The social status of bullies and other miscellany
February 08, 2011
- With the initial buzz over virtual schooling on
its way out, questions about quality and effectiveness are on their way in. Erin
Dillon and Bill Tucker admit they don’t have all the answers, but in their Education Next article “Lessons for Online
Learning,” they outline several issues policy makers and educators will
need to address in order to make virtual schools effective: the rigor and
universality of virtual school performance standards; the need for data and
research on virtual school effectiveness; and the murky policy questions
related to funding and access to virtual schools, among others.
- Realtors, meet the education policy
Lozier and Andrew J. Rotherham’s new study Location, Location, Location: How would a
high-performing charter school network fare in different states? explores the possible effects of re-locating
the much-lauded Aspire charter school network from California to various other
states. Lozier and Rotherham find that, depending on the charter-friendliness
and per-pupil spending in a given state, Aspire (a proxy for other
high-performing charter networks) would make a small fortune or go bankrupt
accordingly. In Ohio, Aspire would run a mere $38 per-student surplus, which
would make for a miserly 0.5% operating margin.
- South Carolina is the latest buzz in school
choice news. State legislators recently proposed the South Carolina Education
Opportunity Act, which, according to Education
Dunn, “would provide tax credits to parents choosing to send their children
to private school, extend smaller tax credits to homeschooling families, and
provide scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools.” Both
Dunn and the Cato Institute’s Andrew
Coulson heralded the bill as among of the strongest school choice
legislation in the country yet.
- Facebook, step aside. The latest
teen social network map comes courtesy not of Mark Zuckerberg, but of Robert W.
Faris, an assistant professor at the University of California, whose new study seeks to map young adults’ social circles
and determine what kind of student is most likely to be the class bully. He concludes
that most bullies come from the middle rungs of the social ladder—they’re
neither “cool crowd” elites nor outcasts—and push other students around in an
attempt to raise their social standing among their peers.