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My School’s Great, but American Education? Not So Much. New Poll on U.S. Attitudes Suggests Public Perception ‘in a State of Flux’

Education Dive – Kevin Mahnken

“Americans remain as conflicted as ever on K-12 schooling and the proper role of the federal government in it, according to a new poll from the research and advocacy group EdChoice. Respondents generally saw the nation’s education system as being on the wrong course and were skeptical of the government’s capacity to correct it — but parents also gave high marks to their local schools and approved many federal education initiatives, such as those aimed at students with disabilities.”(more)

Can School Choice Keep Children Safe from Bullying?

Education Next – Kevin Currie-Knight and Jason Bedrick

“Twelve-year-old Mallory Grossman recently ended her own life rather than endure any more bullying from peers at her school. According to her family, the bullying had gone on for months. They’d reported it to school officials who, they believe, did not take it seriously, and the parents are suing the school district they believe neglected the issue. This girl’s unfortunate death is part of a worrisome uptick in the rate of teen suicides, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report has increased 30 percent for teenage boys in the last 40 years and has doubled for teenage girls. While some studies suggest that bullying in U.S. schools is on the decline, bullying rates are still high—according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), between one-quarter and one-third of students say they have been bullied. Moreover, bullying not only seems to affect suicide rates, but dropout rates as well.”(more)

(Re)Searching for a School

Education Next – Michael F. Lovenheim and Patrick Walsh

“Policies that expand school choice aim to empower parents by giving them the opportunity to choose the school that best fits their child. Publicly funded school choice has increased considerably in recent years, helped by a variety of initiatives, including public charter schools, transfer options for students under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), inter-district enrollment programs, and a variety of policies to subsidize private-school tuition.”(more)

U.S. Dept. of Ed Grant Priorities Push School Choice Plus STEM

The Journal – Dian Schaffhauser

“The Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education is taking public comments on her proposed priorities for $700 million in discretionary grants the agency will issue annually in the coming years. Although many of the priorities focus on Betsy DeVos’ flagship interest, school choice, the promotion of STEM education — and particularly computer science — also makes an appearance in the list. The availability of these grants allows DeVos to show her vision for American education, just as former Secretary Arne Duncan did in 2014. Once they’re finalized, they’ll replace his list.”(more)

Private School Choice Increases College Enrollment in Florida. Could It Work Nationally?

Education Next – Matthew M. Chingos and Daniel Kuehn

“The Trump administration has championed private school choice, but critics have pushed back, bolstering their arguments with evidence that such programs can lower student test scores. Our new report on a Florida private school choice program complicates this policy debate. Low-income students who used public dollars to attend private schools through the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) scholarship program enrolled in college at higher rates than their public school counterparts, according to our new study of more than 10,000 FTC participants. The FTC program, which is essentially a voucher program funded by business tax credits, is the largest private school choice program in the country and has been held up as a national model by advocates and policymakers.”(more)

Secret Finding from PDK Poll: Support for Vouchers is Rising

Education Next – Paul E. Peterson

“The just released PDK survey of U. S. adults reveals an upward shift in public support for vouchers of 10 percentage points over the past four years, with 8 of those percentage points gained since 2015. Meanwhile, voucher opposition fell by 18 percentage points over this same four-year time period. Although this finding is not reported by PDK in this year’s analysis of its findings, it emerges sharp and clear if one takes a close look at earlier PDK poll results.”(more)