9/1/2016 – New Poll Finds Public Differs Sharply With Education Policies

THIS WEEK: Charters Are Not Public … Bounty Put On John Oliver … The Most Segregated Schools … School Spankings Widespread … Progress On Education Inequality


New Poll Finds Public Differs Sharply With Education Policies Emphasizing School Closures And Fiscal Austerity

By Jeff Bryant

“The new poll … has some startling findings that reveal how out of whack current education policy is from the prevailing opinions in the public. On topics that have been points of emphasis in the current education policy agenda, you’ll find public opinion that is sometimes starkly opposed or at least deeply divided or uncertain. On issues that seem especially important to Americans, you’ll notice either silence or indecision from policy leaders.”
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National Labor Relations Board Decides Charter Schools Are Private Corporations, Not Public Schools

The Washington Post

“As far as federal labor law is concerned … charter schools are not public schools but private corporations … Charters … supplant public schools, which are run by elected officials, with nonprofit and for-profit corporations that are run by unelected boards that are unaccountable to voters … Charter schools are still new … and courts and regulatory agencies are still wrestling with whether, and when, they should be considered private or public institutions … Charter advocates use those gray areas to their advantage..”
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A $100,000 Prize To Charter School That Best Counters Comic John Oliver’s Attack

Atlanta Journal & Constitution

“Comic John Oliver’s blistering monologue about charter schools that rip off students and taxpayers continues to rankle advocates of the popular education model … Now, it has inspired a contest for the best video rebuttal to the comic’s rant … ‘The Center for Education Reform … has launched a contest offering $100,000 to the charter school that produces the best video showing the value of charter schools to students, teachers and communities.’”
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The Most Segregating School-District Borders In America

The Atlantic

“A new report … ranked the country’s top 50 segregating school-district borders. More than 60% of these borders are in Rust Belt cities in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Wisconsin, and Illinois, which have suffered from patterns of disinvestment similar to those in Detroit … Research shows that students coming from profound disadvantage need even more resources from schools than their wealthier peers to achieve equal outcomes … In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court heard … ruled that integration efforts were only permissible within school districts, not between them. That helped turn district borders across the U.S. into unbreakable … economic divides between school systems … a pattern encouraged by the property-tax-based school finance system.”
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Corporal Punishment Use Found In Schools in 21 States

Education Week

“More than 109,000 students were paddled, swatted, or otherwise physically punished in U.S. classrooms in 2013-14 … Corporal punishment stands out for the virtual nonexistence of training or detailed procedures on how to paddle children … The practice can leave students more vulnerable to injury and districts at greater risk of expensive lawsuits … Nationwide, students eligible for school meal programs – a proxy for low-income status – were more likely to attend schools that use corporal punishment than students who don’t qualify.”
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The Good News About Educational Inequality

The New York Times

“The enormous gap in academic performance between high- and low-income children has begun to narrow. Children entering kindergarten today are more equally prepared than they were in the late 1990s … The gap in school readiness narrowed because of relatively rapid improvements in the skills of low-income children, not because the skills of children from high-income families declined … It is unlikely, however, that preschool enrollment is the primary explanation. Although more poor children today attend preschool than in the 1990s … We suspect that in part this happened because of the widespread diffusion of a single powerful idea: that the first few years of a child’s life are the most consequential for cognitive development.
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