16 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

Absent Teachers, DeVos' Private Plane, a Father's Plea, and More

1. Exclusive Video: An Unprecedented Look at Chronic Absenteeism Rates of Teachers

An interview with Thomas B. Fordham Institute senior research and policy associate David Griffith. Read More

2. When Visiting Schools, Betsy DeVos Flies on Her Own Plane at Her Own Expense

Education Department Press Secretary Liz Hill said in a statement to The Associated Press that DeVos travels “on personally-owned aircraft” at zero cost to taxpayers. Read More

3. Thirty States and Puerto Rico Turn In ESSA Plans by Midnight Deadline on Monday

This is the second of two big batches of ESSA plans. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia turned in  their plans last spring. Read More

4. OECD Report: U.S. Spending on K-12 Education Declined 3% from 2010 to 2014

Some countries that spend far less than the United States on education consistently outshine this country on international tests. Read More

5. Wisconsin Governor Signs State Budget Which Includes Expansion of School Choice

The budget expands vouchers for religious and other private schools to allow roughly 800 more students into those programs. Read More

6. MN’s Largest Newspaper Links School Choice to ‘Rising Exodus of Students’

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, a third of students are now leaving for other districts. Read More

7. One-Third of Indiana Parents Haven’t Heard about School Voucher Program

Six years into the nation’s largest private school voucher experiment, many parents still don’t know the program exists. Read More

8. New NJ Charter School Wins Zoning Approval, Beats Challenge from Existing Charter Schools

The new College Achieve Charter School of Asbury Park, NJ, won a zoning challenge, allowing it to remain operational after accepting its first students on August 28. Read More

9. Florida District Loses Third Attempt to Prevent Charter School from Opening

The state Supreme Court issued a brief memo Tuesday, declining to take up the school district’s case against Florida Charter Education Foundation. Read More

10. Dad Pleads with Parents to Educate Kids after Bullied Son with Rare Condition Is Called ‘Monster’

In an accumulation of pain and frustration, Bezzant opened up about his feelings in a powerful and emotional Facebook post when he heard older kids had called Jackson a “monster” during breakfast at school. Read More

11. Parents Disenroll Students from Charter after School Allows Transgender Book Read to Kindergarteners

During a board meeting Monday night, school officials voted not to let parents opt their children out of lessons concerning gender identity. Read More

12. Teacher’s Request to 5th Graders: Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns to Address Me

Math and science teacher Chloe Bressack sent the request home in a letter to parents headlined “About Mx. Bressack.” Read More

13. Mom Says Teacher Changed Words of Declaration of Independence and Made 4th Graders Recite It

The teacher at Salk Elementary school crossed out the words “man” and substituted it with “human”. Read More

14. Teacher on Leave after Asking Fifth-Graders to Imagine Being a Member of the KKK

The homework assignment includes the following question: “You are there…You are a member of the KKK. Why do you think your treatment of African-Americans is justified?” Read More

15. Dismissal of Complaints about Portland Teacher’s Sexual Misconduct Prompts Investigation

The board’s unanimous move came in response to a newspaper investigation, which found that top district officials protected the accused teacher, not students. Read More

16. Fourth Lawsuit Filed against Nashville District over Response to Sexual Misconduct

The suit asks for $3 million and additional punitive damages, as well as an injunction forcing Metro public schools to comply with federal sexual harassment laws. Read More

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