Countdown: 20 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

Betsy DeVos Stands Firm, Charter Alumni Succeed in College, a State Debates Banning Smartphones in Schools and More

20. New Lawsuit Says Wisconsin Unconstitutionally Limits Choice Schools’ Virtual Learning Options

A school choice advocacy group is suing the state Department of Public Instruction saying choice schools should be able to use virtual learning to meet their state-mandated instructional hours in the same way public schools can. Read Now

19. Why Some Schools Are Rethinking Homework — And Some Teachers Are Doing Away with It Entirely

America’s devotion to the practice stems in part from the fact that it’s what today’s parents and teachers grew up with themselves. Read Now

18. Gay Rights Groups Sue Arizona over Law Banning Schools from Sex Ed that ‘Promotes a Homosexual Lifestyle’

Michael Soto, executive director of Equality Arizona, said in a news release that “Arizona schools are not safe spaces for LGBTQ students.” Read Now

17. From the ‘No Kidding?’ File: Study Finds Students with More Involved Parents Have Fewer Mental Health Problems in Response to Being Bullied

The research, conducted by the University of Maryland’s College of Education, also revealed the reverse effect. Read Now

16. Teacher Reportedly Stayed at Middle School for More Than 10 Years While Girls Said He Was Molesting Them

While his students filed complaint after complaint against him, Wendell Nibbs rose into the teachers union’s inner circle. Read Now

15. Despite Overall Growth of Charters, USA TODAY Cherry-Picks Examples for Headline ‘Charter Schools Are Closing’

Charters aren’t going away. They continue to expand in parts of the country, despite the opposition. Read Now

14. NYC Mistakenly Told Parents at Low-Performing Schools They Could Transfer Out

The letters were sent to parents at schools that were recently designated as struggling by the state, but the students won’t actually be able to transfer purely because their school is low performing, city officials said. Read Now

13. No Shame Lunch Policy Backfires: Kansas District’s Negative Food Balances Climb to Nearly $18,000

Although board members and district staff have implored parents to cover their lunch debts, negative food balances have since climbed to nearly $18,000, more than triple the typical annual amount. Read Now

12. North Carolina Union Calls on Teachers to Skip Class to Lobby for Higher Pay

Delegates at the N.C. Association of Educators’ annual convention voted Saturday to hold a “day of action” on May 1 to lobby lawmakers. Read Now

11. California Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Ban All Smartphones at Schools

Do we need government intervention to rein in kids’ tech addiction? Read Now

Countdown Halftime — #CommentaryOfTheWeek:

Closeup of Chalk on Blackboard Ledge
photo: Image Source from Photo Images

MANDEL: The Role of Unions and Sexual Abuse in Public Schools

The only way you can stay in this powerful of a position around children while you’re abusing them is when you have an even more powerful body protecting you. Read Now

10. Pennsylvania Orders ‘Emergency Removal’ of Kids at Reform School amid Allegations of Abuse and Cover-Ups

The Inquirer reported in February that serious violence was both an everyday occurrence and an open secret at the Glen Mills Schools. Read Now

9. Chicago Teachers Union Announces Planned Strike Votes at Five More Charter Schools

“We are not going to be treated like second-class citizens,” said Chris Baehrend, chair of the union’s charter division. “This is about improving conditions in the whole charter industry.” Read Now

8. Poll Shows Over 75% of Registered Alabama Voters Support School Choice

The poll also showed that if given the chance, approximately 42 percent would enroll their child in a private or charter school. Read Now

7. Betsy DeVos to Senate Democrats: Special Olympics Questions a ‘Shameful’ and ‘Disgusting’ Political Ploy

Betsy DeVos’ remarks came as U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., criticized the proposal to eliminate $18 million in grants for the private nonprofit Special Olympics. Read Now

6. DC Accuses More Families of School Residency Fraud, Seeks Over $700,000

The lawsuits against the seven adults claims that they falsified DC residency in order to send their children to DC Public Schools for free. Read Now

5. Major Report from the Florida Department of Education: Charter School Students Outperforming District School Students

“There is simply no denying that choice works, particularly for minority and low-income students,” Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said. Read Now

4. Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Calls for Use of Federal Funds to Increase Teacher Pay

“I’m declaring to you that by the end of my first term, we will have improved teachers’ salaries so that we close the pay gap,” the California Democrat said in Houston to a group of supporters. Read Now

3. Maybe Someone Else Can Do This Better: San Antonio District Contracts with Outside Organizations to Run 18 Schools

San Antonio ISD trustees unanimously approved contracts Monday night giving outside organizations the authority to manage 18 schools. Read Now

2. DeVos Stands Firm as House Democrats Attack Her for Proposed Cuts in Education Budget

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday defended her request to cut billions of dollars from the agency’s budget, as Democrats attacked her plan as outrageous and damaging to students who need the most help. Read Now

1. New Data from Large Charter School Networks Shows Low-Income Students Graduating College at 2-4 Times National Average

The improved chances of earning a degree held while the ranks of charter alumni grew and the data became more robust. Read Now

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