Countdown: 20 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

Teachers Cut Class, Judge Says High School Girls Have No Right to ‘Visual Bodily Privacy,’ Unions Oppose Criminalizing Student-Teacher Sex and More

20. Teaching Democracy: How a Charter School Network Has Produced Graduates Who Are More Likely to Vote

Backed by groundbreaking research, Democracy Prep is putting civics — and active political participation — at the heart of its educational mission. Read Now

19. Pennsylvania Closes Nation’s Oldest Reform School amid Investigation into Child Abuse

Pennsylvania is closing the Glen Mills Schools, the oldest existing U.S. reform school, amid an investigation into child abuse and cover-ups at the Delaware County campus. Read Now

18. Baltimore District Passes Policy Allowing Students to Use the Restrooms and Locker Rooms of Their Choice

The Baltimore City Public Schools board of commissioners on Tuesday unanimously passed a policy allowing transgender students to use the names, pronouns and bathrooms that align with their gender identity. Read Now

17. Oklahoma Dept of Ed: Tulsa Not Complying with Basic Federal Requirements for Students with Disabilities

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is requiring Tulsa Public Schools to make a sweeping review of records for all of its 7,000-plus special education students. Read Now

16. ‘Depressing,’ ‘Troubling’ and ‘Dismal’: Just 64% of Indiana Foster Kids Graduated Last Year

A first-of-its-kind report out this week confirms what advocates have long suspected: Kids in Indiana’s foster care system struggle to keep pace in school with their peers. Read Now

15. Texas May Owe $223M after Feds Deemed It Illegally Decreased Special Education Funding

A major flaw in the way Texas spends money on kids with disabilities might lose the state almost a quarter of its annual special education grant. Read Now

14. After Admitting Sex with 3 Boys, Teacher Gets No Jail Time, Barred from Class Only Two Years

After pleading guilty to having sex with three underage teenagers and sending lewd messages, a substitute teacher in Louisiana was spared jail and could even be headed back to the classroom. Read Now

13. Cutting Class, Adult Style: 440 Substitutes Needed Daily for Absent Teachers in Nevada District

On any given day, there are 80 classrooms with an absent teacher and no substitute in the Washoe County School District. Read Now

12. Sacramento District Calls for ‘Cease-Fire’ after Teachers Stage One-Day Strike

More than 2,000 teachers across the Sacramento City Unified School District walked picket lines Thursday morning for the first time in 30 years. Read Now

11. Is It All Just Messaging?: PA Districts Spending Money on Rebranding Efforts to Counter Negative ‘Narratives’ and Compete with Charters

A growing number of Philadelphia-area school district superintendents now talk of “building their brand.” Read Now

Countdown Halftime — #CommentaryOfTheWeek:

photo: Hemera Technologies from Photo Images

DURKIN ROBINSON: Free Public Schools Won’t Ever Work for All Children

Imagine grocery shopping with your friend. She lives near a safe and convenient store with a wide variety of options that meet the nutritional needs of your family.

Now imagine that you can only shop in your neighborhood. Read Now

10. Chicago Teachers Union Members Threaten Strike at 5 More Charter Schools

For the third time this school year, teachers could soon walk off the job at a handful of Chicago charter schools. Read Now

9. Judge Says School Bathroom Lawsuit Can Proceed, But Warns Girls Have No Right to ‘Visual Bodily Privacy’

Dozens of families joined in the lawsuit against Chicago-area Township High School District 211 back in 2016 because of the district’s policy of letting children as young as 14 choose to use the locker rooms of the opposite sex without informing parents. Read Now

8. Bad ‘Investment’: NYC’s Report on $773M School Turnaround Program Made Public: No Significant Gains, Dropout Rates Increased

The report is the most rigorous study to date on the effectiveness of the mayor’s turnaround program. Read Now

7. Ocasio-Cortez Suggests Federal Literacy Programs Aren’t Working, While Defending Funding of the Programs

6. California Lawmakers Advance Raft of Union-Backed Bills that Would Dramatically Curb Charter Growth

The votes were the first in what figures to be a lengthy, high-stakes battle this session between two of the state’s most powerful education interests. Read Now

5. U.S. House Democrats Say $5B that Would Be Appropriated for DeVos’ Proposed Tax Credit Program Is ‘Public Money’

Democrats took aim at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ proposed school choice tax credit at a House Education and Labor hearing Wednesday. Read Now

4. Rhode Island Teachers Unions Testify Against Bill That Would Make Sex with Students a Crime

Right now under Rhode Island law, if a teacher has sex with a student who is 16 or 17 years old, no crime has been committed unless force or coercion was involved. Read Now

WATCH: Erika Sanzi on the Need to Criminalize Student-Teacher Sex and the Unions’ Opposition

3. Not Prepared: Less Than Half of L.A. District’s Class of 2019 on Track to Graduate Eligible for CA’s Public Universities

As of March, 49 percent of the district’s 34,734 prospective graduates are on track to pass all of their “A-G” college preparation courses with Cs or better. Read Now

2. U.S. House Bill Would Require Schools to Let Male Athletes Compete on Female Sports Teams

Every House Democrat but one has co-sponsored a bill requiring schools to allow male athletes who identify as transgender girls to compete on female sports teams. Read Now

1. Homeschooling Has Become a Powerful Alternative for Seattle Families of Color

“It just didn’t make sense to continue to subject my kids to a public school system that devalued them,” said parent Angelique Davis. Read Now

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