11/9/2017 – Did Support For Education Save The Democrats’ Bacon In The Virginia Governor’s Race?

THIS WEEK: Stealth School Vouchers … Puerto Rico Privatization … Silicon Valley Fail … Tests Screw Teacher Evaluations … For-Profit College Dropouts


Did Support For Education Save The Democrats’ Bacon In The Virginia Governor’s Race?

By Jeff Bryant

“Ralph Northam’s big win for the Democratic party in the Virginia governor’s election is being hailed as a ‘rebuke of President Trump.’ But it’s also a rebuke of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos … In the Virginia governor’s contest, education was the voters’ “top concern,” according to at least one poll … Northam was backed by teachers unions while Gillespie got financial backing from the DeVos family … Northam got education right not only by differing from Betsy DeVos but also by distancing his views from some views held by Democrats too, especially those Democrats aligned with leftover policy ideas from the Barack Obama presidential administration.”
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The GOP Has A New Vehicle For School Choice, But Are The Wealthy At The Wheel?

Education Week

“The House GOP’s plan to overhaul the tax code includes a provision that would allow 529 college savings plans to be used for K-12 expenses, including private school tuition … The average value of the savings account was $19,800 … in 2015 … 57% of account holders were from households making $100,000 to $250,000 annually … For wealthier families that can save for both K-12 and higher education, ‘it’s just a giveaway.'”
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Puerto Ricans Fear Schools Will Be Privatized In The Wake of Hurricane Maria

The Intercept

“[A] guerrilla campaign to open schools is running headlong into a separate effort from the top, to use the storm to accomplish the long-standing goal of privatizing Puerto Rico’s public schools, using New Orleans post-Katrina as a model … Puerto Rico’s Public-Private Partnerships Authority director spoke optimistically about leveraging federal money with companies interested in privatizing public infrastructure … Puerto Rico’s Education Department is purposefully putting off opening of schools to justify permanent closures down the road. The department has not clearly defined its criteria for determining whether a school is ready to open … Schools have been operating without authorization, desperate to restore order and provide children with food and learning opportunities.”
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Silicon Valley Tried To Reinvent Schools. Now It’s Rebooting


“The education system is one of the few industries that has resisted technological reinvention. It’s not for a lack of capital. [Facebook’s Mark] Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Netflix Inc.’s Reed Hastings, Salesforce.com Inc.’s Marc Benioff and many others have poured money into reform efforts, with mixed results … Venture investors spent $2.35 billion on education-technology startups globally last year … But companies haven’t come up with a formula students will embrace or that can be deployed efficiently and profitably. The hype around online education has largely dissipated as dropout rates skyrocketed.”
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Using Test Scores Tends To Lower Teacher-Evaluation Ratings, Study Shows

Education Week

“States and districts have waffled on whether and how student achievement should be incorporated into a teacher’s rating. Should value-added scores – which aim to isolate how much a teacher has contributed to a student’s learning, as measured by tests – be a part of the calculation?… A new study [finds] … when value-added scores are incorporated into evaluations, the ratings tend to go down. And the more weight a system puts on value-added scoring, the lower the scores are likely to be … That’s because value-added scores tend to be relative measures … ‘Everybody can’t be good with value added.'”
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Federal Data Shows 3.9 Million Students Dropped Out Of College With Debt In 2015 And 2016

The Hechinger Report

“3.9 million undergraduates with federal student loan debt dropped out during fiscal years 2015 and 2016 … More than 900,000 of these students dropped out of for-profit universities. That’s 23% of all the indebted dropouts, even though only 10% of all undergraduate students attend for-profit schools … Almost 2.5 million … had attended public institutions … But the public sector’s share of dropouts exactly matches its share of the student population: 64% Private nonprofit colleges seem to be doing a better job, accounting for 13% of the dropouts while educating a quarter of all U.S. undergraduates… The Trump Administration has delayed and sought to ease regulations of for-profit universities.”
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