Archive | June, 2012

Is there a ‘model minority’ ??

23 Jun

Let’s get this out of the way, moi has always thought the term “minority” as applied to certain ethnic groups or cultures is and has been condescending and demeaning. Edward Schumacher-Matos, the NPR ombudsman writes in On Race: The Relevance of Saying ‘Minority’

As America’s ethnic and racial make-up changes, so, too, does the nation’s language and the consensus over acceptable word usage. One word that slowly is becoming more challenged and is likely to get a big work out over the coming years is “minority.”

NPR guests, hosts and correspondents used the term in nearly 80 stories in the last year, not counting the hourly newscasts. Ken Wibecan, a listener from Schuyler Falls, NY, wrote to us:

“Many people use [minority] when they really mean African American or Latino. That it is not only inaccurate, but it is also offensive…Does NPR really think that the population of America is composed of only two elements — whites and minorities? I don’t think so. And if not, isn’t it time to retire that insulting word and use more specific designations instead?”

Already, just over a third of the country is Latino, black or Asian American, according to the 2010 Census. Non-Hispanic whites have fallen to less than 50 percent of the population in the country’s two most populous states, California and Texas. Demographers cited in a June 27 report on Tell Me More projected that non-whites will become the majority of the U.S. population by roughly 2050. Add growing inter-marriage to the mix and the lines between majority and minority are becoming ever more blurred. http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/2011/08/29/140040441/covering-race-considering-journalists-use-of-minority

Schumacher-Matos cites Mallary Jean Tenore’s article, Journalists value precise language, except when it comes to describing ‘minorities’:

Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark said the word “minorities” may be going through a “semantic shift” — a change in the associations and meanings of words over time. “Sometimes the changes in a word take centuries,” Clark told me. “Other times it can happen very quickly.”

The word “girl,” for example, used to refer to a young person of either gender. The definition of “colored” has also shifted.

The term ‘colored’ was used for a long time to designate African Americans until it was deemed offensive. And it only really referred to ‘black’ people,” Clark said. “Now we have ‘persons of color,’ which seems to be a synonym for non-white. As the population changes, a term like ‘person of color’ rather than ‘minority’ might be more appropriate.”

Some people, however, argue that “person of color” is as bad as “minorities” or worse. We also may be limited by the AP Stylebook or our newsrooms’ style. When that’s the case, it helps to be open with readers about why we use certain terms.

On its “About” page, the Asian American Journalists Association explains: “AAJA uses the term ‘Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ to embrace all Americans — both citizens and residents — who self-identify with one or more of the three dozen nationalities and ethnic groups in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. We use this term to refer to our communities at large, as well as to our membership, which includes representatives from all these regions.”

Recently, the Los Angeles Times published a memo from Assistant Managing Editor Henry Fuhrmann explaining why the Times uses “Latino” over “Hispanic.” Some readers applauded the Times for its decision, while others suggested the term is misleading and raises more questions than it answers.

That’s the problem with using one word or phrase to describe an entire group of people — it never fully captures the nuances of that group. Inevitably, some people  are going to feel slighted or mischaracterized.http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/newsgathering-storytelling/diversity-at-work/142934/journalists-value-precise-language-except-when-it-comes-to-describing-minorities/

Just how misleading the term “model minority” is was the subject of an International Examiner article.

In Dispelling the Model Minority Myth: Illiteracy for APIs, Atia Musazay writes:

It’s just another stereotype commonly associated with Asian Americans: They’re naturally smart, attain high degrees with ease and make lots of money. But like most stereotypes, this “model minority myth” only accounts for one or two percent of the population and discounts a large segment of the group, particulary Southeast Asians.

According to statistics by University of Massachusetts, Amherst Sociology Professor C.N. Le, in his 2012 report, Southeast Asians are 5.3 times more likely to be illiterate compared to non-Hispanic whites. They have the highest high school dropout rate in the country. Yet, their needs and struggles are often overlooked.

If you look at the vast group of Asian Americans, from Indians to Chinese to Southeast Asians, there is a wide range of gaps when it comes to socioeconomic status and education attainment, but we clump that entire group as one,” said Ay Saechao, co-chair and co-founder of the Southeast Asian American Access in Education Summit (SEAeD).

In a report prepared by University of Washington professors Shirley Hune and David T. Takeuchi, Southeast Asians are found to have a 14 percent dropout rate in Seattle’s public schools—the highest of any ethnic group.

Nationally, the rate of college degree attainment for Laoations, Cambodians, and Hmong, the three groups Saechao identified as the most struggling, is less than 10 percent. That’s a quarter the rate of the larger Asian American segment, according to Le’s report.

The SEAeD was established in January 2012 and is made up of 35 members, mostly of Southeast Asian descent. It has the mission of building awareness about the needs of SE Asian students and their parents to become successful in the education system. They also hope to provide mentors from within the community.

Policymakers, researchers and educators don’t address this group,” said Saechao. “The community itself also has a lack of awareness when it comes to educational access.”

The lack of conversation is what perpetuates the stereotype, he said.

The group has identified several factors that have contributed to illiteracy in this community.

Cambodians and Laotians who immigrated in the 1980s as war refugees didn’t have an educational background. They worked in the farms and the fields. Their children today are not only first generation high school students, but in some cases, first generation elementary school students, said Saechaeo.

Saechao said that a common way to indicate if a student is going to succeed is by looking at the parent’s education level. For parents who can’t read, write or speak English, it can be difficult to navigate the complex education system with their children. They can’t communicate with teachers, help their child with math or writing or know what the pathway to college looks like.http://www.iexaminer.org/news/dispelling-the-model-minority-myth-illiteracy-for-apis/

The myth of the “model minority” is useful in some circumstances.

In Testing The “Model Minority Myth,” Miranda Oshige McGowan* & James Lindgren write in the Northwestern School of Law Review:

I. INTRODUCTION

The stereotype of Asian Americans as a “Model Minority” appears frequently in the popular press and in public and scholarly debates about affirmative action, immigration, and education. The model minority stereotype

may be summarized as the belief that “Asian Americans, through their hard work, intelligence, and emphasis on education and achievement, have been successful in American society.”1 As critiqued in the scholarly literature,

however, this positive image of Asian Americans as a model minority conceals a more sinister core of beliefs about Asian Americans and other racial minorities in America: a view of Asian Americans as foreign and

unpatriotic; a belief that there is little racial discrimination in America; a feeling that racial minorities have themselves to blame for persistent poverty and lags in educational and professional attainment; a hostility to foreigners, immigrants, and immigration; and a hostility to government programs to increase opportunities for Asian Americans and other ethnic minorities.2  http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/v100/n1/331/lr100n1lindgren-mcgowan.pdf

The use of the term  “model minority” evolves over time.

Dr. Terence Fitzgerald writes in the Racism Review article, Divide and Conquer: The New Model Minority:

The fix is in, as they say. The announcement has been made. The ideological royal guard of racial stratification is standing at attention. There is a change of the guard in terms of the covenant title, (insert the sound of trumpets please), “Model Minority.” Previously I was swayed by the weight of a 2008 Journal of African American Studies article, “Race, Gender and Progress: Are Black American Women the New Model Minority?” by Amadu Jacky Kaba. This scholar asserts that Black females, despite the effects of slavery, gender discrimination, and racial oppression were slowly becoming the new model minority. Black females were described as replacing Eastern and Southern Asians upon the white pedestal for other minority groups to be in awe of.

Many do not know the term “model minority” was coined by sociologist William Peterson in a 1966 New York Times magazine essay entitled, “Success Story: Japanese American Style.” The piece made the argument that despite their experiences with historical marginalization, Asian Americans have attained “success” (whatever that means in this country), due to strong families, respect for education, and work ethic. In later years the media provided an array of articles and coverage that exhibited this point. In essence they were all nationally and internationally stressing the strength of the poignant question—“Why can’t Blacks get their act together?” The term by many is viewed as both racist and divisive. It was created by the White elite to serve as a way to downplay the effects of racism on Blacks while publicly blaming Blacks, the victim, for their own political, economic, and social status.

In my research, I have seen the trends of Black female graduation (high school, bachelors, and advanced degrees) increase while Black males have dropped. I have noticed the increase of Black females attaining corporate, medical, and legal jobs. I have also noticed the declining number of Black males entering the educational programs needed to attain these positions. I have seen the young Black male faces entering into a prison system that is plastered wall to wall with their image. The health and suicide rates fare no better. When taking this into account, I was not so sure the predicted change of guard would occur.

This was not until I became aware of the emerging research by Dudley Poston at Texas A&M, that points to China, which replaces Mexico (Mexican immigrants) as the new U.S. source for low wage workers coming to the US. He goes on to assert that the sentiment, legal maneuvers, and overall disdain targeting Mexican workers we have witnessed in the past few years will possibly be refocused on the replacing low-wage Asian worker. Due to this I feel that the outlook on Asians as the supposed “model” will cease to exist. They too will be blamed for the same issues Mexican workers are blamed for today. This will give way to a new champ to be elected in order to continue the divide between people of color, and at the same time sustaining the existing racist oppressive conditions that keep Blacks and Latinos down. http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2011/10/17/divide-and-conquer-the-new-model-minority/

There is no such thing as a “model minority” and getting rid of this myth will allow educators to focus on the needs of the individual student. Calling ethnic groups “minorities” is really a misnomer. According to Frank Bass’ Bloomberg article, Nonwhite U.S. Births Become the Majority for First Time:

Minority babies outnumbered white newborns in 2011 for the first time in U.S. history, the latest milestone in a demographic shift that’s transforming the nation.

The percentage of nonwhite newborns rose to 50.4 percent of children younger than a year old from April 2010 to July 2011, while non-Hispanic whites fell to 49.6 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau said today. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-17/non-white-u-s-births-become-the-majority-for-first-time.html

If a racial identifier must be used, it is better to describe the cultural group or ethnic group with an appropriate term for that group.

The is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education, there is what works to produce academic achievement in each population of students.

Related:

The Creation—and Consequences—of the Model Minority Myth                                                                                       http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/07/model_minority_myth_interview.html

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Rural schools and the digital divide

21 Jun

In Rural schools, moi said:

A significant number of children attend rural schools. According to The Rural Assistance Center, the definition of a rural school is:

Question: What is the definition of a rural and/or small school?

Answer: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the definition of rural schools was revised in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology and the 2000 Office of Management and Budget definitions of metro areas that rely less on population size and county boundaries than proximity of an address to an urbanized area. Small schools do not necessarily mean rural, and rural does not mean small. A small school could be an urban school with a decreasing population. Rural schools can be large due to the center school concept where students are bused in to one school to save on costs. Some schools are considered small when compared to the mega-schools of several thousand that are common in some districts. A small school could be one designed to accommodate a specific population of students and their unique needs or a private school. Rural and/or small schools have similar needs and concerns.

According to The Condition of Education in Rural Schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1994), ‘few issues bedevil analysts and planners concerned with rural education more than the question of what actually constitutes “rural”.’ In the Federal Register published December 27, 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. These new standards replace and supersede the 1990 standards for defining Metropolitan Areas. OMB announced definitions of areas based on the new standards and Census 2000 data in June 2003. The lack of a clear, accepted definition of “rural” has impeded research in the field of rural education. When defining the term rural, population and remoteness are important considerations as these factors influence school organization, availability of resources, and economic and social conditions.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the definition of “small rural schools” are those schools eligible to participate in the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program. SRSA includes districts with average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students, or districts in which all schools are located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile, AND all schools served by the districts are located in a rural area with a school locale code of 7 or 8.

http://www.raconline.org/topics/schools/schoolsfaq.php

Rural schools face unique challenges.                                                     https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/rural-schools/

Sarah Butrymowicz  of the Hechinger Report writes about the digital divide, one of the challenges faced by rural schools.

In Rural Schools In America Fight To Bridge Digital Divide, Butrymowicz writes in the Huffington Post:

Rural schools have long been leaders in distance-learning and online education—to offer a full slate of courses to their students, they’ve had to be. In fact, Edison has a fully online school that enrolls about 100 other students in the district. But when it comes to technology inside traditional classrooms, the small sizes—and budgets—of rural schools present unique hurdles.

Some states, fearing a divide between rural and urban communities, have developed statewide initiatives to provide technology to rural schools. Maine, for instance, gives every student a laptop, and Alabama requires all school districts to offer Advanced Placement courses through distance-learning technology, where students video-conference with teachers.

But in many places, the onus is on the already-strained staff of the schools to acquire and then use things like computers and iPads, leading to pockets of innovation, like that in Edison. Although it leaves a line in its budget for technology upkeep, Edison has supplemented its tech experimentation with a $10,000 grant from the Denver-based Morgridge Family Foundation.

For schools facing shrinking budgets and consolidation, technology could be rural schools’ saving grace, said Bob Wise, a former governor of West Virginia who now serves as president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., that has studied the challenges facing rural schools. “We’re encouraging every district to develop a systematic strategy for employing technology,” he said. “My guess is you will see a number of rural schools actually saved and renewed as learning centers.”

Rural America lags behind the rest of the country in Internet usage, making rural schools an important center of connectivity in the communities. In 2010, for instance, 57 percent of rural households had broadband Internet access, compared to 72 percent in urban areas, according to a November 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-in-america-_n_1617167.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

The Rural Assistance Center has some great information about technology in rural areas.

In Technology Frequently Asked Questions, The Rural Assistance Center discusses technology issues:

Frequently Asked Questions


Question: What are current issues related to technology in rural communities?

Answer: Lack of access to high-speed Internet connections presents a challenge to the economic development of rural communities. It also hinders the provision of enhanced educational content for K-12 education and adult learning. In addition, although many rural residents have Internet access at work, at school, via public libraries or community centers, home access is still somewhat limited. Cost is the primary reason for slower deployment. Internet providers, cable television companies and access providers may hesitate to expand costly infrastructure and operations in sparsely populated areas because lower population density results in less usage and lowered profits. In addition, fewer rural residents may be able to afford the cost of owning and using personal computers, and as young people migrate out of rural communities, an additional challenge facing rural providers is engaging older residents.

While Internet technology can be accessed anywhere there are phone lines, the cost of doing so for many rural residents may be unaffordable. A lack of competition among providers in rural communities may keep access costs high. Higher fees result from long-distance rates charged by phone companies serving rural areas.

Degree of access is also an important issue in rural communities. The quality of local phone lines, availability of alternative media such as wireless devices, and the level of high-speed broadband technology each influences Internet access. Furthermore, slower investment of local banks and other economic development groups poses a challenge. Broadband provides users with instant access, and enables them to download and upload information and software at a much faster speed. It also allows people to make telephone calls while online, eliminating the need for a second phone line. While some state departments of economic development are effectively addressing this issue, others have yet to do so.http://www.raconline.org/topics/technology/technologyfaq.php

All children have a right to a good basic education

Related:

Schools Must Bridge the Digital Divide                                          http://www.abpc21.org/digitaldivide.html

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Complete College America report: The failure of remediation

21 Jun

In Remedial education in college, moi said:

Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready?

The Big Four

A comprehensive college preparation program must address four distinct dimensions of college readiness: cognitive strategies, content knowledge, self-management skills, and knowledge about postsecondary education.

Key Cognitive Strategies

Colleges expect their students to think about what they learn. Students entering college are more likely to succeed if they can formulate, investigate, and propose solutions to nonroutine problems; understand and analyze conflicting explanations of phenomena or events; evaluate the credibility and utility of source material and then integrate sources into a paper or project appropriately; think analytically and logically, comparing and contrasting differing philosophies, methods, and positions to understand an issue or concept; and exercise precision and accuracy as they apply their methods and develop their products.

Key Content Knowledge

Several independently conducted research and development efforts help us identify the key knowledge and skills students should master to take full advantage of college. Standards for Success (Conley, 2003) systematically polled university faculty members and analyzed their course documents to determine what these teachers expected of students in entry-level courses. The American Diploma Project (2004) consulted representatives of the business community and postsecondary faculty to define standards in math and English. More recently, both ACT (2008) and the College Board (2006) have released college readiness standards in English and math. Finally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2008), under mandate of state law, developed one of the first and most comprehensive sets of state-level college readiness standards….

Key Self-Management Skills

In college, students must keep track of massive amounts of information and organize themselves to meet competing deadlines and priorities. They must plan their time carefully to complete these tasks. They must be able to study independently and in informal and formal study groups. They must know when to seek help from academic support services and when to cut their losses and drop a course. These tasks require self-management, a skill that individuals must develop over time, with considerable practice and trial-and-error.

Key Knowledge About Postsecondary Education

Choosing a college, applying, securing financial aid, and then adjusting to college life require a tremendous amount of specialized knowledge. This knowledge includes matching personal interests with college majors and programs; understanding federal and individual college financial aid programs and how and when to complete appropriate forms; registering for, preparing for, and taking required admissions exams; applying to college on time and submitting all necessary information; and, perhaps most important, understanding how the culture of college is different from that of high school….

Students who would be the first in their family to attend college, students from immigrant families, students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups traditionally underrepresented in college, and students from low-income families are much more easily thrown off the path to college if they have deficiencies in any of the four dimensions. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspx

The difficult question is whether current testing accurately measures whether students are prepared for college.

Jon Marcus for the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit based at Teachers College, Columbia University that produces in-depth education journalism writes a guest post for the Washington Post, Many students could skip remedial classes, studies find.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/many-students-could-skip-remedial-classes-studies-find/2012/02/28/gIQA5p5rgR_blog.html

Tamar Lewin of the New York Times also reports on the studies in, Colleges Misassign Many to Remedial Classes, Studies Find. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/education/colleges-misassign-many-to-remedial-classes-studies-find.html?emc=eta1

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/remedial-education-in-college/

Complete College America has completed the report, Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere which examines college remediation programs.

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, College Preparedness Lacking, Forcing Students Into Developmental Coursework, Prompting Some To Drop Out:

High school graduates may be attending college in record numbers, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily ready for higher education.

According to Complete College America — a Washington-based nonprofit aimed at increasing college completion — four in 10 high school graduates are required to take remedial courses when they start college. According to Cincinnati.com, two-thirds of those students attending four-year colleges in Ohio and Kentucky fail to earn their degrees within six years — a number that is on par with national statistics.

College completion rates are even lower at two-year and community colleges. In Ohio and Kentucky, only 6.4 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, of remedial students earn an associate’s degree in three years. The rest either require more than three years, or withdraw.

Researchers say that remedial numbers have increased from nearly one-third of incoming college freshmen in 2001, to about 40 percent currently. The most common remedial — otherwise known as “developmental” — classes are math, English and writing, and many students are unaware that they need theses courses until they start planning their schedules and colleges decide who is required to take placement tests.

About 1.7 million students nationwide take remedial classes — a cost of $3 billion a year, since developmental courses often cost as much as regular college courses.

Experts also say that remedial coursework makes taxpayers pay twice — once for students to learn in high school, and again in college.

It’s not efficient to be using those higher education dollars for remedial coursework,” Kim Norris, spokeswoman for the Ohio Board of Regents, told Cincinnati.com. “It’s not only more difficult andmore expensive, it can cause students to not complete.”

The ACT indicates only about a third of high school students are college-ready, yet around two-thirds of them are college-bound every year. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/students-lacking-college-_n_1606201.html?utm_hp_ref=education

Here are the recommendations from the report, Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere:

Students should be college-ready upon graduating high school. However, colleges and universities

have a responsibility to fix the broken remedial system that stops so many from succeeding.

Adopt and implement the new Common Core State Standards in reading, writing, and math. These voluntary standards, currently supported by more than 40 states, offer multiple opportunities for

states and sectors to work together to:

Align high school curriculum to first-year college courses;

Develop bridge courses; and

Create support programs to help students make a smooth transition to college.

Align requirements for entry-level college courses with requirements for high school diplomas. Academic requirements for a high school diploma should be the floor for entry into postsecondary education.

K–12 and higher education course-taking requirements should be aligned. Provide 12th grade courses designed to prepare students for college level math and English.

Administer college-ready anchor assessments in high school.

These tests give students, teachers, and parents a clear understanding about whether a student is on track for college. Giving these assessments as early as 10th grade enables juniors and seniors to address academic deficiencies before college.

Use these on-track assessments to develop targeted interventions.

K–12 systems and local community colleges or universities can develop programs that guarantee that successful students are truly college ready and exempt from remedial education as freshmen.

Use multiple measures of student readiness for college.

Recognize that current college placement assessments are not predictive and should be supplemented with high school transcripts to make recommendations for appropriate first year courses.

Have all students taking placement exams receive a testing guide and practice test and time to brush up on their skills before testing.ne this: Some states are ensuring that more

Citation:

2012 Remediation Report

Download:

K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Resources:

States Push Remedial Education to Community Colleges http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2012/01/13/states-push-remedial-education-to-community-colleges

What are ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks?                     http://www.nc4ea.org/files/act_college_readiness_benchmarks-01-14-11.pdf

Related:

College Board’s ‘Big Future’: Helping low-income kids apply to college                                                                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/college-boards-big-future-helping-low-income-kids-apply-to-college/

Are college students stuck on stupid?                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/are-college-students-stuck-on-stupid/

Producing employable liberal arts grads                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/producing-employable-liberal-arts-grads/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students

19 Jun

In Talking to your teen about risky behaviors, moi said:

There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. What people can do is learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Sharon Jayson writes in the USA Today article, More children born to unmarried parents:

A growing number of firstborns in the USA have unmarried parents, reflecting dramatic increases since 2002 in births to cohabiting women, according to government figures out today.

The percentage of first births to women living with a male partner jumped from 12% in 2002 to 22% in 2006-10 — an 83% increase. The percentage of cohabiting new fathers rose from 18% to 25%. The analysis, by the National Center for Health Statistics, is based on data collected from 2006 to 2010….

The percentage of first births to cohabiting women tripled from 9% in 1985 to 27% for births from 2003 to 2010.

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, who studies cohabitation and fertility, says she thinks the big jump since 2002 is likely because of the recession, which was at its height from late 2007 to 2009, right in the middle of the federal data collection.

I think it’s economic shock,” she says. “Marriage is an achievement that you enter into when you’re ready. But in the meantime, life happens. You form relationships. You have sex. You get pregnant. In a perfect world, they would prefer to be married, but where the economy is now, they’re not going to be able to get married, and they don’t want to wait to have kids.”

Also, middle class parents may think more about how much kids cost, but “having kids is much more than about money. It’s about love,” Guzzo says. “You can be a good parent if you don’t have a lot of money. You can be with someone who can be a good parent.”

Sociologist Kelly Musick of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., who studies cohabiting couples with children, says she’s noticed women with more education starting to have children outside of marriage. She says cohabiting used to be more common among women who didn’t graduate from high school but it’s becoming more common for those with a high school degree or some college….

The government report also found racial and ethnic differences.

About 80% of first children born to black women were outside of marriage; 18% of these women were cohabiting. Among Hispanics, 53% of first children were born outside of marriage, and 30% of the women were cohabiting. Among white women, 34% of first children were born outside of marriage, 20% to cohabiters. Among Asians, 13% of first children were born outside of marriage; 7% of women were cohabiting.

The new data also found no significant changes since 2002 in some other areas:

Average age at first birth (23 for women and 25 for men).

Percentage that had a biological child (56% of women and 45% of men).

Average number of children (1.3 births for women and 0.9 for men).

This rise in first births to cohabiting women parallels increases in first births to unmarried women overall. Of first births from 2006-10, 46% were to unmarried mothers, compared with 38% in 2002.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/story/2012-04-10/CDC-marriage-cohabitation-children/54186600/1#.T4Z8NWHELEQ.email

This is a demographic disaster for children as devastating as the hurricane “Katrina.”

One way to promote healthier lifestyles for children is to keep their parents in school so that they can complete their education. One overlooked aspect of Title IX is the mandate that pregnant teens have access to education.

The National Women’s Law Center has information about Title IX and pregnancy:

Pregnant & Parenting Students

Teen parents face enormous barriers to success in school.  We’re working to ensure that Title IX’s  mandate of equal treatment for pregnant and parenting students is enforced and to encourage schools to help them graduate ready for college and careers. Title IX is the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal funding. Every pregnant and parenting student should know that Title IX regulations require that pregnant and parenting students have equal access to schools and activities, that all separate programs for pregnant or parenting students must be completely voluntary, and that schools must excuse absences that due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as is deemed medically necessary by the students physician.

Resources for Students, Parents, & Educators

Recent Cases & Legislation

Highlights

Webinars & Presentations | Ask the Experts: Pregnancy-Based Harassment in Schools

March 9, 2012

The National Women’s Law Center’s “Ask the Experts” series was launched in February 2012 to help people like YOU get answers about issues that matter to you.

This edition answers the following question: “After I became pregnant, people at my school started harassing me and calling me names like ‘slut’ and ‘whore.’ Is there something I can do to stop this?”

Watch below to see an NWLC expert answer.  For more information on the rights of pregnant and parenting students, click here.

Read more…

Webinars & Presentations | Ask the Experts: Title IX and Pregnant and Parenting Students

March 9, 2012

The National Women’s Law Center’s “Ask the Experts” series was launched in February 2012 to help people like YOU get answers about issues that matter to you.

This edition answers the following question: “I’m a pregnant student. Can my school force me to attend an alternative school or program?”

Read more…

Fact Sheet | Pregnancy Harassment Is Sexual Harassment: FAQs About Title IX and Pregnancy Harassment

January 17, 2012

This fact sheet answers common questions about sexual harassment and pregnancy.  Harassment because of pregnancy, any related medical conditions, or recovery therefrom, is always sex discrimination.  If you’re experiencing harassment because you’re pregnant or have been pregnant, Title IX can protect you.  Title IX prohibits other types of pregnancy discrimination too (such as not excusing pregnancy-related absences).

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Fact Sheet | Fact Sheet: Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act

August 5, 2011

Teen parents face enormous barriers to success in school. The Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act (PPSAE) provides states and school districts with the necessary framework and resources to support pregnant and parenting students and ensure that they have equal access to educational opportunities.  This fact sheet outlines key provisions of the bill and provides background information on pregnant and parenting students in the U.S. 

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More Resources

Fact Sheet | Pregnant and Parenting Students’ Rights

June 14, 2012

If you are a pregnant or parenting student, you should know that under Title IX, you have a right to stay in school so you can meet your education and career goals. This fact sheet outlines students’ rights in key areas including school absences, activities and make-up work.

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Students must complete their education.

Related:

1.   A Title IX Perspective on the Schools – RAND Corporation

www.rand.org/pubs/reports/2008/R2767.pdf

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
by GL Zellman
http://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/2008/R2767.pdf

2. Martinez G, Copen CE, Abma JC. Teenagers in the United States: Sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 23(31). 2011.
Library of Congress Catalog Number 306.70835’ 09073090511—dc22
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents Mail Stop: SSOP Washington, DC 20402–9328 Printed on acid-free paper.

Results
In 2006–2010, about 43% of never-married female teenagers (4.4 million), and about 42% of never-married male teenagers (4.5 million) had had sexual intercourse at least once. These levels of sexual experience have not changed significantly from 2002. Seventy-eight percent of females and 85% of males used a method of contraception at first sex according to 2006–2010 data, with the condom remaining the most popular method. Teenagers’ contraceptive use has changed little since 2002, with a few exceptions: there was an increase among males in the use of condoms alone and in the use of a condom combined with a partner’s hormonal contraceptive; and there was a significant increase in the percentage of female teenagers who used hormonal methods other than a birth-control pill, such as injectables and the contraceptive patch, at first sex. Six percent of female teenagers used a nonpill hormonal method at first sex.

3. Teen Pregnancy Rate Lowest in Two Decades

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/05/teen-pregnancy-rate-lowest-in-two-decades/
Teen pregnancy rate lowest in two decades

Shows like “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” have helped make teen pregnancy a topic of national conversation. However, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the actual rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S. has declined to a record low.

In 2009, around 410,000 teenage girls, ages 15 to 19, gave birth in the United States. That’s a 37 percent decrease from the teen birth rate in1991. Then, 61.8 births per every 1,000 females was a teen pregnancy. The rate has now dropped to 39.1 births per 1,000 women. Yet according to the United Nations, the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States is nearly nine times higher than in the majority of other developed nations.

In a press release attached to the new Vital Signs report, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the CDC, wrote that despite the steady reduction in teen pregnancies over the last two decades, “still far too many teens are having babies.”

“Preventing teen pregnancy can protect the health and quality of life of teenagers, their children, and their families throughout the United States.”

The Vital Signs report looked at data from 1991 to 2009 and found that in addition to the steady decrease in the rate of teen pregnancies, there’s also been a decrease in the percentage of high school students even having sex. More teens are using contraception, too; the CDC says the percentage of students who had sexual intercourse in the past three months without using any type of contraception decreased from sixteen percent to 12 percent while the percentage of students using two forms of contraception (for example, a condom and birth control pills) increased from 5 to 9 percent.

Still, roughly 1,100 teenage women give birth every day. According to the CDC, that means one of every ten new mothers is a teenager. The majority are Hispanic or African-American, with respective birth rates nearly double that of white teenagers. Combined, all teen pregnancies cost taxpayers about $9 billion a year.

Post by: Caitlin Hagan – CNN Medical

See:

What parents need to know about ‘texting’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/what-parents-need-to-know-about-texting/

Children and swearing                                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/children-and-swearing/

Does what is worn in school matter? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/does-what-is-worn-in-school-matter/

Teen dating violence on the rise             https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/teen-dating-violence-on-the-rise/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’

19 Jun

In Children, body image, bullying, and eating disorders, moi said:

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Children Diet To Keep Off Pounds And Ward Off Bullying, Survey Says:

A recent survey of 1,500 of children between ages 7 and 18 revealed that young teens diet and worry about their weight.

About 44 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 13 say they’ve been bullied because of their weight, and more than 40 percent of kids younger than 10 admitted they were concerned about packing on the pounds, with nearly one-fourth reporting having been on a diet in the last year, according to the Press Association….

Last year, 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor resorted to plastic surgery to escape harassment and name-calling, particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook.

All my friends could see [my nose], all my new friends, and I didn’t want them saying things,” Taylor told Nightline about her decision to get a nose job. “Gossip goes around, and it really hurts.”

Other teens have felt suicide was their only way to escape daily scrutiny about their appearance or sexuality.

Although adolescents get picked on for a variety of reasons, weight is the top reason children are bullied at school, Yahoo! Shine reports.

And according to Rebecca Puhl, Director of Research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University, a new ad campaign in Georgia is only “perpetua[ting] negative stereotypes.”

The ads, which aim to curb childhood obesity rates, feature photos of overweight children accompanied by text, such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/children-diet-bullying_n_1186422.html?ref=email_share

It is situations like this which cause unhealthy eating habits and disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Web MD has some excellent information about anorexia. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/children-body-image-bullying-and-eating-disorders/

KING5 News reported the story,‘Thinspiration’ photo trend encouraging anorexia, bulimia http://www.king5.com/health/Thinspiration-encouraging-anorexia-bulimia–159510025.html Carolyn Gregoire wrote the Huffington Post article,THE HUNGER BLOGS: A Secret World Of Teenage ‘Thinspiration’:

“It’s a huge issue,” says Claire Mysko, an advisor to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), who has seen a large increase in the number of pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs since Tumblr exploded in popularity last year. “Young people who are prone to disordered eating are generally plagued with insecurity and feeling very isolated, so this world of pro-ana provides a community and a sense of belonging, and validates their experiences. But unfortunately, it does so in a way that promotes incredibly unhealthy and dangerous behavior.”

Search around on Tumblr, and you’ll find a variety of like-minded thinspo and “fitspo” blogs, absorbed with fashion photographs, food-diary entries, and quotes on willpower and beauty. Every word and image posted declares the user’s allegiance to an underweight ideal of beauty.

After launching in 2007, Tumblr has shown incredible growth — last year, the site generated roughly 15 billion pageviews and attracted 120 million unique visitors each month. What draws teens to Tumblr in the first place — the ease of sharing and finding bloggers with common interests, a parent-free environment (now that Facebook has become family friendly), and the diary-like feel of its blogs — also makes the site conducive to health and weight-loss blogs.

And where those blogs are prevalent, it’s likely that pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia pages that promote disordered eating will thrive, as well. The Tumblr platform is ideal for giving expression to both inspirational and aspirational content — their intimate and frequently anonymous nature make it comfortable for authors to post highly personal information alongside collages of fashion photographs, in an effort to inspire themselves and other girls who are desperate to shed pounds.

“Tumblr, unfortunately, is the perfect toxic expression of these [preoccupations],” says body-image expert Jess Weiner, author of A Very Hungry Girl and contributing editor for Seventeen Magazine.

Although thinspiration sites have been around nearly as long as the Internet itself — as far back as 2001, Yahoo! removed roughly 115 sites (pro-ana was the label used at that time) citing violations of the company’s terms of service — the depth and scope of Tumblr’s teen thinspo community seems unprecedented. Tumblr-based thinspo blogs are a sort of pro-ana 2.0, forgoing chat rooms and message boards in favor of eerily elegant images, sophisticated design, pop-culture references, private messaging, and street-style sensibility. The blogs are reflections of their creators. For millennial girls — uber-connected, style savvy, image-conscious, and concerned about uncertain economic futures — Tumblr offers an intimate, exclusive, and of-the-moment niche community of peers.

The pages are both personal memoirs and public bulletin boards. In one corner, you’ll see a “motivational” quote (“I came into 2012 fat but I’m going to leave it skinny,” which was ‘reblogged,’ or shared, more than 1,500 times), and in another, a photo of Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr strutting down the catwalk. Melancholy song lyrics once reserved for the private corners of dog-eared notebooks (“Come on skinny love, what happened here? Come on skinny love, just last the year,” from Bon Iver’s 2008 indie anthem), share the turmoil of the teenage years with thousands of followers.

The poster girl for thinspo bloggers is Cassie, the starry-eyed, anorexic pill-popper of the British teen television drama Skins, whose image pops up all over the thinspo blogosphere. The models most frequently featured are Karlie Kloss and Kate Moss. An iconic black-and-white photograph of Kate in an oversized T-shirt that reads “I Beat Obesity” is a recurring theme, perfectly capturing the ethos of the thinspo community. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/thinspiration-blogs_n_1264459.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Related:

Helping Girls With Body Image

New emphasis on obesity: Possible unintended consequences, eating disorders                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/new-emphasis-on-obesity-possible-unintended-consequences-eating-disorders/

“Thinspiration”: Social Media’s Dark Side http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/Thinspiration-Social-Medias-Dark-Side-152126335.html

Alarming trend: Kate and Pippa as ‘thinspiration’ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43755965/ns/today-today_health/t/alarming-trend-kate-pippa-thinspiration/#.T-CjLJFPm-Z

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Flipped classrooms are more difficult in poorer schools

18 Jun

In The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding, moi said:

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

I know that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

Sabra Bireda has a report from the Center for American Progress, Funding Education Equitably  Bireda’s findings are supported by a U.S. Department of Education (Education Department) report.

In the report, Comparability of State and Local Expenditures Among Schools Within Districts: A Report From the Study of School-Level Expenditures, the Education Department finds:

For the study, Education Department researchers analyzed new school-level spending and teacher salary data submitted by more than 13,000 school districts as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This school level expenditure data was made available for the first time ever in this data collection.

Using the data from the ARRA collection, Department staff analyzed the impact and feasibility of making this change to Title I comparability. That policy brief finds that:

  • Fixing the comparability provision is feasible. As many as 28 percent of Title I districts would be out of compliance with reformed comparability provisions. But compliance for those districts is not as costly as some might think—fixing it would cost only 1 percent to 4 percent of their total school-level expenditures on average.
  • Fixing the comparability provision would have a large impact. The benefit to low-spending Title I schools would be significant, as their expenditures would increase by 4 percent to 15 percent. And the low-spending schools that would benefit have much higher poverty rates than other schools in their districts.

Joy Resmovits discusses the report at Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/01/school-funding_n_1122298.html?1322748997&ref=education                                      Poorer schools have been subsidizing their more affluent counterparts.

Sarah Butrymowicz writes in the Hechinger Report article, ‘Flipped Classroom’ Model’s Promise Eludes Poorer School which was posted at Huffington Post:

When Portland, Ore., elementary school teacher Sacha Luria decided last fall to try out a new education strategy called “flipping the classroom,” she faced a big obstacle.

Flipped classrooms use technology—online video instruction, laptops, DVDs of lessons—to reverse what students have traditionally done in class and at home to learn. Listening to lectures becomes the homework assignment so teachers can provide more one-on-one attention in class and students can work at their own pace or with other students.

But Luria realized that none of her students had computers at home, and she had just one in the classroom. So she used her own money to buy a second computer and begged everyone she knew for donations, finally bringing the total to six for her 23 fourth-graders at Rigler School. In her classroom, students now alternate between working on the computers and working with her.

So far, the strategy is showing signs of success. She uses class time to tailor instruction to students who started the school year behind their classmates in reading and math, and she has seen rapid improvement. By the end of the school year, she said, her students have averaged two years’ worth of progress in math, for example.

“It’s powerful stuff,” she said, noting that this year was her most successful in a decade of teaching. “I’m really able to meet students where they are as opposed to where the curriculum says they should be.”

Other teachers in high-poverty schools like Rigler also report very strong results after flipping classrooms. Greg Green, principal of Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Mich., thinks the flipped classroom—and the unprecedented amount of one-on-one time it provides students—could even be enough to close the achievement gap between low-income, minority students and their more affluent white peers. Clintondale has reduced the percentage of Fs given out from about 40 percent to around 10 percent.

Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that flipping classrooms is a more popular practice in wealthier suburban communities where nearly all students have Internet access at home and schools are more likely to have computers in classrooms. Some skeptics say flipped classrooms still rely heavily on lectures by teachers, which they argue are not as effective as hands-on learning. Still others worry that the new practice—so dependent on technology—could end up leaving low-income students behind and widening the achievement gap.

“It’s an obstacle,” said Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology in the U.S. Department of Education. “We do need to figure out ways that students, regardless of Zip code, regardless of their parents’ income level, have access” to technology inside and outside of schools.          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/flipped-classroom-models-_n_1594279.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Flipped classrooms have proved useful in educating some children.

Valerie Strauss writes about The flip: Classwork at home, homework in class in the Washington Post

Q. What exactly is a flipped classroom?

In the simplest form, basically, it’s this: What’s normally done in class, the direct instruction piece, the lecture, is done now at home with videos. And in class, you, the teacher, help students as they do what they would normally do at home.

So it’s homework in school and lesson at home?

When you are stuck in the old model, kids would go home and do one of three things. If they didn’t understand what they were supposed to have learned in school, they gave up, called a friend or cheated. In the flipped classroom, the teacher is there to help with the instruction piece, the learning, while the lecture is done at home…

Are there subjects that are good to have a flipped class and subjects that aren’t?

We started it with the hard sciences, physics and math. It works for foreign language. But we’ve got some amazing teachers speaking at our conference who are English teachers. I always thought that would be harder, but they love it. I haven’t seen a whole lot of social studies and history, but there is a movement amongst them. There’s a guy in Dallas who is an economics teacher who flipped his class. One video the kids watched at home was about supply and demand. The next day in class he asked the students what topic they wanted to discuss. Someone said the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks had just won the NBA championship. He said, “Fine,” and started asking if there is supply and demand in the NBA.

Isn’t this a blended model of education? Part online, part face-to-face?

Yes, but it’s more than that. The benefits are huge. Kids learn to become independent….                     http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/the-flip-classwork-at-home-homework-in-class/2012/04/15/gIQA1AajJT_story.html

All children have a right to a good basic education.

Related:                                                                                                                                                                                             Book: Inequality in America affects education outcome                               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/book-inequality-in-america-affects-education-outcome/

Location, location, location: Brookings study of education disparity upon neighborhood                              https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/location-location-location-brookings-study-of-education-disparity-based-upon-neighborhood/

3rd world America: Money changes everything                                https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Are tax credits disguised vouchers?

17 Jun

Sean Cavanagh has an excellent Education Week article, Tax Credit Strategy Fuels Private School Choice Push:

Unlike traditional voucher programs, which award taxpayer money directly to students to attend private schools, tax-credit programs give individuals or corporations a break on their yearly bills if they contribute to organizations that award private school scholarships to students.

Backers of the programs say they give families, many of them impoverished, a broader range of school options. They also tout the programs’ financial benefits, predicting that states will save money, as sufficient numbers of students leave public schools to offset losses to state revenues from tax credits. In addition, supporters of the tax-credit models see them as more insulated from legal challenges than traditional voucher programs, which have been found to violate the constitutions of a number of states.

Yet the tax-credit models also have many detractors, who describe them as vouchers in disguise, and say that estimates of cost savings are speculative and likely exaggerated. Critics also say some states’ programs lack transparency, and include loopholes that can allow families and private schools to game the system, at a cost to taxpayers.

Despite those concerns, the programs continue to grow. Ten states have laws on the books allowing tax-credit scholarships, and at least 17 others have considered proposals to create them this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The interest is evident in states like North Carolina, where a bipartisan proposal would offer impoverished students private school scholarships of up to $4,000. The program would be funded with corporate tax credits, which would be capped at $40 million statewide initially, with room for growth later.

“Parents need more choices, because students’ needs are different, and one size does not fit all,” said state Rep. Paul Stam, the Republican majority leader of his chamber and a bill sponsor, in an interview. “Parents want it. It gives them the chance to choose the education that’s best for their child.”

Savings, or Expenses?

A number of states that have created or are considering tax-credit scholarship programs for private schools have relied on analyses saying the measures have, or will, save taxpayers money. The idea is that while the state loses revenue through the tax credit, it can save when students leave public schools to attend private schools. Those states also must consider whether participating students would have gone to private schools, anyway—in which case, the state would not save money on students’ leaving the public system.

A preliminary state analysis of pending legislation in North Carolina made projections for 2014-15, the third year of the program:

Money Flow

• Tax credits granted (loss to state): $54 million
• Reduced public school state spending, as a result of program: $47.1 million
• Net fiscal impact on state: $7.2 million
• Potential savings to school districts serving fewer students: $19.2 million
• Combined state/local impact: $12 million savings

Student Projections

• Average public school expenditure per child: $4,746
• Average scholarship award: $3,800
• Total scholarships available: 13,038
• Students who would have gone to private school, anyway, without the scholarship program: 3,206
• Students expected to transfer from public to private school because of the program: 9,926
• —Students who are “gaming the system,” or who enroll temporarily in public schools, just to qualify for a private scholarship: 86

Assumptions

33 percent of private school students and 52 percent of public school students meet the program’s income eligibility criteria, based on U.S. Census data

SOURCE: Fiscal Research Division, North Carolina General Assembly

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/06/13/35taxcredits.h31.html?tkn=YSZFhU5IyODpJExmTgs%2FMF3B7DwR5jA7mzlz&intc=es

Barbara Miner has an excellent article in Rethinking Schools.

In Keeping Public Schools Public, Miner writes:

The term tuition tax credits is popularly used to refer to various tax-based programs that funnel money to private schools. There are two main approaches: tuition tax credits and tuition tax deductions.

Under tax credits, an income tax bill is directly reduced. If you owe $4,000 in taxes for the year and you are eligible for a $500 tuition tax credit, you only have to pay $3,500 in taxes. In essence, the government has given you a gift of $500 to offset your private school tuition.

A tax deduction reduces the taxable income used to calculate how much you owe in taxes. Let’s say your taxable income is $50,000 but you are eligible for a state’s $1,000 tuition tax deduction. You would then pay taxes based on a taxable income of $49,000.

Fundamentally, tuition tax credits are a way to use public policy to increase the money going to private schools and to relieve the financial burden on middle- and upper-income families with children already in private schools. “Tuition tax credits are an offshoot of the voucher concept,” notes Marc Egan, director of the Voucher Strategy Center for the National School Boards Association. “They are an attempt to drain critical dollars from public schools. While vouchers are a direct drain, tuition tax credits do the same, but through the tax code.”

Even privatization supporters note the inherent link between vouchers and tuition tax credits. As Andy LeFevre, head of the education task force of the ultraconservative American Legislative Exchange Council puts it, with tuition tax credits “the end goal is the same as the voucher; it’s just a different way to come about it.”

While the major supporters of tuition tax credits have historically been the Catholic Church and other religious institutions, the rhetoric has shifted in recent years to tax credits as a vehicle of “choice” and “marketplacebased competition.” In this reincarnation, tax credits are promoted as education reform. And, taking a page from the voucher movement, supporters have found it’s easier to pass tuition tax schemes if they are clothed in the mantle of helping poor kids.

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/special_reports/voucher_report/v_tax172.shtml

See:  Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools                       http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/education/scholarship-funds-meant-for-needy-benefit-private-schools.html?pagewanted=all

School Choices has information about School Vouchers

Issues and Arguments

     School vouchers, also known as scholarships, redirect the flow of education funding, channeling it directly to individual families rather than to school districts. This allows families to select the public or private schools of their choice and have all or part of the tuition paid. Scholarships are advocated on the grounds that parental choice and competition between public and private schools will improve education for all children. Vouchers can be funded and administered by the government, by private organizations, or by some combination of both.
This page brings together some of the most important sources of evidence on the outcomes of existing scholarship programs. It includes studies of both privately- and publicly-funded programs, as well as the results of a key court case. (A more comprehensive discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of both private and government-funded scholarships can be found in the book
Market Education: The Unknown History.)

     Government-run voucher programs are very controversial, and they have been criticized from two very different angles. The first body of criticism alleges that competitive markets are not well suited to the field of education, and that any school reform based on privatization, competition, and parental choice is doomed to failure. A summary of these arguments, with responses, can be found by clicking here.
The second body of criticism states that government-funded scholarships would not create a genuinely free educational market, but instead would perpetuate dependence on government funding and regulation to the continued detriment of families. These arguments, along with responses are described here.

Charter schools and vouchers are possible options in the theory of “school choice.”

Andrew Rotherham has an excellent article in Time, The 5 Biggest Myths About School Vouchers 

1. Vouchers skim the best students from public schools. Although many voucher proponents want universal vouchers, today, the programs are targeted to specific populations, for instance low-income students or students with disabilities. So while vouchers don’t generally serve the absolute poorest of the poor, they do not skim off the most affluent or easiest-to-educate students either….

2. Students who receive vouchers do better academically than their public school peers. That depends on the measure. Overall the test scores of students who use vouchers are largely indistinguishable from students who stay behind in public schools. On the other hand, parent satisfaction is generally greater among parents whose children received vouchers. And while it’s too soon to tell for sure, there is some evidence that other outcomes, for instance graduation rates, may be better for students who receive vouchers. ….

3. Vouchers drain money from the public schools. It seems obvious that taking money from the public schools and sending it to private schools would leave public schools with less money. But in the through the looking glass world of school finance, things rarely are what they seem. In Milwaukee for instance, Robert Costrell of the School Choice Demonstration Project analyzed the financial outcomes of the voucher program and found that it is saving money in Wisconsin. And, in Washington, D.C. there was an infusion of federal funds into the city’s public schools in exchange for the passage of the voucher program.

4. Vouchers make all schools get better because they have to compete for students. It seems logical to assume that forcing schools to vie for students will improve quality. But schools are not economic entities like a store and respond differently to competition — for instance by going to court or to lobby state legislators. There have been vouchers for years in Cleveland and Milwaukee yet the schools there are still generally poor quality. In Washington almost a third of the city’s students were using various choice options (mostly charter schools) before the public schools began to make real changes. But, we’re still learning. Researchers at the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research have found evidence that competition improved schools in Florida.

5. Private, parochial, or even public charter schools are better than regular public schools. Parents should worry a lot less about the legal status of a particular school than whether it’s the right school for their child. A good fit depends on a host of factors including a strong academic program, successful outcomes, a clear curriculum, areas of emphasis like arts or technology, and even lifestyle factors such as limiting time spent in transit or a year-round schedule. Just because a school is private doesn’t mean it is better overall or better for your child and even in places where the public schools are struggling overall there are often hidden gems. ….

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important. Moi does not have the dread of a well-defined voucher program targeted at at-risk children. The tax credit program is entirely a horse of a different color and should be discouraged.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©