10/20/2016 – What New Challenges To The Charter School Industry Reveal

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


What New Challenges To The Charter School Industry Reveal

By Jeff Bryant

“As school year 2016-17 rolls out, the charter industry finds it faces formidable new challenges from many unexpected corners … What happened? A new omnibus report helps answer that question by explaining what made charter schools an instant public relations hit, how they were able to fly under the radar of public scrutiny for so long, and why challenges to the sector are arising now.”
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The Battle Of Hastings: What’s Behind The Netflix CEO’s Fight To Charterize Public Schools?

Capital & Main

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

The Washington Post

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

Education Week

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

Media Matters For America

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

Education Week

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