Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
Education inequity is holding back American potential
Every day, teachers perform the heroic work of educating children. In the process, they make dozens of quick judgments about their students. Of course, teachers are no different from the rest of us — we all do this. Unfortunately, research shows these snap judgments are often influenced by stereotypes and unconscious biases, which can have a lasting impact on how students see themselves and their ability to learn. And the inequity fostered not only stifles individual student success, it stunts the growth of a workforce in which the majority of jobs require post-secondary education. (The Hill)
Special Education Students On the Rise
The number of students receiving special education in public schools is rising, with about 13 percent of all students receiving such instruction, according to a recent study. A Department of Education report, titled the Condition of Education 2018, states the number of students aged 3 to 21 receiving special education services increased from 6.6 million to 6.7 million from the 2014-2015 school year to the 2015-2016 school year. Among those, 34 percent had specific learning disabilities, of which 20 percent had speech or language impairments and 14 percent had other health impairments. (U.S. News & World Report)
Could we see a truce in Delaware’s charter school conflict?
When Charter School of Wilmington teachers voted to join the Delaware State Education Association union, there was near-panic in some education reform circles. Here comes DSEA, which many reformers see as the chief defender of the status quo, the mother of all bureaucracies, a political machine that uses its cash and clout to quash innovation. And it was getting its hooks into not just a charter school, but into the charter school! After all, the Charter School of Wilmington is the crown jewel of Delaware’s charter movement. Not only was it the first charter, it routinely ranks among the best schools in the country. Its students boast an eye-popping average SAT score of 1,892 (the state average is 1,285), rack up perfect 5’s on Advanced Placement tests and regularly get accepted to elite universities. (Delaware Online)
Lawmakers pledge $900 million to Opportunity Scholarship over 10 years, despite conflicting reports
Millions of tax dollars are going to fund private schools in North Carolina. The money is being funneled through the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which lawmakers passed a few years ago. The program is designed to provide low-income parents a choice in what schools their children attend. Last year, the state handed out $27 million in scholarships to private-school students. In just four years, the state’s Opportunity Scholarship program has grown from 1,216 to more than 7,300 students. Gov. Roy Copper has tried to kill the program more than once because of its lack of transparency. (CBS 17)
For the first time, money for Memphis schools will be based on student needs. Here’s how it works.
The children at Kingsbury Elementary School thought it was funny to have a teacher sitting at a tiny desk, working side-by-side with them. But Dawn Grayson shadowed several students to help her understand how a new way of allocating money could change the way her Memphis school operates. Grayson has been part of a team at Kingsbury preparing to switch to a school finance model known as student-based budgeting. It’s a key component of Shelby County Schools’ efforts to ensure state and local money is distributed based on student need. (Chalkbeat)