Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 23
The 'Have Nots'
Neil Blake/The Grand Rapids Press via AP-File
By Mike Tenbusch
Career and Technical Ed.
By Shaun M. Dougherty
Betsy DeVos' appointment as the U.S. secretary of education
was controversial, but it seems appropriate one year into her
tenure to emphasize the opportunities that lie ahead for education. One such opportunity that has bipartisan support and the
potential for positive impacts is the reauthorization of the Carl
D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, first signed into
law in 1984 and last reauthorized in 2006.
Three years ago, policymakers were optimistic that lawmakers would renew the act, which provides federal funding to
support career and technical education at the state and local
levels. But disagreements about funding and accountability
provisions sank the bill. Despite emerging evidence that investment in CTE programing pays off, funding for the act has been
falling in real terms over time. President Donald Trump's new
budget priorities-which propose funding
Perkins at steady levels-do not invest
heavily enough for the career and technical education students deserve.
This is where Secretary DeVos comes
in. Her focus on school choice is right in
line with CTE programming. Many CTEthemed schools and programs nationwide
offer students a chance to attend a school
other than the one residentially assigned.
Exercising such opportunities for applied
learning helps signal to traditional high schools that students
want and need more from career education. As DeVos continues
to advocate for choice to lawmakers, she should voice CTE's
benefits and advocate for the Perkins Act's renewal.
Such a reauthorization could reinvigorate an education
and workforce-development policy that is already ascendant
in the era of college and career readiness. State policymakers
and practitioners are focused on making school more relevant
by enhancing applied coursework in CTE areas and growing
career pathways for work-based learning and postsecondary
education. They understand CTE's potential to improve employability and economic development.
Reauthorizing the act is also an opportunity to inject measurement and accountability expectations into such education,
where mandates are weak. Currently, there are not consistent
expectations about collecting data on CTE program quality or
alignment with workforce needs.
DeVos should stand behind the Perkins Act's reauthorization-a real opportunity to do the education system good. n
SHAUN M. DOUGHERTY is an assistant professor of education and public
policy at the University of Connecticut.
When I was a member of Detroit's
school board in 2003, I was appalled by
how dangerous our neighborhood high
schools had become, and I left the board
to join the nascent school choice movement. I did not realize then how much
school choice would harm the children
whose families are
mired most deeply
in poverty. In Detroit, the single most
important factor for
a school's success
is now how far its
students travel to
reach it. With a 51
percent poverty rate
for children, Detroit's
"haves" are those families with a car and
the ability to travel long distances, and
the "have nots" are those who cannot
make that trek.
Secretary Betsy DeVos should put forward a plan to help those schools that
suffer most as a result of school choice-
the schools children attend because they
have no choice. These neighborhood-based
By Rafiq R. Kalam Id-Din II
As Secretary Betsy DeVos looks ahead to the next year I
implore her to confront the gargantuan racial disparities in
the charter school sector, a crisis that threatens to undermine
education reform's hard-fought progress.
In 2016, just five foundations invested nearly $1 billion in
charters and education. According to my research, only 1 percent of that money went to black- and Latino-founded schools.
By my estimate, black and Latino educators account for less
than 10 percent of charter school founders and less than 25
percent of teachers. And while many municipalities regulate
that a certain proportion of government contracts must go to
minority-owned businesses, there exist no similar requirements for these public schools to ensure some portion of education funding goes to black or Latino communities.
This, ironically, results in the gentrification of the communities where charters open. This ultimately displaces the very
people these schools were founded to serve.
Similarly, something must be done about "no excuses" models, widely favored by white-led schools that predominantly
serve black and Latino students. Centered on test prep and
Lack of Choice
By Erin McGrath
As the national voice for education
and an advocate for school choice, the
most important thing Betsy DeVos
should do in her role is to educate herself about the value of traditional public
schools and to treat them as another
option, equal in importance to charter,
for-profit, religious, and online schools.
The idea of choice takes for granted
the fact that, no matter how many
kinds of schools are offered, some children simply do not have a choice. Challenges of proximity, transportation, and
overall affordability (even with voucher
programs) narrow the options for many
students. That lack of choice should not
schools need an infusion of social capital.
They need people who can coach, tutor,
and help the principals and teachers out in
myriad ways. Over time, these volunteers
will advocate for new policies and resources
for the school based on their experience.
Businesses and churches across America
want to help, but they are often relegated to
school supply drives as the single tool for social change. It does not have to be this way.
The school choice flywheel will continue
to spin without much effort from Secretary
DeVos, and she can take credit for its successes. But she should also take responsibility for those schools left behind. She can
do this by creating pathways for robust
partnerships between schools, businesses,
and churches, and by celebrating the heroic ways in which ordinary Americans are
helping the most disadvantaged students
achieve extraordinary results.
This will not take a year or two. It will
take a generation to overcome. Betsy DeVos
can and should be the unlikely leader to
catalyze that effort. n
MIKE TENBUSCH is the author of The Jonathan
Effect: Helping Kids and Schools Win the Battle
Against Poverty (InterVarsity Press).
rigid discipline, these no-excuses schools routinely sacrifice
student dignity on the altar of test scores. This must be
The U.S. Department of Education needs an audacious
racial-equity agenda that increases public and private investment in more black- and Latino-led
and staffed charter schools like the one
I founded. We focus on positive self-identity, not shame, to achieve ever stronger
gains each year. In fact, our almostexclusively black and Latino student
body outperforms their traditional
school peers by more than 240 percent
in English/language arts and math by
the time they reach 6th grade.
Secretary DeVos, you have famously
said that you "don't know what can't be done." By explicitly confronting racial inequity in the charter sector, you
will certainly do what no other U.S. secretary of education
has done. As a black founder of a charter school, I promise
you we are ready when you are. n
RAFIQ R. KALAM ID-DIN II is the co-founder of Ember Charter
School for Mindful Education in New York City, where he serves as a
teacher and co-school leader.
be a disadvantage.
Often, when we
schools, we hear
the same questions: Why are two
less than 5 miles
different? How is the divide so stark?
What do schools need more of?
Betsy DeVos, in her role as education
secretary, should be questioning those
disparities, understanding the inequities
and challenges, and investing in public
schools so that schools and systems have
the same autonomy as charters and private schools to make necessary improvements.
DeVos would benefit from spending
more time in public schools to understand the value of this critical institution. This kind of firsthand involvement
is the foundation of our success at Boston Partners in Education. We've seen
that when people come into classrooms
and mentor students on a weekly basis,
they become connected to the schools
they serve. They see the potential for
excellence, and DeVos could widen her
perspective in much the same way.
Investing in public school systems, not
dismissing them, is the key to improving
access to quality education and closing
the opportunity gap for future generations. n
ERIN McGRATH is the executive director of
Boston Partners in Education, a nonprofit
that pairs volunteer mentors with public
EDUCATION WEEK | February 28, 2018 | www.edweek.org | 23
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 28, 2018
Education Week - February 28, 2018
News in Brief
Computer Science for All: Can Schools Make It Happen?
Pressure to Graduate Failing Students Is Felt Nationwide
U.K. Curriculum Import Becoming Increasingly Popular
Missouri Tackles Challenge of Dyslexia Screening, Services
Lost Sense of School As a Safe Place
Grief and Rage Drive Students To Demand Changes to Gun Laws
A Florida City Forever Changed
Lockdown Drills Prompt Fear, Stress After Parkland
A Long Journey Ahead Seen For Survivors of Shooting
On Social Media, Teens Witness, Grieve, Organize
Legal Issues Loom for District In Shooting’s Wake
One State’s Dive Into K-12 Aid Figures
States Confront ESSA Mandate on Spending Transparency
Several Ed. Dept. Offices Target of Reorganization
Trump Seeks Ed. Dept. Budget Cuts
The Editors: What Should Betsy DeVos Prioritize?
Margaret Spellings: Higher Education
Marilyn Anderson Rhames: Teacher Quality
Karla Phillips: Personalization
Maddie Fennell: Leadership by Example
Shaun M. Dougherty: Career and Tech Ed
Mike Tenbusch : The ‘Have Nots’
Rafiq R. Kalam Id-Din II: Racial-Equity Agenda
Erin McGrath: Lack of Choice
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Jerrod Wheeler: Impact Aid Is a Lifeline for Military-Connected Kids
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Education Week - February 28, 2018
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 2
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 3
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Report Roundup
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 5
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Computer Science for All: Can Schools Make It Happen?
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Pressure to Graduate Failing Students Is Felt Nationwide
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - U.K. Curriculum Import Becoming Increasingly Popular
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Missouri Tackles Challenge of Dyslexia Screening, Services
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Lost Sense of School As a Safe Place
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Grief and Rage Drive Students To Demand Changes to Gun Laws
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - A Florida City Forever Changed
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 13
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Lockdown Drills Prompt Fear, Stress After Parkland
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - A Long Journey Ahead Seen For Survivors of Shooting
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Legal Issues Loom for District In Shooting’s Wake
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 17
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - States Confront ESSA Mandate on Spending Transparency
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Several Ed. Dept. Offices Target of Reorganization
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Trump Seeks Ed. Dept. Budget Cuts
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 21
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Maddie Fennell: Leadership by Example
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Erin McGrath: Lack of Choice
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Letters
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 25
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - 27
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - Jerrod Wheeler: Impact Aid Is a Lifeline for Military-Connected Kids
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - CW1
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - CW2
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - CW3
Education Week - February 28, 2018 - CW4