Facebook’s Business Model Threatens Everyone – Especially Student Users

BOULDER, CO (April 6, 2018) - In yesterday’s Washington Post Answer Sheet, Alex Molnar and Faith Boninger, Co-Directors of NEPC’s Commercialism in Education Unit, explored the invasive data mining and third-party targeting of users that is inherent in Facebook’s business model and that led NEPC to delete its Facebook account and remove Facebook from the NEPC website. 

National Education Policy Center Deletes Its Facebook Account and Calls for Strict Data Protections Plus Public Regulation and Oversight of Digital Platforms

BOULDER, CO (March 27, 2018) - The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) will delete its Facebook account on Wednesday March 28. We have already removed social sharing via Facebook from the NEPC website and our other communication tools.

National Education Policy Center Deletes Its Facebook Account and Calls for Strict Data Protections Plus Public Regulation and Oversight of Digital Platforms

Key Takeaway: Facebook’s benefits are overwhelmed by problems inherent in its business model, its failure to safeguard personal information, and its lack of transparency and accountability. 

Find Documents:

Press Release: http://nepc.info/node/9115

Report Offers a Narrow, Conflict-Based View of District Leadership

BOULDER, CO (March 6, 2018) – Unlocking Potential: How Political Skill Can Maximize Superintendent Effectiveness, published by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, focuses on the political power of the position of school superintendent and how that power can and should be harnessed.

William J. Mathis of the University of Colorado Boulder reviewed the report and found it to be lacking in substance due to the absence of a knowledge base in the research literature and a lack of experience.

NEPC Review: Unlocking Potential: How Political Skill Can Maximize Superintendent Effectiveness (Center on Reinventing Public Education, January 2018)

Reviewed_Report_Title
Unlocking Potential: How Political Skill Can Maximize Superintendent Effectiveness
Think Tank Name
Center on Reinventing Public Education
Think Tank Name
Center on Reinventing Public Education

This report offers political advice to school superintendents. The authors draw solely on a collection of anecdotes from superintendents of large urban districts to offer a narrative replete with maxims, aphorisms, and pithy advice. Superintending is, in their view, a continuous string of almost unavoidable conflicts, so the reader is led through internal groups (central office, school board, unions, teachers and principals) and external groups (foundations, businesses and state politicians) and advised on how to cultivate support and deal with opponents.

NEPC Review: Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Final Report on Implementation and Impact of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years (Institute of Education Sciences, December 2017)

Reviewed_Report_Title
Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Final Report on Implementation and Impact of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years (Institute of Education Sciences, December 2017)
Think Tank Name
Institute of Education Sciences

This review examines a report evaluating four years of implementation of the 2010 Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) to determine whether pay-for-performance (PFP) bonuses to teachers and principals improve student achievement. The report notes that the goal of PFP is to motivate improved educator performance and to attract and retain more effective teachers, thereby increasing student achievement.

Flawed and Misleading Findings Mar Report on Pay-for-Performance Incentives

BOULDER, CO (February 27, 2018) – Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Final Report on Implementation and Impact of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years, published by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), evaluates four years of implementation of the Teacher Incentive Fund grant recipients in 2010, to determine whether pay-for-performance (PFP) bonuses to teachers and principals improve student achievement.

NEPC Review: The Academic and Behavioral Consequences of Discipline Policy Reform: Evidence from Philadelphia (Fordham Institute, December 2017)

Reviewed_Report_Title
The Academic and Behavioral Consequences of Discipline Policy Reform: Evidence from Philadelphia
Think Tank Name
Fordham Institute

A report from the Fordham Institute investigated the impact of a reform in the School District of Philadelphia that eliminated suspensions for certain low-level misbehaviors. The report considered whether the policy change was associated with any of the following: (a) district-wide out-of-school suspension rates, (b) academic and behavioral outcomes for students (looking separately at students who had a record of prior suspensions and those with no prior suspensions), and (c) racial disparities in suspensions.

NEPC Review: Balancing Act: Schools, Neighborhoods, and Racial Imbalance (Brookings Institution, November 2017)

Reviewed_Report_Title
Balancing Act: Schools, Neighborhoods, and Racial Imbalance
Think Tank Name
Brookings Institution

Balancing Act explores the racial imbalance of schools and neighborhoods across the nation, finding that the racial composition of schools often reflects the surrounding neighborhoods. It suggests that racially concentrated schools are the result of residential segregation and how school district boundaries are drawn to separate populations. The authors also posit that charter schools, which are freed from the constraints of traditional boundaries, can interrupt the school-housing relationship.

Report about Segregation Falls Short in Tackling Complicated Relationship Between Schools and Housing

BOULDER, CO (February 8, 2018) – Balancing Act: Schools, Neighborhoods, and Racial Imbalance, published by the Brookings Institution, takes up the important task of considering school and residential segregation by exploring the racial makeup of schools compared to their proximate neighborhoods.

Policy Brief Explores SES Measures Used by Researchers and Policymakers

BOULDER, CO (January 30, 2018) – Measures of socioeconomic status (SES) are widely used in educational research and policy applications, in large part due to overwhelming evidence linking SES to student achievement. SES is usually conceptualized as an unobservable factor—a construct—measured using variables such as parental education, occupation, income/wealth, and home possessions to take into account disparities between students, classrooms, and schools.

Don't Expect Too Much: The Limited Usefulness of Common SES Measures and a Prescription for Change

Measures of socioeconomic status (SES) are widely used in educational research and policy applications, in large part due to overwhelming evidence linking SES to student achievement. SES is usually conceptualized as an unobservable factor—a construct—measured using variables such as parental education, occupation, income/wealth, and home possessions to take into account disparities between students, classrooms, and schools.

Karma is a…Possibility, Explains New Policy Memo

BOULDER, CO (January 24, 2018) – When Republicans in Congress pieced together the new tax law, they included a particularly partisan element, placing a disproportionate tax burden on taxpayers in so-called Blue states—those that voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election. The provision caps the federal deduction for the payment of state and local taxes (called “SALT”) at $10,000, and the 10 states with the most SALT deductions all supported Clinton.

How Voucher Advocates Created a Blue-State Loophole to Trump’s Tax Law

In this policy memo, Kevin Welner explains how voucher advocates inadvertently paved the way for Democrats' plan to skirt a punitive element of the tax law passed by Congress in December 2018.  Republican voucher advocates developed, spread, and defended the legality of a system of dollar-for-dollar tax credits for donations to private voucher-granting organizations as a way to evade prohibitions in state constitutions against spending public state money on religious schools.

Brief Examines the Research on Education Savings Accounts, the Latest Form of Private-School Vouchers

BOULDER, CO (January 23, 2018) – Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are a new form of government subsidy for private education, and they are arguably the most strongly promoted approach by voucher advocates. Parents are provided a set sum, often in the form of a debit account, which they can use for a variety of educational services including private school tuition and fees, online courses, extracurricular activities and private tutoring. Students enrolled in an ESA program are not allowed to concurrently attend a public school.

The State of Education Savings Account Programs in the United States

Arguably the most strongly promoted approach by voucher advocates is a new form of government subsidy for private education, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Parents are provided a set sum which they can use for a variety of educational services including private school tuition and fees, online courses, extracurricular activities and private tutoring. Students enrolled in an ESA program are not allowed to concurrently attend a public school.

Eight Public High Schools Earn Top Honors, Recognized as National Schools of Opportunity

BOULDER, CO (January 22, 2018) — One high school increased the number of students of color taking its AP and college-level courses sixfold in just a year. In another high school, where half of the student population is homeless or involved in the Child Welfare system, strong supports helped its students match New York City’s graduation rate. Yet another high school engages students in rich, college preparatory coursework in an unusual location—a working farm within the Chicago city limits.

Eight Public High Schools Earn Top Honors, Recognized as National Schools of Opportunity

Key Takeaway: Schools of Opportunity have created rich and equitable learning experiences for all of their students.

Find Documents:
Press Release
: http://nepc.info/node/9013

Contact:
Kevin Welner
: (303) 492-8370, kevin.welner@colorado.edu
Adam York: (303) 735-5290, adam.j.york@colorado.edu

NEPC Review: When Degree Programs for Pre-K Teachers Go Online: Challenges and Opportunities (New America Foundation, November 2017)

Reviewed_Report_Title
When Degree Programs for Pre-K Teachers Go Online: Challenges and Opportunities
Think Tank Name
New America Foundation

A report from New America argues that online programs, appropriately structured, have the potential to professionalize many early childhood (EC) teachers. The report contends that online bachelor’s programs offer more flexible and financially accessible pathways for pre-K teachers to obtain a degree, thereby propelling these teachers towards higher quality practice and higher salaries.

Report Underplays Critical Issues in Professionalizing Early Childhood Teachers

BOULDER, CO (January 18, 2018) – When Degree Programs for Pre-K Teachers Go Online: Challenges and Opportunities, written by Shayna Cook and published by New America Foundation, argues that appropriately structured online degree programs have the potential to professionalize and increase the quality of early childhood (EC) teachers.

Review Pans Graphics-Laden Brief on Design of State School Finance Systems

BOULDER, CO (January 9, 2018) – Student-Centered State Funding: A How-to Guide for State Policymakers, published by the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), attempts to describe a school funding approach to state policymakers. Specifically, it purports to explain how to design a state school funding system whereby all state and local dollars may flow freely, by parental choice, following children to local district, charter or private schools.

NEPC Review: Student-Centered State Funding: A How-to Guide for State Policymakers (The Foundation for Excellence in Education, November 2017)

Reviewed_Report_Title
Student-Centered State Funding: A How-to Guide for State Policymakers
Think Tank Name
The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd)

The policy brief Student Centered State Funding: A How-to Guide for State Policymakers attempts to illustrate and explain to state policymakers how to design a state school funding system whereby all state and local dollars may flow freely, by parental choice, following children to local district, charter or private schools. In particular, the brief seeks to provide state policy guidance on setting specific funding levels for each child. These “money follows the child” approaches provide a system that eases the process of funding an assortment of school choice programs.

Community Schools: Closing Opportunity Gaps for Students in Need

Key Takeaway: This longstanding approach provides an environment where all students, especially those who are underserved, can learn and thrive academically, physically, and emotionally. 

Find Documents:

Press Release: http://nepc.info/node/8963
Reporthttps://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/community-schools-effective-school-improvement-report 

Community Schools: Closing Opportunity Gaps for Students in Need

Washington, DC (December 14, 2017) — Growing economic and racial inequality are impacting many children’s health and welfare, as well as educational and life success. To address these inequalities, policymakers increasingly look to community schools as an effective approach for supporting students and their families in neighborhoods facing concentrated poverty. Through partnering with community agencies, community schools integrate academics and collaborative leadership with health and social services, youth and community development, and family and community engagement.

NEPC Review: School District Reform in Newark (National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2017) and Assessing the Impact of the Newark Education Reforms (Center for Education Policy Research, Harvard University, September 2017)

Think Tank Name
National Bureau of Economic Research
Think Tank Name 2
Center for Education Policy Research, Harvard University

In 2010, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced, with great fanfare, a $100 million challenge grant for the support of a series of reforms in Newark, NJ schools. The two reports reviewed here are the first attempt at a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the Zuckerberg donation on student achievement. As such, the reports, which were written by a team of economists, have garnered significant attention. The reviewers evaluate the reports and their potential contribution to education policy research.

New Initiative from Gates Has the Potential to Avoid Past Mistakes

BOULDER, CO (December 12, 2017) – In Might the New Gates Education Initiative Close Opportunity Gaps?, Professor Kevin Welner of the University of Colorado Boulder considers the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s newest effort, called “Networks for School Improvement.” Welner, who is Director of the National Education Policy Center, examines how this initiative can learn from the Foundation’s own past initiatives as well as from research evidence more generally.

Subscribe to