Education and the 2018 Elections
The State of Early Learning in Your State
A pair of new reports shed light on the well-being of children across the U.S.
The best way to predict the future is to look at how children are faring. But the task is complicated given that the well-being of children varies widely from state to state.
That’s what data presented by researchers Sarah Daily of Child Trends and W. Steven Barnett of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University show. The duo offered their takes on the state of early care and learning across the United States at the Education Writers Association’s 2019 annual conference in Baltimore.
In 2000, Vice President Al Gore ran for president as a Democrat on an education plan that called for tripling the number of the nation’s charter schools —a plan that was mirrored in his party’s platform that year.
The Surprising Real-World Impacts of Edu-Jargon Debates
Washington's battles over the definitions of terms like "credit hour" could affect millions of college students.
Millions of Americans could be affected by ongoing inside-the-beltway debates over the exact definitions of wonky terms such as ”credit hour” or “gainful employment,” according to two veteran Washington policy insiders.
New Governors’ Support Could Bolster Early Learning in 2019
Five Questions to Ask on Child Care, Pre-K, and Kindergarten Proposals
In gubernatorial races across the country last year, calls to expand pre-K and other early childhood programs were popular campaign talking points. With many of those candidates now in office, 2019 could prove to be a big year for action by policymakers on early learning.
What Are the Rules for Charter Schools? It Depends.
In wake of 2018 elections, more change is afoot in states
In the often-heated debates over charter schools, it’s easy for the public — and reporters — to see them as monolithic.
A recent report on charter school laws serves as a good reminder that ground rules for the sector — and not just the profiles of individual schools — often vary significantly from state to state.
The journalist Dale Russakoff kept hearing the same word in her conversations with Arizona teachers during a reporting trip last spring for The New York Times Magazine. That word, she said, was “awakening.”
What’s Ahead for Private School Choice Policy in 2019?
Vouchers and voucher-like programs may grow in some states, face pushback elsewhere
Arizona voters in November gave a decisive thumbs down to a ballot measure that sought to expand a voucher-like program in that state. The same voters, however, opted by a wide margin to re-elect Republican Gov. Doug Ducey — a champion of private school choice who threw his support behind the failed referendum.
And so it goes. For education overall, the 2018 election outcomes revealed a case of seeming contradictions, as we reported right after the election.
*Tentative agenda. Subject to change.
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019
Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC
EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat. This year’s event in Baltimore, hosted by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, will explore an array of timely topics of interest to journalists from across the country, with a thematic focus on student success, safety, and well-being.
A big increase in college student voter turnout helped flip the U.S. House of Representatives to Democratic control and elected scores of new state and local officials. Now, it’s clear that higher education will be shaped by—and will shape—the new political landscape of 2019.
To help journalists cover the impact of the midterms on education beyond high school, the Education Writers Association is holding a two-day intensive training seminar January 28-29 in Washington, D.C.
After falling short in her race for the state legislature, high school history teacher Jenny Urie returned to her central Kentucky classroom, suddenly doubtful of just how far a grassroots uprising to bolster public education could go.
As massive walkouts over teacher salaries and school funding inspired many teachers to run for office, Urie was among at least 36 current and former educators on the ballot for the legislature in Kentucky. Two-thirds of them lost.
In addition to selecting top leadership roles, voters in at least 17 states considered 23 measures related to education on their statewide ballots this cycle — 16 of which passed, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. Measures considered by voters this year included:
Are all politics local? The adage fits here in Michael Siraguse’s two AP Government classes, where students are peppering their teacher with post-midterm questions about the city council race—not the so-called “blue wave.”
What was the big takeaway for education in the 2018 elections? Sorry if this disappoints, but there just doesn’t appear to be a clear, simple story to tell. It was an election of seeming contradictions.
This was especially true in gubernatorial races, which matter a lot, given the key role state leaders play in education.
How do you make the midterm elections come alive, especially for students who already feel disenfranchised? That was the challenge faced by Chelsea Ann Hittel, a social studies teacher at the Heather Ridge School, an alternative middle and high school in Frederick County, Md. Most of her students attend the school because they didn’t succeed in a regular high school curriculum; many are on individualized education programs. “The curriculum for government is very dry and unengaging, honestly. Kids come into government already hating it. They think it’s going to be boring,” Hittel said.
Today, we’re highlighting Kathleen Argus, a teacher at the Institute of Technology, a public high school in Syracuse, N.Y., who teachers a 12th grade active citizenship course.
Teaching about elections poses some particular challenges in New York, a state that nearly always winds up blue in presidential elections thanks to the dominance of New York City. So, from a certain angle, the midterms are even more important for the state’s electorate: That’s where upstate districts and counties can really make their voting power felt.
Get Out the (Teen) Vote
How school shootings, Trump, and campus activism are shaping civic engagement
(EWA Radio: Episode 188)
What’s on the minds of teens eligible to vote for the first time this year? Where do they get the news and information that’s shaping their views of candidates? How have their families, school experiences, and recent current events like the Parkland school shooting and President Trump’s agenda influenced their political awareness? Alyson Klein of Education Week takes us inside the publication’s new poll of voters ages 18 and 19, sharing insights from follow-up interviews with some survey respondents.
The midterm elections can be easy to overlook from a curriculum perspective. They’re not as frenzied as presidential elections. Voter turnout tends to go down.
What’s Motivating Teens to Vote?
Education Week survey, national polls offer insights into young voters
In a new national survey, concern about the February shootings at a high school in Parkland, Fla., was the top reason cited by eligible teen voters as motivating them to cast a ballot. And students who said they had taken civics classes were also more likely to say they planned to exercise their right to vote in the midterm elections.
Nick Brown turned 18 in September and will vote for the first time in November. But the Brandon, S.D., resident admits he has some research to do.
“As of right now I know nothing,” said Brown, whose high school law and government teacher registered voting-age students in class. “I don’t follow politics at all, so I need to educate myself before I go in and vote.”