|2-13-17 Education in the News|
Philadelphia Inquirer--Public schools step up fight to win back charter students
When Quakertown Community School Superintendent Bill Harner realized his district was shelling out $250,000 a year in tuition reimbursements for 17 students studying dance at a performing arts charter in nearby Allentown, he came up with a battle plan.
The Upper Bucks district, he decided, would beat the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts at its own game.
“We will have a brand-new dance studio," said Harner, who has counted more than 20 applicants for a program that, he vows, will put the district "on the map for dance."
And he isn't finished. To enhance the drama program, a “black box” theater, a bare-bones performance space, is being built. Declared Harner: “We love competition.”
Each year, Quakertown Community spends about $2 million on students who choose to attend charters rather than their public schools. As tuition payments to charters bite ever deeper into the budgets of virtually every district in the region, some are beginning aggressive campaigns to win kids back. Their strategies range from direct-mail marketing, to boisterous “back-to-school” rallies with bouncy castles, to pricey new programs such as all-day kindergarten.
Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer| Updated: February 12, 2017 — 6:08 AM EST
Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--The new civics course in schools: How to avoid fake news
WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news - and why they should care that there's a difference.
As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of "Pope endorses Trump " headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"I think only education can solve this problem," said Pat Winters Lauro, a professor at Kean University in New Jersey who began teaching a course on news literacy this semester.
CAROLYN THOMPSON, The Associated Press| Updated: February 13, 2017 — 6:01 AM EST
NY Times--Trump Drops Defense of Obama Guidelines on Transgender Students
Gavin Grimm sued his Virginia school district to use the boys’ bathroom, which corresponds with his gender identity. The school board appealed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to the Supreme Court. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times
A nationwide injunction that has kept transgender students from using school bathrooms and other facilities that correspond with their gender identity will remain in place after the Trump administration decided not to challenge it in court. The move, announced Friday, ended an effort mounted by the Obama administration after the order was announced last year.
The injunction was issued in August by Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas as part of a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states over the Obama administration’s position that Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools, protects transgender students.
Under that interpretation, transgender students have access to facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, a proposition to which social conservatives strongly object. They argue that allowing transgender students to use those facilities poses a threat to the privacy and safety of other students.
By LIAM STACKFEB. 11, 2017
Education Week--Can Betsy DeVos Make Shift From Divisive Nominee to Effective Leader?
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos finally took the helm of her agency this week after a bitter and tumultuous confirmation process unlike any other in the U.S. Department of Education’s more than three-decade history.
Now, it’s an open question whether DeVos can make the transition from highly divisive nominee to effective leader.
Also unclear: whether the thousands of educators, advocates, and members of the general public who called their senators urging them to vote against DeVos will try to find common ground with her—or continue to make their case against her.
DeVos struck a conciliatory tone in her first speech to agency employees this week.
“The obstacles between our nation’s students and their pursuit of excellence can all be overcome,” she said at Education Department headquarters the day after she was confirmed. “All too often, adult issues can complicate and get in the way of a focus upon those we serve. The good news is: We can all work together to find solutions and make them happen.”
Alyson Klein||February 10, 2017
Garden State Coalition of Schools