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June 6, 2013 Subscribe
THIS WEEK:1 In 5 Schools “High Poverty” … Business Leaders Want Universal Pre-K … Teachers Are Front-Line Responders … A Dream Deferred Evaporates … Half Of College Grads Work Jobs That Don’t Require Degree … States Still Aren’t Spending Enough On Education

TOP STORY

Common Core Meets The Education Spring

By Jeff Bryant

“Standards-based reforms, in general, have been posed as a necessary part of closing the nation’s achievement gap … Yet now the standards find themselves as targets of forces both from the left and the right of the political spectrum … Regardless of political philosophy, however, arguments against the Common Core, at the most basic level, are being propelled by widespread distrust in those who are driving education policy.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Report: 1 In 5 Public Schools Classified As “High-Poverty”

Salon.com

According to the National Center on Education Statistics, “One in five public schools was considered high-poverty in 2011, a 60% increase since 2000. Schools are considered high-poverty when 75% or more of enrolled students qualify for free or subsidized lunch. Growing poverty levels among families served by public schools is … considered alongside recent budget cuts for vital education programs, like Title I funding for teaching staff and services at high-poverty schools, after-school programs and summer lunch.”
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Business Leaders Call On President Obama And Congress To Expand Preschool

Think Progress

“ReadyNation, a project of America’s Promise Alliance, released an open letter from 300 business leaders and organizations to President Obama and members of Congress supporting Obama’s proposal to make preschool universally accessible … It emphasizes the importance of early childhood education in developing a skilled workforce and creating economic growth … The assertion that expanding preschool will lead to economic growth is backed up by a body of research … actual spending is moving in the opposite direction. States are spending the lowest amount on pre-K in a decade. Meanwhile, the U.S. lags behind its developed peers when it comes to early childhood education.”
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Teachers Quietly Serve As First Responders To Poverty

The Philadelphia Inquirer

“In the Philadelphia area, teachers see themselves as first responders in the ongoing emergency of poverty. Many say that if they falter, they fail the children … During a time of massive budget cuts, school closings, and teacher layoffs, it’s easy to forget how teachers fill the holes in the lives of the poor… Some say teachers are supplanting parents in this role as frontline activists; others believe teachers have no choice … Whenever there’s a long weekend like Memorial Day, teachers know to bring in extra granola bars and juice Tuesday … Many low-income families won’t have enough food to feed children, especially on Monday, when the school is closed on a day kids would normally be eating breakfast and lunch in the building,”
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The Dream Deferred

The Huffington Post

Teacher blogger Adam Kirk Edgerton writes, “I woke up mad today because yesterday I received a manila envelope from the federal Department of Education that spelled out in cold, hard numbers how the recent budget cuts, enacted by Congress and signed by the president, would affect my Upward Bound students … You can blame only the Republicans for sequestration — fine. I won’t even bother to argue that point. But think about how Obama and his cabinet members are allocating money within their departments … A Democratic administration is deliberately funneling funds away from direct services to poor people and towards administrators and consultants and bureaucrats … The dream deferred doesn’t explode for children living in poverty today – it evaporates. It evaporates with every line item slash, every concession, every reallocation of funding that slips by without protest, without political consequences.”
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Half Of College Grads Are Working Jobs That Don’t Require A Degree

To Teach Or Not To Teach

Parent blogger Susan Adams writes, “Nearly half of grads from four-year colleges are working in jobs that don’t require a four-year degree … In 2011, 1.5 million, or 53.6% of college grads under age 25 were out of work or underemployed … A third of grads don’t feel that college prepared them well for the world of work. Again, the visual and performing arts students are faring the worst: 42% feel that college didn’t prep them for employment, followed closely by social science grads, at 36% … Six times as many graduates are working in retail or hospitality as had originally planned. Since there are 1.7 million grads who are getting bachelor’s degrees this year, that means 120,000 young people are working as waiters, Gap salespeople, and baristas because it was the only work they could find.”
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State Education Spending Still Lower Than In 2008: Report

The Huffington Post

“Higher education … still hasn’t rebounded from the budget cuts of the Great Recession. Every state except for North Dakota and Wyoming has cut funding … Nationwide state spending for public colleges is down 28% … Eleven states trimmed financial support per student by one-third, and Arizona and New Hampshire chopped higher education spending per student in half … Some states are showing signs of once again investing in higher education … The increased support for public education is a result of stronger state tax revenues.”
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