Weekly News Roundup: ‘A double whammy for students of color…’

 In Last Week's Best Articles

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a high-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 nation’s students.

Here are the stories that we’ve been talking about this week.

DeVos’ proposed Civil Rights Data Collection changes a ‘double whammy’ for students of color, lawmakers say via Education Dive

In a House Committee on Appropriations hearing Thursday, representatives grilled U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on her proposed changes to the Education Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection, such as eliminating racial and ethnic differentiation in data on preschool suspension. 

Lawmakers heatedly expressed concerns that dropping such distinctions in discipline data among preschoolers would enable existing school discipline trends that disproportionately affect black and brown students. 

Body camera video shows 6-year-old Orlando girl arrested at school via Tampa Bay Times

“What are those for?” the 6-year-old girl asked the Orlando police officers.

“They’re for you,” Officer Dennis Turner said about the zip ties, before another officer tightened them around her wrists. Kaia immediately began weeping.

“No … no, don’t put handcuffs on!” she wailed in body camera footage from the arrest, which Kaia’s family shared with the Orlando Sentinel on Monday evening. The arrests of the girl and another 6-year-old at Lucious & Emma Nixon Academy in September drew national headlines and widespread condemnation, leading to the officer’s firing.

Chicago changed school policing, but can teachers and students tell the difference? via Chalkbeat

Chicago embarked on the biggest overhaul of its school policing program in a decade as part of broader police reforms. The cover-up of the fatal shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014 provoked widespread outrage and protests culminated in a civil rights lawsuit that the city settled last year and that resulted in a federal consent decree. 

Among other things, the agreement seeks to turn around a department struggling with low trust in Chicago’s black and brown communities and to bring the cornerstones of community policing best practice onto campuses.


One thing to read this weekend

DeVos Faces Tough Questions as Trump Budget Sparks a Reckoning on School Choice via The 74 Million

Though both the budget and voucher proposals are certain to founder amid congressional opposition, the administration’s attempted cuts have unsettled several initiatives with committed political constituencies, most prominently the federal Charter Schools Program. Stripping funds from that program, which has seeded thousands of public charter schools across the country, would be a consequential move — particularly when accompanied by the effort to forge ahead on private school choice.


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