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How to Usher in a Wave of Entrepreneurship in Education

The Observer – Richard Hecker

“Our education system defines our future—it inspires us, teaches us, rears us, and has historically been the vehicle for upward mobility. It afforded the hope that with knowledge and hard work, a child from a family of limited means could climb into the middle, upper-middle, or upper economic class. But in recent years, education has failed us. Graduates are not getting jobs that match their education, thanks to a failure of our system to adequately inform students what jobs are available and provide the needed training. We have millions of job openings—mainly in high-tech fields such as computer science, math, and data science—which remain unfilled. According to a study by Inside Higher Ed, 49 percent of students feel they are underemployed.”(more)

What We Know About Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary

Ed Surge – Jeffrey R. Young, Marguerite McNeal and Sydney Johnson

“President-elect Donald J. Trump has voiced his pick for Education Secretary, saying he’ll appoint Republican philanthropist and school-choice activist Betsy DeVos to the position. DeVos is former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and currently chairs the American Federation for Children, a single-issue group that advocates for expanding school choice options.”(more)

Five big ways Trump presidency could change schools

The Miami Herald – Kyra Gurney

” Donald Trump has provided only scant details on his education agenda but the ideas he has pitched make one thing certain: the president-elect’s vision for American schools is very different from that of his predecessor. Trump has said he would shrink the Department of Education — or demolish it altogether — and vowed to be “the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice.” On the campaign trail he also called for an end to gun-free school zones, and for changes in the student loan system. His transition website, which devotes just two paragraphs to the subject, identifies a few other priorities including early childhood education and magnet and theme-based programs.”(more)

Borsuk: Vouchers 2.0 could be Education Savings Accounts

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel – Alan Borsuk

“Keep this phrase in mind: Education savings accounts. It may not be occurring at your kitchen table, but at some tables, people are talking about the future of school choice programs in Wisconsin. And these are, in many cases, important people — thought leaders and political leaders among Republicans and conservatives — who are likely to have strong roles to play when decisions are made as part of the hugely important state budget process next spring. Among those people, education savings accounts — ESAs, in the jargon of this — are an idea of considerable interest. Vouchers 2.0, some say. The next step in giving parents power over the education of their children, rather than leaving it with school systems (even private ones), some say.”(more)

After freedom, what?

The Economist – Staff Writer

“AS THE new school year approaches, most pupils in Detroit and New Orleans are preparing to return to desks in charter schools. First permitted by Minnesota in 1991, charter schools are found in 43 states; in a few cities they have become mainstream. Their equivalents in England, academies, were set up later but have grown faster. Just 14 years after the first one opened in London, a quarter of all English state schools, and two-thirds of secondaries, are now academies (see chart). These schools remain the great hope of education reformers in both countries—and beyond. Though charters and academies differ in many ways, they were both conceived as an alternative to schools run directly by local government. They are publicly funded but operated by charities or, in some American states, by companies. This model of public-private partnership has inspired several other countries including India, Kenya, Liberia, South Africa and Uganda.”(more)

Ten-year Trends in Public Opinion From the EdNext Poll

Education Next – Paul E. Peterson, Michael B. Henderson, Martin R. West and Samuel Barrows

“In its 10th annual survey of American public opinion, conducted in May and June of 2016, Education Next finds that the demise of school reform has been greatly exaggerated. Public support remains as high as ever for federally mandated testing, charter schools, tax credits to support private school choice, merit pay for teachers, and teacher tenure reform. However, backing for the Common Core State Standards and school vouchers fell to new lows in 2016. As in previous polls, Democrats are more supportive of Common Core than Republicans are, and we find polarization along party lines on several other issues. Surprisingly, more Democrats than Republicans support vouchers targeted to low-income students, tax credits, and vouchers for all families (universal vouchers).”(more)