Think Twice Weekly Report

MAY 6, 2023 - MAY 12, 2023

The Think Twice Weekly Report compiles public education-related policy reports, research and articles of interest to policymakers, educators and stakeholders. This list is not exhaustive but is meant to highlight recent reports that may be used to support or undermine the work of our subscribers in supporting public schools. We encourage you to take a moment to scan these reports and determine if they may be used by policy makers to assist or erode your mission.

Policy Reports

Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2023

Source: Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
Date: 5/11/2023
Charter Schools and English Learners in the Lone Star State

Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2023 provides a scholarly analysis of the characteristics and performance of publicly funded K-12 virtual schools. It reviews the available research on virtual school practices, examines recent state legislative efforts, and provides policy recommendations.

Charter Schools, Language and Learning

Source: Fordham Institute
Date: 5/9/2023

Charter Schools and English Learners in the Lone Star State

How do the English Learners who enroll in public charter schools compare to their peers in traditional public schools? Which sector is getting the best results with this student group, which now includes one in six American students? And how have English Learners' academic outcomes evolved in Texas, a state that is home to a fifth of the country's English Learners-and where the number of English Learners in charter schools has quintupled over the past decade? Conducted by Oklahoma University's Deven Carlson, this study uses nearly two decades of student-level data to explore how charter school enrollment is related to Texas English Learners' achievement, attainment, and earnings.

Learning Loss

Source: CEPR-Harvard
Date: 5/1/2023

School District and Community Factors Associated With Learning Loss During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We analyze data from approximately 7,800 school districts to describe variation in pandemic-related learning losses among communities and student subgroups. We attempt to understand mechanisms that led to learning losses, as well as explore how historical data from those districts can inform our expectations for how quickly districts will rebound from such losses. We show that learning losses during the pandemic were large and highly variable among communities. Similar to previous research, we find that losses were larger in lower-income and minority districts and in districts which remained remote or hybrid for longer periods during the 2020-21 school year. Among districts, the math learning loss per week of remote/hybrid instruction was larger in high-minority and high-poverty districts. Within districts, however, White students and non-economically disadvantaged students lost about the same amount of ground as Black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students. This suggests that the mechanisms driving losses operated at the district or community level, rather than household level. Several community-level characteristics were related to learning losses: broadband access, disruptions to social and economic activity, and trust in government institutions. However, no individual predictor provided strong explanatory power. Relative to historical years, losses during the pandemic were substantial, and an exploratory analysis of historical shocks to achievement suggests that the effects of the pandemic are likely to persist without continued concerted investments in student learning.

Learning Loss

Source: CEPR-Harvard
Date: 5/11/2023

The State of the American Student: Fall 2022

School closures, quarantines and staffing uncertainties have contributed to the biggest math and reading declines our country has seen in more than two decades. The recent State of the American Student report from the Center for Reinventing Public Education describes the contours of the crisis and maps a road to recovery that state education leaders can act on.

Reports Reviewed

GLC seeks to ensure that policy briefs impacting education reform are based on sound, credible academic research. Below are reviews conducted with GLC support.

School Choice Is Not Enough: The Impact of Critical Social Justice Ideology in American Education

Source: Manhattan Institute - Zach Goldberg and Eric Kaufmann
Reviewed by: Christine Sleeter, California State University Monterey Bay; David Garcia, Arizona State University

A recent report from the Manhattan Institute presents results of a survey of U.S. adults aged 18-20 to determine the extent to which eight concepts the report equates with what it calls "critical social justice" (CSJ) theory-which the report frowns upon-are taught in schools. The first of the eight concepts, for instance, is, "America is a systemically racist society." The report finds the concepts to be pervasive. Faulty assumptions and methodology cast doubt on the report's conclusions, however, according to Christine Sleeter of California State University Monterey Bay and David Garcia of Arizona State University, who reviewed School Choice Is Not Enough: The Impact of Critical Social Justice Ideology in American Education.

What We're Reading

Research and articles that we want to highlight for subscribers as potential resources:

Educator Advocacy Rights

By: National Education Association

This guide helps public school teachers and support staff understand their rights when speaking up for public education and students.

Attendance Playbook: Smart Solutions for Reducing Student Absenteeism Post-Pandemic

By: Phyllis W. Jordan

"To help education policymakers and practitioners respond to the post-pandemic absenteeism crisis in the nation's schools, FutureEd and Attendance Works have expanded their Attendance Playbook to reflect schools' realities during and after the pandemic. The new analysis includes more than two dozen effective, readily scalable approaches covering topics ranging from family engagement to the value of attendance incentives, as well as students' social and emotional well-being, a high priority for educators post-pandemic."

Teacher salaries, cost of rent, and home prices: Can teachers afford to live where they teach?

By: Patricia Saenz-Armstrong

High rents can price teachers out of some local markets, which in turn can have detrimental effects on school districts' staffing.

5 States Addressing Child Hunger and Food Insecurity with Free School Meals for All

By: Allie Pearce, Akilah Alleyne, Anona Neal

State governments are taking the lead in implementing no-cost school meal programs to eliminate administrative and financial burdens for students, families, and school staff.

3 Takeaways from the Perez Special Education Case

By: Kara Arundel

Experts representing various special education stakeholders, including school administrators, outline three steps school systems can take now to make sure they follow the intent of the ruling.