It’s the homestretch for Seattle students! June 20 marks the final day of school for the district’s high-school seniors, and everyone else will finish the school year next week on June 27.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Take your much-needed break, unwind, then come back for these great education stories.
We’re sharing the “What We’re Reading” section from our weekly Education Lab newsletter right here.
Subscribe to the newsletter to see our favorite education stories from around the country in your inbox first, plus our best features from the week and Seattle-area education events. The newsletter also includes opportunities for readers to join the conversation.
Here’s what we’re reading this week.
How did Teach for America become an arm of the charter-school movement? An investigation from ProPublica revealed the Walton Family Foundation, Teach for America’s largest private donor, was paying $4,000 for every teacher placed in a traditional public school but $6,000 for every one placed in a charter school. Teach for America’s original mission was to alleviate teacher shortages in public schools, but the donations from school-choice advocates corresponded to a shift in the organization’s direction: “Although only 7% of students go to charter schools, Teach for America sent almost 40% of its 6,736 teachers to them in 2018 — up from 34% in 2015 and 13% in 2008.”
Government officials have said public schools rarely restrain students or isolate them in separate rooms to deal with behavior issues, but now they aren’t quite sure. A new federal watchdog report questions the quality of the data the U.S. Department of Education collects on restraint and seclusion. “Our findings raise serious concerns about underreporting and misreporting of the use of seclusion and restraint,” the author of the report told NPR. “It is therefore not possible to know the extent of the use of seclusion and restraint nationwide.” Stay tuned for a local look at these numbers, and why they matter.
The driver of a school bus for students with disabilities in Maryland is retiring, and he’s giving his early retirement incentive back to the school’s autism program. Ted Quatman has been driving Bus 327 at Darlington Elementary School for nine years. His district offers a $500 incentive for notifying them of retirement early, but Quatman is giving it back to the program that supports many of the students he got to know. “[I thought] I could drive a school bus, not knowing I’d have the most lovable kids in the world,” Quatman told The Baltimore Sun. “You learn to fall in love with these kids. It’s not something that wears off. I think a lot about them.”