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Thursday, August 31, 2017

An #Outsider Newsflash (Special Edition): On #HurricaneHarvey

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the destruction it has wrought, please note the following that we just received that we are featuring on all our properties on this call to action by the Corporation For National Service:

Disaster Services Unit
Dear friends,
The American Red Cross is requesting volunteers who are skilled in shelter operations to support Hurricane Harvey response efforts in Texas. To learn about opportunities with the American Red Cross visit our blog.
More opportunities to volunteer may be available with Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. You can find a list of those and more at There you can  also find information on where to seek assistance, should you, or friends and family be impacted by the storm’s effects.
Please share this email with others you know who may wish to volunteer to help Texans recover.
Stay safe,

Kelly DeGraff
Senior Advisor, Disaster Services Unit

Monday, August 28, 2017

Notations From the Grid (Special Weekly Edition): On the Possibilities As We Go "Dark"

We will be going dark through Labor Day Week-End here in the United States.   We took a bit of an "Operational Pause" to reflect upon how thankful we are for the opporunity to serve.    

Please enjoy our Twitter Channel Updates as well as enjoying our Broadcast POD as we leave you with some true "Food For Thought" courtesy of Peter Diamandis and his team as we salute them for all that they do to help change the conversation about our World:

MIT's New Software Lets Anyone Build A Functioning 3D-Printed RobotWe 

What it is: Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) recently developed a system called “Interactive Robogami" that can quickly design and 3D print robots. The software provides users with a complete fabrication plan -- making this tool one that anyone can use to custom design and build robots. Users choose from a library of pre-assembled bodies, wheels and legs, to which the software will check to confirm that all designs are workable and without functionality issues, like being top-heavy. In just a few hours, the product is 3D printed as a flat kit, which is then folded into its final shape. Once available to the public, Interactive Robogami hopes this software will greatly democratize the design and fabrication of robots.
Why it's important: As we saw with the democratization of the web through a simplified user interface, the same thing is happening to robotics and more complex end products like robotics. As this develops and the barriers to experimentation disappear, look for highly personalized robots to emerge to fit previously unforeseen applications.  Share on Facebook
Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin

Walmart's Amazon War Takes to Skies with Floating Warehouses

What it is: Walmart has filed to patent a remote-controlled warehouse in the sky to more efficiently deliver packages to the last mile, stepping up its game versus Amazon. Going into greater detail than a similar patent app filed by Amazon, Walmart’s vision is for a possibly autonomous gas blimp flying somewhere between 500 and 1,000 feet, deploying drones to deliver packages in the surrounding area.
Why it's important: We're already seeing tremendous disruption in the transportation and logistics industry. What happens to the manufacturing industry when blimp warehouses enable near-instant deliveries via drone? Share on Facebook
Spotted by Sydney Fulkerson / Written by Jason Goodwin

A Breakthrough New Method for 3D Printing Living Tissues

What it is: Researchers at the University of Oxford have taken 3D bioprinting to another level with a method of printing tissues in nanoliter-sized droplets wrapped in a lipid coating that can be assembled, layer by layer, into more complex 3D structures. Whereas previous methods often faced the limitation of cells collapsing on themselves or moving within the structure, the Oxford method improves the survival rate and allows overall structures that can mimic the function and behaviors in a natural organism. Next up, the team plans on developing techniques to facilitate printing a broader range of materials and at industrial scale.
Why it's important: The implications for healthcare and longevity are enormous. As Sam Olof, CTO at OxSynBio notes, it should be possible to create “personalized treatments by using patient sourced cells to mimic or enhance tissue function” and to create new diagnostic applications for drug and toxin screening. Share on Facebook 
Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition): On US Military Involvement Around the World

Photo published for These are all the countries the USA has invaded, in one map

The Independent of London compiled this interesting graphic of all US Military Involvements since independence around the World.    The entire article is available by clicking on here.   According to the reporting, the United States has almost 200,000 Military Personnel deployed around the World.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thought For the Week (Special Edition) : Believe (An aria From the Woody Guthrie Opera, Woody For the People)

Image result for Thank You

Our team decided on this as a small measure of thanks which we are honored to feature on all our properties as our journey of service continues:

(An aria from the Woody Guthrie Opera,
Woody for the People)

I believe in redemption 
I believe in the Truth 
I believe there’s a moment when all that is good 
comes shining through

I believe in transition 
I believe change is good 
It’s the steady confusion of life that transforms 
us from old into new

And I believe … nothing could be so fine 
As Love and Forgiveness … and Mercy Devine

I believe in remorse 
that forgiveness is Truth 
And that nothing else matters as much as the 
love between me and you

And I believe … nothing could be so fine 
As Love and Forgiveness … and Mercy Devine

~ Michael Johnathon

Thursday, August 24, 2017

View of the Week (Special Thursday Edition): Free College ((Courtesy Education Next))

Something important happened in the field of education this month.

For the first time ever, any student anywhere can take top-quality courses online in every major freshman college subject, taught by professors from the most prestigious universities, that lead to full academic credit at 2,900 traditional colleges, such as Purdue, Penn State, Colorado State and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all absolutely free.
There is no tuition cost. No text book cost. No administrative or connection fees. No taxpayer subsidy or federal Title IV funding required. And this is not a plan for the future, but a working reality available to students now, already built, entirely as a private 501(c)(3) philanthropy, at an exceptionally efficient price.
The charity that built the courses, over 40 in all, is called the Modern States Education Alliance. It has a bipartisan set of allies that include the nation’s largest public college systems, such as the State University of New York system and Texas State, which themselves serve over one million students and want to improve college access. Modern States is a new type of “on-ramp to college” for any hardworking person anywhere, and a way to cut the cost of traditional four-year college by many thousands of dollars and up to 25 percent.
Now, anyone can go to, the way they go to Netflix, and choose a college course the way they pick a Netflix movie. There is no charge for the course and no charge for the online textbook that comes with it. The student can watch the lectures at any time of the day or night, repeating any part of it as often as needed. When the student feels ready, they can take the CLEP exam (a well-established, credit-bearing test from the College Board, described below) almost anywhere at any time at one of the thousands of already existing test sites.
For comparison, the cost of a traditional (i.e., non-Modern States) online or “in-person” college course from a top professor for credit often costs $1,000 or more; sometimes $2,000 when the price of books, fees and travel are included. The cost of a full year of college for credit can often be over $10,000 per year. In contrast, everything from Modern States is 100 percent free. The only potential charge is the $85 fee charged by the College Board to take a CLEP exam. Through Modern States, I’ve funded the courses and website, and agreed to pay for the first 10,000 exams. We hope to recruit other donors to help pay other students’ exam-fees beyond that; hopefully, all of them. Students can use Modern States “Freshman Year for Free” for one course or many courses. Eight courses generally equate to a full freshman year for free when students enter a school that accepts CLEPs for full credit.
Online college courses have been in existence for over 20 years, and over 5 million students take online college courses today. However, when the courses lead to traditional academic credit at major institutions, they almost always cost the same as “in-person” courses. Beginning around 2012, some of the best universities, such as Stanford, Harvard and MIT, began to give away some of their best online courses for free as “MOOCs” (massively open online courses). However, these free courses did not lead to academic credit in the traditional system, presumably because the premier universities did not want to dilute the value of their traditional degrees by creating hundreds of thousands of additional accredited graduates.
Therefore, America has had a system with (often mediocre) courses for credit at a high cost, or (sometimes great) courses at no cost but no credit. There was an obvious need to bridge the gap: to find a way to have top-quality free courses that lead to real credits as well.
I began to personally work on this question about five years ago. I make my living as head of a growth-oriented private equity firm, but I have been involved in education reform as an avocation for many years: for example, I founded after-school programs, schools and professorships beginning in 1993 and filled Jeb Bush’s seat as chair of Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance after he left to run for president. I began to write editorials on the need for credit-bearing free college courses beginning in 2012, and later enlisted David Bergeron (who oversaw post-secondary education at the Department of Education and then became a scholar at the Center for American Progress) as a bipartisan co-author. The initial idea was to change the accreditation system itself by creating a new type of accreditor to review and approve the best free courses. I went down to Washington during the Obama years to meet with the Department of Education and others to promote this idea. House Speaker Paul Ryan cited the Modern States ideas positively in his anti-poverty writings. However, it became clear to me that a change to the accreditation system itself was beyond my power as a private citizen to achieve. My colleagues and I started to look for other, more practical ways to accomplish the same “free courses for real credit” goal.
Modern States, and its just-launched program “Freshman Year for Free,” accomplishes this mission for freshman year at least, in an exceptionally simple and cost-efficient way.
We realized that, while there are courses without paths to credit, there have also been paths to credit without courses: principally, the Advanced Placement (AP) exams and College Level Examination Placement (CLEP) exams offered by the non-profit College Board for over 50 years.
Most people are probably familiar with the AP exams, but for purposes of creating a universal “on-ramp to college,” the lesser known CLEP exam is even more interesting. AP exams are given only in high schools to their students in May. CLEP exams are available to anyone, of any description, every day at thousands of testing sites, and CLEP exams are already offered free-of-charge to any active member of the U.S. military.
About 175,000 people took a CLEP exam last year, and – most importantly – a passing score on a CLEP exam (generally, 50 or above) will earn the test taker full course credit at 2,900 traditional universities when a student enters that school, just as if it was a transfer credit from community college. Each college explains in its admissions catalog which CLEP exam scores it will or won’t accept. The CLEP tests are available in over 30 freshman year subjects, from chemistry to sociology, to microeconomics, on down. The major state colleges, such as Michigan State, Colorado State, Purdue, Penn State, the SUNY system, Texas State, and all the public colleges in Kansas already welcome CLEP exam takers with full credit awarded, and so do many other schools.
Based on this understanding, Modern States has spent the last three years building a full set of top-quality, free online courses, with free online textbooks, for every subject where there is a CLEP exam in existence (over 30 courses). We have also built or gathered a catalog of top AP courses (12 subjects, some with multiple parts, for over 30 AP offerings in all). Each course is specifically tied to the academic scope and sequence tested by one of those exams.
We commissioned EdX, the online arm of Harvard and MIT, to build the AP courses. We also commissioned an organization called IBL to create the CLEP courses, all of which are available at
Commissioning a course means we recruited the best available professor in each subject, from the most prestigious possible university, to develop and give the online lectures and computer simulations, with free online textbooks and readings, and actual practice questions provided by the College Board. For example, Paul Schiff Berman, the Walter S. Cox Professor at George Washington Law School teaches the “Introductory Business Law” CLEP course. Professor Berman was dean of the George Washington Law School until 2013. Similarly, Dr. James Murphy of Johns Hopkins teaches the introductory college math courses at the CLEP level, and faculty from MIT and Davidson teach the three more advanced Calculus units at the AP level. Modern States courses are led by faculty from Columbia, Purdue, Rutgers, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Baruch College, University of Texas, Cal Berkeley, SUNY, Washington State, and elsewhere – all 100% free of charge to students and taxpayers, and with no prerequisites to entry.
We began beta testing a portion of our courses this summer and have the full slate of over 40 courses on our site as of this month, our official launch. Over 13,000 students have signed on to the Modern States site already, almost all who found us before any launch publicity.
The Modern States offerings can be helpful to a wide range of people. This past summer, I called to congratulate the first student ever to take a Modern States course and pass the CLEP. He is a 17-year-old home schooler in Oregon who passed a chemistry course, taught by a professor from Columbia. I asked him if he planned to go to college. No, he told me, he plans to be an electrician! But he has since passed two more CLEP exams with our program and perhaps he will change his mind.
We have talked to other successful Modern States users. One was a working mom who needs to take care of her one-year-old. She goes to Modern States at one in the morning, after work, and can learn from home.
Another student was a 26-year-old, who was one course away from graduation when he fell on some tough times and couldn’t afford to finish. He got his last course done, and earned his degree, for free through Modern States.
Through Modern States, anyone with a mobile phone or an internet connection can now access an entire year of credit-creating college courses, from top professors, for free. You can be a 14-year-old prodigy, an 85-year-old lifelong learner, a rock musician on the road, a veteran overseas: anyone, anywhere, for free.
The courses and materials can also be used in other ways, whether for credit or not. A high school teacher might ask her kids to watch a Modern States lecture at home and then come to class to discuss it with her next day. A poor or rural high school that does not have a trained teacher in a particular subject can use the Modern States courses for free to provide that expertise under the school faculty’s supervision.
The economies of scale are compelling. Like a movie or a YouTube video, once the program is produced and online, it costs nothing for another viewer to watch it. The more, the merrier. The Modern States courses and textbooks have now been finished and paid for. The goal is to have them benefit as many users as possible from here.
The savings to society can be large. Again, about five million students a year take traditional online courses for credit now, often at $1,000 or more per course. As a goal, I have asked my team to strive to serve one million students through Modern States cumulatively over a period of years which – by saving $1,000 per course, one million times – could produce $1 billion in savings, as compared to the single-digit millions it cost me to build the Modern States website and its courses to date. In a best case, the number of users could be much larger than a million, and there is no upper limit. In a worst case, if there are only a few users, at least we have satisfied a moral imperative – making a path to education available. Also, worst case, if no allies can be found to help students pay exam fees past my original 10,000-exam gift, the $85 College Board cost is still a tiny fraction of the cost of existing courses for credit. Meanwhile, I remain hopeful that other donors – from local civic groups to major foundations or the government itself – will, in fact, come forward.
The Modern States paradigm – nationally accepted certification tests with top-quality free courses behind them – can also find applications in other areas. For example, in vocational training, America now uses Title IV to pay tens of thousands of dollars per student to trade schools that may not lead to a degree or a job. Would it be better to encourage real-world companies to hire unskilled workers as apprentices, equip them with a library of free Modern States-style technical courses to help train the worker for a nationally recognized skills certification test, and then use a lesser amount of Title IV funds than now to pay the employer or worker a bonus when the tests are passed? The taxpayer costs could be much lower this way, and the results might be much better.
Should there be federal support for CLEP test fees for veterans as there now is for active military personnel? Should test fees for all citizens be covered as part of the next tax reform act; an idea that might more than pay for itself by saving Title IV spending on traditional tuition support?
In all cases, it is important to be clear. We are not proposing Modern States as a superior alternative to traditional residential college. If someone can attend Stanford or any other great college physically for all four years, they should. It is better than anything a strictly online experience can offer.
However, such options are increasingly out of reach and unaffordable for many people. Modern States, or concepts like it, can be an “on-ramp” to traditional college, a way to get one or more courses done before matriculating to reduce total cost. Research has also shown that students who pass at least one CLEP exam are more likely to finish their degree once they start; probably, I assume, because they are self-motivated, hardworking people to begin with. It is for these reasons that the major public university systems we have dealt with to date in New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Maryland and elsewhere have been highly supportive of our effort. They already recognize the CLEP exam and want to make college affordable too.
Also for clarity, there are always many proposals to improve education, but Modern States is significant because it is real, and it is actually here, now. Real people are taking real courses for real credits, totally for free, today. Millions more students can do so tomorrow if they so choose, at – in the very worst case – no more cost than the College Board exam fee.
Looking forward, we believe the Modern States program is just at its first stage, and should continuously improve. We hope tutoring charities will join with us, mentoring charities, college guidance charities, universities, academics, political leaders of all parties, and allies of every type. Together, we can form an “ecosystem” to provide a high quality, affordable path to education for everyone.
The moral imperative is clear. Access to education is fundamental to a world that respects every individual and fundamental to the American dream. And yet education has been getting more and more expensive, with student debt now standing at $1.3 trillion. If Abe Lincoln came back to life, he should be able to obtain an education. Any hard-working, intelligent, motivated person should be able to obtain an education.
Modern States’ “Freshman Year for Free” is one highly practical, low-cost, real-world way toward this goal. We hope students will use it. We hope allies will join with us to build it. We hope that Modern States “Freshman Year for Free” may stand as a model for other innovators to follow.

— Steve Klinsky
Steve Klinsky is the founder and CEO of the Modern States Education Alliance, a 501(c)(3) philanthropy, and the founder and CEO of New Mountain Capital.

This post originally appeared on

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On Tips & Ideas for Non Profits

Please enjoy these courtesy of the Network For Good Team on Tips & Ideas for all non profits to take advantage of:

12-18 tips banner.jpg
Did you know that 30% of all giving happens in December? Summer is the time to start preparing for year-end. Download this checklist to stay on track.
Get a copy »
When donors feel appreciated, they make larger gifts AND give longer. Join us on Thursday, August 24 at 1pm EDT, and discover 30 fun donor recognition tactics that have helped real nonprofits boost individual contributions by 20% to nearly 100%.
Save my spot »

To make your mission sustainable, your nonprofit needs the right mix of funding sources – including individual giving.
Learn more »

As we’re getting ready for giving season, here are four of the most common mistakes nonprofits make in their donor communications and how you can avoid them:
Avoid these »

Monday, August 21, 2017

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On Education Outlook w/a Focus on @POTUS & #California

As a new week dawns, please enjoy this "snapshot" courtesy of the team at Education Next with a special focus of our Home State of California along with the Education policies of President Trump:

Education Next: "When it Comes to Education, Are Californians Unique? – by Paul E. Peterson” plus 2 more

Posted: 16 Aug 2017 09:07 PM PDT

Of all the 48 continental states, the Grizzly Bear State, as it was originally known, has the hottest, driest valley (Death Valley), the highest hill (Mt. Whitney), the largest living tree (Sequoia), the most people, and the greatest number of domestically raised turkeys living outside the state capital (Sacramento). But when it comes to K-12 education, are the views of Californians any different from those living elsewhere across the United States?
To gather up some indications on this intriguing topic, I took a look at the Californians who participated in the 2017 Education Next survey of American adults, which was administered to a representative sample of 4,200 respondents nationwide, including 523 Californians. As reported elsewhere, the survey asked about school spending, charters, vouchers, teacher unions, bilingual education, digital learning, state take-overs of troubled district schools, teacher unions, merit pay, teacher tenure, and many other matters. For all results see the data here.
One word of caution. The Education Next sample is drawn to be nationally representative of the United States as a whole. It does not contain representative samples for any of the states, not even the largest one. So the results reported below can only be suggestive; to get a reliable sample of public opinion in the state, a survey for that state would need to be conducted. What follows only offers hints as to what such a survey might find.
Those who would hasten the movement of the tectonic plate destined to drag a goodly share of California into the depths of the Pacific Ocean will be surprised to learn that Californians are not direct descendants of aliens from the other side of Pluto but common, ordinary Americans who think pretty much like everyone else. On dozens of questions, the answers provided by the average Californian do not deviate from the responses provided by the average American by any more than 6 percentage points. That difference is too small to be worth discussing, especially since we cannot be certain we have a representative sample.
Yet one large difference turned up in an experiment Education Next undertook. The survey sample was split into two random halves. The respondents in the first group were asked whether they thought teacher salaries should increase, decrease, or remain about the same. The second half was asked the same question only after first being told current average salaries in the state.
This information had a much greater impact on Californians than elsewhere. When simply asked whether they think salaries should increase, decrease, or remain about the same, 68% of Californians, but just 61% of the U. S. public, favors an increase. But when first given current average salaries, the support for an increase plummets in California to just 27%, as compared to 36% across the country. In other words, the shift in opinion is no less than 41 percentage points in California, as compared to 25 percentage points in the United States as a whole.
Why does information about teacher salaries have a bigger impact in California? Very likely, it is because Californians seriously underestimate current teacher salaries. They think teachers in their state are paid an average of about $45,600 when in fact they are paid about $72,800, on average. That’s an underestimate of over $27,000. In the United States as a whole, the underestimate is just short of $18,000. While both under-estimates are similar in percentage terms, the bigger dollar difference probably leaves most Californians wondering why teachers need to be paid still more.
A few other differences were also discerned.
1. Californians are more suspicious of homeschooling. Only 33% would allow it, while 41% would not. The rest take no position. For the U. S. public as a whole, the balance of opinion is much more favorable: 45% in favor, 34% opposed.
2. Californians are more likely to favor allowing the formation of after-school clubs by Muslim students than by Evangelical ones. Fifty-seven percent of Grizzly State residents would allow a group of Muslim students to organize an after-school club at their local public school, and only 17% would not. This compares to 45% favor, 27% opposed among the U. S. public. But Californians are less likely to give that same opportunity to Evangelical students. Only 39% would allow it, while 31% oppose the exercise of that religious right. Among the U. S. public as a whole, 48% support the Evangelical’s right to organize clubs, and just 21% oppose it.
3. Californians are much more likely to favor Common Core state standards. Fifty-one percent of Californians express a positive view, as compared to 41% for the country as a whole. Californians are also more likely to favor the testing of students than are people in the United States as a whole. Seventy-three percent of Californians, but only 63% of the U. S. public favor the federal requirement that students be tested in grades three through eight and again in high school.   Californians are also more likely to favor testing of pre-school children.
All of these differences are provocative in one way or another. But the more important fact is that on most issues the opinions in California resemble those of the public across the United States as a whole. We suspect this to be the case. In order to be sure, a survey would need to be given to a specific sample drawn to be representative of the state’s adult population, not one that includes Californians but is drawn to be representative of the U. S. adult population.
— Paul E. Peterson
Paul E. Peterson is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Senior Editor of Education Next.
Posted: 16 Aug 2017 09:03 PM PDT
The big news out of this year’s Education Next poll is the sharp decline in support for charter schools, even among Republicans, which is going to leave us wonks scratching our heads for months. But don’t miss the findings on what we used to call “standards-based reform.” Support for common standards has rebounded, with proponents outnumbering opponents three to one. And a strong plurality of Americans want states—and not the feds, and not local school boards—to set academic standards, determine whether a school is failing, and if so, determine how to fix it.

Perhaps not coincidentally, this is precisely where Congress landed two years ago when it passed the Every Student Succeeds Act. Lawmakers pushed key decisions to the states and, in some cases, to local communities. But there were limits. When it came to standards-setting and testing, the feds made it clear that states could not delegate their responsibilities. Uniform, statewide systems are still required, just as they have been for over twenty years.
Alas, someone needs to explain that to Arizona and New Hampshire. While both states deserve plaudits for innovative moves in recent years—Arizona for its excellent approach to school ratings under ESSA, and New Hampshire for its work on competency-based education — they have erred in enacting laws that would let local elementary and middle schools select among a range of options when it’s time for annual standardized testing. That’s bad on policy grounds, and it clearly violates ESSA.
First let’s tackle the substantive concerns. The reason that policymakers have embraced statewide standards and assessments for more than two decades is that they are proven ways to raise expectations for all students. In the bad old days, before statewide standards, affluent communities tended to ask their kids to shoot for the moon (or at least 3s, 4s, and 5s on a battery of Advanced Placement exams), while too many schools in low-income neighborhoods were happy with basic literacy and numeracy. These expectations gaps haven’t disappeared, but they have narrowed. And statewide standards and assessments at least point to a common North Star, plus provide transparency about how close students and schools are coming to achieving college-and-career-ready benchmarks.
The risk with Arizona and New Hampshire’s approach is that some schools will opt for easier tests—and that will exacerbate the expectations and achievement gaps.
As for the legal question, as this brief from Dennis Cariello makes clear, Congress debated whether to allow states to let districts choose among a menu of tests, and decided against it—at least for grades 3–8. It did open the door to such an approach in high school, where kids are already taking lots of other tests. And there’s good evidence that getting everyone to take the SAT or ACT is smart policy. But not for younger students.
To be sure, the testing landscape is going to continue to evolve, and federal policy should be supportive. Already, for example, several states have asked for waivers from ESSA to allow them to give an algebra test to some of their middle schoolers, rather than the regular assessment, so as to avoid double-testing. That strikes me as perfectly reasonable. There’s also ESSA’s “innovative assessments pilot,” which provides space for breaking new ground.
But a general balkanization of standards and testing is not allowed, for good reason. Local control has its place—but, as Americans told Education Next, it also has its limits.
— Mike Petrilli
Mike Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and executive editor of Education Next.
This post originally appeared in Flypaper.
Posted: 16 Aug 2017 09:51 AM PDT
Andrew Ujifusa writes about one of the more interesting findings from the new EdNext survey on the Politics K-12 blog. He notes:
People’s views of charter schools, tax-credit scholarships, the Common Core State Standards, and teacher merit pay were sharply affected in several instances when they were told where Trump stands on them.
He further explains:
The survey found that Republicans who were asked about four key policy issues, and then told of Trump’s opinion about them, moved closer to Trump’s view on three of those four issues. Specifically, there was a 15 percentage-point increase in support for charter schools among those identifying with the GOP when told of the president’s support for charters, and a 10 percentage-point bump in support for tax-credit scholarships. Meanwhile, support for the common core dropped by 5 percentage points when Republicans were told of Trump’s opposition to the standards.
Conversely, Democrats were less likely to support two of those four policies when informed of Trump’s opinion. The biggest drop in support among Democrats when informed of Trump’s views, 14 percentage points, was for his support of teacher merit pay. Support among Democrats for tax-credit scholarships also dropped by 7 percentage points when they were told that the president backed them.
Ultimately, the impact of Trump’s positions on the public’s opinion was basically nil when these disparate reactions were taken into account, according to a poll analysis by Samuel Barrows, Michael B. Henderson, Paul G. Peterson, and Martin R. West for Education Next.
Anya Kamenetz of NPR also wrote about this phenomenon in “Suprise, Trump’s Education Ideas are Polarizing.”
For more information about the survey, please read “The 2017 EdNext Poll on School Reform,” released on August 15, 2017.
— Education Next