8-20-3013 – Why Care About Philadelphia’s Children?

8-20-3013 – Why Care About Philadelphia’s Children?

Jeff Bryant No Comment
EON Newsletters
THIS WEEK: Push For Pre-K … Public Education For The Public … Charter Schools And English Learners … Sequestration Cuts Hurt Schools … The College Loan Scandal

TOP STORY

Why America Should Care About Philadelphia’s Children

By Jeff Bryant

“What’s happening in the City of Brotherly Love should be a national story, which is why it is important to get the narrative straight … An approach to the city’s schools that is more political than solutions-oriented is fomenting and then tapping into people’s animosity toward spending money on other people’s children – especially when those children are impoverished and don’t have the same skin color… What’s most troubling about this Philadelphia story is that the plot line is being repeated throughout the country.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

All Students Deserve A Great Beginning

Education Votes

The National Education Association notes, “State legislatures around the country are determined not to let gridlock in Washington, DC block the expansion of early child care and education opportunities … Lawmakers in 49 different states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have introduced more than 650 bills related to early care and education, and about 150 of these bills have become law in 35 states and Puerto Rico … Obama administration officials – including U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan – are hitting the road to tap into support at the state and local levels for early childhood programs. These visits could eventually gin up enough public pressure to get Congress to provide enough federal dollars to give all students the opportunity to make a good start.”
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The Public In Public Education

The Huffington Post

Ohio State professor Steve Conn writes, ” The mid-nineteenth century saw the beginnings of what evolved into our public school system … At the moment of their creation, however, the public schools came under attack … The defense of the public schools offered by those deeply committed to them back then … The idea that the public schools served a crucial civic function … That helps explain why public education is specifically included in so many state constitutions … We don’t talk much about education in these terms anymore … Schools themselves, once a source of tremendous civic pride and seen as part of the glue that held communities together, are increasingly viewed as something to opt out of … Public schools serve an important function not just for the students sitting in the classrooms. They provide an education for all of us in the importance of public institutions … They teach citizenship to grown-ups perhaps even more than they do to the kids.”
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House Dems Question If Charter Schools Are Helping English Language Learners

The Hill

“Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) sent Education Secretary Arne Duncan a letter Thursday asking him to collect data on ELL students enrolled in charter schools. The lawmakers said a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that some charter schools are not reporting student performance data, including reading and math proficiency rates and graduation rates for all students. They said this calls into question whether charter schools meet current standards of educational quality and accessibility for ELL students … Public charter schools are required to report how many ELL students and students with disabilities attend their school to ensure that they aren’t turning children away or denying them services. Some Democrats have complained that some charter schools aren’t providing adequate educational services to students with special needs.”
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Sequestration Effects: 59 Percent Of Districts Cut Professional Development

Education Week

“According to a new survey … districts are dealing with automatic, across-the-board trigger cuts of federal education funding by slicing professional development (59% of districts), eliminating personnel (53%), increasing class size (48 percent), and deferring technology purchases (46%) … The professional development cuts come at a critical time for K-12 education, as states and districts across the country are implementing the common standards and preparing for new tests … The survey also predicts that more long-term damage from sequestration could result.”
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Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal

Rolling Stone

Matt Taibbi writes, “The dirty secret of American higher education is that student-loan interest rates are almost irrelevant. It’s not the cost of the loan that’s the problem, it’s the principal … Our university-tuition system really is exploitative and unfair, designed primarily to benefit two major actors. First in line are the colleges and universities, and the contractors who build their extravagant athletic complexes, hotel-like dormitories and God knows what other campus embellishments … Next up is the government itself … America itself is violating the Truth in Lending Act. It’s cheering millions of high school graduates toward college every year, feeding them into the debt grinder under the banner of increased opportunity, when full disclosure would require admitting that there isn’t a hell of a lot waiting for them on the other side … We’re doing the worst thing people can do: lying to our young.”
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