Think Twice Weekly Report

JUNE 10, 2023 - June 16, 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

Reading Instruction

Source: NCTQ
Date: 6/13/2023
Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction

The purpose of the Teacher Prep Review is to guarantee teachers have expertise in reading instruction (as well as other essential areas NCTQ assesses)11 before being trusted to teach children to read. By regularly reviewing the reading coursework provided by nearly 700 elementary teacher preparation programs, the National Council on Teacher Quality seeks basic evidence that programs are using what is empirically known about how to teach reading-so every child can learn to read.

School Choice

Source: AEI
Date: 6/15/2023
The Conservative Case for Public School Open Enrollment

"Key Points America's school choice moment has finally arrived. More states are adopting private school choice programs that provide universal access to education savings accounts. But the traditional public system serves the vast majority of students and will for the foreseeable future; those students deserve more choice as well. Public school choice, which allows students to transfer to schools outside their zoned district, has shown great promise in increasing access to educational opportunities and spurring improvements across school districts. Few states, however, have implemented effective public school choice programs. Policymakers would be wise to learn lessons from the nation's most successful public school choice program-in Wisconsin."

School Reform and Restructuring

Source: Brookings
Date: 6/12/2023
Scaling impact in education for transformative change

Transforming education systems is a complex process that requires understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the educational ecosystem and exploring new approaches, ideas, and initiatives to improve quality learning opportunities for children and youth. However, research shows it is not enough to simply identify effective education initiatives and expand them to more people. It takes a combination of technical expertise, understanding of local contexts, political strategy, collaborative partnership, flexible adaptation, and shared vision to scale and sustain the impact of education initiatives. Scaling cannot occur through one actor alone; it requires concerted and collaborative action by multiple actors at all levels of the education system.

Student Achievement

Source: Fordham Institute
Date: 6/12/2023
Building a Wider, More Diverse Pipeline of Advanced Learners

For far too long, the United States has neglected and wasted an enormous amount of human potential-much of it among groups that have never been given the opportunities they deserve. We're talking about bright students, advanced learners, striving pupils, and those with high but untapped potential-especially those who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, low income, or from otherwise marginalized backgrounds-whose educational needs aren't being satisfactorily met by our schools. In response to this and a rash of high-profile, related controversies, the National Working Group on Advanced Education was formed in Spring 2022. It met four times since then, with two goals in mind: developing a robust research agenda and developing a policy and practice agenda. This document is the product of that work, and comprises thirty-six recommendations for how districts, charter networks, and states can build a continuum of advanced learning opportunities, customized to individual students' needs and abilities, that spans the K-12 spectrum.

Teacher Employment and Retention / Diversity

Source: Fordham Institute
Date: 6/15/2023
Three Leaks in the Massachusetts Teacher Pipeline

Evidence demonstrating the benefits of having teachers of the same race or ethnicity for students of color has prompted several states to pass legislation to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the K-12 teacher workforce.

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.

Think Again: Do Charter Schools Drain Resources From Traditional Public Schools?

Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Reviewed by: Huriya Jabbar, University of Texas at Austin

The report references most of the relevant literature and fairly assesses the evidence. However, it makes claims and policy recommendations that are untested empirically and unwarranted based on the research. For example, it concludes that districts' higher expenditures in a charter environment are due to policies protecting traditional public schools from revenue fluctuations caused by charter competition. In doing so, it fails to consider other possible explanations, such as charters strategically enrolling relatively few students who are particularly costly to educate.

What We're Reading

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

Inside Florida's 'underground lab' for far-right education policies

By: Kathryn Joyce, The Hechinger Report

In Sarasota County, as school board members battle over book bans, character education, attacks on LGBTQ+ individuals and 'woke audits,' students feel like 'non-consenting lab rats/

Poll: Americans say teachers are underpaid, about half of Republicans oppose book bans

By: Cory Turner, NPR

There's a surprising consensus among the general public: a sweeping respect for teachers, broad agreement that they're overworked and should be better paid, and Democrats, Independents and Republicans oppose book bans

More high-poverty schools tap into federal policies to serve free meals

By: Anna Merod, K-12 Dive

The Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP, is a federal reimbursement program that allows high-poverty schools to serve free breakfast and lunch to all students without requiring an application.

Examining working conditions in 5 states holds keys to teacher well-being

By: Matt Zalanick, District Administration

Snapshots of working conditions in California, Florida, New York, Texas and Washington offer keys to how administrators can intervene to retain and recruit teachers.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Protect LGBTQI+ Communities

By: The White House

The Department of Education will appoint a new coordinator to address the growing threat that book bans pose for the civil rights of students as well as offering other supports for LGBTQI+ youth.