With help from Caitlin Emma and Benjamin Wermund
IT’S ‘VEEP’ DEBATE DAY: Indiana GOP Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) take the stage in Farmville, Va., tonight for the vice presidential debate. Both have in-the-trenches experience in education, so we’ll be watching closely to see if our topic du jour gets some love during the 90-minute showdown. Pence signed a bill in 2014 that made Indiana the first state to withdraw from the Common Core academic standards, and as a House member in 2001, he opposed federal involvement in education policy when he voted against No Child Left Behind. Pence is also a strong proponent of charter schools. (In July, Hillary Clinton called Pence “hostile” toward public education.) Kaine, meanwhile, has pushed for bathroom protections in schools for transgender students. As governor of Virginia, Kaine signed the state up to support the development of the Common Core. But Virginia later rejected the academic standards in favor of its own standards, which state officials deemed more rigorous.
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— The two candidates hardly know each other. But they have at least one thing in common: spouses active in education. Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, has been a teacher for more than 20 years. Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, served as Virginia’s education secretary.
CONFRONTING CIVIL RIGHTS-ERA INJUSTICES: The site for tonight’s debate is Longwood University, a Virginia public liberal arts college that has sought to address its own past failings during the civil rights era. Two years ago, the college’s board passed a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the university’s past actions, which included failing “to stand up publicly” in support of integrating the local Prince Edward County school district. The resolution marked the 50th anniversary of the re-opening of the county’s public schools, which closed for five years to avoid having to integrate black students. The closure was connected to a student-led strike at nearby Moton High School over conditions at the segregated school — and the students became plaintiffs in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit. The Longwood resolution also acknowledged other past wrongs, such as the use of eminent domain to expand its campus, which affected local churches. Longwood University President W. Taylor Reveley IV told POLITICO in a recent interview that the university has been “particularly proud” of its efforts to address these past issues.
— The debate starts at 9 p.m. eastern. You can watch it on C-Span or any of the major TV networks.
IT’S A PLEASANT FALL TUESDAY. WELCOME TO MORNING EDUCATION. Kimberly Hefling here. We took a recent family trip to Chicago, but even at Legoland Discovery Center, we couldn’t escape seeing life-sized political figures. Michael Stratford’s back tomorrow. Got a tip? Drop a line: firstname.lastname@example.org or @mstratford. Share event listings: email@example.com. And follow us on Twitter: @Morning_Edu and @POLITICOPro.
TEACHERS UNION TARGETS TRUMP: The National Education Association says it’s ramping up the effort to tie Donald Trump to what it describes as the “Trump Effect” in schools — the nation’s largest teachers union argues that Trump’s candidacy has encouraged bullying. In battleground states, the NEA is spending at least six figures each on both digital ads and direct mail that link Trump to school bullying. “Donald Trump sets an example that teaches the wrong lesson,” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.
— Separately, the American Federation of Teachers says its popular Share My Lesson website has added bullying prevention resources designed to help protect LGBTQ students.
HOW STATES SHOULD DEFINE SCHOOL QUALITY: As states build new systems for holding schools accountable under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Chad Aldeman of Bellwether Education Partners says states should consider using test scores in new ways to initially flag elementary and middle schools’ low performance. Then, they can “rely on holistic, on-site school reviews from professionally trained inspectors as a way to both investigate school quality and suggest ways to improve,” he writes. Read his paper.
VEGAN DINING OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS INCREASE: Colleges and universities are increasingly providing vegan dining options for students, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals finds in a new survey. PETA’s youth division, peta2, surveyed 1,445 colleges and found that nearly two thirds provided a daily vegan food option to students. That’s up from 45 percent in 2015, and 28 percent in 2014. About 9 percent of colleges now have all-vegan dining stations in their dining halls. And schools like American University, the University of California–San Diego, Warren Wilson College and the University of North Texas have entirely vegan facilities on campus. More here.
THE RESEARCH ON SCHOOL DISCIPLINE: The Obama administration has aggressively pushed for school discipline reform, and states and school districts across the country have swapped suspensions and expulsions for alternative methods like restorative justice. It’s all part of a national discussion about racial bias and the “school-to-prison pipeline.” But in a new paper for Education Next, Matthew Steinberg of the Penn Graduate School of Education and Johanna Lacoe of Mathematica Policy Research say a lot of school discipline reform has been based on scant research. “While disparities in school discipline by race and disability status have been well documented, the evidence is inconclusive as to whether or not these disparate practices involve racial bias and discrimination,” their paper says. They also argue that more research is needed to “uncover how alternative approaches to suspensions affect school safety and student outcomes.” Read the paper.
SOOTHSAYERS OF THE SEA: A groundhog predicts the changing of seasons. An octopus correctly guessed the winner of the World Cup. Researchers in Florida have chosen sharks — an animal about as unpopular as the two major party presidential candidates — to predict the outcome of the election. Marine researchers at Nova Southeastern University have tagged two Mako sharks swimming in the Atlantic. One shark is repping Clinton, the other Trump. The researchers will track the miles traveled by Nov. 1, and the shark that has traveled the greater distance will predict our next commander in chief. As of Monday, they were off the coast of New York. “Trump Shark” was way out in front, having traveled about twice as far — 104 miles into the ocean — as “Clinton Shark,” which appears to be swimming in circles. Follow this very important and scientific race here.
FOR HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE LOVERS OUT THERE: “The Addams Family” is No. 1 — at least when it comes to being the most-produced high school musical, according to an annual survey recently released by the Educational Theatre Association’s “Dramatics” magazine. “Mary Poppins” came in second place. “Almost, Maine” was the most popular full-length play. The top spot for a short play went to “The Show Must Go On.”
ONE MORE REASON STUDENTS DON’T FILL OUT FAFSA: More than half of high school seniors fail to fill out the FAFSA by the time they graduate, and new research by the National College Access Network may shed some light on why that is. More than half of a group of low-income high school graduates surveyed by NCAN — who did not fill out the financial aid application — said they “don’t know anything about financial aid.” The network is using the findings to push for a broad “FAFSA awareness campaign” to teach potential college students that they may be eligible for aid. Read the report here.
ICYMI: GRANTS TO HELP STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AFTER GRADUATION: The Education Department is awarding grants totaling $ 39 million to five states to better prepare students with disabilities for college and the workforce. The grants are aimed at boosting work-based learning programs, which allow students to use what they learn in the classroom in real-world job settings. “Students with disabilities need to have strong transition plans and goals to leave high school ready for college and careers,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said in a statement. “These awards will help states implement evidenced-based, work-based learning models to help break down barriers to employment.” Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act pushed the expectation that all students had the right to a high-quality education, there has been little progress in getting more of those students jobs after they graduate. The grants will go to agencies in California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont. More from Ben Wermund.
REPORT ROLL CALL
— A new McREL study finds that school staff perceptions of school climate can be a predictor of students’ literacy in the fifth grade.
— Two-thirds of students start as early as age five learning by using digital material, according to a new Deloitte digital education survey.
— New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s campaign is highlighting a birth control bill she sponsored by handing out free condoms on a college campus: The Associated Press.
— Texas state officials told by federal government that they must eliminate their special education enrollment target unless they can prove that it has not kept children with disabilities from getting services: Houston Chronicle.
— Princeton graduate students eye a potential union following landmark NLRB decision: POLITICO New Jersey.
— New Stanford fellowship will fund MBA, for student who agrees to live in the Midwest: Cleveland Plain Dealer.
— An Ohio judge allows the state to review certain attendance records at Ohio’s largest online charter school that could jeopardize the school’s $ 106 million in annual funding: The Associated Press.
— Missouri gubernatorial candidates talk education funding: The Associated Press.
— The top attorney for Chicago Public Schools supervised work done for the district by a law firm that’s still making $ 200,000-a-year severance payments to him: Chicago Sun-Times.
Africa. Follow the Pro Education team: @caitlinzemma (firstname.lastname@example.org), @khefling (email@example.com), @mstratford (firstname.lastname@example.org), @mrmikevasquez (email@example.com) and @BenjaminEW (firstname.lastname@example.org).