Advocacy Update

Inside the Beltway

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has announced he will run for the speakership, lending some hope of stability in House leadership as Congress prepares to tackle a number of pressing concerns about the budget and the debt ceiling. Without a budget solution, there will likely be a long-term continuing resolution locking in sequestration caps and also bringing a small across-the-board cut to all programs. This would result in significantly less funding for schools from the federal government.

In the Press

Why Isn’t Education a Voting Issue?, Education Post

Many polls show that education does not rank among the top concerns of voters and voter turnout for local school board elections is often in the single digits. This article discusses some of the reasons voters don’t care about public education and makes the case for why they should.

Schools Across U.S. Find Alternatives to Suspending Students, Associated Press

School districts and state governments across the United States have started implementing new discipline policies, softening on the strict system of automatic suspensions, expulsions, and calls to the police adopted in the 1990s. Recently research has shown that students of color are suspended at higher rates than their white peers. More modern restorative discipline programs focus on helping students prevent future misbehavior and on understanding the reasons something like a shouting match might have occurred instead of automatically suspending students without follow-up.

Why Do We Need Technology in Schools if It Doesn’t Improve Quality?, Brookings Institution

By examining data from the PISA tests, researchers know that while 96 percent of 15-year-old students in OECD countries have a computer at home, only 72 percent use them at school. Some of the highest performing countries on the PISA test, like South Korea and China, have even lower computer use. Data from PISA shows scores going up in schools with an increased investment in technology, however, this is also correlated with increased spending on schools overall—making conclusions hard to draw.

The Evidence that White Children Benefit from Integrated Schools, NPR

In light of recent protests by white parents in Brooklyn to zone their children to a school where enrollment is over 90 percent black and Hispanic, this article outlines three reasons why diverse schools actually benefit white children. The author cites recent studies that show white students receive the same test scores regardless of the racial makeup of their school, that diverse companies and diverse groups of students produce better results than homogeneous groups, and that students may end up more empathetic as a result.

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