11/12/2013 – Still No Proof School Reform Helps

THIS WEEK: Childcare More Expensive Than College … Schools For Wealthy Get More Funding … School Segregation Problem … Ending School To Prison Pipeline … College Misconceptions


Sorry Nicholas Kristof, Still No Proof School Reform Helps

By Jeff Bryant

“Prompted by the latest results of the National Assessment of Education Progress, aka “the Nation’s Report Card,” Times opinionator Nicholas Kritsof observed on Twitter, ‘Latest NAEP school test scores suggest that school reform helps’ … Such claims are truly silly … In the meantime, the urgent matter NAEP results really do reveal – that deep, longstanding racial and economic inequities still characterize America’s system of education – get barely any purchase at all.”
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Childcare Is More Expensive Than College In A Majority Of States


“The cost of childcare went up again last year, making it the single largest expense for families in 22 states and the District of Columbia … Digging into the numbers revealed disparities … In 35 states, enrolling an infant in center-based care is more expensive than a year of in-state tuition at a four-year public college … Childcare subsidies for low-income families were cut in 24 states in 2012, in addition to sequestration cuts that reduced funding for programs that provide such assistance by $69 million. As the costs of childcare rise, struggling families have less money to spend on other things.”
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In Public Education, Edge Still Goes To Rich

The New York Times

“If education is a poor child’s best shot at rising up the ladder of prosperity, why do public resources devoted to education lean so decisively in favor of the better off? … The United States is one of few advanced nations where schools serving better-off children usually have more educational resources than those serving poor students … Only 17 states … provide more money per student to high-poverty districts than to low-poverty districts … Money, to be sure, is not a silver bullet that will automatically lift the test scores of poor American children and close performance gaps. How the money is deployed is absolutely crucial.”
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Why Are American Schools Still Segregated?

The Atlantic

“Nearly 60 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ordered school districts to desegregate, schools seem to be trending back toward their segregated pasts … The persistence of segregation is a problem because, today as in the Brown era, separate schools are unequal … One factor that’s led to the decline of white students in minority-heavy schools is the fact that white people make up a smaller proportion of the overall student population … Another part of the problem is … that racial imbalance tends to exist between school districts, rather than within them … Inter-district segregation does not come with an easy solution. Creating integrated schools in these areas would require students to travel across district lines – a form of desegregation policy that has been struck down by the Supreme Court.”
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Nation’s 7th Largest School District Takes Huge Step To Curb ‘School To Prison Pipeline’

The Huffington Post

“An agreement with Broward County Public Schools in Florida … is one of the first comprehensive plans bringing together district officials, police and the state attorney’s office to create an alternative to the zero-tolerance policies prevalent in many schools … The move is designed to cut down on what has become known as the ‘school-to-prison pipeline,’ where students accused of offenses like disrupting class or loitering are suspended, arrested, and charged with crimes … In this South Florida district and others across the country, minority students have been disproportionately arrested, sometimes for the same offenses their white peers received only a warning for. Nationwide, over 70% of students involved in school-related arrests or law enforcement referrals are black or Hispanic … The new policy creates … a variety of alternatives, like participation in a week-long counseling program … to address and correct the student’s behavior.”
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Higher Education Misconceived

Nation Of Change

“Ever since economists revealed how much universities contribute to economic growth, politicians have paid close attention to higher education. In doing so, however, they often misconceive universities’ role in ways that undermine their policies … With graduation rates and government spending easy to calculate, educational quality, which is difficult to measure, is likely to be the objective that slips … College graduates seem to adapt more easily than those with only a high school degree as the economy evolves and labor-market needs change. They also tend to vote at higher rates, engage in more civic activities, commit fewer crimes, educate their children better, and get sick less frequently by adopting healthier lifestyles. Researchers estimate that these additional benefits are worth even more than the added lifetime income from a college degree. If policymakers overlook them, they run the risk of encouraging quicker, cheaper forms of education that will do far less to serve either students or society.”
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