Education Opportunity Network

Education Opportunity Network -

2/24/2017 – Trump And DeVos Have A Deceptive Scheme To Push School Vouchers

THIS WEEK: Trump Attacks Transgenders … DeVos Outrages … NCLB Failed … Fair Schools Matter … For-Profits Booming

TOP STORY

Trump And DeVos Have A Deceptive Scheme To Push School Vouchers

By Jeff Bryant

“If new reports out this week are credible, and they appear to be, a school voucher program is indeed on the president’s agenda – only it’s not being called that. There are reasons for the deception, and it’s important for progressives to understand how to frame Trump’s scheme before the public debate starts.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Trump Administration Rescinds Transgender-Student Guidance

Education Week

“The U.S. departments of Justice and Education rescinded Obama-era guidance on the rights of transgender students … lifting requirements that schools allow students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity … ‘This is an issue best solved at the state and local level’ … Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said … A case brought by a transgender Virginia boy against his school district is still due before the U.S. Supreme Court … A lower court granted Gavin Grimm an injunction … While the about-face at the federal level may remove a layer of legal protection for transgender students, it doesn’t change the ability for state and local decisionmakers to determine how to best accommodate transgender students in schools.”
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So Far, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Is Just What Her Critics Feared

The Washington Post

Valerie Strauss writes, “DeVos has … insulted teachers … bashed protesters … said she would be fine if the department she runs is shut down … did not participate in the first Twitter chat her department had for teachers … made crystal clear that a top priority will be pushing for alternatives to traditional public schools … Close ally of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, DeVos has talked up the Sunshine State’s corporate school reform … heaping praise on a tax credit program to help students with disabilities, the same program that … sparked ‘cottage industry of fraud.’”
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No Child Left Behind: A Deeply Flawed Federal Policy

Wiley Online Library

Researcher Helen Ladd writes, “Proponents expected NCLB to boost student achievement overall … The overall test score effects of NCLB are clearly disappointing. Moreover, its positive effects on certain subgroups in some grades and subjects were far from sufficient to move the needle much on test score gaps … A ‘broader and bolder’ approach to education, one that addresses the challenges that many disadvantaged children bring to school, was needed. Such an approach would include high-quality pre-school, better health services, and more high-quality afterschool and summer programs of the type that children from middle class families take for granted.”
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When School Doesn’t Seem Fair, Students May Suffer Lasting Effects

Education Week

“When students believe schools are unfair places, their loss of trust can lead to a lack of engagement that affects them for years … Students who perceive a lack of justice or disparate treatment for certain racial groups may respond with defiant behavior. And discipline for that behavior may cause them to become further disengaged from school, fostering a spiral of defiance that may lead to poor outcomes, such as less likelihood of college enrollment … Black and Hispanic students, who often bear the brunt of inconsistent school discipline, are less likely than white peers to trust their schools.”
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For-Profit Schools, An Obama Target, See New Day Under Trump

The New York Times

“Since Election Day, for-profit college companies have been on a hot streak. DeVry Education Group’s stock has leapt more than 40%. Strayer’s jumped 35% and Grand Canyon Education’s more than 28% .… Trump ran the now-defunct Trump University … DeVos … is an ardent campaigner for privately run schools and has investments in for-profit educational ventures … Under the Obama administration, the Education Department discouraged students from attending for-profit colleges … [Obama’s education] department identified 800 failing 98% percent of the programs were at for-profit colleges.”
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2/16/2017 – DeVos’s Stumbles Right Out Of The Gate Are Nothing To Laugh About

THIS WEEK: What DeVos Did … Choice Causes Segregation … School Integration … Voucher Disaster … Trump’s Muslim Ban

TOP STORY

DeVos’s Stumbles Right Out Of The Gate Are Nothing To Laugh About

By Jeff Bryant

“Betsy DeVos’s … stumbles right out the gate reveal disturbing characteristics of her leadership … Given her lack of experience … it’s perhaps understandable DeVos would not be very knowledgeable about policy ideas that have helped educators transform schools … But what’s most concerning is that she doesn’t seem the least bit interested in those policy ideas … DeVos … portends a near future of ideological warfare over basic education justice in the country.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Betsy DeVos Is Coming For Your Children

Deadspin

“Unlike, say, Ben Carson and Rick Perry, who are totally ignorant of housing and energy policy and have no relevant experience in their new fields, DeVos is highly qualified to implement her vision – children using vouchers to attend Kiddie Cato Institutes in the back of churches, more or less – for America. After all, she’s done it before … The frightening thing about DeVos, though, is less how dystopian her ideas are than how successful she’s been at imposing them. She’s had her way with Detroit … Detroit went from a public school system with an overlay of healthy alternatives to a mess of unregulated choice where the alternatives have begun to swallow the system whole. This is what DeVos wants to bring to America.”
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Schools In The Nation’s Capital Are Embarrassingly Segregated

The Huffington Post

“The city’s school segregation problem has been exacerbated by school choice policies like the ones currently championed by President Donald Trump and his secretary of education, Betsy DeVos. Charter schools in D.C. are overwhelmingly black. The city’s small voucher program ― which allows kids to attend private schools using taxpayer money ― is designed to serve low-income children, but has actually underserved black kids, the report says. … The benefits of desegregated schools are well-documented … Racially mixed schools are proven to benefit both white students and students of color.”
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The Promise Of Integrated Schools

The Atlantic

“Two recent reports offer the latest research to point to hopeful trends as more school districts pursue integration – with promising benefits shown for students of color and their white peers in racially diverse classrooms … In 1996 … just two school districts nationwide … used socioeconomic status as a factor in student assignment policies … Today, 91 school jurisdictions deliberately blend affluent and less-advantaged children, totaling over 4 million students, about 8 percent of K-12 public-school enrollment … Racially integrated schools improve education for students of all races and accomplish one immeasurable advantage: helping youth challenge stereotypes and their implicit biases toward people of different races and ethnicities.”
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Chile’s School Voucher System: Enabling Choice or Perpetuating Social Inequality?

New America

“Chile implemented a universal school voucher program 1981, as part of a series of free-market economic reforms ushered in by Dictator Augusto Pinochet, who rose to power in a 1973 coup d’état … Chile’s voucher program has been widely studied and largely found to have exacerbated inequality, reduced public school enrollment and minimal to no impact on student achievement … Voucher systems are no cure for the inequities that plague our education system.”
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How The Immigration Controversy Could Drive Up The Cost Of College

The Hechinger Report

“Scores of U.S. schools have come to rely on international students to keep their budgets in the black … That could make [Trump’s] immigration order much more disruptive to higher education than has previously been understood. More than one million international students studied at U.S. colleges and universities last year … Those students added an estimated $35 billion to the U.S. economy … Students from the seven countries in the travel ban alone bring in more than $700 million … Several colleges and universities are already reporting drop-offs in international applications.”
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2/9/2017 – Progressives Lost The Vote On DeVos But Won Something Else

THIS WEEK: Why Dislike DeVos … Closing USDoE … Ending ESSA Rules … School Segregation … Civics Education

TOP STORY

Progressives Lost The Vote On DeVos But Won Something Else

By Jeff Bryant

“Betsy DeVos may have won her contest in the Senate to become the new U.S. Secretary of Education, but her opposition wasn’t the only thing that went down to defeat that day. For decades, federal education policies have been governed by a “Washington Consensus” that public schools are effectively broken … and the only way to fix them is to apply a dose of tough love and a business philosophy of competition from charter schools and performance measurements based on standardized tests … That consensus appears dead … But what looks like the death of a political consensus on education could be the beginning of something else.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

How Betsy Devos Became Trump’s Most Controversial Nominee

Vox

“Vice President Mike Pence broke a Senate tie to confirm Betsy DeVos, 51-50, as the next education secretary … So the thousands of Americans who called their senators begging them to vote against DeVos, in the end, aren’t going to get what they want … But that doesn’t mean the opposition failed utterly… DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor with scant experience with traditional public schools, has sparked an overwhelming response from activists … Americans don’t usually get this worked up about education. But DeVos might have struck a chord because education is a subject that many people take personally – and one that affects even white, upper-middle-class people.”
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GOP Lawmaker Proposes Abolishing Department Of Education

The Hill

“On the same day the Senate confirmed President Trump’s secretary of Education pick by a historically narrow margin, a House Republican introduced legislation to abolish the entire department Betsy DeVos will lead. Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie’s bill is only a page long, after merely stating the Department of Education would terminate on Dec. 31, 2018.”
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House Republicans Move To Scrap Rules On ESSA, Teacher Preparation

Education Week

“Republican lawmakers in Congress are moving to do away with regulations from the Obama administration regarding accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act and teacher preparation … If these regulations are overturned, President Donald Trump’s administration would be prohibited from issuing ‘substantially similar’ regulations on these two issues if there isn’t a new law signed … These moves by GOP lawmakers don’t immediately end those ESSA accountability and teacher-prep rules. However, they signal that the Republicans are preparing to do away with them.”
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How Segregated Schools Built Segregated Cities

City Lab

“We’ve gotten used to explaining the segregation we see in our schools by pointing to the segregation we see in our neighborhoods … That explanation has it backwards. In many cities across the U.S., public schools were the first and nearly always the most effective of the tools white residents had to police the boundaries of their neighborhoods. Often, it was school segregation that created neighborhood segregation, not the other way around.”
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Why Teaching Civics in America’s Classrooms Must Be a Trump-Era Priority

Mother Jones

“American public schools … were founded to maintain a pluralistic democracy and protect citizens against the tyranny of the majority. Advocates for the public education system argued that the unique American experiment wouldn’t work without it – that schools were the most effective mechanism for instilling civic values… Courses in civic studies were common in American high schools …   All that changed most notably in the 1980s, when, in addition to earlier cuts in civic studies, policymakers began shifting the focus from social studies toward easily testable subjects like math and reading … In 2011, all federal funding for civics and social studies was eliminated.”
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2/2/2017 – Betsy DeVos Likely To Spread Quack Science Instead Of Teaching The Real Thing

THIS WEEK: Why Fight Over DeVos … DACA At Risk … School Choice Failures … Trump Ban Roils Colleges … Nationwide Education Protests

TOP STORY

Betsy DeVos Likely To Spread Quack Science Instead Of Teaching The Real Thing

By Jeff Bryant

“After a rocky confirmation hearing in Senate committee, Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, cleared to the full Senate … But now, two Republican Senators who voted DeVos out of committee … say they can’t back DeVos in a full Senate vote … A final vote has been called for next week … Recent revelations in major news outlets should raise alarms about DeVos’s views on science and how they may influence her decision-making … In her charitable giving, her financial investments, and the rhetoric she uses to express her intentions as secretary, DeVos has exhibited a propensity to favor beliefs ground in quack science over the real thing.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Why DeVos Is The Most Polarizing Ed Sec Nominee Ever

The Washington Post

“[Betsy] DeVos is clearly the most controversial education nominee in the history of the nearly 40-year-old Education Department … Opposition to DeVos is less about politics … Her characterization of public education as an ‘industry’ is a core tenet of corporate school reformers, who believe public schools should be run like businesses. Public school advocates see America’s public education system as a civic institution – the country’s most important – that can’t be run like a business without ensuring that some children will be winners and others will be losers.”
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As Trump Weighs Fate Of Immigrant Students, Schools Ponder Their Roles

Education Week

“Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of K-12 children and the educators who serve them are bracing for upheaval … Many are waiting for word on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-administration policy that has granted temporary deportation reprieves for more than 740,000 young undocumented immigrants. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to repeal that executive order … Schools in cities like Denver and Nashville are working to reassure students that school is a safe, welcoming place.”
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Worldwide, School Choice Hasn’t Improved Performance

US News & World Report

“Worldwide, rising populism and identity politics are leading to increased demands from families seeking out specific types of schools that mirror their ideologies. In some countries, this has extended to replacing the public system of schools with government vouchers … Some have argued that competitive incentives induced by school choice will lead to better educational outcomes. However, there is little evidence to support this claim … Where school choice has shown powerful effects around the world is the systematic separation of students by ethnicity, social class and religion.”
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Colleges Scramble After Trump’s Executive Order Bans Citizens Of 7 Muslim Countries

The Chronicle Of Higher Education

“Colleges across the United States are rushing to respond to the news … that President Trump had signed an executive order suspending admission to the United States of all refugees as well as all citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations. The main message: … Students and scholars, if you might be affected by such an executive order, don’t leave the country … It is estimated that more than 15,000 international students could be affected by the ban.”
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Teachers And Allies March For Public Education On The Eve Of The Trump Era

Think Progress

“Educators and their allies are mobilizing nationwide to oppose what they consider to be a major threat to public education from the incoming Trump administration … The day before Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, parents, teachers, and students gathered in front of schools in over 200 cities to oppose school privatization and support safe and inclusive spaces for all students … The coalition that helped organize these protests, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) …  has held national protests before … President-elect Donald Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric is also a major focus for the coalition.”
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1/26/2017 – How Trump’s Education Scheme Will Screw Rural People Who Elected Him

THIS WEEK: Out Of Touch DeVos … DeVos Backs Quack Science … Obama’s Failed School Policies … Black Students Targeted … School Funding Unfairness

TOP STORY

How Trump’s Education Scheme Will Screw Rural People Who Elected Him

By Jeff Bryant

“Rural schools make up more than half of the school districts in America and serve around a quarter of the nation’s students … But rural schools are in trouble. Dropout rates for rural students are significantly worse than in urban districts, suspension rates are higher, school facilities are frequently lower quality, funding is disproportionally lower, and reading proficiency levels are sometimes below statewide averages … None of these problems will be solved by creating more charter schools and using vouchers … That option will only make things worse.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Betsy DeVos’ Big Education Idea Doesn’t Work

Slate

“Although DeVos’ exhortations on behalf of parental school choice are familiar to anyone who follows education reform, today she is wildly out of touch with a large part of the movement she purports to represent… she has repeatedly depicted school choice as antithetical to, and necessarily independent from, the government’s role in education … Yet unchecked free markets in education will inevitably put poor families in an even worse position … Substantial research showing that charter schools tend to perform better in states with rigorous vetting of charter operators, helped usher in a new phase of ‘school choice’ in many communities: one in which government agencies or designees play a more aggressive role.”
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DeVos-Backed Company Makes Questionable Claims On Autism, ADHD

Education Week

“President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the federal Education Department is a major backer of a company claiming its neurofeedback technology can ‘fix’ problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and has ‘proven and long-lasting’ positive effects on children with autism… DeVos sat on Neurocore’s board from 2009 until November … As part of her divestiture plan … DeVos and her husband will maintain an indirect financial interest in the company … between $5 million and $25 million … It’s worrisome that the country’s new education secretary nominee would remain closely tied to a company that has apparently made exaggerated and misleading claims about its service.”
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Obama Administration Spent Billions To Fix Failing Schools, And It Didn’t Work

The Washington Post

“One of the Obama administration’s signature efforts in education, which pumped billions of federal dollars into overhauling the nation’s worst schools, failed to produce meaningful results … Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money … than in schools that did not … Some education experts say that the administration closed its eyes to mounting evidence about the program’s problems in its own interim evaluations, which were released in the years after the first big infusion of cash.”
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Black Students More Likely To Be Arrested At School

Education Week

“Black students are arrested at school at disproportionately high levels … One reason may be that black students are more likely than students in any other racial or ethnic group to attend schools with police … Nationwide, black boys are at the highest risk, three times as likely to be arrested at school as their white male peers. And African-American girls fare little better: They are more than 1.5 times as likely as white boys to be arrested.”
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School Funding Remains Unfair For Most Students Across The Nation

Education Law Center

“Public school funding in most states continues to be unfair and inequitable, depriving millions of U.S. students of the opportunity for success in school … Many states with low funding levels … invest a low percentage of their economic capacity to support their public education systems … Students in certain regions of the country face a ‘double disadvantage’ because their states have low funding levels and do not increase funding for concentrated student poverty … States with unfair school funding perform poorly on key indicators of resources essential for educational opportunity.”
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SPECIAL REPORT: The Big Charter School ‘Accountability’ Lie

SPECIAL REPORT: The Big Charter School ‘Accountability’ Lie

TOP STORY

New Reports Reveal The Big Charter School ‘Accountability’ Lie

By Jeff Bryant

“There’s ample evidence … that much of the vaunted ‘accountability’ of charter schools is an empty promise at best, and at worse, a curtain to hide all sorts of malfeasance and corruption … As a new report from the Center for Popular Democracy documents, ‘lack of oversight’ and regulatory guidelines have led to a massive expansion of low-performing charter schools in Florida … As our new secretary of education, Betsy DeVos would likely be more apt to support and spread the kind of taxpayer waste and abuse we see in Florida rather than address it. That, at least, is what we can assume based on her actions in Michigan … There is no reason to believe … the charter industry will use her tenure to advance accountability measures.”
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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.”
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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.”
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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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