1/22/2014 – Let Teachers Lead Common Core

1/22/2014 – Let Teachers Lead Common Core

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EON Newsletters
THIS WEEK: School Funding Fights … End Of A Civil Rights Era … Online Schools Take Funds … Schools Teaching Creationism … Free Public College For All

TOP STORY

Why Common Core Advocates Should Let Teachers Lead It

By Jeff Bryant

“Perhaps the most tumultuous issue for the year ahead is the fate of the Common Core State Standards … As support for the Common Core waivers among the ranks of politicians, pundits, and scholars, that support seems to be gaining some ground in the most surprising of places: among public school educators who the new standards were supposed to corral and coerce.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

School Funding Fights Roil State Politics

Politico

“Most states spend more tax dollars on K-12 schools than on any other line item except health care for the poor. So what happens when the courts say it’s not enough? That’s a very real prospect with the potential to roil political races and upend budgets this election year … At issue in all these cases: provisions in every state constitution that mandate a public education system … The debate has only intensified in recent years as Republicans and Democrats alike push education reforms that they contend will improve student performance without adding cost … School funding is already an issue in the Texas gubernatorial race … School funding litigation is also moving through the courts in New York, Florida and North Carolina. But perhaps the most volatile case is in Kansas.”
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Arkansas Desegregation Decision Marks End Of An Era

The Grio

“Ever since the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Little Rock, Arkansas has been a crucial battleground in the fight for desegregation in this country. That’s why it’s big news that District Court judge D. Price Marshall accepted a settlement agreement … The terms of the settlement mean that the state of Arkansas will be able to stop payments meant to aid desegregation … The fact that there is a huge achievement gap between white and black students is evidence of the continuing need for funding that evens out the playing field for all students, but funding opponents successfully argued that the learning environment for students has sufficiently improved, making desegregation funding unnecessary … The focus now turns to the students of Little Rock and how they will respond to these important funding changes coming just a few years down the road and whether the removal of funding to integrate Little Rock’s schools will send the city back into the unequal reality of a generation ago.”
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Online Schools Prove Tough Rivals In Quest For Students, Funds

Education Week

“Across the country, the rise of virtual education is influencing how school districts use their money and other resources and what programs they develop. They’re responding both to cyber charter schools that can provide students with an online-only education and to state-sponsored virtual schools that offer students either full-time online learning or the ability to choose from online courses to supplement their schools’ traditional offerings … In some places, the competition from outside cyber forces is steering districts to develop their own programs; in other places, the establishment of a respected state-sponsored virtual school has the opposite effect … dollars [for] marketing [these online programs] to parents, students, and the community in a bid to catch up with the virtual schools [is] money that won’t go to keeping class sizes low, or to hiring more teachers or buying new curricula.”
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Texas Public Schools Are Teaching Creationism

Slate

“When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is ‘sketchy.’ That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth … The more than 17,000 students in the Responsive Education Solutions charter system will learn in their history classes that some residents of the Philippines were ‘pagans in various levels of civilization.’ They’ll read in a history textbook that feminism forced women to turn to the government as a ‘surrogate husband’ … Infiltrating and subverting the charter-school movement has allowed Responsive Ed to carry out its religious agenda – and it is succeeding … Responsive Ed is an internal threat to the charter movement. Rather than educating students, it’s interested in indoctrinating them with one sect of religion. If weak oversight allows Responsive Ed to survive, it makes the entire charter system look bad.”
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How The Government Could Make Public College Free For All Students

Think Progress

“Tuition at public colleges came to $62.6 billion in 2012, according to the latest government data. That’s less than what the government already spends to subsidize the cost of college … That means that with the money it already spends to make college affordable, the government could instead subsidize public college tuition, thereby making it free for all students. This would not just mean anyone could attend a higher education institution without worrying about cost, but it could incentivize private ones to reduce their costs in order to compete with the free option … President Obama has proposed a “pay for performance” system to help rein in costs, which would create a ratings system that measured college’s performance and tie aid to how they perform, eventually incentivizing them to improve on metrics like graduation rates and the debt their graduates carry. But the evidence from similar state-based efforts is mixed on how big of an impact it can have.”
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ACTION

Sign EON’s Petition To Make Public Colleges Tuition-Free

Tell President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner to create a plan to make public college tuition-free. Rather than continuing to pour billions more into financial aid programs that often fall short of tuition costs and leave students deep in debt, lead an effort to fund tuition-free public college. The money is there but the leadership isn’t.
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