8/18/2016 – What Back-To-School Shopping Lists Reveal About Underfunded Schools

THIS WEEK: Cops In Schools … LGBT Students Traumatized … Caution On EdTech … Wrong About Test Scores … Inside A ‘No Excuses’ Charter


What Your Back-To-School Shopping List Reveals About Our Underfunded Schools

By Jeff Bryant

“Back to school supply lists are likely longer than ever before due to the simple reason that schools increasingly don’t have the funds to pay for items on the list … But the lack of funding for basic school supplies is just the most obvious sign of America’s growing crisis in education funding … The whole fiasco makes you wonder what the endpoint is.”
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Bullied By The Badge?

The Hechinger Report

“Since the 1990s, at least 11 states have enacted legislation that funnels state funds into school policing programs … By 2014, 30 percent of public schools had school resource officers, or SROs … Officers inside schools have a significant impact on whether students interact with the criminal justice system … Students who interact with the criminal justice system are more likely to drop out of high school, become involved with the system again and have higher unemployment rates than students who have not been arrested.”
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Gay And Lesbian High School Students Report ‘Heartbreaking’ Levels Of Violence

The New York Times

“About 8% of the high school population described themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, which would be about 1.3 million students. These adolescents were three times more likely than straight students to have been raped. They skipped school far more often because they did not feel safe; at least a third had been bullied on school property. And they were twice as likely as heterosexual students to have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. More than 40% of these students reported that they had seriously considered suicide, and 29% had made attempts to do so.”
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Caution Flags For Tech In Classrooms


“Both blended learning and online … show results ranging from mixed to negative … Even as computers become ubiquitous in classrooms, there’s a lot we still don’t know – or at least that we’re not doing to make them effective tools for learning … Implementation is really important, yet it’s often ignored … Imperfect data and inadequate evaluation make it hard to understand or improve the use of ed-tech … Computers are enhancing access. There’s less evidence that they’re enhancing learning.”
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Student Test Scores: How They Are Actually Calculated And Why You Should Care

The Washington Post

“If you think that determining scores on standardized tests is a simple matter of figuring out how many answers each student got right, you are wrong. In fact, scores are derived through statistical models and scaling practices that can be misleading about student achievement … A series of reports … have urged caution in the use of standardized test scores to make high-stakes decisions about students, teachers, principals and schools – but policymakers at the federal and state levels have for years ignored the warnings … This problem is becoming more apparent to more people … The 2016 platform of the Democratic Party says, for the first time ever, that using test scores for high-stakes decisions is a bad practice.”
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Schools That Accept ‘No Excuses’ From Students Are Not Helping Them

The Washington Post

Former charter schoolteacher Julia Fisher writes, “When I taught at a charter school, I once gave out 37 demerits in a 50-minute period. This was the sort of achievement that earned a new teacher praise … Students encounter careful uniform checks and communal chanting of motivational slogans … Posture and eye contact are important, even for 16-year-olds. Class is not to proceed without total compliance … An administrator watched my class every day. If I didn’t fully enforce the school’s code – under which demerits must be issued for slouching, looking at the wrong person or even taking notes when not explicitly directed to – the administrator would correct me on the spot … Questions were forbidden … Classes were designed to follow No Excuses dogma, in a way that precluded real engagement. Discussion was considered a waste of time because it didn’t produce measurable results … Most of the time was devoted to worksheets.
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