3/29/2018 – Democrats Can Win If They Lead On Education

THIS WEEK: No To Vouchers … Teachers Under Fire … Pre-K That Works … Food Stamps Boost Learning… Puerto Ricans Protest Charters


Democrats Can Win If They Lead On Education

By Jeff Bryant

“In high-profile Democratic party primaries, education has become a significant issue that progressive candidates are using to challenge more conservative, establishment Democrats. There’s also ample evidence education could be a key issue for Democrats to use against their Republican opponents in midterm general elections in November. But getting the education issue right – something Democrats have not been very good at – will be key … Grassroots progressive Democrats are telling the party’s establishment how it can lead and win on education issues. What’s not clear is if the party’s pundit and policy apparatus is willing to listen.”
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Congressional Legislation Seeks To Fund School Vouchers For Military Families – Despite Major Opposition From Military Families

The Washington Post

“Thirty Republican U.S. congressmen and three Republican U.S. senators have signed onto national voucher bills that would direct federal tax dollars from public schools … and let military families use these funds for religious schools, private schools, online schools, college tuition, and other educational services. What is most remarkable is that the bills are moving forward in the face of significant military family opposition … Both HR 5199 and S. 2517 use Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) to allow tax dollars to be used for home schooling, for-profit online schools, ‘a la carte’ education, and for private and religious school expenses … The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is especially worried that unscrupulous vendors will descend on military families even as for-profit colleges have victimized veterans.”
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Parkland Teachers Faced An Impossible Choice: ‘Do I Hold The Door Open, Or Close It?’

The Guardian

” With the crack of bullets still ringing around the corridors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, Mary Trizzino unlocked the door to her classroom to see who else she could save … As thousands of students poured into the hallways of school buildings after the fire alarm sounded within seconds of the first shots being fired, many teachers were forced to make split second decisions … ‘You’re faced with an impossible choice … Do I hold the door open, and put the kids that I have in here at risk, or do I close it and leave those kids out in the cold? … I don’t think we should be faced with that decision at all, and yet society can’t seem to come together to solve this problem, to stop it from happening.'”
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Long-Term Gains: Pre-K Programs Lead To Furthered Education Later In Life

Scientific American

“Structured math and literacy practice in addition to regular parental involvement in school programs during the first eight years of life can have a major impact on a child’s future educational achievement … A study that included more than 1,500 children in a Chicago-based program called Child-Parent Centers (CPC) shows kids reached a higher level of education by age 35 than did ones enrolled in other preschool programs: CPC participants completed more years of schooling and were more likely to earn a postsecondary degree.’”
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Food For Thought: Students’ Test Scores Rise A Few Weeks After Families Get Food Stamps


“Families receiving food stamps get their benefits once a month. A few weeks later, kids’ test scores tick up. The pattern … suggests that the additional access to healthy food helps students do better in school. It’s the latest study to quantify how out-of-school factors affect academic performance, and an example of why some districts are embracing ‘community schools’ that try to provide health and other benefits for students and families. … Other research has linked food stamp cycles and what happens in school.”
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Disaster Capitalism And Vulture Charters


“Hundreds of Puerto Rican teachers marched past San Juan’s Capitol building … holding signs reading … ‘We defend public education’ and … ‘No to the vulture charters.’ Thousands of students and parents joined the march or held signs in front of their schools in solidarity … In the wake of twin disasters – one man-made in the form of a vulture fund-fueled debt crisis, and one natural in the form of last September’s Hurricane María – Puerto Rican leaders are attempting to implement a vast austerity program … In the eyes of many Puerto Ricans, however, this is textbook ‘disaster capitalism’: capitalizing on a moment of crisis, when the population is weak and unable to mobilize, to ram through pro-market austerity measures.”
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