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Vouchers, DeVos, and unions

by Dan Burns on June 26, 2017

school3Three items.

More than 34,000 students are enrolled in Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program. That’s 3 percent of students statewide. In a recent investigation of the program, NPR found some private schools turning away children with disabilities and LGBTQ students, but it was impossible to say, at the time, whether those students who are using vouchers are any better off academically.
Researchers Mark Berends of the University of Notre Dame and R. Joseph Waddington of the University of Kentucky have spent years studying this question, and they’ve given NPR an early look at their findings…
When comparing these students’ achievement after the switch to their test scores the previous year, the researchers found:
Voucher students experienced “modest annual achievement losses” in math, especially in the first two years after leaving public school.
In English/language arts, voucher students showed no benefits.

The Trump administration on (June 14) announced that rules designed to protect students from predatory for-profit schools will be delayed and possibly scrapped entirely.
“The new rules stood to benefit students from failed for-profit colleges already seeking to have their loans forgiven, as well as others who might be eligible to do so,” the New York Times reported. “They also established tougher standards intended to check the flow of further federal funds to rogue for-profit operators.”
The move was denounced by critics who characterized it as part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to dismantle Obama-era regulations and give excessive leeway to institutions engaged in exploitative practices.
(Common Dreams)

Unionized teachers at Chicago’s charter schools are one step closer to unifying with their counterparts in the city’s public school district, a historic move that would strengthen opposition to austerity and neoliberal education reform.
(In early June), members of the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (ChiACTS)—the American Federation of Teachers local representing about 1,000 educators at 32 charter schools—voted to merge their local with the nearly 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).
(In These Times)

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