6/21/2018 – New Report Reveals Which States Are Abandoning Public Schools

THIS WEEK: How Charters Segregate … Teacher Salaries Lag … Teacher Healthcare Costs Rise … Rural Schools Dying … DC Reform Fail


New Report Reveals Which States Are Abandoning Public Schools

By Jeff Bryant

“Having a democratically governed local school, accessible to all students and fully accountable to the public for how its spends taxpayer money, has been a given for most American families since segregated schools were outlawed, but a new report finds most states have been abandoning the traditional public system in favor of schools that are privately operated, less accessible to all children, and less accountable to taxpayers and democratic governance. The report contends the shift in emphasis from public schools to privately managed alternatives is not only an attack on public education, but also an attack on equal opportunity and civil rights..”
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‘It’s Like A Black And White Thing’: How Some Elite Charter Schools Exclude Minorities


“Charter [schools] have also used their greater flexibility to limit which kids make it through the schoolhouse doors – creating exclusive, disproportionately white schools … Some pick from preferred attendance zones. Some don’t offer school bus transportation. Others require expensive uniforms … There are at least 747 public charter schools around the country that enroll a higher percentage of white students than any of the traditional public schools … Politicians often sell charters as a solution for low-income black and brown students stuck in poor-performing public schools. Yet, by 2015, racially identifiable white charter schools had emerged in 18 states … The federal government has played a role in the growth of these charters by granting charter startup grants to schools without considering whether they will lead to increased segregation.”
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Average Teacher Salary Is Below The Living Wage In Half The Country, Report Says

Education Week

“In more than half the states, the average teacher is not making a living wage … Real teacher salaries rose just 7% since 1970, and have been largely flat since 1990. Since the 2008 recession, per-pupil funding and real teacher salaries, both adjusted for inflation, have declined in most states … States with low teacher salaries… tend to have more teacher shortages, a higher teacher turnover rate, and more uncertified and novice teachers than those states that pay the most. Those are all factors that hurt students, especially those who need good teaching the most.”
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Unwieldy Health Costs Often Stand Between Teachers And Higher Pay

USA Today

“Teachers, like other public employees, have traditionally accepted a trade-off: In exchange for relatively low salaries, they could expect relatively generous benefits, including pensions and low- or no-cost health premiums. But in an era of $100,000-a-year drugs and government budget cuts, school districts struggle to find the money to keep up their end of the bargain … Many cash-strapped school boards, cities and legislatures view health care benefits as an unpredictable budget-buster. Teachers are asked to fork over more of their paychecks to keep their health coverage, even as budget cuts impel them to use their own money for classroom supplies and to crowdsource money to buy computers … Primary, secondary and special education teachers paid 25.4% more last year to insure themselves and their families than they did in 2008.”
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School’s Closed. Forever.

The New York Times

“Officials in aging rural communities with stretched budgets are closing small schools and busing children to larger towns. People worry about losing not just their schools but their town’s future … Rural schools have been closing in waves for decades, but the debate has taken on sharp urgency this year, particularly in communities in the Midwest and New England that have grown smaller and older since the recession … DeVos has defended for-profit schools, maintaining that the U.S. needs to ‘expand, not limit, paths to higher education for students.’”
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DC’s Public Schools Go From Success Story To Cautionary Tale

Associated Press

“As recently as a year ago, the public school system in the nation’s capital was being hailed as a shining example of successful urban education reform and a template for districts across the country. Now the situation in the District of Columbia could not be more different. After a series of rapid-fire scandals, including one about rigged graduation rates, Washington’s school system has gone from a point of pride to perhaps the largest public embarrassment of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s tenure … Critics view the problems … as an indictment of the entire data-driven evaluation system instituted a more than a decade ago when then-Mayor Adrian Fenty took over the school system and appointed Michelle Rhee … Rhee’s ambitious plan to clear out dead wood and focus on accountability for teachers and administrators landed her on the cover of Time magazine … But now analysts question whether Rhee’s emphasis on performance metrics has created a monster.”
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