8/30/2018 – The ‘Educator Spring’ Continues

THIS WEEK: The Public Likes Public Schools … DeVos Shorts Civil Rights … College Fraud Wastes Billions … Dems Say No Guns … Ground Zero Fight For Schools


The ‘Educator Spring’ Continues, Ousting Incumbents And Sweeping New Candidates Into Races

By Jeff Bryant

“After widespread statewide teacher walkouts earlier this year, in which teachers protested poor pay and inadequate school funding, educators running for office and advocates for public schools are making their voices heard … Of the 158 current teachers running for office this year … 95 are advancing to the November general elections in their states, and eight are in upcoming primaries. This doesn’t count the scores of other educators … competing in elections across the country. There’s a good reason teachers and their issues are influencing election outcomes: The public is overwhelmingly on their side.”
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School Critics Are Ignoring The Public


The nation’s most respected and longest running survey of public attitudes about public schools finds, “Three conclusions are inescapable: The public does not agree with many of the criticisms leveled at public education by think tanks and public officials. The public’s respect for teachers is well-nigh overwhelming, but parents see the profession as undervalued. And the closer individuals get to a real school, the more they like what they see.”
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The Department Of Education Underreports Allegations Of Racial Discrimination In Schools


“The U.S. Department of Education has been receiving thousands more racial discrimination allegations in schools than it has previously publicly reported … Between the fiscal years 2013 to 2016, there were over 2,000 allegations regarding racial discrimination in schools that were not previously publicly recorded in the department’s annual reports … The number of racial discrimination allegations filed with the Department of Education has generally increased over the years … Allegations of racial discrimination against black students continue to make up the bulk of overall allegations … DeVos has rescinded civil rights protections for groups like transgender students and created new rules designed to reduce the number of complaints … The office has shifted emphasis away from addressing issues of systemic discrimination.”
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Graduates Spent Nearly $7.5 Billion On Education That Failed To Deliver


“Student loan borrowers spent billions on career training programs that failed to deliver. Roughly 350,000 students attended and graduated from either two- or four-year career-education programs in 2012 that were failing or close to failing… These programs, which are supposed to prepare students for specific careers, like cosmetology or culinary arts, saddled borrowers with levels of student loan debt that ate up a huge chunk of their pay … The findings come just a few weeks after Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education announced a plan to … the set of rules … aimed at ensuring that career-training programs prepared students for jobs and didn’t saddle them with unsustainable debt … Thousands of former for-profit college students, who say they were victims of fraud by their schools, are also clamoring for relief from their federal student loans.”
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House Democrats Push Betsy DeVos To Reject Funding For Guns In Schools

The Washington Post

“House Democrats are urging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to make clear that a federal grant program cannot be used to buy firearms for schools… At issue is whether states can use Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, available for a wide range of school expenses, to buy guns intended to bolster school safety. Officials said last week that the department had received inquiries from Texas and Oklahoma and that DeVos is considering the idea … Congressional Democrats are also hoping to attach language to a pending spending bill to bar purchasing guns with the grant money.”
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Is Louisville Ground Zero In The Fight For Democratic Control Of Public Schools?

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “Louisville, Kentucky… a looming state takeover of the schools has the community in an uproar … The story has national significance: across the nation, Americans are seeing an increased popularity of state takeovers of local schools … So what’s really behind the state’s case for takeover? … Certainly, the politics of education in the city is contentious … But if the takeover of Lexington schools is all about politics, it’s not a contest between ‘red vs. blue,’ but whether democracy matters at all … In the takeover attempt, the district is being made ‘victim of a dominant political establishment … that is trying to keep control away from a rising electorate in the city intent on remaking schools.'”
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