9/27/2018 – Why A ‘Blue Wave’ May Depend On Changing Education Politics

THIS WEEK: Teachers Are Winning … Votes For School Funds … Asbestos In Schools … Too Many School Cops … College Remedial Classes Overenrolled


Why A ‘Blue Wave’ May Depend On Changing Education Politics

By Jeff Bryant

” Democratic party strategists and supporters may believe a “blue wave” is coming in the midterm elections because of widespread opposition to President Trump, but they risk their party’s success if they forget that state and local races more often revolve around issues closer to home – like education … For years, Democrats have more often than not been somewhat agreeable with their Republican opponents on most education issues. But this election season is shaping up quite differently. And how and whether Democratic candidates take advantage of the changing politics of education may make a difference in whether a blue wave happens at all.”
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Teachers Aren’t Just Running for Office – They’re Winning

Education Week

“Fed up with the state of public education, teachers are running for office … They’re winning. Out of the 158 current classroom teachers that Education Week confirmed were running for their state legislature, 101 have moved on to the general election. Thirty-seven of those teachers won their primaries, while 59 ran unopposed. Five are running as write-in candidates, so they didn’t have to go through a primary … In Oklahoma – 15 teachers won their primaries there, and 12 additional teachers in the Sooner State were unopposed. That’s about a 42 percent success rate so far for the 64 teachers there who filed to run. In Kentucky … 15 teachers out of 20 who started campaigns have advanced to the general election. In Arizona, three teachers have moved on to the general election, and in West Virginia, six have advanced. In both of those states, only one teacher was knocked out during the primaries.”
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Education Funding Fights To Play Out At The Polls In November Referendums


“Voters will weigh in on school taxes, school choice, Ten Commandments displays in schools and education governance questions at the ballot box come November … In at least 11 states, voters will decide on measures that would either boost school spending or provide officials with more flexibility to spend funds … Social issues are also in play … In Alabama, voters will decide whether to back a measure known as Amendment #1 that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in schools.”
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EPA Watchdog Slams Agency’s Failure To Address Asbestos In U.S. Schools

Environmental Working Group

“The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to take the required and necessary steps under federal law to protect children from the dangers of asbestos exposure in the nation’s public and private schools… ‘From fiscal years 2011 through 2015, the EPA conducted 13% of [legally required] inspections … Of the agency’s 10 regions, five only inspect for asbestos in schools when they receive asbestos-related tips or complaints. Without compliance inspections, the EPA cannot know whether schools pose an actual risk of asbestos exposure to students and personnel’ … In 2016, President Obama signed legislation that finally gave EPA the authority to ban asbestos. But the Trump administration’s actions under the new law suggest that it will allow the use and importation of the substance to remain legal.”
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The Parkland Shooting Fueled Calls For More School Police. Civil Rights Groups Want Them Removed.


“Two civil rights groups say that if school safety is truly a concern, police should be removed from schools entirely. A new joint report … argues that in the nearly two decades since the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, calls to increase school safety have resulted in an increasingly punitive system of school discipline aimed at students of color, and that school policing has failed to make students of color safer … There is a considerable body of research showing that black and Latino students are more likely to be suspended, arrested, and disciplined in school. Advocates argue that adding more police to this dynamic will only make things more difficult for students from marginalized groups … who are already more likely to interact with police in their daily lives … School discipline and arrests push students of color out of classrooms and into the justice system.”
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One-Third Of Community College Students ‘Misdirected’ To Remedial Classes

Minnesota Spokesman Recorder

“One-third of community college students enrolled in remedial coursework don’t even need them … Standard placement tests … are actually ‘misdirecting’ student placements … A disparate number of African American students are placed in remedial courses … Under-placement creates additional barriers for students who are now required to pay for coursework with no credit … Remedial coursework cost first-year students and their families nearly $1.5 billion a year in out-of-pocket expenses – expenses that don’t go towards their degrees..”
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