The social status of bullies and other miscellany

Andrew Proctor
  • 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
    wonks. Chris
    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
    Next
    ’s Joshua
    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.

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