5/4/2017 – The Democrats’ Dilemma On Charter Schools

THIS WEEK: Charter Fraud … School Voucher Fail … Education Racism … Graduation Rates Up … Build Schools, Not Walls


The Democrats’ Dilemma On Charter Schools

By Jeff Bryant

“President Donald Trump’s adamant promotion of “school choice” and his selection of Betsy DeVos for education secretary have put advocates for charter schools in the Democratic party in a bind … Their latest tactic is to carefully distinguish charters from the system of school vouchers Trump and DeVos favor, but they serve this cause poorly … The latest misfire comes from David Leonhardt’s op-ed in Monday’s New York Times.”
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Is Charter School Fraud The Next Enron?

The Conversation

“Enron’s downfall was caused largely by something called ‘related-party transactions.’ Understanding this concept is crucial for grasping how charter schools may also be in danger … Without strict regulation, some bad actors have been able to take advantage of charter schools as an opportunity for private investment. In the worst cases, individuals have been able to use related-party transactions to fraudulently funnel public money intended for charter schools into other business ventures that they control … This aversion to regulation at the federal level could cost taxpayers millions of dollars and could result in the closing or disruption of schools – potentially damaging the education of students.”
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What A New Study On Vouchers Means For Trump’s Agenda

The Atlantic

“The nation’s capital is the only city in the country where the federal government gives scholarships to underprivileged children to attend private schools… A report released Thursday found largely negative results for students who participated in the … program … After they applied for the scholarship, math scores were lower for students who won vouchers … Narrowing the pool of students down to those in kindergarten through fifth grade, both reading and math scores were lower … Trump … remains committed to fully funding vouchers and expanding access to similar options nationwide.”
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More Parents Of Color Think Racism Is Holding Back Their Children In School

The Huffington Post

“A new national survey of black and Latino parents … paints a grim picture of a school system that is systemically failing black and brown families … Nearly three-quarters of black families think that white students receive a better education than their children. The facts are on these families’ sides. In many states, school districts that serve minority populations receive less state and local funding … [and] have less-experienced teachers. Students of color face disproportionately tough discipline compared to white students … Families also report viewing racism as a culprit for racial inequities in education … 10% more black parents and 8% more Latino parents reported feeling this way compared to last year.”
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Is The High School Graduation Rate Inflated? No, Study Says

Education Week

“High school graduation … is at an all-time high of 83.2% … Researchers concluded that offering multiple kinds of diplomas doesn’t, by itself, raise questions about the graduation rate … Persistent gaps in graduation rates persist … Among Asian and white students, graduation rates are 90% and 88%, respectively. But they’re only 78% for Hispanic students and 75% for African-American students. For English-learners and students with disabilities, the graduation rate is 65%. Only 76% of low-income students graduate in four years.”
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Instead Of Separating Families By Building Walls, Invest In Schools


Jeff Bryant writes, “Nearly every cause at the center of the progressive movement has its roots, at least in part, at the schoolhouse door. That’s at least part of the message behind the ‘Build Schools, Not Walls’ campaign that kicked off this week in unison with the massive May 1st actions for worker and immigrant rights … This effort to join the fight for education justice with worker and immigrant rights is being led by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools … What AROS proposes in its campaign is to take the money proposed by the Trump administration to increase deportations and build the border wall and invest that money in schools instead.”
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