Advocacy Update

Inside the Beltway

Under pressure from more conservative members of the Republican Party, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced Friday that he will resign from Congress effective October 31, paving the way for the passage of a clean spending bill this week to keep the government open. Conservative members had threatened to prevent passage of a spending bill unless Planned Parenthood was defunded. That plus a repeal of the Affordable Care Act will now be considered in the budget reconciliation. Reconciliation bills are considered under special rules requiring a simple majority and cannot be filibustered in the Senate.

The retirement of Speaker Boehner puts even greater pressure on Democrats and the White House to reach a deal to pass a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in Congress.

In the Press

Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning: Considerations for State Policy, Wallace Foundation

In a new report from the Wallace Foundation, political scientist Paul Manna analyzes principals’ current status on the list of states’ priorities and provides justification for placing them higher on the agenda. He then provides six possible policy levers for states to pull to develop highly effective principals. Manna concludes that the circumstances in each of the 50 states are so different that there is no single approach to principal policy.

Child Poverty Rate Remains Flat Nationwide, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

In 2013, the national child poverty rate fell for the first time since the start of the Great Recession. This trend was expected to continue with the country’s job growth and increased consumer spending, however, the recently released 2014 American Community Survey data shows that the child poverty rate has remained stagnant. One in five kids still live in poverty in the United States with black, American Indian, and Latino children more likely than white or Asian children to live in poverty.

No Child Left Behind: The Oral History, Politico

Politico recently released a full special report on education covering a variety of topics from Arne Duncan to student debt. Among those articles is an oral history of how No Child Left Behind, the current iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act started as a goal of President George W. Bush. As Congress looks to reauthorize ESEA for the first time in 13 years, this is a timely look back at the people who witnessed the last reauthorization first person.

School Composition and the Black-White Achievement Gap, National Center for Education Statistics

In this report, researchers looked at National Assessment of Educational Progress data on eighth grade achievement in 2011 and examined the relationship between the black-white achievement gap and a school’s racial composition. They found that black students who attend schools with a majority of black students score lower on achievement tests than black students at schools with fewer black students.  This was true even when controlling for other factors like family income and parent’s level of education.

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