10/19/2017 – In Disasters’ Wake, Public Schools And Educators Defy DeVos’s Attacks On The ‘System’

THIS WEEK: Schools Without Rules … School Gerrymandering … School Feeds Racism … DACA Teachers At Risk … Lawsuit Targets DeVos


In Disasters’ Wake, Public Schools And Educators Defy DeVos’s Attacks On The ‘System’

By Jeff Bryant

“A favorite talking point of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is to say that conversations about education should not be about systems’ … But before DeVos casually dismisses the need to dispense with public education institutions across the country, she should look at the vital role schools and the educators have played in responding to the string of devastating natural disasters that hit America this year.”
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Schools Without Rules: An Orlando Sentinel Investigation

Orlando Sentinel

“Private schools in Florida will collect nearly $1 billion in state-backed scholarships this year through a system so weakly regulated that some schools hire teachers without college degrees, hold classes in aging strip malls, and falsify fire-safety and health records … Despite the problems, the number of children using Florida’s scholarship programs has more than tripled in the past decade to 140,000 students … Schools must meet only a short list of state requirements, such as employee background checks and fire and health inspections, to receive the money. Such a low barrier to entry has helped the number of private schools in Florida to jump by more than 20 percent in the past 10 years.”
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Gerrymandering Educational Opportunity

Phi Delta Kappan

“School boundaries have been gerrymandered … Gerrymandering of educational boundaries generally fosters inequities in access to educational opportunities and worsens already severe levels of racial segregation in public schools … Gerrymandering continues to perpetuate segregation in schools … Across all 15,000 attendance zones … gerrymandered boundaries increase segregation beyond what would be expected if all students attended their closest school. This is true for all dimensions of racial and ethnic segregation studied, including between black and white students and between Hispanic and white students … While gerrymandering increases segregation overall, it is particularly severe in districts experiencing rapid increases in racial diversity.”
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A School Choice Quandary: Parents Care More About Who Attends A School Than About Its Quality, In NYC Study


“In New York City, where students in district schools have a bevy of options and can attend schools outside their neighborhood … families aren’t flocking to the most effective schools – they are looking for schools with higher-achieving students … The result: school choice programs may incentivize schools to do more to attract students more likely to perform well, not help students learn more … It may also be due to biases, including racism.”
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20,000 DACA Teachers At Risk – And Your Kids Could Feel The Fallout, Too

USA Today

“Nationwide, an estimated 20,000 DACA-eligible teachers – many of them possessing key Spanish-language skills that are in high demand – could be plucked from the classroom if the program is phased out … Losing that many teachers would have a huge impact on kids … Public schools are already in a teacher shortage bind … short by about 327,000 educators.”
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States Sue DeVos To Get For-Profit College Rule Restored

Associated Press

“Democratic attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. Department of Education over its decision to block an Obama-era rule designed to protect students from being defrauded by for-profit colleges … The lawsuit … comes as DeVos faces criticism from student advocates and Democratic lawmakers for delaying action on tens of thousands of claims for loan forgiveness from former students at defunct for-profit colleges.”
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