Think Twice Weekly Report

MAY 18, 2024 - MAY 24, 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

Community Schools

Source: In the Public Interest
Date: 5/23/2024
How Community Schools are Transforming Public Education

Research shows that community schools that adhere to best practices improve student educational outcomes, increase attendance, improve peer/adult relationships and attitudes toward school, and reduce racial and economic achievement gaps. We also know that for every dollar invested in a community school, the community gets $15 back because better schools boost the economy and well-being of its population. This report is a collection of stories about community schools that are transforming the way they function and demonstrating progress on a variety of outcome measures.

Politics / Vouchers

Source: AEI
Date: 5/21/2024
The Conservative Case for the Child Care and Development Block Grant

"Key Points
-- Even in education policymaking circles, the Child Care and Development Block Grant program is relatively obscure.
-- Liberal policymakers oppose the choice and pluralism promoted by the vouchers that this program provides.
-- Conservatives in Congress should promote, defend, and expand this bastion of school choice in early education."

Reading Instruction

Source: Fordham Institute
Date: 5/22/2024
Think Again: Should Elementary Schools Teach Reading Comprehension?

"For decades, conventional wisdom held that reading comprehension depended on the acquisition of isolatable, teachable, and generalizable skills, such as "finding the main idea." This notion led to the widespread adoption of many dubious practices, often united in the "workshop model," including giving students their choice of books that supposedly matched their reading level, devoting large stretches of class time to "sustained silent independent reading," and focusing too much attention on reading comprehension "skills and strategies."

In this policy brief, Daniel Buck challenges this orthodoxy, arguing that once students have learned to decode, reading with understanding depends more on broad knowledge of the world than generalizable skills. To improve student comprehension, teachers and schools must do their best to impart such knowledge through systematic exposure to history, literature, science, and other subjects."

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 Reality of Switchers

Source: EdChoice
Reviewed by: Joshua Cowen, Michigan State University

A new report from the voucher-advocacy group EdChoice takes issue with the overwhelming evidence establishing that most users of vouchers under recent expansions of these policies have never attended public schools.

In his review of The Reality of Switchers, Michigan State University professor Joshua Cowen highlights the lack of credible research literature and the absence of an accepted methodology used by EdChoice to arrive at its conclusions.

What We're Reading

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

A quarter of U.S. teachers say AI tools do more harm than good in K-12 education

By: Luona Lin, Pew Research Center

As some teachers start to use artificial intelligence (AI) tools in their work, a majority are uncertain about or see downsides to the general use of AI tools in K-12 education, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in fall 2023.

Alliance for Resource Equity Resources

By: Alliance for Resource Equity

To learn more about the different ways that systemic resource equities commonly impact students and schools across the country-and what we can do about it-experience this new interactive story from the Alliance for Resource Equity.

Governor signs Tennessee law letting parents, educators make final 4th-grade retention decisions

By: Marta W. Aldrich, Chalkbeat

Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation Tuesday to let each fourth grader's parents, teacher, and principal decide collectively whether a student should be held back due to a second straight year of low reading scores, even after a year of tutoring.

The story of how one college abruptly closed - and kept everyone in the dark

By: Meredith Kolodner, The Hechinger Report

U.S. colleges are closing at a rate of one per week, due to enrollment declines and the end of pandemic-era related aid. One such closure is Wells College. On April 29 - just a week before finals - it was announced that the college would close. The last-minute decision by the 156-year-old liberal arts college in upstate New York sent students rushing to find new colleges for the fall. And it threw newly accepted students, who had already put down deposits, into a frantic scramble to see if the colleges they had turned down would take them back. Faculty members, having missed the academic hiring cycle, were left facing unemployment.

White House aims to expand access to African American history

By: Naaz Modan, K12 Dive

Unveiled on the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the effort includes support for literature and resources, along with grants to diversify schools.