Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
Here’s who Trump invited to the White House to talk about schools. The list says a lot about his education priorities.
President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos met with a carefully selected group of 10 teachers and parents at the White House on Tuesday, a list of participants that reveals a good deal about the administration’s education priorities. DeVos is the controversial new education secretary who was confirmed by the Senate only when Mike Pence became the first vice president in history to break a tie for a Cabinet member. Also present at the White House education meeting were Pence, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway and senior adviser Stephen Miller. (The Washington Post)
Betsy DeVos: I’ll Look for Unnecessary Programs to Cut at the Education Dept.
For the third time since she was confirmed as education secretary, Betsy DeVos spoke with a Michigan media outlet to discuss her confirmation process and her priorities. And she made it clear she’s looking for ways to reduce the size and scope of the U.S. Department of Education. In a Tuesday interview on the Michael Patrick Shiels radio program, DeVos said the confirmation was an “interesting and protracted” process, and that she was glad to get started as secretary. (Education Week)
Schools around the US are finally pushing back their start times — and it’s working
With a population of just over 11,000, Dobbs Ferry, New York is your typical sleepy town, except for one thing: When the first school bell rings, kids actually feel awake. Prior to the 2015-2016 school year, Dobbs Ferry middle schoolers started at 8:15 a.m. and high schoolers at 7:30 a.m. Under the new policy, both schools now start approximately 30 minutes later and end 15 minutes later. (Business Insider)
More Money or More Charter Schools?
It’s a common mantra of education reformers: money does not explain why so many at-risk students in our country lack educational opportunity. But recent research calls this claim into question. In reviewing two school funding studies in the New York Times, Kevin Carey endorses their conclusions: money really does matter in education. The authors of these studies, who thoughtfully use sudden changes in school spending levels generated by school finance lawsuits to construct quasi-experimental comparisons, very well may be right. But when it comes to spending tax dollars wisely, the “more money solution” is massively inefficient. (Education Next)
Much-criticized teacher literacy test could be on the chopping block next month
New York is poised to make it significantly easier to become a teacher — though their plans are on ice for a month. The state’s education policymakers were set to vote on a major change to teacher certification requirements on Monday that would have walked back a controversial effort to make the teaching profession more selective. Winter weather won out, canceling the meeting. (Chalkbeat)
Georgia GOP proposing new state role in struggling schools
ATLANTA — The state of Georgia would get broad authority to intervene at struggling schools under legislation introduced by Georgia Republicans. Gov. Nathan Deal and other GOP leaders had to regroup after voters rejected a constitutional amendment allowing the state to take over low-performing schools. Education groups opposed that measure. (News Channel 9)