Education Opportunity Network

Education Opportunity Network -

1/19/2017 – Does Betsy DeVos Care About Racial Equity? We Still Don’t Know.

THIS WEEK: DeVos Flunks Her Hearing … Choice Increases Segregation … Pivotal Year For Schools … Tribal Schools In Crisis … School Choice Divide?

TOP STORY

Does Betsy DeVos Care About Racial Equity? We Still Don’t Know.

By Jeff Bryant

“What are DeVos’ views on racial equity in education? … Race has historically played a much larger role in federal education policy than disputes over standardized testing … and what else tends to occupy education debates these days. It’s also an issue where DeVos has a very controversial track record … Much of what DeVos has worked for in her state of Michigan … is taking the state’s schools back to a segregationist past.”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

Betsy DeVos Just Flunked Her Senate Test

The Nation

“There were plenty of moments in Tuesday’s hearing that betrayed DeVos’s lack of preparation for the country’s top education post, but none more than her stumble over protections for disabled students … DeVos appeared unfamiliar with (or uncommitted to) the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, a major civil-rights law that requires publicly funded schools to accommodate disability … DeVos either could not or chose not to answer most serious policy questions, from inquiries about reporting standards for sexual assault on campus to regulations on for-profit colleges … When DeVos did speak specifically, it was to affirm her market-based vision for the education system. She included private schools in her description of what constitutes ‘today’s public education,’ and would not agree that private and charter schools receiving taxpayer money should face the same accountability standards as traditional public schools … Committee members could not fully evaluate any potential conflicts of interest, as an ethics review has not yet been completed for DeVos. And they had little time to dig into the religious motivations for her support of voucher systems.”
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Does Greater School Choice Lead To Less Segregation?

Christian Science Monitor

“Charter schools and vouchers … perpetuate the racial segregation of US schools … While minority parents are being given more choices … Choices for families in low-income, minority-dominated school districts are often between low-performing public schools and alternatives such as charters or voucher-dependent private schools with similar student bodies … Voucher programs rarely catapult low-income students into elite private schools with upper-income whites and Asians … More commonly they funnel students into less selective religious schools and spur the creation of new minority-dominated private schools.”
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K-12 Funding, ESSA Hot Topics As State Legislatures Convene

Education Week

“2017 could be a pivotal year for school funding formulas, accountability, teacher evaluations, and testing … Conservative lawmakers in many states have long been itching to make dramatic changes to how much money they provide to school districts and how districts spend that money … The Every Student Succeeds Act … goes into full effect … and fierce political tensions in a number of states … almost half the states are expected to have less money in their budgets this year due to shortfalls in sales tax revenue.”
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The Longstanding Crisis Facing Tribal Schools

The Atlantic

“Federal law requires that the Bureau of Indian Education provide education at least as good as that offered to non-Native students, but it’s well-established that that’s rarely the case. Graduation rates on reservations are among the lowest of all student subgroups … 8 in 10 Native students are not proficient in reading … and children at BIE schools perform significantly worse than their Native peers at regular public schools … Native Americans across the country are disciplined at disproportionate rates. Unsurprisingly, they’re also incarcerated at a rate 38% higher than the national average.”
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Will Betsy DeVos Divide The School Choice Movement?

Education Week

University professor Jeffrey Henig writes, “While voucher and charter school proponents have historically been allies linked by providing greater choice, the political alliance between them might be fraying … Voucher proponents have lost national debates about school choice in the past … Because of this resistance, voucher proponents jumped on the charter school bandwagon … to make inroads for market-based ideas in education … Charter proponents… welcomed the political and philanthropic support of the pro-voucher forces … but they may turn on one another if Trump and DeVos push to expand the voucher system.”
Read more …

1/12/2017 – Will Betsy DeVos Restart The ‘Education Wars’?

THIS WEEK: Warren Warns About DeVos … Congressional Education Caucus … Charter Schools Fear DeVos … Harsh Discipline Fails … 2017 Pre-K Agenda

TOP STORY

Will Betsy DeVos Restart The ‘Education Wars’?

By Jeff Bryant

“Education … has suddenly been thrust to the frontline in the increasingly heated conflict over President-Elect Donald Trump’s proposed cabinet appointees. The reason for that turn of events is his choice of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Her nomination risks “reigniting the education wars,” according to Randi Weingarten … Strong opposition to the DeVos nomination from Democrats indicates that if Weingarten is right … the conflict will be different from the past.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Warren Letter To Trump Education Pick Highlights ‘Lack Of Experience’

CNN

“‘There is no precedent for an Education Department Secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education,’ wrote Senator Warren … ‘You and the organizations you led have also spent millions to promote policies that send more public funds to for-profit and virtual charter schools with no accountability for how well these schools serve students or how these taxpayer dollars are spent.'”
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Democrats Form Congressional Caucus To Support Public Education

The Huffington Post

“Several Democratic members of Congress announced the effort alongside the presidents of the nation’s two largest teachers unions … Members expressed fear that public education will be under attack if DeVos is confirmed … Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who spent over two decades as a public school teacher and is part of the caucus, said at the press conference that DeVos’ lack of experience gives her an ‘incredibly narrow view of public education’ … Another caucus member, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), said he has never worked as a teacher, but his years in the Wisconsin Legislature showed him the havoc school choice can wreak on children.”
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Charter Advocates Tell Liz Warren: Betsy Devos May Not Make Grade

Boston Herald

“Leading Massachusetts charter-school advocates have taken aim at Betsy DeVos … being pursued can lead investors to be dangerously slow in shifting their approach, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of its flaws … In a letter to US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, which represents 70 charter schools, asks Warren to ensure that DeVos commits to a strict oversight system for charter schools nationwide. ‘We’re very concerned that if the federal government lowers the standards for charter schools, it would have a negative impact on Massachusetts charter schools.’”
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Detentions, Suspension And Expulsion Do Not Curb Violent Behavior

The Hechinger Report

“Schools have traditionally applied punitive procedures, including detention, suspension, or expulsion in response to behavioral infractions … Numerous large-scale and well-conducted research studies reveal … these approaches don’t work. When schools apply highly punitive and restrictive procedures, problem behaviors such as rebellion toward teachers, vandalism against school property, absenteeism, and truancy actually increase … The solution is to develop and apply a positive approach that prevents problems from emerging and provides supports for students.”
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Early Education Priorities For 2017

New America

“New America’s Education Policy program has released an agenda with 10 important actions to help reform the country’s education system, spanning birth through higher education and the workforce … Expanding access to quality early learning is one key action for both federal and state policymakers … State lawmakers can improve the accessibility of child care by increasing financial assistance for families struggling to afford care … provide adequate funding to help school districts offer full-day kindergarten to all students … [and] enact policies for teacher preparation and professional development that put a premium on the quality of interactions between adults and children.”
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1/6/2017 – Democrats Who Oppose Betsy DeVos Have Nothing To Lose

THIS WEEK: War On Public Schools … Texas School To Prison Pipeline … For-Profit College Gravy Train … College Debt Hits Seniors… Carolina Coup

TOP STORY

Democrats Who Oppose Betsy DeVos Have Nothing To Lose

By Jeff Bryant

“The education reform agenda … has been bipartisan because it had to be. Without a popular groundswell for charters and other school privatization efforts, Republicans intent on privatizing public education have needed Democratic party insiders to help push legislation and policy through government channels at all levels. But that’s changing.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

The War On Public Schools

The American Prospect

“Education conservatives are ecstatic about their new political opportunities … With Republicans controlling the House and Senate, a politically savvy conservative ideologue leading the federal education department, a vice president who earned notoriety in his home state for expanding vouchers, charters, and battling teacher unions, not to mention a president-elect who initially asked creationist Jerry Falwell Jr. to head up his Department of Education, the stars have aligned for market-driven education advocates … Chances aren’t great that Democratic education reformers will staunchly oppose Trump’s school reform agenda.”
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In Texas, The School-To-Prison Pipeline Is Still Going Strong

Texas Observer

“Despite the Texas Legislature’s efforts to curb the school-to-prison pipeline, law enforcement still plays a major role in disciplining students for minor infractions … The proportion of ‘disorderly conduct’ … These charges put students in adult courtrooms, facing criminal records that can follow them into adulthood … Congress could find some way to … ‘Research shows that when students are pushed out of class and into court or juvenile probation, they are more likely to be involved with the justice system when they get older.’”
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Nearly 200 For-Profit Colleges Get Over 90% Of Their Funding From The Government

MarketWatch

“The number of for-profit schools receiving at least 90% of their revenue from federal education programs would jump from 17 to nearly 200 when considering all sources of government funding and not just money from the Department of Education … For-profit colleges are required by law to receive no more than 90% of their funds from the Department of Education. But education benefits from other government agencies, like veterans benefits, don’t count toward that 90%. That means a for-profit college could still be in compliance.”
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Report: $171M Garnished From Older Americans’ Social Security To Repay Student Debt In 2015

Consumerist

“Tens of thousands of senior Americans currently have their Social Security benefits garnished hundreds of dollars each month by the government in order to repay long-held, defaulted federal student loans … Borrowers ages 50 years and older who have defaulted on their student loans are required to repay the debt with a portion of their Social Security benefits … Each time a borrower’s Social Security was offset, they were charged an offset fee of $15 … About 71% of the funds collected through offsets were applied to the fees and interest of the loan debt, while just 28% went to the loan balance. As a result, many debtors actually saw their loan balance increase rather than decrease over time.”
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The Carolina Coup And The Fight For Public Education

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “The naked power grab by North Carolina Republicans has shocked the nation. But few people really understand that a struggle over public education is at the center of the fight against an authoritarian government in the era of Donald Trump … The attack on the incoming governor’s power over education appointments is especially radical, as it transfers power from the state board to the new state superintendent of public instruction, Republican Mark Johnson, who defeated the Democratic incumbent, June Atkinson, in November. Why go after education offices? In North Carolina, public education has always been an issue inextricably intertwined with voting rights and democracy.”
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12/22/2016 – Girding For The Education Fight Ahead

THIS WEEK: DeVos’ Donor Advantage … More Private Choice Coming … Obama’s Edu-Legacy … Online Charters Love Trump … Computer Conundrum

TOP STORY

Girding For The Education Fight Ahead

By Jeff Bryant

“If you want to get an idea of what kind of education policies to expect from a Donald Trump administration, Wall St. has a clue for you … Online charter schools are ‘gearing up for a boom during the Trump administration, judging by where investors are placing their bets’… A burning question is, ‘Where are the Democrats?'”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

DeVos Heads Into Confirmation With A Megadonor’s Advantage

Politico

“Billionaire Betsy DeVos has been unabashed about using her wealth to advance her own agenda. ‘We expect a return on our investment,’ she once wrote … After giving millions of dollars to politicians over the past two decades, she now heads into her Senate confirmation hearing for education secretary with a clear advantage: DeVos and her husband, Dick, have donated to the campaigns of 17 senators who will consider her nomination – four of whom sit on the Senate education committee that oversees the process … Over the past two and half decades, the couple donated more than $7.7 million to Republican candidates and parties across the country.”
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Beyond Vouchers: How Trump Could Boost Private School Choice

Education Week

“What other avenues are there for Trump, DeVos, and Congress to expand private school choice?… Tax-credit scholarships allow individuals and corporations to claim a tax credit of some kind, in exchange for a donation to an organization that provides scholarships to children… Congress could find some way to … create a new education savings account applicable to K-12 … [Or] an annual $250 million federal grant program to promote private school choice.”
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The Education Of Barack Obama

The Nation

Dana Goldstein writes, “When it came to K–12 policy, [Obma’s] first six years were defined by an aggressive reform agenda that left the traditional camp, especially the teachers unions, playing defense. Only since 2014 has there been a détente … Grassroots activism from the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as from tens of thousands of parents who opted their children out of standardized testing, helped shift the terms of the debate. We now talk almost as much about school discipline, unequal school funding, and school segregation as we do about low test scores and teacher tenure. It’s a profound change in rhetoric … The expansion of the charter-school sector seems likely to be the most lasting of Obama’s education reforms.”
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Online Charter Schools Prepare For A Trump-Era Boom

BuzzFeed

“Online charter schools are widely regarded as among the country’s worst-performing, plagued by abysmal test scores and sky-high student turnover rates. They’re also gearing up for a boom during the Trump administration … K12 Inc., the online charter school industry’s largest and most controversial player, has risen in value by more than 50% since November 8 … Betsy DeVos … is married to an early investor in K12 … Vice President Mike Pence has worked closely with groups tied to the company. ”
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Giving Children Computers Basically Does The Opposite Of What You Expect

The Washington Post

“The benefits of having a computer at home are subtle and somewhat counterintuitive … Researchers … in California looking for students in grades six through 10 who didn’t have access to a computer at home … divided [stuents] into two groups. One group received free desktop machines …The other group got nothing … In the end, none of this had a measurable [academic] effect … The children who saw the most benefit were the ones who didn’t have a social-network account at the beginning of the experiment. They became more likely to chat with friends and to meet with friends face-to-face.”
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12/15/2016 – Hillsdale College Connection Reveals Trump’s Extremist Education Agenda

THIS WEEK: DeVos Screwed Detroit … Pre-K’s Big ROI … Cops But No Counselors … Trumpism’s Threat To Academia … Crackdown On Student Journalists

TOP STORY

What The Hillsdale College Connection Reveals About Donald Trump’s Extremist Education Agenda

By Jeff Bryant

“Trump’s selection of DeVos for Education Secretary is not the only clue that the nation’s education policy may be in for a sharp veer to the religious right … Anyone who strives for a clear-eyed view of the Trump administration’s oncoming education agenda will find there is no evidence – zero – of anything other than the most extreme policy agenda for the nation’s public schools.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

How Trump’s Education Nominee Bent Detroit To Her Will On Charter Schools

The New York Times

“Few disagreed that schools in Detroit were a mess … So city leaders across the political spectrum agreed on a fix, with legislation to provide oversight and set standards … But the bill died without even getting a final vote. And the person most influential in killing it is now President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee to oversee the nation’s public schools, Betsy DeVos … DeVos pushed back on any regulation as too much regulation. Charter schools should be allowed to operate as they wish.’”
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New Pre-K Study Finds Ambitious Programs Bring Big Returns On Investment

NewsWorks

“A study published … broke down decades of data from a group of 30-somethings who attended two North Carolina early childhood programs in the 1970s. They found that every dollar spent on this cohort of kids created $6.30 in return … The researchers used data detailed enough to calculate whether placement in one of the two child care programs increased the future earnings of participants, boosted their parents’ earning potential, improved participants’ health, and reduced the likelihood participants would commit crimes… The study also found … programs managed to boost participants’ IQ and that the boost sustained itself into adulthood.”
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Schools With Police But No School Counselors

Education Week

“1.6 million students attend public schools that have an on-site law enforcement officer but no school counselor … Minorities experience different forms of school discipline: black K-12 students are 3.8 times as likely as white students to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions and 1.9 times as likely to be expelled … Disparities in exclusionary discipline … may be an important driver of racial disparities in juvenile court referrals.”
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Trumpism Poses The Most Dire Threat To Academic Freedom In Recent Memory

The Nation

“A young conservative activist backed by the extremist right-wing organization Turning Points USA created the Professor Watchlist. Listing 195 professors believed to be hostile to the group’s agenda of unregulated capitalism, white-supremacist politics, and opposition to women’s reproductive freedom, it is a rough draft of a possible Trump-era blacklist … Professors across the nation found themselves suddenly targeted by well-connected conservative activists … No one knows what will come of it, but the shock has ricocheted through the halls of campuses all across the country.”
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Student Journalists Are Under Threat

Slate

“According to a new report … a disquieting trend of administrative censorship of student-run media has been spreading quietly across the country … The report chronicles more than 20 previously unreported cases of media advisers ‘suffering some degree of administrative pressure to control, edit, or censor student journalistic content’ … In many of the cases … administration officials ‘threatened retaliation against students and advisers not only for coverage critical of the administration but also for otherwise frivolous coverage that the administrators believed placed the institution in an unflattering light.’”
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12/8/2016 – Principles To Guide The Vetting Of Betsy DeVos

THIS WEEK: Jeff Sessions Hates Special Ed … Foxx In The House … Where Teacher Turnover Is Worst … New Reality For Colleges … Charters Hijack Public Ed

TOP STORY

Principles To Guide The Vetting Of Betsy DeVos

By Jeff Bryant

“President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos for US Secretary of Education in his administration set off a firestorm of commentary on what her impact might be on furthering ‘school choice’ ventures like charter schools and vouchers that send taxpayer money to private enterprises … For years, proponents for what’s become known as ‘education reform’ have argued that policy debates can be boiled down to the singular concern of … a myopic focus on standardized test scores … But if you care what happens to your tax dollars, you should be concerned about much more than just test score comparisons among different types of schools.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Jeff Sessions Slammed A Law Protecting Schoolchildren With Disabilities

The Huffington Post

“Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), president-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general … in May 2000… took to the senate floor to make a lengthy speech on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, arguing that federal protections for students with disabilities was a reason U.S. public schools were failing … In the mid 1990s, Sessions fought school equality after a judge ruled on behalf of about 30 of the state’s poor school districts that sought reforms … Sessions added that such federal protections ‘may be the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today.’”
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Meet The Congresswoman Poised To Tear Up Obama’s Education Legacy

Politico

“Virginia Foxx … is poised to assume the leadership of the House Education and the Workforce Committee … would love to dismantle the federal Education Department … Foxx reels off a list of possible targets: The billions doled out annually under Title 1 … She wants to re-examine the role of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights … She’d like to reverse a Democratic Congress’ decision to have the Education Department, not banks, issue student loans … Civil rights groups, among others, are aghast.”
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High-Poverty Schools Often Staffed By Rotating Cast Of Substitutes

The Washington Post

“In the troubled schools that serve some of the nation’s neediest children, it is not uncommon for classrooms to churn with substitutes as teachers leave in large numbers each June, or quit midyear, and principals struggle to fill the positions. The disruption of teachers coming and going and the frequent use of substitutes with varying levels of skill and commitment effectively steal learning time from students who can least afford it … Struggling high-poverty schools are difficult to staff … Such schools often see an exodus of teachers at the end of each year, so their principals are constantly looking for new hires. They tend to employ teachers who are more inexperienced than the hires at affluent schools, and they often are not adequately trained for the intense environments they will face.
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Colleges Face A New Reality, As The Number Of High School Graduates Will Decline

The Hechinger Report

“The total number of high school graduates will decline in the next two decades, while the percentage of lower-income and nonwhite students will increase … Higher education institutions … [will] need to find new ways of educating a student body increasingly composed of people who are the first in their family to enter college. And because those students tend to have fewer financial resources, colleges may feel pressure to expend more resources to help students handle the costs of college.”
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Tar Heel Heist: How The Charter School Industry Is Hijacking Public Education

Alternet

Jeff Bryant writes, “In my travels around North Carolina – to the state’s three largest school districts – I ask school board members, legal and education experts, and charter advocates to explain how a state that doesn’t seem to adequately fund its existing public school system can afford to add a competitive new one. Complicating the matter is the presence of a rising new sector of for-profit charter schools, many coming to North Carolina from out of state. Few North Carolinians I talk to can explain how these schools make a profit. And if the schools do, it begs the question of whether it is ethical or legal for private interests to profit from education while many schools in the existing system can’t afford adequate learning materials and instructional staff. These questions are not only important to North Carolinians; they are critical to the rest of the nation. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to accelerate the growth of charters nationwide with a proposal to create a $20 billion federal block grant for states to offer families more ‘school choice.'”
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12/1/2016 – How Betsy DeVos May Complete The Big Money Takeover Of Our Nation’s Schools

THIS WEEK: Trump Will Screw Rural Schools … Assessing Charter Schools … Edu-Business Disasters … Doing Pre-K Right … Language Of ‘Reform’

TOP STORY

How Betsy DeVos May Complete The Big Money Takeover Of Our Nation’s Schools

By Jeff Bryant

“Reactions to President-Elect Donald Trump’s announcement of Michigan philanthropist Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education have ranged from high praise, to wary acceptance, to immediate condemnation. What few have noticed is how much her nomination represents business as usual in national education policy-making … No doubt, education policy led by Trump and DeVos will differ from the previous administration, but what’s staying the same is how wealthy private interests will strongly influence policies.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Rural Americans Helped Elect Donald Trump, But His Ideas Won’t Help Their Schools. What Will?

Chalkbeat

“The central idea Trump has offered so far for improving education – providing billions of dollars in exchange for expanding school choice – makes little sense in [rural] communities. Rural students and families often have no viable choices beyond their local public school … Financial resources are flat-out scarce in many rural schools, and that leads to a far lower quality of education for students in poor communities … Racial segregation … continues to have a catastrophic impact on some rural schools … Schools can’t thrive, and school choice won’t work, without people grappling with this pervasive issue.”
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The Right Way to Assess Charter Schools

Education Week

“The Economic Policy Institute is publishing a report … [that] looks at the fiscal impact of charter school expansion … [and] suggests moving the conversation away from the individualistic, consumer-choice narrative that market-driven reformers have promoted over the past two decades, and towards one that centers public education as a collective responsibility for communities to provide as efficiently, and equitably, as they can … New charter schools … should take into account the inefficiencies created from having multiple transportation systems, duplicative administrative overhead costs, additional financing fees associated with alternative capital investments, and any transition costs that arise from creating new school systems.”
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The Road To Disastrous Educational Businesses Is Paved With Good Intentions

EdSurge

“[A] troubling tendency to double down on one’s own preconceptions reflects the millions in other people’s money spent … to design the ‘optimal’ K–12 school model … Even when the initial structure does not prove an obstacle, the intensity of belief … being pursued can lead investors to be dangerously slow in shifting their approach, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of its flaws … Adherents of particular educational business models and advocates of particular educational public policy approaches have a tendency to use very similar language in promoting their views. Their favored instrumentality of change is typically described alternatively as ‘transformational’ or ‘revolutionary.’ In both cases, the evidence suggests that a narrowing of focus, a nuanced appreciation of the particular market structure and context, and an emphasis on the importance of effective execution would go a long way toward improving the probability of successful outcomes.”
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A Lesson For Preschools: When It’s Done Right, The Benefits Last

NPR

“New research out of North Carolina … found that early childhood programs in that state resulted in higher test scores, a lower chance of being held back in a grade, and a fewer number of children with special education placements. Those gains lasted up through the fifth grade … This new research confirms what researchers recently found in Tulsa, OK … In that study, children who attended Head Start had higher test scores on state math tests up through eighth grade … Having a high-quality program is key.
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‘Reformers’ Stoop Low: They Label Them ‘Government Schools’ To Knock Students, Teachers

Orlando Sentinel

Florida parent Kathleen Oropeza writes, “There is a significant national effort underway … to restyle the delivery system of the American Dream as ‘government schools’ … This isn’t the first time words have been weaponized to achieve a political goal … ‘Reformers’ say that parents must have ‘choice’ … They don’t disclose that the same finite pot of money is funding extra ‘choice’ seats for students, seriously diluting public-school resources … The intentional negative rebranding of public education for political expedience does nothing but advance a profit motive.”
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11/17/2016 – What Student Protests Tell Us About America Under Trump

THIS WEEK: Trump To Push School Choice … Civil Rights Under Trump… School Funding Crisis… Cops As Disciplinarians … Teachers’ Losing Battle

TOP STORY

What Student Protests Tell Us About America Under Trump

By Jeff Bryant

“Public schools, as long as they stay truly public, are often the first institutions to reflect society’s most important social trends. In this new era under an oncoming Trump regime, student protests are telling us something is very wrong.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Educators Brace For Change As Some Trump Policies Still Unclear

The Wall Street Journal

“Trump hasn’t provided an overarching plan for education. But he has said that he would reprioritize federal dollars to provide an additional $20 billion for ‘school choice’ to give families more educational options. School choice entails using public-school dollars for alternatives to traditional public schools, such as for charter schools, private schools and online campuses … Presidential candidates didn’t say much during the campaign season on the nation’s new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act … It is unclear where Mr. Trump stands on the law.”
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Trump Set To Shift Gears On Civil Rights, ESSA, Says A K-12 Transition-Team Leader

Education Week

“The president-elect could significantly curb the role of the department’s office for civil rights when it comes to state and local policies … That could have a big impact on everything from action on school-discipline disparities, to transgender students’ rights … Financial accountability for higher education … would be the another key piece of Trump’s approach to education policy.”
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Schoolchildren Left Behind

The New York Times

The editorial board of the Times writes, “In 23 states, so-called formula funding – the main type of state aid for kindergarten through 12th grade – is still lower this school year than in 2008 … Inadequate school spending over prolonged periods will leave many students behind, especially low-income children … When state governments ignore the needs of schoolchildren, Washington can and should step in to counter the harm … The Trump administration will have a chance to build on the work of Congress and the Obama administration on the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 … It is the duty of the executive branch to ensure, through regulation and supervision, that the states use [federal] money to provide equal opportunity for poor and low-income children.”
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Bullied By The Badge?

The Hechinger Report

“Police officers in many schools are becoming the new disciplinarians, arresting students for incidents that once merited a call home or a visit to the principal’s office … In1997, the Department of Education reported that law enforcement officers were present in 10% of public schools at least once per week. By 2014, 30% of public schools had school resource officers, or SROs, the most common type of law enforcement on campuses … Many parents, community members and civil rights activists say the presence of police officers inside classrooms does more harm than good. They complain that officers routinely punish children for small infractions and, in some cases, treat acts that parents categorize as ‘typical teenage behavior’ like criminal activity.
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What I Learned From Running For Office As Oklahoma’s Teacher Of The Year (And Losing)

Chalkbeat

High school math teacher Shawn Sheehan writes, “I lost my bid for Oklahoma State Senate last week … My state also voted down a state question aimed at providing a $5,000 base salary increase for all educators by increasing our sales tax by 1% … Now, as a sixth-year math teacher with a master’s degree, my base salary will remain at $35,419. My total compensation, including benefits, amounts to $38,100. My net income per month is just under $2,100 … Teachers received two clear messages from this election. One: you have no place at the State Capitol. Two: we will keep saying we want to fund education, but we won’t follow through.”
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11/10/2016 – Education Victories Democrats Can Rally Around

THIS WEEK: Trump Takes Charge … Corporate School Scams … Black Teachers … Online Charter Lobbying … Charter School Truths

TOP STORY

Education Victories Democrats Can Rally Around

By Jeff Bryant

“Amidst the dead ashes of defeat, where are the red-hot coals that may spark new fire in the populist rebellion that represents the party’s only hope? … Promising tinder can be found in communities that voted on Tuesday against the private takeover of their public schools … The ascendancy of public education as an important progressive cause was prevalent in state and local elections around the country.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Trump Set To Shift Gears On Civil Rights, ESSA, Says A K-12 Transition-Team Leader

Education Week

“President-elect Donald Trump will work to ensure “a new way of how to deliver public education” that focuses on educational entrepreneurship and strong public and private school options … Trump will ‘streamline, at least’ the U.S. Department of Education … [and] significantly curb the role of the department’s office for civil rights when it comes to state and local policies … The president-elect won’t get too heavily involved in ESSA’s rollout.”
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Corporations Are Taking Advantage Of Our Underfunded Public Schools

Think Progress

“Underfunding of public education presents an opportunity for corporations, as schools desperate for new fundraising mechanisms may turn a blind eye to corporate involvement in schools … Levi’s, for example, has its own campaign in schools involving educational posters of cartoon kids wearing their jeans as part of a water conservation curriculum provided to schools … Schools are considering or are already implementing advertising on the outside and inside of school buses … Uber is encouraging teachers to drive for them by offering them bonuses … Although this involvement may seem innocuous, it is deeply harmful to both students and teachers.”
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The Burden Of Being A Black Teacher

The Atlantic

“Many black teachers experience constant tension at work between a sense of frustration at being “pigeonholed” into teaching primarily black students … Black teachers said that very ability to manage a classroom meant they were then viewed primarily as disciplinarians and not as educators … The strengths that many black teachers possess and would like to use to benefit children of all backgrounds are the very traits used to limit their professional growth … Black teachers feel … their colleagues are unwilling to recognize their ability to also be subject-matter experts with valuable ideas about pedagogy and curriculum … Teachers of all races and ethnicities quit because they don’t feel appreciated. For black teachers, there’s often the sense of an added layer of disrespect that is specifically tied to race.”
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Outsized Influence: Online Charters Bring Lobbying ‘A’ Game To States

Education Week

“Despite more than a decade of state investigations, news media reports, and research that have documented startling failures and gross mismanagement in full-time online schools, the sector – dominated by two for-profit companies – continues to expand, spreading into new states and enrolling more students. Virtual charter schools, which collectively receive more than $1 billion in taxpayer money each year, are rarely shut down … The reasons are often a mix of weak state regulations, the millions of dollars spent on lobbying, and the support of well-connected allies … The companies that run these online charter schools often turn to a powerful argument that has fueled much of the decades-long movement to expand school choice: Parents have the right to choose where their child goes to school – even if the school is performing poorly.
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Five Truths Of Charter Schools

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “Here’s what everyone needs to know about charter schools … There’s no research consensus that charter schools outperform public schools … There’s no evidence charters produce better long-term outcomes for students … Charters don’t enroll the same students as public schools … Charters tend to intensify racial segregation … Charters tend to practice discriminatory forms of school discipline.”
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11/3/2016 – This Election Is About School Funding, Democratic Control of Education

THIS WEEK: No To Question 2 … School Climate Matters … College Costs Rise … Georgia Amendment 1 … Privatization Hurts Kids

TOP STORY

This Election Is About School Funding, Democratic Control of Education

By Jeff Bryant

“In the upcoming election … education issues [are] getting a relatively large amount of attention in states … Two recurring themes are 1) Who controls schools, and 2) How to save schools from a persistent funding crisis … If you’re discouraged about the lack of substance in this year’s presidential race, there are ample opportunities to support candidates and measures down ballot that will determine the course of education policy, and thus affect the well being of children and the future of our nation.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

It’s Not Anti-Charter To Oppose Lifting Cap

Commonwealth Magazine

“Uncapped charter school growth means that municipal budgets … will suffer without a fix to state education financing … Tradeoffs in local budgets … include unsustainable cutbacks for basic city services … Uncapping charter school growth will only speed this growing divide … Uncapped charter growth will surely lead to district reorganization and school closures, but the transition will create inefficiencies that add costs to cities and towns … Keep the cap on charter school growth and seek sensible financing reform to ensure that all of our children succeed.”
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Positive School Climates May Help Narrow Achievement Gaps, Analysis Finds

Education Week

“Schools where students feel safe, engaged and connected to their teachers are also schools that have narrower achievement gaps between low-income children and their wealthier peers … ‘Schools do matter and can do much to improve academic outcomes … By promoting a positive climate, schools can allow greater equality in educational opportunities, decrease socioeconomic inequalities, and enable more social mobility.'”
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College Costs Rising Faster Than Financial Aid, Report Says

The Washington Post

“Colleges are putting the brakes on hefty price increases, but tuition and fees are still rising at a faster rate than the financial aid and family income needed to cover costs … Price increases have hovered around 3% … but net prices for a college education are rising … The positive news is that families are taking on less debt to cover the cost of higher education as the economy improves … People who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2015 left school with an average of $28,100 in debt.”
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Georgia Voters To Decide State’s Role In Struggling Schools

Education Week

“The ballot measure – known as Amendment 1 – has generated heated debate and created strange political bedfellows, with teachers’ unions, the state’s school boards’ association, the Georgia PTA, and some conservative Republicans lining up against the measure. On the other side is GOP Gov. Nathan Deal … the state chamber of commerce, some Democrats, and supporters of charters and school choice … The pro-amendment side has raised $1.2 million toward that effort with contributions from Georgia Leads, a Deal-backed group, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and 50CAN, an education advocacy group. On the other side, the National Education Association was expected to spend $1.5 million opposing the measure … A poll this month showing that most likely voters are leaning against supporting the measure.
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The Privatization Of Public Education Is Failing Our Kids

The Progressive

Wisconsin US House Representative Mark Pocan writes, “Wisconsin now has more than 32,000 students statewide enrolled in its voucher plan, even though approximately three-quarters of the new students receiving that public money were already attending private schools. Now they are just doing so on the taxpayer’s dime. States across the country are draining funds from public schools that educate the vast majority of our children and diverting it to a few students in private schools … Public schools are rightly required to educate all our children. Yet many voucher schools … are able to cherry-pick which students they prefer. They could refuse to take in a child who might cost more to educate, such as a child with disabilities … It is unconscionable for taxpayers to continue funding two duplicative education systems, particularly when the one can cherry-pick students and ignore educational standards and dodge showing proof they are working.”
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