December 19, 2016

Is Education Kind Of Insulated? Minnesota Boycott, School Segregation, Making Charter Schools Work, Early Education News, Sanford Johnson, NMSI, John King, And Rham! Grading College Work, More…

By Bellwether

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Here’s an idea: This pushing and shoving in the South China Sea could get us all killed.  School vouchers are an education policy reasonable people can disagree about. In the education world these days you’d think those were inverted.

Sara Mead with some Head Start news. Richard Whitmire on Appletree and early ed and charter schools.

Here is a big education bet from New Schools. PARCC RFP for new assessment strategies for states is out (pdf).

Rahm Emanuel on the ed reform debate and Betsy DeVos. This John King speech is well worth your time. Here are education ideas from Brookings for the Trump administration. And here’s a Brookings look at pre-K. Meanwhile here’s an inside look at the Trump transition on education so far.

The Arlington, VA student we discussed earlier this month who took on his school board over redistricting decisions is amping up the fight.

Minnesota football players boycotting over a Title IX sexual assault case there involving players:

The gap between a law enforcement agency’s decision to prosecute and a school’s decision to discipline hinges on the different evidentiary standards and burdens of proof. While the criminal justice system requires a high certainty of guilt — “beyond a reasonable doubt” — the Education Department has argued that Title IX regulations call for a “preponderance of the evidence standard.”

This will be a fight during the Trump Administration around the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education regardless of this Minnesota episode. Keep an eye on the lawsuit from the University of Virginia student referenced in the article. Also, don’t miss Sally Jenkins with more on all this here. And once the players learned all the details they ended the boycott.

This is a great article, but could have the unintended consequence of creating the misperception that elite colleges are crawling with low-income students. They’re not and it’s a huge (and solvable) problem.

Again, a front line educator has to battle a non-educator about misperceptions: Steven Wilson on Diane Ravitch. Let educators do their work! (I know, no one likes a wise ass, but c’mon…)

Is the yes choice/no choice split in education as pronounced as people think? I wrote about choice this summer for the Wash Post, still relevant with the debate that’s coming:

You wouldn’t know it from how our politicians talk about school choice, but we actually know quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t. Broadly speaking, vouchers have at best a modest effect on student achievement but seem to improve certain other outcomes of interest, such as parental satisfaction and graduation rates. Charter schools, for their part, outperform on standardized tests in urban areas, show mixed but positive results elsewhere, and have pockets of serious underperformance. There is some evidence that choice helps spur the overall school system to improve, but not as much as free market adherents might think. In other words, the zealots on all sides are wrong: If you want to see a more equitable American education system, choice is a key ingredient but not by itself transformative…

…The Obama administration has helped support the replication of high-quality charter schools, a valuable federal role. But the next administration can do a lot more. It can help support pilot initiatives to incorporate more radical uses of technology and different labor models. That could include, for instance, the teacher-run charter schools emerging in Minnesota; schools such as the West Coast-based Summit Public Schools that flip the traditional notion of the role of student in school; or schools that are now still just an idea in an educator’s head somewhere. The next president can also pilot better strategies to ensure that the charter sector in a city or state serves an equitable share of students with special needs — an emerging problem as the charter sector grows. There are also subtler steps around data and accountability that would encourage better practices.

Here’s a handy overview of what’s happening on charters. Here’s a great push on choice questions from Ashley Berner.

Sanford Johnson recognized for his education work. And here’s what NMSI’s been up to.

You can watch some Ken Robinson pushback here. And here’s a new grading rubric for college papers.

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