This Week & Next (July 30, 2015)

MSU Study Calls School Choice a “Revolving Door” (GLEP in the News)
A study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University looked at students who participated in Schools of Choice in traditional school districts (not charter school students) and found that a minority of students actually return to their original school later in their academic career. We find this study mildly interesting, but we’re a bit concerned that the researchers did not take into account the academic performance of students who exercised choice and stayed in their new school instead of returning to their original district. Incomplete, at best.

ESEA/NCLB Reauthorization in a Single Table
It really looks like reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in Washington, D.C. is closer to getting accomplished today than at any time in the past eight years, when it was due for an upgrade.  In an effort to boil down the key issues here, the Fordham Institute’s Mike Petrilli has produced another of his popular color-coded table (see below). The items that are “up in the air” are those that the Senate, House, and Obama administration will wrangle over in conference committee.

Charter Schools Saved New Orleans
In a thoughtful and well-written article in the Washington Examiner, Jason Russell points out that before Katrina, less than 50% of students in New Orleans graduated high school. After Katrina, with 98% charter schools in the city, over 75% of students are graduating high school, which matches statewide performance. School choice works!!

Are You an EduWonk?
If you really like to look at education performance and financial data, then we have site for you! The folks at EdSource have just published a new website that compares K-12 education performance and funding in all 50 states for the past few decades. Did you know Michigan consistently invests a higher percentage of personal income on education than the national average? That chart is below, and you can spend all kinds of time at this site, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Grading the Schools
Kudos to The Manhattan Institute, a New York-based, right-of-center think tank, which recently unveiled a new, one-of-a-kind website called School Grades. As its name suggests, the site gives letter grades to nearly 70,000 public elementary and middle schools across 50 states — schools that educate approximately 34 million children. Schools are graded on a traditional A–F scale, and results are fairly evenly distributed with 23 percent of schools earning an A, 19 percent earning a B, 22 percent earning a C, 19 percent earning a D, and 17 percent earning an F. Where does YOUR school rank? [courtesy of]

Capitol Update
The Michigan legislature was not in session this week, nor will they be in session next week.  The Senate will return on August 11 and the House will return on August 18.

Education News Clips

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Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director