Virtual School Meanderings

January 20, 2022

Another Charter Funding Report Comes up Short

A “Think Twice” review of a think tank report from the folks at the National Education Policy Center.

January 18, 2022

Contact:
Michelle Renée Valladares: (720) 505-1958, michelle.valladares@colorado.edu
Mark Weber: (908) 358-5828, mark.weber@rutgers.edu

Another Charter Funding Report Comes up Short

An NEPC Review funded by the Great Lakes Center

Key Takeaway: Report purporting to compare funding for charter and public district schools runs afoul of several basics of school finance research.

EAST LANSING, MI (January 18, 2022) -The latest in a series of reports from the University of Arkansas Department of Education unconvincingly attempts to show that charter schools are inequitably funded compared to public district schools. The report, Charter School Funding: Dispelling Myths about EMOs, Expenditure Patterns, & Nonpublic Dollars, runs into several major problems according to Dr. Mark Weber of Rutgers University and the New Jersey Policy Perspective in the latest NEPC review.

First, it relies on a proprietary (not publicly available) dataset to make its claims, but the data conflict with publicly reported figures, and the methods used to create the dataset are not documented.

The report’s analysis also ignores several basics of school finance. Differences in student characteristics and school programming are not accounted for, categorical spending is conflated with potential profit taking from charter management organizations, and philanthropic giving is inadequately evaluated.

Dr. Weber concludes that the report’s sparse documentation of its methods, combined with basic flaws in its analysis frameworks, render it useless in guiding charter school funding policy.

Find the review, by Mark Weber, at:
https://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find Charter School Funding: Dispelling Myths about EMOs, Expenditure Patterns, & Nonpublic Dollars, written by Angela K. Dills, Patrick J. Wolf, Corey A. DeAngelis, Jay F. May, Larry D. Maloney, and Cassidy Syftestad and published by University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, at:
https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/wordpressua.uark.edu/dist/9/544/files/2018/10/21-1018-charter-school-funding-dispelling-myths-002.pdf

NEPC Reviews (http://thinktankreview.org) provide the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC Reviews are made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: https://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform. Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: https://www.greatlakescenter.org. Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent. Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

– ### –

 Friend on Facebook

 Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

January 12, 2022

Education savings accounts

A “Think Twice” review of a think tank report from the folks at the National Education Policy Center.

Inside Look

Great Lakes Center’s exclusive subscriber email featuring key points, information and social media content about reviews and research

Jan. 11, 2021READ IN BROWSER
Hello, Great Lakes Center subscriber:

A report from the Manhattan Institute promotes education savings accounts by assuming taxpayer expenses would decrease if the program motivated families to move children from public schools funded by New York state to private schools funded by families. However, a review of the report finds it ignores research that shows the negative effects of similar voucher programs.

Read on to learn more.

Maddie Fennell

Executive Director
Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice

REPORT REVIEWED

Bruce Baker of Rutgers University reviewed “Education Savings Accounts: How ESAs Can Promote Educational Freedom for New York Families.

WHAT THE REVIEWER FOUND

Education savings accounts are a form of vouchers. The Manhattan Institute report is based on assumptions concerning an education savings account policy in which a voucher would have a value of less than the amount of taxpayer spending for a public-school student. The report assumes that even with a lower amount of spending, the savings account subsidy would lead families to make the switch to private schools.
Education savings accounts would be funded at a lower amount compared to the actual cost of educating a child in a public school. Based on this, the Manhattan Institute report estimates that even a small share of families participating in an education savings account program reduces taxpayer expenses by up to $301 million. But these assumed benefits would be short-term, according to Baker, and only up to 0.39 percent of New York’s annual funding for public schools.
The report also places undue emphasis on short-term savings for schools and ignores increased transition costs for schools. It also ignores potential long-term harm to public school funding.
Baker found the report provides no useful guidance on whether an education savings account policy is warranted or would even be a good policy for New York’s children and taxpayers. The report fails to acknowledge a large body of research that has shown similar programs have negative effects on student outcomes.
Baker concludes that the report provides a reasonable framework and assumptions for establishing education savings accounts. But it provides no useful guidance on whether such a policy is needed at all.
Read the full review on the Great Lakes Center website or on the National Education Policy Center website.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

The report shows only a possibility of a nominal reduction in taxpayer expenses if education savings account levels are set below the cost of adequately educating a child in New York State. If a policy on education savings accounts were enacted, families would be enticed to move their children from public schools to private schools, which would be detrimental to the funding of public schools. Further, those moves would be made with no real evidence of benefits to children’s educational outcomes or taxpayers.

TALKING POINTS TO REMEMBER

  1. A report from the Manhattan Institute promotes education savings accounts by assuming taxpayer expenses would decrease if they motivated public school families to send their children to private schools funded by families.
  1. A review of the report found it ignores research that shows the negative effects of similar programs and overstates the short-term savings for schools.
  1. Because of those reasons, and because the report offers no guidance on whether an education savings account is needed at all, it provides no useful guidance for policymakers.

SOCIAL SHARES

Want to share this Think Twice Review with your social networks? We drafted some sample social media posts for your use.
A report from @ManhattanInst argues for education savings accounts while ignoring the negative effects of similar #voucher-style programs. Read more: A report from @ManhattanInst argues for education savings accounts while ignoring the negative effects of similar #voucher-style programs. Read more:
A @NEPCtweet review found a report promoting education savings accounts offers no useful guidance on whether such a #voucher policy is needed. A @NEPCtweet review found a report promoting education savings accounts offers no useful guidance on whether such a #voucher policy is needed.
Policymakers should proceed with caution when considering a @ManhattanInst report on education savings accounts, as it ignores research showing the negative effects of similar #voucher programs. Policymakers should proceed with caution when considering a @ManhattanInst report on education savings accounts, as it ignores research showing the negative effects of similar #voucher programs.
Follow Us
Facebook
Twitter
Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Copyright © 2019 Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
PO Box 1263
East Lansing, MI 48826-1263

December 20, 2021

Teacher professional development

An item from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice.

Inside Look

Great Lakes Center’s exclusive subscriber email featuring key points, information and social media content about reviews and research

Dec. 16, 2021READ IN BROWSER
Hello, Great Lakes Center subscriber:

Teacher shortages are currently soaring. That means the search for solutions on how to retain teachers is more prominent than ever, with professional development being an area of great interest for policymakers. A New America report argues that micro-credentials are an option for expanding professional development opportunities for teachers. However, a new review shows these credentials are not enough on their own when it comes to teacher growth.
Read on to learn more.

Dr. Gretchen Dziadosz

Executive Director
Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice

REPORT REVIEWED

Elena Aydarova of Auburn University reviewed “Harnessing Micro-Credentials for Teacher Growth: A National Review of Early Best Practices,” which was published by New America.

WHAT THE REVIEWER FOUND

New America’s report champions ways micro-credentials allow teachers to move up in their teaching careers, receive higher pay and renew their licenses. The report proposes a way to expand micro-credentials.
Micro-credentials are used by teachers to develop new skills while getting feedback from an outside evaluator. The main role of micro-credentials is to assess whether teachers have acquired a particular skill by providing opportunities to develop that skill.

In her review, Aydarova found little evidence to support the report’s ambitious claims of how micro-credentials can be used as a solution to shortfalls in traditional professional development for teachers.

The New America report offers recommendations for how to implement micro-credentials into states’ human resources systems for teachers and offers a guide for implementation.
Aydarova explains that without including the extensive research on teaching and effective professional development for teachers, the report fails to recognize that micro-credentials alone do not improve teaching or learning, leading to more problems rather than solutions.
Also, the report’s implementation guide starts with the assumption that districts and school leaders have the capacity to ensure micro-credentials are of high quality when they are offered to teachers.
Micro-credentials alone cannot provide opportunities for teacher growth and must instead complement effective professional development. Not acknowledging this fact makes the report and its guidelines misleading.
Aydarova concluded the report’s plan for expanding micro-credentials would not have its intended effects.
Read the full review on the Great Lakes Center website or on the National Education Policy Center website.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

If the recommendations for the report were implemented, micro-credentials could be used as a substitute for real professional development opportunities for teachers. Micro-credentials are great assets, but they are not meant as a substitute for teacher development. Expanding micro-credentials in this way would shortchange school districts, teachers and, ultimately, students whose learning would be impacted.

TALKING POINTS TO REMEMBER

  1. A report on micro-credentials for teachers argues for the expansion of micro-credentials as professional development.
  1. The report ignores research on effective professional development for teachers and fails to recognize micro-credentials cannot substitute professional development on their own.
  1. Without micro-credentials complementing effective professional development for teachers, the report’s recommendations would be ineffective.

SOCIAL SHARES

Want to share this Think Twice Review with your social networks? We drafted some sample social media posts for your use.
Micro-credentials cannot be used as a substitute for real #professionaldevelopment for teachers, a new review argues. Read more: Micro-credentials cannot be used as a substitute for real #professionaldevelopment for teachers, a new review argues. Read more:
The #teachershortage is soaring. Teachers are looking for professional development opportunities, and while micro-credentials are part of the solution, they cannot stand on their own. The #teachershortage is soaring. Teachers are looking for professional development opportunities, and while micro-credentials are part of the solution, they cannot stand on their own.
A new @NEPC review argues effective professional development for #teachers should be comprehensive, otherwise it would be ineffective. A new @NEPC review argues effective professional development for #teachers should be comprehensive, otherwise it would be ineffective.
Follow Us
Facebook
Twitter
Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Copyright © 2019 Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
PO Box 1263
East Lansing, MI 48826-1263

December 15, 2021

False and Misleading Information About CRT Prevents Report From Being a Serious Guide to Lawmaking

An item from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice.

December 14, 2021

Contact:
Michelle Renée Valladares: (720) 505-1958, michelle.valladares@colorado.edu
Kevin D. Brown: (812) 855-6145, brownkd@indiana.edu

False and Misleading Information About CRT Prevents Report From Being a Serious Guide to Lawmaking

An NEPC Review funded by the Great Lakes Center

Key Takeaway: Report’s partisan misrepresentation of Critical Race Theory would, if heeded, prevent schools from teaching accurately about the history of slavery and racism.

EAST LANSING, MI (December 14, 2021) – The Manhattan Institute recently released a report that manufactures a case against Critical Race Theory (CRT), building on a foundation of right-wing talking points.

Professor Kevin D. Brown, the Richard S. Melvin Professor of Indiana University Maurer School of Law reviewed How to Regulate Critical Race Theory in Schools: A Primer and Model Legislation, examining several of the ways that the report mischaracterizes CRT.

The report offers model legislation as a tool for countering schools’ purported CRT-inspired indoctrination. It contends that CRT is the foundation of a widespread effort by public schools to forcibly indoctrinate students and teaching staff to support an anti-conservative, anti-civil rights, anti-White, and anti-American agenda. However, as Professor Brown explains, the report’s errant conclusions were derived from misleading anecdotal evidence and a misrepresentation of important literature.

He details how the report is less about sound policy than it is about creating partisan talking points and unproductive controversy. He also cautions that the model legislation might, if adopted, lead to contentious anti-discrimination litigation. For these reasons, Professor Brown concludes, the Manhattan report does not provide serious guidance to lawmakers interested in understanding or legislating about issues related to race in schools.

Find the review, by Kevin D. Brown, at:
https://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find How to Regulate Critical Race Theory in Schools: A Primer and Model Legislation, written by James Copland and published by the Manhattan Institute, at:
https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/copland-crt-legislation.pdf

NEPC Reviews (http://thinktankreview.org) provide the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC Reviews are made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: https://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform. Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: https://www.greatlakescenter.org. Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent. Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

– ### –

 Friend on Facebook

 Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

December 8, 2021

Misleading Report Obscures School Safety Issues

An item from the Great Lakes Center for Research and Practice that may be of interest to readers.

December 7, 2021

Contact:
Michelle Renée Valladares: (720) 505-1958, michelle.valladares@colorado.edu
Kathryn E. Wiley: (303) 579-7385, Kathryn.wiley@colorado.edu
Kate Somerville: (410) 830-9927, Kate.somerville@colorado.edu

Misleading Report Obscures School Safety Issues

An NEPC Review funded by the Great Lakes Center

Key Takeaway: Report uses faulty interpretations and cherry-picked research in its attempt to portray the impact of suspension reforms on students.

EAST LANSING, MI (December 7, 2021) – A recent Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) report suggests a relationship between school suspension rates and some students’ perceptions of safety in Milwaukee schools. Its conclusion-which was examined in a new review-claims a causal chain that begins with unpunished misconduct in schools and ends with disruptive classroom environments that harm primarily African American students.

Kathryn E. Wiley and Kate Somerville of the University of Colorado Boulder reviewed Suspended Reality: The Impact of Suspension Policy on Student Safety. They found numerous concerns, including unsupported claims, misleading interpretations, and the use of racially criminalizing stereotypes of African American students.

Specifically, the report finds that following an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, lowered suspension rates for African American students were associated with higher numbers of students reporting feeling unsafe. But the report doesn’t stop at pointing to a correlation; it claims (in bold heading text) that this means, “Reduced Suspension for African American Students Resulted in Lower Reports of Safety.”

The review of this report, however, explains not just this basic error of conflating correlation with causation. Wiley and Somerville also point out that the report ignores substantial peer-reviewed research on its subject and oversimplifies relevant issues to arrive at its conclusions. Interestingly, the report includes a separate finding that-for the overall student population-as the suspension rate decreased, the percentage of students feeling unsafe also decreased. But this is not the finding that the report chooses to focus on.

Due to the report’s flaws, its policy conclusions are not useful to policymakers as a basis for decisions about school discipline. Instead, policymakers would be better served by continuing to use peer-reviewed, evidence-based research on school discipline, racial disparities, and school climate interventions. Policymakers should also consider whether adequate supports are in place for schools to effectively implement alternatives to exclusionary discipline. As many experts have cautioned, merely reducing suspensions is not a comprehensive reform; well-implemented alternatives must be included.

Find the review, by Kathryn E. Wiley and Kate Somerville, at:
https://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find Suspended Reality: The Impact of Suspension Policy on Student Safety, written by Will Flanders and Ameillia Wedward and published by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, at:
https://will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/SuspensionStudy.pdf

NEPC Reviews (http://thinktankreview.org) provide the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC Reviews are made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: https://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform. Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: https://www.greatlakescenter.org. Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent. Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

– ### –

 Friend on Facebook

 Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.