Friday Roundup: Charter schools, public opinion on education, business taxes, ballot measures

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

Ed Pacheco (Seattle Times op-ed): A father stands up for his daughter and the rights of charter-school students

Across the country, students in charter public schools receive greater educational benefits than their peers in traditional public schools, according to the 2013 National Charter School Study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes. That’s especially true for Hispanic English-language learners, who in charter public schools were found to have received the equivalent of an additional 50 days of learning in reading and 43 days in math when compared to their peers in traditional public schools.

Associated Press: Lew says Apple’s tax fight could spur Congressional action

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Wednesday criticized a European ruling that Apple owes more than $14.5 billion in back taxes. But he said the decision may spur Congress to finally address the stalled effort to reform America’s corporate tax structure.

Lew said that while the Obama administration has failed in its efforts to get tax reform through Congress, he believes the unhappiness expressed by both Democrats and Republicans following Europe’s announcement on Tuesday could push Congress to act.

Seattle Times: In national poll, only a quarter of adults give schools good grade

A national poll found that fewer than half a random sample of 1,221 adults said academic achievement should be the main emphasis of K-12 education (only 33 percent said they “strongly felt” academics were the primary aim). The remaining 51 percent of respondents — not all of whom have children — were split between those who believe preparing students for the workplace should be the prevailing aim, and those who said schools should be teaching future adults about good citizenship.

Washington Post: National Labor Relations Board decides charter schools are private corporations, not public schools

The National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases last week that — as far as federal labor law is concerned — charter schools are not public schools but private corporations.

The decisions apply only to the specific disputes from which they arose, involving unionization efforts at charter schools in New York and in Pennsylvania. But they plunge the labor board into a long-running debate over the nature of charter schools: publicly funded, privately run institutions that enroll about 3 million students nationwide.

Ballot Issues