Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nations students.
Here are the best stories we came across last week…because we believe you should stay up-to-date, too!
The fallout from Betsy DeVos’s disastrous media tour continues — and the secretary of education and her staff are making it worse.
To recap: DeVos sat down with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes for an interview that aired Sunday, in which the Cabinet member struggled to answer basic questions, including about the performance of schools in her home state of Michigan and why she rolled back an Obama-era policy on campus sexual assault.
DeVos commission eyes Obama school discipline rules via USA Today
Most of the headlines emerging from the White House’s new “hardening schools” proposal are focusing on its push to arm teachers and other staff to protect against school shooters.
But buried deep in the proposal, is the announcement of a new Federal Commission on School Safety, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
At the moment, the idea consists of a single line in a White House announcement, but that is sufficient to worry school safety, civil rights, and teachers’ advocates. They say protecting schools from outside gunmen is an entirely different job from the day-to-day effort to manage school discipline so it doesn’t discriminate against minority and disabled students.
When Chicago cut down on suspensions, students saw test scores and attendance rise, study finds via Chalkbeat
As school districts across the country have cut back on suspensions, critics claimed that the changes have led to chaos in the classroom. But there’s been remarkably little hard evidence either for or against that view.
That’s why a new study of Chicago Public Schools is so significant.
It found that a modest drop in suspensions for high-level offenses actually led to small increases in test scores and attendance for all students in a school. The research, recently published in the peer-reviewed Peabody Journal of Education, bolsters the case of discipline reformers who argue that school suspensions are ineffective and disproportionately target students of color.
One thing to read this week…
Will Betsy DeVos Expand the School-to-Prison Pipeline? via New York Times Op-Ed
“The logic that people try to manufacture is that the effort to end exclusionary school discipline renders schools unsafe places,” Catherine Lhamon, who served as assistant secretary for civil rights in Obama’s Department of Education, told me. “It doesn’t even bear scrutiny, really.”
But in this administration, it doesn’t have to. DeVos isn’t just considering ending the policy. Speaking to Stahl, she refused to even admit that race plays a role in discipline.
Among experts, this isn’t really a subject for debate. “There’s some fairly good empirical evidence that says minority students are more likely than white students in similar situations to be written up and disciplined,” said Michael Hansen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies education policy.
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