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Afternoon Video: Minneapolis Schools Confront Racial Inequality

 

Beth Hawkins of the MinnPost shares with us a video about Minneapolis's equity impact assessment and the nonprofit Race Forward (which publishes Colorlines).

Quotes: When the Circus Descends

Quotes2Common Core resistance "has less to do with substance and more to do with talk-radio bombast and interest group resistance to change." - David Brooks' NYT column last week (When the Circus Descends)

Events: They're Beaming NSVF Summit 2014 To Boston This Year

image from www.newschools.org

The NSVF Summit in San Francisco is next week, and if you're not invited tough luck.  

But you can observe and participate virtually.  The public agenda is here. Lots of pre-reading here. Blog here. Twitter and hashtag (@NSVF  #NSVFSummit), too.  

And apparently they're going to be livestreaming at least parts of it as well (like they did last year). 

Some of the headliners include John King, New York State Commissioner of Education, and Joanne Weiss, former Chief of Staff, US Department of Education, and Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton. Other highlights include speakers like Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, a TEACH video booth, 20 NSVFseed grantees.

The big new wrinkle this year is that they're trying out a satellite event sort of like TEDx.  The New England SummitX invite is here

Previous summits (see below) have included tense words between Michelle Rhee and Randi Weingarten, proposed COPPA changes from Mark Zuckerberg, and spacey interview questions and robotic sound bite responses from Laurene Powell Jobs and Rahm Emanuel. Reed Hastings famously declared that charters weren't cutting it, and Rocketship said it would open schools in DC if Kaya Henderson would give them space. Waiting for Superman was screened in Spring 2010. Sometimes, people wear fun outfits. 

Previous posts:  Google Glasses Live from NSVF Summit 2013Thoughts On NSVF 2012Rahm Emanuel And Arlene Laurene Powell Jobs At NSVF'12Reformy 2011 Summit Returns To Silicon ValleyFashion Hits & Misses At The 2010 NSVF SummitAnother Spring, Another Summit (2009)NSFV: Live Tweets From Pasadena '09Microblogging The 2008 NSVF Summit.

Morning Video: Rand Paul Promotes Choice In Chicago

 See additional clips and key quotes from Institute of Politics panel via Progress IL here. More video and partial transcript from Real Clear Education here.

 

AM News: Strong Common Core Support In Liberal California

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Survey finds Californians back both Common Core and new funding formula EdSource Daily: A survey of 1,702 adult Californians found that 69 percent of Californians overall said they favored Common Core after being read a brief description. 

Chiefs at CCSSO Event Say Implementation Focus Put Politics on Backburner State EdWatch: "The extent to which the political conversation rose up on the right and on the left was surprising, because we've been talking about this for four years," Tennessee Commissioner Huffman said.

Kansas Residents To First Lady: Stay Out NPR: Guest restrictions and increased security measures are looming as Michelle Obama plans to appear at a Kansas high school graduation next month. Thousands have petitioned to revoke her invitation.

A Guide to the Many Phases and Faces of Race to the Top PK12: Want to follow the history of Race to the Top, from the very first "Classic" edition to Race to the Top Goes to Preschool to the administration's current proposal for a Race to the Top for Equity (Plus Teacher Distribution, School Climate, and Everything But the Kitchen Sink?)

Waiver could mean windfall for some schools The State Journal-Register: Illinois' waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law could free up $1.2 million for the Springfield School District to spend at 21 schools, according to the district's Title I coordinator.

Using Texas model, more states mull religious viewpoints in schools law AJAM: Tennessee becomes second to enact legislation treating religious expression same as nonreligious.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Strong Common Core Support In Liberal California" »

Afternoon Video: Goldstein & Carey Debate Test Proliferation

"In the video above, education-policy experts Dana Goldstein and Kevin Carey debate whether the standardized testing regime has gotten out of control." Guess who takes which position.  Tell us if you wade through the hourlong version and hear anything notable. 

Update: More Questions About Warren's Pro-Choice Views

LowerBGIt's no big surprise to find out that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) doesn't actually support private school vouchers, an issue that came up last week in a blog post I wrote.

Here's an MTA voter education form stating that “Warren opposes private school voucher proposals and similar proposals that take money away from public schools.” and a MassTeacher update indicating that "This was confirmed with the candidate and her campaign back during the nomination process.” 

Both of these are courtesy Senator Warren's press office, which also notes that the proposal comes from Warren's 2003 book not her new memoir.  

But that still leaves the underlying (and quite revolutionary in some circles) notion of universal public school choice.  Does Warren's support include choice for schools within local districts, or inter-district transfers (as proposed, however weakly, in the NCLB law that Ted Kennedy and George Miller co-sponsored)?  

Vox's Libby Nelson wrote that "Warren's views aren't entirely out of step with the education reform wing of the Democratic party." But of course, Warren isn't generally considered a reformer. 

Charts: Record Numbers Of High School Grads Skipping College

image from espnfivethirtyeight.files.wordpress.com

"Just under 66 percent of the class of 2013 was enrolled in college last fall, the lowest share of new graduates since 2006 and the third decline in the past four years, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics," observes Five Thirty Eight (More High School Grads Decide College Isn’t Worth It).

Nonprofits: InBloom Joins Long List Of Failed Efforts

InBloom isn't the first foundation-funded nonprofit to fall flat or get swallowed up in larger social issues, it won't be the last, and its demise probably doesn't mean what you think it means.

Failstemp ccommon flickr

There are several recent reformy examples of failure or premature suspension of operations including the Gates small schools initiative, Yolie Flores' teacher advocacy organization (Communities 4 Teaching Excellence), Reading First, the Education Sector (now being revived at AIR), and EDIN'08.

But there have also been numerous failures of various types and descriptions from those who would generally be considered reform critics, including the mid-1990s Annenberg Challenge, the barely-alive Broader Bolder Alliance, and Parents Across America (remember them)? Other nominees from Twitter I'm not familiar with include Strategic Management of Human Capital and the Council for Basic Education. The whole reform movement is built on the failures of the era that preceded it (feat. Head Start, desegregation, etc.). 

You get the idea.  This is hard work, saving the world, and a certain amount of failure is to be expected. 

Even more important to remember is that short-term setbacks often lead to breakthroughs rather than collapses.  What lessons will reformers and reform critics learn from inBloom's demise?  What opportunities will arise from its implosion? Whomever learns inBloom's lessons fastest and puts them to good use stands the best chance of future success.

Previous posts: Key Members Depart "Parents Across America"The Successful Failure Of ED In '08Gates-Funded Group Hands Baton To SharptonMalcolm Gladwell On Failure, Voice, & ExitWaivers, Failures, And Redefining AYP. Image via Flickr.

Charts: Impacts Of Different College Promise Programs

image from www.washingtonpost.com"Across 22 programs, including Kalamazoo's, LeGower and Walsh find an increase in total public school enrollment of about 4 percent in the years immediately after the announcement," according to this WashPost story (What happens when public-school students are promised a college education).  "Not surprisingly, programs offering scholarships to all students regardless of merit, and to the widest range of colleges and universities, saw the biggest gains in enrollment, of about 8 percent.

Media: Stuyvesant Exposé Included In NYC Journo Award Finalists

image from www.voicesofny.orgThere are some interesting education stories in and among the Deadline Club's 2014 Annual Awards Finalists announced last week, including not only the "Dasani" story from the NYT but also Sarah Carr and Mallory Falk ("Three Models for Charter Schools in New Orleans"), Paige Cowett and Sarah Koenig (“What Are You Doing for the Test of Your Life?”), and also a fascinating (and very long) story about mental health issues among students at Stuyvesant that was originally written in Chinese and published by the Sing Tao Daily (“The Dark Corner in An Elite High School –Mental Health of Successful Students Needs More Attention”) and then translated and published in English by Voice of New York (click here).  Photo by Orin Hassan, Creative Commons License.

AM News: Massive Gaps In Who Gets A College Degree, Says Report

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Study: 2 In 5 Americans Earning Degrees After High School NPR: The Lumina Foundation says nearly 40 percent of adults held college degrees in 2012 — the biggest one-year jump since 2008. And it says that 60 percent college attainment is "within reach" by 2025.

Percentage of Americans with college degrees rises, paying for degrees tops financial challenges PBS: Who gets a college degree is still starkly divided by race – 27.6 percent of blacks, 23.4 percent of Native Americans and 19.8 percent of Latinos hold at least a two-year degree, compared to 43.9 percent of whites and 59.4 percent of Asians. 

Latest Investing in Innovation Contest to Start in Full Force This Week PK12: The Investing in Innovation grant competition is one of the Obama administration's signature education-improvement levers, born out of the economic-stimulus package in 2009. 

Income Inequality Is A Major Barrier To Attending College NPR: Morning Edition co-host David Greene talks to Suzanne Mettler of Cornell University, author of the new book, Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream.

AFT's Lesson-Sharing Site Clocks a Half-Million Registrants TeacherBeat: AFT's lesson-sharing partnership has grown to half a million members, the teachers' union says.

Teachers Say Many Ed-Tech Products Are Ineffective And Aren't Being Used BuzzFeed: There are thousands of ed-tech products on the market, but barely half of teachers think they are effective, according to a study released today by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Paul Takes His School-Choice Message to Chicago NYT: Senator Rand Paul spoke of the importance of giving parents more flexibility to decide where their tax dollars go, and labeled those who stand in the way of greater choice “dead-enders.”

Much more news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Massive Gaps In Who Gets A College Degree, Says Report" »

Media: ProPublica Hires Another Reporter To Cover Education

With apologies for having missed this when it came out earlier this year, news from ProPublica is that they've hired a veteran AJC reporter Heather Vogell to cover education (ProPublica Hires Reporters).

image from www.propublica.org

From the announcement: "Vogell will join ProPublica from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she has been a reporter since 2005. Her work there on test cheating in the public school system resulted in the indictments of the superintendent and 34 others. A series she co-authored, “Cheating Our Children,” examined suspicious test scores in public schools across the nation, becoming a 2013 finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Before the Journal-Constitution, she worked at The Charlotte Observer, The Chicago Tribune, and The Day, in New London, Conn."

The nonprofit site hasn't been particularly strong on education coverage, though it's got a big section on segregation and just published a long story about re-segregation last week. There's also a section for college loans, if that's your kind of thing. The section on for-profit schools hasn't been updated since 2011. The Opportunity Gap tool was big for a while last year but I haven't heard much about it since.

I haven't seen any stories from Vogell yet on the ProPublica site, so perhaps she's en route from Atlanta.  You can find her at @hvogell but she doesn't seem to be particularly active there. Vogell joins Marian (@mariancw) Wang, who was hired earlier this year.  

Previous posts:  Not Enough Education Goodies On ProPublicaProPublica's Education ReporterObama Staffers' Disclosure Forms Online. Image courtesy ProPublica.

Bruno: Who Told Us The Education Fights Poverty, Anyway?

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 2.51.06 PMWhen charged with "ignoring poverty", many education reformers will respond that in fact improving education is the best way to fight poverty. 

Arne Duncan once went so far as to say that "the only way to end poverty is through education."

Is that correct?

I'm skeptical. As Matt Bruenig has pointed out, educational outcomes have been improving for decades in the United States, and yet poverty rates haven't really budged.

And what about internationally? Certainly, many developed countries have much lower poverty rates than the United States. Is that a result of superior educational performance?

One preliminary way to look at the evidence would be to see if countries with better academic performance also have lower poverty rates.

Out of curiosity I decided to take a first crack at that using results from the 2012 PISA, which tested 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science.

Click below to see what I found. 

Continue reading "Bruno: Who Told Us The Education Fights Poverty, Anyway?" »

Morning Video: What's "Quality" Pre-K, Anyway?

N

This nice little 5-minute video goes along with NPR's story from earlier today.

AM News: Data Storage Nonprofit InBloom Closing Down

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InBloom Student Data Repository to Close NYT: The student data warehousing venture that became a lightning rod for some parents’ data privacy and security concerns, announced it would close. See also WNYC: Sun Sets on Controversial Student Data Project inBloom. [EdWeek broke the story, far as I know.]

Vision, Reality Collide in Common-Core Tests EdWeek: A glass-half-full reading focuses on the exams' technological advances and embrace of performance-based assessment. On the flip side, a confluence of political, technical, and financial constraints have led to some scaling back of the ambitious plans the consortia first laid out.

U.S. News Releases 2014 Best High Schools Rankings HuffPost/ US News: Some familiar names joined Dallas-based School for the Talented and Gifted and the two BASIS schools in the top 10 this year, including the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Georgia and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia. Both schools retained their third and fourth place rankings, respectively, while Pine View School in Florida also held onto its No. 6 position.

Teachers are losing their jobs, but Teach for America’s expanding Hechinger Report: Of the first 13 Seattle recruits whose two-year commitment is now over, Maldonado and 10 others remain in their classrooms. While he thinks TFA should have done a better job before bringing his cohort to the city, Maldonado says he still believes strongly in the organization and worked at its summer institute in New York City last year.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Talks To ABC News’ David Muir ABC News: "How did I go to a commuter college that cost $50 a semester? Because a lot of other people put a little something in that kept the costs low at a public school so I had a chance and a lotta kids like me had a chance to get an education, and go out, and do something with it."

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Data Storage Nonprofit InBloom Closing Down" »

Afternoon Video: Without Comic Colbert, How Will We Learn Science?

All this may change when he moves over to broadcast TV, but comedian Colbert may have been our best science teacher in recent years, according to this Slate blog post (Stephen Colbert’s best science segments) which discusses among other things how some classroom teachers have used his clips and adopted his techniques.

Quotes: K12 Education Fended Off Venture Capital Until 2011?

Quotes2No self-respecting venture capitalist would touch the K-12 education segment from 2000 to 2010-2011. -- QSV Advisors' managing partner (and CPS Board of Ed member) Deborah Quazzo in EdWeek

Thompson: The Next Generation of Value-Added Is Unbelievably Cool

EdtweakIn a major advance over the inherently flawed effort to use test score growth estimates to measure teaching and learning, Big Data is pioneering the next step in identifying the characteristics of effective teaching.

EdTweak’s Harvard Teacher Team Links Teacher Traits to Value-Added describes a groundbreaking research design using a data set including three years of Google searches.

It reports that “Harvard Professor Sage Petty and his colleagues were able to determine that teachers with higher value-added scores were 0.0408% more likely to prefer Mary Ann to Ginger, 0.0783% more likely to purchase their firearms at discounted prices, and 0.0281% more likely to be able to distinguish a Mallard from a Fulvous Whistling-Duck.” 

Petty documents other “really amazing the sorts of associations one can tease out with a large enough data set.” He documents correlations between value-added scores and “purchases of laundry detergent (powered-detergent teachers have higher scores) and searches combining ROTFL and IMHO (lower scores)." 

Petty is surprised by the finding, “teachers at all value-added levels had an equal likelihood of wanting to slap me and my colleagues upside the head with a trout.”-JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.

 

Maps: 16 States With Fully-Implemented Teacher Evaluation Systems

image from www.nctq.org

"To date just 16 states have fully implemented these new evaluation systems with ratings for teachers that count, and most of those are just in the first year of full implementation," notes Sandi Jacobs of NCTQ (Teacher evaluation timelines)

Weekend Reading: Best Education-Related Articles You Probably Missed

Twitter is "scheduling" my weekend updates so they're not all yet published, but here are some good things for you to make sure you've seen:

15 Years After Columbine, Are Schools Any Safer? - WNYC http://ht.ly/vXfag 

Every week, I wish/pretend that @onthemedia focused on education: ROBOTS! (and artificial intelligence) http://ht.ly/vXmj6  

Including the Young and the Rich - NYTimes.com http://ht.ly/vZKpj via @sreckhow

Occupational licensing is replacing labor unions and exacerbating inequality - Vox http://ht.ly/vXf9w 

How Educators Can Protect Students’ Data from Security Breaches | MindShift http://ht.ly/vXmDI  #heartbleed!

Republicans See Political Wedge in Common Core - http://NYTimes.com  http://ht.ly/vYxny 

From Jay Mathews: Stuck on a college wait list? Here’s what you should do.: Wait lists are getting longer, but... http://wapo.st/1joyhiY 

Morning Video: The "Dropout Hunter" Of St. Louis

PBS NewsHour: Lessons from a successful ‘dropout recruiter’ [Charlie Bean of St. Louis Public Schools]

AM News: Growing Republican Infighting Over Common Core

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Republicans See Political Wedge in Common Core NYT: The Common Core, a set of national educational standards, is seen by some conservatives as federal overreach. But in contrast to the Affordable Care Act, it has Republican defenders.

Jindal, teachers agree over firing appeals process NOLA.com: Gov. Jindal has agreed to adjust a 2012 state law surrounding teachers' job security and firings that he helped craft, after losing a legal battle with an educator facing dismissal earlier this year.

15 Years After Columbine, Are Schools Any Safer? NPR: The mass shooting at Columbine High School spurred schools to adopt "zero tolerance" policies. Do they work? NPR Education Correspondent Claudio Sanchez and former principal Bill Bond discuss.

A Scientific Experiment: Field Trips Just For Teachers NPR: Educators say the middle grades are a key time time to get kids jazzed about science, but many teachers say they lack the tools they need. In Chicago, a science museum is helping to fill the the gap.

Kansas: First Lady’s Visit Draws Criticism NYT: Some Topeka high school students and their parents said they would rather keep their graduation day just a family affair, and not include Michelle Obama.

National Service Advocates Say Washington Has Abandoned Its Bipartisan Promise To Them BuzzFeed: In 2009, national service advocates celebrated as President Obama and a large bipartisan coalition in Congress pledged to expand prized AmeriCorps slots from the current 80,000 to 250,000, fulfilling a promise to expand national service supported by Presidents Clinton and Bush.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Growing Republican Infighting Over Common Core " »

Afternoon Video: Did CNN Treat Chicago Schools Fairly?

 

It's not quite at the level of "Scandal," but discussion surrounding CNN's "Chicagoland"reality series about Chicago schools, long-troubled Fenger High School (yes, that Fenger), and principal Elizabeth Dozier has been pretty intense in recent days and weeks. Get up to speed with this Institute of Politics panel from last night.

Quotes: Pay No Attention To The "Velvet Ropes" Surrounding Neighborhood Schools

Quotes2Between formally selective admissions policies and economically restrictive enrollment zones, many schools are effectively off-limits, particularly to our low-income families — surrounded, as it were, by invisible velvet ropes. -- NYC charter schools advocate James Merriman (in the NYDN), following up as it were on Elizabeth Warren's very similar point regarding neighborhood schools.

Media: Bullying, A Federal Civil Rights Complaint, & A Wealthy District's Response

ScreenHunter_03 Apr. 17 23.08You might have missed this series of stories from Palo Alto Weekly about student bullying, a district's flawed response -- I certainly did -- but the Society of Professional Journalists gave the Northern California outlet one of its top awards for small media outlets.

Read more about the stories given the award here, or how the stories came about here. Interesting to note that the reporters unearthed a federal Office of Civil Rights case about halfway through the process, and in the end the complaint was made public (by the child's parents).

"The Weekly coverage included two cover story packages researched and written by Lobdell,"Out of the Shadows," (June 14, 2013) about bullying, and "Power to Hurt," (Aug. 16, 2013) on the use of social media by teens, and numerous news stories by Kenrick and Lobdell on the school district's handling of bullying complaints, federal investigations and the development of bullying policies."

The full list of SJP awardees is here -- I didn't see any other education-related stories but I might have missed some.

Media: "Marketplace" Adds Education Reporter*

 Yau Hoong Tang FlickrNot to be outdone by NPR or anyone else, American Public Media's "Marketplace" show is also staffing up on education coverage, and has just announced that Adriene Hill (@adrienehill) will be its new education reporter along with editor Betsy Streisand and Amy Scott (@amyreports).

I first met Hill in Chicago, where she was one of the stars at WBEZ Chicago Public Radio who helped produce their morning newsmagazine show.  She's spent the last four years or so in LA at Marketplace, doing great work by all accounts, and it's exciting that she'll be adding to Marketplace's education coverage.

The position is funded in part by the Kresge Foundation.*

Previous posts: Covering The Ed Beat For "Marketplace"; Where Does That Public Radio Coverage Come From, Anyway?NPR Expands Education Coverage (A Goodly Amount)*;  Local NPR Stations Beefing Up Education CoverageNPR Ed Team Adds Staff (Still Needs Spiffy Name)* Image via Flickr.

*While I still don't have any official confirmation, I've been told that the position is also being funded by the Gates Foundation.

Maps: School Fundraising Vs. Federal Poverty Funding In San Diego

image from voiceofsandiego.org"Foundation money and Title I money balance each other out.  The schools in the middle... are being left behind." (Voice of San Diego: School Foundations vs. Title I Funds)

Video: EPI Panel On Effects Of Concentrated Poverty

Here's a recent EPI panel on the effects of concentrated poverty on various aspects of society, featuring the NAACP, EPI, and Tanehesi Coates from The Atlantic (link here).

Thompson: Kamenetz & Gallup Nail the Key to School Improvement

EngagedAs the Hechinger Report’s Anya Kamenetz notes in Almost 70% of Teachers Are Not Engaged. Here’s Why That Matters So Much, “there’s an intimate connection between the schoolroom engagement of students, and the workplace engagement of teachers.” She then cites the truism that has been lost on school reformers, “Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.” 

Kamenetz reviews a brilliant analysis by Gallup Education, The State of America’s Schools. My joy in reading the study, and Kamenetz’s explanation,  was tempered only by a sense of regret that its main themes were not the basis of the contemporary school reform movement.  

Data-driven reform, in part, was born of an ill-considered effort to sound macho. Testing, like attacks on teachers, allowed reformers to chant tough-sounding words like “accountability” and “outputs.” 

Gallup explains how reform produced “a rigid set of education standards.”  It created “a stranglehold on teachers and students.”  Consequently, “teachers are dead last among the occupational groups Gallup surveyed in terms of their likelihood to say their opinions seem to count at work.”

As Gallup’s Brandon Busteed reports, reformers got it backwards. The path to school improvement requires a commitment to “soft” measures, such as hope, feeling valued, emotional relationships, and being engaged in teaching and learning. Busteed says, “quote unquote ‘soft’ measures move the quote unquote ‘hard’ measures, like grades and test scores.”

Continue reading "Thompson: Kamenetz & Gallup Nail the Key to School Improvement" »

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.