Think Twice Weekly Report

SEPTEMBER 30, 2023 - OCTOBER 6, 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

Curriculum and Teaching

Source: New America
Date: 10/4/2023
What Should Our High School Students Study?

How many and what kinds of courses should students take in high school? Do today's requirements put them on a path toward success after graduation? For too long, answers to these questions have been hard to come by. But a new project, led by New America and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, is tapping into a set of state data systems to offer some answers. This brief kicks off the project, providing background on landmark movements in education that have led to the requirements that students face today and highlighting key questions to explore with new data.

Diversity – Race, Ethnicity, Class, Culture, and/or Gender

Source: Heritage Foundation
Date: 10/4/2023
Equity Elementary Extended: The Growth and Effects of "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" Staff in Public Schools

Bellwether's School Cohort Program has helped school and system leaders across the country create high-quality, actionable school improvement plans to strengthen educational practices and give more students access to high-quality learning opportunities. Our analysis, Shared Strategies: An Examination of Bellwether's School Cohort Program, provides an overview of the Cohort Program and its work with schools supported by Great Minnesota Schools, a nonprofit based in Minneapolis.

Politics, Policy, and School Practices

Source: Center for American Progress
Date: 10/4/2023
5 Ways State Governments Can Support Student Mental Health

Across the country, students, parents, and teachers face the realities of a student mental health crisis. Many look to schools for solutions, yet on their own, schools often do not have the resources necessary to provide comprehensive mental health services. This issue brief outlines how state governments can support schools in best serving their students and addressing the student mental health crisis.

School Reform and Restructuring

Source: AEI
Date: 10/4/2023
College-Simulated Learning for K–12

Key Points --Recent polling suggests that nearly half of parents would prefer a hybrid approach for their child's education, combining on-campus and at-home learning days each week. A promising model of hybrid education exists by the name of college-simulated learning. --The rise of education savings accounts and various voucher programs will allow entrepreneurs to dramatically expand this current niche model. --Beyond the private sector, conservatives can and should take steps to enable the college-simulated learning model to take root in traditional public schools and public charter schools.

Teacher Education, Quality, and Professional Development

Source: EdChoice
Date: 10/5/2023
Surfing the Pipeline: Understanding Pathways into Teaching in Alternative Models of Schooling

According to the Secretary of Education's 2022 annual report on teacher preparation, in 2018-19 around 560,000 individuals were enrolled in one of the nation's 21,510 teacher preparation programs housed at 2,178 different institutions. Around 150,000 people completed a teacher preparation program that year. Few, if any, were even taught about microschooling or hybrid schooling, let alone prepared to teach in them. In Surfing the Pipeline, author Mike McShane marshalled survey data as well as reviewed course offerings by colleges of education in some of the most choice-rich states and found few examples of courses designed to prepare teachers to teach these emerging models.

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.

Review of Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit: Economic Analysis

Source: Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts
Reviewed by: David Knight, University of Washington

A recent report from the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts examines the monetary costs and benefits of the state's Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit (QEEC), a voucher policy that provides a public subsidy for families to pay for private school tuition. A review of the report, however, contradicts its claim that the policy provides a net fiscal benefit to the state budget.

David Knight of the University of Washington reviewed Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit: Economic Analysis, and he found several methodological challenges that undermine the report's conclusions and its usefulness.

What We're Reading

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

Hispanic Heritage Month Resources

By: Learning for Justice

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States from September 15 through October 15. It's imperative to respect and uplift the identities of all people year-round, but we also appreciate heritage months that offer a special opportunity to celebrate-and center-diverse identities.

USDA final rule expands free meal access at high-poverty schools

By: Anna Merod, -12 Dive
About 3,000 more school districts will be eligible to serve free breakfasts and lunches to all students under an expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision in a final rule announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Digital divide persists as 22% of low-income households with children lack internet

By: Anna Merod, K-12 Dive
There are resources available to help low-income families access home internet, including the Affordable Connectivity Program, a federal broadband benefit program funded by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Even so, only 64% of low-income survey respondents are aware of the program while 33% are enrolled, according to Connected Nation.

The Search for More Complex Racial and Ethnic Representation in Grade School Books

By: Tanji Reed Marshall, Ph.D. and William Rodick, Ph.D., The Education Trust

In a study of 300 children's books, Ed Trust researchers identified large disparities in who gets included and who doesn't. When people of color are included in curricula, they are often portrayed in limited ways.