Gwen Mueller is an IT Professional, #dnd Gamer-girl, #coffee drinker, geek in Secondary Education, editor on tumblr #education, curating #science, and #tech resources to inspire lifelong learning with 1/4 cup of #fun.
Previous research has found that the presence of female leaders in government has a significant effect on girls’ educational goals, and seeing other women in STEM careers can help women want to pursue those careers themselves. However, other studies have found that seeing high-level female leaders can actually make women feel inferior about their own leadership qualities.
Mayoral control and accountability is one of very few major education reforms that aim at governance coherence in our highly fragmented urban school systems. A primary feature of mayoral governance is that it holds the office of the mayor accountable for school performance. As an institutional redesign, mayoral governance integrates school-district accountability and the electoral process at the systemwide level. The so-called education mayor is ultimately held accountable for the school system’s performance on an academic, fiscal, operational, and managerial level. While school board members are elected by fewer than 10 percent of the eligible voters, mayoral races are often decided by more than half of the electorate. Under mayoral control, public education gets on the citywide agenda.
When people with no vested, personal interest in the outcome try to help elect reform-minded candidates, they are branded as “outsiders” who are trying to “buy elections.” This is perplexing. These individuals have a longstanding interest in closing the opportunity gap for poor kids and kids of color, and improving educational achievement for all students.
Personally, they stand to gain exactly nothing if the candidates they are supporting get elected. They’re willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to improving education, and their participation is critical for leveling the playing field and keeping these school board races competitive. Yet, when “insiders” who do have a vested, personal interest in the outcome contribute significant funding, this is somehow seen as more acceptable.
The big worry for folks who want to see the feds increase money for schools? If Congress just lets the cuts go through, this could be the new baseline for federal spending. That would likely mean some cuts, especially for districts that serve poor children and those in special education, unless states and localities are able to make up the difference.
In this report, the NEA analyzed data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and calculated exactly how much funding specific educational programs stand to lose, how many students will be affected, and how many jobs would potentially be lost as a result of these budget cuts. Business Insider took this data and created a series of interactive maps that show you exactly how the sequester would affect the education system in each state.
The report claims that, if the cuts kick in, 7.4 million students would be affected — which means that either the quality of education they receive will go down or be eliminated entirely, The funding cuts could also lead to 49,365 potential job losses.
The inauguration inspired spoken word artist Leah Green of Oakland, Calif., to write and perform her work called “Change.”
This video is part of the NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs project, which builds high school video journalism programs. It was produced by Media Enterprise Alliance, one of our partner sites in California.
Students around the country reflect on the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and shared their thoughts on gun control with PBS NewsHour.
While a straight 8 percent cut would seem to suggest everybody would share the fiscal pain equally, things get cloudier when you look at how federal education money is distributed. On average, money from Washington only makes up about 10 percent of public school funding, with the rest coming from state and local governments. But the actual spending breakdown is weighted towards services for the most vulnerable students.
If parents and teachers use Silver’s groundbreaking work to talk to young people about civics, polls, statistics, and numbers, the power and beauty of mathematics, kids can experience this fascinating subject could be experienced in a whole new way.
How would school districts be affected? Most programs in the U.S. Department of Education would be cut by 8.2 percent, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. That means federal money for disadvantaged students, now financed at $15.75 billion would be cut by almost $1.3 billion. And special education programs, funded at $12.64 billion, would be cut by about $1.03 billion. More here. It’s important to note, of course, that the feds make up less than 10 percent of all K-12 financing—the vast majority of funds come from state and local governments. Still, many districts say they’re already squeezed at the local level and really can’t afford to cope with federal cuts on top of state and local reductions.
Which districts should be really worried? There are some districts that would be affected right away, some of them very dramatically. Those districts are the ones that are in the Impact Aid program, which services some 1,200 districts nationwide. Most impact aid districts have a lot of Native American students, students whose parents work on military bases, or federal land near their district. They would see their funding cut on Jan. 2. Some districts expect this will mean layoffs or programmatic cuts.
My friend Catherine shared this story which is deceptively simple yet so instructive. She offered a metaphor that her kids could relate to, in order for them to picture a principle of profound significance:
“During President Obama’s inauguration four years ago, there were many people in the crowd who ‘boo’-ed when President Bush came out [to make his farewell]. Our young children were with us at that historic inauguration. They were surprised by the booing. We asked them to consider how our family would work if once we made a decision together, those of us who weren’t happy were bitter and undermining, and those who were happy gloated and put down the ‘loser.’ … What could our family really accomplish?”
Starting from a micro-level, Catherine’s example showed how paralyzing such contention can be for a family. If you see your fellow citizens (of your country and the world) as one human family, you might treat them differently, even if you disagree with them, and start to build the empathy that allows you to put yourself in their shoes.
Florida voters rejected a bid to allow the use of state funds to go to religious institutions, including religious schools.
In Georgia and Washington, it appears that voters approved measures to permit charter schools to open.
Idaho voters appear to have overturned the “Luna laws” (requiring 2 online courses, laptops for students, and merit pay).
In Indiana, voters ousted Superintendent Tony Bennett, who has pushed an aggressive agenda of privatization of public education, including charters and vouchers.
Maryland voters approved the state’s version of the federal Dream Act that would give in-state tuition at public universities to undocumented immigrants who have applied for a green card, graduated from a Maryland community college, have no criminal record and whose families have paid state income tax.
In California,voters approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which calls for a $6-billion-a-year tax hike to fund things including public education.
In New Orleans, voters elected Sarah Newell Usdin to represent District 3 of the Orleans Parish school board.
In Michigan, voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have guaranteed unions the right to organize and collectively bargain.
In Missouri, voters narrowly rejected an effort to raise the state tobacco tax; most of the new revenue was to have gone to public education.
In Bridgeport, Conn., voters rejected an expensive effort by the mayor and his supporters in the corporate world to win mayoral control over the Board of Education.
In Minnesota, voters in the Twin Cities district reelected Rep. John Kline (R) to the House, where he is chairman of the education committee.
In Illinois, U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, a veteran of the House education committee who was endorsed by the National Education Association, lost to her Democratic rival, Bill Foster.
And the victory of President Obama for a second term may mean four more years of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
It is not hard to understand why aspiring cheesemakers search for business opportunities in Wisconsin and Vermont rather than in Florida and Texas. Similarly, oyster farmers are hard to find in the Great Plains, but are plentiful along the Chesapeake Bay. The reason? Some parts of the country are well suited to certain economic pursuits and not others. Seeing the federal government’s role in education through a similar lens by seriously considering the relative strengths of federal, state, and local action would be a productive way for the next president to begin mapping out his agenda.