1/28/2016 – The School Choice We Have Vs. The Choice We Want

THIS WEEK: Spending On Schools Falls Again … Defending Detroit Teachers Strike … Graduation Gap For Special Ed … What Arne Duncan Did Wrong … How Parent Debt Affects Kids


The School Choice We Have Vs. The Choice We Want

By Jeff Bryant

“It’s that time of year when National School Choice Week is staged by – well, we really don’t know who – to elevate ‘education options,’ primarily, charter schools and vouchers, for K-12 students … But this year’s celebration of ‘choice’ plays out against a more compelling national news story in Detroit, where teachers have been staging a series of ‘sickouts’ to protest the deplorable conditions in their public schools … What we see in Detroit is increasing evidence of the ‘school choice’ American communities really have, especially in low-income communities of color. What kind of ‘choice’ is this?”
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Spending In Nation’s Schools Falls Again, With Wide Variation Across States

The Washington Post

“The nation’s per-pupil spending on K-12 public schools dropped in 2013 for the third year in a row … It shows that, in many places, funding for public education has not rebounded as the economy recovered from the Great Recession. 20 states saw per-pupil spending decline by 1% or more in the 2012-2013 school year, and some saw much larger decreases … State funding accounts for about 45% of schools’ revenue, and it declined two-tenths of a percent in 2013 … Federal spending on education dropped more dramatically – by nearly 10% … Local governments ponied up nearly 1% more … But in most states, local governments depend on property taxes to raise money for education, which means that poor communities have less wherewithal than affluent ones to fill budget holes.”
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Sick of Inequality: The Case For The Detroit Teacher Strike

The Progressive

New York City school teacher Jose Luis Vilson writes, “National attention is focused on inhumane conditions in two Michigan cities: Flint’s lead-filled drinking water and Detroit’s rotten public schools. The former has garnered the attention … The crisis in Detroit’s public schools has a long history but has not gotten the attention it deserves. For years, teachers have been complaining about miserable learning conditions for students … Part of the lack of media attention to DPS may have to do with the narratives about Detroit public schools told by current education ‘reformers.’ Charter schools and free market choice advocates have capitalized on the discord and lack of resources in public schools to recruit students … To whom is it not obvious that schooling is as much a public good as safe drinking water?”
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Special Education Graduation Disparities Highlighted In New Report

Education Week

“Many states are still doing a dismal job in getting students with disabilities across the high school finish line on time with a standard diploma. Fewer than half of the students with disabilities in Alaska, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, Mississippi, and South Carolina graduated with a regular diploma … 33 states graduated fewer than 70% of their students with disabilities.”
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New Education Secretary To Teachers: Our Bad

US News And World Report

“Acting Education Secretary John King offered teachers an olive branch … acknowledging his department’s role in creating a politicized education environment … King … addressed the Education Department’s laser-like focus on getting states to adopt new teacher evaluations that take into account student test scores … The Obama administration’s hallmark competitive grant program, Race to the Top, and its offer of waivers from the then-federal education law, No Child Left Behind, both pushed states to adopt new evaluation systems … Despite his previous comments about not always being inclusive of teachers, King reiterated the Obama administration’s continued belief that students’ test scores should be part of an evaluation system.”
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Parents’ Financial Debt Linked To Behavioral Problems In Their Kids

Live Science

“Children whose parents have certain kinds of financial debt may be more likely to have behavioral problems, a new study suggests … Children in the study whose parents had ‘unsecured debt,’ such as credit card debt or unpaid medical bills, were more likely to experience behavioral difficulties than kids whose parents did not have this type of debt … This type of debt may trigger stress and anxiety in parents, which may affect their parenting and, in turn, their kids’ emotional well-being … The researchers found that, among the parents who had unsecured debt, the average amount of the debt was $10,000.”
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