Tag Archives: US

What in the world is happening in the US? Scanning the Headlines for News on Education and the Election

Given the elections in the United States on November 3rd, this week IEN scanned the headlines and found a few links to news stories related to education both before and after voting took place.

In addition to summarizing the presidential election results so far (using the headline “Trump sets U.S. on course for institutional crisis”), Politico’s Global Translations provided links to headlines from around the world.

Before the election, Education Week focused on 7 Big Questions for Schools and Education and noted as well that Educators Prefer Governors With a More Cautious Approach to COVID-19.

Chalkbeat previewed 8 big consequences the election could have for America’s K-12 schools and after the election continued to report on a series of education related issues in Indiana, Colorado, and Michigan:

The74 continues to curate a live blog with updates on key education related votes across the country, including results of state and local elections for governors, senators, and school board members, along with outcomes of several different ballot initiatives:

2020 Liveblog — Education on the Ballot: Rolling Updates, Results & Analysis From 50 Key Votes That Could Reshape Education PolicyThe74

  • Pre-K Wins Big in Colorado, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Multnomah County
  • California Ban on Affirmative Action in College Admissions Likely to Stay in Place
  • Washington State Passes Sex Education Bill
  • Florida Voters Choose to Amend State Constitution to Say ‘Only a Citizen’ Can Vote

Ballotpedia provides links to an extensive set of overviews and results of national elections, ballot measures/issues, state-by-state elections, and school board elections, and google searches of education and elections turns up many stories on local ballot measures and school board races.

Beyond the results, even before the election, some educators were thinking about how to address what many predicted would be contested and uncertain outcomes:

— Thomas Hatch

Consequences of privatization

Dr. Henry Levin

Dr. Henry Levin

In response to our recent post on Sweden, Henry Levin shared “Evaluating Consequences of Educational Privatization: Ideas and consequences of market principles in education,” a power point presentation from a lecture that he gave at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, in March of 2013.

The presentation puts the Swedish experiences with privatization in a larger context by highlighting the many different approaches to privatization and discussing the different kinds of outcomes that may be worth taking into account. Thus, Levin points out that educational privatization can mean that schools have private funding; or that schools are operated privately by educational management organizations; or that private schools are afforded government funding, through vouchers or other means.  Even those approaches that use vouchers (such as Sweden since 1992; the Netherlands since 1917; Chile since 1980; and in US cities like Milwaukee since 1990 and Cleveland since 1995) can differ significantly in terms of how they are financed, their regulations/requirements, and the support services that are (and are not) provided.

Despite the fact that many privatization and voucher approaches have been around for some time, Levin argues that the evaluations are particularly difficult both because privatization has become a highly ideological and emotional issue and because there are a range of educational goals that should be taken into account (not just test scores). Levin suggests four criteria that should be taken into account for evaluating educational systems: 1. freedom to choose, 2. productive efficiency, 3. equity, 4. social cohesion. Levin also points out that there are trade-offs and conflicts amongst these different possible outcomes, as well as questions about which criteria deserve emphasis. Broadly, Levin suggests that the research indicates that while privatization increases school choice, it also increases social stratification, but there is little evidence yet on social cohesion. He concludes “we have made progress in understanding the consequences of educational privatization. But as we have expanded the circle of light, the perimeter of darkness has also grown.”

 

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