12/21/2017 – Republican Tax Plan Opens Backdoor To Federally-Supported School Vouchers

THIS WEEK: Ending Internet Equity … Pushing Students Into Special Ed … Driving Out Black Children … #MeToo In Schools … Portfolio Model Flawed


Republican Tax Plan Opens Backdoor To Federally-Supported School Vouchers

By Jeff Bryant

“Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has insisted that her lifelong support for school vouchers and other forms of school privatization does not mean the Trump administration will ‘mandate’ these ‘school choice’ policies, but her Republican friends in Congress put into their tax plan new provisions that will have essentially the same impact as a federally-supported school voucher program and will redirect millions of dollars from public treasuries to private schools.'”
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From Neutrality To Inequality: Why The FCC Is Dismantling Equal Access And What It Could Mean For Education


“Faculty members who teach face-to-face may imagine that last week’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission to dismantle net neutrality doesn’t touch them … Unfortunately, they’re mistaken … Institutions offering online programs may be required to pay ISPs a premium … It’s possible that universities will be slapped with extra charges for using their relatively new cloud-based storage and services … Institutions that rely on low-cost connections may see their online content moved to a slow lane … Under the previous FCC rules, ISPs were prohibited from charging more in rural areas, but that protection has been removed … As web costs go up for colleges, the institutions may pass them along to the last in line – the nation’s students.”
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Education Department Seeks Rollback Of Special Education Racial-Disparity Rule

Education Week

“The U.S. Department of Education is proposing a two-year delay of a rule that would require states to take a stricter approach to identifying whether their districts have wide racial or ethnic disparities in special education … Under the rule, states still have some flexibility, but would have to use a ‘reasonable’ threshold of disproportionality … The Education Department is not sure how many districts will ultimately be affected. The department is in the process of … efforts throughout the government to ‘lower regulatory burdens on the American people,’ as President Donald Trump wrote in an executive order.”
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Thousands Of Black Students Leave Chicago For Other Segregated Districts

Chicago Reporter

“Chicago … is pushing out poor black families. In less than two decades, Chicago lost one-quarter of its black population, or more than 250,000 people … The school district, which was majority black for half a century, is on pace to become majority Latino … Many of the families fleeing the poorest pockets of Chicago venture no farther than the south suburbs or northwest Indiana. And their children end up in cash-strapped segregated schools like the ones they left behind … Often, the receiving school districts … were chronically underfunded. Research shows poor black students in Illinois perform worse academically in such districts … Chicago… closed neighborhood schools and mental health clinics; failed to rebuild public housing, dispersing thousands of poor black families across the region, and inadequately responded to gun violence, unemployment and foreclosures in black communities.”
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What Does #MeToo Mean For Schools After The Rollback Of Title IX?

The Progressive

“President Donald Trump … seems to do everything in his authority to enable sexual harassment, from endorsing candidate [Roy] Moore to reversing a rule that forbid federal contractors from keeping cases of sexual harassment secret. The Trump Administration’s promise to rollback of Title IX provisions for campus sexual assault victims fits right in line. This first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination in schools protected not only college students but their younger peers in public K-12 schools too … Schools must step up to the fill the gap … Comprehensive sex education is not only essential to gender equality and school safety, but is foundational to an equal education for all.”
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A Former Superintendent Wonders: What’s Missing From The Discussion About The Portfolio Model?


Joshua Starr writes, “School reforms of the last two decades have pursued mainly structural solutions to instructional problems … We need to focus on the substance of what goes on in schools, not just the formal structures … It’s unhelpful for supporters of portfolio schools to make one-sided attacks on the unions, ignoring the essential protections they’ve given to generations of teachers … Leaders of that movement [should] be a little more humble, a lot more willing to adapt themselves to the values and wishes of community members, much less eager to prescribe structural solutions … for complex problems, and much more mindful of the need to ground school improvement in the everyday work of teaching and learning.”
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Editorial Note

EON is taking a break over the holidays. Watch for the next edition in your in-box on January 11.

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