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Quotes: How The Recession Might Help Explain Low-Income Kids' Progress

Quotes2One likely explanation for the across-the-board increase in parents’ investing in their young children’s learning is that parents today are just far more aware of the unique importance of the early childhood years in shaping their children’s development... It also may be that the increase in parent-child interactions among low-income families has been driven, in part, by the shift of low-income children out of preschool programs and into parental care during the economic recession.

-- Daphna Bassok, a co-author of the study and professor at the University of Virginia (Despite Growing Income Inequality, Learning Gaps Between Rich And Poor Kids Are Actually Closing)

Morning Video: Helping Refugee Kids In School

From PBS NewsHour:"Students at the Refugee Youth Summer Academy in New York City are taking their first steps to adjusting to life in a U.S. classroom. This year's class of 118 students comes from families who have been granted asylum in the U.S."

Or, watch this VERY excited kid talk about going back to school: "Because I'm going to fourth grade and then after that I'm going to fifth grade and then I'm going to college—or high school."

AM News: Narrowing Gaps, Poll Time, Homework Debate, & More

Surprise! Amid rising inequality, one school gap is narrowing scpr.org/news/2016/08/2…

Low-income kindergartners are closing the achievement gap, reversing a decades-old trend washingtonpost.com/news/education…

Trump’s ‘Education Week’ Calculation: A New Pivot to Woo Reluctant Republicans and Swing State Minorities | The 74 ow.ly/qVKk303FYlU
Poll: Rising Share of Americans Like Their Local Schools ... But There's a Catch blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…
Americans Like Their Schools Just Fine — But Not Yours - NPR ow.ly/aWm7303FWWM
Dozens of Baltimore County Schools Closed for Heat abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/d…
A new school year, and a 204th school, as enrollment surges in Maryland district washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…
As Students Return to School, Debate About the Amount of Homework Rages nytimes.com/2016/08/25/us/…
4 Years After Tragedy, A New Sandy Hook Elementary Prepares To Open Its Doors npr.org/sections/thetw…
From Humans of New York to Obama's Office: How a Principal Built a School - NYT nzzl.us/0kspD5L
Buckeye, Ariz., HS Student Wears 'Black Lives Matter' Shirt, Told to Change - EBONY nzzl.us/zz58IEK

Site News: Headed North For Now - Back To Work Monday August 29th


There are two good ways to tell if someone actually doesn't know me very well. First, they refer to me as "Alex." Second, they are unaware that I have headed off to the waters near Boston, MA for a few days with family and loved ones. I'll be back on the 29th. You'll hardly know I'm gone. Can't bear the wait? I might be here and there on Twitter between now and then: @alexanderrusso. See you soon!

Afternoon Video: Changing How Police Treat Students In Birmingham & Elsewhere

"Last September, a federal court in Alabama ruled that the disciplinary practices used by the Birmingham Police Department toward high school students were unconstitutional. Ebony Howard, the lawyer who filed the class-action suit, speaks with special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault about the specific police conduct and the settlement."

#EDgif Of The Day: When The Teacher Doesn't Bail Out The Guest Speaker

In the opening scene of Sunday night's episode of "The Night Of," hapless criminal defense lawyer John Stone (John Turturro) visits a high school classroom to explain what he does.

But the kids aren't interested or sympathetic, and might turn on him any second now. So Turturro's character turns to see if the teacher will help him out.

She gives him a blank look and says, "No, this is great."



Update: Remembering Mike Brown, Two Years Later

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 2.19.04 PM
Two years after the death of Mike Brown is as good a time as any to point to remember a few important parts of the story of the Ferguson teen who was killed on this day in 2014.
We all probably remember that he he had graduated from high school three months early -- and that his graduation was not an unremarkable accomplishment.
It's less widely known that his mother, Lezley McSpadden, was among many teens who had been bused to school as part of a state desegregation program. According to a ProPublica story, she attended school in affluent Ladue.
But perhaps the most important thing to remember is how she responded in one interview, demonstrating frustration, despair, and anger that few of us will ever feel: 
Click the link to view the clip.

Charts: Teacher Pay Gap Keeps Going Up - Now 23 Percent

According to a new report from EPI, teachers’ weekly wages are now 23 percent lower than those of other college graduates.

Morning Video: Debate Over That NAACP Charter School Resolution

Dr. Steve Perry and Hilary Shelton, Bureau Director of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the NAACP debated the provision last week. (News One)


AM News: Back To School Billions, ESSA Anticipation, & More

2016 Back-To-School Spending Expected To Reach $75.8 Billion - Forbes pllqt.it/07xzzs

NCLB Waivers Carry Lessons for Shift to ESSA, Says Congressional Watchdog blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…

The Best Schools In The World Do This, Why Don't We? npr.org/sections/ed/20…

School board elections heat up with 4 more candidates jumping into race - LA School Report ow.ly/z7HL30347eY

Georgia schools paddled nearly 6,000 students last year. Why? | Get Schooled ow.ly/QOsB3031LiT

To Prevent Sexual Assault, Schools And Parents Start Lessons Early npr.org/2016/08/09/487…

Google and Facebook are helping high school students get exposed to computer science. trib.al/XXW2XWH

Trans student outed by teachers wins legal battle in Canada | VICE News ow.ly/501q3031YhO

Quotes: Frustrated MD Governor Lashes Out Against Union Funding Demands

We provided record funding two years in a row and protected your pensions... Don’t believe this phony ‘cut’ propaganda from the union thugs.”

- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on his Facebook page, according to the Washington Post (Hogan calls teachers union officials ‘thugs’)

#EDgif Of The Day: Vacationing EdReformers Sip Cold Brewed Coffee While Setbacks Mount

There have been three recent setbacks for edreform folks -- somewhat symbolic in nature but important nonetheless. The edereform response -- even with a recent effort to get opposing views out there -- has been slow, confused, and seemingly ineffective.

The first edreform setback was the addition of anti-charter amendments to the DNC platform last month. 

The second was the decision by the NAACP to include strong anti-charter legislation in its annual resolutions.

The third was the inclusion of several anti-charter provisions in the Black Lives Matter education agenda released last week (along with some provisions with which the edreform community would likely agree).

While symbolic in nature, these three instances are both critical of the edreform approach and -- even more important -- seem to expose the lack of engagement and reach of edreform advocates in the DNC, NAACP, and BlackLivesMatter.


TV: "This Is Going Great."

It's always exciting or at least interesting when schools are part of popular culture, right?

Last night's episode of "The Night Of," an HBO miniseries, opens with lawyer John Stone (played by John Turturro) trying to explain to a group of NYC high school students what a criminal defense lawyer does.

As with many things Stone attempts, the lesson isn't going very well. But when he turns to try and get some help from the classroom teacher, she responds indifferently (or obliviously) that things are going great. 

Morning Audio: Chicago Parents Debate School Integration Plan

Chicago Public Radio's Becky Vevea has a long piece about what happened when two principals and some parents come up with a plan to merge an overcrowded high-performing school (with relatively large numbers of white kids) with an under-enrolled lower-performing school (mostly serving kids of color).

It isn't pretty, but it's fascinating and important -- especially the voices and viewpoints of the parents who currently send their children to the two schools. 

Check out the story here


AM News: Chicago Layoffs, Union "Thugs," Early School Starts, & More

Chicago Schools Lays off 1,000, About Half Are Teachers  abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/c…

Feds Spar With NAACP Over Criticism of Charter Schools - TakePart  nzzl.us/QK9uvEa

Republican MD Governor calls teachers union officials 'thugs' on Facebook nzzl.us/KjVNdMa 

The first day of school keeps getting earlier and earlier. Here's why.scpr.org/news/2016/08/0…

For thousands of D.C. students, school starts early with new, year-round schedule washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

At 11 D.C. Schools, Students Head To Class Today Under New Year-Round Schedule wamu.org/news/16/08/08/… 

At 69 schools in #STL region, at least half  of teachers missed > 2 weeks - stltoday.com nzzl.us/ludNVul

Fear of black students, unfair treatment rampant in Denver schools, black educators say | Chalkbeat ow.ly/pPS33031Mss

Baltimore summer school does the seemingly impossible — the kids actually want to be there hechingerreport.org/baltimore-summ…

Chancellor Kaya Henderson And The Future Of D.C. Public Schools  wamu.org/programs/the_k…

After Court Win, Texas Legislators Mull Tying K-12 Funding, Performance blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_e…

Not a bang but a whimper: bilingual ed ban’s likely exit  cabinetreport.com/politics-educa…

Ed. Dept. Announces $8.6 Million Grant Competition for States to Improve Testing blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…

Leaks of the SAT in Asia have been far more pervasive than acknowledged: reut.rs/1XYFnQP

Maps: Primary School Teachers Top Some State Job Lists (But Robots...)


The most common profession in many states is truck driver -- a group that could soon lose their jobs to robots, according to Vox. But the most common job in few states including Florida, Alaska and some in New England is primary school teacher -- a notoriously low-paying but abundant job. No news yet on robot primary school teachers. But it's probably coming soon. 

Morning Videos: Dueling Massachusetts Charter Ads

Above find competing ads for and against lifting the MA charter schools cap. Via Boston Globe. See more here and here.

AM News: Two States Require PARCC For Grads, Chicago Teachers Push Integration, & More

New Jersey Joins NM As Second State to Require PARCC Passage for Graduation – EdWeek ow.ly/PMnM302WbUp

More High School Students Are Graduating With Dual-Language Proficiency – The Atlantic ow.ly/iy4E302XjSo

What If High School Were More Like Kindergarten? theatlantic.com/education/arch…

Pro-charter effort begins massive TV ad campaign – The Boston Globe ow.ly/i5c7302XhXK

The Kindergarten Shock voiceofsandiego.org/topics/educati…

Some Chicago Teachers Think School Integration Plan Still Possible Despite Rejection From City Officials wbez.org/shows/wbez-new…

MoCo sees rise in abuse reports amid increased efforts to protect kids  washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

After School Satan Club proposal spurs debate on religious activity in public schools washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

How U.S. Charter Schools May Be Tied to Turkey’s Political Unrest  wnyc.org/story/charter-…

Events: Lots Of Education Discussion At Minority Journalists' Conference

There's lots of education-related panels at the conference in DC going on this week. Check it all out here or scroll through the #NABJNAHJ16 hashtag.

Campaign 2016: Black Kids 500% More Likely To Die From Asthsma

Quotes: NEA Compares Proposed ESSA Regs To NCLB

Quotes2We believe that the regulations miss the mark in terms of fidelity to the spirit and letter of ESSA, and instead revive elements of NCLB's test, label, and punish system by adding the agency's own restrictions on goals, indicators, weights, labels, interventions, and state plans.

-- NEA director of education policy and practice Donna Harris-Aikens in US News (The New Era of Education Accountability)



Morning Video: "It's Called A Test For A Reason"


The test he's referring to isn't standardized -- it's not even at school -- but I thought you might want to see this: "An instructor telling a student ‘It’s OK to cry’ is going viral for all the right reasons. "That's what this is about, son." via Upworthy.

AM News: NJ Scores Well, SAT Hacked, NYC Tries Shared Principals

New Jersey Ties Graduation to Tests Aligned With Common Core Standards NYTimes.com ow.ly/avDy100gcEI

'Massive' security breach exposes hundreds of new SAT questions - Reuters  nzzl.us/v8hclwr

As ACT scores rise, more students can choose college: Editorial  nola.com/education/inde…

One Principal, Two Schools - an "unfortunate compromise"  theatlantic.com/education/arch…

New York Education Commissioner Asks Feds to Ease Up on Opt-Out Rules blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_e…

High Court: School Can Block Transgender Teen From Boys Room  abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/h…

Much criticism, no consensus on how to fix charter school oversight  edsource.org/2016/much-crit…

Can't Buy Me Love (Of Reading) npr.org/sections/ed/20…

Trending: Hipster School Supplies

For some reason, #HipsterSchoolSupplies is trending on Twitter today. Things must be slow. Most of the items relate to college kids I'm not sure if there are hipster high school or elementary students, or even if hipster is still a thing. But a few of them, like this vintage notebook, seem appropriate to all levels of hipster students.

Quotes: Wealthier White Parents Want One Thing, Wealthier Black Parents Another

Quotes2I found middle class and affluent white families organizing to limit access, taking the good teachers, in the principal’s office daily advocating that ‘my kid gets the good programs.’ Wealthy Black families would rather pay their money and send kids to private schools.

- CUNY professor L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy in EWA via Education Post (We Can't Keep Ignoring the Suburbs and the Black People That Live in Them)

Charts: State Elementary School Spending As Of 2014


"New York is the biggest spender, doling out more than $20,000 per student each year, counting teacher salaries, support services and all the other costs associated with public schools. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Idaho and Utah spend only about one-third as much."

Click on your state for extra information.

Click here for the story behind the graph. It's the latest from Governing.


Explainer: #Vision4BlackLives Agenda Highlights School Reform Critics' Priorities (With Some Key Exceptions)

Most of the attention on the Movement for Black Lives' agenda, released earlier this week, focused on the call for reparations and other agenda items.

However, a little-noted part of the comprehensive agenda was its education section, which calls for "An End to the Privatization of Education and Real Community Control by Parents, Students and Community Members of Schools Including Democratic School Boards and Community Control of Curriculum, Hiring/Firing, and Discipline Policies."

Some highlight quotes: 

*Privatization strips Black people of the right to self-determine the kind of education their children receive.

*Using mayoral control and state takeover, they impose their experimental, market-based approach to school reform.

*The education crises plaguing most of our public school districts are the result of corporate-controlled, state-sanctioned and federally-funded attacks to reverse Brown v. Board of Education, and create a desuetude discrimination and educational apartheid that must be challenged and overthrown.

*Their aims are to undermine Black democracy and self-determination, destroy organized labor, and decolor education curriculum, while they simultaneously  overemphasize  Standardized Testing, and use school closures to disproportionately disrupt access to education in Black communities.   

The authors of this section include Jonathan Stith (Alliance for Educational Justice), Hiram Rivera (Philadelphia Student Union), and Chinyere Tutashinda (Center for Media Justice). According to an Tweet from Stith, "A squad of Black education justice parent & youth organizers [was] present as well." The resources provided for this agenda include the Every Student Succeeds Act ExplainedAROS Demands Memo, and Journey For Justice.


 In case it isn't clear, this call for elected school boards, an end to privatization, and a pullback from foundations like Gates and Broad is very much a reform critic's view of what needs to be done -- not at all a reformers' vision.

Or, as The American Prospect's Rachel Cohen put it, "There are some high-profile Teach for America alums in Black Lives Matter, but the platform calls for the program's end."

As such, this is the second time in recent weeks that we're reading about reform groups seeming to have been outflanked by their critics. The earlier instance was the development of the DNC party platform, which included amendments from Randi Weingarten and others that called for similar things.  (You could also include the release of stolen DNC emails in which campaign officials urge against mention of Common Core.) 

It's also an early indication of where the larger Black Lives Matter movement might be headed on education issues, which has been until now a murky thing to understand. There are several TFA alumni among the leaders of the movement, but the movement has also partnered with teachers unions in places like Chicago (where a BLM activist surprised union leaders by denouncing the police union). 

However, there are areas in which the movement's agenda would seem to go along with the priorities of many reform groups -- and put them in conflict with organized labor. Some quoted highlights:

*Put a moratorium on all out of school suspensions.

*Remove police from schools and replace them with positive alternatives to discipline and safety.

*Inequitable funding at the school district, local and state level leave most public schools — where poor communities of color are the majority — unable to provide adequate and high quality education for all students, criminalizing and targeting Black students through racist zero-tolerance discipline policies.

*Key stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, and students are left out of the decision making process.

*Create Community Schools that have wrap-around services for students and community members as a turnaround model instead of closing schools or charterization.

It's also well worth noting that this document, released by a group calling itself the Movement for Black Lives (aka ), may not represent the larger movement's education agenda, or the focal point of BLM efforts on education.

Morning Video: Advanced Math Classes Too Much For Most?

"Algebra is a core subject for U.S. high school students. But should it be? Author Andrew Hacker believes we should reconsider how math is taught: only 5 percent of the American workforce actually uses math beyond arithmetic, though higher-level classes are widely required." Via PBS NewsHour

AM News: Trump At School, Laptop Programs, CA Teachers' $13M Campaign

When Trump rallied at her high school, this Muslim valedictorian spoke up, felt targeted washingtonpost.com/news/education…

Mom of boy at Trump rally who yelled “take the bitch down” defends his right to "say what he wants to" on.wsj.com/2aL2kIs

How Hillary Clinton created her plan for America — behind-the-scenes - The Washington Post ow.ly/yUh1302Sv8G

A teachers share challenges and solutions at statewide summit  edsource.org/2016/teachers-…

State teachers union has given more than $13 million to extend income taxes on wealthy Californians  latimes.com/local/educatio…

A new all-male high school gets a head start in DC. washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

NSVF offers up to $7M for projects around administrator diversity, tech tools | Education Dive ow.ly/L0Iy302Rgls

Impact of 1:1 laptop programs - Journalist's Resource pllqt.it/OIa91A

Afternoon Video: Syrian Kids Going To School In A War Zone

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.