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March 2017 Newsletter Why I'm Worried About the Future of Charter Schools
By Greg Richmond
Education Week

Mar 30, 2017- Over the last few weeks, I've been asked repeatedly about U.S. Secretary of Educaton Betsy DeVos. Friends and neighbors who know that my work involves charter schools have said, "You must be happy." But the truth is, I am worried about the future of charter schools. Read more

Google opens Howard University West to train black coders
By Jessica Guynn
USA Today

Mar 23, 2017- Google will open "Howard West" on its campus in Mountain View, Calif., a Silicon Valley outpost for the historically black university where computer science majors can immerse themselves in coding instruction and tech culture, not to mention the inner workings of one of the planet's most famous companies. Read more

Charter schools' 'thorny' problem: Few students go on to earn college degrees
By Greg Toppo
USA Today

Mar 14, 2017- Like many charter school networks, the Los Angelos-based Alliance College-Ready Public Schools boast eye-popping statistics: 95% of their low-income students graduate from high school and go on to college. Virtually all qualify to attend California state universities. Read more

It's not nothing: The role of money in improving education
By Mark Dynarski

Mar 2, 2017- The roots of the long and contentious debate about whether we should spend more for K-12 education can be found in two sentences from the famous 1966 report led by James Coleman: Read more

Breaking the STEM ceiling for girls
By Ana Maria Munoz-Boudet and Ana Revenga

Mar 7, 2017- Although countries have dramatically closed gender gaps in education and labor force participation, gender differences within education and employment persist.Women earn less income and work lower paying occupations and sectors than men do. Women are less likely to become entrepreneurs, and when they do, they typically run smaller, less-profitable firms. These gender gaps in entrepreneurship, incomes and productivitiy persist at all levels of development, despite a multitude of policies aimed at eliminating them. And as countries move forward with closing glaring gender differences, other gaps beocme visible. Read more

How to End the Charter Schools War
By Ron Wolk
Education Week

Feb 28, 2017- President Donald Trump's selection of billionair and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as U.S. secretary of education has further politicized the federal role in educaiton and is heating up the long-standing conflict over charter schools. The rancorous opposition to DeVos' nomination reflects how confusing the issue of school choice has become. As long as the debate is framed as charter schools vs. public schools, there will be no winners, and the big losers will be the nation's students. Read more

New Research Brief Supports Recess for All Elementary School Students
By Marva Hinton
Education Week

Mar 3, 2017- Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz are calling on states and school districts to require elementary schools to provide daily recess for all students along with detailed recess plans similar to teachers' lesson plans. Read more

The Achilles Heel of charter growth- overregulation
By Benjamin J. Lindquist
Thomas B. Forman Institute

Mar 22, 2017- Why is charter school growth slowing? Greg Richmond at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers recently announced that charter applications have declined 48 percent since 2012. According to his report, the national approval rate has held steady for years, with authorizers approving 35 percent of the applications that they receive. Why are they receiving so many fewer. Read more
D.C. Public School Enrollment Spikes Again
By Lenore T. Atkins

Mar 16, 2017- Enrollment among students in the District of Columbia's public and public charter schools spiked for the eighth consecutive year to 90,061 students for the 2016-17 academic year. Officials primarily attribute this increase to robust growth in the city's charter schools.  Read more

Effort To Unionize Teachers At D.C. Charter School Called Off After Divisive Campaign
By Martin Austermuhle

Mar 30, 2017- An effort to create the first teachers' union in the city's large charter sector stalled this week with the last-minute cancellation of a planed vote to unionize teachers at Paul Public Charter School in Northwest D.C. On Wednesday, a day before the school's teachers amd staff were scheduled to cast ballots on creating the District of Columbia Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, which would have been affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the AFT called off the vote. Read more

Is your school worth one star or five? D.C. officials approve new rating system.
By Alejandra Matos
Washington Post

Mar 22, 2017- Parents will be able to compare all D.C. public schools, regular and charter, under a newly approved rating system that assigns each school in the nation's capital one to five stars based on test scores, attendance and other measures. But some skeptics say the rating formula is weighted too heavily on standardized test results and not enough on other criteria such as parent involvement or how safe students feel in school. Read more

Charters Go To Washington
By The Center for Education Reform

Feb 22, 2017- Wouldn't you know that on the day CER was taking a diverse bi-partisan group of charter leaders to meet with Secretary of State Betsy DeVos, a major snowstorm threatened the nation's capital? It turned out to be more of a whimper than a roar. And most made it here, using trains, planes and automobiles from as far as California. Read more

D.C. Approves ESSA Accountability Plan That Emphasizes Testing Standards & Transparency
By Carolyn Phenicie
The 74 Million 

Mar 22, 2017- The D.C. State Board of Education voted 6-3 Wednesday evening to approve the city's proposed ESSA plan. "We've come a long way with this plan, but in the interests of all of our students in all parts of the city, we must go farther," said Markus Batchelor, one of the three members who voted against the plan. Read more

D.C. Officials Offer Details On Proposed Walkability Preference for Charters, But Concerns Remain
By Martin Austermuhle

Mar 8, 2017- D.C. officials this week unveiled new details about Mayor Muriel Bowser's proposal for walkability preference for charter schools, which would allow some students preferential access to a charter school that's closer to their home than their neighborhood public school. Read more

10 DC Students Awarded Full Scholarships to George Washington University
By Kristen Wright and Daniel Barnes
NBC Washington

Mar 22, 2017- Ten D.C. high school seniors can rest easy after they were awarded full-ride scholarships to George Washington University. Each year, the university awards Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship to no more than 10 D.C. students, The scholarship covers tuition, room and board, books and fees and is intended to provide opportunities to local students. Read more

The District offers an object lesson on school choice done right
By Lynsey Wood Jeffries
Washington Post

Mar 3, 2017- With her divisive confirmation hearing and Vice President Pence's tie-breaking vote to secure her place in President Trump's Cabinet, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos turned national headlines toward public education for the first time in years. Her platform is singular: school choice. Here education efforts in the past focused on expanding school choice for students in Michigan, including charter schools run by for-profit companies, vouchers for independent and religious schools and more. While our organization strongly supports school choice, we know that without appropriate accountability mechanisms, school choice means a dangerous gamble for underserved students. Read more

The Limitations of Teaching 'Grit' in the Classroom
By Aisha Sultan
The Atlantic

Dec 2, 2015- The first time I heard a preschooler explaining a classmate's disruptive behavior, I was surprised at how adult her 4-year-old voice sounded. Her classmate "doesn't know how to sit still and listen," she said to me, while I sat at the snack table with them. He couldn't learn because he couldn't follow directions, she explained, as if she had recently completed a behavioral assessment on him. Read more

Coalition of Charter Public Schools, Colleges, and Advocacy Organizations Speaks Out on Immigration
By National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Mar 6, 2017- A broad coalition of education organizations and non-profits has come out in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and its proposed successor, the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act. This coalition, brought together by leaders at the KIPP Foundation, includes nearly 100 charter public schools, advocacy organizations, institutions of higher learning, and others. Read more

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