In a recent survey of almost 5,000 American adults by the Pew Research Center, most people said they actually liked math and science classes in school. 

Sixty-one percent of those who liked math classes found the subject matter appealing, while 40 percent of the Americans who disliked math classes blamed the teaching. Sixty-eight percent of those who liked science said it was because of the subject itself. And among those who disliked science, only 36 percent pinned it on the way classes were taught.

Michigan Schools Launch Parent Dashboard

The Michigan Department of Education has unveiled a new online parent dashboard that consolidates data, including standardized test scores, attrition and expulsion numbers, and student-staff ratios. The dashboard is designed to make it easier for parents to engage in the college and career preparation process.  

The release comes after passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which encourages schools across the nation to come up with new ways to help students prepare for college or careers, according to the MDE.

State Board of Education member Lupe Ramos-Montigny said she is still concerned that many parents “will not be able to access a computer first and much less understand any of these graphs and this information.”

$649 Billion Spent on Schools in 2015

American taxpayers spent almost $649 billion on K–12 schools in 2015—a 3 percent increase from the $628 billion spent in 2014—according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 

While that may sound like a lot of money, many local school district officials argue that it’s still not enough to cover the increasing day-to-day expenses of operating schools, which includes paying for qualified teachers, extracurricular activities, and technology.

NCES also found that state and local governments spent $594 billion in 2015, making up 91 percent of all K–12 revenue.

Gates Foundation Seeks School Improvement Proposals

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invited applications for grants aimed at helping networks of middle and high schools collaborate on improving outcomes that research indicates are reliable predictors of high school graduation, college enrollment, or securing employment credentials. The grants are aimed at improvements for black, Latino, and low-income students.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit school improvement organizations, regional educational service providers, school districts, colleges and universities, charter management organizations, and for-profit consultancies.

The initiative is part of the foundation’s $1.7 billion pledge to focus on building networks of schools—a significant shift in priorities from its prior focus on improving teacher evaluation and compensation.