February 23, 2016

Opt-Out Pushback, Young Voters, New Normal In Education, Teacher Prep, Kane On Research, Kids On Twitter, Assembly Pranks

By Bellwether

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What are recent products of the school system thinking about politics (pdf)? (Hint: They feel the Bern, worry about education costs, and they’re not too high on bankers…).

Deans for Impact offers their ideas for a way through on teacher prep policy. Third Way on the new normal in education. Brand new Bigger Bolder* effort (Spoiler alert: It looks different but feels a lot like the old one…).

Charles Coleman Jr. with pushback on opt-out:

This is one of the more obvious examples of the sort of “double bonus” that privilege can create. The ability to opt out of standardized testing without serious concern for the consequences on parents’ school districts is only buttressed by the notion of having greater availability of alternative options. Choice in quality education, unfortunately, remains elusive for inner-city families for several reasons. For example, if a particular school zone is lacking in options for good schools, picking up and moving to an area with more choices is often not an option many can afford, information about school quality can be difficult to access, and with the rising-costs of high-quality private school education further out of reach it can make things even more difficult. Simply put, opting out hits the hardest on families that can absorb it the least.

Hard to disagree, but for opt-out opponents I’m not sure ‘you’re hurting other kids’ strategy is the best strategy. If people really cared about that we wouldn’t have many of the problems we do. Instead, isn’t self-interest a more effective appeal? A third party check-up isn’t a bad idea with your health care, for Wall Street, or with education. The middle class politics of school improvement suck and one way to change that is to start appealing to self-interest (and stop pussyfooting around questions of school quality).

This is just too ridiculous.

Tax increase for schools in South Dakota. Tom Kane on rethinking education research.  Student voice on Twitter.  Structural inequality issues. Louisiana voucher data (by the way, everyone who says Patrick Wolf* cooks the data on vouchers, now would be a good time to apologize). Yesterday we previewed an interesting conflict of interest case in New Jersey, a court has now ruled.

The kids are alright: Teen impersonates state senator, gives speech to assembly.

*Relevant Disclosures: One of BW’s board members is a co-chair but we have editorial freedom around here.  I’ve been on review boards for previous evaluations by Wolf.

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