Education Opportunity Network

Education Opportunity Network -

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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10/27/2016 – What Obama Never Got About Education

THIS WEEK: Election Warnings To Schools … Wall St. Funding Charters … RTTT Didn’t Work … Achieving Integration … Syrian Children In US

TOP STORY

What Obama Never Got About Education

By Jeff Bryant

“Emphasizing education output, while generally leaving input unaddressed, has been a feature, not a bug, of the Obama administration’s education policy all along … The honest truth is Obama and his Education Secretary never made adequate and equitable funding a signature education policy imperative … The legacy of the Obama administration on education will be mostly that he generally didn’t get it.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Fearing Election Day Trouble, Some US Schools Cancel Classes

Associated Press via ABC News

“The fear is that the ugly rhetoric of the campaign could escalate into confrontations and even violence in school hallways, endangering students … School officials … point to the recent firebombing of a Republican Party office in one North Carolina … Anxieties have been stoked by Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the election is rigged and his appeal to his supporters to stand guard against fraud at the polls. Some are worried about clashes between the self-appointed observers and voters.”
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Wall Street Firms Make Money From Teachers’ Pensions – And Fund Charter Schools Fight

International Business Times

“Executives at eight financial firms with contracts to manage Massachusetts state pension assets have bypassed anti-corruption rules and funneled at least $778,000 to groups backing Question 2, which would expand the number of charter schools in the state. Millions more dollars have flowed from the executives to nonprofit groups supporting the charter school movement in the lead-up to the November vote … Federal and state pay-to-play rules are designed to prevent campaign donations from influencing pension investment decisions … Cash flooding into Massachusetts to support Question 2 has flowed around that prohibition.”
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Race To The Top’s Impact On Student Achievement, State Policy Unclear, Report Says

Education Week

“There’s no hard-and-fast evidence that Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s $4 billion, signature K-12 initiative had a long-term impact on student achievement or state policy… It is difficult to discern whether Race to the Top had a longterm impact on state policy … Congress has already gotten rid of the program and made it virtually impossible for any future secretary of education to resurrect it.”
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What Diverse Schools Do Differently: New Report Outlines 10 Promising Approaches

Chalkbeat

“Schools that successfully enroll a mix of students also manage to create a climate that welcomes everyone … Whether it’s a new school in an old building, or an existing school in a new space – a change of scenery can attract more families of all kinds … Schools that accept students from outside regular zone lines … may attract students of different backgrounds … New admissions policies have also shown moderate success.
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Most US Syrians Arrivals Are Kids, Now Enrolling In School

Associated Press

“According to the U.S. State Department, nearly 80 percent of the more than 11,000 Syrian arrivals over the past year were children. That’s a larger percentage than most refugee groups, in part because Syrians tend to have larger families and many have managed to stay together despite displacement … There are a couple of obvious outcomes of a policy like this, the most obvious and damning being that if [a] program wants to survive, it has to avoid sending its graduates to low-performing (aka poor and under-resourced) schools. And since teachers most commonly teach somewhere near their community of origin, that means [the program] will definitely consider not accepting students from poor and under-resourced communities … Many of those children are enrolling in public schools around the country, including Chicago; Austin, Texas; New Haven, Connecticut; and El Cajon, [California] … Syrian children face many of the same challenges as other young refugees – limited English, an interrupted education – but they are somewhat distinct in the level of trauma they have experienced.”
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10/20/2016 – What New Challenges To The Charter School Industry Reveal

THIS WEEK: What’s Wrong With Reed Hastings … Schools Pursuing Integration … No Credit For Graduation Rates … Ignoring Student Debt … Stupid Teacher Prep Rules

TOP STORY

What New Challenges To The Charter School Industry Reveal

By Jeff Bryant

“As school year 2016-17 rolls out, the charter industry finds it faces formidable new challenges from many unexpected corners … What happened? A new omnibus report helps answer that question by explaining what made charter schools an instant public relations hit, how they were able to fly under the radar of public scrutiny for so long, and why challenges to the sector are arising now.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

The Battle Of Hastings: What’s Behind The Netflix CEO’s Fight To Charterize Public Schools?

Capital & Main

“Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix … helped launch the powerful EdVoice pro-charter lobbying group and … has donated more than $3.7 million to the California Charter Schools Association … Hastings and other school reform-minded tech billionaires want to inject the start-up mentality into the country’s schools, using high-tech solutions to replace human labor and disrupting longtime management and oversight approaches in the name of efficiency. But … roughly half of all start-ups fail. What happens to the children who get caught in those failures?”
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These Are The 100 U.S. School Districts That Are Actively Pursuing Socioeconomic Integration

The Washington Post

“The number of districts and charter schools that use socioeconomic status as a factor in student assignment has grown quickly from two in 1996 to 39 in 2007 to 100 today … there are 4.4 million students enrolled in these districts, nearly 9 percent of all students nationwide … The communities currently pursuing socioeconomic integration are in red states and blue, and in many parts of the country.”
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Graduation Rate Hits Record High of 83.2%: Should Obama Take Credit?

Education Week

“President Barack Obama appears to be using this graduation rate announcement to take an education victory lap … But it’s also possible that any one of a number of other factors could be the driving force, including decreases in violent crime, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy … What’s more, it’s not clear if higher graduation rates necessarily mean that more students are leaving high school prepared for college … The Obama administration’s tenure also saw the first drop in 4th and 8th reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or the nation’s report card, in more than two decades.”
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STUDY: Evening Cable News Spent Less Than Two And A Half Hours Discussing College Affordability In An Entire Year

Media Matters For America

“Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN … devoted limited time to discussing [college affordability] and … the majority of guests participating in the discussions were white, male, and middle-aged or older … The most represented profession, by far, among evening cable news guests discussing college affordability was journalists … Over the year studied, a total of eight current students (6% of guests) made guest appearances … 41% (52 guests) discussed [Bernie] Sanders’ record or policy stances on college affordability topics. About a quarter of the guests discussed Clinton’s record or policy stances on these issues.
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Fed’s Stupid Teacher Prep Program Rules

Education Week

Pennsylvania school teacher and blogger Peter Greene writes, “The feds have released their rules governing teacher preparation programs, and they are just as stupid as they have promised to be all along …The genius portion is the part that links college teacher program ratings to student results on the Big Standardized Test … There are a couple of obvious outcomes of a policy like this, the most obvious and damning being that if [a] program wants to survive, it has to avoid sending its graduates to low-performing (aka poor and under-resourced) schools. And since teachers most commonly teach somewhere near their community of origin, that means [the program] will definitely consider not accepting students from poor and under-resourced communities … Of course, we could also use test results to evaluate the work of officials who set education policy, and if test results fail to go up annually, we could simply fire all those officials … But that would just be crazy talk. Almost as crazy as doing an actual evaluation of tests themselves.”
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10/13/2016 – Nationwide Rally Demands Government Leaders Prioritize Education

THIS WEEK: Chicago Averts Strike … Segregation By Real Estate … College Bureaucracies Grow … Racism Affects Learning … Indigenous Peoples Day

TOP STORY

Public School Activists Stage Massive Nationwide Rally Demanding Government Leaders Prioritize Education

By Jeff Bryant

“At last week’s massive outpouring at over 2,000 schools in over 200 cities … an estimated 100,000-plus people called for attention to widespread problems in public schools and demanded new policy directions that prioritize quality education for all students … Crowds were surprisingly unified in expressing their exasperation with government leaders who continue to shirk their responsibilities to provide all children with the opportunity to get a high-quality education … Frustration expressed at many of the events at last week’s walk-ins may have an effect on elections in November.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Officials, Parents Worry Chicago Schools Deal Won’t Stick

Education Week

“Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district pulled back from a threatened strike after a tentative last-minute contract agreement that Chicago officials acknowledged Tuesday may amount to a temporary fix … A key provision is an agreement by the city to divert about $88 million from a $175 million surplus … to the schools. That figure is less than the $200 million in additional spending the union had sought.”
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Race, School Ratings And Real Estate: A ‘Legal Gray Area’

NPR

“Advocates for fair housing see a potential problem with the close ties between school ratings and real estate … The common denominator, too often, is race … Most states base their school ratings primarily on more easily measured factors, like standardized test scores and graduation rates. And these indicators, in turn, are heavily influenced by inequities of race and class.”
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University Bureaucracies Grew 15% During The Recession, Even As Budgets Were Cut And Tuition Increased

The Hechinger Report

“The number of people employed by public university and college central system offices like this one … has kept creeping up, even since the start of the economic downturn and in spite of steep budget cuts, flat enrollment and heightened scrutiny of administrative bloat … This continued growth has happened at a time when states have collectively cut their higher education spending by 18% … Employees in once-separate departments whose positions have been [centeralized] … could eventually help curb costs.”
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How The Stress Of Racism Affects Learning

The Atlantic

“The stress of racial discrimination may partly explain the persistent gaps in academic performance between some nonwhite students, mainly black and Latino youth, and their white counterparts … Physiological response to race-based stressors … leads the body to pump out more stress hormones in adolescents from traditionally marginalized groups … What emerges is a picture of black and Latino students whose concentration, motivation, and, ultimately, learning is impaired by unintended and overt racism … Reducing student exposure to racial discrimination and improving race relations in the U.S. more generally are the ultimate solutions to this, but in the meantime, there are ways to help students deal with the stress.
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More Schools Replace Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples Day

Education Week

“School districts in New York and … Massachusetts are among the districts where school boards voted to change the celebration this year. They’re following the lead of school districts like Seattle … Students have led the charge in several cities … The wave … comes as a standoff between a coalition of Native Americans and the federal government over an oil pipeline in North Dakota has brought the contemporary issues facing Native Americans and their historical context into the national spotlight.”
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10/06/2016 – Federal Government Continues To Feed Charter School Beast Despite Auditor’s Warning

THIS WEEK: Chicago Teacher Strike … Counselors For Black Kids … Pre-K Progress In NYC … Union Combats Trump Effect … College Is For Wealthier

TOP STORY

Federal Government Continues To Feed Charter School Beast Despite Auditor’s Warning

By Jeff Bryant

“Our federal government’s new gift of nearly a quarter-billion dollars to charter schools… is going to eight states and 15 charter school networks from the Charter Schools Program, a federal government operation that doles out millions every year to start new charter schools. This money is the latest installment of an over $3 billion gravy train the federal government has funded to help launch over 2,500 charter schools across the nation … Regardless of how you feel about these schools, you should be concerned about how this new government outlay to charters will be used, based on the extensive track record of financial malfeasance in these schools.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Chicago Teachers Strike Again? A Beautiful Response to Ugly Injustice.

The Progressive

Chicago school teacher Xian Franzinger Barrett writes, “In Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Public Schools … our school’s funding was cut despite increased enrollment. And across the district, many of these basic tenets of an equitable, world-class education have been taken away from students. So while a strike represents struggle, it represents beautiful struggle. Rather than accepting Chicago leadership’s conviction that our daughter and her peers are born inferior and less deserving of educational opportunities than the mayor’s children, we have the opportunity to stand together and rebel against that notion.”
Read more …

Report: There Are Too Few School Counselors for Traumatized Black Children – But Plenty of Punishment

Atlanta Black Star

“Black and brown children, who are most likely to live with trauma, run a much greater risk of facing harsh punishment and school discipline rather than receiving the crucial mental health counseling they need … A new research report … tells the story with the first-of-its-kind, state-level analysis on the shortage of counselors, psychologists, and social workers in America’s public schools. … 35 million children in the U.S. are suffering from trauma, yet only 8 million (22% ) have a school psychologist at their disposal. Only 63% of public schools have a counselor, and a mere 18 percent have a social worker.”
Read more …

Children In New York City Preschool Made Progress In Learning, Behavior Skills: Study

The Wall Street Journal

“Children in New York City’s public preschool program made gains in recognizing letters, spelling, and early math skills … Children on average gained seven months of learning and gained more ‘executive function’ skills, such as impulse control and avoiding distraction … A survey of families found 92% rated the quality of their child’s preschool program as ‘‘good’ or ‘excellent,’ and 83% reported that preschool improved their child’s learning and behavior ‘a lot’.”
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Nation’s Largest Labor Union Plans To Link Trump To Rise In School Bullying

The Washington Post

“Citing a growing number of reports by its membership of Trump-like bullying in classrooms across the country, the National Education Association is planning to make the issue a centerpiece of its argument against Trump in ads and mailings in battleground states … Members are reporting children threatening classmates that they might be deported by Trump or calling other classmates terrorists … The push coincides with National Bullying Prevention Month in October, an effort that is normally part of NEA’s annual activities.
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Colleges Lavishing More Financial Aid On Wealthy Students

Associated Press

“Financial aid, traditionally a lifeline for poorer students at public colleges, is increasingly being used to attract students from more affluent families … State schools are using the money to lure the most qualified students, raise average test scores, and entice students from high-income families who can pay the rest of the full sticker price. Critics say that by devoting aid to students who don’t need it, state schools are punishing the poor, making it harder for them to attend college when the gap between tuition costs and affordability is only growing.”
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9/29/2016 – Elizabeth Warren Clarifies The Charter Schools Debate

THIS WEEK: Structural Racism In Pre-K … No To School Cops … Kaepernick Effect … Important Governors Races … School Board Elections

TOP STORY

Elizabeth Warren Clarifies The Charter Schools Debate

By Jeff Bryant

“This week, Massachusetts news outlets reported the state’s most prominent politician, and one of the nation’s most important progressive leaders, Senator Elizabeth Warren threw the supposedly progressive framing of charter schools into doubt when she announced officially her opposition to a ballot initiative in November to expand the number of charters in the Bay State … Warren has good cause to be concerned about expanding charter schools in her state.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Yes, Preschool Teachers Really Do Treat Black And White Children Totally Differently

The Huffington Post

“New research … shows that preschool teachers respond to their black and white students differently. Implicit biases – or unconscious stereotypes – might be at the root of these differences … The first half of the study used eye-tracking equipment to determine where teachers look when they are expecting student misconduct … Teachers tended to focus their eyes on black students … In the second half of the study, the educators read vignettes about a child’s misbehavior … White teachers tended to rate the behavior of the “black” children more mildly than black teachers, who tended to rate the misbehavior of black children more harshly.”
Read more …

Coalition Calls For End Of Police Presence In Schools

The Center For Public Integrity

“A coalition of family and civil-rights groups launched a national campaign … to ‘end the regular presence’ of police, armed security and truancy officers posted inside schools … Harsh disciplinary actions of police assigned to schools … have become increasingly controversial in recent years, creating worries that criminalization of minor indiscretions has created a counter-productive ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ … Federal officials have expressed concerns as well, but have stopped short of calling for removal of cops entirely … Arrests, ticketing, and rough physical contact fall most heavily on student with disabilities and students of color.”
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Patriotism And Protest Under Friday Night Lights

The Atlantic

“Across the country, students are sitting, kneeling, and dissenting from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and standing for the national anthem. Many of these acts coincide with [Colin] Kaepernick’s refusal to stand and show pride for what he described as ‘a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color’… It’s almost universally understood by school officials that they have to allow students to excuse themselves from these exercises … Still, the tension remains between knowing the law and obeying it.”
Read more …

Fresh Policy Leverage Waits As Governors’ Contests Heat Up

Education Week

“12 states will pick governors Nov. 8, and two-thirds of them will be new faces regardless of the partisan outcome … 6 governorships are held by Democrats, five by Republicans, and one (West Virginia) by an independent. That fluid situation and the Every Student Succeeds Act’s new grant of policy flexibility to the states may clear the way for a more activist stance on education policy by the nation’s governors … School funding, finance formulas, and accountability have dominated the debates.
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School Board Elections: Someone’s Paying Attention But It’s Not Us

The Second Line Education Blog

“According to Ballotpedia, ‘643 of America’s largest school districts by enrollment are holding elections for 2,041 seats. These elections will take place in 38 states. These districts collectively educated a total of 16,965,635 students during the 2013-2014 school year – 34% of all K-12 students in the United States’ … Big money, influence and government are paying attention. Parents are not … Outside donors have set up shop and are not looking to go anywhere anytime soon. The education of our children is seen as a lucrative commodity.”
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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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