Here's an email from CCCR honcho Dianne Piche that highlights the idea that yesterday's decision doesn't make it illegal or impossible to promote school integration:
"All programs that consider race in order to foster diversity have NOT been outlawed. The votes were 5-4 against the Seattle and Louisville school districts AND 5-4 in favor of legal principles favoring diversity. This so-called “split court” is not unlike the famous “Bakke” decision in the late 1970s, where the Court struck down an affirmative action policy with respect to admissions to the University of California-Davis medical school, while at the same time setting forth legal principles enabling some forms of affirmative action to be preserved."
Read the full email below [a letter to Piche's grad students].
Teachers Target Bush's No-Child Law for Change Under Democrats
``The American public and educators agree -- Congress needs to change No Child Left Behind,'' said association President Reg Weaver, a former middle school teacher.
Charter schools booming in the suburbs Philadelphia Inquirer
Once found almost exclusively in urban centers with dismal academic options, charters such as Renaissance - located in a bucolic corner of the solid-performing Phoenixville Area School District - have become increasingly common in the suburbs.
Phila. to Keep Outside School Managers One More Year EdWeek
Experts who have been closely monitoring Philadelphia’s experiment with outside management were divided on exactly what lessons it is yielding for educators.
12 Ways to Childproof Your Kids' Summer and Avoid Trips to the ER US News
As children burst into the long, lazy days of summer-on wakeboards, roller coasters, and all-terrain vehicles-parents may want to bone up on precautionary measures.
By and large, the papers play the desegregation decision pretty straight: "Thursday's Supreme Court ruling on school diversity reinterprets the venerable Brown vs. Board of Education decision" (Fracturing a landmark LAT).
Some of the wall to wall coverage took a slightly different tack: Don't Mourn Brown v. Board of Education New York Times. "With yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling ending the use of voluntary schemes to create racial balance among students, it is time to acknowledge that Brown’s time has passed." Or: Brown v. Board of Education has not been overturned (Wall Street Journal): "The end of this first full term of the John Roberts-Samuel Alito Court presented no sweeping departures, instead hewing to the incremental conservative judging that was its hallmark this year."
You want more?
Across U.S., a New Look at School Integration Efforts NYT
Court Strikes Down Racial Criteria in School Diversity Plans PBS
Link to Google News 900 stories about the Supreme Court decision.
Over at the Dallas Morning News, Josh Benton's got the drop on some apparent misdeeds at the Texas Education Agency. No surprise there, except that the misdeeds may include the Gates Foundation (TEA: Agency officials got friends contracts). It's no secret that the Gates folks of late have been getting involved in state-level advocacy work. A reasonable strategy, I'd say. But their Texas guy, Jimmy Wynn, seems to have gotten over-involved, shall we say. Via EdNews.org.
While we're on the subject of foundations and nonprofits, there's a new report from the Urban Institute that some would do well to read: Insular Boards Guide Many Nonprofits. "Many nonprofit boards are cut off from the public they serve by an ethnically homogeneous membership and a failure to engage in externally oriented activities," according to the report.
Spellings favors wiggle room for schools USA Today
The U.S. Education Secretary has proposed a way of evaluating schools that would differentiate between schools that are close to meeting state standards and those that are underperformers.
Union to Help Charter Firm Start School in the Bronx NYT
A charter school operator from Los Angeles [Green Dot] is seeking to expand into New York with the cooperation of the teachers’ union. PLUS: Patrons’ Sway Leads to Friction in Charter School
Study: Federal Tutoring Helping Students AP
Taxpayer-funded tutoring for poor children is paying off in some city schools, a federal study says.
Two school diversity cases: Same issue, with a twist CNN
The Supreme Court is poised to issue key rulings in two major cases involving diversity in schools.
Watch three of the 50 Presidential Scholars who signed and delivered a letter to GWB during the Monday NCLB event:
Or, if you're more into text, read an explanation of what happened and why here.
The weekly showdown of national education columns between the Post and the NY Times goes to the Post this week in large part because the Post column is about K12 issues and KIPP (KIPP's Mysterious Tale of Three Cities ) and also because I don't really care that much about higher education or free speech (Film Portrays Stifling of Speech, but One College’s Struggle Reflects a Nuanced Reality). Mathews explores why one KIPP school in Maryland is closing, while others have thrived. Most of the blame seems to get ascribed to the locals, of course, rather than what I suspect is also part of the problem: growing pains and rapid expansion.
States Urged on Teacher Qualifications AP
Even as states are erecting barriers that could prevent qualified people from teaching, they also are making it too easy for unqualified people to get in, the report says. Just three states - New Jersey, New Mexico and New York - require new teachers to pass such [licensing] tests before entering the classroom. Many states give teachers one year to pass, but 20 states let people teach for three years or more without passing, the report says. PLUS: Read the full report with all its maps here.
Black students in Montgomery and Fairfax high schools are far more successful in Advanced Placement testing than their peers in nine of the 10 school systems in the nation with the largest black populations, according to a Washington Post analysis.
Editorial: Three Bad Rulings NYT (editorial)
The Supreme Court hit the trifecta yesterday: Three cases involving the First Amendment. Three dismaying decisions by Chief Justice John Roberts’s new conservative majority.
Forget NCLB. The new class of Presidential Scholars apparently decided to put a little heat on the President in his own house, according to The Cheese Sandwich blog (The Kids Are Alright), calling on him to end torture and illegal detentions, among other things.
"Paris Hilton Released From Jail...Meanwhile, millions of American students remain locked up in schools that aren't getting the job done while the Democratic party stands watch."
Read the rest at Joe Williams' DFER blog.
While most of political Washington is up in arms about the VP declaring himself not a part of the executive branch, there are still education events on the calendar. As you can see, the President's remarks at this one (video here) include the standard fare (yay, NCLB reauthorization, yay TIF and STEM). Perhaps the most dramatic claim in the President's remarks was as follows: "During the most recent five-year period on record, nine-year-olds made more progress in reading than in the previous 28 years combined." That one's new to me, and a little hard to believe. Someone's going to have to fact-check that one. As far as shows of force go, this one seems pretty weak. McKeon and Castle are mentioned, but no Miller or Kennedy. Even the First Lady, recently enlisted to help with reauthorization, couldn't make it.
We've all seen full-grown adults crumble and fluster when faced with hard-charging newscasters who disagree with their points of view, but give credit to this Boulder high school sophomore Jesse Lange who takes on none other than the firebreathing Bill O'Reilly over a controversial sex and drug talk given at a Boulder high school:
Great to see the kid's calmness fluster the host. If you really want to read more about this, here are some mainstream news stories.
Last week I asked whether the TAP model was ready for prime time, and got a few interesting responses. Still trying to get up to speed, I asked the usual suspects about which merit pay models seemed to work the best and/or dominate the "market" and got some information that might be useful, or not:report on incentive pay models. There's a Linda Darling-Hammond report that scans the various models (Odden, TAP, etc.) called Recognizing and Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness. And there's a compensation handbook also from earlier this year (Odden). In addition, several folks also noted that TAP has been evaluated, albeit sponsored by them, and found to have positive results -- and that a new more independent study is coming out from Mathematica at some point in the near future. Also, many districts are using TAP for TIF because it includes PD, has career ladders, gives money to nearly everyone, and has essentially been approved by the AFT.
Experts Analyze Supreme Court Free Speech Rulings PBS
The Supreme Court ruled to loosen restrictions on campaign ads and tighten limits on student speech Monday. Two law professors weigh in on what the rulings mean for the nation, and what they indicate about the justices' take on First Amendment rights.
Ex-Aides Break With Bush on 'No Child' Washington Post
President Bush urged lawmakers yesterday to renew No Child Left Behind, his landmark education initiative, but one of his biggest political liabilities in achieving that goal comes from an unlikely source: his former aides.
Prepare for the SAT Test, or Play With Your iPod? Have It Both Ways NYT
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, a traditional test preparation company, is offering interactive programs for downloading to iPods with video screens.
There's something on the EdSec's schedule today about "President Bush’s remarks on reauthorization of No Child Left Behind" at the White House. Then later this week on Wednesday there's the USDE's SES summit. And, on Thursday, NCTQ's Teacher Policy Handbook rollout.
There are a couple of good examples of time-lapse education writing out there right now, including Dale Mezzacappa's Philadelphia Inquirer look at 112 inner-city kids who were promised a college education 20 years ago, what's happened to them since (left), and a look at the other "Say Yes" initiatives that are still underway.
Over at the NY Daily News, Erin Einhorn tracked down what had happened to 23 Harlem kindergarten kids over the past 13 years since 1994 (right), and found all but five.
The first Cristo Rey schoolin the DC area is opening up this fall , according to Jay Mathews (UPDATE: Before School, A Cram Session on Work) -- a low-tuition private school model first tried out in Chicago 11 years ago and since spread to 19 other locations. Besides the fact that the kids work one day a week to help pay for their education, what makes Cristo Rey schools interesting is that they are one of the only private school models funded by a mainstream education philanthropy (in this case Gates). Here's a commentary I wrote about this for The Gadfly, and an article about the struggle to open a Cristo Rey in New York City a few years ago.
Today's Washington Post has an interesting piece about the use of high-priced management consultants -- Deloitte, KPMG, McKinsey, Alvarez & Associates (of St. Louis and NOLA fame) -- in urban school districts, a good reminder that it's not just the policy wonks and think tanks that drive real live schoolpeople crazy. "Two dozen high-priced consultants have set up shop on three floors of the D.C. public schools' headquarters, wearing pinstripe suits, toting binders and BlackBerrys and using such corporate jargon as "resource mapping" and "identifying metrics," begins the piece (Big-Name Consultants Greeted With Wariness). "They come from big-name restructuring firms, and the city is paying $4 million for their services this summer." It's not just DC, of course. Chicago has used Boston Consulting Group on several projects, some of which haven't turned out particularly well. St. Louis and New Orleans have both used Alvarez, to mixed reviews. And, as the article points out, few of the consultants offer project management services or stay on to implement the plans that they make. Binders and powerpoints are all well and good, but making the plans work and building buy-in and capacity are the real keys.
UPDATE: The usually-insightful Kevin Carey mystifyingly defends the management consultant crowd by blaming incompetent management for DC schools' problems. A post written, perhaps, on a Blackberry.
"Rice said Clark County has been mining dwindling districts for teachers for at least 16 years. She said the head of personnel for Chicago public schools used to tease her that they had her picture up in the airport."
The Report Card PBS
NOW returns to Lafayette Academy, a charter school where students and teachers have struggled in the past school year with mismanagement [Mosaica] and a lack of resources. NOW also visits the fifth graders at KIPP Believe College Prep, part of a successful national charter school network called the "Knowledge Is Power Program."
Big-Name Consultants Greeted With Wariness Washington Post
Two dozen high-priced consultants have set up shop on three floors of the D.C. public schools' headquarters, wearing pinstripe suits, toting binders and BlackBerrys and using such corporate jargon as "resource mapping" and "identifying metrics."
The High School Kinship of Cristal and Queen NYT
Queen Bond and Cristal Pimentel found each other, seized opportunities and graduated from high school in the face of tremendous adversity.
School Officials Black Out Photo of a Gay Student’s Kiss NYT
Yearbooks for East Side High School in Newark were distributed with a black-marker splotch covering a photo of a student kissing his boyfriend.
Bloomberg Candidacy Would Bring Education Up
What Do People Really Think About NCLB?
Internal Differences: Preschool, Choice, and More
Jay Mathews On Michelle Rhee: Didn't I Just Say That?
PLUS: "What’s this Korean lady doing here?"
Foundations & Think Tanks
"Designated Survivors" At School Reform Confabs
Sara Mead: Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire
Charter School Smarick Wins White House Fellows Spot
PEN NewsBlast Guru Rides Off Into The Sunset
Merit Pay Model Not Ready For Prime Time?
Franchising Magnets (Just Like Charters)
Boston Gets Memphis Chief; Balto Gets NYC #2
Severance Pay For Vallas Might Be $500K
PLUS: Vallas Ditches Own Going-Away Party
Colbert Loves NCLB -- Better Than Jon Stewart
"My Name's Emmet And I'm An Eduholic."
Mainstream Blogging's Perils & Pleasures
The Times Vs. The Post: Education's Weekly Showdown
High School Sophomore Marries Coach -- Parents Sign Off
When Celebrities Have Opinions (John Travolta Edition)
Top 10 Party High Schools In America
Parents, Kids, Librarians Get Ready (Potter Book Out 7/21)
The Worst Cheese Sandwich Ever
The parents of a sophomore high school student say they tried to stop their sixteen year-old daughter from getting involved with a 40 year-old cross-country coach, but according to this story signed a consent form for them to get married. Read all about it, I guess.
And if you can't get enough of this kind of stuff, check out Teachers Behaving Badly, a blog dedicated to criminal other inappropriate things that education staff do. Yes, there's a blog for everything.
Voucher Use in Washington Wins Praise of Parents NYT
Students who participated in a federally financed school voucher program did not perform significantly better academically but their parents were satisfied anyway.
ALSO: Voucher Students Show Few Gains in First Year Washington Post
Schools Await Desegregation Ruling Courier-Journal.com
With just 10 days left in its session, education and civil-rights leaders across the nation are anxiously waiting to see whether a conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court will end voluntary desegregation in America's public schools -- particularly those in Jefferson County.
Specific complaints aside, is it the TAP model that most districts are adopting with their TIF money, or are there other, better ones -- from Odden, or wherever? Have the different models been compared in terms of how they work? Or is there as yet no single model that seems to work "everywhere"?
There's a new and aptly-named blog at Teacher Magazine called Eduholic, although it turns out to be just the new name for a blog that's been running on the site for a while by a guy named Emmet Rosenfeld. Welcome back, Emmet. Great name for a blog.
Sara Mead over at TQATE gets the award for the most ambitious and attention-grabbing headline of the week with Preschool and School Choice Movement Leaders Combine Forces to Form New Pornographers-style Education Advocacy Supergroup, and for highlighting internal differences among various preschool advocacy folks (and similar internal differences among various choice/voucher groups). The whole supergroup thing seems like a nonstarter, but it's important not to mistake these movements -- preschool and choice -- as monolithic. Ditto for charters, standardistas, and everyone else, now that I think of it.
2300 schools face 'No Child' overhaul AP
Nationwide, about 2,300 schools are either in restructuring or are a year away, according to a database provided to The Associated Press by the Education Department.
Ed Department: states not meeting special-ed law requirements AP
Fourth-fifths of the states are falling short of federal requirements for educating students with disabilities, the Education Department says.
Teacher Turnover Costs Systems Millions, Study Projects Washington Post
An independent report released yesterday estimates that the high rate of teacher turnover in U.S. school systems costs more than $7 billion a year, with systems including the District and Prince George's and Fairfax counties hardest hit. (Also: Schools Have No Handle on Cost of Teacher Turnover).
Small Companies That Try to Bring Innovative Technology to Teaching NYT
A growing cluster of companies in the Northwest are looking to capitalize on educational needs.
Webcams Are Officially Not Fun Anymore USNWR
Some worry that the cameras are a little too Big Brother-ish. Paper Trail is more worried about a deluge of bad test-taking videos on YouTube.
Over at the DFER blog, Joe Williams points out that if NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg takes the next step and enters the race as an independent candidate it will upgrade the debate on education reform since he'll be the candidate with the most of a track record on the issue (Viva Bloomberg?). For that alone, I hope he runs.
Thanks to the Schools for Tomorrow Blog for reminding me that I had never posted the Colbert Report segment on states gaming proficiency standards from a couple of weeks ago:
Don't worry, it's still funny. And Colbert seems to have done a much better job than Jon Stewart of learning about (and blasting at) one of the law's not so intended consequences. (Remember, Stewart had EdSec Spellings on his show a couple of weeks ago and asked her softball questions with no follow-up.)