There are several education-related events going on this week at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, and a handful of education-related appearances on the main stage. First up are a pair of education panels hosted by DFER.
Meet Tim Kaine’s wife, a longtime child welfare advocate and Virginia’s secretary of education washingtonpost.com/news/education…
Illinois Gov. Apologizes for Calling Chicago Teachers ‘Illiterate’ bit.ly/29ZfnUC
Are summer ‘camps’ the next frontier in helping disadvantaged students catch up? washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…
Civil-Rights Marchers: US Still Needs to Address Inequality abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/c…
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New teachers rate higher academically than in the past seattletimes.com/education-lab/…
40 years after desegregation ruling, core problems remain jsonline.com/news/education…
Eric Contreras, a Former Teacher, Named Principal of Stuyvesant – WSJ ow.ly/baLq302zHmT
More than a thousand people turned out for the prom of a Wisconsin teen choosing to die. usat.ly/29Vb7o3
This is pretty upsetting to watch, though no guns are drawn and no one's killed. Maybe because it happened to a teacher. Maybe because we all know what can happen when things escalate like that. Read the accompanying article here.
For years we've been told that poverty has been increasing. So it might not seem like a big deal that Majority Leader Paul Ryan claimed that poverty is worse under Obama earlier this week. At 15 percent, the official measure is high. But the official measure doesn't account for certain public benefits, such as food stamps, notes The Washington Post. An alternative measure "also indicates that a greater share of Americans are poor now than were poor under the Bush or Clinton administrations. Yet the current rate is moderate by historical standards — below its level throughout much of the Reagan administration."
There's still no official news about DFER and other education groups holding events during next week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but I'm being told that there are going to be some early-week panels and a reception.
The first panel might address what happens next for education and DFER. Another panel might address non-school issues that DFER has up until now been extremely reluctant to get involved in.
You'll be the first to know when some official details come out about panelists, access, and all the rest. As you may recall, DFER held its first big event in Denver in 2008 at the DNC, and held another event in 2012 at which union leaders appeared. My case study about the sudden rise and recent challenges facing DFER came out via AEI just a few days ago.
The last year especially has been an awkward one for the organization. A recent example: DFER appeared to have been caught unprepared a couple of weeks ago when the DNC platform committee accepted a handful of amendments from reform critics such as Troy Laravierre and Randi Weingarten. Platform positions may not matter, and the amendment may not make much sense, but it was a pretty startling turn of events for a group that has for so many years been on the inside, seeming to be able to press all the right levers.
Maybe the best way to think of Monday's events is as some sort of reboot/relaunch.
Donald Trump Promotes School Choice, Bashes 'Bureaucrats' in Speech blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…
The software that could have saved Melania Trump from her plagiarism debacle -Recode pllqt.it/47Ujqu
Student Debt Helps, Not Harms, the U.S. Economy, White House Says - Real Time Economics - WSJ ow.ly/L3ym302tKqS
Smarter Balanced test: Delaware first state to release results newsworks.org/index.php/loca…
Racial Disparity in Discipline Persists While Suspensions Drop in New York City Schools wnyc.org/story/school-a…
Upper West Side parents knock Education Dept.'s rezoning plans - NY Daily News ow.ly/xLaO302tERh
A Persistent Divide: New Federal Data Explores Education Disparities edweek.org/ew/section/mul…
Groundbreaking efforts keeping teens out of Georgia's criminal justice system | WSB-TV ow.ly/sDfq302v9j4
We've got to say to our children, 'Yes, if you're African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher, yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. But that's not a reason to get bad grades, that's not a reason to cut class, that's not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands -- you cannot forget that.'
- President Obama speaking to the NAACP via ABC News (President Obama to NAACP: "No Excuses")
"Meant to promote the first lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative, 'This Is For My Girls' grabbed headlines when it was first released but hasn’t quite stuck in the public consciousness since then."
Pale Fire https://t.co/VrDUYWNJ1Q | The New Yorker— Culture (@sr_culture) July 18, 2016
As I read it, this piece in The New Yorker (Pale Fire) suggests that the current conflict over education reform is in many ways the playing out of long-simmering white-on-white class conflicts.
If so, this would suggest that focusing narrowly on social justice issues -- while entirely understandable in short-term tactical terms -- could only exacerbate the conflict and theoretically slow progress.
It's nothing you haven't thought or read or perhaps articulated yourself, but a worthwhile reminder.
Donald Trump Jr. trashes U.S. public schools (though he didn't attend one) washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sh…
FEDS INVESTIGATE MEMPHIS SCHOOL DISTRICT OVER MIGRANT BIAS: Associated Press ow.ly/1RTI302sMsk
Illinois in Federal Hot Water Over High School Testing blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_e…
Distrust, anger at Douglas County School Board over handling of student denverpost.com/2016/07/20/dou…
Pueblo CO superintendent resigns abruptly as state sanctions loom | Chalkbeat ow.ly/TWcS302sMvo
Prep School Faces Accusations Of Chronic Mishandling Of Sexual Assault Cases npr.org/sections/thetw…
Chalkbeat: How adding high school counselors saved Colorado more than $300 million chalkbeat.org/posts/co/2016/…
Today, however, practically nobody seems to have a sense of humor, at least not about anything bearing on ed reform. Is it because of our unfunny national politics? Because social media and 24/7 news mean that even a short chortle can be turned by one’s foes into evidence that one is making light of something? I’m not sure about the cause, but I can attest that it’s hard to make common cause with people who can never share a spoof or jest.
-- Fordham's Checker Finn via eduwonk (De-Coupling Of Education Reform)
As you can see above, Donald Trump's son gave a speech last night that included some pretty harsh language about education:
"Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they're stalled on the ground floor. They're like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers, for the teachers and administrators and not the students."
[In response to accusations that the lines were plagiarized from a recent article, the author of the article noted that he was the primary speechwriter for the speech.]
"The other party gave us public schools that far too often fail our students, especially those who have no options. ... You know why other countries do better on K through 12? They let parents choose where to send their own children to school. That’s called competition. It’s called the free market. And it’s what the other party fears.
Charter backers take attendance fight to Cleveland, some delegates not impressed | The Columbus Dispatch ow.ly/1Ja5302qu5W
Mike Pence’s Record on Education Is One of Turmoil and Mixed Results nytimes.com/2016/07/20/us/…
At the White House, college-bound students celebrated for overcoming steep odds washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…
A Detroit charter shuts down. Is this what school accountability looks like? | Michigan Radio ow.ly/papm302qu9Z
Testing Consultant To Lawmakers: Take At Least Two Years To Redraw ISTEP | WBAA ow.ly/79mI302qt1N
MORE US SCHOOLS ACCUSED OF DENYING EDUCATION TO IMMIGRANTS: Associated Press ow.ly/AwyB302qtMh
State schools chief Randy Dorn sues 7 school districts over ‘illegal’ use of levy money seattletimes.com/seattle-news/e…
Over at Vox, the show is described as "a vicious free-for-all" focused on helping the rest of us understand why white guys are well, so angry. They're also tired, and bored, and sexist/racist: "If you’re cool watching two slacker white dudes fight to take down a completely competent black woman, then you’ll love Vice Principals."
According to EdWeek's Mark Walsh, the show is part of the "the coarse-ification of the Hollywood image of educators in recent years." He predicts educators won't like Vice Principals but admits that the show is "pretty funny most of the time, exposing some of the quirks of education bureaucracy and high school culture in our country."
The New Republic tells us the show is about love and toxic masculinity, though it credits the series for avoiding gay panic humor.
Want more? You can find more reviews rounded up at IndieWire.
"Nestled in neighborhoods of varying degrees of affluence, suburban public schools are typically better resourced than their inner-city peers and known for their extracurricular offerings and college preparatory programs. Despite the glowing opportunities that many families associate with suburban schooling, accessing a district's resources is not always straightforward, particularly for black and poorer families."
That's the promo blurb for Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling, by L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy.
It's one of several recent books taking a long hard look at suburban communities whose schools may not be as good (or as equitable) as may be commonly believed -- for example Amanda Lewis' With The Best Of Intentions.
Related posts: How Racial Inequality Gets Baked Into Schools; White Teachers, Black Students: An "Awkward Disconnect"; Mugshots Help Combat Racial Stereotypes; Best Titles To Help White Teachers, Parents, Reporters Understand Race; Forthcoming Novel Highlights White Parents & Diverse Schools.
Here's the half-hour speech from yesterday, which according to most reports wasn't all that much different from her previous speech to assembled groups of teachers. Via AFT.
The whole "Pokemon Go will revolutionize education" claims have made me incredibly angry, even though it's a claim that's made about every single new product that ed-tech's early adopters find exciting (and clickbait-worthy)... All this matters for Pokemon Go; all this matters for ed-tech....“Gotta catch ’em all” may be the perfect slogan for consumer capitalism; but it’s hardly a mantra I’m comfortable chanting to push for education transformation.
- Audrey Watters in Hack Education Weekly Newsletter (HEWN)
Check out this fascinating American RadioWorks interview titled Race in Suburban Schools, featuring L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy talking about his look at one Midwestern suburban school district that illustrates the increasing diversity and nagging achievement gaps in the leafy burbs. One striking example Lewis-McCoy describes is how he observes white teachers hold back from correcting the grammar and speech of black and brown students to avoid stigmatizing them.
At GOP Convention, NEA Thanks Republicans for Help Enacting ESSA - Politics K-12 pllqt.it/RDZfkq
See also: NEA Adds $1.4 Million to Massachusetts Anti-Charter Campaign | Intercepts ow.ly/Fqyb302mE7k
In AFT Talk, Hillary Clinton Doubles Down on Support for Teachers - Teacher Beat - Education Week ow.ly/z7nL302njQK
A Harsh Critique Of Federally Funded Pre-K npr.org/sections/ed/20…
After 2 Years, Progress Is Hard to See in Some Struggling City Schools - The New York Times ow.ly/MoD4302o5Yx
Opting out of Common Core testing slightly up statewide, despite drop in Clark County - Las Vegas Sun News ow.ly/gKcX302mHeQ
U.S. students win prestigious International Math Olympiad - for second straight year washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sh…
Proposed Texas textbook describes Mexican-Americans as 'lazy,' new coalition works to block it washingtonpost.com/news/education…
Denver Public Schools set to strip nearly 50 teachers of tenure after poor evaluations denverpost.com/2016/07/18/den…
How racially diverse is your school? Use our interactive to find out seattletimes.com/seattle-news/d…
Oklahoma City School Board approves modified charter school expansion mediabullpen.com/view/oklahoma-…
DPS superintendent describes what he learned abroad denverpost.com/2016/07/18/dps…
Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith Retires . News | OPB pllqt.it/piZUNn
If supporters of charter schools want to go into the Democratic National Convention opposing “democratically governed” schools and insisting on the right to “replace or destabilize traditional public schools,” be my guest.
Here's the latest in a series of occasional case studies I've been doing the past few years, this one about an education-focused PAC called Democrats For Education Reform that was an early backer of Barack Obama and had lots of early success, but has struggled in recent years as its oponents (the teachers unions, mostly) have shifted tactics and politics have gotten more polarized. It came out late last week. Read it all here.
Here's the teaser trailer for the new HBO series, "Vice Principals," which features two highly flawed human beings attempting to replace a retiring principal played by Bill Murray.
The skeptical left is lining up to make sure Hillary Clinton keeps her promises to progressives - LA Times ow.ly/RPOo302kyww
New York City's Great Middle-School Divide theatlantic.com/education/arch…
Charter school and union unite on wanting L.A. Unified to pay retiree benefits for charter teachers - LA Times ow.ly/rXcT302kyxA
San Diego County Schools superintendent to be placed on leave - LA Times ow.ly/6Bkm302kHv6
Should D.C.'s Next Schools Chancellor Be A Local? wamu.org/programs/the_k…
Paying for education must go beyond classrooms, advocates say seattletimes.com/education-lab/…
Red and orange states are where students in rich districts receive more funds than students in poor districts. via Hechinger Report (The gap between rich and poor schools grew 44 percent over a decade).
"The richest 25 percent of school districts receive 15.6 percent more funds from state and local governments per student than the poorest 25 percent of school districts, the federal Department of Education pointed out last month (March, 2015). That’s a national funding gap of $1,500 per student, on average, according to the most recent data, from 2011-12. The gap has grown 44 percent since 2001-02, when a student in a rich district had only a 10.8 percent resource advantage over a student in a poor district."
Reminder: among voters who haven't yet chosen Trump or Clinton, VP pick not terribly important. (Healthcare is, tho) pic.twitter.com/5wZUmS4wKc— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) July 15, 2016
By the looks of this polling data, independent voters care about education just a smidgen less than they care about who gets picked for the Vice President.
The word “ghetto” has come to sound like an indictment of a people as well as of a place. https://t.co/BZwBwihm7n— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) July 14, 2016
This recent New Yorker article (There Goes the Neighborhood) raises a bunch of important questions about how we think about gentrification and low-income communities that used to be commonly called "ghettos" -- and, by extension, low-income (generally low-performing) schools.
Scholars have long been sympathetic towards these communities, according to the piece:
"Scholars who studied the ghetto tended to be motivated by sympathy for its residents, which often resulted in a complicated sort of sympathy for ghettos themselves."
It could be argued that some of the same emotions have been on display when it comes to the low-income, generally low-performing school.
However public opinion has changed dramatically.
"Where the ghetto once seemed a menace, threatening to swallow the city like an encroaching desert, now it often appears, in scholarly articles and the popular press, as an endangered habitat."
The reality may be, however, that displacements from gentrification are not be as widespread as is commonly thought. That's because underlying mobility rates are already relatively high in these communities, as evictions, better opportunities, and other shifts move families in and out of low-income areas.
In addition, "Gentrification needn’t be zero-sum, because gentrifying neighborhoods may become more densely populated, with new arrivals adding to, rather than supplanting, those currently resident.
Sympathetic scholars, recent focus on gentrification, and questions about underlying mobility rates suggest that the common "gentrification = bad" construction that's prevalent right now might warrant some careful rethinking. Perhaps changes to neighborhood schools -- demographic, programmatic, etc. -- shouldn't necessarily be viewed with immediate suspicion. Perhaps gentrification isn't universally bad.