The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) 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 have 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.
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.
It should come as no surprise that recent polls show Pennsylvania voters care deeply about funding for their schools. In the most recent gubernatorial election, Governor Tom Wolf ran and won on a platform largely focused on educational issues and creating a fair funding formula for Pennsylvania's schools.
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 (CPD) 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.
Pennsylvania schools are the most inequitably funded in the United States, in large part because of the lack of a fair funding formula for distributing state funds and because of Recession-era budget cuts.
Despite its high test scores and graduation rates, Massachusetts, like the rest of the United States, still struggles with opportunity gaps and giving every child an equitable education.