3/2/2017 – Trump’s ‘School Choice’ Plan: Religious Fundamentalism At Taxpayer Expense

THIS WEEK: DeVos Blows HBCU Moment … Online Schools Suck … State Of ELL Education … Diversity Hits Suburbs … Vouchers ‘False Road’


Trump’s ‘School Choice’ Plan: Religious Fundamentalism At Taxpayer Expense

By Jeff Bryant

“In his recent address to Congress … Trump called out a guest of his in the audience, Denisha Merriweather, who … with the help of a tax credit scholarship program … is the first in her family to graduate, not just from high school, but from college … The school Merriweather attended through the school choice program Trump champions … describes its education program as a ‘spiritual emphasis and biblical [sic] view.'”
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Betsy Devos Applauds Historically Segregated Schools As ‘Pioneers Of School Choice’

Think Progress

“Following President Trump’s meeting with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities on Monday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released a statement applauding the schools as “real pioneers when it comes to school choice … Lauding HBCUs as “real pioneers when it comes to school choice” overlooks the fact that they were historically the only options available to black students denied entry to traditionally white institutions.”
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DeVos Praises Virtual Schools, But New Research Points To Problems

The Hechinger Report

“An important study … reveals that online-only schools tend to attract and harm the most vulnerable students … Ohio students with low test scores who enroll in online-only schools tend to fall even further behind. High-performing students fare better, but they still do worse than they would have done if they had not enrolled in a virtual school.’”
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English Language Learners: How Your State Is Doing


“About 1 out of every 10 public school students in the United States right now is learning to speak English … There are nearly 5 million of them, and educating them – in English and all the other subjects and skills they’ll need – is one of the biggest challenges in U.S. public education today … The vast majority – some 3.8 million ELL students – speak Spanish. But there are lots of other languages too, including Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Arabic and Vietnamese. Most ELLs were born in the United States, and are U.S. citizens.”
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The Nonwhite Student Behind the White Picket Fence

The Atlantic

“Suburbs … are going through a metamorphosis, shedding the cocoon of highly educated affluence for a new identity that is browner, poorer, and far more ethnically diverse … The white population declined and the Hispanic population rose in cities as well, but the change seen in the suburbs was sharper … The number of people living in poverty in the suburbs also exceeds that in urban areas.”
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School Vouchers Are A “False Road,” And There’s Data To Prove It

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “A report … warns that the push toward vouchers and toward making public schools compete for funding is being driven by ideological preferences rather than evidence that competition and choice actually work … Negative impacts include the propensity of voucher programs to increase racial segregation and their potential to flood the teacher workforce with practitioners who have less training and experience and don’t plan on making teaching a permanent career … They divert resources and energy from more helpful programs, including high quality early childhood education, increased education funding, and teacher professional development focused on delivering better instruction.”
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