9/10/2013 – Don’t Buy Conservative Ideas

THIS WEEK: Pre-K Could Save $75 Billion … Rising Costs Of Free School … Low-Income Students Hardest Hit … Philly Schools Open With Less … STEM Crisis Myth


Democrats Shouldn’t Buy Conservative Ideas Sold With Civil Rights Rhetoric

By Jeff Bryant

“Conservatives are appropriating the language of the civil rights movement to accomplish a goal that has nothing to do with rescuing poor African-American students from low-quality education services. And unfortunately, too many left-leaning Democrats aren’t aware of what’s happening or are following along … [Users of] conservative messaging… figured out how to strike down programs that achieve real school desegregation while they advocate for market-based education gimmicks like vouchers and other forms of ‘school choice,’ using the language of equal opportunity for all … It’s still a mystery if Democrats will oppose this.”
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Obama Pre-K Program Could Save $75 Billion, Report States

Education Week

“President Barack Obama’s proposed universal preschool program could reduce the number of people incarcerated nationwide by 200,000 every year and lead to a savings of $75 billion over 10 years, according to a new study released by the Washington-based advocacy organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, which includes 5,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and violence survivors … In addition, more than 1,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, and prosecutors signed a letter sent to Congress urging that Obama’s proposal be enacted … Children who attended preschool had fewer behavior problems, improved school readiness, reduced special education, greater literacy and math achievement that continued through elementary school, and were less likely to be high school drop-outs.”
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The Rising Costs Of A ‘Free’ Public Education

The Wall Street Journal

“Schools are charging parents for programs and items that have traditionally come standard – including fees for course supplies, school-run extracurricular activities, transportation, and even basic registration fees … Parents aren’t happy about having to cover some of the tab. And some are even fighting back … Many … fees are for activities that are considered optional. But critics say they are things that are critical to a well-rounded school experience – not to mention a competitive college application.”
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In Budget Cuts, Low-Income Students Suffer More Than Wealthy Ones


“For America’s 98,800 public schools, it’s been a tale of two sequesters … School districts have to absorb the same 5% cut to federal education funding; that doesn’t mean they feel the reductions equally … Sequestration has tended to hit schools with low-income students harder than those with wealthy students, disproportionately affecting schools in highly urban or rural areas that have higher poverty rates … It’s been impossible, though, to gauge the full impact of the sequestration on schools nationwide beyond anecdotal and scattershot data … The diffuse impact of the cuts helps explain why there hasn’t been more of a national outcry about the education spending reductions.”
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Short On Teachers, Aides And Copy Paper, Philly Schools Prepare To Open Anyway


“Here’s the on-the-ground view of what life in a traditional Philadelphia public school looks like: Fewer staff. More students. Basic supplies at a premium. Money for discretionary spending non-existent … Also add these to this list of what’s missing: a full-time guidance counselor in every school, an assistant principal in every school. Extracurricular activities outside of fall sports. So what is the district promising? Classrooms across the city packed to the contracted maximum … Teachers … know they’ll end up working longer hours and digging deeper into their own pockets in hopes of covering for these shortfalls. But in doing this, many fear that they are letting the state government off the hook for what they see as inadequate funding.”
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The STEM Crisis Is A Myth

IEEE Spectrum

An article from a magazine published by a professional association in the technology sector states, “Governments everywhere are now pouring billions of dollars each year into myriad efforts designed to boost the ranks of [science, technology, engineering, and math] STEM workers … In the United States, you don’t need a STEM degree to get a STEM job, and if you do get a [STEM] degree, you won’t necessarily work in that field after you graduate … Even in the computer and IT industry, the sector that employs the most STEM workers and is expected to grow the most over the next 5 to 10 years, not everyone who wants a job can find one … The best indicator of a shortfall would be a widespread rise in salaries throughout the STEM community. But the price of labor has not risen … It is difficult to make a case that there has been, is, or will soon be a STEM labor shortage … Companies would rather not pay STEM professionals high salaries with lavish benefits, offer them training on the job, or guarantee them decades of stable employment. So having an oversupply of workers, whether domestically educated or imported, is to their benefit.”
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