National

New Edition of NIEER's State of Preschool Report

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.

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.

State: 

How a Grassroots Organization Grows in Power

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.

Services in community schools
Bill Kopsky, via the APPP

NYC Mayor Expanding Community Schools Program to 200 Schools

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.

Services in community schools
Some of the resources offered in community schools.
Via NYC Community Schools

Students Speak Out Against High-Stakes Testing in #MoreThanATest Photo Campaign

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.

MoreThanATest CampaignAs 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.

Polls Show Pennsylvania Voters Want Fair School Funding

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.

PA Fair Funding CampaignIt 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.

1.5 Million "Missing" Black Men

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 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. 

State: 

New Report: Charter Schools Rife with Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

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 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.

State: 

PA School Funding Case Going to State Supreme Court

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.

Education Law CenterPennsylvania 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.

How Can We Get Smaller Classes for Massachusetts Students?

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.

Graph showing results of the STAR projectDespite 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.

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