2018年3月20日 星期二

RealClearEd Today: 03/20/2018 

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School Segregation Is Not a Myth

Will Stancil, The Atlantic

Is school segregation getting worse?Plenty of people say yes, including scholars, journalists, and civil-rights advocates. For the first time in years, there's something approximating a consensus: Racially divided schools are a major and intensifying problem for American educationmaybe even a crisis.There's seemingly compelling numerical evidence, too. According to my analysis of data from the National Center on Education Statistics, the number of segregated schools (defined in this analysis as those schools where less than 40 percent of students are white), has approximately doubled...

An Education Policy Cheat Sheet for Would-Be Governors

Michael J. Petrilli, RCEd

This year will feature a whopping 36 governors' races, half of which are wide open, with incumbents who are term-limited or otherwise not running for re-election. Victors will have the opportunity to improve policies in many areas. But they've sadly said little about their ideas for education, according to an analysis by Rick Hess and Sofia Gallo of the American Enterprise Institute. The accountability, standards, and teacher evaluation reforms at the heart of the Bush-Obama agenda have almost no outspoken champions among the nation's would-be governors, they concluded. Mentions of...

Gallup Poll: Most Educators Don't Want to Be Armed With Guns

Kate Stringer, 74

President Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may support arming teachers, but the majority of educators are opposed to the idea of their colleagues having guns in the classroom, saying it would make them feel less safe.That's according to a new poll released Friday from Gallup, which surveyed 497 K-12 educators this month about their attitudes toward guns in schools. Surveyors found that 73 percent of teachers opposed being trained to use firearms while 20 percent favored it.

Unfunded Pensions Could Spell Disaster for Kentucky

Jack Hipkins, RCEd

On March 9, ebullient cheers erupted from a crowd of hundreds of teachers on the steps of Kentucky's capital when state lawmakers announced they would cancel a vote on Senate Bill 1. The bill would have instituted cost-saving reforms for the state's struggling public pension system.Teachers throughout Kentucky have hailed its delay as a victory. Its unpopularity largely stemmed from the fact that it included cuts to pension benefits for teachers who have already retired. Yet given that Kentucky has an estimated $43.4 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and just 31 percent of its...

Conservatives' Campus Con Job

Ryan Cooper, The Week

Conservatives and centrist liberals have dedicated an incomprehensible amount of time and attention to the politics of elite college campuses over the past few years. Whenever some angry lefty kids protest an inflammatory conservative speaker, there is a paroxysm of outrage from people like David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan, Joe Scarborough, Bari Weiss, Jonathan Chait, and many others. Most recently, a few minutes of a handful of Lewis and Clark Law School students heckling Christina Hoff Sommers before she gave a speech inspired two full columns in The New York Times lamenting the death of...

DeVos Is Transforming Office, But She Needs New Messaging

Andy Smarick, TH

Although Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made news last week because of her appearance on 60 Minutes, which underwhelmed many observers, those who track education policy (and federalism) should take note of a speech she gave a week earlier.Speaking to the association of chief state school officers (e.g. state education commissioners, superintendents, secretaries), DeVos revealed an important and welcome departure from her recent predecessors' approach to the job. The secretary appears to be trying to transform her office from one of hard power to one of soft power and to...

How Public Schools Became a Battleground in the Trump Era

Sarah Jones, NR

Education, Betsy DeVos once said, is an industry. It's a battle of Industrial Age versus the Digital Age. It's the Model T versus the Tesla. It's old factory model versus the new internet model. It's the Luddites versus the future, she told a SXSWEdu audience in 2015. Three years later, she's the secretary of education, and the so-called industry she presides over is undergoing a period of mass activism. Teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona are threatening to emulate their West Virginia peers, who staged a historic strike earlier in March. Students, too, have grievances: On...

A Better Way to Increase Teachers' Pay

Reihan Salam, National Review

Who made history? We made history! According to Jane McAlevey, writing in The Nation, that was the triumphant chant of West Virginia teachers after state lawmakers passed legislation designed to put an end to a statewide education strike. Teachers' unions around the country have been emboldened by the strike's success, and understandably so: The West Virginia settlement goes beyond making concessions on wages and health benefits to include halting the expansion of charter schools and putting an end to efforts to reform work rules, among other things. Chances are we will see similar...

A Winning Political Issue Hiding in Plain Sight

David Leonhardt, NYT

In Alabama's recent special Senate election, the progressive group Priorities USA was looking for ways to lift African-American voter turnout. So Priorities tested several different advertisements, to see which ones made people want to vote.There was no shortage of potential ad material in Alabama. Roy Moore, the Republican nominee, had a trail of bigoted statements and alleged sexual molestation. Doug Jones, the Democrat, had prosecuted Ku Klux Klansmen for murder. Priorities tested each of these themes and others, too: Moore's ties to white supremacists; Moore's closeness to President...

DeVos Is Now Fighting the Union at the Education Department

Rachel M. Cohen, TI

The union representing nearly 4,000 federal employees working for the U.S. Department of Education filed a complaint this week accusing the agency, run by Betsy DeVos, of union busting.The complaint, filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority on Tuesday, comes after the Education Department effectively declared itself free from union mandates by imposing upon the agency's 3,900 staffers a collective bargaining agreement that commands no union agreement at all.

Trump Admin Fights States on Student Loan Regulation

Michael Stratford, Politico

The Trump administration is taking steps to shield student loan collection companies from state regulators, over the objections of consumer advocates and even some Republican attorneys general.Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing to issue a declaration that companies collecting federal student loans are off limits for state lawmakers and regulators. The notice of interpretation argues that only the federal government, not the states, has the authority to oversee federal student loan servicers, according to a draft of the document obtained by POLITICO. That includes industry...

'The Power of Engaging the Other'

Dorothy Leland, Chronicle of Higher Education

When I assumed my first college presidency, a friend gave me a toy magic wand. Over time, I have recognized the prescience of her gift. Academic leaders are sometimes expected to have the ability, with a flick of the wrist, to transform a difficult reality into a world where conflict and dissension no longer exist. That wand sits on my desk as a reminder of fallibility and of the sometimes volatile complexity of the institution I serve. It also reminds me of the need to reflect deeply on matters that I cannot resolve and to look for new paths forward.

The Public School Myth

David S. D'Amato, RealClearEducation

Opponents of education choice like to prophesize doom when the subject is raised for debate. Their principal argument seems to be that if alternatives to traditional government schools (e.g. charter schools) are permitted to exist and to compete, they will rob those traditional schools of needed funds.Put aside the fact that this argument admits there is a natural demand for such alternatives. It suggests if indeed it doesn't say so outright that certain schools are simply and arbitrarily entitled to a given community's resources, legally privileged to be exempt from...
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