Education Opportunity Network

Education Opportunity Network -

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

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

TOP STORY

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

By Jeff Bryant

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

NEWS AND VIEWS

Why Are Third-Graders Afraid Of Donald Trump?

The Atlantic

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

Think Progress

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

The Washington Post

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

Slate

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

Altenet

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

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

TOP STORY

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

By Jeff Bryant

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

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

The Washington Post

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

NPR

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

U.S. News & World Report

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

Education Week

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

Demos

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

7/8/2016 – How Education Fares In The Democratic Party Platform

THIS WEEK: Obama Friends Bid For For-Profit College … Kids Are Losing Recovery … Rating Schools … Trickle Down Economics Hurts Schools … Rally For Public Schools

TOP STORY

How Education Fares In The Democratic Party Platform

By Jeff Bryant

“Many are saying this platform ‘may be most progressive platform the Democratic Party may have ever had.’ But is it progressive on education? … Currently, the best answer to that question is, ‘Maybe.’”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Bid To Buy For-Profit College By Former Obama Insiders Raises Questions

Politico

“As the Obama administration cracks down on for-profit colleges, three former officials working on behalf of an investment firm run by President Barack Obama’s best friend have staged a behind-the-scenes campaign to get the Education Department to green-light a purchase of the biggest for-profit of them all – the University of Phoenix… Several key players are either close to top administration officials, including the president himself, or are former administration insiders… The proposed sale carries high stakes… $1.1 billion… If the company were to fail, more than 160,000 students could be displaced and the government would be on the hook for hundreds of millions in student loans.”
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2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book Finds Stagnating Poverty And Racial Inequity

New America Foundation

“New data… which measures the well-being of children across the nation… reveals… the growing economic instability of American children and families… despite being several years into the recovery… Even though the employment rate has been increasing… 30% of children lived in families where no parent had full-time, year-round employment… 22% of children lived in families with incomes below the poverty line… Future prospects of workers with a high school diploma or less are growing ever bleaker… Children of color… continue to experience negative outcomes at higher rates.”
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Education Secretary Takes Heat For Pushing Single Rating Of Schools

EdSource

“California is moving towards establishing a new accountability system made up of multiple measures, in place of the state’s previous… which assigned schools a single ‘summative’ number based on test scores. This new approach has been championed by Gov. Jerry Brown… But under the draft regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education… states would be required to come up with a single rating for their schools.”
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The Trickle-Down Myth Meets The Reality Of School Aid

The New York Times

“[Kansas] Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-controlled Legislature have… yielded to a state court mandate to either treat poor districts more equitably or see the public school system shut down… The fierce standoff over school financing was an outgrowth of Mr. Brownback’s wholesale indulgence of the Republican trickle-down myth that sweeping tax cuts somehow produce revenue growth, not deficits… As vicious as the fight has been, it may prove to be a mere skirmish in a larger court challenge focused on the State Constitution’s requirement that a properly financed education be provided for all Kansas students.”
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This Friday In D.C., Let’s Rally For An Important Progressive Cause

Campaign For America’s Future

Jeff Bryant writes, “This Friday, a crowd expected to reach into the thousands will throng the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to listen to prominent voices in the progressive movement, such as Rev. William Barber II, address the nation… The cause is about rallying the nation to support its treasured K-12 public school system. The gathering begins at 10:30 a.m., the speeches begin at noon and a march to the White House at 2:30 p.m.… Barber will be joined on the stage by some of the most prominent voices in progressive education policy, including education historian and best-selling author Diane Ravitch, renowned author and social justice advocate Jonathan Kozol, Chicago community activist Jitu Brown, and Youth Dreamers fighters for immigrant justice, among many others.”
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6/30/2016 – Are Public Schools And Private Equity A Bad Mix?

THIS WEEK: School Choice Is Chaos … Teacher Stress Hurts Students … Exercise Improves Achievement … Solve Inequality First … SCOTUS Got Fisher Right

TOP STORY

Are Public Schools And Private Equity A Bad Mix?

By Jeff Bryant

“It’s true … cities and towns are required to offer citizens a free education … That doesn’t mean that schools aren’t fair game for privatization … Charter schools, for instance, are fundamentally less democratic than public schools. And changing from traditional way of funding education – where taxpayers agree to share costs of schools, and those assets are handed from one generation to the next – to a system in which charter school real estate and operations are controlled by private equity takes control out of the community.”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

A Sea Of Charter Schools In Detroit Leaves Students Adrift

The New York Times

“Michigan leapt at the promise of charter schools 23 years ago, betting big that choice and competition would improve public schools. It got competition, and chaos … 24 charter schools have opened in the city since the cap was lifted in 2011. 18 charters whose existing schools were at or below the district’s dismal performance expanded or opened new schools … It can be a forbidding landscape for families trying to enroll their children, particularly in a city where, historically, federal statistics show that nearly half the adults are not literate enough to function effectively … ‘We’re spreading the money across more and more schools … They’re all under-resourced.'”
Read more …

Classroom Contagion: Stressed-Out Students More Common In Classes Where Teachers Are Burned Out

Medical Daily

“Teacher burnout may contribute to stressed-out students and vice versa, suggesting that stress may actually be contagious … This is the first time research has found a potential link between the two … When teachers get stressed from inadequate support in the classroom or poor educational systems, their lessons are less organized and managed. Students, then, are affected by the stress and burnout, in turn increasing their own levels of anxiety.”
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To Do Better In School, Kids Should Exercise Their Bodies As Well As Their Brains, Experts Say

Los Angeles Times

“‘Physical activity before, during and after school promotes scholastic performance in children and youth’ … What’s more, exercise and fitness ‘are beneficial to brain structure, brain function and cognition’”… Recess and physical education classes in school, organized youth sports leagues, and old-fashioned outdoor play … are still a good investment in academic achievement.”
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UN Report: Tackle Inequality To Prevent Children From Dying

Associated Press via ABC News

“69 million youngsters under the age of five will die from preventable causes between now and 2030 if all countries don’t accelerate action to improve health and education for the most disadvantaged … 167 million children will also live in extreme poverty, 60 million won’t be attending primary school, and 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030 unless inequality is tackled now … 147 million children between one- and five-years-old could be saved from preventable death ‘just with a 2% increase in expenditure in 74 countries.'”
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What Other Universities Should Learn From UT

Houston Chronicle

Education professor Julian Vasquez Heilig writes, “We are fortunate today that the Supreme Court ruled that the University of Texas admission plan ‘clearly reconciled the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity’ … Critics of affirmative action in admissions often frame the matter like that: as a rule that says when two exactly equal candidates apply for a spot in a university, the minority candidate is chosen each time. This is a gross and purposeful simplification of what actually occurs … UT was very thorough in its empirical process … This high standard will likely cause those that oppose the consideration of race … to sue colleges or universities that haven’t been so thorough. So my message to my academic brethren … Be sure that your admissions policies are in the best interest of your students and faculty.”
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6/23/2016 – Getting The ‘Customer Model’ Out Of Education

THIS WEEK: Schools Aren’t Failures … Ed-Tech Not A Solution … Low Teacher Pay … Chicago School Collapse … America’s School Funding Crisis

TOP STORY

Getting The ‘Customer Model’ Out Of Education

By Jeff Bryant

“We’re constantly told schools need to be in step with the needs of businesses, and that education is ‘an investment’ that gets a ‘return.’ The language of education policy is saturated in business values of efficiency, standardization, and productivity. But the truth is most businesses fail.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

America’s Not-So-Broken Education System

The Atlantic

“The public-education system is undeniably flawed. Yet many of the deepest flaws have been deliberately cultivated. Funding inequity and racial segregation, for instance, aren’t byproducts of a system that broke. They are direct consequences of an intentional concentration of privilege … It is important not to confuse inequity with ineptitude. History may reveal broken promises around racial and economic justice. But it does not support the story of a broken education system.”
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State-Of-The-Art Education Software Often Doesn’t Help Students Learn More, Study Finds

The Hechinger Report

“Students didn’t get higher grades from using adaptive-learning software, nor were they more likely to pass a course than in a traditional face-to-face class. In some courses the researchers found that students were learning more from adaptive-learning software, but even in those cases, the positive impact tended to be ‘modest.’”
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Teacher Pay Around The World

Brookings

“American teachers are underpaid when compared to teachers in the nations we compete with … In most industrialized countries relative teacher pay is higher than in the United States … The gaps are even larger for upper secondary than for lower secondary … Making teaching a financially more attractive career isn’t the only thing that matters for who teaches. It does matter though, and probably it matters a lot.”
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Is The Nation’s Third-Largest School District In Danger Of Collapse?

The Washington Post

“Money mismanagement, inadequate funding and failed education policy are combining with a host of other factors to raise the issue of whether the nation’s third-largest school district is in existential danger … The union rejected an independent fact-finders recommendation that it accept a four-year contract offered by the city, and its president, Karen Lewis, said that the district’s financial problems could not solely be laid at the feet of the Republican governor, but also at the mayor’s and district leadership’s.”
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America Faces A School Funding Crisis

Newsday

Jeff Bryan writes, “In many communities around the country, families with children in schools are increasingly concerned about the conditions of the schools their kids will return to in the fall. Even worse, some are worrying whether the schools will open at all … National per-pupil spending on primary and secondary public schools has dropped for three straight years … In the meantime, student enrollment in public schools continues to grow … A recent review of the research on the effects of school funding on school outcomes … found that spending more money on education tends to benefit students.”
Read more …

6/16/2016 – How Long Can Big Money Keep Democrats In The Charter School Camp?

THIS WEEK: Chronic Absences … Homeless Students … Transgender Bathrooms … Poor Pay For Pre-K … New Reform Lie

TOP STORY

How Long Can Big Money Keep Democrats In The Charter School Camp?

By Jeff Bryant

“In the California Democratic Party’s primary race … many Democratic Party candidates relied on money from the petroleum industry and ‘education reform’ advocates backing charter schools to win their contests over ‘more progressive’ candidates … Charter school advocates also team up with big finance to influence Democratic Party candidates … Although, the issue of charter schools has barely been addressed in the presidential contest, there’s little doubt the subject is clearly a matter of intense and bitter debate down ticket.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

More Than 6 Million U.S. Students Are ‘Chronically Absent’

NPR

“If students miss 10% of the school year – that’s just two days a month – research shows they are way more likely to fall behind – even drop out … More than 6 million kids are missing 15 days or more of school a year … More than 2 million high schoolers are missing 15 days or more. The figures for minority students are even more alarming: More than a fifth of black high schoolers are chronically absent. It’s 20 percent for Latino high school students and 27 percent for American Indians and Native Alaskans.”
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With Homeless Students On The Rise, Will New Education Law Help?

US News & World Report

“Homeless students are one of the fastest-growing subgroups of students in the U.S. … More than 1.3 million students were homeless during the 2013-14 school year… Students who experience homelessness are more likely than their non-homeless peers to be held back from grade to grade; have poor attendance or be chronically absent from school; fail courses; have more disciplinary issues; and drop out of school … Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, states will be required under the new federal education law … to report graduation rates for homeless youth. In addition, districts will have more flexibility in how they use some pots of federal funding, and policymakers are hoping they choose to direct more of that toward providing support for homeless students.”
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What Does Research Suggest About Transgender Restroom Policies?

Education Week

“A 2013 national school climate survey of nearly 8,000 LGBT youths between the ages of 13 and 21 found that 63% of transgender students avoided school bathrooms, and 52% of transgender students avoided school locker rooms because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable … Regular access to restrooms can have a direct impact on academic participation and performance … There is currently no evidence of any increase in sexual assaults or other criminal behavior in restrooms in the 18 states and Washington, D.C., that have enacted gender-identity-inclusive public-accommodations nondiscrimination laws.”
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It’s Ridiculous How Little We Pay Preschool Teachers

Slate

“Teacher quality matters a lot in the early years … And yet. In spite of the rising need for childcare in this country – approximately 58 percent of mothers of infants work full time – and its increasingly obscene cost, preschool teachers are paid very, very little… an average of $28,570 last year. Daycare worker salaries are even more pitiable, with the average worker making $9.77 an hour in 2015, or $20,320 a year … Daycare workers have joined fast-food employees and other hourly wage workers in the Fight for $15.”
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The New Education Reform Lie: Why Denver Is A Warning Sign, Not A Model, For Urban School Districts

Alternet

Jeff Bryan writes, “Numerous articles and reports in mainstream media outlets and education policy sites enthusiastically tout Denver as the place to see the next important new ‘reform’ in education policy in action … Denverites tell a different story about Denver-style urban school reform. Instead of a glowing example, they point to warning signs. Rather than a narrative of success, their stories reveal disturbing truths about Denver’s version of modern urban school reform – how policy direction is often controlled by big money and insiders, why glowing promises of ‘improvement’ should be regarded with skepticism, and what the movement’s real impacts are, especially in communities dominated by poor families of color.”
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6/9/2016 – Mindless Underfunding Of Schools Continues

THIS WEEK: Education Inequity Reigns … Suspensions Cost Us Billions … Experienced Teachers Matter … Grades Beat Tests … Business Thinking Hurts Education

TOP STORY

Mindless Underfunding Of Schools Continues, Doing Irreparable Harm To Kids

By Jeff Bryant

“High school graduation season is in full bloom in many communities around the nation, but in some places, parents with kids still in schools have to be worried about the conditions of their schools they’ll return to in the fall – or even if the schools will open at all … The Wall Street Journal reports that state lawmakers across the nation, especially in the Midwest, are at seemingly intractable odds over how ‘to make sure the next school year can start on time.'”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Disparities Continue to Plague U.S. Schools, Federal Data Show

Education Week

“New federal data show a continuing deep gulf between the educational experiences of traditionally disadvantaged student groups and their peers on a broad range of indicators … Black and Latino students are still more likely to be suspended, more likely to attend schools with high concentrations of inexperienced teachers, and less likely to have access to rigorous and advanced coursework than their white peers … For black, Latino, American Indian, and multiracial high school students, roughly 20% or more are chronically missing from class … Asian, black, and Latino students are more likely than their white peers to be among the 1.6 million students nationwide who attend a school that has a law-enforcement officer but no school counselor.”
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Suspending Teens Ruins Lives And Costs Taxpayers $35 Billion A Year

TakePart

“School suspensions are costing American taxpayers $35 billion each year in lost tax revenue and higher costs for publicly funded services … Suspended students are at high risk of dropping out of school … ‘People without a high school diploma earn less, have more health problems, and are more likely to get into trouble with the law’ … Jeff Bryant, director of the Education Opportunity Network, a public-school policy center, told TakePart that the study’s groundbreaking findings are likely the tip of the iceberg.”
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Does Teaching Experience Matter? Let’s Count the Ways

NEA Today

“‘The common refrain that teaching experience does not matter after the first few years in the classroom is no longer supported by the preponderance of the research … Teaching experience is, on average, positively associated with student achievement gains throughout a teacher’s career … A more experienced teaching workforce offers numerous benefits to students and schools, including greater individual and collective effectiveness in improving student outcomes as well as greater stability and coherence in instruction and relationship-building.'”
Read more …

Colleges Send Too Many Into Remedial Classes Who Don’t Need It, Growing Body Of Research Shows

The Hechinger Report

“College administrators typically rely on standardized tests to decide which students should proceed directly to college-level classes and which students should start in remedial courses … Many students who did well on these exams bombed their college classes, and vice versa … If college administrators had simply looked at the students’ high school GPAs, they would have done a much better job at figuring out who needs to relearn high school material and who doesn’t … What students know, or ‘content knowledge,’ isn’t the most important thing … GPAs capture important non-cognitive skills that tests don’t.”
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When Universities Try To Behave Like Businesses, Education Suffers

Los Angeles Times

“Universities are getting cozier with businesses and industrialists, and … are adopting the corporate model of profit and loss as though they’re businesses themselves. Students already are losing out. They’re not only saddled with an increasing share of the direct costs of their education, but are offered a narrower curriculum as universities cut back on supposedly unprofitable humanities and social science courses in favor of science, engineering and technology programs expected to attract profitable grants.”
Read more …

6/2/2016 – Trump University Shows Why For-Profit Motives Don’t Belong In Education

THIS WEEK: Charter School Fail … School Conditions Worsen … Poor Kids Shortchanged … College Favors The Rich … Education Is Rigged

TOP STORY

Trump University Shows Why For-Profit Motives Don’t Belong In Education

By Jeff Bryant

“Sure, Trump University is an outrage. But the lesson to learn goes beyond Trump himself and his alleged crookedness. What’s also likely true is that this egregious institution is yet another example of how profit making and education are a bad mix for all except the few who are able to bank the results.”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

Failing the Test: Charter Schools’ Winners and Losers

Capital & Main

“Some highly motivated students benefit from charters while others do worse; that the growth of charters places a huge financial burden on traditional public schools that send them into a tailspin and that charters may increase racial and economic segregation… Traditional public schools often go into a steep slide once charters enroll a substantial percentage of motivated students with engaged parents. As a result, traditional public schools are left with a disproportionately high percentage of children with disciplinary problems, as well as with severely disabled students, who are expensive to educate … The problem is made worse by the fact that “charter schools discriminate against kids with special needs’ … Even if many charters perform well, there is an overarching problem with a system that entrusts much of its public education to private institutions.”
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Title I: Rich School Districts Get Millions Meant For Poor Kids

U.S. News & World Report

“Title I, the largest federal K-12 program … can shortchange school districts with high concentrations of poverty, and benefit larger districts and big urban areas instead of poorer, rural districts and small cities … It also shortchanges smaller high-poverty urban districts, like Flint, Michigan … Changing the formula requires congressional action, which nearly everyone agrees is years away.”
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A Popular College Investment Promised Students A Career, But Didn’t Pay Off

The Washington Post

“Students who sought vocational certificates at for-profit colleges made an average of $900 less annually after attending the schools than they did before … For-profit college industry swindled students by pressuring them into racking up tens of thousands of dollars in debt while adding comparatively little value to their careers … The average tuition for certificate students at for-profit colleges was $8,118, compared to $712 for community college.”
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Policies To Help Students Pay For College Continue To Shift Toward Favoring The Rich

The Hechinger Report

“Some government, university and private programs to help Americans pay for college have become more likely to benefit wealthier students than even the most academically talented lower-income ones … The proportion of wealthier students earning degrees continues to rise, while the proportion of lower-income degree recipients is falling … The new movement by states to underwrite public universities based on such things as their graduation rates … Even this well-intentioned scheme, called income-based repayment, tends to favor wealthier students.”
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The Education System Is Rigged Against Low-Income Students, Even In Kindergarten

The Huffington Post

“Students born into poverty enter kindergarten at a disadvantage to more affluent peers. As they advance through the grades, they receive lower test scores. They’re more likely to drop out and less likely to enter higher education. The all-too-familiar cycle … is getting worse… The impact of educational disparities between affluent and low-income students, as well as between white students and students of color, loom large … Still, interventions that boost positive learning approaches appear promising.”
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5/26/2016 – Charter Schools Heighten Education Politicization

THIS WEEK: Racial Integration Works … School Conditions Worsen … Nation Hit With School Bomb Threats … Marketing To Kids In Schools … Conservatives Attacking Public Ed

TOP STORY

How Charter Schools Heighten The Politicization Of Education

By Jeff Bryant

“Regardless of how you feel about charter schools, because of the way they’ve been forged in the crucible of politics, they’ve become much more political beings than they are institutions of education. Simple mandates to expand these schools, without any attention to these political consequences, will make matters worse.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

The Children Of Children Who Went To Desegregated Schools Reap Benefits, Too, Study Finds

The Hechinger Report

“Integration has been a powerfully effective tool for raising the educational levels and living standards for at least two generations of black families … Desegregation was accompanied by more educational spending, and that helped these children learn more and eventually become better educated parents, who would raise their own children to work hard at school … Desegregation had no effect – positive or negative – on how white children fared.”
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If Students’ Learning Conditions Are Teachers’ Working Conditions, These Students Are in Trouble

The Nation

“A new teacher survey [in New York City finds] … educators are squeezed from both sides, by harsh standards imposed from above, and unmet needs among their students, and are left with hardly any room to do their job … 1 in 5 students in the city’s public schools have disabilities, one-eighth have limited English skills, and more than three-quarters live in poverty. About 1 in 12 kids doesn’t even have a home … Half of students are enrolled at overcrowded facilities … nearly half of respondents report ‘the facilities they work in are not clean, in bad repair, and inadequate for student learning’ … Many teachers indicated that they struggled to cope with students’ social and emotional troubles.”
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Wave Of Bomb Threats Hits Schools Nationwide

USA Today

“A wave of threats directed at schools across the nation on Monday forced authorities to lock down buildings or evacuate students. The threats, which appear to be driven by automated calls, were directed at elementary, middle and high schools in at least 18 states across four time zones … Bomb hoaxes have the hallmarks of swatting … ‘highly disruptive’ hoax threats that are intended to trigger massive police response … They are often described as robotic, computer-generated voices that call in threats to schools or police departments.”
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Schools Are Now ‘Soft Targets’ For Companies To Collect Data And Market To Kids – Report

The Washington Post

“Student privacy is increasingly being compromised by commercial entities that establish relationships with schools – often providing free technology – and then track students online and collect massive amounts of data about them. Then they tailor their advertising to keep the young people connected to them … Children who are subjected to ‘constant digital surveillance and marketing at school’ come to accept as normal that corporations play a big role not only in their education but in their lives … Google and Facebook are probably the largest companies that data mine in schools.”
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Why Oppressing Transgender Students Is An Attack On Public Education

Campaign For America’s Future

Jeff Bryant writes, “But many public schools had already been steadily working at ways to accommodate transgender students well before North Carolina started its attack on transgender rights … Rather than protecting innocent children or defending local schools from federal overreach, what conservatives are doing is a calculated pivot to generate fear among the populace for political gain. And it’s nothing new that they have chosen public schools as the battleground. They always have.”
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5/19/2016 – The Growing Crisis Of Our Education Infrastructure

THIS WEEK: Segregation Worsens … Accommodating Transgender Kids … Harsh Punishments Don’t Work … Slow Pace Of Pre-K Expansion … Changed Rhetoric About Teachers

TOP STORY

The Growing Crisis Of Our Education Infrastructure

By Jeff Bryant

“We’ve drifted away from talking about education as ‘essential infrastructure.’ That’s a mistake, and our students, and the nation’s future, are worse off for it.”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

Black And Latino Students Lose Out To White Peers. And It’s Getting Worse.

The Huffington Post

“Schools have become increasingly racially isolated for both black and Latino students. And these institutions also routinely fail to provide students of color with the same resources given to their white counterparts … Governmental agencies such as the Department of Education and Department of Justice are not doing all they could to dismantle this system … Since 2001, the share of schools serving a student population that is at least 75% black or Latino as well as overwhelmingly poor has increased from 9 to 16% … High-minority schools still tend to receive fewer material resources … These schools offer fewer high-level courses … Students in these schools are also more likely to get held back or face harsh discipline like suspension or expulsion.”
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Many Schools Already Accommodate Transgender Students

Education Week

“Obama administration guidance … put schools on notice … they must allow transgender students to access restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. But followers of school law and transgender student advocacy will tell you that the federal agency already enforced this interpretation in the past and that many schools were already making such accommodations … Many states have already required their schools to honor the gender identity of transgender students … That’s not to say that it doesn’t matter that the Obama administration issued these instructions.”
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Unhelpful Punishment

Slate

“Strong punishments are likely based on the assumption that when kids act out, reprimanding them has the potential to remedy the psychological impulse that caused the bad behavior in the first place. But recent research suggests this assumption might often be wrong … Bad behavior may result from a deeply rooted biological response to toxic stress. And the current American regime of discipline and punishment that attempts to rein in these impulses is only making things worse … Adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs) – including abuse, neglect, mental illness among parents, or an unstable family structure – are a known source of debilitating stress and longterm dysfunction.”
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At This Rate, It Will Take 150 Years To Enroll 75 Percent Of U.S. Kids In Quality Preschool

The Washington Post

“Universal quality pre-kindergarten has been gaining support around the country … Gains in enrollment and efforts to improve quality aren’t keeping pace with the pressing need … Though total state spending on pre-K programs has risen by 10 percent since the 2013-2014 school year, New York alone accounted for two-thirds of this increase … Enrollment for 3- and 4-year-olds crept up during the 2014-2015 school year … an increase of less than 1 percentage point.”
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Hillary Clinton Shows How We’ve Changed The Way We Talk About Teachers

Think Progress

“It’s important to recognize that, up until recently, Republicans and Democrats were taking a similar tone when talking about teachers … focused on holding teachers ‘accountable’ … rarely acknowledge[ing] the few resources teachers were provided in struggling public schools … Now, there are signs the landscape is shifting … Clinton’s acknowledgement that a decent quality of education isn’t teachers’ responsibility alone is likely refreshing to many teachers.”
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