National

After the DeVos Vote: the Fight for Public Education Continues

Yesterday the Senate voted 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, to confirm Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. The vote—which followed an overnight session of protest and some support of DeVos—marked the first time in history a vice president has been called upon to break a tie on a presidential nomination. The historic vote also followed a widely publicized groundswell of grassroots opposition to the nomination, citing among other issues, DeVos’s lack of experience, support of privatization and unfamiliarity with education policy and practice.

At the Schott Foundation we were clear that DeVos is dangerously unqualified for such an important position governing our nation’s public schools.

Following yesterday’s confirmation, our grantees and allies in education justice are speaking loud and clear: the fight for public education and equity in opportunity for all students continues.

Yesterday the Senate voted 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, to confirm Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. The vote—which followed an overnight session of protest and some support of DeVos—marked the first time in history a vice president has been called upon to break a tie on a presidential nomination.

A Virtual Disaster for Rural Schools

By Beth Glenn, Director, Education Justice Network

Hopefully, responsible senators from substantially rural states spent the weekend taking cues from their peers from Maine and Alaska and learning why the potential impact of school privatization on their constituents should cause them to oppose Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. If not, there's still time to catch up before tomorrow's vote.

Besides displaying a troubling ignorance of education policy and practice in her confirmation hearing and in answers to written questions from senators over the last two weeks, DeVos has an especially harmful future in mind for rural districts as part of a broader plan to divert public money to private education enterprises, no matter what the evidence says.

“High quality virtual charter schools provide valuable options to families, particularly those who live in rural areas where brick-and-mortar schools might not have the capacity to provide the range of courses or other educational experiences for students,” she wrote in answer to a question about online schools. As examples she cited seven virtual schools that she said graduate more than 90 percent of their students. But, as the Washington Post reported, a check of public data for each school tells a much different story:

Hopefully, responsible senators from substantially rural states spent the weekend taking cues from their peers from Maine and Alaska and learning why the potential impact of school privatization on their constituents should cause them to oppose Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. If not, there's still time to catch up before tomorrow's vote.

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Panel: Addressing Racism - Strategies for Systemic Change

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2016-11-17

A week after the 2016 election, activists, policymakers, philanthropic leaders and scholars came together at the Boston Public Library to reflect and strategize how to pursue educational & social justice after Trump's victory.

A week after the 2016 election, activists, policymakers, philanthropic leaders and scholars came together at the Boston Public Library to reflect and strategize how to pursue educational & social justice after Trump's victory.

Speakers included:

Webinar: How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2017-01-11

In this webinar, “How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color,” we were joined by Dr. Monique W. Morris, author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, and Aishatu Yusuf, who is currently working on participatory research aimed at interrupting school-to-confinement pathways for girls.

In this webinar, “How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color,” we were joined by Dr. Monique W. Morris, author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, and Aishatu Yusuf, who is currently working on participatory research aimed at interrupting school-to-confinement pathways for girls.

Click here for a recap of the webinar.

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How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color

In our webinar earlier this month, “How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color,” we were joined by Dr. Monique W. Morris, author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, and Aishatu Yusuf, who is currently working on participatory research aimed at interrupting school-to-confinement pathways for girls. You have probably heard of the school-to-prison pipeline, but Dr. Morris prefers to use the term school-to-confinement pathways to better describe the relationships that lead girls of color into contact with the juvenile legal system. As explained in our infographic, the U.S. Department of Education reported that black girls were suspended six times more than white girls, nationally. Dr. Morris and Aishatu unpack the issue in our webinar, providing possible solutions.

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Our Next Secretary of Education Should Know Education

Dr. John H. Jackson, President & CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education
As Americans we celebrate the ideal that a freely elected president may appoint, with the advice and consent of the Senate, anyone capable of carrying out his or her vision for the future of our nation. To the victor go the spoils. However, in this week’s first hearing of Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, it became immediately clear DeVos lacks even the most basic knowledge and capabilities required for the responsibility of U.S. Secretary of Education.

As Americans we celebrate the ideal that a freely elected president may appoint, with the advice and consent of the Senate, anyone capable of carrying out his or her vision for the future of our nation. To the victor go the spoils. However, in this week’s first hearing of Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, it became immediately clear DeVos lacks even the most basic knowledge and capabilities required for the responsibility of U.S.

Happy Holidays! A Look Back at 2016

While 2016 was a tough year on many fronts, we accomplished so much this year, and nothing we did was possible without the hard work of grantees and partners like you.

Here are just a few incredible things we're grateful to you and our many exceptional partners for making possible in 2016:

Happy Holidays from the Schott Foundation!

While 2016 was a tough year on many fronts, we accomplished so much this year, and nothing we did was possible without the hard work of grantees and partners like you.

Here are just a few incredible things we're grateful to you and our many exceptional partners for making possible in 2016:

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Webinar: Bursting the Bubbles: Is There a Link Between Standardized Tests and Improved Learning?

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2016-12-09

High-stakes tests became a centerpiece of education reform under No Child Left Behind: countless fill-in-the-bubble sheets that could impact everything from a student's academic placement and a teacher’s employment to school climate and whether their school will be closed. But what’s the origin of standardized testing? What does the research show? What can standardized tests truly measure, and how are policymakers (mis)using them?

High-stakes tests became a centerpiece of education reform under No Child Left Behind: countless fill-in-the-bubble sheets that could impact everything from a student's academic placement and a teacher’s employment to school climate and whether their school will be closed. But what’s the origin of standardized testing? What does the research show? What can standardized tests truly measure, and how are policymakers (mis)using them?

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Bursting the Bubbles: Is There a Link Between Standardized Tests and Improved Learning?

FairTest Executive Director Dr. Monty Neill, and history teacher, commentator, and organizer Jesse Hagopian joined us earlier this month for our webinar, “Bursting the Bubbles: Is There a Link Between Standardized Tests and Improved Learning?”

Miss the webinar? Check it out here:

FairTest Executive Director Dr. Monty Neill, and history teacher, commentator, and organizer Jesse Hagopian joined us earlier this month for our webinar, “Bursting the Bubbles: Is There a Link Between Standardized Tests and Improved Learning?”

Miss the webinar? Check it out here:

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Six countries. Two educational strategies. One consistent conclusion.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2016-12-08
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A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education. Written by education researchers, the authors compare the privatization and public investment approaches to education in three pairs of countries: Chile and Cuba, Sweden and Finland, and the U.S. and Canada. The book consolidates the best available evidence on the implementation issues and specific results of these different approaches.

A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education. Written by education researchers, the authors compare the privatization and public investment approaches to education in three pairs of countries: Chile and Cuba, Sweden and Finland, and the U.S. and Canada.

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