10/27/2016 – What Obama Never Got About Education

THIS WEEK: Election Warnings To Schools … Wall St. Funding Charters … RTTT Didn’t Work … Achieving Integration … Syrian Children In US


What Obama Never Got About Education

By Jeff Bryant

“Emphasizing education output, while generally leaving input unaddressed, has been a feature, not a bug, of the Obama administration’s education policy all along … The honest truth is Obama and his Education Secretary never made adequate and equitable funding a signature education policy imperative … The legacy of the Obama administration on education will be mostly that he generally didn’t get it.”
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Fearing Election Day Trouble, Some US Schools Cancel Classes

Associated Press via ABC News

“The fear is that the ugly rhetoric of the campaign could escalate into confrontations and even violence in school hallways, endangering students … School officials … point to the recent firebombing of a Republican Party office in one North Carolina … Anxieties have been stoked by Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the election is rigged and his appeal to his supporters to stand guard against fraud at the polls. Some are worried about clashes between the self-appointed observers and voters.”
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Wall Street Firms Make Money From Teachers’ Pensions – And Fund Charter Schools Fight

International Business Times

“Executives at eight financial firms with contracts to manage Massachusetts state pension assets have bypassed anti-corruption rules and funneled at least $778,000 to groups backing Question 2, which would expand the number of charter schools in the state. Millions more dollars have flowed from the executives to nonprofit groups supporting the charter school movement in the lead-up to the November vote … Federal and state pay-to-play rules are designed to prevent campaign donations from influencing pension investment decisions … Cash flooding into Massachusetts to support Question 2 has flowed around that prohibition.”
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Race To The Top’s Impact On Student Achievement, State Policy Unclear, Report Says

Education Week

“There’s no hard-and-fast evidence that Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s $4 billion, signature K-12 initiative had a long-term impact on student achievement or state policy… It is difficult to discern whether Race to the Top had a longterm impact on state policy … Congress has already gotten rid of the program and made it virtually impossible for any future secretary of education to resurrect it.”
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What Diverse Schools Do Differently: New Report Outlines 10 Promising Approaches


“Schools that successfully enroll a mix of students also manage to create a climate that welcomes everyone … Whether it’s a new school in an old building, or an existing school in a new space – a change of scenery can attract more families of all kinds … Schools that accept students from outside regular zone lines … may attract students of different backgrounds … New admissions policies have also shown moderate success.
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Most US Syrians Arrivals Are Kids, Now Enrolling In School

Associated Press

“According to the U.S. State Department, nearly 80 percent of the more than 11,000 Syrian arrivals over the past year were children. That’s a larger percentage than most refugee groups, in part because Syrians tend to have larger families and many have managed to stay together despite displacement … 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 … Many of those children are enrolling in public schools around the country, including Chicago; Austin, Texas; New Haven, Connecticut; and El Cajon, [California] … Syrian children face many of the same challenges as other young refugees – limited English, an interrupted education – but they are somewhat distinct in the level of trauma they have experienced.”
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