Every week, The Next America produces a collection of education articles that catch our eye. These date from Oct. 14-21.
Study Finds D.C.’s Controversial Teacher- Evaluation System Is Working. The IMPACT system — started by Michelle Rhee when she was chancellor of Washington’s public schools — has caused more low-performing teachers to leave the school system and seems to have improved the performance of both strong and weak teachers, according to a study by Thomas Dee of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education and James Wyckoff of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Teachers judged effective, by classroom observation and test scores, received significant raises. The New York Times’s Economix blog has a good review of the findings released last week, while the American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess in Education Week offers some thoughts on what makes IMPACT unique.
Almost Half of Public-School Students Are Low Income. Forty-eight percent of public-school students now qualify as low-income, compared with 38 percent a decade ago, according to a new report from the Southern Education Foundation. In 17 states, more than half of children are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Thirteen of the 17 states are in the South. The Atlantic Cities
Philadelphia Schools Get Injection of Funding. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, has released $45 million in state funding to allow 400 teachers, counselors, assistant principals, secretaries, and others to staff the city’s cash-strapped schools. The number of school nurses won’t be increased — a mistake, advocates say, citing the death last month of a sixth-grader who suffered an asthma attack at a school without a nurse. Philadelphia Inquirer
California Law Increases Transfer Opportunities for Community-College Students. A California law will give community-college students more opportunities to transfer to California State University campuses — at least, that’s the goal. Faculty leaders at both community colleges and Cal State say the bill signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown just makes the transfer process even more complicated. EdSource
Chicago Suburbs Aim to Diversify Teaching Workforce. In Chicago’s suburbs, there can be up to a 75 percentage-point gap between the share of minority students in a school district and the teachers in front of the classroom. School districts are fanning out to college job fairs to recruit a more diverse teaching force — but they face a challenge, because fewer minorities than whites enter the teaching profession. Daily Herald
CFPB Scrutinizes Servicing of Student Loans. Borrowers of private student loans submitted more than 3,800 complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year. According to the bureau, the majority of high-debt borrowers have private loans. Private loans generally have higher interest rates and lack some consumer protections available with federal loans. The New York Times
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"Two chief fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation pressed corporate donors to steer business opportunities to former President Bill Clinton as well, according to a hacked memo published Wednesday by WikiLeaks. The November 2011 memo from Douglas Band, at the time a top aide to Mr. Clinton, outlines extensive fundraising efforts that Mr. Band and a partner deployed on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and how that work sometimes translated into large speaking fees and other paid work for Mr. Clinton."
"The Obama administration on Tuesday called on U.S. states to ban agreements prohibiting many workers from moving to their employers’ rivals, saying it would lead to a more competitive labor market and faster wage growth. The administration said so-called non-compete agreements interfere with worker mobility and states should consider barring companies from requiring low-wage workers and other employees who are not privy to trade secrets or other special circumstances to sign them."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz plans to spend "years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton." Chaffetz told the Washington Post: “It’s a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”
Priorities USA, the super PAC aligned with the Clinton campaign, which has already gotten involved in two Senate races, is now expanding into House races. The group released a 30 second spot which serves to hit Donald Trump and Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, who is in a tough race to win re-election in Iowa's first congressional district. The super PAC's expansion into House and Senate races shows a high level of confidence in Clinton's standing against Trump.