8-15-17 Education in the News

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)-- Poll: Support for charters drops markedly over past year

WASHINGTON (AP) - Expanding charter schools around the country is losing support among Americans, even as President Donald Trump and his administration continue to push for school choice, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Trump campaigned on a promise to dramatically improve school choice - charter schools and private school voucher programs - and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has made it a priority. But so far the message does not appear to have hit home with the public.

About 39 percent of respondents favor opening more charters - schools that are funded by public money, but usually operated independently of school districts - according to the survey by Education Next, a journal published by Harvard's Kennedy School and Stanford University. That's down from 51 percent last year.

Supporters of charter schools had feared that Trump's polarizing rhetoric could hurt the school-choice movement.


MARIA DANILOVA, The Associated Press| Updated: August 15, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT


Education Week--Are Student-Privacy Laws Getting in the Way of Education Research?

Education research can be a high-wire act between districts and researchers, balancing the need for straightforward access to data—and frank conversations about study results—with protection of student and teacher privacy.

If Louisiana’s two-year-old privacy law is anything to go on, that balancing act may get a lot trickier for researchers as states move to protect student data. That’s according to researchers speaking at a symposium at the National Center for Education Statistics annual meeting in Washington recently. Considered one of the strictest in the country, Louisiana’s law bars school districts from sharing nearly all personally identifiable information for students without a data-sharing contract or written consent from a student’s parent or guardian. The law imposes personal penalties of up to $10,000 or six months in jail for staff or researchers who share data improperly.

The law arose out of “real concern among parents” not just that student data would be released, but of how the state and federal government and even private researchers might use it.


Sarah D. Sparks| August 11, 2017