Think Twice Weekly Report

FEBRUARY 3, 2024 - February 9, 2024

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 Employment; Diversity

Source: Issue in Teacher Education
Date: Spring 2023
Teacher Residencies as an Approach to Teacher Diversity

The Abstract states: Teacher residencies offer a promising approach to enhancing the recruitment, preparation, and retention of educators by addressing barriers to entering and succeeding in the teaching profession, especially among educators of color. In this paper, we examine strategies residencies might use to overcome the obstacles faced by Black educators. We draw upon a formative evaluation of the Black Educators Initiative, an investment in specific recruitment, preparation, and retention strategies to identify promising strategies for supporting Black educators. We also discuss policy and practice implications, including the importance of financial support, the role played by culturally responsive practices in teacher preparation, and the need to partner with schools and communities to support retention efforts.

School Choice

Source: Beacon Center
Date: 2/5/2024
Adopting Options: How Tennessee Can Expand Educational Choice to Every Student

Can the lessons schools learned in the Covid-19 recovery period contribute to more lasting, transformative shifts in high school?

Beacon's newest report Adopting Options: How Tennessee Can Expand Educational Choice to Every Student highlights the benefits of education choice, policies from other states who have passed universal choice legislation, and provides recommendations to policymakers on how to offer these options to every Tennessee student.


Source: EdTrust
Date: 2/6/2024
Advocates' Guide to Demanding Racially and Culturally Inclusive State Assessments

Statewide annual assessments are an essential tool for policymakers, parents, educators, and the public to understand how school systems are serving students, particularly Black and Latino students, who have long faced inequitable opportunities in school. By updating these assessments, students of color can more fully demonstrate what they know and can do, giving parents, policymakers, and educators a more accurate picture of how schools are serving all students. Right now, many assessment companies intentionally eliminate questions that involve cultural topics or themes, but by doing so, these items inherently default to the dominant culture of Whiteness.

In this report, EdTrust argues for annual federally required assessments to be more inclusive, explaining why these changes are necessary, how they can provide more accurate data, and how policymakers can exert consumer pressure on vendors to create more inclusive assessments.

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.

Once Again, University of Arkansas Charter Funding Report Makes Unfounded Claims

Source: University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform
Reviewed by: Mark Weber, Rutgers University

Mark Weber of Rutgers University and the New Jersey Policy Perspective reviewed Still a Good Investment: Charter School Productivity in Nine Cities and details the faulty methodology that undermines the validity of its conclusions.

What We're Reading

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

One school district's 'playbook' for undoing far-right education policies

By: Kathryn Joyce, The Hechinger Report

After hard-right school board members introduced sweeping changes, parents in Pennridge, Pennsylvania, voted them out and filed a federal civil rights complaint that could have implications for districts around the country

In Debt: Student Loan Burdens Among Teachers

By: Emma García Wesley Wei Susan Kemper Patrick Melanie Leung-Gagné Michael A. DiNapoli Jr., Learning Policy Institute

Using data from the National Teacher and Principal Survey from 2020–21, this report describes the state of student loan borrowing and repayment among full-time, public school teachers and explores whether student loan burdens differ by teacher characteristics. The analyses also examine the extent to which student loan debt is associated with teachers' well-being and employment decisions. The report concludes with recommendations that support the expansion of programs that alleviate or minimize the costs of comprehensive teacher preparation and credentialing; improve teaching conditions; and promote high quality preparation, career advancement, and retention.

Private Schools, Public Money: School Leaders Are Pushing Parents to Exploit Voucher Programs

By: Alec MacGillis, ProPublica

Voucher expansions have unleashed a flood of additional taxpayer dollars to the benefit of families already enrolled in private schools. In Ohio, some schools are now “strongly encouraging” parents to apply for vouchers, regardless of need or income.

Moms for Liberty faces new challenges and growing pushback over its conservative education agenda

By: Denise Royal, Carlos Suarez and Ray Sanchez, CNN

“One of their major challenges is the fact that most Americans are actually pretty positive about their own children's schools,” Jack Schneider, a professor of education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said via email. “Although their message may have appeal in the abstract, at least to conservative voters, families aren't clamoring for disruption in their own children's schools.”

The debate over Native American mascots persists as some schools reinstate the logos

By: Brooke Schultz, AP

But beyond the high-profile fights to change names, mascots and team identities, there are battles going on in local communities.