Think Twice Weekly Report

MAY 25, 2024 - MAY 31, 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

High-Stakes Testing and Evaluation

Source: Future ED
Date: 5/27/2024
None of the Above: A New Vision for State Standardized Testing

Statewide standardized testing has played a central role in public education for three decades, providing insights into school performance and driving improvement. But state testing, mandated by federal law, has become increasingly divisive.

At the heart of the controversy is the fact that stakeholders want the tests to serve two different, equally legitimate, and largely incompatible roles. They want the tests to provide policymakers information on student achievement that’s comparable across schools and school districts to hold schools accountable for results. And they want them to give educators and families detailed information to improve instruction and track individual student progress. The tests are unable to play both roles effectively.

The conflict has led to high-quality, costly tests being criticized and abandoned, new initiatives struggling to meet both demands, and a stalled national discussion on teaching students to higher standards. It has played into the hands of opponents of state testing, threatening testing’s vital contributions to instructional improvement, school quality, research, and equity.

In None of the Above: A New Vision for State Standardized Testing, FutureEd Director Thomas Toch and Senior Fellow Lynn Olson present a blueprint for resolving the testing stalemate, one that proposes a new role for state tests as part of a testing model promoting high standards, greater transparency for policymakers and parents, and a strong focus on teaching and learning.

Early Childhood Education

Source: Urban Institute
Date: 5/29/2024
Early Educators' Reflections on the DC Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund

The District of Columbia (DC) introduced the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund in 2022, aiming to achieve pay parity between early childhood educators in licensed child care facilities and public school teachers. This program, the first of its kind in the nation, seeks to address historical inequities and improve staff recruitment and retention efforts. This report provides an in-depth exploration of early childhood educators' experiences with the Pay Equity Fund during its initial year of implementation.

Teacher Employment and Retention

Source: CRPE
Date: 5/29/2024
Early evidence of improved educator outcomes in Next Education Workforce models

Concerns about the teacher workforce are rising, with fewer teachers recommending the profession and decreasing interest among students. In response, school systems are redesigning teacher roles to make the job more appealing and sustainable. This brief examines early outcomes from the Next Education Workforce™ (NEW) team-based models in Mesa, Arizona, which shift from the traditional “one teacher, one classroom” approach to collaborative teams. These models are especially beneficial for early-career educators by providing structured support....This brief is the first in a series of studies analyzing the impact of NEW models, with future reports set to include more comprehensive data and student outcomes

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:

Stop Closing Public Schools Action Kit

By: Advancement Project

The team at Advancement Project has been monitoring the increasing trend of harmful and discriminatory school closures. They have been listening to organizers nationwide who are working to protect their public schools. To support these efforts, they created an Action Kit. This kit is designed to help organizers, families, and community members understand the negative impacts of school closures and develop strategies to prevent them.

Tracking the Fallout of State Tax Cuts

By: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

In recent years, many states have embarked on a tax-cutting spree. Over half have significantly reduced income taxes for wealthy individuals and corporations, sometimes by substantial amounts. Communities are beginning to experience the combined effects of these large tax cuts, the expenses of new school voucher programs, and the expiration of federal fiscal aid. A new resource from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, titled "Tracking the Fallout of State Tax Cuts," documents this ongoing story. It explores the impact of these decisions on crucial goals such as reducing income inequality, promoting racial equity, and safeguarding democracy.

Can paying college tutors help drive interest in teaching?

By: Anna Merod, K12 Dive

Compensating college students to tutor in K-12 is expanding the pool - and potentially opening eyes to future careers..

AI Will Displace Humans In Many Jobs But Teachers Hard To Replace, Says Duolingo's Von Ahn

By: Anna Esaki-Smith, Forbes

According to Luis von Ahn, cofounder and CEO of Duolingo, while artificial intelligence is expected to replace many human jobs, certain professions, such as teaching, will be more resilient to these changes.

What Would Religious Charter Schools Mean for Public Education?

By: Kevin G. Welner, Education Week

A strong article from NEPC Director Kevin Welner regarding the opening of the nation's first religious charter school in Oklahoma