4/27/2017 – With A Wary Eye On DeVos, Students Take Fight For Free Higher Ed To States

THIS WEEK: NOLA Not A Reform Model … Is DC Reform Darling? … False Remediation … School Funding Inequity … Vouchers Hurt Rural Schools


With A Wary Eye On DeVos, Students Take Fight For Free Higher Ed To States

By Jeff Bryant

“Students who aspire to attend college or who have attended at least some higher education and have incurred loan burdens because of that … have a wary eye on DeVos, and they’re planning to counter whatever she and President Trump do with a renewed push for free higher education … The most alarming hire, so far, is for the head of the very office tasked to oversee civil rights enforcement in schools … But unlike efforts by the Obama administration to take action at the federal level, some student activists are targeting states too.”
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New Orleans Charter School Problems Exposed At NAACP Hearing

The Huffington Post

“New Orleans is the nation’s largest and most complete experiment in charter schools … Problems were on display in New Orleans when the NAACP… held a community forum in New Orleans on charters … [The] charter system remains highly segregated by race and economic status. Students have significantly longer commutes to and from school. The percentage of African American teachers has declined dramatically … The costs of administration have gone up while resources for teaching have declined … Students with disabilities have been ill served… Thousands of students are in below average schools. Students and parents feel disempowered.”
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How D.C. Became The Darling Of Education Reform

The American Prospect

“When it comes to education reform, perhaps no city has inspired more controversy and acclaim over the last decade than Washington, D.C. … Proponents point to positive benchmarks … Critics point to large racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps, misleading claims made by the school district’s public relations department, uncritical press coverage, a precipitous decline in black educators, and funding that has been inequitably distributed … D.C. finally produced a publicly funded independent evaluation of its school reforms in 2015 … The review … found some promising evidence of improvements, but the evaluators identified many persistent disparities, and noted a lack of comprehensive, accessible data.”
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How A Little-Known Standardized Test Harms Community College Students

Washington Monthly

“The test that matters for community college students … is called the Accuplacer … schools use to decide who’s actually ready for college classes… If you don’t do well on the Accuplacer, you’re probably going to be put in what are known as developmental, or remedial, classes. More than two-thirds of community college students end up in remediation. Some need to be there. But many probably don’t … An analysis …. looked at who ended up in remedial classes. Nearly half of the community college students who were strongly prepared by the researchers’ measure ended up in remediation.”
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Do Private Donations Reinforce School Disparities?

Education Week

“Private donations can come through parent-teacher organizations, school district foundations, booster clubs, and private companies. Though they account for a fraction of districts’ budgets, the extra dollars can reinforce existing inequities between districts … Since 2006 … per-pupil dollar amount soared from $131 to $863. The uptick isn’t by accident … ‘These districts are using money for what public funding used to cover.'”
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What Does Secretary DeVos Know About Rural Schools? Not Much, Say Advocates

The Daily Yonder

“[Her] market-focused solution isn’t a good fit with rural realities… ‘This idea of rural schools and portability of funds – so that if a child leaves one school and goes another school, then the dollars follow the child – would just be really deleterious for rural schools with small student populations’ … An early indication of DeVos’ stand on rural education will come when the Department of Education releases a congressionally mandated report on rural education in a few weeks.”
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