Newsfeed

Noteworthy headlines from the education wire
  • Study: Multi-Year Gates Experiment to Improve Teacher Effectiveness Spent $575 Million, Didn’t Make an Impact

    By Kevin Mahnken | Today

    A major, long-term experiment in improving teacher performance funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation failed in its aims, according to a study released today by the RAND Corporation. The intermediate and long-term student outcomes in affected schools were not improved, and new measures of teacher effectiveness devised through the initiative rated almost all teachers highly, the authors found.

    The mammoth study, conducted by RAND in conjunction with the American Institutes for Research, renders a final verdict on the multi-year reform effort, known as the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching. An interim report, released two years ago, had given onlookers a preview of the initiative’s results — few of which were trending upwards.

    The Intensive Partnerships undertaking sprang from a 2006 paper on teacher effectiveness written by education expert Thomas Kane. Researchers have typically found that teacher quality is among the most important factors in student performance, and that proxies such as educational attainment or teacher experience are poor predictors of performance in the classroom.

    Influenced by Kane’s research, the Gates team joined with seven partners in a long-term effort to devise measures of teacher effectiveness and create human resources practices to maximize it. Three large school districts were chosen: Pittsburgh Public Schools, Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida, and Shelby County Public Schools, which merged with the Memphis school district in 2013. Additionally, the foundation selected four California charter management organizations: Alliance College Ready Public Schools, Aspire Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools and Partnership to Uplift Communities Schools.

    Between the 2009-10 and 2015-16 school years, the districts and CMOs were awarded roughly $575 million, including $212 million directly from the Gates Foundation. The remaining funds came from a combination of sources, including the districts and CMOs themselves, local philanthropies, and the federal government.

    These funds amounted to expenditures of between $868 per pupil at Green Dot to $3,541 in Pittsburgh. Using the money, the schools were meant to develop a measure of teacher effectiveness that accounted for both metrics of student achievement (on standardized tests, for example) and in-classroom observations by administrators.

    School leaders were then expected to make use of their teacher effectiveness rubric when making decisions about hiring and recruitment, compensation, placement, tenure (where applicable; the CMOs did not grant tenure then or now), and dismissal. Ultimately, the goal was to expose low-income and minority students to better teachers, improving their rates of high school graduation and college attendance by doing so.

    The plan didn’t work, according to the research team.

    “By 2014–2015, student achievement, [low-income minority] students’ access to effective teaching, and dropout rates were not dramatically better than they were for similar sites that did not participate in the [Intensive Partnerships] initiative,” they write.

    One problem, they find, is that the spiffy new teacher effectiveness ratings were difficult to put into practice. After the 2012-13 school year, no more than 2 percent of teachers in any of the seven school school systems were rated in the lowest level of teacher effectiveness. Although the schools rated newly hired teachers more and more effective over the course of the study, RAND’s researchers found their performance to be no better based on their own calculations of value-added modeling (a statistical measure of teacher impact on student progress from year to year).

    Credit: The RAND Corporation

    The rating inflation arose partially from the fact that teachers grew resistant to the new evaluations being used for high-stakes decisions like compensation and firing. Indeed, the Pittsburgh Teachers Union kicked up so much of a fuss over the new criteria that the district nearly lost its $40 million grant. Superintendent Linda Lane had to lower the minimum score for effectiveness — twice — before the issue was resolved.

    Unexpected contingencies also arose during the six years the experiment was being conducted. Pennsylvania and California experienced school funding crunches, Hillsborough County jettisoned its superintendent (MaryEllen Elia, now the education commissioner in New York state) and virtually every state in the country decided to change their statewide standardized tests.

    Whatever the cause, however, teacher performance was not bolstered by the costly study. The authors note that they will continue to track student outcomes for the next two years in case improvements take longer than expected to manifest.

    The difficulty involved in revamping teacher evaluations, which can stoke hostility among teachers’ unions, bedeviled the Obama administration’s Race to the Top grant program at the same time the Intensive Partnerships initiative was underway. Last year, Bill Gates announced that his foundation would refocus its philanthropic efforts in education away from trying to build a better teacher evaluation and toward funding “networks” of innovative public schools.

    Related

    Gates Foundation Shifts Education Focus to Network Schools, Innovation, and Special Education Charters

    Disclosure: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides financial support to The 74



  • EduClips: Judge Strikes Down Rule Allowing Some NYC Schools to Certify Their Own Teachers; With Children Held in Miami-Dade, District Chief Carvalho Condemns Immigration Policy — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | 1 day ago

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    HURRICANE MARIA — Karla Burgos Santana didn’t want to talk to anyone.

    Only hours before, she was in Naranjito, Puerto Rico — the rural town in the mountains where she’d grown up. A senior and aspiring actress, she’d finally nailed a coveted leading role in her school’s musical, Young Frankenstein. Yet on Oct. 10, following the island’s devastation from Hurricane Maria, Burgos Santana was walking the unfamiliar hallways of Cypress Creek High School in Orlando, Florida, feeling depressed and helpless.

    “I sat at lunch alone” the first few weeks, the 17-year-old recalled. “I even wrote letters telling myself that I didn’t want to be there. I was mad.”

    But eight months later, Burgos Santana has received her high school diploma, one of hundreds of seniors who came to the U.S. mainland to do so. The seniors were among an estimated exodus of about 40,000 students forced to relocate as the island struggled for weeks to regain power. (Read at The74Million.org)

    National News

    IMMIGRATION — Teachers Condemn Family Separations at the Border as ‘Child Abuse’ (Read at Education Week)

    HEAT WAVE — With Many Schools Lacking Air Conditioning, Heat Wave Leads to Early School Closures (Read at The74Million.org)

    ESSA — States Are Failing to ‘Put Students’ Civil Rights First’ in ESSA Plans, Advocates Say (Read at Politics K-12)

    District and State News

    NEW YORK — Judge strikes down rule allowing some New York charter schools to certify their own teachers (Read at Chalkbeat)

    FLORIDA — With Children Held In Miami-Dade, Carvalho Sends Letter Condemning Immigration Policy to Sec. Nielsen (Read at CBS Miami)

    TEXAS — TEXAS DIGEST: Charter school founders get prison in $4.4 million scam (Read at the Austin American-Statesman)

    PUERTO RICO — This Is What Hundreds of School Closures in Puerto Rico Looks Like (Read at Politics K-12)

    CALIFORNIA — L.A. school board approves $8.2 billion spending plan amid concerns over future (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

    NEVADA — Clark County schools cut more than 560 jobs to erase deficit (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

    CALIFORNIA — Building L.A.’s rail system will create thousands of jobs. Can a transportation boarding school fill them? (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

    NEW YORK — City Plan Aims to Diversify Upper West Side Middle Schools (Read at The Wall Street Journal)

    Think Pieces

    PRE-K — How do you make the benefits of pre-K education last? (Read at PBS)

    THE BELIEF GAP — A Parent’s Perspective: Excuse Me, What Did You Call My Child? When the ‘Belief Gap’ Cuts a Little Too Close to Home (Read at The74Million.org)

    PRE-K — What We Can Learn From Ghana’s Obsession With Preschool (Read at NPR)

    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT — Teachers Shouldn’t Have to Wait Until Summer to Get Professional Development (Read at Education Post)

    Quote of the Day

    “We don’t close the door on anyone. You have to respond.” —Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, superintendent at Hartford Public Schools, which enrolled 450 Puerto Rican students in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. (Read at The74Million.org)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for theTopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • Watch Live: Former Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee to Speak at National Charter Schools Conference Wednesday at 12 p.m. Eastern

    By Steve Snyder | 2 days ago

    The 2018 National Charter Schools Conference sprinted out of the gate Monday, with the bestowing of this year’s Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools to the Denver-based DSST Public Schools (read more about the award and the network right here). Since then, it’s a been a full roster of speakers and sessions in Austin, Texas, culminating in today’s closing day lineup.

    Several of Wednesday’s presentations will be livestreamed at the CharterSchools Facebook page, including today’s keynote from Mike Marriner, the co-founder of Roadtrip Nation.

    Also at noon Eastern (11 a.m. local time), former Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee will take the stage to talk about the state of American education and her recent year-long journey across the country to learn from students and other educators.

    You can watch Chaffee’s session live right here.

    National Charter School Conference 2018 – Closing General Session

    National Charter School Conference 2018 – Closing General SessionAustin, TX June 20, 2018

    Posted by National Alliance for Public Charter Schools on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    In the spring of 2017, The 74’s Carolyn Phenicie sat down with Chaffee for an extensive interview about school accountability, student trauma, and social justice. Here’s an excerpt from that interview:

    The 74: Why did you become a teacher?

    Chaffee: I was in college, I was at Sarah Lawrence, and I was studying all these things that I loved. I was studying poetry, and I was studying women’s history, and I had these amazing professors and they were all young women, feminists, doing this incredible work. They helped me become a learner … I was just on fire with this learning. So I decided, “I’ll never leave, I’ll stay here forever, I’ll be a professor, and this will just be my life and it will be perfect and I’ll become one of these women, and I will get to do for other students what they have done for me and I’ll just be learning forever.”

    Then I ended up working for a summer … with rising seventh-graders and they were amazing, amazing people … It was just this incredible experience of building this community with them over the course of a summer, and taking kids through these educational experiences and these community-building experiences. I realized, this is amazing — actually, I don’t have to stay at Sarah Lawrence forever, because I can work with middle schoolers who are just these amazing little people. And I can get this all the time, and I can learn all the time and I can make a difference in the world. Then I became a teacher.

    The National Teacher of the Year has a sort of platform she advocates during her year in office. What would yours be?

    I’m really interested in the idea of and the power of stories. I really like to talk about, what are the stories that are being told about our students and about our schools and about teachers, and what are the stories that we want to tell and that our students want to tell, and how do we empower students and teachers to tell their stories?

    For me, one of the big stories that I want to talk about with folks is the story of equity and the story of social justice, and how do we make those ideas live in our schools and live in our classrooms, and how do we empower our students to take action towards a more just world, and to take action to create a more just world? I feel like all of the other sort of issues that I like to get involved in, it all always comes back to that idea.

    What would you wish others know about your classroom, or your students?

    My students are such complicated people. Students are whole people, and sometimes when we talk about education or we talk about classrooms, we talk about learning, we forget that …

    One thing that I’ve been really interested in learning about recently and talking about recently is this idea of trauma-informed teaching, and thinking about what are our students coming to us with, what are the traumas that they may have experienced, and what are the traumas that they are currently living through.

    My students are overwhelmingly students of color, primarily African-American and Latino students, and so thinking about what some of the trauma that they are experiencing by virtue of being students of color. What are some of the things that they are dealing with in terms of stereotypes that they’re facing or the effects of — not for all of them but for some of them — poverty, things like that? What trauma does racism inflict upon them? And how can we understand our students within this larger context of who they are as people and how they’re experiencing the world, and how can we hone our practice in the classroom and in the school to best support them in a trauma-informed way?

    … I’m just really interested in, how can we help people who aren’t in the classroom every day with our kids understand the bigger picture and the broader context of who they are and what they’re facing in the world and what they’re interested in, and the growth that we’re seeing over time with them.

    What’s been your best moment teaching?

    I cannot pick one, so I’m just going to tell you a story from last year. I had this girl in ninth grade, and she is an amazing actress. We were doing a poetry competition where she had to memorize and recite a poem. Everyone in the ninth grade knew she was going to win…. We got to the night of the performance and she becomes a finalist. And then a month later we get to the night of the finals, she gets up there, by this point everyone in the school, not just the ninth-graders, [knows] she’s a shoo-in.

    Someone sneezes and she messes up … She didn’t win; she didn’t move on. She declared herself a failure. She had all these reasons why she shouldn’t have won and she didn’t deserve it and it’s terrible.

    At the end of the year we always put on a play. So having seen this power that she had, my co-teachers and I made her the title character in the play. Of course at first she was sort of like, “Well, why would you give this to me? I messed everything up. I can’t handle it. I’m gonna mess up.” On the night of our play, she was a star.

    She sort of came out and had this real redemption, and I attribute that both to her passion and her talent, but also the way that her fellow classmates sort of rallied around her in the lead-up to the play. They said, you know, “Hey, we know you’re amazing, and how can we help you?” and “Let’s make sure that you know your lines by heart,” and “Let’s make sure that sometimes when you’re rehearsing we do something distracting and let’s see what you can do.” She was able to see, “Oh, this one moment things didn’t go well, but that doesn’t mean I’m a failure, and actually I’m gonna pick myself up and I’m gonna do this other thing.”

    Everyone in that audience witnessed this magic of this beautiful performance. That to me is such a great story because I just feel like I fail all the time. We all fail all the time. To be able to see a student fail in that moment and then come back and have such triumph that is like the beauty of this theater work that we do, but also just education.

    …Read the full interview here. And watch Chaffee’s livestream here at 12 p.m. Eastern.

     

    Go Deeper: Find more great, in-depth interviews with educators and experts at our “74 Interview” section.

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • With Many Schools Lacking Air Conditioning, Heat Wave Leads to Early School Closures

    By Laura Fay | 2 days ago

    Students are getting an early taste of summer this week in at least five states, as schools in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Michigan closed early Monday afternoon because of temperatures expected to rise into the 90s. The closures are a reminder that many schools in the United States lack air conditioning, even in areas that routinely see high temperatures during the school year.

    A public records request by The 74 in 2017 revealed that some schools in 11 of America’s largest districts lack sufficient air conditioning, which can be critical for learning on hot days.

    Related

    Exclusive: Too Hot to Learn: Records Show Nearly a Dozen of the Biggest School Districts Lack Air Conditioning

    Teachers told The 74 that hot classrooms can make students irritable and unfocused, which makes it difficult for teachers to engage them and may cause behavior problems.

    “I have more kids who will put their heads down, they’ll be grouchier, less compliant, they don’t want to do anything,” one Baltimore teacher said last year.

    Related

    In 1 of the Largest Districts Most Needing A/C, 1,000 Hawaii Classrooms Get Cooled Off This School Year

    Research backs up educators’ observations. A 2017 study in New York City high schools showed that student test scores suffer on hotter days.

    “Taking an exam on a 90 [degree] day relative to a 72 [degree] day results in a reduction in exam performance that is equivalent to a quarter of the Black-White [student] achievement gap,” researchers wrote.

    Additionally, a recent study of PSAT results found that student scores were lower when the preceding school year had been hotter, indicating that students may learn less in higher temperatures. Researchers found that air conditioning in classrooms mitigates the effects of the heat, however. They assert that the benefits of air conditioning in classrooms would outweigh the cost, “particularly given future predicted climate change.” The effects were larger for low-income and minority students in the PSAT study.

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • EduClips: Chicago Special Ed Students Face ‘Cycle of Chaos’; NYC Girls Schools to Admit Transgender Students — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | 2 days ago

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    TEACHERS — Nearly 1 in 5 public school teachers have second jobs during the school year, a new analysis of federal data shows.

    Half of teachers with second jobs are working in a field outside of education, while 5 percent of teachers are taking on a second teaching or tutoring job outside of their school districts. And 4 percent of teachers have a job that is not teaching, but is still related to the teaching field.

    Across the country, teachers who work a second job earn an average of $5,100 to supplement their incomes. And teachers who moonlight in a non-education field earn about $1,000 more on average than teachers who work a second job related to teaching — $5,500 compared to $4,500. (Read at Education Week)

    National News

    ELECTIONS — From the Schoolhouse to the State House: These 7 Teachers Are Running for Office to Say ‘No More’ to Slashed Education Funding (Read at The74Million.org)

    ELLS — If DeVos Scraps the Federal Office for ELLs, Would It Matter? (Read at Education Week)

    SCHOOL SAFETY — ‘I want to be able to protect them’: After Parkland, some teachers turn to firearm training (Read at NBC News)

    FLIPGRID — Microsoft is buying education start-up Flipgrid, bolstering Google rivalry (Read at USA Today)

    BROAD PRIZE — DSST Public Schools Wins the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, Will Soon Serve One-Fourth of Denver’s Middle & High Schoolers (Read at The74Million.org)*

    District and State News

    ILLINOIS — CPS students denied special education services amid ‘cycle of chaos,’ parents say (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

    NEW YORK — New York’s Elite Girls Schools Are Starting to Admit Transgender Students (Read at The New York Times)

    VIRGINIA — Richmond school drops Confederate name in favor of Barack Obama (Read at KITV News)

    PENNSYLVANIA — ‘Enough is enough’: Philly school unions boiling over assaults on staff (Read at The Philadelphia Inquirer)

    NEW YORK — More bullying reported at New York City schools, study shows (Read at Chalkbeat)

    CALIFORNIA — Advocates: California’s school budget still leaves rising special education costs to districts (Read at the Fresno Bee)

    ILLINOIS — New state budget boosts early childhood education funding (Read at Fox Illinois)

    TEXAS — Texas Senate panel conducts hearings on school violence, safety (Read at the Austin American-Statesman)

    CALIFORNIA —  California Schools Seek Rollback to Disclosure Law on Bond Votes (Read at Bloomberg)

    Think Pieces

    TEACHERS UNIONS — After Janus: A new era of teacher’s union activism (Read at Education Next)

    MILLENNIALS — Public Schools for a New Generation: 5 Reasons Why Millennials Will Bend the Arc of American Education (Read at The74Million.org)

    AP COURSES — Our schools will get rid of AP courses. Here’s why. (Read at The Washington Post)

    EDUCATION RESEARCH — The Snares And Delusions of Education Research (Read at Forbes)

    BUSING — The route school buses can take toward racial equity (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    AP HISTORY — Teachers protest against changes to a high-school history course (Read at The Economist)

    SUMMER PROGRAMS — Summer learning programs are too expensive for many of Mississippi’s kids (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    Quote of the Day

    “Working two jobs and trying to maintain a balance with teaching, it does take a toll, especially when you have a family.” —Joe Reid, until recently a middle school language arts teacher in Hebron, Ind. (Read at Education Week)

    *Disclosure: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Walton Family Foundation have provided funding to both DSST and The 74; the Walton Family Foundation also provides financial support to the Century Foundation’s project on charter school diversity. The 74 also receives funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which funds the Broad prize.

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • EduClips: Many CA High Schoolers Felt Unprepared for College, Study Finds; NY and VA to Require Teaching Mental Health — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | 3 days ago

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    ESSA BLOCK GRANTS — Many districts are about to get a big boost in funding for the most flexible piece of the Every Student Succeeds Act: the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, better known as Title IV of the law. The program just got a big, $700 million boost from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, bringing its total funding to $1.1 billion. And it could get even more money next year, because the House appropriations subcommittee in control of federal education spending is seeking $1.2 billion for the program in new legislation.

    Districts can use Title IV funding for a wide range of activities that help students become safer and healthier, more well-rounded, or make better use of technology. And districts have a lot of leeway to customize Title IV to their needs. However, districts that get $30,000 or more must do a needs assessment and spend at least 20 percent on an activity that makes students safer and 20 percent on something that makes kids more well-rounded.

    Three education groups — AASA, the School Superintendents Association, the National Association of Federal Program Administrators, and Whiteboard Advisors — surveyed districts to find out. Since May, 622 districts have responded to the survey. A majority of the districts surveyed, 63 percent, said they wanted to spend at least a portion of their Title IV funds on making students safer, with school counseling the second-most popular choice at 43 percent. (Read at Politics K-12)

    National News

    MENTAL HEALTH — Many Recommend Teaching Mental Health in Schools. Now Two States Will Require It. (Read at HuffPost)

    SUICIDE — What Educators Need to Know About Suicide: Contagion, Complicated Grief, and Supportive Conversations (Read at Education Week)

    SAT SUBJECT TESTS — Fewer students are taking them. Few colleges require them. So why are SAT Subject Tests still needed? (Read at The Washington Post)

    SCHOOL CHOICE — Betsy DeVos Touts School Choice Opportunities in the U.K., Netherlands (Read at Politics K-12)

    District and State News

    NEW YORK — NYC Mayor on Diversity Problems With City’s Elite Public High Schools (Read at NPR)

    CALIFORNIA — Many California High Schoolers Felt Unprepared for College Process: Study (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

    NEVADA — New Clark County schools superintendent faces trust-building challenge (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

    TEXAS — State of Texas: Going beyond thoughts and prayers (Read at KXAN)

    FLORIDA — Florida Influencers rank inequality and education as most pressing 2018 election issue (Read at the Miami Herald)

    ILLINOIS — CPS workers to undergo fresh background checks before start of next school year (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

    CALIFORNIA — California School to Be Named After Undocumented Immigrant Who Won Pulitzer Prize (Read at Newsweek)

    NEW YORK —NYC Teachers Who Lost Their Jobs but Remain on the Payroll Receive Big Raises as Budget Watchdogs Call to Reform $136M Absent Teacher Reserve (Read at The74Million.org)

    VIRGINIA —Fairfax Co. school district passes proposals to modify sex ed, dress codes (Read at WTOP News)

    NEVADA — A Q&A with the new superintendent of Clark County schools (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

    ILLINOIS — Board of Education would receive $68.4M for capital projects under Rauner budget (Read at the Prairie State Wire)

    Think Pieces

    TEACHER PAY — In female-dominated education field, women still lag behind in pay, according to two new studies (Read at Chalkbeat)

    CHARTER SCHOOLS — Nearly 750 charter schools are whiter than the nearby district schools (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    DIVERSITY — ‘I Live in the Same Space as You’: As Districts Nationwide Struggle With Diversity, How One L.A. School Network Is Recruiting Teachers Who Look Like the Classrooms They Lead (Read at The74Million.org)

    VIRTUAL ADMISSIONS — Virtual Advisers Help Out With College Admissions (Read at NPR)

    CHARTER SCHOOLS — Rees: 4 Ways America’s Charter Schools Must ‘Dream Big and Act Big’ to Keep Making Progress for All Students (Read at The74Million.org)

    Quote of the Day

    “We teach them how to detect the signs of cancer and how to avoid accidents, but we don’t teach them how to recognize the symptoms of mental illness. It’s a shame because, like cancer, mental health treatment is much more effective if the disease is caught early.” —Dustin Verga, a high school health teacher in Clifton, New York, and an early advocate of the state’s new law requiring mental health instruction. (Read at HuffPost)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • Watch Live — The 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools to Be Bestowed at 11 a.m. Eastern; Uncommon Schools, Achievement First & DSST Are Finalists

    By Steve Snyder | 3 days ago

    Update: DSST Public Schools is the winner of the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. Beth Hawkins has more on the announcement, and the network, right here.

    The winner of the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools will be announced later this morning at the National Charter Schools Conference in Austin, Texas.

    National Charter Schools Conference 2018 Opening Session

    National Charter Schools Conference 2018 – Opening General Session#ncsc18Austin, TX June 18, 2018

    Posted by National Alliance for Public Charter Schools on Monday, June 18, 2018

     

    The $250,000 prize is awarded annually to the best-performing charter management organization (CMO) in the country, as measured by academic outcomes, especially among students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. This year’s three finalists – Achievement First, DSST Public Schools, and Uncommon Schools – were chosen from among 41 of the country’s largest CMOs by a board of national education experts.

    As Carolyn Phenicie previously reported about the finalists:

    Achievement First was a finalist for the prize in 2013, 2014, and 2015. DSST was a finalist last year, and Uncommon Schools won the prize in 2013. The high-performing New York City network Success Academy won the prize last year.

    DSST last year celebrated its 10th year of 100 percent college acceptance for its graduating seniors, and it has turned its focus to expanding beyond Denver proper and ensuring its students enroll in the right colleges and complete their degrees.

    Achievement First, which borrowed practices from other top performers, and Uncommon Schools, the effort of four entrepreneurs that launched in 2005, are among the charter networks beating the odds for college graduation for low-income students.

    Achievement First’s projected six-year college graduation rate is 52 percent, and Uncommon Schools’ is 50 percent, as compared with about 9 percent for low-income students nationally. (Read more about the networks’ college completion data via Richard Whitmire’s exclusive analysis: “Data Show Charter School Students Graduating College at Three to Five Times National Average”) … Read more about the 2018 Broad Prize finalists.

     

    Read more from our archive on Uncommon Schools: “Against Common Schools of Thought, a Focus on GPA, SAT Scores, and One ‘Dirty Little Secret’ Boosts Network’s College Success Rates to 50%.

    And read more from our archive on DSST: “10 Years, 100% College Acceptance — Inside a Most Remarkable Decade at the Denver School of Science & Technology.

    Watch Live: Stream the 2018 Broad Prize ceremony right here beginning at 11 a.m.

     

    Disclosure: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and The 74 both receive funding from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, the William E. Simon Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. DSST and The 74 receive funding from the Gates and Walton foundations. Achievement First and The 74 receive funding from the Gates, Broad, and Walton foundations and The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • The Week Ahead in Education Politics: Immigration Turmoil for DACA Students, House Moves on Ed Spending, LGBT Suicide Prevention & More

    By Carolyn Phenicie | 5 days ago

    Update, June 20: The Appropriations Committee markup of the Education Department spending bill originally scheduled for Wednesday has been rescheduled for Tuesday June 26.

    THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION POLITICS publishes most Saturdays. (See previous editions here.) You can get the preview delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for The 74 Newsletter; for rolling updates on federal education policy, follow Carolyn Phenicie on Twitter @cphenicie.

    INBOX: IMMIGRATION? — After some high procedural drama surrounding a little-used petition process, House Republican leadership put forward what it deemed a compromise immigration measure that would provide increased funding for a wall at the border with Mexico and set up a visa system for DACA recipients.

    Leaders had planned to vote on the bill this week, but President Donald Trump threw cold water on the compromise when he announced Friday morning he wouldn’t sign the measure. Republicans scrambled to save the bill, with senior leaders predicting the president would walk back his remarks, Politico reported. The bill’s fate was murky even before Trump’s remarks, with Democrats and hard-line conservatives both questioning the measure.

    The future of 680,000 DACA recipients has been in turmoil for nine months, after the Trump administration ended the program. It has since continued renewing applications under court order, though most DACA recipients whose statuses expired have lost protections.

    Related

    Fear Remains for Immigrant Youth as Federal Court Hands Trump Another Blow on DACA Repeal

    Lawmakers have been unable to come to a deal that satisfies Democrats and moderate Republicans who urge a pathway to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers, hard-line conservative Republicans who oppose citizenship, and President Trump, who has long demanded money for a border as part of any immigration deal.

    JANUS WATCH: The number of days on which the Supreme Court could announce its opinion in a key public-sector union case is dwindling. The court is scheduled to be in Monday, June 18, and Monday, June 25, to announce decisions, but could add additional days as it approaches the end of its term. Review our recap of oral arguments, and five things to know about the case, as the edu-world awaits what many expect to be a landmark decision.

    TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: CHILD CARE — Progressive advocacy groups convene the first Grassroots Assembly for Child Care to call for better early federal child care policies. Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and a former preschool teacher, will address the group.

    WEDNESDAY: EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS — The House Appropriations Committee marks up the fiscal 2019 spending bill that includes the Education Department. The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education subcommittee approved the bill, which provides $71 billion for the Education Department, Friday.

    ICYMI: LGBT SUICIDE PREVENTION — Sen. Orrin Hatch is an unlikely advocate for acceptance of LGBT Americans.

    In the 1970s, he said gay people have a “psychological deficiency” and shouldn’t be allowed to teach in public schools, and he was a strong defender of federal laws barring married same-sex couples from receiving government benefits, The Washington Post reported.

    Yet on Wednesday, Hatch, an 84-year-old Mormon and strong social conservative, made an impassioned speech on the Senate floor to send a “message of love” to LGBT Americans, particularly LGBT young people, who die by suicide at rates two to seven times as high as their peers.

    “LGBT youth deserve our unwavering love and support. They deserve our validation and the assurance that not only is there a place for them in this society, but that it is far better off because of them. These young people need us, and we desperately need them,” Hatch said.

    Hatch, with Indiana Democratic senator Joe Donnelly, wrote a bill that would require the Federal Communications Commission to recommend an easy-to-remember three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, like 911 for emergency services. The Senate has passed the bill, as has a House subcommittee; Hatch encouraged the full House to approve the legislation quickly.

    The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. The Trevor Project’s hotline for LGBTQ youth is 1-866-488-7386.

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • Unable to Renew Their Visas, 25 Baltimore Teachers Could Be Forced to Leave the U.S.

    By Laura Fay | 7 days ago

    After teaching in the city for more than a decade, about 25 Baltimore teachers could soon be forced to leave — not just their jobs, but the country they have come to call home.

    Many of the teachers came to the U.S. in the mid-2000s with work visas to make up for a shortage of American teachers in the city. Most of the educators came from the Philippines, which had a “surplus of education majors.” At least two are from Jamaica, the Baltimore Sun reported.

    The teachers have H-1B visas, granted to immigrants with specialized skills that the United States needs, with support from specific employers. The visas, often used in the technology sector, allow workers to stay for three years and can be extended beyond that. Workers can eventually get permanent resident status, but it can take years.

    The school district applied for the teachers’ visas to be renewed months ago, but the federal government has selected the the case for an audit and dragged out the process, the district’s chief human capital officer, Jeremy Grant-Skinner, told the Sun.

    The immigrants’ legal status ends when their visas expire, even if they have filed for an extension, and the Trump administration has been taking steps to restrict the program.

    An immigration lawyer, Jeff Gorsky, told the Sun that the Trump administration is intentionally doing what it can “to slow down and gum up the process” of renewing visas. Earlier this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it would put in place more stringent requirements for the visas. Critics of the program, including President Donald Trump, say it gives jobs to foreign workers instead of American citizens and drives down wages.

    One of the teachers was recently unable to attend her students’ eighth-grade graduation ceremony because she was packing up her home, according to Elliott Rauh, one of the other teachers at her school, Vanguard Collegiate Middle School.

    “It’s so disheartening,” Rauh told the Sun. “The biggest losers in this situation are the kids.”

    About 250 foreign educators work in Baltimore, one of several districts that rely on international teachers, including Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Some Durham, North Carolina, teachers who have a different type of authorization, known as a J-1 visa, could be facing the same threat. CNN reported in March that doctors and medical residents serving needy areas are also at risk because of recent changes to the program.

    Administrators from Baltimore have told the teachers in question they will be able to return to work when they are able to come back to the United States.

    “I’m sad that this administration has made this so difficult,” Baltimore Teachers Union President Marietta English told the Sun. “Their attitude toward immigration is really a detriment to the country. These teachers come dedicated. They’re not one or two years and then done. They’re here, and it’s just very unfortunate they have to go back.”

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • EduClips: NYC’s Absent Teacher Reserve Could Get Pricier; Schools in Los Angeles to Report Two Graduation Rates — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | 7 days ago

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    DEVOS — In an interview last month with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the TV personality John Stossel described the Education Department headquarters as huge — the size of seven football fields — but noted as he walked the halls with DeVos that many desks sat empty. That wasn’t happenstance.

    “If you’re going to make a case to hire more people, you better have a really good reason,” DeVos told Stossel.

    A little more than a year into the secretary’s tenure at the department, that stringent approach to new hires looks to have had an impact on staffing levels. DeVos now oversees a significantly smaller agency than the one she took over last year.

    Between the start of the Trump administration and April of this year, the department has shed more than 550 workers and reduced its overall size by 13 percent, an Inside Higher Ed analysis of recent employee data found. (Read at Inside Higher Ed)

    National News

    CHARTER SCHOOLS — House Lawmakers Agree on Need for Accountability at Occasionally Tense Charter School Hearing (Read at The74Million.org)

    CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION — Senate Education Committee Set to Consider Career, Technical Education Bill (Read at Politics K-12)

    HOME ECONOMICS — Despite a Revamped Focus on Real-Life Skills, ‘Home Ec’ Classes Fade Away (Read at NPR)

    District and State News

    NEW YORK — New York City’s Absent Teacher Reserve could get pricier as teachers collect raises, bonuses (Read at Chalkbeat)

    CALIFORNIA — Schools in Los Angeles Will Now Report Two Graduation Rates to Reveal How Many Students Are Actually Eligible for State Universities (Read at The74Million.org)

    TEXAS — STAAR glitches affected more than 100,000 Texas students, education commissioner says (Read at The Texas Tribune)

    VIRGINIA — School Dress Code Unfairly Targets Girls, Fairfax Official Says (Read at NBC Washington)

    NEW YORK — In a politically charged town hall, Carranza tackles segregation, testing, and charter schools (Read at Chalkbeat)

    NEVADA — Nevada high court hears arguments in CCSD support staff union dispute (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

    CALIFORNIA — Betsy DeVos to California: Not so fast on that federal education plan (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

    PENNSYLVANIA — Solving the mystery of Room 106 (Read at The Philadelphia Inquirer)

    Think Pieces

    DEVOS — Betsy DeVos Remakes Higher Education in the Image of Trump University (Read at The Daily Beast)

    PRINCIPALS — This Small Federal Investment in Principals Could Pay Off Big (Read at Education Post)

    Quote of the Day

    “When that happens, the department ends up in court and that’s bad for everyone involved. The uncertainty about what the rules are is worse than any rule — bad or good — because institutions don’t know what rules to follow and students feel unprotected.” —David Bergeron, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, on the effects of large staff cuts at the U.S. Department of Education. (Read at Inside Higher Ed)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • EduClips: Judge Halts School Closures in Puerto Rico; Lawmakers, Witnesses Debate Arming TX Teachers — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | June 13, 2018

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    SCHOOL SAFETY — The Education Department on Tuesday denied that the National Rifle Association is playing any role in a White House school safety commission, after a leading Democratic senator raised questions about the organization’s influence.

    Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, in a letter pressed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about whether the NRA was “involved in setting the scope of the commission’s work“ or if any member of the commission has met with the NRA.

    Murray said that in an earlier letter, in March, she expressed concern the commission would try to shift public attention away from gun safety reforms. “I also expressed concern that in our private meeting, you could not assure me that the National Rifle Association (NRA) would not influence the Commission’s process,” she wrote DeVos. (Read at Politico)

    National News

    AP HISTORY — AP World History Rewrite Draws Criticism From Teachers and Students (Read at Education Week)

    MISSOURI — Missouri governor revives education board with appointments (Read at The Washington Post)

    ESSA — Despite ESSA, States Strain to Find One Path on Accountability (Read at Education Week)

    District and State News

    NEW YORK — 74 Analysis Shows Girls Already Outperform Boys at NYC’s Elite Schools Amid Fear That Opening Up Admissions Would Water Down Quality (Read at The74Million.org)

    PUERTO RICO — “Justice Was Served”: Judge Halts School Closures in Puerto Rico (Read at CBS News)

    TEXAS — Should Texas teachers have guns on campus? Lawmakers, witnesses debate merits of school marshal program (Read at Dallas News)

    CALIFORNIA — L.A. school board sets a new goal: prepare every grad to be eligible to apply for Cal State or UC (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

    ILLINOIS — Opinion: Durbin and Duckworth give Emanuel a pass on CPS scandal (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

    NEW YORK — Cynthia Nixon’s Education Plan: Ambitious, Progressive, Expensive (Read at The New York Times)

    CALIFORNIA — Federal officials again question California’s plan for improving lowest-performing schools (Read at EdSource)

    ILLINOIS — Illinois elementary school to drop Woodrow Wilson from name (Read at Fox 32 Chicago)

    TEXAS — Local Students, state board of education leaders protest renaming of Mexican-American studies course (Read at the San Antonio Express-News)

    HAWAII — The Crusade to Keep Hawaii Kids Fed This Summer (Read at the Honolulu Civil Beat)

    Think Pieces

    GENDER — Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts (Read at The New York Times)

    GRADUATION — ‘The sky’s the limit now’: A graduation, and a statement about a troubled school (Read at The Washington Post)

    SCHOOL TAKEOVER — When states take over school districts, they say it’s about academics. This political scientist says it’s about race and power. (Read at Chalkbeat)

    SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — These California School Districts Joined Forces to Bolster Social-Emotional Development, but a Study of 400,000 Kids Reveals Learning Gaps and a Confidence Crisis Among Middle School Girls (Read at The74Million.org)

    PHILANTHROPY — New Jersey teacher leaves $1 million to her special education students in her will (Read at USA Today)

    WASHINGTON CAPITALS — Rotherham: What the Washington Capitals Just Taught a Whole Generation of Young Hockey Fans About Embracing Your Emotions — and Living in the Moment (Read at The74Million.org)

    ESPORTS — Schools Use Esports as a Learning Platform (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

    Quote of the Day

    “The current AP World History course and exam cover 10,000 years of history across all seven continents. No other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year. AP World History teachers have told us over the years that the scope of content is simply too broad, and that they often need to sacrifice depth to cover it all.” —The College Board, in an explanation on its website, about its decision to eliminate content on pre-colonial Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East from AP World History. (Read at Education Week)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • EduClips: TX Gov. Abbott Wants to Put More Counselors in Schools; IL Bans Guns at Schools, but Teachers Are Training to Use Them Anyway — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | June 12, 2018

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    TRANSGENDER STUDENTS —The Indiana teacher who says he was coerced to resign after a clash against the school district’s policy that required he call transgender students by their preferred names has had his resignation approved, according to local news reports.

    John Kluge, who taught orchestra at Brownsburg High School outside of Indianapolis, had taken to calling students by their last names to sidestep the issue, according to WTHR. Kluge said that it was against his religious convictions as a Christian to “encourage” transgender identity and also a matter of his First Amendment rights.

    Kluge, 28, said he had submitted a letter of resignation at the end of May only because district officials had threatened to fire him after telling him that he had to start calling students by their first names, WTHR and the Indianapolis Star reported. (Read at The Washington Post)

    National News

    TEACHER TENURE — Justices Decline to Take Up State’s Defense of Indiana Teacher-Tenure Limits (Read at Education Week)

    TEACHER’S UNIONS — With all eyes on Janus, a similar case in California meets quiet defeat — for now (Read at LA School Report)

    SCIENCE STANDARDS — Educators Scramble for Texts to Match Science Standards (Read at Education Week)

    SOUTH CAROLINA — South Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Focuses on Education (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

    CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE — House Votes to Cut Children’s Health Insurance Funding as Advocates Keep Watch (Read at Politics K-12)

    District and State News

    TEXAS — After Santa Fe shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott wants to put more counselors in schools. Educators say that’s not enough. (Read at The Texas Tribune)

    ILLINOIS — Illinois Prohibits Guns on Campuses. Teachers Are Training to Use Them Anyway. (Read at The New York Times)

    CALIFORNIA — LAUSD board to vote on tougher graduation requirements, ways to improve lowest-performing schools (Read at LA School Report)

    TEXAS — As Restorative Justice Debate Rolls On, One Texas School District Sees Value in Building Relationships, Rewarding Positive Behavior (Read at The74Million.org)

    FLORIDA — Broward, Miami-Dade schools working to meet new security requirements (Read at WSVN)

    CALIFORNIA — Charter schools regroup after big California election loss (Read at Education Week)

    NEW YORK — Assistant principal who filled in exam answers: ‘I just thought it was unfair’ kids couldn’t finish (Read at the New York Post)

    ILLINOIS — Protesters block Loop traffic demanding rent control, elected school board (Read at the Chicago Sun-Times)

    FLORIDA — Children’s Trust to give $84 million to family groups, after-school programs (Read at The Miami Herald)

    Think Pieces

    SCHOOL DISCIPLINE — Investigation: In NYC School Where a Teenager Was Killed, Students & Educators Say Lax Discipline Led to Bullying, Chaos, and Death (Read at The74Million.org)

    VIOLENCE — Study Shows ‘Collateral Damage’ Tied to Neighborhood Violence (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

    MULTILINGUAL STUDENTS — New Study: Multilingual Students Have Made Huge Progress on NAEP Since 2003 (Read at The74Million.org)

    DEVOS — Betsy DeVos’ smoking gun of ignorance (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    TEST SCORES — What Do Test Scores Really Mean for the Economy? (Read at Education Week)

    MERGERS — Merger madness? The last days of Chelsea High School (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    TEACHER RETENTION — Teachers Village: One City’s Innovative Solution to the Problem of Teacher Retention (Read at Forbes)

    Quote of the Day

    “I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that’s a dangerous lifestyle. I’m fine to teach students with other beliefs, but the fact that teachers are being compelled to speak a certain way is the scary thing.” —John Kluge, an orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School outside Indianapolis, who said he was coerced to resign after he refused to call transgender students by their preferred names. (Read at The Washington Post)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • New Study: Multilingual Students Have Made Huge Progress on NAEP Since 2003

    By Kevin Mahnken | June 12, 2018

    This is the latest article in The 74’s ongoing ‘Big Picture’ series, bringing American education into sharper focus through new research and data. Go Deeper: See our full series.

    Research published today suggests that multilingual fourth and eighth graders have made huge strides over the past 15 years on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly referred to as “the nation’s report card.” Students who speak a language other than English have considerably narrowed the gap in both math and reading scores with those who speak only English, the study reports.

    The findings hinge largely on the authors’ framing of student categories: In most prior research and news accounts, English learners have lagged far behind their native-speaking classmates in NAEP performance.

    Related

    A ‘Lost Decade’ for Academic Progress? NAEP Scores Remain Flat Amid Signs of a Widening Gap Between Highest and Lowest Performers

    But some experts have recently argued that measuring scores this way is deceptive, since the top-performing multilingual students gradually attain proficiency in their adopted language and lose the “English learner” classification. By measuring and reporting the scores of only current English learners, therefore, NAEP is tracking the performance of students who either have only recently begun studying the language or experience greater than usual trouble in learning it.

    Instead, study authors Michael Kieffer of NYU and Karen Thompson of Oregon State University looked at the scores of students who reported that people in their home spoke to one another in languages other than English. That included students who were brought up bilingual, as well as those who eventually aged out of “English learner” status.

    “By looking at this larger group of multilingual students, we can capture the success of students who were English learners but then became reclassified as what we call ‘former English learners,’ ” Kieffer told The 74 in an interview. “When we do that, we find a different story.”

    That story is decidedly cheerier than what we might expect given the overall stagnation in NAEP scores since roughly the time of the Great Recession. Between 2003 and 2015, the scoring disparity between students from multilingual or non-English households and those from solely English-speaking ones was narrowed significantly: Fourth-graders closed the gap by 24 percent in reading and 37 percent in math, while eighth-graders caught up by 27 percent in reading and 39 percent in math.

    Overall, the authors estimate that multilingual students’ progress amounts to somewhere between one-third and one-half of a school year. While the scores of monolingual English speakers have also climbed somewhat since 2003 and remain higher overall, they have only improved by one-half or one-third the number of NAEP points as multilingual students.

    Educational Researcher

    The long-standing method of specifically measuring students who are presently learning English, rather than grouping them alongside those who were once English learners but eventually gained proficiency, stemmed from noble intentions, Kieffer argues.

    In 1974, the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of Lau v. Nichols that a lack of supplementary language instruction in public K-12 schools was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Following that ruling, Kieffer says, advocates focused on the provision of services — such as access to core curricular materials in a language that can be understood — to students struggling with burdensome linguistic challenges.

    But in “keep[ing] the focus on the students who need the services … they have almost intentionally skewed the data in inappropriate ways.”

    “That’s the civil rights principle, and one that I deeply believe in and think is very important. But what happens is that by overly focusing on that subgroup, you miss out on this bigger-picture question,” Kieffer says.

    Although the study argues that the prevailing view of multilingual students — academically struggling, and making little progress on standardized tests — is a misconception, it is less clear why these students have improved over the past 15 years. Kieffer and Thompson give credit to No Child Left Behind, the federal law that linked school-level accountability with the performance of student subgroups. But they add that demographic changes may have played a role as well.

    “It’s no longer an exception to the norm to have a student who is in the process of learning English,” Kieffer says. “Now it’s the norm to have many students who are learning English, and that may incentivize and encourage educators to attain new schools and try out new strategies and techniques and do things a little differently.”

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter

    Go Deeper: This is the latest article in The 74’s ongoing ‘Big Picture’ series, bringing American education into sharper focus through new research and data. See our full series.



  • EduClips: Eruptions Threaten Hawaii Charter Schools; In CA, Education Watchers Turn to State Superintendent Battle — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | June 11, 2018

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    TEACHER STRESS — As educators across the country have launched protests over teacher pay, national attention has focused on states where teacher salaries fall below the country’s average.

    But some teachers in states with the highest teacher pay are struggling as well, as the rising cost of living in these areas often outpaces their salaries.

    This kind of financial stress is linked to higher rates of teacher absenteeism—and even teachers leavingthe profession altogether, according to a new study. (Read at Education Week)

    National News

    TEACHER’S UNIONS — Could the Next Strike in Education Be Against the Teachers’ Union? (Read at Education Week)

    DC GRADUATION SCANDAL — In Emergency Move, DC Council Passes a Possible Reprieve for Chronically Absent Seniors — the Latest Response to the District’s Graduation Scandal (Read at The74Million.org)

    ESSA — Can Districts Use ESSA Funds to Buy Crossing Guard Signs? (Read at Politics K-12)

    FLORIDA SHOOTING — Parkland Students Give Surprise Tonys Performance After Teacher Gets Award (Read at New York Times)

    G7 — G7 summit: $3bn pledge for girls’ education (Read at BBC)

    DEVOS — Betsy DeVos: America Can Learn a Lot From Swiss Apprenticeships (Read at Politics K-12)

    District and State News

    HAWAII — Eruption Threatens Future Of Some Big Island Charter Schools (Read at Honolulu Civil Beat)

    CALIFORNIA — With California’s Would-Be ‘Education Governor’ Eliminated in the Primary, Focus on State’s Schools Shifts to Nation’s Top Superintendent Battle (Read at The74Million.org)

    FLORIDA — Commentary: Florida must stop paying $1 billion a year to ‘educate’ children in fringe religious nonsense (Read at Orlando Sentinel)

    PENNSYLVANIA — Philly school district proposes to renew 16 charters, move to close one (Read at The Philadelphia Inquirer)

    NEW YORK — Six new charter schools could open in New York City following Regents vote (Read at Chalkbeat)

    CALIFORNIA — Editorial | Don’t make California’s education debate just about charter schools (Read at San Diego Union-Tribune)

    ILLINOIS — New plan would add administrative spending to State Report Card (Read at Illinois News Network)

    NEW YORK — EXCLUSIVE: Bronx school paints over famous New Deal-era mural (Read at New York Daily News)

    NEVADA — COMMENTARY: The Clark County School District’s spin (Read at Las Vegas Review-Journal)

    TEXAS — Texas an education model for Oklahoma on more than teacher pay (Read at News OK)

    Think Pieces

    INTEGRATION — Bradford: Integration Is the New Poverty — at Least When It Comes to Crafting Excuses for America’s Underperforming Schools (Read at The74Million.org)

    K12 EDUCATION — Century-Old Decisions That Impact Children Every Day (Read at NPR)

    RETIREES — ‘It is a dream volunteer job.’ So why don’t more schools embrace retiree help? (Read at Washington Post)

    SEXUAL MISCONDUCT — This valedictorian began to talk about sexual misconduct at her graduation. Then her mic was cut. (Read at Washington Post)

    SCHOOL SAFETY — The Department of Education wants to make schools safer. But it won’t say how. (Read at EdScoop)

    Quote of the Day

    “All the goodness and tragedy that has brought me to this point will never be erased.” — Melody Herzfeld, a drama teacher who hunkered with her students in a classroom at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February as a gunman massacred 17 people, after accepting the excellence in theater education prize at the Tony Awards. (Read at New York Times)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for theTopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • The Week Ahead in Education Politics: Senate Takes Up Defense Bill that Adds Protections for Military Kids, House Talks ‘Power of Charter Schools’ & More

    By Carolyn Phenicie | June 9, 2018

    THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION POLITICS publishes most Saturdays. (See previous editions here.) You can get the preview delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for The 74 Newsletter; for rolling updates on federal education policy, follow Carolyn Phenicie on Twitter @cphenicie.

    INBOX: PROTECTING MILITARY KIDS — The Senate this week will consider the annual defense policy measure, and this year’s includes several provisions aimed at better protecting children on military bases, including at Defense Department–run schools, from assaults by other children.

    The Associated Press in the spring published an article detailing the military’s difficulty in protecting children on base, including schools run by the Defense Department, from sexual harassment and assault committed by other children. Military law doesn’t apply to civilians, and the Justice Department, which has jurisdiction, doesn’t often prosecute crimes on base, according to the AP. The Pentagon doesn’t have a central system to track the issue; the AP, through interviews and records requests, documented 600 such cases since 2007.

    The Senate bill includes a provision clarifying that Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination in education based on sex, applies to the schools run by the Defense Department. It would also require the Department of Defense Education Activity, the name given to the military’s school system, to establish “policies and procedures” to protect students who are victims of sexual harassment. Those policies and protections must “afford protections at least comparable to the protections afforded under Title IX.”

    It would also require the department to start keeping a database of such incidents.

    Committee leaders also added a provision requiring the Defense Department’s inspector general to review policies. A separate review by the Government Accountability Office is underway, the AP reported.

    The House bill would also require the establishment of a centralized database, but it doesn’t mention the applicability of Title IX. After the Senate passes its measure, the two will have to be reconciled.

    ICYMI: CIVIL RIGHTS NOMINEE APPROVED — The Senate voted 50-46, on party lines, on Thursday to approve the nomination of Kenneth L. Marcus to be assistant secretary for civil rights. Marcus, who had worked in the office in the George W. Bush administration, had most recently led an organization aimed at fighting anti-Semitism on college campuses. Civil rights groups had opposed his nomination, arguing in a letter that he “had not demonstrated a willingness and ability to enforce civil rights law and protect all students in our country from discrimination.”

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a statement after his confirmation praised Marcus as a “strong advocate for victims of intolerance and discrimination” who won’t back down from protecting the civil rights of all students.

    The pace of nominations, and then confirmation, of Education Department officials has been particularly slow even amid the unusually plodding confirmation process for presidential appointments. As of Friday, the administration had nominated four people who were still awaiting Senate confirmation. There are three positions, including undersecretary, for which no one has been nominated.

    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced last week that he is canceling most of the Senate’s traditional August recess to deal with, among other issues, nominations.

    DEVOS WATCH: EURO TOUR —Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is in Europe this week, visiting schools in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom after visits to Switzerland last week. An Education Department press release noted that “the majority of Dutch K-12 schools are publicly supported private schools” and highlighted new reforms in the United Kingdom that “include greater autonomy for schools and increased parental choice.”

    During DeVos’s visit to Switzerland, she highlighted vocational training and apprenticeships. The European trip meant DeVos missed the first public listening session of the school safety commission; she sent Deputy Secretary Mick Zais in her stead.

    TUESDAY: ACLU — The American Civil Liberties Union holds a membership conference, with sessions focused on Dreamers and rights for transgender people. The group has represented Gavin Grimm in his ongoing court battle over the right to access facilities matching his gender identity.

    WEDNESDAY: CHARTER SCHOOLS — The House Education and the Workforce Committee holds a hearing on “the power of charter schools.” The primary federal role in charter schools comes through the federal Charter School Program, which provides funding to help the startup and expansion of high-quality charter schools. Congress has increased annual funding for the program in recent years; it received $400 million in the appropriations measure passed in the spring.

    WEDNESDAY: INDIAN AFFAIRS – The Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds a hearing on turning around Indian programs labeled “high-risk” by the Government Accountability Office. The Bureau of Indian Education was included on that list last year, and senators dressed down the agency’s leadership in a hearing for accounting and school safety failures. The committee also held a separate hearing just on the BIE earlier this spring.

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • In Emergency Move, DC Council Passes a Possible Reprieve for Chronically Absent Seniors — the Latest Response to the District’s Graduation Scandal

    By Taylor Swaak | June 8, 2018

    The D.C. Council passed an emergency measure this week that would allow some seniors with chronic absenteeism to graduate as the local school district wraps up a year marred by revelations of pervasive truancy and gaming of the district’s graduation standards.

    D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) began strictly enforcing its long-standing, albeit largely ignored, policy to fail students with more than 30 absences when a city-commissioned report in January revealed that about one-third of the district’s Class of 2017 had secured diplomas despite missing too many classes or improperly utilizing make-up courses. But two D.C. council members saw the abrupt shift as unfair to students and proposed a reprieve.

    The measure passed with a 12-1 vote on Tuesday — two days before graduations commenced in the district. It requires Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature to go into immediate effect, but if approved, would allow 26 chronically absent seniors who met all other academic standards to graduate, a district spokesman confirmed to The 74. Students in other grades facing a similar predicament would also advance to the next grade level. Full-fledged enforcement of the attendance policy would then resume during the 2018–19 school year.

    While council members voted nearly unanimously, some expressed concerns about the optics of “the council stepping in and saying, ‘Well, kids can miss 30 days and it’s OK,’ ” council chairman Phil Mendelson, a Democrat, said before the vote. “[It’s] no good decision either way.” The measure comes as the district braces for a projected double-digit drop in its graduation rate — 46 percent, compared with the record-breaking 73 percent last year.

    Washington Teachers’ Union president Elizabeth Davis told The 74 she does “not promote the idea of graduating students who are not prepared,” but given that the seniors in question passed all other requirements, she agrees with the measure. She also stressed that children shouldn’t be punished for adults’ lack of oversight. One student told the Post in March, for example, that he’d never known absences could result in getting an F.

    “Many school leaders were not adhering to policies … and it’s no fault of students,” Davis said. “They should not be punished for the mistakes that we’ve made.”

    Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on May 2, 2018. (Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    Bowser, who is up for re-election in this month’s primary and hasn’t vetoed a single bill in her three-year tenure, hasn’t publicly weighed in on the matter. Deputy Mayor for Education Ahnna Smith released a statement this week saying the council’s move “undermines DCPS’ efforts and sends a troubling message about the importance of school attendance, suggesting that students need a waiver to excuse absences. We will continue to stress the importance of attendance because every day counts.”

    Bowser’s office did not return requests for comment from The 74.

    Even if Bowser took pen to paper soon, it’s too late for the affected seniors to participate in the graduation ceremonies, which run through Tuesday, the district spokesman said. They would receive diplomas later.

    The best thing the district can do moving forward is to continue providing updates and staying accountable, Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, told The 74.

    “DCPS is in a fragile moment,” he said. The district’s “got to be completely transparent. Put the bad news out there … and say, ‘Now, we’re on it.’ ”

    The council vote is only the latest development in a graduation scandal that broke open in the latter part of 2017. To recap:

    1 It all started with a media-led investigation into a single high school

    Last year, DCPS was celebrating a momentous achievement: a record-breaking 73 percent graduation rate, marking a 20 percent increase since 2011.

    Then, in November 2017, came an investigative bombshell on Ballou High School from NPR and WAMU: Half of the graduating class had missed more than three months of school — unexcused — the year before. In fact, only 57 seniors were actually eligible to graduate, but all 164 of them, clad in blue and gold gowns, got diplomas.

    A city-commissioned investigation into the entire district promptly followed, culminating in a 109-page report released in late January. The audit discovered that 937 students, or one-third of the senior class, had graduated despite violating attendance and other policies, such as improperly taking nighttime credit-recovery classes. The American Enterprise Institute calculated the actual graduation rate last year at 51 percent.

    Credit: DCPS Graduation Review

    In a news conference following the report’s release, Bowser called the report “tough news to deliver, but very necessary to right the ship.”

    2 Teachers have expressed feeling overwhelming pressure to pass students

    The audit unveiled more than just numbers. Teachers across the district admitted to being pressured by superiors to pass students who’d fallen behind, often via extra-credit assignments or credit-recovery courses “with little rigor or few expectations,” the Post reported. Washington Teachers’ Union survey results, also circulated in late January, claimed that nearly half of the about 600 teachers who responded said they felt coerced by an administrator to alter failing students’ grades.

    Davis has worked in the district as a teacher-turned-union-leader for more than 40 years, and said the “culture of fear” is “extremely unhealthy for students and teachers and for teacher morale.”

    3 A separate — but related — investigation is in the works now

    Teacher reports have continued, with the validity of some of this year’s graduating class already in question. Educators at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Northwest Washington are asserting that at least a dozen seniors’ attendance records have been tampered with in the past few months to erase absences.

    School system officials confirmed in May that an investigation was underway.

    4 D.C. is not alone

    The past decade has seen a fervent push to increase the graduation rate. Nationwide, the average graduation rate is around 84 percent, and some prominent education advocates are pushing to increase it to as high as 90 percent by 2020. In D.C., the goal for 2017 — according to the district’s 2012 Capital Commitment Strategic Plan — was 75 percent.

    The pressure has been on for a while. Despite promising growth now in early education and at the elementary and middle school levels, DCPS had graduated just over half of its seniors seven years ago. This likely led the district to sweep unfavorable results under the rug, Petrilli said. And although it’s inexcusable, he emphasized that DCPS is not the only district to have done so. Rather, it’s just one of the few “that’s gotten caught.”

    Los Angeles, Chicago, and Prince George’s County in Maryland have found themselves in similar hot water.

    “High schools have been figuring out ways to get their graduation rates way up, and that’s not just in the District of Columbia,” Petrilli said. “By all means, D.C. deserves all the criticism it’s getting. But it’s not the only one.”

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • Finalists Named for the 2018 Broad Prize: An Inside Look at Repeat Nominees Uncommon Schools, Achievement First, DSST Public Schools

    By Carolyn Phenicie | June 7, 2018

    Familiar names top the list of finalists for the annual Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, a top honor for large charter school networks serving high-needs students.

    The trio of contenders for the $250,000 prize are Achievement First, which serves students across five cities in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island; Denver-based DSST Public Schools; and Uncommon Schools, which has campuses in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

    Achievement First was a finalist for the prize in 2013, 2014, and 2015. DSST was a finalist last year, and Uncommon Schools won the prize in 2013. The high-performing New York City network Success Academy won the prize last year.

    The winner will be announced at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ conference in Austin, Texas, on June 18. The prize money is designated to assist with college readiness efforts.

    Related

    Success Academy Wins 2017 Broad Prize, Unveils Ambitious Plans to Launch Digital Platform to Share Curriculum

    DSST last year celebrated its 10th year of 100 percent college acceptance for its graduating seniors, and it has turned its focus to expanding beyond Denver proper and ensuring its students enroll in the right colleges and complete their degrees.

    Achievement First, which borrowed practices from other top performers, and Uncommon Schools, the effort of four entrepreneurs that launched in 2005, are among the charter networks beating the odds for college graduation for low-income students.

    Achievement First’s projected six-year college graduation rate is 52 percent, and Uncommon Schools’ is 50 percent, as compared with about 9 percent for low-income students nationally. (Read more about the networks’ college completion data via Richard Whitmire’s exclusive analysis: “Data Show Charter School Students Graduating College at Three to Five Times National Average”)

    The selection of repeat finalists — as well as a previous winner — shows that “great public charter networks can sustain academic achievement over the years,” Gregory McGinity, executive director of the Broad Foundation, said in a release.

    The announcement, usually made in May of each year, was postponed because of the delayed release of the data used to determine eligible finalists, NAPCS said in a statement. To be eligible for the prize, charter groups must have been serving 2,500 students at five or more schools as of the 2015–16 academic year. At least 40 percent of students must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, a measure of poverty, and at least a third must be students of color.

    Disclosure: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and The 74 both receive funding from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, the William E. Simon Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. DSST and The 74 receive funding from the Gates and Walton foundations. Achievement First and The 74 receive funding from the Gates, Broad, and Walton foundations and The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

    Related

    Sign up for The 74’s newsletter



  • EduClips: Was this Florida’s Most Stressful School Year?; In CA Governor’s Race, Newsom and Cox Offer Differing Views on Education — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | June 7, 2018

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    SCHOOL FUNDING — No matter how much they need, schools can only spend what they have — and that finite pot of money depends on broader economic and political factors largely beyond their control.

    So when it comes to spreading nearly $648.6 billion in state, local, and federal education aid across the national landscape, there are bound to be big holes in the funding bucket, even in a generally resurgent economy.

    And the pictures that emerge from disparate spending decisions by states and districts can be striking: students shivering in poorly heated classrooms or sweltering without air conditioning; viral posts of taped-up textbooks, outdated computers, and overcrowded classrooms; teachers striking and rallying in multiple states under the banner of higher pay and additional school funding.

    The nation as a whole earns a nearly failing D-minus grade on school spending from the Education Week Research Center in the Quality Counts 2018 school finance report, based on several indicators that include per-pupil spending and the proportion of taxable resources they devote to K-12 education. (Read at Education Week)

    National News

    SPECIAL EDUCATION — Special Education Students on the Rise (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

    SCHOOL SAFETY — Federal School Safety Commission Holds First Public Session. DeVos Wasn’t There (Read at NPR)

    SCHOOL FUNDING — State Grades on School Finance: Map and Rankings (Read at Education Week)

    DEVOS — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stirs confusion, faces criticism over gun remarks (Read at The Washington Post)

    SUMMER SLIDE — How a North Carolina District Is Using ESSA’s Support for Family Engagement to Give Students 120,000 Books to Help Combat Summer Slide (Read at The74Million.org)

    District and State News

    FLORIDA — From Hurricane Irma to Parkland, was this the most stressful school year? (Read at the Miami Herald)

    TEXAS — Should Texas districts partner with charter operators to save failing schools? (Read at the Texas Standard)

    CALIFORNIA — In race for governor, Newsom and Cox offer competing views on California education (Read at EdSource)

    ILLINOIS — CPS inspector general wants to take over student abuse investigations (Read at the Chicago Sun-Times)

    NEW YORK — In a Twist, Low Scores Would Earn Admission to Select Schools (Read at The New York Times)

    FLORIDA — Miami Beach Will Be First in County to Have City Officers at Public Schools (Read at CBS Miami)

    NEW YORK — The Search for Diverse Schools That Perform (Read at The Wall Street Journal)

    NEVADA — CCSD schools cut French and other electives to help bridge budget gap (Read at the Las Vegas Sun)

    TEXAS — Texas Education Agency sets rules on how to exempt Hurricane Harvey–affected districts from state ratings (Read at the Texas Tribune)

    PENNSYLVANIA — Action, not just talk, needed to save Philly kids from toxic schools | Opinion (Read at The Philadelphia Inquirer)

    CALIFORNIA — L.A.’s school board president wants every district graduate to be eligible for a four-year public university by 2023 (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

    Think Pieces

    INNOVATION — Thrive Schools: How an Innovative California Charter Network Grew to 700 Students & 4 Campuses in Only 4 Years Through a Focus on Math, Literacy & ‘the Light of Kindness’ (Read at The74Million.org)

    GREEN BUILDINGS — Schools lead the way to zero-energy buildings, and use them for student learning (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    INTEGRATION — Can lowering class size help integrate schools? Maybe, according to new research (Read at Chalkbeat)

    STEM — Oklahoma externship pays teachers for hands-on experience in engineering and science (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    Quote of the Day

    “I wish I had known that, even though we’re doing big things for kids, that people would dislike us because we have the name ‘charter’ attached to us. That was shocking to me.” Nicole Assisi, founder and CEO of Thrive Public Schools (Read at The74Million.org)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • EduClips: NYC Specialized School Proposal Sparks Outrage in Asian Communities; IL Raises and Limits Teacher Pensions — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | June 6, 2018

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    SCHOOL SAFETY — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told a Senate committee on Tuesday that the federal commission on school safety set up this year after the Parkland, Florida, school massacre will not focus on the role guns play in school violence.

    The comments, provided in testimony before the Senate subcommittee that oversees education spending, perplexed senators who questioned how the commission, led by Ms. DeVos and convened by President Trump, could avoid the subject when it was a military-style assault rifle that left 17 students and staff dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

    “That’s not part of the commission’s charge, per se,” Ms. DeVos said in response to a question from Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, about whether the commission would look at the role of firearms in the gun violence that has plagued the nation’s schools. (Read at The New York Times)

    National News

    IMMIGRATION — Asked again about school staff referring students to ICE, DeVos says ‘I don’t think they can’ (Read at Chalkbeat)

    DEVOS — Betsy DeVos Headed to Europe to Explore Career Education, School Choice (Read at Politics K-12)

    RURAL SCHOOLS — What Budget Cuts Mean for Third-Graders in a Rural School (Read at The New York Times)

    SCHOOL CHOICE — New Leader of School Choice Caucus in Congress Hails From DeVos’s Home State (Read at Politics K-12)

    KEN LANGONE — Billionaire Ken Langone: Public education is the ‘biggest single problem confronting America’ (Read at CNBC)

    DAVID KOCH — David Koch Steps Down From Company, Political Groups (Read at The Wall Street Journal)

    ESSA — Betsy DeVos Greenlights ESSA Plans for Nebraska and North Carolina (Read at Politics K-12)

    District and State News

    NEW YORK — De Blasio’s specialized school proposal spurs outrage in Asian communities (Read at Chalkbeat)

    ILLINOIS — In Illinois, New Budget Caps Raises and Limits Pensions for Teachers (Read at Teacher Beat)

    PENNSYLVANIA — New test: 10.7 million asbestos fibers on floor at Philadelphia elementary school (Read at The Philadelphia Inquirer)

    CALIFORNIA — Where Education Did (and Didn’t) Matter in California’s Primary: Newsom & Cox Advance in Gubernatorial Race, Reformer Tuck Leads Thurmond for Superintendent (Read at The74Million.org)

    NEW YORK — State Senate overrides Cuomo’s veto of full-day kindergarten bill (Read at the New York Post)

    CALIFORNIA — LA Unified not directing enough money to help low-income students, report charges (Read at EdSource)

    TEXAS — Parents, Schools Step Up Efforts to Combat Food-Allergy Bullying (Read at Texas Public Radio)

    FLORIDA — Far fewer South Florida children ready for kindergarten, state tests show (Read at the Sun Sentinel)

    NEVADA — Clark County school trustees revisit hot-button gender diverse policy (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

    Think Pieces

    EDUCATION & ECONOMICS — The Difference Between Roads and Education: The Human Mind (Read at Forbes)

    NEW MEXICO — Aragon: New Mexico Is First State to Approve School Turnaround Plans Under the Every Student Succeeds Act. But Will Adult Politics Now Keep the Kids Waiting? (Read at The74Million.org)

    TEENAGERS — Pens to Power: The Learning Network in Print (Read at The New York Times)

    MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s graduation rate gaps are among lowest in the country, report finds (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    Quote of the Day

    “So we’ll look at gun violence in schools, but not look at guns? An interesting concept.” —Senator Patrick J. Leahy, responding to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s testimony on the limited mandate of the federal school safety commission. (Read at The New York Times)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



  • EduClips: CA Races Expose North-South Divide in Ed Politics; IL Assembly Passes Mandate for $40,000 Minimum Teacher Salary — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

    By Andrew Brownstein | June 5, 2018

    EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

    Top Story

    IMMIGRANT STUDENTS —Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continues to face a backlash after she told Congress that schools should be able to decide whether to report undocumented students to immigration authorities, an assertion that critics say flies in the face of the law and could stir fear in immigrant communities.

    DeVos appeared before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce late last month. When Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) asked her if principals or teachers had a responsibility to report undocumented students and their families to immigration authorities, DeVos replied: “Sir, I think that’s a school decision. That’s a local community decision.”

    Civil rights groups swiftly condemned the remarks, noting that the Supreme Court ruled in the 1982 case Plyler v. Doe that undocumented children are entitled to a public education. Since then, courts have struck down measures that could deter undocumented or immigrant children from showing up to school, such as requiring a U.S. birth certificate or threatening to call immigration authorities. About 725,000 K-12 students were undocumented in 2014, the most recent data available, according to the Pew Research Center. (Read at The Washington Post)

    National News

    TRANSGENDER STUDENTS — Despite Recent Gavin Grimm Court Ruling, Trump Administration Unlikely to Change Course on Transgender Rights. Will Supreme Court Weigh in? (Read at The74Million.org)

    SCHOOL SAFETY — Florida school massacre survivors ready voter registration push (Read at Reuters)

    READING — Are Poor Kids Really Behind by 30 Million Words? A Debate Rages as New Research Questions One of Early Childhood’s Premier Studies — and Researchers Say It’s More Complicated (Read at The74Million.org)

    SCHOOL SAFETY — Ready for a Shooter? 1 in 5 School Police Say No (Read at Education Week)

    ESSA — Trump Administration Considering ESSA Spending Guidance, Advocates Say (Read at Politics K-12)

    PARKLAND SHOOTING — 4 Parkland Seniors Who Died in School Shooting Are Honored at Graduation (Read at The New York Times)

    District and State News

    CALIFORNIA — Primary Day in California: 6 Ways This Year’s Races for Governor and Superintendent Have Resurfaced a North-South Divide in Education Politics (Read at The74Million.org)

    ILLINOIS — Illinois General Assembly Passes Bill Mandating $40,000 Minimum Salary for Teachers (Read at Illinois Policy)

    FLORIDA — How many ways can you think of to make schools safer? This Broward group has 100. (Read at the Miami Herald)

    CALIFORNIA — Why L.A. Unified may face financial crisis even with a giant surplus this year (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

    NEW YORK — A Chalkbeat cheat sheet: The Specialized High School Admissions Test overhaul (Read at Chalkbeat)

    PENNSYLVANIA — Mayor, superintendent push for more Philadelphia school repair funding (Read at 6abc.com)

    NEW YORK — Critics blast Mayor de Blasio’s school desegregation plan (Read at the New York Daily News)

    TEXAS — Poverty Poses Challenges for Schools — and Texas’ Future, Education Leaders Say (Read at KERA News)

    FLORIDA — It’s time we call out Florida lawmakers for shortchanging education | Opinion (Read at Florida Today)

    TEXAS — What does Texas need to boost public education? Pre-K and quality teachers top the list for these leaders (Read at Dallas News)

    Think Pieces

    TEACHER PREPARATION — A teacher prep program that really works? This one is successfully minting math and science educators (Read at Chalkbeat)

    CHARTER SCHOOLS — Unchartered Territory: A new kind of charter school could shake up the battle over school choice and segregation. (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

    SCHOOL SAFETY — As America Grapples With Gun Violence in Schools, a UVA Librarian Recounts How — and Where — It All Began (Read at The74Million.org)

    PRIVATE SCHOOLS — We need an education commission to take a critical look at private schools (Read at The Hechinger Report)

    Quote of the Day

    “This is wrong. The secretary showed a sophomoric understanding of the law and at minimum used her bully pulpit to recklessly send a mixed signal to school districts across the nation that complying with federal law and long-standing legal precedent is optional.” —Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, on U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s testimony that schools should be able to decide whether to report undocumented students to immigration authorities. (Read at The Washington Post)

    Want the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox — for free? Sign up for the TopSheet Daybreak Education Newsletter.



Load More