Think Twice Weekly Report

OCTOBER 14, 2023 - OCTOBER 20, 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

Politics, Policy, and School Practices

Source: Cato Institute
Date: 10/17/2023
Are Public School Libraries Accomplishing Their Mission?

This policy analysis discusses the country's public school library situation, including who is supposed to control holdings and how acquisition works. Then it reports on a small experiment to address three questions: (1) Can the public see which books are in libraries; (2) do libraries contain potentially controversial books; and (3) can students access diverse views?

School Finance and Funding

Source: Bellwether
Date: 10/17/2023
Lasting Change: A Policy Playbook for Improving State K-12 Finance Systems

State education finance systems play a crucial role in providing the resources that schools and districts need to ensure student success. But modernizing these systems to reflect changing needs is often cumbersome and complicated. Lasting Change: A Policy Playbook for Improving State K-12 Finance Systems builds on the framework we created in our previous publication, Making Change, to offer more concrete guidance for advocates, policymakers, and education leaders looking to influence K-12 funding reform.

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 The 123s of School Choice: What the Research Says About Private School Choice Programs in America, 2023 Edition

Source: EdChoice
Reviewed by: Christopher Lubienski, Indiana University

The 2023 (fifth) edition of a semi-regular EdChoice report about school-choice studies is billed as an updated overview of the varied and often contested research on outcomes in voucher-like programs that provide public funding for private schools. But like earlier editions, it uses flawed methods that tally certain voucher studies finding impacts on any subgroup, even if there was no effect on most students. There is little to no accounting for the studies' sampling, quality, generalizability, or other important factors.

Christopher Lubienski of Indiana University reviewed The 123s of School Choice: What the Research Says About Private School Choice Programs in America, 2023 Edition and found fault in its study-selection issues, a mis-weighting of studies of varied value, and a simplistic and often misleading design.

What We're Reading

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

A third of schools don't have a nurse. Here's why that's a problem.

By: Colleen Deguzman, CBS News

More than a third of schools nationwide don't have a full-time nurse on-site, according to a 2021 survey by the National Association of School Nurses. The schools that don't have a dedicated nurse either share one with other campuses, or don't have one at all. Meanwhile, the nation is facing high rates of chronic illnesses among K-12 students, such as diabetes and asthma, along with an unprecedented mental health crisis among youth, and school nurses are at the front lines - often, alone.

Education Department watchdog to audit pandemic aid dollars through 2025

By: Naaz Modan, K-12 Dive
The agency warned of the potential for fraud or misuse, but said no major instances have been found in ESSER spending to date.

Curriculum wars prompt separate collection at Scholastic book fairs

By: Naaz Modan, K-12 Dive
Some schools in states with curriculum restrictions have opted to include the separate collection that includes LGBTQ+ and race-related titles.In its announcement last week, Scholastic said -"these laws create an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted."

FCC expands E-rate to cover school bus Wi-Fi

By: Anna Merod, K-12 Dive

The expansion is aimed at closing the homework gap faced by students who lack internet connectivity at home.

Parents and Caregivers for Inclusive Education

By: Maya Henson Carey, Learning For Justice
Responsible parent and caregiver groups are focusing on children's right to inclusive and equitable education-in direct opposition to politically motivated -"parents' rights" groups with discriminatory agendas that harm young people.