11/26/2013 – Dec 9 Day Of Action

THIS WEEK:Record Number Of Homeless Students … Preschool Done Right … Following Common Core Money … Charters Undermine Public Education … Student Loans As Profit Center


Dec. 9 Declared Day Of Action To Reclaim The Promise Of Public Education

By Jeff Bryant

“Americans everywhere are seeing their local schools being ground into pieces between the twin political augers of government austerity and top-down, corporate-backed ‘reform’ … An increasingly vocal opposition to this status quo has announced a December 9th National Day of Action to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education … to signal the emergence of a national movement and its collective vision, to begin to create a national echo chamber for a new narrative about public schools, and to support local work and connect it to the national movement.”
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Nation Marks Shameful Record: Number Of Homeless Students Surges To 1.17 Million

National Education Association

“The number of homeless students enrolled in preschools and K-12 schools in the 2011-2012 school year (1,168,354) is the highest number on record and a 10% increase over the previous school year … The number of homeless students increased 72% since the beginning of the recession in 2008 and is greater than the population of 8 states … 25 states experienced double-digit increases, and 10 of those saw a jump of 20% or more.”
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The Power Of Preschool Done Right

The Hechinger Report

“As President Obama pushes for a major national investment in the littlest learners, a glimpse into the power of preschool sits less than a five-minute drive from his Hyde Park home … From a full-day schedule to more stringent educational requirements for teachers to a low staff-student ratio, all of the research-based best practices being pushed in Congress and then some are on display at Educare. The school enrolls 149 children, 98% of whom are African-American and all living at or below the poverty line … Educare’s operators seek to demonstrate–to policymakers and the public–effective strategies to stop poor children from falling behind. In doing so, it brightens their parents’ prospects as well.”
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Following Common Core Money: Where Are Millions Of Dollars Going?

The Washington Post

Award-winning New York principal Carol Burris writes, “The Common Core has some features that are good and others that are awful. We have been through this before – the New Math … Whole Language … Although both programs made some positive contributions, those who wholeheartedly and uncritically adopted them did a terrible disservice to their students … What saved us in the past from wrong-headed reforms was that they were not mandated by state or federal government. They could therefore be adapted or abandoned at the local level. Now that standards and curriculum are connected with Race to the Top money, high-stakes tests and teacher evaluations by standardized test scores, it is exceedingly difficult to do the careful and critical review that every new program deserves … The press needs to ask about Common Core Inc. and all of the vendors that are receiving public money.”
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How Charter Schools Are Undermining the Future of Public Education


Rethinking School’s Stan Karp writes, “The charter school movement has changed dramatically in recent years … Gradually this charter movement attracted the attention of political and financial interests who saw the public school system as a ‘government monopoly’ ripe for market reform … Invariably, beneath accounts of spectacular charter success lie demographics … A plan that relies heavily on serving more selective student populations is not only unfeasible systemwide, it has a decidedly negative effect on the district schools left in its wake … None of this is meant to deny the reform impulse that is a real part of the charter movement … But the original idea behind charter schools was to create ‘laboratories for innovation’ … That hasn’t happened.”
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Federal Student Loan Profits Help Duncan Cut Education Spending To Lowest Level Since 2001

The Huffington Post

“In a sign of just how important student loan profits have become for the Education Department’s bottom line, its reported gains off lending to students and their families over the last year comprised nearly half of the agency’s total outlays, the biggest share since at least 1997. By effectively subsidizing half of the department’s total operations … the profits have enabled [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan to reduce his agency’s total cost to U.S. taxpayers to the smallest amount since 2001 … Student loan profits, the difference between what the U.S. government pays to borrow and what it charges students and their families, last year exceeded the amount of money provided to low-income college students … The Education Department’s extraordinary gains come as the Obama administration faces scrutiny over its lackluster debt-relief initiatives … Beyond already announced programs, there’s little else planned to help existing borrowers struggling with their student debt.”
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