Virtual School Meanderings

February 4, 2018

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

What Do School Vouchers Have to Do With Protecting Bullied Students?

Posted: 31 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST

Tim Walker looks at school vouchers and voucher-like programs, such as Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Walker discusses a recent policy brief on ESAs produced by Oscar Jimenez-Castellanos for the National Education Policy Center. “Under an ESA [program], a state’s per-pupil education funding is put into an account that parents can tap into to pay for approved education expenses, including private school tuition. Therein lies the appeal – voucher advocates see ESAs as an ‘end run’ around state constitutions that forbid the use of public funds for religious activities (i.e., private religious schooling).”

Community Schools: Building Home-School Partnerships to Support Student Success

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST

Ana Maier outlines efforts taking place in community schools in both Oakland, California and St. Paul, Minnesota. “The innovative family and community engagement strategies employed in Oakland and St. Paul show the potential for community schools to help build trust and partnership among parents, teachers, and students.”

The Daily 202: Koch network laying groundwork to fundamentally transform America’s education system

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST

James Hohmann reports on a meeting hosted by the Koch network to target massive financial investments in K-12 reforms. “Leaders of the network dreamed of disrupting the status quo, customizing learning and breaking the teacher unions. One initial priority is expanding educational saving accounts and developing technologies that would let parents pick and choose private classes or tutors for their kids the same way people shop on Amazon. They envision making it easy for families to join together to start their own ‘micro-schools’ as a new alternative to the public system.”

Did new evaluations and weaker tenure make fewer people want to become teachers? A new study says yes

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST

Matt Barnum shares the results of a new study on the effects of recent high-stakes evaluation and tenure reforms. “The study looks back at a spate of laws prompted in part by the federal Race to the Top program. Between 2011 and 2016, the vast majority of states instituted stricter teacher evaluation rules tied to student test scores; a handful of states also eliminated or dramatically weakened teacher tenure.”

The Role of Principals in Reducing Teacher Turnover and the Shortage of Teachers

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST

Ed Fuller, Andrew Pendola, and Michelle Young produced a policy brief that looked at teacher working conditions and the role of principals in reducing teacher turnover and the shortage of teachers. “The good news is improving the working conditions of teachers can reduce teacher turnover and the shortage of teachers.”

Teacher recruitment, retention, reward is aim of package of bills in Legislature

Posted: 27 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST

Kathleen Gray writes about a package of bills proposed in the Michigan Senate by Democrats that would provide incentives to teachers. “Teachers would be rewarded, recruited and revered under a 22-bill package introduced in the Michigan Senate last week. The bills would provide signing bonuses for new teachers, stipends for student teachers assigned to economically disadvantaged districts, incentives and scholarships for students to enter the teaching profession and student loan debt forgiveness.”

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