9/8/2016 – Who Gains Most From School Choice?

THIS WEEK: Black Teachers Matter … Making Teachers Moonlight … Teacher Shortages Acute … How Charters End Afrocentric Education … How Charters Change Democrats


Who Gains Most From School Choice? Not Low-Income Students Of Color

By Jeff Bryant

“No doubt school choice will benefit some parents – just as any market-based system has some winners and some losers. But who really stands to gain most from choice and why? … To get a broad view on how the policy actually is working for parents, I talked with a school choice consultant.”
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Black Teachers Matter

Mother Jones

“Across the country, scores of schools have been closed, radically restructured, or replaced by charter schools. And in the process, the face of the teaching workforce has changed. In one of the most far-reaching consequences of the past decade’s wave of education reform, the nation has lost tens of thousands of experienced black teachers and principals … Many of these departures came as part of mass layoffs and closings in schools with low test scores, a policy promoted with federal and state dollars since 2002 … 26,000 African American teachers have disappeared from the nation’s public schools … All in the name of raising achievement among black students.”
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Teachers Are Working For Uber Just to Keep A Foothold In The Middle Class

The Nation

“Uber has promoted its teacher/driver initiative as an act of civic altruism … Yet … there’s a far more troubling reality … Teachers working in increasingly expensive locales … are forced into the lowest echelons of the gig economy … For Uber, the struggles of these economically challenged teachers represent a dual opportunity: a marketing coup as well as a ready labor force … Uber is hardly the first company to exploit the financial vulnerability of teachers – and the desperation of public schools more broadly – to score PR points.”
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Kids Going Back To School Won’t Be Greeted By Enough Teachers

Fast Company

“Wisconsin has struggled to attract new teachers after killing collective bargaining laws. New York’s Board of Regents chancellor characterized the state’s teacher shortage as ‘severe’ … Maine is facing the worst shortage of special ed teachers it can remember. To deal with teacher shortages, states like Kansas and Michigan have voted to lower licensing requirements … Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois too. Some states and schools are considering ‘virtual’ classrooms or staffing … It’s clear that governments need to do something to make teaching a desirable profession once again.”
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The Afrocentric Education Crisis

American Prospect

“While the rise of charter schools may once have seemed a blessing to champions of Afrocentric education, it has brought with it a host of problems … Charters’ emphasis on standardized testing has jeopardized the standing and existence of numerous Afrocentric schools … Low-test scores have led to the closure of many Afrocentric charter schools … As many Afrocentric charter schools have closed down, other charter operators have begun to adopt some of their rhetoric in order to justify their own overwhelmingly black and brown student compositions … Large charter networks are ‘fooling the community with their rhetoric’ A school shouldn’t be considered ‘culturally specific’ merely because it creates a space for black students to learn together.
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How The Charter School Lobby Is Changing The Democratic Party

Los Angeles Times

Harold Meyerson writes, “At a time when Democrats and their party are, by virtually every index, moving left, a powerful center-right pressure group within the liberal universe has nonetheless sprung up … the charter school lobby … Charter advocates don’t need to win the high-visibility offices to prevail. By spending sufficiently to shift the composition of Democratic caucuses in legislatures, city councils, or school boards to the right … they can also impede unrelated progressive initiatives for greater environmental protections and worker rights … By making Democratic elected officials even more dependent on the mega-donations of the 1%, they make campaign finance reform all the harder to win.”
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