Posted March 23, 2018 06:14:16 When the Obama administration began the effort to improve school learning in 2015, it was meant to address a “disruptive” school climate.
Now, with the 2020 presidential election just months away, educators and school officials are concerned about the impact of a Trump presidency.
A recent report from the National Center for Educational Statistics found that the number of students in charter schools increased by 3 percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2019, and that charter schools accounted for 13 percent of all school districts.
The study also found that charters increased enrollment by 10 percent, which is the largest jump among all districts.
But the report also noted that the increase in enrollment was not enough to keep up with the growth of students entering school and teachers, and more than 70 percent of charter schools were already overcrowded by the end of 2019.
The report called for a $1.5 billion expansion of school readiness programs, including an additional $200 million to increase retention in elementary schools.
In the months since, the Obama Administration has launched a broad effort to boost student achievement and teacher retention, with a range of initiatives, including the establishment of the Office of Empowerment and Emotional Intelligence Assessment (EOI), a training program that is designed to provide teachers with the tools they need to improve their work and school environments, and an increase in support for educators to provide emotional support for students, according to a May 20, 2019, statement from the Department of Education.
The EOI is currently recruiting teachers for its Empowering Teachers Training Program, and a spokesperson for the Department said it is “working with states and local districts to support a robust EOII program.”
In the meantime, the EOIA has partnered with a variety of education and advocacy organizations, including Teach for America, to expand training for teachers, according the statement.
The group has also created the Empower Schools Coalition, which plans to help educators build stronger relationships with their students, said the spokesperson.
More than 70% of charter districts are already over capacity, and over 60% of the districts that opened in the last six years are over capacity and are seeking additional resources to help students stay in school, according a June 20, 2018, statement by the EOs Office of Learning Outreach.
The statement said that EOIS also is working with the federal Department of Labor and the National Association of Counties to expand resources to support schools, staff and parents to ensure their schools remain in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
The Trump Administration has been very aggressive in its efforts to address school climate, said Nancy J. Dyer, who directs the National Academy of Education’s School Climate Initiative.
“School climate is a huge problem for kids, it’s a huge challenge for parents, and it’s going to be a huge burden for the economy,” Dyer said.
The federal government has been working to boost the education of students by creating the Common Core Standards, and is also working to expand opportunities for teachers.
Dyson said the Common, the standards, have helped teachers, principals and parents understand how to improve classroom learning and build better school environments.
“The Common Core is the foundation of many of the new strategies that are being put in place to make the schools more effective,” she said.