9/17/2013 – Education Spring Isn’t Over

9/17/2013 – Education Spring Isn’t Over

Jeff Bryant One comment
EON Newsletters
THIS WEEK:School Spending Hasn’t Rebounded From Recession … Race To The Top Isn’t Working … New Diane Ravitch Book Reviewed … Salle Mae Dumps ALEC … Public Universities Leaving Poor Behind

TOP STORY

America’s Education Spring Goes Mainstream

By Jeff Bryant

“Earlier this year, spontaneous rebellions against top-down mandates and budget cuts inflicted on public schools erupted around the nation. In a months-long Education Spring, students, parents, teachers, and community activists staged boisterous rallies, street demonstrations, school walkouts, test boycotts, and other actions to protest government austerity and top-down ‘accountability’ mandates that damage community schools and diminish students’ opportunities to learn … Now, with a new school year in session, mass protests have yet to reform, but there is widespread evidence that America’s Education Spring has now gone mainstream, affecting voters’ behaviors at the ballot box, lawmakers’ actions in state capitals and policy administrators’ decisions in carrying out new directives. And the call for an opportunity-based education agenda which began with a much-heralded education declaration has been expanded into a blueprint for positive change in an important new book.”
Read more …

NEWS AND VIEWS

Most States’ School Funding Tumbles Since Recession, Study Finds

Bloomberg

“More than two-thirds of U.S. states are spending less per child on schools than they were five years ago … School spending this year in 15 states, including Kansas, Georgia and Michigan, won’t keep up with inflation … In dollar terms, Alabama led the decline … It was followed by Wisconsin … The cuts that states made are very, very deep and revenues are coming back slowly – and there are some states that have made their problems worse by cutting taxes,” said Michael Leachman, an analyst for the [Center on Budget and Policy Priority} who analyzed the state data.”
Read more …

Report: Race To The Top Isn’t Delivering Big Results

The Washington Post

Valerie Strauss writes, “The Obama administration’s signature education initiative, Race to the Top, can’t deliver much educational improvement in America’s public schools because there is a huge mismatch in its mandates and what is actually possible to accomplish with the provided funding and requirements … States made promises to the federal government in exchange for Race money that they could not meet even with more time and money … Actions that the Education Department required states to take in exchange for Race money failed to address some of the most important reasons for low student achievement … States and districts that laid strong foundations for change, including making teachers real partners, and making union–management collaboration fundamental to the success of reform, have seen the most progress.”
Read more …

‘Reign Of Error’ Reviewed: Ravitch Rises

Education Week

In a review of a new book by Diane Ravitch, edu-blogger Anthony Cody writes, “Diane Ravitch has emerged as an iconic figure on America’s political landscape. What Daniel Ellsberg was to the Vietnam War, Ravitch has become to the battle raging over public education – a truth-teller with the knowledge that comes from decades on the inside of the education ‘reform’ movement. Her new book, “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools” … takes on the errors that are central to the corporate reform narrative … Ravitch was faulted for her last book’s lack of solutions to the problems she identified. The last third of Reign of Error is devoted to concrete policy solutions, and evidence that they are sound … This book provides us with a definitive study of the state of education reform in the modern age. This is a living history written by someone willing to make it, not just write about it.”
Read more …

After Student Protests, Sallie Mae Becomes 50th Corporation To Dump ALEC

PR Watch

“Sallie Mae has dropped its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) after a student-led campaign demanding that the nation’s largest student loan lender cut ties with the controversial organization … Many students and young people were outraged that a company that profits from student debt would use their loan payments to fund ALEC, which (among other things) works to make the education system a for-profit endeavor and advances laws that make it harder for many college students to vote … For decades, ALEC has promoted the privatization of K-12 education through voucher programs that re-route taxpayer dollars to for-profit schools. But it has increasingly focused on imposing the same privatization agenda on higher education … ALEC has helped advance the strict voter ID laws that have swept the country in recent years, which make it harder to vote for many young people who don’t have the forms of identification required under the laws.”
Read more …

Public Universities Ramp Up Aid For The Wealthy, Leaving The Poor Behind

ProPublica

“Many public universities, faced with their own financial shortfalls, are increasingly leaving low-income students behind … It’s not just that colleges are continuously pushing up sticker prices. Public universities have also been shifting their aid, giving less to the poorest students and more to the wealthiest … From 1996 through 2012, public colleges and universities gave a declining portion of grants – as measured by both the number of grants and the dollar amounts – to students in the lowest quartile of family income. That trend has continued even though the recession hit those in lower income brackets the hardest … Schools use their aid to draw wealthier students – especially those from out of state, who will pay more in tuition – or higher-achieving students, whose scores will give the colleges a boost in the rankings … Unless policymakers build in some incentives to take on more students at the margins, the accountability movement could drive schools further away from low-income and minority populations, which have lower graduation rates overall.”
Read more …

1 Comment

Jeff Bryant

September 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for sharing this research about the scholarship policies of public universities. Very important to know about – very important to help low income youngsters know about Dual Credit (high school/college credit) courses offered in high schools. We’re trying to help youngsters know about about this via you tube videos and publications, both available free on our website, http://www.centerforschoolchange.org

 Reply

Leave a Reply