Good morning, it’s April 17, 2017. This morning at RealClearEducation we have news, commentary, analysis and reports from the top of the education world.
The confirmation of Betsy DeVos certainly highlighted a divide within the education reform movement. Now that divide is on full display among a group of Democrats. Politico explains that teachers’ unions and other Democratic advocacy groups are attacking some Democrats who support charter schools by trying to link them to Secretary DeVos. So far, the new tactics have been used in a prominent school board race in Los Angeles as well as to target specific politicians like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
On the topics of politics and education reform, here’s an interesting look at how rural Republicans joined forces with Democrats in the Texas House to kill school choice legislation. But over at Salon, Karen Eppley writes that Sec. DeVos may be right about the need for more rural charter schools.
Auburn University may be headed for a free-speech showdown this week. Citing security and safety concerns, the university announced a few days ago that it had canceled Richard Spencer’s speech, which was originally scheduled for tomorrow. However, Spencer isn’t backing down. In an interview with Auburn’s campus newspaper, he said, “I will give a speech on their campus. It is a public place. I think Auburn University is naive and has totally misunderstood who I am if they think that I am going to politely back out of this. I will be there 100 percent."
In other higher education news, two Cornell professors address just how “controversial" Charles Murray’s Middlebury speech was. Jillian Berman writes that more American students are traveling overseas for graduate school. However, when it comes to job mobility at home, Ryan Streeter argues that U.S. students aren’t moving or relocating like they used to.
The Every Student Succeeds Act did away with the Obama-era School Improvement Grants program. In its place, states are required to spend seven percent of their Title I dollars on improving low-performing schools. Mike Petrilli and Ethan Gray suggest three ways for states to use this money wisely.
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