Think Twice Weekly Report

AUGUST 12, 2023 - AUGUST 18, 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

Pollitics, Policy, and School Practices

Source: Center of American Progress
Date: 8/17/2023
K-12 Education Is Vital to Success of Biden Administration’s Investment Agenda

This issue brief outlines why state and local governments must coordinate with K-12 schools in order for the implementation of this historic legislation to be as effective and equitable as possible. These schools can serve as valuable partners in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs; career and technical education; and dual-enrollment programs that provide training for the emerging and growing industries funded by these three laws.

School Choice

Source: Heritage Foundation
Date: 8/15/2023
From Surviving to Thriving: K–12 Choice and Opportunity for Rural Texas Students and Teachers

Rural students in Arizona enjoy far more education choice options than rural students in any other state. Education has flourished in rural areas under Arizona’s robust choice environment just as much as in the remainder of the state. The data could not be clearer: Rural students with expanded opportunities thrive, as do their teachers and communities. A one-size-fits-all education system in fact fits few students and teachers, whereas a pluralistic and diverse system of schools fits more students and teachers. When families have many options to choose from, district schools will have a strong incentive to improve. If Texas lawmakers empower their educators to create new schools, educators will rise to the challenge, both inside and outside the school system.

Teacher Employment and Retention

Source: EdChoice
Date: 8/14/2023
Priorities of State and Local Governments From 1994 to 2022: K-12 Public Schools have been the Major Employment Priority

This report, and its accompanying dashboard present the employment priorities of state and local governments in the United States from fiscal year (FY) 1994 to FY 2022.

School Safety

Source: Learning Policy Institute
Date: 8/9/2023
Safe Schools, Thriving Students: What We Know About Creating Safe and Supportive Schools

This report summarizes the prevalence and effectiveness of strategies to improve student safety in schools. States, districts, and schools can look to existing research to understand more about the effectiveness of proposed strategies and the potential risk of unintended consequences.

Early Childhood Education

Source: Early Childhood Education Institute, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa
Date: 12/2022 and 8/2023
Kindergarten through Grade 3 Outcomes Associated with Participation in High-Quality Early Care and Education: A RCT Follow-Up Study

A study (first released in December 2022 Education Sciences and release more widely in early August) is adding to a growing body of research indicating that high-quality early care and learning programs can positively impact children for years into the future. But there is one caveat: Children need to be enrolled early, in infancy or early toddlerhood, to reap these benefits.

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:

Why schools across America are building teacher housing

By: Emma Hurt, AXIOS

In a desperate effort to combat a chronic teacher shortage and a housing affordability crunch, school districts across the country are getting into a new industry: homebuilding.

Schools using nonpunitive approaches to tackle chronic absenteeism

By: Kara Arundel, K-12 Dive

Compliance-driven attendance policies are being replaced by trauma-informed practices and family engagement activities.

Federal proposal could reshape how districts accommodate pregnant employees

By: Nazz Modan, K-12 Dive

Federal regulations proposed last week could significantly change how schools accommodate pregnant employees. Under EEOC proposed rules, staff could be excused from performing one or more essential job functions for a potential total of nearly two years.

What research shows about universal school meals programs as more states adopt them

By: Matt Barnum, Chalkbeat

Research suggests that universal school meal programs accomplish their main goal: expand access to breakfast and lunch at school. But the benefits don't stop there; they may create academic benefits and reduce struggles to afford groceries.

These would-be teachers graduated into the pandemic. Will they stick with teaching?

By: Nervi Shah, Hechinger Report

Hechinger tracked down nearly 90 members of the University of Maryland College of Education’s 2020 class. Their experiences suggest the field isn’t doing enough to adapt to a new, more difficult era for educators