Think Twice Weekly Report

JULY 29, 2023 - AUGUST 4, 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

Teacher Workforce

Source: Learning Policy Institute
Date: 7/27/2023
The State of the Teacher Workforce: A State-by-State Analysis of the Factors Influencing Teacher Shortages, Supply, Demand, and Equity

This map highlights key factors available from national data that reflect and influence the supply and demand for teachers in each state, including conditions of teachers’ work and equitable access to qualified teachers. Many of these factors describe the appeal of the teaching profession in a given state and help to signal whether states are likely to have an adequate supply of qualified teachers to fill their classrooms. Others describe the extent to which students in different contexts have access to qualified teachers.

Teacher Workforce

Source: Learning Policy Institute
Date: 7/27/2023
State Teacher Shortages: Teaching Positions Left Vacant or Filled by Teachers Without Full Certification

To understand how states are experiencing teacher shortages around the country, the Learning Policy Institute reviewed teacher workforce reports and state agency documents covering the 2020–21 or 2021–22 school years. These state-specific data sources are used to estimate the number of teachers not fully certified for their teaching assignments as well as count the number of unfilled teaching positions reported by each state.

Charter Schools

Source: Network for Public Education
Date: July 2023
A SHARP TURN RIGHT A New Breed of Charter Schools Delivers the Conservative Agenda

This new report, A Sharp Turn Right, exposes the creation of a new breed of charter schools that are imbued with the ideas of right-wing Christian nationalism. These charter schools have become weapons of the Right as they seek to destroy democratically governed public schools while turning back the clock of education and social progress by a century. The report carefully lays out the case that the new breed of charter schools is designed to attract families with Christian nationalist beliefs. They have student bodies that are whiter and wealthier than other charter schools and district public schools. And it exposes how, despite prohibitions on teaching religion in charter schools, such schools have deep connections with the conservative Christian movement and, in some cases, conservative Christian private schools.

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:

Education, Labor Departments Announce New Efforts to Advance Teacher Preparation Programs and Expand Registered Apprenticeships for Educators

By: U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Departments of Education and Labor recently announced the National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards, new federal guidance for states and districts planning to create registered teacher apprenticeship programs.

City leaders criticize Houston ISD superintendent Mike Miles over plans for school libraries

By: Adam Zuvanich, Houston Public Media

At least 28 campuses in the Houston Independent School District are eliminating librarians and media specialists while converting their libraries into spaces that will be used to discipline misbehaving students, among other uses.

Politicians and pundits say parents are furious with schools. Polls say otherwise.

By: Matt Barnum, Chalkbeat

Dissatisfaction with American public schools - and the policy changes that have resulted - has not been driven by most parents’ own experience with public schools. "Contrary to elite or policy wonk opinion, which often is critical of schools, there have been years and years worth of data saying that families in general like their local public schools," said Andy Smarick, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.

Chicago closed 50 schools 10 years ago. What’s happened since then?

By: Becky Vevea, Chalkbeat

Ten years after Chicago closed fifty schools, the consequences linger. At the time, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised that students would go to better schools. But that did not seem to happen in most cases.

The Right-Wing Think Tank That the Charter School Industry Relies On

By: Carol Burris, The Progressive Magazine

CREDO, a research group with deep ties to the right, promotes pro-charter reports that regularly fudge the facts.