12/7/2017 – Republican War On Learning Takes Aim At Higher Education

THIS WEEK: Charter Schools Segregate … Charter Naming Rights … CHIP Endangered … Schools Need Net Neutrality … Record Graduation Rates


Republican War On Learning Takes Aim At Higher Education

By Jeff Bryant

“Like recent tax bills passed by the GOP-controlled House and Senate, [a] proposed rewrite of the Higher Education Act (HEA) will have the effect of further constricting learning opportunities for students, adding to the costs students and families take on for education, and steering more public money for learning to private businesses … A primary purpose of the remake … is to address the ‘skills gap’ … The so-called skills gap is a myth, and a college degree in liberal arts or other non-technical subjects is as relevant as it ever was … ‘One of the biggest winners in the new higher-education legislation is the for-profit college industry.'”
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U.S. Charter Schools Put Growing Numbers in Racial Isolation

Associated Press

“National enrollment data shows that charters are vastly over-represented among schools where minorities study in the most extreme racial isolation … Those levels of segregation correspond with low achievement levels at schools of all kinds … Schools that enroll 99% minorities – both charters and traditional public schools – on average have fewer students reaching state standards for proficiency in reading and math … Charter schools, which are funded publicly and run privately, enroll more than 2.7 million nationwide, a number that has tripled over the last decade.”
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KIPP Houston, BBVA Compass Reach $1.8M Deal For Campus Naming Rights

Houston Chronicle

“Leaders of KIPP Houston [charter school] and BBVA Compass [a bank] … celebrated a $1.8 million naming-rights agreement that will help fund the charter network’s newest campus. Under the deal … the campus of KIPP Nexus on Houston’s northwest side will be called BBVA Compass Opportunity Campus. The agreement marks the first time a KIPP network has sold naming rights to a campus, continuing a slow-moving trend of schools selling naming rights to facilities as a way to generate revenue … Said Mike Feinberg, co-founder of the KIPP charter school network … ‘If people have a problem with that, I would simply say, Get over it.'”
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The CHIP Program Is Beloved. Why Is Its Funding In Danger?

The New York Times

” CHIP, that covers nearly nine million children whose parents earn too much for Medicaid, but not enough to afford other coverage … is now in limbo … Its federal funds ran out on Sept. 30, and Congress has not agreed on a plan to renew the roughly $14 billion a year it spends on the program … Congressional leaders may provide some temporary relief to a handful of states that expect to exhaust their CHIP funds before the end of this year. It would be tucked into a short-term spending bill intended to avert a government shutdown … States are weighing whether to freeze enrollment in CHIP, shut down their programs or find money from other sources … The House passed a bill to extend the CHIP program. But most Democrats voted against it because the legislation would have cut funds for other public health programs and ended insurance coverage for several hundred thousand people who had failed to pay their share of premiums for insurance purchased under the Affordable Care Act.”
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Without Net Neutrality, How Would Internet Companies Treat K-12 Districts?

EdWeek Market Brief

“One of the main fears that school officials have about curtailing “net neutrality” is that internet service companies will have new powers to throttle or block the flow of online content that serves as academic lifeblood for many districts … Net neutrality’s strongest backers point to instances over the past 10-15 years where internet service providers were accused of slowing or derailing content coming from various sources to internet users … Districts need access to content without ‘having gatekeepers dictate what services are available online.'”
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U.S. Graduation Rate Hits New All-Time High, With Gains In All Student Groups

Education Week

“The national high school graduation rate has risen to a new all-time high: 84%, the fifth straight year of increases … nearly a whole point higher than the one for the previous year’s class … All groups of students showed improvements, a notable feat. The graduation rates for black students and for students who are learning English each rose 1.8 percentage points in one year. The rates for low-income students and Hispanic students each rose 1.5 points since the previous year. Students with disabilities saw a gain of nearly a full percentage point.”
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