
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Lawsuit Accuses Michigan Of Violating Detroit Students’ Rights

Reuters

“A lawsuit filed on behalf of seven Detroit students on Tuesday accuses state officials of allowing high rates of illiteracy at several poorly functioning schools in the city, arguing it is a violation of the children’s constitutional rights … [It’s] the first federal case to argue that American children have a right to literacy under the U.S. Constitution. If the case is successful, it could result in court-mandated changes at some Detroit schools and encourage similar lawsuits in other parts of the country … The lawsuit, which seeks court approval to represent all students at the five schools in question, argued students had been denied their right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
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Federal Report: Schools Need Clarity On Choice And Funding Issues

Education Week

“Officials often struggle to determine if students participating in school choice programs like vouchers and education savings accounts [ESAs] are receiving the ‘equitable services’ they are entitled to under federal law … The U.S. Department of Education has not provided guidance to states and districts on this issue … A majority of the vouchers and ESA programs have placed new requirements on participating private schools, such as entry-level requirements for teachers … Officials … in 4 states with such choice programs (Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin) said those programs complicate their ability to provide required educational services to private school students.”
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9/8/2016 – Who Gains Most From School Choice?

THIS WEEK: Black Teachers Matter … Making Teachers Moonlight … Teacher Shortages Acute … How Charters End Afrocentric Education … How Charters Change Democrats

TOP STORY

Who Gains Most From School Choice? Not Low-Income Students Of Color

By Jeff Bryant

“No doubt school choice will benefit some parents – just as any market-based system has some winners and some losers. But who really stands to gain most from choice and why? … To get a broad view on how the policy actually is working for parents, I talked with a school choice consultant.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Black Teachers Matter

Mother Jones

“Across the country, scores of schools have been closed, radically restructured, or replaced by charter schools. And in the process, the face of the teaching workforce has changed. In one of the most far-reaching consequences of the past decade’s wave of education reform, the nation has lost tens of thousands of experienced black teachers and principals … Many of these departures came as part of mass layoffs and closings in schools with low test scores, a policy promoted with federal and state dollars since 2002 … 26,000 African American teachers have disappeared from the nation’s public schools … All in the name of raising achievement among black students.”
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Teachers Are Working For Uber Just to Keep A Foothold In The Middle Class

The Nation

“Uber has promoted its teacher/driver initiative as an act of civic altruism … Yet … there’s a far more troubling reality … Teachers working in increasingly expensive locales … are forced into the lowest echelons of the gig economy … For Uber, the struggles of these economically challenged teachers represent a dual opportunity: a marketing coup as well as a ready labor force … Uber is hardly the first company to exploit the financial vulnerability of teachers – and the desperation of public schools more broadly – to score PR points.”
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Kids Going Back To School Won’t Be Greeted By Enough Teachers

Fast Company

“Wisconsin has struggled to attract new teachers after killing collective bargaining laws. New York’s Board of Regents chancellor characterized the state’s teacher shortage as ‘severe’ … Maine is facing the worst shortage of special ed teachers it can remember. To deal with teacher shortages, states like Kansas and Michigan have voted to lower licensing requirements … Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois too. Some states and schools are considering ‘virtual’ classrooms or staffing … It’s clear that governments need to do something to make teaching a desirable profession once again.”
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The Afrocentric Education Crisis

American Prospect

“While the rise of charter schools may once have seemed a blessing to champions of Afrocentric education, it has brought with it a host of problems … Charters’ emphasis on standardized testing has jeopardized the standing and existence of numerous Afrocentric schools … Low-test scores have led to the closure of many Afrocentric charter schools … As many Afrocentric charter schools have closed down, other charter operators have begun to adopt some of their rhetoric in order to justify their own overwhelmingly black and brown student compositions … Large charter networks are ‘fooling the community with their rhetoric’ A school shouldn’t be considered ‘culturally specific’ merely because it creates a space for black students to learn together.
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How The Charter School Lobby Is Changing The Democratic Party

Los Angeles Times

Harold Meyerson writes, “At a time when Democrats and their party are, by virtually every index, moving left, a powerful center-right pressure group within the liberal universe has nonetheless sprung up … the charter school lobby … Charter advocates don’t need to win the high-visibility offices to prevail. By spending sufficiently to shift the composition of Democratic caucuses in legislatures, city councils, or school boards to the right … they can also impede unrelated progressive initiatives for greater environmental protections and worker rights … By making Democratic elected officials even more dependent on the mega-donations of the 1%, they make campaign finance reform all the harder to win.”
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9/1/2016 – New Poll Finds Public Differs Sharply With Education Policies

THIS WEEK: Charters Are Not Public … Bounty Put On John Oliver … The Most Segregated Schools … School Spankings Widespread … Progress On Education Inequality

TOP STORY

New Poll Finds Public Differs Sharply With Education Policies Emphasizing School Closures And Fiscal Austerity

By Jeff Bryant

“The new poll … has some startling findings that reveal how out of whack current education policy is from the prevailing opinions in the public. On topics that have been points of emphasis in the current education policy agenda, you’ll find public opinion that is sometimes starkly opposed or at least deeply divided or uncertain. On issues that seem especially important to Americans, you’ll notice either silence or indecision from policy leaders.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

National Labor Relations Board Decides Charter Schools Are Private Corporations, Not Public Schools

The Washington Post

“As far as federal labor law is concerned … charter schools are not public schools but private corporations … Charters … supplant public schools, which are run by elected officials, with nonprofit and for-profit corporations that are run by unelected boards that are unaccountable to voters … Charter schools are still new … and courts and regulatory agencies are still wrestling with whether, and when, they should be considered private or public institutions … Charter advocates use those gray areas to their advantage..”
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A $100,000 Prize To Charter School That Best Counters Comic John Oliver’s Attack

Atlanta Journal & Constitution

“Comic John Oliver’s blistering monologue about charter schools that rip off students and taxpayers continues to rankle advocates of the popular education model … Now, it has inspired a contest for the best video rebuttal to the comic’s rant … ‘The Center for Education Reform … has launched a contest offering $100,000 to the charter school that produces the best video showing the value of charter schools to students, teachers and communities.’”
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The Most Segregating School-District Borders In America

The Atlantic

“A new report … ranked the country’s top 50 segregating school-district borders. More than 60% of these borders are in Rust Belt cities in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Wisconsin, and Illinois, which have suffered from patterns of disinvestment similar to those in Detroit … Research shows that students coming from profound disadvantage need even more resources from schools than their wealthier peers to achieve equal outcomes … In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court heard … ruled that integration efforts were only permissible within school districts, not between them. That helped turn district borders across the U.S. into unbreakable … economic divides between school systems … a pattern encouraged by the property-tax-based school finance system.”
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Corporal Punishment Use Found In Schools in 21 States

Education Week

“More than 109,000 students were paddled, swatted, or otherwise physically punished in U.S. classrooms in 2013-14 … Corporal punishment stands out for the virtual nonexistence of training or detailed procedures on how to paddle children … The practice can leave students more vulnerable to injury and districts at greater risk of expensive lawsuits … Nationwide, students eligible for school meal programs – a proxy for low-income status – were more likely to attend schools that use corporal punishment than students who don’t qualify.”
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The Good News About Educational Inequality

The New York Times

“The enormous gap in academic performance between high- and low-income children has begun to narrow. Children entering kindergarten today are more equally prepared than they were in the late 1990s … The gap in school readiness narrowed because of relatively rapid improvements in the skills of low-income children, not because the skills of children from high-income families declined … It is unlikely, however, that preschool enrollment is the primary explanation. Although more poor children today attend preschool than in the 1990s … We suspect that in part this happened because of the widespread diffusion of a single powerful idea: that the first few years of a child’s life are the most consequential for cognitive development.
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8/25/2016 – John Oliver Slams Charter Schools And His Critics Totally Miss The Point

THIS WEEK: How Schools Ruin Testing … Teachers Win Tenure Case … Head Start Works … Threats To Schools Increase … Secret Procharter Money

TOP STORY

John Oliver Slams Charter Schools And His Critics Totally Miss The Point

By Jeff Bryant

“British comedian John Oliver devoted a ‘Back to School’ segment on his HBO program Last Week Tonight to examining the rapidly growing charter school industry and what these schools are doing with our tax dollars … None of Oliver’s critics seriously refuted the crux of his argument that there might be something fundamentally wrong by design, rather than by implementation or intent, with the idea that a ‘free market’ of privately operated and essentially unregulated schools is a surefire way to improve education opportunities for all students.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

How Schools That Obsess About Standardized Tests Ruin Them As Measures Of Success

Vox

“A look at the data combined with some basic principles of social science suggests that the practices of no-excuses charters are undermining the very foundation of data-based education reform … A test that overshadows the ultimate outcomes it is intended to measure turns into an invalid test … Many charter schools, under pressure to deliver unrealistic gains in test scores, are contorting themselves to get the numbers they’ve promised. They’re being rewarded for doing so.”
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In A Major Win For Teachers Unions, California Supreme Court Lets Teacher Tenure Ruling Stand

Los Angeles Times

“A landmark California case challenging tenure and other traditional job protections for teachers … let stand an appeals court ruling that preserved an array of employment rights … The assault on these protections is part of a broader approach to reforming education that would make schools more like the private sector, which relies on competition, measurable results and performance incentives … The Legislature remains the most logical place to determine such employment rules, some advocates on both sides said.”
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Research On Tulsa’s Head Start Program Finds Lasting Gains

NPR

“Children who attended Head Start had higher test scores on state math tests [by eighth grade]. They were less likely to be retained and less likely to display chronic absenteeism. These are highly consequential outcomes that we know are predictive of high school graduation, college enrollment, even earnings … The Head Start model, with its strong family support component and comprehensive services for children, can give children a strong pathway through school and hopefully out of poverty in their adult lives.”
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When Schools Are Threatened, Untold Learning Time Is Lost

Associated Press

“Violent or disruptive threats are increasing nationwide … blamed sometimes on local students and sometimes on outsiders … cause disruptions or a big emergency response … There’s no formal accounting of the collective costs … but the learning time lost to evacuations and cancellations adds up … The number of school bomb threats the last academic year alone, based on media reports, was at least 1,267, roughly twice as many as in 2012-13.”
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Donors Behind Charter Push Keep To The Shadows

Boston Globe

“A new $2.3 million ad boosting the expansion of charter schools in Massachusetts lists the campaign’s top five donors on screen … Four of the five donors to the procharter committee are nonprofit groups that do not, under state law, have to disclose their funders … The cloak of secrecy surrounding the financing of what could be the most expensive ballot campaign in state history has frustrated election officials and underscored the proliferation of untraceable money in political races across the country … The ballot campaign known as Question 2 – which would allow for the creation or expansion of up to 12 charter schools per year in low-performing districts.
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8/18/2016 – What Back-To-School Shopping Lists Reveal About Underfunded Schools

THIS WEEK: Cops In Schools … LGBT Students Traumatized … Caution On EdTech … Wrong About Test Scores … Inside A ‘No Excuses’ Charter

TOP STORY

What Your Back-To-School Shopping List Reveals About Our Underfunded Schools

By Jeff Bryant

“Back to school supply lists are likely longer than ever before due to the simple reason that schools increasingly don’t have the funds to pay for items on the list … But the lack of funding for basic school supplies is just the most obvious sign of America’s growing crisis in education funding … The whole fiasco makes you wonder what the endpoint is.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Bullied By The Badge?

The Hechinger Report

“Since the 1990s, at least 11 states have enacted legislation that funnels state funds into school policing programs … By 2014, 30 percent of public schools had school resource officers, or SROs … Officers inside schools have a significant impact on whether students interact with the criminal justice system … Students who interact with the criminal justice system are more likely to drop out of high school, become involved with the system again and have higher unemployment rates than students who have not been arrested.”
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Gay And Lesbian High School Students Report ‘Heartbreaking’ Levels Of Violence

The New York Times

“About 8% of the high school population described themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, which would be about 1.3 million students. These adolescents were three times more likely than straight students to have been raped. They skipped school far more often because they did not feel safe; at least a third had been bullied on school property. And they were twice as likely as heterosexual students to have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. More than 40% of these students reported that they had seriously considered suicide, and 29% had made attempts to do so.”
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Caution Flags For Tech In Classrooms

NPR

“Both blended learning and online … show results ranging from mixed to negative … Even as computers become ubiquitous in classrooms, there’s a lot we still don’t know – or at least that we’re not doing to make them effective tools for learning … Implementation is really important, yet it’s often ignored … Imperfect data and inadequate evaluation make it hard to understand or improve the use of ed-tech … Computers are enhancing access. There’s less evidence that they’re enhancing learning.”
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Student Test Scores: How They Are Actually Calculated And Why You Should Care

The Washington Post

“If you think that determining scores on standardized tests is a simple matter of figuring out how many answers each student got right, you are wrong. In fact, scores are derived through statistical models and scaling practices that can be misleading about student achievement … A series of reports … have urged caution in the use of standardized test scores to make high-stakes decisions about students, teachers, principals and schools – but policymakers at the federal and state levels have for years ignored the warnings … This problem is becoming more apparent to more people … The 2016 platform of the Democratic Party says, for the first time ever, that using test scores for high-stakes decisions is a bad practice.”
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Schools That Accept ‘No Excuses’ From Students Are Not Helping Them

The Washington Post

Former charter schoolteacher Julia Fisher writes, “When I taught at a charter school, I once gave out 37 demerits in a 50-minute period. This was the sort of achievement that earned a new teacher praise … Students encounter careful uniform checks and communal chanting of motivational slogans … Posture and eye contact are important, even for 16-year-olds. Class is not to proceed without total compliance … An administrator watched my class every day. If I didn’t fully enforce the school’s code – under which demerits must be issued for slouching, looking at the wrong person or even taking notes when not explicitly directed to – the administrator would correct me on the spot … Questions were forbidden … Classes were designed to follow No Excuses dogma, in a way that precluded real engagement. Discussion was considered a waste of time because it didn’t produce measurable results … Most of the time was devoted to worksheets.
Read more …

8/11/2016 – Populism Is Rewriting The Charter School Narrative

THIS WEEK: Many Charters Exclude Students … Texas To Investigate Gülen Charters … Charter Groups ‘Swift Boat” Opponents … Teacher Pay Gap Widens … Fed Spending On Pre-K

TOP STORY

How Populism Is Rewriting The Charter School Narrative

By Jeff Bryant

“Two recent events showcase exactly how the populist fervor in the nation is … rewriting the story of the roll out of charter schools in our communities … First … the national NAACP has called for a nationwide ‘moratorium on the proliferation of privately managed charter schools’… Those schools and what they’ve come to represent in communities were also rejected at the local level in a school board election in Nashville … What’s abundantly clear is that while [charter advocates] have been completely free to write the charter school narrative in their own words, now the people are telling their version of the story.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Report Charges Many Charter Schools Exclude Children In Violation Of The Law

EdSource

“Over 1 in 5 of California’s charter schools have restrictive admissions requirements or other exclusionary practices that keep out many students with the greatest academic needs … These practices include: denying enrollment to students who have weak grades or test scores, expelling students who do not have strong grades or test scores, denying enrollment to students who do not ‘meet a minimum level of English proficiency,’ requiring students to meet ‘onerous’ requirements for admission … discouraging students from immigrant background … [and making] enrollment conditional on parents volunteering or donating funds to the school.”
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Texas Education Agency To Investigate Charter School System

Houston Business Journal

“Texas has decided to investigate a Houston-based charter school program … Harmony Public Schools after complaints alleged misuse of federal and state funds and connections with Turkish vendors … Also investigating whether Harmony allegedly guaranteed a $1.9 million bond debt of a Turkish charter school network in Arkansas … The investigation comes after international law group … filed a complaint in May alleging a connection between Harmony and the Gülen Organization, headed by Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric from Turkey residing in Pennsylvania … The government of Turkey believes Gülen had a large role in a recent failed coup attempt in Turkey.”
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Pro-Charter Group Hires Ad Firm Whose Swift Boat Campaign Helped Sink Kerry

Boston Magazine

“Public Charter Schools for MA, a proponent of the referendum on lifting the state’s cap on charter schools, has purchased $6.5 million in advertising … produced by DC-based SRCP Media … You may remember SRCP Media’s infamous ‘Swift Boat Veterans For Truth’ smear campaign, which helped scuttle John Kerry’s presidential aspirations in 2004 by peddling discredited claims regarding his military career during the Vietnam War … The campaign was so effective, ‘swift boat’ has become synonymous with sliming of the highest degree.”
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The Teacher Pay Gap In US – Wider Than Ever

Job Market Monitor

“The teacher pay penalty is bigger than ever. In 2015, public school teachers’ weekly wages were 17.0% lower than those of comparable workers – compared with just 1.8% lower in 1994. This erosion of relative teacher wages has fallen more heavily on experienced teachers than on entry-level teachers … Collective bargaining can help to abate this teacher wage penalty … Even so, teachers’ compensation (wages plus benefits) was 11.1% lower than that of comparable workers in 2015 … This is particularly difficult at a time when the supply of teachers is constrained by high turnover rates, annual retirements of longtime teachers, and a decline in students opting for a teaching career.”
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Early Childhood Education Gets Push From $1 Billion Federal Investment

The Washington Post

“More than $1 billion in federal aid to make quality education accessible to high-needs preschool children … has rapidly improved the quality of learning for the students while simultaneously enrolling a significant number of new students in top-tier programs. It also has allowed health screenings for thousands of preschoolers to help identify and treat medical and developmental issues earlier, including ones that might have affected their ability to learn … Nearly 267,000 children with high needs are now enrolled in the highest-quality state preschool programs … a 263% increase … Numerous studies have shown that children who receive a high-quality early education are more likely to succeed economically and socially. It is particularly a boon to high-needs students.
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7/27/2016 – Is Hillary Clinton’s Pick Of Tim Kaine Another Sign Democrats Are Leaving The ‘Education Reform Camp?’

THIS WEEK: Income Segregation Worsens … How Unions Improve Teaching … Online Charters In Trouble … Colleges Need $30 Billion For Maintenance … Games Charters Play

TOP STORY

Is Hillary Clinton’s Pick Of Tim Kaine Another Sign Democrats Are Leaving The ‘Education Reform Camp?’

By Jeff Bryant

“Hillary Clinton’s picking Virginia Senator Tim Kaine for her vice presidential running mate is not apt to ease the ‘anxiety’ or ‘soul searching’ education reformers feel … In reviewing Kaine’s education policy chops, what’s in his record may not be as important as what isn’t: the current education establishment’s policy checklist … The years progressives have put into organizing, voicing opposition to current education policies, and calling for new directions in education are likely having an effect on a new Democratic Party.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Income Segregation In Schools Found To Rise By 40% Since 1990

Education Week

“Income segregation … in the 100 largest districts …. is about 40% higher than in 1990 … This new level of segregation is not caused primarily by the historical separation between poor families and all others … The middle class has been slipping further behind the upper middle and affluent classes … The growing trends in income-based segregation in schools were also likely due to school-choice policies.”
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What If Everything You Thought You Knew About Teachers Unions Turned Out to be Wrong?

Edushyster

Freelance writer Jennifer Berkshire interviews an author of a recent study who found, “Highly unionized districts actually fire more bad teachers … By demanding higher salaries for teachers, unions give school districts a strong incentive to dismiss ineffective teachers before they get tenure. Highly unionized districts dismiss more bad teachers because it costs more to keep them … Unionized districts also retain more high-quality teachers relative to district with weak unionism.”
Read more …

Oklahoma Joins Ranks Of States and Agencies Cracking Down On Virtual Charter Schools

Edsurge

“Oklahoma is one of many states investigating and castigating virtual charters … California recently arrived at a disputed settlement with for-profit online charter operator K12 Inc. … Ohio’s largest online charter school operator, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), has failed to stall an audit of its financials and attendance records in court … Of every 100 students enrolled at ECOT, 80 do not graduate.'”
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Long-Neglected Maintenance Threatens To Further Escalate The Cost Of College

The Hechinger Report

After years of budget cuts and continuing austerity, universities and colleges collectively face a shortfall of a record $30 billion for … deferred maintenance or ‘deferred renewal’ to deteriorating buildings and other infrastructure … The problem is compounded by the fact that they nonetheless continue to build more – spending a record $11.5 billion last year – in the hope of attracting students … Some universities are already adding ‘capital renewal fees’ to students’ bills to help them pay for renovations and improvements.”
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Why Charter Schools Get Public Education Advocates So Angry

The Washington Post

Former high school principal and current executive director of the Network for Public Education Carol Burris writes, “Charters, regardless of their original intent, have become a threat to democratically governed, neighborhood public schools, and questions about their practices, opacity and lack of accountability are increasing as their numbers grow … Democratic school governance is viewed as an obstacle by many charter school devotees … Charter schools control enrollment … Even after initial enrollment, charters lose students through attrition … Some charters are better, and others are worse … What all share, however, is the ability to use the freedom given to them for innovation to shut out democracy, attract the students they want and hide important information from the public, even as they collect taxpayer funds.
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EON is taking a break next week. Watch for a resumption of the newsletter on August 11.

7/21/2016 – If Democrats Think Mike Pence Is An Extremist, Will They Stop Supporting His Education Policies?

THIS WEEK: The Trump Effect … Racial Bias In Schools … How Charters Hurt Public Schools … Why Segregation Persists … Who’s Re-Segregating Little Rock?

TOP STORY

If Democrats Think Mike Pence Is An Extremist, Will They Stop Supporting His Education Policies?

By Jeff Bryant

“For the past eight years, the Democratic Party’s education agenda has chiefly been based on an idea conceived in right wing policy shops then pushed into the party’s most powerful circles by a very small but wealthy group of individuals … Based on this understanding, it’s not a surprise that extremists such as Mike Pence have been eager to adopt much of this agenda. But in calling out Pence as an extremist, is Hillary Clinton signaling there may be shifts in her party’s education agenda?”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

Why Are Third-Graders Afraid Of Donald Trump?

The Atlantic

“There are reports across the country of what’s been called ‘the Trump Effect’ … Those working in schools with large immigrant populations say kids are actively afraid about what might happen to themselves and their families if Trump were elected. And explaining the American political system’s checks and balances isn’t much help.”
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How Racial Bias Affects The Quality Of Black Students’ Education

Think Progress

“Decades of racial bias against black Americans and the legacy of slavery are evident in our classrooms … Schools in the U.S. remain very economically and racially segregated … Students’ quality of education suffers in this segregated school environment … Racially biased school discipline contributes to what’s known as the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ … Black students begin receiving far more suspensions than white children beginning as early as preschool … Black students are also expected to stay engaged and interested in courses that don’t recognize the reality of their lives – and don’t cover the contributions of black political leaders and artists as often as those of white historical figures.”
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How Charter Schools In Michigan Have Hurt Traditional Public Schools, New Research Finds

The Washington Post

“How do some charter schools affect the traditional school districts in which they are located? Disastrously… ‘Overwhelmingly, the biggest financial impact on school districts was the result of declining enrollment and revenue loss, especially where school choice and charters are most prevalent … The higher the charter penetration, the higher the adverse impact on district finances … As the share of students in the district that are going charters increases, there is a causal relationship of a larger share of the students who are left behind in the district who receive special education services.'”
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One Reason School Segregation Persists

Slate

“Researchers tested a broad range of factors that could explain why parents choose a school … Only three of these factors significantly drove parental choice … high test scores, schools closer to home, and schools where their own child would be alongside more peers of his or her same race and class … White and higher-income applicants had the strongest preferences for their children to remain in-group, while black elementary school parents were essentially ‘indifferent’ to a school’s racial makeup, the researchers found. The findings for Hispanic elementary and middle school parents were not statistically significant … Research – and history – show that left to their own devices, parents won’t desegregate schools.”
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Charter Schools And The Waltons Take Little Rock Back To Its Segregated Past

Altenet

Jeff Bryant writes, “Progress on racial integration in schools achieved during the Civil Rights period has gradually eroded, and in many cities, schools are now nearly as racially divided as they were 40 years ago … But lengthy presentations of statistical data and litanies of high court decisions tend to overlook places where the fight to uphold the vision of a pluralistic school system is still very much alive –places like Little Rock [Arkansas] … But now, the actors have changed. This time, those being accused of segregating students aren’t local bigots. Instead, Little Rock citizens see segregation as being imposed upon them by outsiders, operating under the guise of a reform agenda.
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7/14/2016 – Sanders Movement Pushes Democratic Party Platform Toward A Big Fight Over Charter Schools

THIS WEEK: Spending On Prisons Instead Of Schools … Ban Computers In Schools … Pre-K Disaster … Clinton, Trump Avoid Education … Students Who Avoid Debt

TOP STORY

Sanders Movement Pushes Democratic Party Platform Toward A Big Fight Over Charter Schools

By Jeff Bryant

“The presidential campaign in the Democratic Party has not put education at the front of the agenda … But Bernie Sanders supporters have teamed up with Clinton delegates to deliver a Democratic Party platform that is much more driven by the values of democracy and support for the public good over private interests and profit … That’s good for education.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Since 1980, Spending On Prisons Has Grown Three Times As Much As Spending On Public Education

The Washington Post

“State and local spending on prisons and jails has grown three times as much over the past three decades as spending on public education for preschool through high school … Taxpayers and public safety would be better served by redirecting investments from incarceration to public schools … The rate of increase in per capita corrections spending outpaced the rate of increase in per-pupil education spending in every state but two, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In 23 states, per capita spending rose more than twice as fast as per-pupil spending.”
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Is It Time To Ban Computers From Classrooms?

NPR

“Evidence suggests that computer-based multitasking can reduce student learning, not only for those students using devices but also for their distracted neighbors. Even when computers are used for the praiseworthy purpose of taking class notes, computer-using students tend to do more poorly on later tests than their peers who took notes by hand … Being in a condition that allowed computers was associated with a grade drop of about one-fifth of a standard deviation.”
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Early Education Is A Disaster In U.S., Study Finds

U.S. News & World Report

“Early childhood education … Policies across the U.S. fall short on a number of measurable indicators, including pay, professional development, paid planning time, paid sick leave, and other policies that impact the ability of early educators to teach effectively and remain on the job … Nearly half of … child care workers … were part of families enrolled in at least one of four public support programs, including Medicaid, food stamps, welfare ,or the federal earned income tax credit. That’s compared to 26 percent of the U.S. workforce … Findings come after years of increased efforts by the Obama administration to make early childhood education a major priority.”
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Are Clinton’s And Trump’s K-12 Proposals Really Late?

Education Week

“When it comes to putting out a comprehensive plan on K-12 education, Hillary Clinton circa 2008 was way, way ahead of this year’s version … By November 2007 … seven months before this point in the presidential campaign cycle … Clinton had a very detailed proposal … Donald Trump … is also late to the dance compared to recent nominees. By this point of the game in 2012 … Is it because the issue has become somewhat toxic and touchy? Or is it because this just isn’t really an election about ideas?”
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A Leg Up: How A Privileged Minority Is Graduating Without Debt

Demos

“The need to borrow for a four-year degree differs substantially by race and income … 81% of black students must borrow for a bachelor’s degree compared to 63% of white students. Low-income students … are overwhelmingly more likely to borrow … Black and low-income students make up a greater portion of indebted graduates among both dependent and independent students … Debt-free graduates are also more likely to be dependent students … Indebted graduates are also more likely to be student parents themselves.
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