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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"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.