Today's news -- February 23, 2017

 

 

 

Dismal results from vouchers surprise researchers *

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education was a signal moment for the school choice movement. For the first time, the nation’s highest education official is someone fully committed to making school vouchers and other market-oriented policies the centerpiece of education reform. But even as school choice is poised to go national, a wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling — the worst in the history of the field, researchers say. While many policy ideas have murky origins, vouchers emerged fully formed from a single essay published in 1955 by Milton Friedman. Most of the new programs heeded Friedman’s original call for the government to enforce “minimum standards” by requiring private schools that accept vouchers to administer standardized state tests. Researchers have used this data to compare voucher students with similar children who took the same tests in public school. Many of the results were released over the last 18 months, while Donald Trump was advocating school choice on the campaign trail. The first results came in late 2015. Researchers examined an Indiana voucher program that had quickly grown to serve tens of thousands of students under Mike Pence, then the state’s governor. “In mathematics,” they found, “voucher students who transfer to private schools experienced significant losses in achievement.” They also saw no improvement in reading. The next results came a few months later, in February, when researchers published a major study of Louisiana’s voucher program. Students in the program were predominantly black and from low-income families, and they came from public schools that had received poor ratings from the state department of education, based on test scores. For private schools receiving more applicants than they could enroll, the law required that they admit students via lottery, which allowed the researchers to compare lottery winners with those who stayed in public school. They found large negative results in both reading and math. Public elementary school students who started at the 50th percentile in math and then used a voucher to transfer to a private school dropped to the 26th percentile in a single year. Results were somewhat better in the second year, but were still well below the starting point. In June, a third voucher study was released by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank and proponent of school choice. The study, which was financed by the pro-voucher Walton Family Foundation, focused on a large voucher program in Ohio. “Students who use vouchers to attend private schools have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers attending public schools,” the researchers found. Once again, results were worse in math. Three consecutive reports, each studying one of the largest new state voucher programs, found that vouchers hurt student learning. The new evidence on vouchers does not seem to have deterred the Trump administration, which has proposed a new $20 billion voucher program. DeVos’  enthusiasm for vouchers, which have been the primary focus of her philanthropic spending and advocacy, appears to be undiminished.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/upshot/dismal-results-from-vouchers-surprise-researchers-as-devos-era-begins.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170223&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

When accountability is both unaccountable and meaningless

https://dianeravitch.net/2017/02/22/when-accountability-is-both-unaccountable-and-meaningless/

 

So far, DeVos is just what her critics feared

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/02/22/so-far-education-secretary-betsy-devos-is-just-what-her-critics-feared/?utm_term=.8aaa141c3d71

 

Trump rescinds rules on bathrooms for transgender students

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/politics/devos-sessions-transgender-students-rights.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_cn_20170223&nl=first-draft&nl_art=1&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1&_r=0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/trump-administration-rolls-back-protections-for-transgender-students/2017/02/22/550a83b4-f913-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?utm_term=.06b134a57097&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-administration-scraps-obama-transgender-rights-directive-235285

 

Ros-Lehtinen calls Trump change to transgender bathroom rules “lamentable”

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article134401199.html

 

House plan would bolster school choice programs

A wide-ranging House bill filed Wednesday would increase the amount of money given to students under the state's school-voucher program and make more children eligible for scholarships aimed at students with disabilities. The legislation (HB 15), filed by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, would increase payments in the voucher-like Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Payments for children in private elementary schools would be as much as 88 percent of the public school per-student funding amount. It would be 92 percent for children in middle school and 96 percent for those in high school. Maximum awards under the program now amount to 82 percent of the per-student funding for public schools. The House bill also would make changes, similar to a Senate measure (SB 902), to the "Gardiner scholarships" meant to help parents pay for educational services for children with disabilities. It would increase spending on the program to $200 million, make students with a wider range of conditions eligible and allow the scholarships to be used to pay for more services, including therapies involving music, art and horsemanship.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/house-plan-would-bolster-school-choice-programs

 

Lawmakers seek reduction of federal Title I, IDEA rules

For its first bill of the 2017 session, the Florida House Education Committee decided to focus on fighting federal regulations rather than on testing, recess or other matters that have dominated discussion throughout the state. "We're going to boldly go where no man has gone before," vice chairman Rep. Bob Cortes said, riffing on the fact that the committee bill number 1701 matched the registry number of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. Cortes observed that the measure, a memorial urging the U.S. Congress to convert Title I and IDEA funds into block grants, would hold no force of law. It would, however, show the strong sense of Florida lawmakers that the federal government has too much influence over the way the state and school districts spend the money aimed at helping low income and special needs students. The $772 million Florida receives in federal money, compared to its $20 billion overall education budget, "is really not justifying the level of scrutiny we're seeing," Cortes said.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/florida-lawmakers-seek-reduction-of-federal-title-i-idea-rules/2314100

http://watchdog.org/289035/education-funding-fewer-strings/

 

On school property taxes, Corcoran tells Scott and Senate: “Hell, no”

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2017/02/on-school-spending-richard-corcoran-has-two-words-for-scott-and-senate-hell-no-.html

 

Bay schools seek “common sense” in testing (Alexis Underwood quoted)
http://www.newsherald.com/news/20170222/bay-schools-seek-common-sense-in-testing?rssfeed=true

 

Pasco school workers' contract talks head to special hearing (Kenny Blankenship quoted)
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/pasco-county-school-workers-contract-talks-head-to-special-hearing/2314155

 

Recess bill wins approval in Senate committee

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-recess-moms-florida-senate-vote-20170222-story.html

 

D.C. charter teachers seek to unionize

http://prospect.org/article/dc-charter-teachers-seek-unionize

 

Lawmakers eye higher education projects

http://www.sayfiereview.com/page/Lawmakers%20eye%20higher%20education%20projects

 

Higher education budget chair favors vocational training

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/232634-house-education

 

Flores proposes college scholarship for 50 children of farm workers

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2017/02/flores-proposes-college-scholarship-for-50-children-of-farm-workers-.html

 

Presidential candidate: “I was wrong” about FGCU

http://www.news-press.com/story/news/education/2017/02/22/presidential-candidate-wrong-fgcu/98155648/

 

Report: State households struggling to meet basic needs

For all the talk of an economic rebound in Florida, there's a big problem that too often stays out of the state's spotlight. More than 4 of every 10 households in Florida — 3.3 million of the state's 7.5 million households — are struggling to make ends meet. That 44 percent includes not only the 14.5 percent of households that earn less than the federal poverty level but another 29.5 percent of Florida households that are part of the working poor. These are folks ranging from fast food workers, the bulk of tourism industry employees, home health care workers and even teachers who find their modest paychecks still make it tough to meet basic needs. Two years ago, the United Ways introduced ALICE, which stands for "Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed," to better define the large population of residents who are working, earning more than the federal poverty level, but still have difficulty affording the necessities of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation. Back then, with Florida still recovering from a deep recession, the initial report found that 2.6 million households in Florida were ALICE. "When we first put out the report two years ago, the numbers were shocking," says Deanna Wilsey, chief marketing officer at United Way Suncoast, which serves most of the Tampa Bay area. The report is expected to be issued every two years to help track the progress of Florida's vast and vulnerable population. Today's report shows tiny improvements in the state's ALICE households as the Florida economy continues to distance itself from the last recession. But the gains have been slow and modest at best.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/personalfinance/united-way-report-nearly-third-of-florida-households-are-working-poor/2314136?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

Lottery fight between Scott and House could be costly

https://apnews.com/b8d9c5a088004d6099904ce17f75a30e/Lottery-fight-between-Gov.-Scott-and-House-could-be-costly

 

Scott says fellow Republicans spreading fake news

https://apnews.com/3782331f10f143bd860a03ae55c90ff9/Florida-Gov.-says-fellow-Republicans-spreading-%22fake-news%22

 

Scott's PAC slams Corcoran as "career politician" in new video

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/rick-scotts-pac-slams-house-speaker-corcoran-as-career-politician-in-new/2314180

 

Scott could be big loser in fight over Enterprise Florida

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/ruth-scott-could-be-big-loser-in-fight-over-enterprise-florida/2314171

 

Visit Florida's breakup with Pitbull almost complete

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2017/02/visit-floridas-breakup-with-pitbull-almost-complete.html

 

So I guess Twitter is Florida's new field of honor

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/romano-so-i-guess-twitter-is-floridas-new-field-of-honor/2314197

 

Should local governments have less power? Some lawmakers think so.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/should-local-governments-have-less-power-some-state-lawmakers-think-so/2314195

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/02/house-home-rule-fight-breaks-out-as-panel-approves-regulation-reform-bill-109812

http://www.sayfiereview.com/page/House%20takes%20aim%20at%20local%20regulations

 

Scott must stop raiding housing trust funds

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/editorials/fl-editorial-affordable-housing-20170221-story.html

 

Judges look at Sunshine Law in workers' comp case

http://www.sayfiereview.com/page/Judges%20look%20at%20Sunshine%20Law%20in%20workers%20comp%20case

 

Gun injuries and deaths among Florida kids have spiked

http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2017/special-report/florida-guns-children-deaths-harms-way/

 

Trump’s new deportation rules could cost the economy trillions

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-cost-mass-deportations-f662977cb809#.qgsyejh96

 

Immigrants hide, fearing capture on “any corner”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/immigrants-deportation-fears.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_cn_20170223&nl=first-draft&nl_art=3&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Police fear Trump immigration orders may handcuff effort to fight gangs

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/nyregion/police-fear-trump-immigration-orders-may-handcuff-effort-to-fight-gangs.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_cn_20170223&nl=first-draft&nl_art=4&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Trump's immigration crackdown bad for Florida

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-trumps-immigration-crackdown-bad-for-florida/2314191

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article134399469.html

 

Students vote yes on referendum to make FSU a sanctuary campus

http://www.fsunews.com/story/news/2017/02/22/students-vote-referendum-make-fsu-sanctuary-campus/98268186/

 

Trump’s tough deportation stance worries Palm Beach immigrants

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/trump-tough-deportation-stance-worries-palm-beach-county-immigrants/KgoRWPEcpTyw2faBLvX29H/

 

Undocumented woman with brain tumor forcibly removed from Texas hospital

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/undocumented-woman-brain-tumor-removed-hospital-lawyer-article-1.2979956

 

Ryan tours Texas border area where Trump wants a wall

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/politics/paul-ryan-border-mexico-immigration.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_cn_20170223&nl=first-draft&nl_art=11&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/ryan-makes-trip-to-us-mexico-border-as-lawmakers-mull-building-trumps-wall/2017/02/22/fbb188ea-f939-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?utm_term=.9dd26bf63494&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

 

Maryland Democrats to Muslim, immigrant constituents: “We need your voice”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/we-need-your-voice-md-democrats-to-muslim-immigrant-constituents/2017/02/22/fc01dece-f8b9-11e6-9845-576c69081518_story.html?utm_term=.64ff6018cfc9&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

 

Islamophobia grows louder in North Carolina

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/23/north-carolina-islamophobia-muslims-threats?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=214678&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

GOP realizing trashing the health-care system might not be a great idea

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/02/22/republicans-suddenly-realize-burning-down-health-system-might-not-be-a-great-idea/?utm_term=.3de210fb1f9e&wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

 

Repeal of health law faces obstacles in House, not just in Senate

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/us/politics/obamacare-affordable-care-act-house-republicans.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170223&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

At a town hall in Trump country, an America that’s pleading to be heard

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/at-a-town-hall-in-trump-country-an-america-thats-pleading-to-be-heard/2017/02/22/09b22498-f860-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.7adb1538b816

 

Don't take away health care, Obamacare defenders urge Bilirakis at town hall

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/at-third-gus-bilirakis-meeting-obamacare-defender/2314211

 

Frankel faces constituents from both sides of political aisle at town hall

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-reg-lois-frankel-town-hall-20170221-story.html

 

Tough questions for Carter at town halls in Georgia

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2017-02-22/tough-questions-us-rep-buddy-carter-town-halls-jesup-waycross

 

Louisiana senator’s town hall goes completely off the rails

https://thinkprogress.org/louisiana-senators-town-hall-goes-completely-off-the-rails-e738edeac5b8#.vpcnu5k98

 

In New Jersey, a record crowd at town hall presses Lance to get tough on Trump

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/02/22/in-new-jersey-a-record-crowd-at-town-hall-presses-rep-lance-to-get-tough-on-trump/?utm_term=.b22d543d2150&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

 

Divisions of labor

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/magazine/american-working-class-future.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170223&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Republicans are facing the ire of the anti-Trump movement this week. Will it last?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/republicans-are-facing-the-ire-of-the-anti-trump-movement-this-week-will-it-last/2017/02/22/0c5c865a-f8a8-11e6-9845-576c69081518_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.f7c8be7374fc

 

Republicans’ dream of tax reform is in big trouble

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/22/republicans-dream-of-tax-reform-is-in-big-trouble/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.afd71eafdde7

 

Pence says he and Trump will deliver tax relief by summertime

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/22/pence-says-he-and-trump-will-deliver-tax-relief-by-summertime/?utm_term=.e1c89aa08a30&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

 

Some Fed officials support moving faster to raise interest rate

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/business/economy/federal-reserve-minutes.html?emc=edit_cn_20170223&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

The Pruitt emails: EPA chief was arm in arm with industry

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/politics/scott-pruitt-environmental-protection-agency.html?smid=tw-nytpolitics&smtyp=cur

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/22/oklahoma-attorney-generals-office-releases-7500-pages-of-emails-between-scott-pruitt-and-fossil-fuel-industry/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.b675b35fb630

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/22/scott-pruitt-emails-oklahoma-fossil-fuels-koch-brothers?CMP=edit_2221

 

Automakers call on EPA chief to ease fuel-efficiency standards

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/business/energy-environment/automakers-pruitt-mileage-rules.html?emc=edit_cn_20170223&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

In first month of Trump presidency, State Department has been sidelined

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-first-month-of-trump-presidency-state-department-has-been-sidelined/2017/02/22/cc170cd2-f924-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html?utm_term=.e3dbd1030737

 

Tillerson looking for ways to raise his public profile

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-rex-tillerson-state-235279

 

Chief digital officer steps down from White House job over background check http://www.politico.com/blogs/donald-trump-administration/2017/02/gerrit-lansing-trump-digital-chief-ousted-235268

 

Trump’s “Apprentice”-style hiring is upending Washington

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-apprentice-hiring-235281

 

Trump is losing his war with the media

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/22/donald-trump-is-losing-his-war-with-the-media/?utm_term=.60b1d193db80&wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

 

Why Trump’s frequent golfing is even more hypocritical than it seems

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/22/president-trumps-frequent-golfing-is-even-more-hypocritical-than-it-seems-at-first-glance/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.9238ebc403c1

 

Pence makes stop at Jewish cemetery in Missouri where gravestones were toppled

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/22/pence-makes-stop-at-jewish-cemetery-in-missouri-where-graves-were-toppled/?utm_term=.75b410423afe&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

 

American Muslims raise money to repair vandalized Jewish cemetery

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2017/0222/American-Muslims-raise-money-to-repair-vandalized-Jewish-cemetery

https://thinkprogress.org/muslims-raise-over-60-000-to-repair-desecrated-jewish-cemetery-44e48bba8134#.6y88f0b9z

http://bigstory.ap.org/8de3df6d6e774349a8fd1aea41781493?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

 

The new American anti-Semitism

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/opinion/the-new-american-anti-semitism.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170223&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

GOP senator says she’s open to seeking Trump’s tax returns as part of Russia probe

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/02/22/gop-senator-says-shes-open-to-demanding-trumps-tax-returns-as-part-of-russia-probe/?utm_term=.ad43118f2ba6&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

 

The death of compassion

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/opinion/the-death-of-compassion.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20170223&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=1&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

 

 

 

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