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Back to all-too-often underfunded public school

by Dan Burns on August 18, 2016

abandoned2Though I was good at school I didn’t like it much, and always got bummed out at this time of year. Decades later I still experience a residual echo of that, now and then. Anyway:
 

Indeed, back to school supply lists are likely longer than ever before due to the simple reason that schools increasingly don’t have the funds to pay for items on the list. And because of persistently inadequate budgets that continue to dog our schools, you can be sure the longer your shopping list, the worse the funding situation is throughout your child’s school system.
 
Not only are school stockrooms increasingly bare of supplies, but teachers aren’t being adequately paid, class sizes are ballooning, programs are being cut and school buildings increasingly forego required maintenance.
(Campaign for America’s Future)

Two more relevant items:
 

It’s pretty simple, really. By demanding higher salaries for teachers, unions give school districts a strong incentive to dismiss ineffective teachers before they get tenure. Highly unionized districts dismiss more bad teachers because it costs more to keep them. Using three different kinds of survey data from the National Center for Education Statistics, I confirmed that unionized districts dismiss more low-quality teachers than those with weak unions or no unions. Unionized districts also retain more high-quality teachers relative to district with weak unionism. No matter how and when I measured unionism I found that unions lowered teacher attrition. This is important because many studies have found that higher quality teachers have a greater chance of leaving the profession. Since unionized districts dismiss more bad teachers while keeping more good teachers, we should expect to observe higher teacher quality in highly unionized districts than less unionized districts – and this is exactly what I found. Highly unionized districts have more qualified teachers compared to districts with weak unionism.
(EduShyster)

It’s been almost 15 years since the US Congress passed the much-derided No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education reform bill in an effort to improve American students’ international competitiveness in reading and math, which had been falling for quite some time.
 
On (August 9), a bipartisan group of legislators from the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) declared in a new report that the reform efforts of states in the wake of NCLB had been unsuccessful…
 
And yet, in other countries where students outpace Americans, the opposite is true. “Providing additional resources to schools serving disadvantaged, struggling students is a priority,” the report says. “These countries demonstrate that, with added support, struggling students can meet high expectations.
(The Guardian)

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