The Fight Continues

 The New York Times reports that Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he is “100 percent confident” that Betsy DeVos “will be the next secretary of education.” But media reporting shows that won’t happen without a fight.  USA Today quoted Sen. Susan Collins as saying that DeVos’ “concentration on charter schools and vouchers … raises the question about whether or not she fully appreciates that the secretary of education’s primary focus must be on helping states and communities … strengthen our public schools.” The Wall Street Journal reported that Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she will vote against DeVos because thousands of her constituents in Alaska have contacted her to express concerns that are similar to her own. The Washington Times said that with the GOP holding a 52-48 majority in the Senate, votes against DeVos by Collins and Murkowski mean “it’s unlikely Mrs. DeVos will get more than 50 votes’ support.” That would mean that Vice President Pence could cast a tie-breaking vote.


Michelle Obama: “Lead by example with hope.”

“So don’t be afraid. You hear me? Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined.”

These were the words of Michelle Obama, as she spoke from the White House on Jan. 6, reflecting on her time as First Lady. Her speech was part of a ceremony for educators during which she honored the nation’s 2017 School Counselor of the Year.  She said,“Lead by example with hope, never fear.”

The Washington Post reported: “Obama thanked teachers and advocates “all across this nation who get up every day and work their hearts out to lift up our young people. I am so grateful to all of you for your passion and your dedication and all the hard work on behalf of the next generation, and I can think of no better way to end my time as first lady than celebrating with all of you, so I want to close today by simply saying ‘thank you.’”

Quality Counts: The Nation Gets a ‘C’

Education Week released its 21st annual “Quality Counts” report on the state of the nation’s public schools. The conclusion? Stable achievement, with a grade of “C.”

Massachusetts was in first place for the third year in a row. Nevada is at the bottom. Ohio earned a grade of “C,” with 74.2 points, ranking 22nd,

Ohio exceeds the national average score in elementary reading, middle school math, and high school graduation. Our rank is 11th for integrating non-native English speaking children and 43rd for enrolling eligible children in kindergarten.  Here are Ohio’s general scores:

Chance for Success: C+ (78.1)

Early foundations: B (84.4) School years: C (75.0) Adult outcomes: C (75.9)

K-12 Achievement: C- (70.7)

Status: C- (69.8) Change: D (65.9) Equity: B- (80.9)

School Finance: C (73.8)

Equity: B (83.3) Spending: D (64.4)

Quality Counts grades the states and the nation on educational performance across a range of key indicators, issuing overall A-F grades based on a traditional 100-point scale.