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Countdown: 20 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

Who's Behind the Ed Reform Movement, Trump's Proposed Reduction in Ed Spending, How School Choice Can Help Financially Troubled States and More

20. High School Shooting Teams Are Getting Wildly Popular

High school shooting teams are growing with the help of the NRA. Read Now

19. When It Comes to Elementary Math Scores, Choice of Textbook Doesn’t Make Much of a Difference

Better curriculum was supposed to be one of the next big things in education. Read Now

18. Charter School Supporters Unveil Battle Strategy against Push to Restrict Growth in California

Thousands of charter school supporters gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento Wednesday for a high-powered rally meant to send a clear message to legislators: Don’t pass laws that harm their schools. Read Now

17. New TN Teacher Group Plans to Circumvent Union Leadership to Demand More Spending and Less Testing from State

The three founders of TN Teachers United, who are current and former teachers union leaders, say their state affiliate, the Tennessee Education Association, is not fighting hard enough for educators. Read Now

16. SCOTUS Asked to Take Up Case over Exclusion of Religious Schools from MT Tax Credit Scholarship Program

An appeal has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to strike down a decision by the Montana Supreme Court that found a tax credit program approved by the 2015 Legislature for private schools violated the state Constitution. Read Now

15. New Study Finds Multiple Problems with Push for Social-Emotional Learning in K-12 Education

Social-emotional learning has been billed as a transformational tool that will propel students to greater academic achievement and personal fulfillment. A new Pioneer Institute study makes clear, the research evidence to back up these claims is thin and unpersuasive. Read Now

14. Despite Hundreds of Cases, Virginia’s Largest District Reported Zero Students Were Physically Restrained or Isolated

Documents reveal hundreds of cases where children, some as young as 6 years old, were restrained or put in seclusion multiple times. In some cases, a single child was confined to a room almost 100 times in a school year. Read Now

13. NYC Schools Botched Reporting of Rampant Bullying, State Audit Charges

City school officials botched reports of rampant bullying in violation of state law, a blistering new audit by State Controller Thomas DiNapoli charges. Read Now

12. Five Teachers Sue California Union over Forced Paycheck Deductions

Five California educators on Monday filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the state’s top teachers union from collecting dues through mandatory paycheck deductions. Read Now

11. Education Officials Surprised to Find Out NY Has Spent Past Decade on Federal Watch List Due to Special Ed Failures

After learning of the list during a Monday presentation by State Education Department staff, board members appeared blindsided by news of the ongoing deficiencies in New York’s performance. Read Now


Countdown Halftime — #CommentaryOfTheWeek:

Teacher Lesson with Young Students
photo: rawpixel

ANDREWS: How School Choice Can Help Financially Troubled States

There is, of course, the practical problem that the very states most likely to benefit financially from choice also have powerful teacher unions adamantly opposed to any kind of education marketplace. Read Now


10. Watchdog: Nearly 80 Chicago District Employees Lied about Income to Send Kids to Pre-K at Low or No Cost

Nearly 80 Chicago Public Schools employees were able to send their children to district preschool programs for free or very low costs by understating their income — to their own employer. Read Now

9. Texas Students Taught by Teach for America Alumni More Likely to Pass State Tests Than Peers, Research Finds

Students taught by Teach for America teachers in five Texas regions match or outpace their peers in eight of nine academic subjects — an advantage that is strongest for black and Latino students, children learning English, and traditional district-run schools, according to new research. Read Now

8. California District Faces ‘Crisis’ as Students ‘Rage’ without Discipline

Valley Oak Middle School teachers were asked to answer two questions about the school’s climate and culture. Overwhelmingly, the teachers said the school’s discipline model is broken.  Read Now

7. DeVos Says USDOE Will No Longer Discriminate Against Religious Schools in Federal Education Programs

School districts will often contract with third parties to provide the services. But the rules barred school districts from contracting with religious institutions in these circumstances. Read Now

6. Kentucky Teachers Staged ‘Sickouts’ 6 Times in Two Weeks — Now the State Wants Names

Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis on Thursday sent JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio an email requesting the names of all teachers that called in sick on dates during which sickouts took place, beginning with the first on Feb. 28. Read Now

5. Houston District to Increase Advertising, Seek Outside Help to Understand Why Families Are Leaving for Charters

Faced with dwindling enrollment and fast-growing competition from charter schools, Houston ISD has launched a more aggressive marketing and research campaign this year to attract and retain students in the state’s largest district. Read Now

4. Trends: Charter School Authorizing Association Identifies What’s Hot, What’s Not, in New Charter Proposals

NACSA’s first-ever analysis of the national charter school pipeline reveals a sector with a tremendous variety of applicants and educational models—a more diverse sector than the common narrative would suggest. Read Now

3. Study Finds the Ed Reform Movement Is Neither Right-Wing or Centrist — It’s an ‘Intramural Brawl’ between Democrats

Meanwhile, education reform advocates describe their efforts as bipartisan, nonpartisan, and centrist. Read Now

2. The Emperor and His Clothes: Manhattan Institute Report Says ‘Little Basis’ for Claims Restorative Discipline Works

The various claims that Obama administration officials made about school discipline and racial discrimination, including the suspicion cast on public school teachers, are still widely circulated and believed. Read Now

1. Trump Administration Budget Proposal Would Reduce Federal Education Spending by 10%

The plan, titled “A Budget for a Better America,” requests $62 billion for the Department of Education, or $7.1 billion less than the agency’s allowance in 2019. Read Now

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