Roundup: New Reports Document Inadequate, Inequitable Education System

Today’s roundup includes new reports showing inadequate and inequitable access to school funding and qualified teachers, plus Hillary Clinton’s leftward strategy for winning the White House:

Nation’s ‘Disinvestment’ in Public Schools Is Crippling Poor Students, Reports Say State EdWatch: Are prominent school funding advocates satisfied that states are now giving schools robust and well-targeted financial support? Not even close. See also Washington Post, Huffington Post.

Access to New York’s top teachers still unequal, state report shows ChalkbeatNY: While less than 1 percent of teachers in the whitest and most affluent quartile of schools were deemed “not highly qualified” — because they lacked an appropriate college degree or teaching license — that rate was between 6.9 percent and 8.8 percent in less affluent schools.

Hillary Clinton Traces Friendly Path, Troubling Party NYT: Mrs. Clinton’s aides say it is the only way to win in an era of heightened polarization, when a declining pool of voters is truly up for grabs. Her liberal policy positions, they say, will fire up Democrats, a less difficult task than trying to win over independents in more hostile territory — even though a broader strategy could help lift the party with her.

Ohio School District Bets on Technology in Creating New Learning Model wsj: The shop has 3-D printers and a laser cutter, and Ms. Green works there as an intern for the school. During the school year, she helped teachers incorporate the machines into their lessons.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan visits New Dorp High School SI Live: Duncan paid his second visit to New Dorp on Friday to see how far the school has come since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. More than 365 students and some three-dozen faculty members at New Dorp suffered losses from Sandy.

Oregon Has The Lowest Graduation Rate In The Country. Preschool Could Fix That. NPR: Oregon has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country — just shy of 69 percent in 2013. The number has nudged up in recent years, but advocates say to make big improvements, Oregon has to start young.

In Oakland, Struggling For Years To Learn English NPR: Long-term English language learners graduate high school at much lower rates than California’s average.

Questions linger over search for new Montgomery schools superintendent Washington Post: As Montgomery County’s school board parted ways with former Superintendent Joshua P. Starr in February, it launched a national search for a new leader, aiming to find a top-flight successor by July.But that did not happen. 

From Bail Bondsman To Teacher NPR: Rodney Carey has been on the other side of the street in New Orleans. He’s trying to get his students to come back.

Lunch Lady Knows There’s No Quick Fix For Feeding Hungry Kids NPR: A school kitchen manager lost her job after giving a free meal to a hungry student. NPR’s Scott Simon wonders if you’d rather a hungry kid encounter a lunch lady who enforces rules, or Della Curry?

Creating Safe Spaces for Transgender Kids WNYC: “Mostly in the lunch room girls sit on one side of the table and the boys sit on the other. But I usually sit in the middle,” Q told Yasmeen Khan, education reporter for our co-producer WNYC Radio. Kahn followed Q’s story to better understand how his elementary school is responding to the challenge of addressing gender non-conforming children. See also NYT.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.