Thursday, January 19, 2017

DeVos Flunks Her Hearing … Choice Increases Segregation … Pivotal Year For Schools … Tribal Schools In Crisis … School Choice Divide?

1/19/2017 – Does Betsy DeVos Care About Racial Equity? We Still Don’t Know.:

THIS WEEK: DeVos Flunks Her Hearing … Choice Increases Segregation … Pivotal Year For Schools … Tribal Schools In Crisis … School Choice Divide?


Does Betsy DeVos Care About Racial Equity? We Still Don’t Know.

By Jeff Bryant

“What are DeVos’ views on racial equity in education? … Race has historically played a much larger role in federal education policy than disputes over standardized testing … and what else tends to occupy education debates these days. It’s also an issue where DeVos has a very controversial track record … Much of what DeVos has worked for in her state of Michigan … is taking the state’s schools back to a segregationist past.”
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Betsy DeVos Just Flunked Her Senate Test

The Nation

“There were plenty of moments in Tuesday’s hearing that betrayed DeVos’s lack of preparation for the country’s top education post, but none more than her stumble over protections for disabled students … DeVos appeared unfamiliar with (or uncommitted to) the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, a major civil-rights law that requires publicly funded schools to accommodate disability … DeVos either could not or chose not to answer most serious policy questions, from inquiries about reporting standards for sexual assault on campus to regulations on for-profit colleges … When DeVos did speak specifically, it was to affirm her market-based vision for the education system. She included private schools in her description of what constitutes ‘today’s public education,’ and would not agree that private and charter schools receiving taxpayer money should face the same accountability standards as traditional public schools … Committee members could not fully evaluate any potential conflicts of interest, as an ethics review has not yet been completed for DeVos. And they had little time to dig into the religious motivations for her support of voucher systems.”
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Does Greater School Choice Lead To Less Segregation?

Christian Science Monitor

“Charter schools and vouchers … perpetuate the racial segregation of US schools … While minority parents are being given more choices … Choices for families in low-income, minority-dominated school districts are often between low-performing public schools and alternatives such as charters or voucher-dependent private schools with similar student bodies … Voucher programs rarely catapult low-income students into elite private schools with upper-income whites and Asians … More commonly they funnel students into less selective religious schools and spur the creation of new minority-dominated private schools.”
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K-12 Funding, ESSA Hot Topics As State Legislatures Convene

Education Week

“2017 could be a pivotal year for school funding formulas, accountability, teacher evaluations, and testing … Conservative lawmakers in many states have long been itching to make dramatic changes to how much money they provide to school districts and how districts spend that money … The Every Student Succeeds Act … goes into full effect … and fierce political tensions in a number of states … almost half the states are expected to have less money in their budgets this year due to shortfalls in sales tax revenue.”
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The Longstanding Crisis Facing Tribal Schools

The Atlantic

“Federal law requires that the Bureau of Indian Education provide education at least as good as that offered to non-Native students, but it’s well-established that that’s rarely the case. Graduation rates on reservations are among the lowest of all student subgroups … 8 in 10 Native students are not proficient in reading … and children at BIE schools perform significantly worse than their Native peers at regular public schools … Native Americans across the country are disciplined at disproportionate rates. Unsurprisingly, they’re also incarcerated at a rate 38% higher than the national average.”
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Will Betsy DeVos Divide The School Choice Movement?

Education Week

University professor Jeffrey Henig writes, “While voucher and charter school proponents have historically been allies linked by providing greater choice, the political alliance between them might be fraying … Voucher proponents have lost national debates about school choice in the past … Because of this resistance, voucher proponents jumped on the charter school bandwagon … to make inroads for market-based ideas in education … Charter proponents… welcomed the political and philanthropic support of the pro-voucher forces … but they may turn on one another if Trump and DeVos push to expand the voucher system.”
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