Currently, school funding provides roughly equal resources to address vastly unequal needs. It is the single greatest point of discrimination in our educational system. Even in affluent districts, concentrated achievement gaps often reflect racial and socioeconomic segregation at the neighborhood level that magnify these unequal needs.
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John King has the makings of another Arne Duncan, and on some points (e.g., ESSA Title I state plans), Sen. Lamar Alexander will want to use the Senate to rein King in. However, on other points (e.g., reckless charter spending; pressuring states to deliver on that 95 percent of test takers), King and Alexander will get on just fine.
Teacher evaluation is a contentious issue. It tends to be more so when evaluation systems must show evidence of a teacher's contribution to student learning, as federal initiatives have recently required. The stakes are high, since how a teacher is rated affects his or her continued employment, advancement, and even compensation.