Ahead of this week’s expected confirmation vote on Betsy DeVos, more facts are beginning to puncture the myths spawned by problematic media coverage — on her extensive Florida ties and political involvement, on misinformation and bad math that cloud the real state of Detroit’s charter schools, on her nuanced record on LGBT rights. Protests and politicking continue, but her confirmation is still seen as likely.
Hope everyone’s ready for Catholic Schools Week. We’ll have more on that in a few days.
Counterpoint: The case for keeping the feds out of school choice initiatives.
How can a Trump administration square this circle? Perhaps by tweaking existing policies to make them more choice-friendly — like, for example, making Title I funds portable. (The relationship between federal funding and parental choice could be a hot issue in the coming months, and we’ll have more on it soon.)
As we often say, the real action is in the statehouse, where the forecast for education savings accounts is rosy.
Education reformers discuss ways to overcome the politics of the Trump era.
School choice navigators … as a job benefit.
The New Orleans Marriott is one of 11 hotels in the city (eight of them Marriotts) that recently began offering one-on-one school guidance and mentoring to employees as an option, like dental care or an IRA, in their job benefits package. Employees who sign up are matched with EdNavigator, a new nonprofit that aims to provide lower-income parents with the extensive school engagement that is usually a perquisite of the affluent.
Race, residential segregation and economic inequity in New York City Schools.
Some of the best public elementary schools in New York City are in Community School District 3, on Manhattan’s West Side. At those schools, the vast majority of children pass the annual state tests, gifted and talented programs buzz with activity, and special programs attract promising young musicians or families who want a progressive approach to education.
But none of those schools are in Harlem.
In District 3’s Harlem schools, there are no gifted and talented programs. Of the six elementary schools there where students take the state tests, only one comes close to the citywide passing rates of 38 percent in reading and 36 percent in math. At one school, only 6 percent of third- through eighth-grade students passed the most recent math tests.
Microschools educate students “on a more human level.”
Districts and charter schools can collaborate.
Tweets of the Week
Ed reformers weigh in on current events.
— Deborah M. McGriff (@dmmcgriff) January 29, 2017
In 1883, our country welcomed Louis Barth, my great grandfather, to America. This was his land of opportunity.
— Richard Barth (@BarthRichard) January 28, 2017
— Michael Petrilli (@MichaelPetrilli) January 29, 2017
The Week in School Choice is our weekly compendium of news and notes from around the country. Sign up here to get it in your inbox, and send links, tips, pushback or feedback to tpillow[at]sufs[dot]org.