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THIS WEEK: How Bernie Would Improve Schools … Poverty Sprawl … Black Students Get Harsher Discipline … Test Rebellion Gets Bigger … Which Students Get Newer Teachers


An Emerging New Narrative For Education

By Jeff Bryant

“The simple story about education no longer works – at least the one we’ve been hearing for the past 20 years … Fortunately, a new narrative is emerging from sources outside the usual think tanks and policy shops … It’s a radical departure from the current policy that constricts educational opportunity by imposing financial austerity, expanding private ownership of the system, and using narrow-minded measures of what constitutes ‘results.’”
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Bernie Sanders Has A Bold, Simple Idea For Improving Public Education


“Bernie Sanders came out in favor of a massive change in the way the US funds schools … Bernie’s right: The property tax system of funding schools is inherently regressive, granting fewer resources to poorer towns with lower property values and more to rich towns with high property values. Federalizing funding of public schools … would be a huge boon for both economic and racial equality … Done right, it can improve school quality while maintaining a degree of local autonomy … Federalizing education spending would entail raising federal spending on the order of $500 billion a year … It’s … possible to raise a big chunk of that revenue by, for example, raising the top income tax rate to 50%.”
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What Will Poverty Sprawl Mean For School Districts?

Education Week

“The geography of child poverty is changing, and research suggests educators may need to tailor their supports for disadvantaged students in rural, suburban, and urban areas … Urban poor students tend to have more chronic stressors … Urban poor areas generally have a wider variety of programs … Rural poor students may have lower crime and costs of living and better access to nature and play areas, but may be more economically … isolated … have fewer early-childhood or school-age support and welfare programs … Suburban poor students tend to have lower stressors and higher resources … but they may face more frequent discrimination from wealthier peers.”
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Black Students In South Twice As Likely As Whites To Be Physically Disciplined And Suspended, Report Shows

Atlanta Black Star

“Black students in the South are twice as likely to receive corporal punishment … One in 100 Black Georgia students reported being struck by a teacher… Black male students were more likely to receive physical punishment … 42,000 Black male students reported being beaten … Black students are not just physically punished at a higher rate. They also have higher rates of suspension than white students … 15% of Black students will be suspended in a given year and Black students are twice as likely to receive in-school suspension.”
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The Testing Opt-Out Movement Is Growing, Despite Government Efforts To Kill It

The Washington Post

Award-winning New York school principal Carol Burris writes, “The testing ‘opt out’ movement is gaining momentum, even as efforts to derail it ramp up … The Ohio legislature is considering a bill that would take opt out students out of accountability reporting … which would, in turn, result in less local resistance to parent requests … In Delaware, the State PTA led the fight to overturn their governor’s veto of a bill that would have made it easier for parents to opt their children out … The leader of the Florida House Democrats, Mark Pafford, publicly urged parents to opt their students out of the tests, which he characterized as meaningless … Keep an on eye on the state that accounted for nearly half of the half million opt outs last year – New York. Despite attempts to convince the public that there will be real change to the standards, testing and teacher evaluation, the parents’ opt out movement is gearing up.”
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Black, Hispanic Students Tend To Have Less Experienced Math Teachers

Education Week

“Black and Hispanic students are much more likely to have an 8th grade math teacher with five or fewer years’ experience than are their white and Asian peers … There’s good proof that experience begets quality, at least to a point – a recent study found that the average teacher’s ability to boost student achievement increases for the first 10 years of teaching, and possibly longer … 36% of black students and 33% of Hispanic students have a math teacher who has taught secondary math for five years or less.”
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