Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the 2018 election is on Tuesday. So what are the big issues? Which state races should you be paying attention to? What about congressional races? And what will the outcome of the election mean for the Every Student Succeeds Act and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?
We’ve got you covered.
Republicans are expected to retain control of the Senate, although education is playing in some tight races. The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is an especially hot issue in Florida.
Orange’s AP effort, mirrored in districts across Central Florida and state, has rankled some educators and parents, who think too many students are enrolled in AP courses they don’t really want to take, then left to deal with too much homework and stress.
In Oklahoma, nearly 100 current and former educators put their names on the primary ballot. At least two of those educators were inspired by the same moment during that state’s teacher walkouts.
Republican Kevin Stitt wants a teacher pay increase included in next year’s state education budget, while Democrat Drew Edmondson is willing to hold off for at least a year on another salary increase for educators, the gubernatorial candidates said Wednesday.
In its proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget, the state Board of Education included $440 million in new annual spending for the school funding formula, school counselors, alternative education programs and other support services.
The department’s proposed budget does not include an increase in teacher pay.
Sending would-be educators into schools for a year of intense, hands-on training alongside their academic coursework is a concept that’s excited a lot of people who want to improve how teachers learn to teach.
But enthusiasm for these teacher residency programs has largely outstripped their ability to expand, especially because many charge little or no tuition.
Teachers say they are more than frustrated about rising health care costs, stagnant state funding for education and what they see as constant attacks on their profession.
They’re angry. And they’re organized.
Across the country, educators have been building momentum toward improving education funding through walkouts and political rallies. In places like Oklahoma and West Virginia they’ve successfully pressured legislators for better salaries and funding and even voted some officials out of office.
Minnesota Educators Continue To Grapple With One Of The Most Critical — And Politicized — Education Issues: Reading Instruction
As educators welcomed students back to school this fall, many tuned in to the chatter around reading instruction sparked by Emily Hanford’s APM Reports audio documentary “Hard Words: Why Aren’t Our Kids Being Taught to Read?” In this piece, Hanford lays out the disconnect between how kids learn to read and how many of their teachers are trained to deliver reading lessons.
With midterm elections just days away, Eva-Marie Ayala of The Dallas Morning News explores how teachers in Texas are channeling their anger into action.
In Wisconsin, the Appleton Post-Crescent’s Devi Shastri spends a day with an emergency-licensed teacher and examines what’s driving people away from the classroom.
Really proud to see this one published. @dtdamiani and I spent all day with Maripat Franke, an “emergency license” #teacher, to see: What is it like being a teacher who’s learning to teach?https://t.co/4iA0NLvoEV via @PostCrescent @USATODAY @CESA6
Really proud to see this one published. @dtdamiani and I spent all day with Maripat Franke, an “emergency license” #teacher, to see: What is it like being a teacher who’s learning to teach?https://t.co/4iA0NLvoEV via @PostCrescent @USATODAY @CESA6— Devi Shastri (@DeviShastri) October 24, 2018
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos suspended her political giving when she joined the Trump administration in 2017, but her husband and other family members remain prolific GOP contributors as they donate vast sums prior to Tuesday’s mid-term election.
The DeVos name has become a pejorative rallying cry for Democrats who bemoan the family’s long-running influence over state and federal education policy. But their continued political giving could be critical in Republicans retaining control of legislative or congressional chambers.
As retiring Gov. Butch Otter’s successor of choice, Brad Little touts his experience and seeks to assure voters that the state is heading in the right direction. Paulette Jordan decries what she considers a failed Little-Otter administration.
This recurring theme plays out on many issues — particularly education. During an Oct. 15 televised debate, for example, Little and Jordan spent several tense and chippy minutes sparring over Idaho’s place in national education rankings.
It has been a whiplash two years in American politics, and that has trickled down to education policy, from the controversial appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary to heated debates about school safety that have arisen in the wake of several mass school shootings.
Now, with midterm elections only days away, it’s time for voters to weigh those policy choices and decide whether they’d like to make a change.
Georgia voters will find a lot of races on the ballot this election season. Usually, high-profile offices like governor and attorney general are at the top of the ballot. Local races tend to be in the middle or toward the end of the ballot.
Those races, which include school board contests, don’t get as many votes.
Often, school board races attract less than 20 percent of registered voters. A recent analysis found some school board races in Delaware drew an average of 1.8 percent of registered voters.
Foster Grandparent Program in D.C. Schools Gives Retirees a Small Stipend and Gives Students an Older Mentor
Cynthia Brown-Thomas’s job requires her to rise before the sun. It pays a meager stipend of $2.65 an hour. An exhausting display of patience is a must.
She credits the job with saving her life.
The 64-year-old retiree, who has survived two heart surgeries, is one of more than 200 D.C. seniors from low-income households working as classroom grandparents in the city’s schools.
Union Report Exclusive: Internal Report Shows NEA Losses of 17,000 Members and 87,000 Fee Payers Since Janus Decision
The National Education Association is feeling the first effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus ruling, which ended the practice of public-sector unions charging fees to nonmembers. New membership numbers obtained by Union Report show that NEA now stands at 3,001,570 total members — a decline of 17,000 since the last report in April. This erased much of the membership increase the union saw in 2017.
The decision to move a crowded, popular high school to the site of an abandoned junior high school in the District’s Shaw neighborhood is highlighting the competing interests that confront administrators in a fast-changing city.
City officials announced Friday that Benjamin Banneker Academic High School will relocate to the site of the vacant Shaw Junior High School a mile away, increasing capacity by 300 students.
The people who are closest to a thing are often the most wary of it. Technologists know how phones really work, and many have decided they don’t want their own children anywhere near them.
A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high. The debate in Silicon Valley now is about how much exposure to phones is O.K.
Ahead of the highly anticipated midterm elections next week, colleges and universities and activists have pushed to get students to the polls — historically a difficult task and especially so off a presidential year.
But the author of a new report on college student civic engagement says that institutions should be considering how to involve students even outside of election season, especially since his research shows that they are more interested in joining campus groups that are issued based, rather than those aligned to a political party.
The February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and subsequent student activism around school safety and gun control are fueling young people’s political engagement ahead of next week’s midterm elections.
“We can argue all we want, but the only way we win the argument [for more gun control] is when we go and we vote on these decisions,” Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said at a conference Friday.
As dusk settled on a hot, humid October evening, dozens of families lined up along a darkening country road, waiting for the Santa Fe High School homecoming parade to pass. They camped on folding chairs and the backs of pickup trucks, in the parking lots of dollar stores and auto repair shops.
The floats arrived awash in glitter, garland and the school colors of green and gold. Kids tossed candy and beads from flatbeds. Spectators hooted and hollered at the Santa Fe Indians football team and the high-stepping Tribal Belle dance squad.
The note has hung on her bedroom wall since her friend was shot and killed at school.
Nearly four years ago, Cheyenne Coe ripped it from her middle-school yearbook and pinned it there to remember.
Erin Mortensen and Leonardo DuPlooy can’t wait to cast their first-ever votes this November—for very different reasons.
DuPlooy, a high school student in rural Hammond, La., wants to support candidates who will have President Donald Trump’s back. Mortensen, a college student in Utah, is looking for a change in direction.
“I see a lot of things happening in the country that I’m not very happy about,” she said, ticking off Trump, climate change, and gun violence as prime examples.
Heading down the stretch in a record $50 million campaign for state superintendent of public instruction, Marshall Tuck has a more than 2-to-1 money advantage over his opponent, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, in combined direct contributions and funding by independent groups supporting the candidates.
Our children aren’t being taught to read in ways that line up with what scientists have discovered about how people actually learn.
It’s a problem that has been hiding in plain sight for decades. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than six in 10 fourth graders aren’t proficient readers. It has been this way since testing began. A third of kids can’t read at a basic level.
The long early voting line that wrapped around the LBJ Student Center earlier this week was a welcome sign to those at Texas State University who were hoping for strong enthusiasm among young voters on campus.
But with early voting on campus restricted to three days, civil rights attorneys, voting rights advocates and local Democrats are now raising the specter that the hour-and-a-half waits that students faced at the polling location could not only dim student turnout but also violate state and federal law.
Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to “shake the foundations of New York City education” in 2014 with a new program called Renewal, a signature effort to improve the city’s 94 poorest-performing schools by showering them with millions of dollars in social services and teacher training.
In the Tennessee governor’s race, Republican Bill Lee and Democrat Karl Dean have agreed on a number education issues, including the need to implement vocational training in high school.
But among the key differences between Lee and Dean is their views on school vouchers — a controversial proposal that relies on publicly funded scholarships to send students to private schools.
Washington state’s small collection of charter schools took a big step closer to legal stability Thursday.
In a plurality ruling in El Centro de la Raza v. Washington released in the morning, the state Supreme Court held that funding charter schools with lottery money does not violate the state constitution. The statewide teachers union, a plaintiff, said it had no immediate plans for pursuing further legal action.
UNC President Margaret Spellings will leave the job, after only three years leading the university system, according to three sources, including one with direct knowledge of the situation.
In recent days, Spellings has quietly negotiated her departure with the UNC Board of Governors. Sources close to Spellings said she wanted to leave the post and return to her home state of Texas. The timing is unclear, but it could be early next year, sources said.
San Francisco’s efforts to encourage non-citizen parents to vote in school board elections have fizzled.
By the deadline for registering this week, only 49 had signed up, according to the city’s Department of Elections.
The low registration rate means many parents in the city will be unable to weigh in about who should make decisions about their children’s schools and that the school district will have to rely on other ways to engage immigrant parents.
At a time of intense political polarization in the U.S., Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuck looks for answers in high school history classes.
For The Hechinger Report, Kaitlin Gillespie explores how a small town’s high school is helping reverse the pattern of “rural brain drain.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos may have approved every state’s vision for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act—but that doesn’t mean the plans are all done and dusted.
States can still make changes to their plans. And after the midterm elections in November, many of them may want to. (To be sure, DeVos and company will have to approve major revisions. The U.S. Department of Education is expected to say more about what that process will look in coming weeks and months.)
Five candidates for Teton County School District No. 1’s board of trustees differed on some questions asked Monday at the League of Women Voters forum, but they agreed that arming teachers is a bad idea.
Two school boards in Wyoming voted to arm teachers last year as a school safety tool.
The second-floor classroom was not filled with expensive equipment — just a few maps, a print of George Washington crossing the Delaware and two dozen ninth-graders in white button-down shirts, the boys in khakis and the girls in blue plaid skirts, facing each other for a Socratic discussion.
On a recent Monday morning, third graders at Gilmore Lane Elementary School off of Poplar Level Road sit in a colorful rug during their morning meeting. Lindsay Dotterweich is their teacher. She’s also the Gifted and Talented lead at Gilmore. “I’m not just looking for those kids that have the top test scores or are making the straight As,” she said.
The Oregon Department of Education, whose leader is hand-picked by Gov. Kate Brown, has decided to delay releasing its annual school performance ratings from Thursday, as had been scheduled, to after the high-stakes Nov. 6 election.
The statistical rankings are ready and have been in school districts’ hands since Oct. 4. Superintendents were provided data about their schools’ ratings and directed they could “prepare press releases” about their district’s showing in advance of the scheduled Oct. 25 release of the ratings to the public.
Education is a key issue for Florida voters who will pick the state’s next governor, and the two candidates offer starkly different plans.
Republican Ron DeSantis, a former congressman from northwest Florida, wants to continue many of the GOP school-reform plans pushed by state leaders for the past two decades.Those policies — including standardized testing, school grades and private-school vouchers — have led to improved academic achievement for students and more choices for Florida families, his campaign says.
Israel Romero, a retired teacher, church trustee, and grandfather, withdrew his bid to be South Carolina’s next state superintendent last week after a local newspaper revealed that he has a prior felony conviction and placed on his résumé at least one degree that can’t be substantiated.
Romero is a Democrat. His withdrawal from the race comes just a few weeks before South Carolina voters will decide whether to keep the state schools’ chief position an elected one. South Carolina is among a small handful of states where voters elect statewide superintendents.
For nearly two decades, an online charter school with a bold name — the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow — grew in Ohio, helped along by the state’s Republicans, who embraced the idea of “school choice” for families.
Northern Arizona University has doubled in size. Many people in Flagstaff feel whiplashed by the rate of growth. In addition to steep home prices, locals gripe about the traffic, the parking and the threat of losing the quintessential historic charm that makes Flagstaff unique.
The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is apparently willing to risk further angering the state’s teachers by forcefully backing a measure that would massively expand the state’s private school voucher system.
A tuition tracking tool released this week shows that low-income students pay less at the University of Washington than at other large public universities in the state.
The tool is called Tuition Tracker and it was produced by The Hechinger Report and Education Writers Association. The Dallas Morning News also contributed.
It lets you see the sticker price universities advertise and the net price families have to pay after factoring in scholarships and grants. The data is from the 2015-2016 school year.
This spring, the University of Pittsburgh will pilot a “pay-it-forward” financial aid program that offers students up to $5,000 upon graduation to pay down their student debt. In return, the university asks, but does not require, graduates of the program to contribute to a fund that will finance the same debt-relief scholarships for future students in the program.
It’s Not Just the Governor’s Race. Here’s What Tennessee’s Big Legislative Turnover Could Mean For Education.
The battle to replace term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam has consumed the spotlight for Tennessee’s education-minded voters, but more than a hundred legislative races will decide who the new governor will work with on school policy for the next few years.
In addition to either Democrat Karl Dean or Republican Bill Lee as the state’s new chief executive, at least a fourth of the General Assembly’s members will be new to Capitol Hill in January. That’s because of an unusually high number of legislative departures, due mostly to retirements or the pursuit of other government jobs.
With an unprecedented number of teachers running for state office during this contentious election season, many candidates will need to make a tough choice: Knowing that their students are watching, are they willing to go negative in their campaign advertisements?
For many teachers running for state legislature, their students are never far from their minds. Many say they decided to run in the first place because they wanted to improve the quality of public education for their students.
Erica Green of The New York Times and ProPublica’s Annie Waldman team up for a data-driven analysis of how the history of segregation in Charlottesville, Virginia contributes to persistent achievement gaps that are among the nation’s worst.
"I don’t think the hate groups selected our community by chance," Charlottesville Schools Superintendent Rosa Atkins tells @EricaLG @AnnieWaldman. Essential, painful look at legacy of racism and segregation. It's my (early!) pick for this week's #tellEWA. https://t.co/IP42aiROqS
"I don’t think the hate groups selected our community by chance," Charlottesville Schools Superintendent Rosa Atkins tells @EricaLG @AnnieWaldman. Essential, painful look at legacy of racism and segregation. It's my (early!) pick for this week's #tellEWA. https://t.co/IP42aiROqS— Emily Richmond (@EWAEmily) October 16, 2018
A team of 30 journalists from the USA TODAY Network spent a day with teachers across the country and chronicled their common concerns beyond money: feeling misunderstood, unheard and disrespected.
For those who believe in the power and importance of education: @USATODAY Network reporters 'followed 15 of America's teachers on a day of frustrations, pressures and hard-earned victories.' https://t.co/BjSOZ8R5Vg @Salem_Statesman #education #tellEWA #teachers #journalism
For those who believe in the power and importance of education: @USATODAY Network reporters 'followed 15 of America's teachers on a day of frustrations, pressures and hard-earned victories.' https://t.co/BjSOZ8R5Vg @Salem_Statesman #education #tellEWA #teachers #journalism— Natalie Pate (@Nataliempate) October 17, 2018
It’s shortly after dawn when Edward Lawson, one of America’s 3.2 million public school teachers, pulls his car into the parking lot of Thomas Elementary in Racine, Wisconsin. He cuts the engine, pulls out his cell phone and calls his principal. They begin to pray.
Lawson is a full-time substitute based at a school with full-time problems: only 1 in 10 students is proficient in reading and math.
After Monday night, it would be easy to conclude Idaho is a national education leader — or a national embarrassment.
That’s because gubernatorial candidates Brad Little and Paulette Jordan painted diametrically different pictures during a televised debate. And both cited national rankings to make their case.
As usual, the realities are more complicated than the soundbites.
Let’s fact-check what the candidates said on education.