Think Twice Weekly Report

JUNE 17, 2023 - June 23, 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

School Choice / Vouchers

Source: Manhattan Institute
Date: 6/22/2023
Implementing K-12 Education Savings Accounts

Implementing ESAs poses particular challenges because they are more than simply voucher or tax-credit programs. They are expansive parental-choice programs that provide students with public resources that they can use for a wide array of educational expenses in addition to private school tuition. As new ESA programs come online, thankfully, many people are intently focused on implementation. This report examines the challenges of implementing ESAs and makes suggestions about how to overcome implantation pitfalls. Specifically, we focus on five key priorities. First, parents must be informed about their options. Second, schools and other providers must prepare for, and respond effectively to, the opportunities and challenges provided by ESAs. Third, regulators must thoughtfully and deliberately address the need for effective program regulations. Fourth, program administrators must establish effective operational policies and procedures. Fifth, states and public-interest legal advocates must prepare for legal challenges.

Rural Education

Source: PPI
Date: 6/21/2023
Reinventing Rural Education: The Rural Schools Innovation Zone

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. students attend rural schools. That's about 9.3 million kids. Yet, during policy discussions, rural schools' unique challenges are often eclipsed by those of their urban and suburban counterparts. This report is a case study of an innovative, replicable public education experiment at three rural Texas high schools called the Rural Schools Innovation Zone (RSIZ). This first-of-its-kind experiment is a collaboration between three rural school districts focusing on college attainment and career pathways for the 21st century job market.

School Reform and Restructuring

Source: Pioneer Institute
Date: 6/22/2023
The State of Things: Tracking BPS's Road to Improvement, 2022-23

The Boston Public Schools (BPS) are experiencing some positive change in the wake of an updated memorandum of understanding with the state but have a long way to go to streamline critical processes, improve school accountability, and create a realistic, school-centered budget, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

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:

PROOF POINTS: The best way to teach might depend on the subject

By: Jill Barshay, The Hechinger Report

Researchers find that math students learn best through individual practice while English students thrive in groups

Many flagship universities don't reflect their state's Black or Latino high school graduates

By: Meredith Kolodner, The Hechinger Report

The coming Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action could widen those racial gaps

FairTest provides a database of over 1,900 colleges not requiring SAT, ACT in admissions for fall 2023

By: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

This list includes bachelor degree granting institution that do not require all or most recent U.S. high school graduates applying for fall 2023 to submit ACT/SAT results before admissions decisions are made.

Critical Practices for Social Justice Eduction

By: Learning For Justice

Critical Practices for Social Justice Education is a resource to support K-12 educators in growing their understanding of social justice principles and integrating them into their practice.

The Problem with Grading

By: Lory Hough, Ed. Harvard Ed. Magazine

When it comes to how we show what students know, do traditional grading practices deserve an F?