Weekend Reading List

Fun graphs on the change in educational attainment over time by state.

Teach for America keeps getting better.

Hailly Korman and Kelly Robson on the fragmentation between schools and social service agencies.

Max Marchitello on how Arizona keeps cutting teacher retirement benefits.

Bellwether has two new short briefs on charter schools in California, on special education and facilities. In particular, the special education brief addressed one common myth: That California charter schools enroll fewer special education students and thus force traditional school districts to carry a disproportionate burden for educating those students. As the brief outlines, California uses a regional, census-based model that shares special education costs across entities and helps address this problem:

This structural arrangement for special education upends the commonly held belief that charter schools, through a kind of selective enrollment, choose not to enroll their share of students with disabilities, and thereby overburden traditional school district budgets. Instead, districts retain special education funding that is based on enrollment across both district and charter schools and determine how to best deploy those resources.

That funding arrangement system is still far from perfect, but it’s not as simple (or as bad) as the raw statistics might lead you to believe.

Today marks the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. If you haven’t already, I recommend listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast episode on the specific direction and argument the Court took in deciding the case, as well as the subsequent impact on black teachers.

–Guest post by Chad Aldeman