The Rural Higher Ed Crisis and What You Need to Know about ‘Neovouchers’ | Last Week’s Best Articles

We’re back with Last Week’s Best Articles In Education!

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nations students.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…because we believe you should stay up-to-date, too!


The Rural Higher Education Crisis via The Atlantic

The Tennessee-based National Rural Education Association notes that, in addition to other problems, rural areas contend with drug and mental-health issues, poverty, and a lack of high-speed access to the internet, for instance.

Some remote areas can’t attract enough teachers to offer college-preparatory classes. In Marion County, Tennessee, where Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee meet, the county school district struggled to find enough math teachers for this academic year, said Mark Griffith, the director of schools. Finding teachers for other subjects was also a challenge. “There aren’t any applicants out there,” Griffith said. “We’ve got one physics teacher in the county for three high schools.”


Tax credits, school choice and ‘neovouchers’: What you need to know via The Conversation

As Republican lawmakers craft a tax reform bill, there’s speculation on the import taxes, value-added taxes and tax cuts it may usher in. Meanwhile, it’s likely that the bill will also include a major education policy initiative from the Trump administration: a tax credit designed to fund private school vouchers.

These new vouchers (or “neovouchers”) are similar to conventional vouchers in many ways, but there are some important differences. It’s those differences that neovoucher advocates most care about and that everyone should understand.


After More Than 20 Years, Newark to Regain Control of Its Schools via The New York Times

The decision to give authority back to the city is in many ways a recognition that state control is an idea whose time has passed. Around the country, 28 other states enacted similar policies, fueled by a desire to hold districts more accountable. Many of the districts taken over were in heavily minority low-income cities.

When New Jersey took over the schools, it was thought of as an emergency intervention. In evaluating the legacy of state control, Paul L. Tractenberg, an emeritus professor of law at Rutgers University, said that the idea went “badly off the tracks” by failing to provide sufficient funding and turning into a “really endless state operation.”


One thing to read this week…

Who Benefits From the Expansion of A.P. Classes? via The New York Times Magazine

The A.P. program remained a mainstay of affluent, mostly white schools until the 1990s, when parents in lower-income school districts became increasingly concerned about the disparity between the number of A.P. classes offered at their schools and the number in wealthier districts. Rigorous standardized tests, it was thought, could be a means of bridging the achievement gap between richer and poorer schools.

With expanded access, the A.P. curriculum’s reason for being grew more complex. “A.P. is now being asked to serve multiple purposes in society,” says Chester E. Finn Jr., a former assistant secretary of education under President Reagan who is now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. What started as a program for accelerating the education of gifted students is now being used as a means of broadening access to challenging material, Finn says.


Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below:

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