9/28/1917 – 60 Years After Little Rock, Its Legacy Lives On In Jackson, Mississippi

THIS WEEK: DeVos Ends Assault Protections … DeVos Is Unpopular … Unions Boost Learning … Hungry Students… Online School Stories


60 Years After Little Rock, Its Legacy Lives On In Jackson, Mississippi

By Jeff Bryant

“This week’s 60th anniversary of the ‘Little Rock Nine,’ named for the African American students who braved violent backlash and racist insults from whites to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, is prompting a wave of articles on the struggle for racial justice in American public education … But the story of Little Rock should not be confined to past tense, and its lesson is really pretty clear and simple.”
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DeVos Withdraws Obama-Era Guidance On Campus Sexual Assault

The Washington Post

“DeVos … rescinded the Obama-era guidance to schools on how to deal with sexual assault on campus, reversing course on federal policy that has played an important role in driving schools to do more to protect sexual assault victims … Sexual assault survivors hailed Obama’s administration for providing them with long-overdue protections … with the number of sexual violence cases under investigation … going from 55 in May 2014 to 344 as of July 12, 2017 … The most controversial part of the Obama-era guidance was that the outcome of investigations should rely on the preponderance of the evidence … DeVos has said that some innocent men were falsely accused under the standard.”
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Betsy DeVos Viewed Unfavorably By 40 Percent Of Voters, New Poll Says

Education Week

“Just 11% said they had a very favorable view of DeVos, while 17% had a somewhat favorable view of her … 11% said they had a somewhat unfavorable view of the education secretary, in addition to the 29% who viewed her very unfavorably… Just 15% of Democrats viewed her favorably, while 47% of Republicans did so.”
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When Charter Schools Unionize, Students Learn More, Study Finds


“Far from harming student achievement, unionization of charter schools actually boosts test scores … The analysis … highlights the limited evidence for the idea that not having unionized teachers helps charter schools succeed – even though that is a major aspect of the charter-school movement, as most charters are not unionized … Unionization increased students’ annual math test scores, and those gains persisted for at least 3 years. The students who started at the lowest achievement levels seemed to benefit the most … The estimated impact on English scores was positive, but small and not statistically significant.”
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Study Shows Kids’ Test Scores Drop When Their Food Stamps Run Out

Talk Poverty

“Kids’ test scores dropped at times of the month when nutrition benefits had run out. Put another way, access to SNAP substantially improves students’ academic performance – but only when there are actually enough benefits for families to be able to eat … Nearly half of participating families run out before the end of the month. That means many students who receive SNAP see their academic performance dip every single month, and then rebound once their families receive more benefits … This new research adds to a wealth of evidence that hunger hampers kids’ ability to learn, holds back their development of social skills, and leads to behavioral problems.”
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Beware The Back-To-School Stories Celebrating Online Education

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “This year, there’s a certain type of ‘back-to-school’ news story you’re bound to see in local newspapers. … Stories typically start with: ‘[Student A] goes to school in her pajamas, and [student B] often does her lessons with a pet dog or cat on her lap.’ Instead of attending ‘typical schools,’ these students get their education via a computer connected to the internet … The internet-based schools have different names – cyber, virtual, online – but the gist of these stories is that ‘thousands of students head back to class without leaving their homes,’ and it’s all good … On balance, these schools are not for the vast majority of families, and often provide loopholes for bad actors to make a buck off the public taxpayer.”
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