Scholastic Administr@tor Enters the Blogosphere: Executive Editor Kevin Hogan on Adding a Popular Blogger to His Team Via Publishing Executive, November 30 2008. Yep, I used to be a popular blogger :-) Thanks, Kevin Hogan, Dana Truby, and Wayne D'Orio (among others).
There was momentary concern and outrage (in some quarters) at the possibility that the president of the NEA had said something offensive and disparaging about kids with disabilities. Watch the video above if you want.
But it turned out pretty quickly that she had simply mis-spoken. She meant "chronically tardy."
Others may be disappointed, but not I. My initial worry was that education had crossed over into the "doctored video" zone. That may still happen. But not so far, at least not as far as I know.
"More than two out of three respondents said that K-12 education ranks among their top policy concerns, beating out controversial issues such as immigration, Social Security and Obamacare. But only about one in three voters could remember hearing any of the presidential candidates talk about public education on the campaign trail. In fact, the issue ranked dead last in terms of the attention it’s receiving from the candidates."
Education — Where’s the Debate? — Medium
Student Debt in America NYT: How a teacher ended up $410,000 in debt reveals the deep contradictions in the federal government’s approach to student loans.
To build a better teacher, Harvard launches program aimed at quality Washington Post: As the country debates the best way to improve the quality of teachers in struggling public schools, Harvard University is launching a training program it hopes will serve as a national model.
Rising Enrollment In Northern Virginia Schools Outpaces Neighboring Districts WAMU: Student enrollment is on the rise across the D.C. region, but not uniformly so — putting more stress on school districts in places like Loudoun County.
In Indiana, Raising The Bar Raises Questions About Special Education WNYC: In Indiana, Nash must meet the same learning standards as other students and the same graduation requirements if he wants a diploma. He's currently working toward the state's General Diploma, which requires two years of math, including Algebra 1. But Nash's dad, Jeff, says his son isn't ready to take that class, so he's in another, remedial math class to help him prepare.
StopESEA? Conservative Blogger Who May Have Helped Derail ESEA Has New Qualms PK12: Last time, a conservative blogger was unhappy with the policy. This time, she's miffed about the process.
When A 4-Day School Week Might Cost More Than It Saves NPR: An Arizona school district slimmed down its budget by dropping class on Fridays. But parents say they're having to stretch their wallets to find something for their kids to do on that fifth day.
University of Chicago Cancels Classes After Online Threat NYT: The university president said that F.B.I. officials warned that “an unknown individual” had threatened gun violence on the main campus on Monday.
Peyton’s Awesome Virtual Self, a robot that allows girl with cancer to attend school Washington Post: Advanced robot gives 10-year-old a chance to be a part of daily elementary school classes, remotely.
Student Stabbed Inside Baltimore High School AP: The department wrote on its official Twitter page that a student was stabbed inside Renaissance Academy High School. Baltimore police and city school police were on the scene. The student's condition was not known, and no other details were immediately available.
Malia Obama scoping out colleges, preparing for future Detroit Free Press: She also doesn't have to worry about how to pay for her college education, unlike many of the students President Barack Obama and his wife regularly encourage to pursue post-high school education.
Education Next has a state-by-state breakdown on duty-to-bargain laws, total earnings loss as a result of those laws, "and additional details about teacher unionization + political contributions." (How teacher collective bargaining affects students’ employment and earnings later in life). Click the link for the interactive version -- let me know if there's anything inaccurate or notable that you come across.
The idea that we would pass a major piece of legislation about education and, in effect, shovel money into states and say 'Do with it what you want', and not have some accountability for how that money is spent, I think, is appalling.
-- MA Senator Elizabeth Warren in NPR (Goodbye, No Child Left Behind)
US falls behind other nations in the global knowledge economy, says 46-country report Hechinger Report: The United States continues to fall behind internationally in producing a college-educated workforce as other nations send more of their citizens to university. And in the very early years, many countries are now sending a much higher percentage of their kids to preschool than the United States. See also US News, AP.
Chicago Teachers Union chief tells rallying teachers: 'When we must, we will withhold our labor' Sun-Times: In front of a screaming crowd of thousands who braved a frigid night to show their strength, and joined by legislators, pastors and other labor leaders, Lewis said, “It is time for us to act.”
More Proof That American Teachers Are Underpaid HuffPost: Elementary school teachers in the U.S. make 67 percent of what college-educated workers in other professions earn. High school teachers earn 71 percent of what other college-educated workers make. Outside of the U.S., the picture is better -- but only slightly. On average, across OECD countries, elementary school teachers earn 80 percent of what college-educated non-teachers make.
Admissions Quota Proposed in Brooklyn School Rezoning NYT: The Education Department said that students receiving subsidized lunches would be given admissions priority for half the seats at a Brooklyn school that is the subject of a contested rezoning proposal. See also WNYC: Decision to Rezone Two Brooklyn Schools Now Rests with Parent Council.
Sen. Murray: Revised No Child Left Behind law ‘great step forward’ Seattle Times: One day after House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement about a revised No Child Left Behind law, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray spoke about the law and its effect on Washington schools.
One year after launch, Fariña offers few new details about $400M Renewal program Chalkbeat: After one year and millions of dollars, the de Blasio administration’s high-profile effort to revitalize its struggling schools has reduced the percentage of frequently absent students by three points, the schools chief told city lawmakers Monday.
NB: This Week In Education will be on Thanksgiving break from Wednesday through Friday.
[The conference version of the NCLB overhaul] puts [President Obama] in a difficult position to be signing onto something that clearly empowers states to be less aggressive in addressing inequity.
-- Peter Cunningham, former assistant secretary at the Education Department and a past adviser to Secretary Arne Duncan (quoted in Politico (Growing anxiety on left over NCLB deal)
Looking for a new education book to look forward to? You might consider Ed Boland's forthcoming The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School.
"In a fit of idealism, Ed Boland left a twenty-year career as a non-profit executive to teach in a tough New York City public high school. But his hopes quickly collided headlong with the appalling reality of his students' lives and a hobbled education system unable to help them: Jay runs a drug ring for his incarcerated brother; Nee-cole is homeschooled on the subway by her brilliant homeless mother; and Byron's Ivy League dream is dashed because he is undocumented.
"In the end, Boland isn't hoisted on his students' shoulders and no one passes AP anything. This is no urban fairy tale of at-risk kids saved by a Hollywood hero, but a searing indictment of reform-minded schools that claim to be progressive but still fail their students.Told with compassion, humor, and a keen eye, Boland's story will resonate deeply with anyone who cares about the future of education."
The book's slated to come out in February.
I've met Boland and his candor and fearlessness talking about the experience are pretty eye-opening.
It'll be interesting to see how the book has turned out.
Other than Dale Russakoff's Newark book and Greg Toppo's education learning book, it seems like it's been a relatively slow year for much-discussed education books. Or perhaps we've just gotten greedy, or can't tolerate anything but the most simplistic kinds of narratives.
Good thing that there are some intriguing-sounding books in the works, and more that I'm sure I'm not yet aware of.
Or, listen to this WAMU segment on Kaya Henderson's five-year tenure as head of DC Public Schools.
Or, check out this WHYY Philadelphia story about a magnet school dropping its admissions criteria as part of a school consolidation plan.
The fight over K-12 education appears headed back to the states Washington Post: A new education law would shift fight over teacher evaluations, testing from federal government to 50 state capitals.
Accountability and the ESEA Reauthorization Deal: Your Cheat Sheet PK12: The compromise agreed to by a congressional conference committee is, in many key ways, a U-turn from the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act.
Massachusetts’s Rejection of Common Core Test Signals Shift in U.S. NYT: As states have rejected tests tied to the Common Core standards, no about-face has resonated more than that of Massachusetts, known as a leader in education reform.
Chicago Teachers Union to flex muscle with downtown rally Chicago Tribune: CTU President Karen Lewis is scheduled to address the crowd during the afternoon rush hour "Winter Labor Solidarity Rally & Community Tailgate." The union has distributed leaflets urging members to "be a part of this striking scene." Buses will shuttle people downtown from some two dozen city schools.
Nevada releases Common Core test results after partial testing Mohave Daily News: Nevada was confident enough in the partial student results from its Common Core-aligned state test that it released them this week, even though 7 of 10 students weren’t tested because of computer glitches.
Five Years On, Henderson Keeps Up Pace Of Reforms In D.C. Schools WAMU: It was 5 years ago this month that Michelle Rhee stepped down as chancellor of D.C. public schools after a tempestuous three-year tenure. Her deputy, Kaya Henderson, took over as chancellor and continued many of her reforms. We explore how well schools are doing now.
Teen dead after shooting at suburban Las Vegas high school AP: Authorities are investigating a shooting at a high school in suburban Las Vegas that has left a 16-year-old boy dead....
Starting A High School From Scratch Hechinger Report: At 43, she is the founding principal of a charter high school that opened this fall in Brownsville, an impoverished Brooklyn neighborhood adjacent to where she grew up in East New York. Of all the educators in all the cities trying to get school right for students at risk, she brings the rare vantage point of someone who has learned not only from professional mistakes but tragic personal ones as well.
Teachers can make $15,000 more just by moving to the district next door Washington Post: A D.C.-area report shows that those in the top-paid district earn $20,000 more than those in the lowest.
"Today, school secretary Lisa Sutherland (above) is given 15 names to enter. Each click of her mouse is followed by an excruciating delay. The system times out. Sutherland grits her teeth and starts over. Nearly half an hour after it begins, a process that should take seconds is finally complete." (EdWeek: The Slowest Internet in Mississippi)
There's way too much interesting stuff to put it all in one place -- especially pictures and videos and off-beat human interest stories related to education.
That's why I created a side project called Hot For Education.
If you like videos, GIFs, and all the rest, you should definitely check it out.
The Network for Public Education has put out a list of electoral victories from earlier this month, including Helen Gym (Philadelphia, Suzie Abijian (South Pasadena), and several others.
The email acknowledges losses in Louisiana, blaming the defeat on lack of money. (There's no mention of labor or progressive backing of their candidates.) Click the link above for the full email.
Meanwhile, there's an email from Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman touting recent election victories. As you can see, the focus is on Louisiana and Denver, where Stand and its allies generally prevailed.
There's no mention of races where things didn't work out so well -- I've asked for some additional information and will let you know what I get back. The full email is below.
I'm still looking for a DFER brag sheet, and haven't seen a roundup from NEA or AFT now that I think of it. Tell them I'm looking, will you?
House, Senate ESEA Compromise Sails Through Conference Committee PK12: The compromise gives states acres of new running room on accountabililty, while holding firm on NCLB's requirement for annual testing, and data that shows how at-risk kids are performing compared to their peers. See also Washington Post, AP, NYT.
Study: Closing Low-Performing New York City High Schools Helped Students WNYC: According to the Research Alliance at New York University, most of the middle schoolers ended up going to smaller high schools that performed better both in terms of the achievement and attendance of incoming students. In turn, their overall graduation rate rose to about 55 percent compared to a 40 percent rate for the now-closed schools.
Rural schools pay more than double for slow internet Marketplace: The largest telecoms don't bother with these rural areas, leaving smaller companies to come in and fill the gaps. These providers find themselves with steep overhead but little or no competition.
Top 50 Local Education Foundations Ranked in New National Study EdWeek: A new study of the top 50 local foundations that support K-12 districts found that Florida and Texas are home to some of the top-performing nonprofits that support students and teachers in districts. It also shows that the Pinellas Education Foundation in Florida has, for the second year, taken the number-one spot among foundations with $2 million or more in revenues.
Congress blasts U.S. Education Department for vulnerabilities in data bases Washington Post: Department Inspector General Kathleen Tighe says her investigators were able to penetrate the department's data systems without being detected.
School Will Start Later For Many Seattle Teens Seattle Times: A lot of Seattle teens can hit the snooze button next school year. The school board voted 6-1 Wednesday night to push back start times for middle and high schools.
Charter-school ruling stands, except for one footnote Seattle Times: Charter-school supporters had asked the court to rethink its decision, hoping to preserve the publicly funded but privately run schools.
Utah school apologizes for terrorism poster assignment AP: A Utah school apologized Thursday for a classroom assignment in which students were asked to create a propaganda poster for a group such as Islamic State to understand the goals and methods of terror groups....
This Washington Post story (Inside the Clinton donor network) tells a fascinating about how the Clintons have broken with the teachers unions and others over the years (back in Arkansas and during Bill's two administrations) but have managed to bring many such organizations back into the fold.
"Today, the two major national teachers’ unions rank among the Clintons’ biggest supporters. The National Education Association has contributed at least $1.3 million to bolster their races, while the American Federation of Teachers has given more than $756,000 to support them politically and at least $1 million to their foundation. In July, AFT endorsed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid — the first national union to do so."
Children learn to love or hate at an early age.I think it's time we actively work towards teaching love and acceptance.Posted by Special Books by Special Kids on Sunday, November 15, 2015
Some people like this -- it makes others cringe. Which are you? via HuffPost: Special Ed Teacher Compliments Every Single Student Each Day. Or, watch the EWA Livestream at #EWAelection
ESEA Conference Committee Kicks Off, NCLB One Step Closer to Extinction PK12: School districts and state officials have begged Congress to update the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act, and it looks like they're on the verge of getting their wish. See also: MinnPost, Slate.
Is homelessness among U.S. kids declining, or surging? It depends on who you ask. Washington Post: HUD estimates there are 127,000 homeless children in the country. The Education Department says there are 1.3 million.
At least 500,000 students in 7 states sat out standardized tests this past spring Washington Post: A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education could not confirm those numbers, saying that states are not expected to report opt-out data to the federal government until December, and some have indicated they may not do so until February.
Here's what parents have to say about union efforts at Alliance charter schools LA Times: At a news conference Wednesday, a small group of parents, community organizers and United Teachers Los Angeles members complained that they felt pressured by Alliance College-Ready Public...
Does It Pay To Pay Teachers $100,000? NPR: A growing number of districts are looking to change that pay structure. The goal: Give teachers, even younger teachers, the chance to earn more. Reward them not for seniority or advanced degrees, but for how well they teach.
Texas Rejects Letting Academics Vet Public School Textbooks AP: Texas has rejected allowing university experts to fact-check its public-school textbooks in the wake of a 9th grade world geography book mistakenly calling African slaves "workers." It defeated 8-7 on Wednesday a proposal that would have included scrutiny from academic experts as part of its vetting process.
Dumbo School Rezoning Talks Didn’t Include Us, Say Some Parents WNYC: Families in Dumbo said they wanted to talk about school quality; the quickness of the rezoning proposal; how the city would help blend two communities with vast differences in wealth; and continued funding of P.S. 307 after the school's magnet grant for math and science ran out and if the school lost its Title I status.
Bloomberg’s early school closures benefitted future students, new study finds Chalkbeat: The new study did not examine how the years-long closure process affected educators, local communities that lost historic institutions, or surrounding schools that absorbed many challenging students. Over the years, the strategy became increasingly unpopular among parents and educators, eventually prompting lawsuits, rancorous public hearings, and scathing criticism by the current mayor, Bill de Blasio, who has largely rejected that approach.
Charter school supporters raise concerns about impact on LAUSD KPCC: “As part of the analysis of the Broad proposal, careful consideration should also be given to the effect of such alternative school expansion on the LAUSD. School initiatives in other cities have demonstrated that the intended reforms often fall short if they are done to communities rather than with communities,” the letter said.
Dave Isay On StoryCorps And The Great Thanksgiving Listen NPR: Since its inception 12 years ago, StoryCorps has recorded the conversations of 100,000 Americans. This Thanksgiving the oral history project hopes to double that number with the help of a new app. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay on "The Great Thanksgivig Listen" and the transformative power of the interview.
Charter group calls for closure of two of its own SI&A Cabinet Report: The state’s preeminent arbiter of charter school performance is calling this week for the closure of two campuses deemed to be falling short of meeting even minimum academic standards.
Educators & Advocates Need Authentic Conversations About Race, Too.
One thing I'd add is that it's not just kids who need more and better racial awareness programs but also educators and advocates. Teachers -- predominantly white and middle class -- need space and time to talk about and understand not only their students' backgrounds but also their own. And advocates -- reformers and critics alike, also predominantly white and college-educated -- would do well with more of the same.
Reflections On Last Night's Newark Panel.
First and foremost, there was the visual of Newark mayor Ras Baraka sitting next to grey-haired Chris Cerf, the appointed head of Newark schools. How and why Chris Christie chose an awkward preppy white guy to replace Cami Anderson is unclear to me and can't have been welcome news to Baraka and his supporters. Contrast the move with what happened in DC, where Kaya Henderson succeeded Michelle Rhee.
HBO's John Oliver Swings (& Misses) Against Standardized Testing.
It's no easy job being smart and funny at the same time, and especially so when the topic is something as boring and controversial as standardized testing. But last night's John Oliver segment didn't seem to succeed at either task, and came off somewhat blinkered with its focus on the concerns of (mostly) white teachers and (mostly) white parents and students. Watch for yourself and let me know what you think:
Is Reform Really Stalemated -- And Is Early Childhood Really That Easy?.
Let's all take a look at both those things before packing up and pivoting (or thinking that others are going to). I am sad to report that I'm not so sure that the stalemate or the consensus are as clear as Kristof and others might wish them to be.
2 Things About The NYT's "Hillary Being Squeezed" Piece.
I can't imagine folks as smart and experienced as Team Clinton are feeling any real pressure to do something "crazy" (like coming out hard for the Common Core or even annual testing) anytime soon. (Coming out in favor of vaccinations was already a bit of a surprise.) So if anything, the Clinton folks might not like the public display that DFER et al are trying to put on here, and Team DFER could get some cold shoulder. For a little while. Nobody can hate nice-guy Joe Williams for long.
New Voices Challenging Reform Critics' "Belief Gap" On Social Media.
For the last few years, claims of success by reform supporters -- a high-poverty school where students are learning at high levels, say -- have regularly been met with detailed takedowns from the likes of Diane Ravitch or Gary Rubinstein, followed by a swarm of followups from reform critics and allies. But over the weekend things took a somewhat different turn (at least on Sunday, when I last checked in), and it was the mostly white, mostly male reform critics like Rubinstein and Cody who were on the hotseat for expressing a "belief gap" from a handful of Chris Stewart kicked things off (and storified the exchange below).
The Hype Cycle Created By Innovators & Journalists.
Of particular interest, the piece describes the Hype Cycle, which "begins with a Technology Trigger, climbs quickly to a Peak of Inflated Expectations, falls into the Trough of Disillusionment, and, as practical uses are found, gradually ascends to the Plateau of Productivity."
"Moore, indeed, has fun in France, where even at a school on the low end of the socioeconomic pole, students enjoy healthy, restaurant quality-meals, with not a soda or snack vending machine to be found." (New Michael Moore Film Looks to Europe for Education Policy Ideas) Or, watch a pro-charter ad from Washington State (via Morning EDU).
L.A. Unified explores possibility of becoming an all-charter district LA Times: On Tuesday, a board committee reviewed a report that outlines the process for becoming an entirely charter school district. Board members said the goal was primarily to identify how the district could benefit from the same flexibility currently provided to charters. See also LA Daily News.
Massachusetts Board Approves Hybrid PARCC, State Test State EdWatch: By an 8-3 vote, the state school board approved creation of a new English and mathematics test to be administered by all of the state's schools by 2017. See also WNYC, Boston Learning Lab.
Schools postpone D.C. field trips amid increased concerns about terrorism Washington Post: Schools in S.C., Conn., and Md. scrapped field trips to the nation’s capital after online threat of attack.
New York State Accuses Utica School District of Bias Against Refugees NYT: Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a lawsuit that the city diverted immigrants over 16 and unsteady in English into alternative programs in which they could not earn diplomas.
Calls mount to remove metal detectors from NYC schools AP: A student has not been shot in a New York City school in 13 years, a heartening statistic in an era of commonplace school massacres. But there is a growing cry to rid the city's schools of metal detectors, the very tool some observers credit with keeping them safe....
Mark Zuckerberg on Philanthropy: Move Slow and Build Things AP: Last year, Zuckerberg and Chan announced they would give $120 million to public and charter schools closer to home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Instead of attempting to overhaul an entire school district, they are doling the money out to smaller programs that provide teacher training, classroom technology and attempts to develop more personalized instruction for individual students.
St. Paul becomes latest district to study doing away with school buses MinnPost: This year, St. Paul Public Schools launched a pilot program to study how feasible it may be to send their high school students to and from school via city bus. And if the program proves successful, St. Paul may soon be joining Minneapolis in doing away with most yellow buses for their public high schools. The district estimates the cost of providing the passes to be about the same as operating yellow buses.
Will Seattle schools start later? Vote gets national spotlight Seattle Times: Seattle Public Schools could become one of the largest districts in the country to push back start times for teens, thanks to parents, sleep scientists and a school board willing to make it a priority.
Nonprofit is formed to advance charter-school plan in Los Angeles area LA Times: Great Public Schools Now will be run by two executives from ExED, a local company that specializes in helping charter schools manage their business operations. Eli Broad or a designee, however, is expected to occupy one seat on an 11-member board of trustees.
Here EdWeek rounds up which states have reported Common Core scores -- though some data are already outdated. Read the whole story here. Image used with permission.
I have for a very long time also been against the idea that you tie teacher evaluation and even teacher pay to test outcomes... There’s no evidence. There’s no evidence. Now, there is some evidence that it can help with school performance. If everybody is on the same team, and they’re all working together, that’s a different issue, but that’s not the way it’s been presented…
-- Hillary Clinton at a November 9 New Hampshire AFT meeting (partial transcript)