9/6/2018 – Back-To-School Season Marred By Underfunding, Charter School Scandals

THIS WEEK: Why Teachers Walk Out … Teacher Pay Worsens … Solving Segregation … Suspensions’ Toll … Who Are College Students?


Back-To-School Season Marred By Chronic Underfunding, Endless Charter School Scandals

By Jeff Bryant

“With a new school year starting across the nation, families, teachers, and communities may be feeling a sense of renewal and possibility, but much of the news from schools is still mired in negative reports of underfunded buildings, beleaguered teachers, and charter school corruption.”
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Activist Teachers Aren’t Just Fighting For Themselves. They’re Fighting For Their Students.

The Washington Post

“The wave of #RedForEd protests over the course of the past year … have continued into the new school year, as teachers went on strike in southwest Washington state and educators in Los Angeles and Seattle considered following suit. These educators are protesting not just for better pay, but also for increased funding for public education to benefit students and communities … Teachers have been forced to triage the symptoms of economic inequality. In addition to planning and providing academic instruction, teachers are often tasked with serving as social workers, counselors, nurses, food pantries, technology support specialists, accountants, facilities maintenance staff and janitors … Activist teachers have always faced charges that their organizing was selfish, hurt students, diminished learning or harmed taxpayers. But in reality, when teachers organize collectively, their advocacy for better teaching conditions has improved public education more broadly.”
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The Salary Slide: As Other Professionals See Growth, Teachers’ Pay Stagnates, New Report Finds


“Teachers now earn about 20% less than other college-educated workers … This teacher pay penalty has persisted and even grown modestly in recent years … It may be one reason why a majority of parents for the first time say they don’t want their children to become teachers … Low pay is also one of the chief drivers of recent teacher protests across the country … Even accounting for benefits, there remains a 11% pay penalty for teachers.”
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We Can Draw School Zones To Make Classrooms Less Segregated


“Once you look at the school attendance zones … it becomes clearer why these lines are drawn the way they are. Groups with political clout – mainly wealthier, whiter communities – have pushed policies that help white families live in heavily white areas and attend heavily white schools. We see this in city after city, state after state … often the attendance zones are gerrymandered to put white students in classrooms that are even whiter than the communities they live in. The result is that schools today are re-segregating… But this exact strategy – gerrymandering school districts to include certain kinds of students and exclude others – can also be used to integrate a school, rather than segregate them.”
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The Price Of Punishment – New Report Shows Students Nationwide Lost 11 Million School Days Due To Suspensions


“Children in America’s public schools lost more than 11 million instructional days due to suspensions during the 2015-16 school year … Racial disparities in suspensions remain an acute problem. Nationwide, African-American students lost 66 days of instruction per 100 students enrolled in 2015-16, which is five times as many days as white students lost … ‘There are too many evidence-based alternatives to suspensions for there to be this level of educational deprivation … California has made great strides in this area and is a positive example for other states across the nation.'”
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Today’s College Students Aren’t Who You Think They Are


“That narrative of the residential, collegiate experience is way off … Today’s college student is decidedly nontraditional – and has been for a while. … 1 in 5 is at least 30 years old … About half are financially independent from their parents … 1 in 4 is caring for a child … 47% go to school part time at some point … A quarter take a year off before starting school … 2 out of 5 attend a two-year community college … 44% have parents who never completed a bachelor’s degree”
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