Bernie Sanders’s K-12 proposal would more than double the federal education budget: 6 of his top spending priorities
Following his proposal Friday to limit charter schools, Sen. Bernie Sanders over the weekend released perhaps the most substantive K-12 platform of any of the major presidential candidates. It touches nearly every area of K-12 policy, from protections for LGBT students to teacher pay to special education, but perhaps what sticks out most of all...
By Carolyn Phenicie | May 21, 2019
Middle schoolers are doing better on a key tech and engineering test — and it’s thanks to the girls
American middle schoolers are performing better on a national assessment of technology and engineering, an improvement driven largely by girls. Overall, students’ average score on the National Assessment of Education Progress in Technology and Engineering Literacy increased two points from 2014, the first time the test was given. Several subgroups showed statistically significant improvements, including...
By Carolyn Phenicie | April 30, 2019
Juvenile justice reform, equitable funding among priorities for 2019 Teacher of the Year
Rodney Robinson, a history teacher at a Virginia juvenile justice center, plans to use his new platform as 2019 National Teacher of the Year to highlight the school-to-prison pipeline and the need for juvenile justice reform. Much like last year’s selection of Mandy Manning, a teacher of refugee and new immigrant students, Robinson’s win, announced Wednesday,...
By Carolyn Phenicie | April 24, 2019
Blink and you missed it: Beyond a single reference, K-12 education is notably absent from President Trump’s State of the Union
Discussion of K-12 education was next to nonexistent in the State of the Union address Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s second. The president mentioned the issue just once, when he said, without elaboration, “To help support working parents, the time has come to pass school choice for America’s children.” The words echoed Trump’s 2017 address to...
By Carolyn Phenicie | February 6, 2019
Midterm post-mortem: Was the election a repudiation of ed reform? Or just a sign that it’s going ‘under the radar’?
Education reform, at least its most contentious elements, didn’t have a great night Tuesday. In Arizona, nearly two-thirds of voters rejected a bid by lawmakers to provide education savings accounts to all students. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, a villain of teachers unions, lost his bid for a third term to state Superintendent Tony Evers, who wants...
By Carolyn Phenicie | November 12, 2018
School safety tops young people’s list of election concerns. But will it lead them to vote?
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...
By Carolyn Phenicie | October 29, 2018
Senate confirms Los Angeles reform advocate Jim Blew in narrow vote, rounding out Ed Dept’s K-12 team
The Senate voted narrowly Tuesday to confirm Jim Blew, a longtime education reform advocate, to be an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education, rounding out the department’s K-12 team. Senators voted 50-49 along party lines to confirm Blew as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development some 10 months after he was...
By Carolyn Phenicie | July 17, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh, son of D.C. teacher, nominated for Supreme Court; has praised efforts to allow religious schools’ participation in publicly funded programs
After much waiting and Twitter speculation, President Trump announced on live television Monday night that he is nominating conservative D.C. Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. With only one school district under the D.C. Circuit’s jurisdiction, District of Columbia Public Schools, Kavanaugh’s record on school-related...
By Carolyn Phenicie | July 10, 2018
Divided Supreme Court ends mandatory dues for union members and — in further blow to organized labor — rules that workers must opt in
The Supreme Court in a sweeping decision Wednesday upended the way public-sector unions do business, ruling that dissenting employees cannot be compelled to pay any dues, and that union members must affirmatively opt in to membership — rather than requiring dissenters to opt out. Forcing dissenting employees to pay dues violates First Amendment protections against compelling...
By Carolyn Phenicie | June 27, 2018
If Janus ruling means teachers no longer have to join unions, will breaking away from state and national affiliates be a way to save local membership?
The Supreme Court’s pending decision in the Janus case has the potential to decimate the clout and size of public-sector unions by allowing members who disagree with the union’s activity to opt out of membership. But another path to maintaining membership in local unions may be emerging: a split from the more divisive and politically charged state...
By Carolyn Phenicie | June 18, 2018