Every week, The Next America produces a collection of education articles that catch our eye. These date from Nov. 18-25.
PUSH MADE TO ADDRESS ‘INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM’ IN TEXAS SCHOOLS. Latino activists urge a public-school curriculum that reflects the student body, calling on the State Board of Education to authorize high school classes in Mexican-American history and literature. Advocates in the Lone Star State, where more than half of the 5 million public-school kids are Latino, ask that such courses be offered for college credit and be approved as special topics in the arts and humanities. Huffington Post
$100 MILLION IN FEDERAL GRANTS DIRECTED TO TECH-FOCUSED SCHOOLS. President Obama announced a $100 million grant competition for high schools that partner with postsecondary institutions and companies. The program, called Youth CareerConnect, would promote tech-focused schools, like Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School, that allow students to earn college and industry credentials. The Labor Department will provide the funding, and grant applicants will be required to offer matching funds of at least 25 percent. Chronicle of Higher Education and Wall Street Journal
- OBAMA TAPS 10 ConnectED CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE. White House Press Office
STUDENTS PROTEST CANCELED ‘CATCH AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT’ GAME. Some 500 University of Texas students, including undocumented immigrants, participated in a rally to protest a controversial game planned by the student group Young Conservatives of Texas. Members had planned to wear signs that said “illegal immigrant” and reward fellow students with $25 gift cards for catching them. “We were expecting 100 people, and hundreds showed up,” says Diana Morales, the president of the student immigrants-rights group that organized the protest. San Antonio Express-News
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BANS CAN AFFECT MINORITIES IN ADJACENT STATES. A new study finds that minority applicants in Nevada and Arizona were adversely affected by California’s ban on race-based affirmative action. Nevada and Arizona lack highly selective institutions, so high-achieving students there typically look to California. In Oregon, however, minority students didn’t experience a loss, as the state has selective private institutions that do consider race in admissions. Inside Higher Ed
IN ROCHESTER, COLLEGES COULD DIRECT CITY SCHOOLS. Struggling city schools in Rochester, N.Y., could be turned over to area colleges, if Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has his way. As part of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative, New York state gives districts the option to turn failing schools over to outside organizations — like non-profits or charter-school management organizations. Area colleges remain noncommittal on the proposal. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
TEACH TO ONE EARNS PROMISING MARKS IN MATH LEARNING. Personalized-learning models powered by technology fostered an average improvement of 20 percent more than the U.S. average in math assessment among students in seven tested schools, according to a newly released Columbia Teachers College study on the first-year impact of New Classrooms’ Teach to One blended-learning model. All demographic sub-groups — including those focusing on language minority, special education, and low-income students — outperformed national norms except for black students. Chistensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
ARNE DUNCAN: ‘I REGRET’ INSULT TO COMMON CORE CRITICS. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has apologized after trying to explain away criticism of his proposed Common Core program to school superintendents as “white suburban moms” complaining that their children were not as “brilliant as they thought they were.” Duncan, trying to generate enthusiasm for the program and dispel criticism, instead created a stir. Breitbart
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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
"The House voted Thursday to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security. The bipartisan measure passed easily by a vote of 386-41, with nine Republicans and 32 Democrats voting in opposition. If the bill makes it through the Senate, it would be the first-ever reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since it was created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks." Among the provisions it contains is a mandate that the Senate confirm the Secret Service director. It also boosts funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative by $195 million per year.
In remarks scheduled to be delivered today at the American Federation of Teachers' summer conference, President Randi Weingarten "likens U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to a climate-change denier" and "says the Trump administration's school choice plans are secretly intended to starve funding from public schools. She calls taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, tuition tax credits and the like 'only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.'" The pro-voucher Center for Education Reform said teachers should "consider inviting Weingarten’s resignation."