Governance & Finance Issues Edition

Welcome Back Student Loan Servicers!

Welcome Back Student Loan Servicers!

By Dirk Zuschlag Over forty million Americans owe over $1.3 trillion in federal student loans. According to one study, student loan defaults average about 3,000 per day. And each year the federal government spends about $800 million to collect on that debt, principally by contracting with a “patchwork” of private student loan servicers. This is… Read More »

Ratings Revelations from the First Batch of State ESSA Plans

Ratings Revelations from the First Batch of State ESSA Plans

By Dirk Zuschlag          Although the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) rolls back federal education mandates to allow states more authority over their accountability systems, it nonetheless requires that the Secretary of Education approve each state’s accountability plan to be implemented in the 2017-18 school year. Under an Obama Administration policy, states (and Washington, DC) could… Read More »

Starting School Before Labor Day: A Response to Economic Concerns

By Nancy Duchesneau   Since 2006, Michigan has required public schools to start the fall semester after Labor Day so that the school year would not interfere with the tourism industry in the state. This requirement may be rolled back for the coming school year if Senate Bill 0271 passes, giving districts the flexibility to… Read More »

What’s in a Name: A “Skinny Budget” Indeed

What’s in a Name: A “Skinny Budget” Indeed

By Dirk Zuschlag    Every year the president’s proposed budget is pronounced D.O.A. in Congress even before it leaves the White House. It still garners attention for what it may say about the administration’s policy priorities. About two weeks ago, the Trump Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued its first “skinny budget,” a sort of… Read More »

After-School Programs and the Efficacy of School-Related Nutrition Programs

After-School Programs and the Efficacy of School-Related Nutrition Programs

By Nancy Duchesneau   President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, has faced criticism in the media for ostensibly claiming there is no evidence to suggest school-related nutrition programs benefit students’ academic achievement (see here and here). The specific statement that has come under fire is:   So, let’s talk about after-school programs generally. They’re supposed… Read More »

Spring’s Coming Attractions—In the States, That Is

Spring’s Coming Attractions—In the States, That Is

By Dirk Zuschlag As winter draws to a close, officially anyway, a lot of education policy is happening in the nation’s capital. Within the last week, all three federal branches got into the act: the Senate prepared to join the House in voting to “disapprove” key Obama Administration regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act… Read More »

Transgender Rights vs “Restroom Safety” in Education

Transgender Rights vs “Restroom Safety” in Education

By Nancy Duchesneau   The Trump administration has reversed transgender protections that allowed individuals in public schools to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity rather than their biological sex. It seems there are several misunderstandings surrounding the issue of transgender experiences. This post will attempt to mediate the disagreement with available evidence.  … Read More »

R.I.P. Coalition of Essential Schools

R.I.P. Coalition of Essential Schools

By Dirk Zuschlag When was the last time you heard anything about the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES)? Have you ever? According to the headline of an Education Week article posted January 20, 2017, “Iconic School-Reform Group Ends 33-Year Run.” The article lead identifies the CES as “a progressively oriented school reform network” that “will… Read More »

Michigan To Pilot Alternative Education Accountability System

By Alex Schwarz and Nancy Duchesneau Alexander Schwarz is an Accountability Specialist within the Michigan Department of Education. Alex joined MDE in 2011 and is responsible for a variety of research, data, and policy-oriented initiatives. He previously worked as a Planner in the Strategic Planning Unit of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation… Read More »

Getting to School in Detroit

Getting to School in Detroit

Sarah Winchell Lenhoff (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Wayne State University. Her research focuses on education policy development and implementation; network-based school improvement; and school choice, with a special interest in Detroit. By Sarah Winchell Lenhoff The Michigan Department of Education recently released its annual… Read More »