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Policy Briefs and Memos

Bill de Blasio Trounces Eric Cantor in the Biggest March Madness Upset Yet

In January, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor threatened to hold hearings if newly elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to stymie public charter schools. As it turns out, Bill de Blasio has arguably done more to help public charters in three months than Cantor has done the entire 13 years he’s been in Congress. Only three Republicans - none of whom was Eric Cantor - joined the 20 Democrats who signed a letter to House Appropriators last week in support of what would be the first Charter School Program funding increase in five years.The upending of conventional wisdom that Democrats are politically constrained from promoting school reform and that Republicans are the ones pushing for big change goes beyond the de Blasio/Cantor match-up.

Read "Bill de Blasio Trounces Eric Cantor in the Biggest March Madness Upset Yet" here.

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Ten Essential Policy Changes for a Truly Progressive Education System in New York City

In "Ten Essential Policy Changes for a Truly Progressive Education System in New York City," DFER recommends what key education issue areas Mayor de Blasio should take action on during his first four years in office. Income inequality is a central plank of the Mayor's agenda, but to fix this problem it is also crucial to address education inequity in NYC.

In the paper, DFER presents a 10-point approach for reducing income inequality and improving educational opportunities that focus on the following four issue areas:

Developing High-Quality Pre-Kindergarten: “Although it may be easier to stretch the city’s available funds in a rush to make pre-kindergarten universal, we urge Mayor de Blasio to maintain a careful focus on ensuring that every seat open to our youngest students is of the highest quality.”

Improving the Open Enrollment System For High Schools: “Although New York City officials are quick to claim to low-income families that open enrollment provides equal access to the city’s finest public schools, today’s complicated and unfair system erects barriers between high- and low-income neighborhoods and offers fewer choices to those who have been previously given fewer opportunities."

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DFER IN Grades State Legislators' Actions on Ed Reform Policy

 

Contact:
Devin Boyle | 202.445.0416 | Devin@dfer.org
Larry Grau | 317.696.6567 | Larry@dfer.org 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Democrats for Education Reform Indiana Grades State Legislators’ Actions on Ed Reform Policy
Releases Indiana Legislator Report Cards

Indianapolis, Indiana, June 27th, 2013 - Democrats for Education Reform Indiana (DFER-IN) released its “DFER-INtake: Legislator Assessment” evaluating state legislators’ actions relative to education reform bills in the 2013 General Assembly, organization officials announced today. 

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DFER Indiana Releases DFER-INtake Wrap-up Report

Dear Friends,

Heading into early April, DFER Indiana (DFER-IN) produced an initial assessment of the education bills making their way through the Indiana General Assembly’s 2013 session. We called this analysis of legislation our Midterm DFER-INtake since it was our “take” on the bills we found to be most relevant to our principles and policy priorities. At the time of its release, we indicated the legislature was facing some very important decisions that had to be made relative to education policy and reform: (1) They could enact legislation benefitting the state’s students that would strengthen rigor, empower families and teachers, and emphasize smarter investments in teacher preparation and support; or, (2) They could pass legislation that retreats on the very policies that brought our state’s education system to the top in the first place. Now that the legislature has adjourned for the year, it is time to see exactly what course the General Assembly took, by presenting the “DFER-INtake Wrap-up” report.

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Culture of Countenance: Teachers, Observers and the Effort to Reform Teacher Evaluations

“Culture of Countenance” in Teacher Observations May Set New Evaluation Reforms Up for Failure If Not Addressed

In the “Culture of Countenance: Teachers, Observers and the Effort to Reform Teacher Evaluations,” DFER Policy Analyst and former teacher Mac LeBuhn communicates that unless reformers can change the “culture of countenance” regarding teacher observations new reforms to evaluations will continue the same quality-blind practices.

Read “Culture of Countenance: Teachers, Observers and the Effort to Reform Teacher Evaluations,” here.

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