Tag Archives: differences

Best Wishes for Students in DCTA's New Math & Science Leadership Academy

I don’t have time for a long post today. But my Education Policy Center friends wanted to let you know that they have only well wishes for the success of Denver’s new innovation school (not really a traditional district school, not really a charter): Math and Science Leadership Academy. The school is going to be run by teachers through the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), the local union. The outgoing DCTA president Kim Ursetta explains on her blog some of the reaction that the new school is getting because DCTA is taking the unusual step of not having a principal: In talking to some administrators (central and building) today, they still don’t understand what we’re trying to do. One principal said, “Yeah, but who is the administrator?” Another said, “Good luck with your charter school.” My favorite is the principals who asked what I’ll be doing now, and I tell them about the school. They just stared… and walk away. I didn’t know that math and science, to start, was THAT out of the box. Unorthodox? Yes. But I hope for the academic and all-around well-being of the students who are enrolled to attend there, that the teachers there find […]


Research Shows Information Changes Public Opinion on School Funding

One of the main things my friends here at the Education Policy Center do is to shed light on the public debate with information. It’s good to see in scientific terms that information makes a difference with people’s opinions about important policy issues related to education. The new issue of Education Next highlights the research of University of Chicago Professor William Howell and Brown University Professor Martin West — who tested this idea in the area of whether schools should receive more funding. Here’s a sample of what they learned: The average per-pupil spending estimate from respondents to the 2008 Education Next/PEPG survey was $4,231, and the median response was just $2,000; but for these respondents, local average spending per pupil at the time exceeded $10,000. When told how much the local schools were spending, support for increased spending dropped by 10 percentage points, from 61 percent to a bare majority of 51 percent. Howell and West find that these differences in opinion based on exposure to key information are consistent across a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, views about the local public schools, and political ideologies. “It’s clear that the American public is quite willing to update its views […]