10/4/2018 – When Communities Lose Their Public Schools For Good, What Happens To The Students?

THIS WEEK: Teacher Brand Improves… School Security Scammers … Tax Raises For Schools … Anti-Poverty Programs Help Academics … DeVos’s For-Profit College Crony


When Communities Lose Their Public Schools For Good, What Happens To The Students? Michigan May Soon Find Out.

By Jeff Bryant

“What if some communities no longer have public schools? That question, once unthinkable in America, may now be something policy leaders and lawmakers in at least one state may want to consider. In Michigan … some of the state’s largest school districts lose so many students to surrounding school districts and charter schools that the financial viability of the districts seems seriously in question … Michigan may be the canary in the coalmine warning that not only does unrestrained choice and competition fail to improve academic results, it also may risk the financial feasibility of having functioning public schools in every community.”
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From ‘Rotten Apples’ To Martyrs: America Has Changed Its Tune On Teachers

Education Week

“For years, teachers continually heard the message that they were the root of problems in schools. But in a matter of months, the public narrative has shifted: The nation is increasingly concerned about teachers’ low salaries and challenging working conditions. Teachers, it seems, are no longer bad actors ruining schools – they’re victims of an unfair system, and the only hope for saving kids … The recent wave of teacher walkouts and protests … helped catalyze new feelings about the profession … Social media offered more visibility into teachers’ lives, from the second jobs some work to make ends meet to their out-of-pocket spending for classroom supplies. Evidence emerged that teacher-quality initiatives centered on student testing –which had become unpopular –haven’t worked. Even the election of President Donald Trump, which spurred a growing wave of activism across the country, has had an impact.”
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Lawmakers Buy Industry Fix To Protect Schools From Guns


“Security companies spent years pushing schools to buy more products — from ‘ballistic attack-resistant’ doors to smoke cannons that spew haze from ceilings to confuse a shooter. But sales were slow … That changed last February, when a former student shot and killed 17 people at a Florida high school … Since that attack, security firms and nonprofit groups linked to the industry have persuaded lawmakers to elevate the often-costly “hardening” of schools over other measures that researchers and educators say are proven to reduce violence … The industry helped Congress draft a law that committed $350 million to equipment and other school security over the next decade. Nearly 20 states have come up with another $450 million, and local school districts are reworking budgets to find more money.”
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Tax Hikes To Fund Schools? Once Taboo, The Idea Is Gaining Momentum

Education Wek

“Politicians on the state campaign trail this year are making some eye-popping promises for parents and educators: billions more dollars for schools, double-digit pay raises for teachers, and hundreds of millions more to replace dilapidated schoolhouses … In some states, Democrats are going so far as to broach a topic often seen as off-limits in election season: tax increases … Democrats in states such as Arizona, Florida, and Oklahoma are gambling that voters are so alarmed at the financial disrepair of their local school systems that they’re willing to tax states’ corporations and wealthiest citizens to bail them out .… The pushback from Republican opponents and the business community in some of those states has been fierce. But some national and statewide polls show that public sentiment for taxes has shifted since the heyday of property tax revolts in the 1970s.”
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Want To Boost Test Scores And Increase Grad Rates? One Strategy: Look Outside Schools And Help Low-Income Families


“A large and growing body of research … documents not only that poverty hurts students in school, but that specific anti-poverty programs can counteract that harm. These programs – or other methods of increasing family income – boost students’ test scores, make them more likely to finish high school, and raise their chances of enrolling in college … In other words, many policies with a shot at changing the experience of low-income students in school don’t have anything to do with the schools themselves … They get relatively little attention from education policymakers who could be key advocates … One widely used anti-poverty program is the Earned Income Tax Credit, and it’s been repeatedly linked to better schooling outcomes for kids.”
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DeVos Aide Tailors Decisions To The Predatory Colleges That Employed Her

Republic Report

“In a meeting early this year at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters, a group of Department staffers led by senior adviser Diane Auer Jones told a delegation from Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH) … to publicly represent that two of the company’s Art Institutes schools remained accredited, even though the schools’ accreditor had written the company a letter indicating that the schools were presently ‘not accredited.’… Jones’s involvement is apparent in a range of regulatory and enforcement decisions that have tailored the Department’s policies to the wish list of the worst predatory actors in the for-profit college industry … Before joining the DeVos Department she worked for some of those same egregious actors … which have extensive records of deceiving and abusing students … The Department published a proposed regulation that would thoroughly destroy the Obama borrower defense rule, which was aimed at providing some student loan relief to people ripped off by predatory colleges … The Department plans to simply cancel the Obama gainful employment rule, which would have penalized federally-funded career and for-profit college programs that consistently leave graduates with overwhelming debt.”
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