Today's news -- September 7, 2017




DeVos visits schools in Tallahassee

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was in Tallahassee last week and paid a visit to two schools, Holy Comforter Episcopal and Florida High. Betsy DeVos says Holy Comforter Episcopal School is doing a lot right.  "This school has been an innovator and a pioneer," she said. DeVos says her visit was as an ongoing effort to learn from schools that are uniquely meeting the needs of students. Joanne McCall, the Florida Education Association president, said, "If you want innovation, then relax the regulations as far as they need to be for public schools so that a public school can be innovative to do those types of things." McCall says DeVos is trying to dismantle public schools. "She's slashing the education budget by billions of dollars. She's taking away 22 education programs. She's slashing I.D.E.A. I.D.E.A. is how the the funding comes down to states for special education." DeVos was asked about funneling money from public to charter schools. She said, "I think that parents should continue to be more and more empowered to make the right choice for their child, for their children to send them to a school that is right for them." "When you're in charge of public education, you should be bolstering public education," McCall said. (Joanne McCall quoted) (Joanne McCall quoted and AFT mentioned) (FEA mentioned)


DeVos had a public agenda for schools meetings ... and a private one


Who was — and wasn’t — invited to DeVos’ education roundtable


Leon superintendent calls DeVos’ trip “insulting”


Democrats list 29 ways they say DeVos is hurting public education


How unions make strong schools, strong communities


How House GOP leaders lobbied black Democrats on charter schools bill (FEA mentioned)


Don't wait for courts to force repairs to flawed education law


Duval district was right to join lawsuit


Brevard unlikely to sue over controversial education bill 7069 (Vanessa Skipper quoted)


Democrats look to rein in controversial charter school law


Miami-Dade seeks $2.3 million in teacher bonuses (Karla Hernández-Mats quoted)


Pasco teachers, district reach deal on evaluations (Val Smith quoted)


Hillsborough's plan for a better bottom line: cut hundreds of jobs, promote schools (Jean Clements quoted)


Why are Florida’s public schools having budget problems?


Lee teachers reassigned to other teaching jobs (Mark Castellano quoted)


Teachers’ tabs: School-supply spending continues (Andrew Spar quoted)


South Florida teachers say schools are full of mold -- and it’s making them sick (Anna Fusco quoted)


Palm Beach’s supposed spike in teacher happiness was just bad math (Justin Katz quoted)


Don’t spend that $10 million just yet, Palm Beach schools warn charters


Why more Palm Beach schools are converting to K-8


Palm Beach Gardens school used Toys for Tots gifts as test prizes


Pinellas shifts to school-wide averages to meet class size requirements


Leon among “donor districts” giving to “welfare counties”


Florida third-grade retention lawsuit ends in Leon court


Letting teen students sleep in could be big boost for state economy, study says


State rep wants mandatory Scout-recruiting in schools,amp.html


Steube files school board term limit bill


Insurance companies funding vouchers


Review raises concerns about the utility of CREDO findings

A recent report from the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) looked at the impact of charter school operating organizations. The report found that students in charter schools demonstrated slightly greater gains in performance than peers in traditional public schools, especially in charter schools operated by certain types of management organizations. An academic review out today highlights a number of concerns that have gone unaddressed. Gary Miron and Christopher Shank, Western Michigan University, reviewed the report, Charter Management Organizations 2017, for the Think Twice think tank review project.

According to the reviewers, the CREDO report contributes to an expansive body of existing research on charter schools by expanding on its prior work by exploring differences in charter school performance based on management organization type. Despite this, the report fails to build on prior research in creating its charter school classification system. Miron and Shank note that the report uses confusing and illogical distinctions between organization types, which are arbitrary and unsupported by research. Additionally, the review calls into question other methodological decisions that threaten the validity of the study. The reviewers identified several overarching problems that have been identified, including: (1) the report dramatically overstates its findings; (2) CREDO fails to address or acknowledge the report's methodological limitations; and (3) the report does not take into account other research beyond CREDO's own work. As a result, Miron and Shank conclude that readers should use extreme caution when interpreting the results. They say, "The general findings from this study do not have relevance to policymakers."


Study shows potential unintended effects of charter school movement


Charters insist: Our teachers can’t unionize (Randi Weingarten quoted)


A handy guide to some of the organizations on the school choice gravy train


Candidates must grasp why educators oppose standardized tests


New ACT scores show huge achievement gaps


Mississippi has nation's highest paid ed chief (Pam Stewart is second)


The math on school meals


Will the Trump era transform the school lunch?


Federal court rejects attempt to kick trans students out of school bathrooms


Don’t suspend students. Empathize.


Silicon Valley courts brand-name teachers, raising ethics issues


Screens in schools are a $60 billion hoax


Department of Justice is overseeing the resegregation of American schools


Trump education civil rights official listed Clinton attacks as qualification on resume


I teach in Houston. I’m worried for my students.


Michigan gambled on charter schools. Its children lost.


Alabama: The resegregation of Jefferson County


The sad story of public education in St. Louis


How vouchers came to Illinois


The weakness in D.C.’s voucher program


Part-time professors say they’re underpaid and undervalued (Mike Budd quoted)


Months past deadline GAU, UF fail to reach agreement (Bobby Mermer quoted)


UF to hire 12 new mental health counselors over three years (UFF-UF mentioned)


USF adjunct professors to march for equal treatment


Labor coalition pushes Santa Fe to raise minimum wage (Susan Hegeman quoted)


State universities seek $5.1 billion budget for next year


USF achieves goal of preeminence, and millions in funding


Another Bright Futures boost? State lawmakers propose higher ed expansions


State universities move toward more use of ebooks over textbooks


Trump administration begins to undermine protections for sexual assault survivors


Former DeVry official hired to run federal enforcement unit


Trump and DeVos fuel a for-profit college comeback


As UF maneuvers, white nationalists say they're coming to campus


“We don’t pretend this is over”: After Charlottesville, colleges expect trouble


In wake of Charlottesville, UNC denies white nationalist’s request


Why this professor is wearing a bulletproof vest to class


The debt trap: How the student loan industry betrays young Americans


State unemployment numbers are down, but workers aren't benefitting


"The time is now" for major wage hike, expansion of unions


U.S., Florida need policy shift to recharge stagnant wages


Celebrate the freedom to join together (by Mike Williams)


Unions part of solution to economic discrimination, inequality


Let's celebrate unions' contributions on Labor Day


Black women still earn less for the same work. No matter the job (William Spriggs quoted)


Big Bend union members feed the homeless (Sean Willett and Jack Fiorito mentioned)


Disney seeks federal mediator for union negotiations


Hurricane Irma is now a killer storm as track targets state


Some of the nation’s largest school systems shutting down for hurricane


Hurricane price gouging: Bondi rips “disgusting” $100 water charge


Got $3,000? That’s what some airlines are charging to fly ahead of Irma


Scott warns Florida residents to “get out quickly” if told to go


Millions fleeing storm could bring highways to halt


Gas prices likely to remain high as Floridians face hurricane


FPL warns of “prolonged outages” from hurricane


FEMA is almost out of money as hurricane threatens state, source says


Hurricane track could impact vulnerable state bridges with surge, wind


Sheriff: Polk deputies will be checking IDs at storm shelters


Two South Florida nuclear power plants lie in storm’s path. Are they ready?


Irma could harm state crops, especially sugar cane and citrus


Nelson and Rubio want Irma money added to Harvey disaster relief spending


Rubio voted against Sandy aid in 2013. Now he wants money for Irma.


Most Florida flood zone property not insured


Florida big contributor to flood program shortfall


Former FEMA chief Fugate argues against rebuilding in flood zones without changes


Emergency agency replaces fired employee with former high-dollar consultant


Legislature cancels committee weeks due to Irma


Corcoran pledges to stay “on offense” during 2018 legislative session


Koch brothers cheer Corcoran's plan to give corporations more political power


Note to commission: Empower people, not politicians


Restore voting rights to some ex-felons


Plan to end state campaign financing draws criticism


Study: State has work to do on public health preparedness


State Zika funds went to partner of Ann Scott’s aerial spray businesses


Visit Florida can't help itself


Scott denounces bonuses for state's tourism, jobs agencies


To represent state in U.S. Capitol, pick educator Bethune


No-bid contracts are a bad idea. Just ask the state Senate.


Water management district emails show U.S. Sugar Corp. lobbyist's influence


Labor union approval best since 2003, at 61 percent


Labor movement faces challenges amid growing public support for unions (Richard Trumka quoted)


The Trump administration’s ongoing attack on workers


Trump shifts labor policy focus from worker to entrepreneur


American workers will catch on to Trump’s con


Trump told workers the system is rigged. Now he’s showing them just how much.


Why all Americans need strong labor unions


Workers facing familiar challenges this Labor Day


The right to organize at work deserves constitutional protection


Fast-food workers go on strike in Florida and across the country on Labor Day


McDonald's worker: Why I’m fighting for union rights on Labor Day


The labor movement fought for civil rights before. We will do it again


These dockworkers just showed the labor movement how to shut down fascists


The millennial who’s trying to save the labor movement with a Facebook for unions


A new type of labor law for a new type of worker


It’s time to balance the power between workers and employers


I criticized Google. It got me fired. That’s how corporate power works.


Who started Labor Day? The bloody and confusing history of an American holiday.


Rightwing alliance plots assault to “defund and defang” unions


Trump halting equal pay measure “blatant attack on women,” activists say


The quiet comeback of the middle class


Canada demands U.S. end “right to work” laws as part of NAFTA talks


It’s a myth that corporate tax cuts mean more jobs


With his tax effort in peril, Trump to push Congress for swift action


The false promises in Trump’s tax plan


The looming fight over “tax reform,” explained


Trump says the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. He's wrong.


Cohn is getting it all wrong on taxes


In North Dakota, Trump repeats call for rewrite of tax code


For tax reform lessons, Congress needn’t look far

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