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    Entries in education (15)

    Friday
    Aug242018

    The Week in Public Finance: After Teacher Strikes, Voters Will Get a Say on Education Funding

    Support for raising teacher pay is near historic highs, but is it enough for voters -- some in red states -- to approve tax increases?
    BY  AUGUST 24, 2018

    Teachers protested outside the Colorado state Capitol in Denver this spring. (AP/David Zalubowski)

    For a summary of November's most important ballot measures, click here.

    After wide-scale teacher walkouts and strikes in six states this spring, support for teacher raises is nearing an all-time high. That could be a determining factor this fall in three states where voters will be asked to approve changes to boost school funding.

    Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma all have ballot measures on education funding and saw teacher walkouts this year. According to a new poll by the journal Education Next, nearly two out of every three respondents in those states, and others with teacher strikes, favor raising teacher pay -- a 16-point jump since last year. Nationally, about half of respondents support increasing teacher pay, the second-highest it has been in the survey's 12-year history.

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    Thursday
    Jul062017

    Immigrants Cost Taxpayers, Then Pay More Than Most

    New research shows immigrants ultimately make state and local governments more money on average than native-born Americans.
    BY  JULY 6, 2017
    Immigrant boy waving an American flag.
    Adult children of first-generation immigrants eventually contribute more than native-born Americans in federal, state and local taxes. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

    While the national debate rages over immigration, new research shows how much new immigrants cost state and local governments in the short-term -- and how much they pay off in the long-term.

    Two studies, one by the Urban Institute and a larger one by the National Academies of Science (NAS), find that first-generation immigrants are costlier to state and local governments than native-born adults, but over time, those effects reverse. While first-generation immigrants cost an average of nearly $3,000 more per adult, the adult children of these immigrants eventually catch up and contribute the most on average to federal, state and local coffers.

    Kim Reuben, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, says the initial higher costs of new immigrants is in large part because of their children. "Education is expensive -- if you have more kids in general as a group compared to other groups, you're going to have higher costs," says Reuben, who co-authored the study and contributed to the NAS report. "But the answer isn't to not educate those kids because we also find that the people who contribute the most to society, even when you control for demographics, are these immigrant [kids]."

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    Wednesday
    May032017

    The Worrisome Relationship Between Population Projections and State Spending on Kids

    BY  MAY 3, 2017

    Should geography determine a child's chances for success? A new look at how much states spend per kid indicates that might be the case.

    An analysis by the Urban Institute found that states that spend more per child tend to have better outcomes when taking public education, health and social services into account. At the two ends of the spectrum, Vermont spends nearly three times as much annually on children as Utah. The national average is $7,900 per child. A total of 14 states spend less than $7,000 per child and nine spend more than $10,000 each year.

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    Monday
    Apr032017

    How to Beat Teacher Burnout: With More Education

    A continuing education program for teachers has the power to reduce attrition rates, but it's having trouble catching on.
    BY  APRIL 3, 2017

    When mathematician John Ewing started lobbying state governments to adopt a new model for keeping top teachers in the classroom, he anticipated all the usual pushback over funding and resources. One thing he didn’t anticipate was a resistance to the idea in general.

    In education right now, “the focus is on everything that’s not working," he says. By contrast, his model "invests in teachers that are doing a really good job.”

    In 2009, fellow mathematician and philanthropist Jim Simons called and asked Ewing to help him take over his fledgling nonprofit to provide continuing education for K-12 math teachers in New York City. But the organization, called Math for America (MfA), eventually evolved into a larger fellowship program aimed at cultivating and keeping top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in public schools.

    It’s an appealing concept at a time when keeping good teachers is becoming harder and harder.

    On average, one-third of teachers leave the profession within five years. Burnout is blamed for the short tenure. A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 46 percent of teachers say they feel daily stress on a level that’s shared by doctors and lawyers.

    When teachers are that stressed, the report notes, it not only compromises their health and quality of life but also adversely impacts their teaching performance. That, in turn, can harm students' academic performance and behavior. The report recommends mentoring programs, social emotional learning and mindfulness as proven ways to improve teacher well-being and student outcomes.

    That's where MfA comes in.

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    Tuesday
    Feb282017

    How Libraries Are Fighting Fake News

    Fake news is as old as Bigfoot. But social media and the president have fueled its recent proliferation.
    BY  FEBRUARY 28, 2017

    Less than seven miles from the White House, where President Trump has popularized the term "fake news," residents in a suburban Maryland library gathered recently to learn how to not be duped themselves.

    “Social media is a common theme here because you see things being shared over and over again,” Ryan O’Grady, media producer and director of the Maryland State Library Resource Center, told the audience. “Just because something is popular doesn’t make it true.”

    The program, which O’Grady is running at several libraries in Maryland’s Montgomery County, is in response to the recent explosion of unverified, unsourced and sometimes untrue information that purports itself as news. The program aims to educate residents about how to spot fake news.

    While it's not a recent phenomenon -- the Bigfoot myth goes back centuries, and fabricated stories abounded when emailing was new, for example -- fake news played a prominent role in the 2016 presidential election and continues to do so in the new administration. Sites like Facebook and Twitter give fake news outlets a platform to reach more people than they would otherwise be able to. Once the misinformation is out there, it can spread quickly, often before users even read or verify a story

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