The latest from the Schott Foundation and our allies.
The National Institute for Early Education Research released their yearly report on state-funded preschool programs across the U.S, a report that chronicles both how many 4 and 3 year olds are receiving early education and whether or not these programs are adequately serving them. This year, the NIEER discovered these programs had finally begun to recover from cuts made during the recession. However, they still have a lot more to do if we want to provide all children in the U.S. with a high-quality pre-K education.
One of the amazing things about grassroots organizations is how they develop—from genuine community upswell and shared interest in important ideas and values to, hopefully, a political force of empowered citizens. Bill Kopsky, the head of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, talks in a short video about the history of his organization and its own development.
Now a new poll from the Alliance for Quality Education and the Center for Popular Democracy shows voters are aware of and want to fix many of the issues that plague the charter school industry, such as lack of financial transparency and student pushout.
Education organizers in New York City celebrated when then-mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio promised to create 100 new community schools to better meet the out-of-school needs of the city's children. Now, just over a year into his term as mayor, de Blasio's administration is upping that number to 200 community schools by 2017.
As policymakers apply ever higher stakes to standardized tests, parents, educators, and students have been speaking out against the damage this causes to their education. In Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Student Union started a photo campaign with the hashtag #MoreThanATest to show just how and why these tests fail to measure their full potential.
Two polls illuminate how deeply Pennsylvania voters care about funding for their schools with 74% of voters supporting an increase in funding and 80% supporting the creation a fair funding formula to distribute state aid to the schools and students with the highest needs.
The New York Time's recent article on the issue of 1.5 million "missing" black men provides a stark reminder that the challenges black male students face in our education system—like the opportunity gap and the school-to-prison pipeline—have damaging and life-long consequences not just for these students, but for their communities and for our entire nation.
The Alliance to Reclaim our Schools and the Center for Popular Democracy released a report this week that should give serious pause to any state or city that's considering expanding their charter school programs. The report found $200 million of taxpayer funds has been used fraudulently or wasted by charter schools in 15 states, and because there is so little oversight of these schools, the number is likely even higher.
The school funding case working its way through the Pennsylvania court system ran into a temporary setback when a lower court ruled that the court system lacked the jurisdiction to rule on whether the state was failing to provide adequate funding to schools and students. The defendants are filing an appeal and the case will now advance to the State Supreme Court.
As part of the ongoing Roadmap to Expanding Opportunity project, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center has released a new policy brief designed to help advocates and educators make the case for expanding access to one particular resource in school: smaller class sizes.


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