11/20/2014 – People ‘Walk In’ For Public Schools

THIS WEEK: Number Homeless Children Soars … New Test Scores, More Failures … Banks Rip-Off Schools … K12 Charters Tank … $3.9 Billion For EdTech


Why People Are ‘Walking In’ For Public Schools

By Jeff Bryant

“Organizations representing advocates for public schools have joined their voices today in events across the country as part of a national Week of Action for the Public Schools All Our Children Deserve. The combined groups refer to themselves as the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a national alliance of parent, youth and community organizations and labor groups fighting for educational justice and equity in access to school resources and opportunities. The actions and appeals of today’s events vary, but there’s a unifying theme throughout: well-resourced community schools.”
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Number Of Homeless Children In America Surges To All-Time High: Report

The Huffington Post

“The number of homeless children in the U.S. has surged in recent years to an all-time high, amounting to one child in every 30 … Nearly 2.5 million American children were homeless at some point in 2013 … Child homelessness increased by 8 percent nationally from 2012 to 2013 … Neither federal nor state housing assistance nor incentives for developers to create low-income housing have kept pace with demand.”
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Cutoff Scores Set For Common-Core Tests

Education Week

“A consortium that is designing assessments for the Common Core State Standards released data Monday projecting that more than half of students will fall short of the marks that connote grade-level skills on its tests of English/language arts and mathematics … According to cut scores approved Friday night by the 22-state consortium, 41% of 11th graders will show proficiency in English/language arts, and 33% will do so in math. In elementary and middle school, 38% to 44% will meet the proficiency mark in English/language arts, and 32% to 39% will do so in math … If the achievement projections hold true for the first operational test next spring, state officials will be faced with a daunting public relations task: convincing policymakers and parents that the results are a painful but temporary result of asking students to dig deeper intellectually so they will be better prepared for college or good jobs.”
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How The Banks Bamboozled Chicago

Chicago Sun Times

“The City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools pay more than $100 million annually on interest rate swaps … Banks misled CPS about the risks involved with these deals … Complex financing schemes involving auction rate securities and swaps likely could cost CPS at least $100 million more than plain vanilla bonds … Banks unlawfully steered CPS into these deals without making adequate disclosures about risk … The banks have a legal and moral obligation to give back the money they have stolen from Chicago and CPS.”
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What Went Wrong At The Upstart School Milken Backed?

Bloomberg News

“K12 Inc. (LRN) was heralded as the next revolution in schooling. Billionaire Michael Milken backed it, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush praised it … Plagued by subpar test scores, the largest operator of online public schools in the U.S. has lost management contracts or been threatened with school shutdowns in five states this year … Once-soaring enrollment at the more than 60 public schools it manages has dropped almost 5%. Targeted by short sellers, who benefit from a company’s decline, K12 shares have tumbled by two-thirds.”
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FCC Proposes $3.9 Billion For School Technology Program

THE Journal

“A proposal … called for a permanent $1.5 billion increase in the cap for E-rate, up from the current $2.4 billion, that would be used to pay for technology in schools … E-rate is funded through a fee users pay as part of their phone bill. The increase in the cap, to $3.9 billion, would be covered by an increase to that fee of about $0.16 to $0.19 per month per residential ‘rate payer’ … The announcement was met with immediate support from education advocacy groups.”
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