Think Twice Weekly Report

SEPTEMBER 9, 2023 - SEPTEMBER 15, 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

Student Achievement / Higher Education / Education and the Workplace

Source: CRPE
Date: 9/13/2023
The State of the American Student: Fall 2023

As we reported in our inaugural State of the American Student report in September 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic and related school closures led to unprecedented academic setbacks for American students. They exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and accelerated the mental health crisis for young people. This second edition provides basic data on the overall system, but focuses especially on students who are nearing graduation, or have already graduated, from high school. The traditional pathways to college and career were already not working for too many of these students. The pandemic made everything worse.

Diversity / Curriculum and Teaching

Source: Ed Trust
Date: 9/14/2023
The Search for More Complex Racial and Ethnic Representation in Grade School Books

Children gain immense benefits from representationally diverse curricula that allow students to see themselves and others in complexity. Students are more engaged and increased engagement leads to improved academic outcomes like sharpened critical thinking skills, increases in standardized test scores, higher rates of course completion, graduation, and school attendance. Students reap non-academic benefits as well, including improved self-esteem, socioemotional well-being, empathy, and a greater appreciation for cultural differences.

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.

As a Matter of Fact: National Charter School Study III 2023

Source: Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO)
Reviewed by: Joseph J. Ferrare University of Washington Bothell

In a recent report, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) examined charter school students' year-to-year test score growth over four years, and across 31 states. The report shows very small differences favoring charter schools and has been repeatedly trumpeted by charter school advocates as having policy significance-as weighing in favor of charter school expansion.

A review reveals, however, how the report's main findings fail to meet the minimum baseline experts consider to be meaningful. In fact, CREDO itself has labeled these small differences as "meaningless" and "small" -back when they found charter schools to be on the losing end of those differences.

What We're Reading

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

Extreme Weather and Schools

By: Climate Action Campaign

Climate Action Campaign, a group of national environmental and public health organizations, has published a school closure story map that tells where classes have been canceled due to extreme weather events.

Chronic Absenteeism and Disrupted Learning Require an All-Hands-on-Deck Approach

The White House Council of Economic Advisors, which advises the president on economic policy based on data and research, partnered with the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics to analyze latest scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which saw steep and worrisome declines in both math and reading for 4th and 8th graders.

A Refuge for LGBTQ+ Young People

By: Dorothee Benz, Learning for Justice
Student-run Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) clubs are a federally protected space for young people to survive and thrive in the increasingly hostile anti-LGBTQ+ climate in schools and across the country.

How have proposals to arm teachers fared?

By: Naaz Modan, K-12 Dive

Mass school shootings have sparked controversial proposals to increase armed personnel on school grounds, but outcomes have been mixed.

Charter Schools Can’t Claim to Be Public Anymore

By: Carol Burris, The Progressive Magazine

Charter schools, which were originally proposed to be district-run, innovative public schools, have since morphed into national charter school chains, Christian nationalist schools, and facades for for-profit corporations.