Can we talk for a second about the picture on the cover of this new report (PDF) on the Obama turnaround plan?
The fierce girl on the left looks like sthe photographer told her that this was a report about how Obama is out to hurt black and brown kids and take their schools away and so this is her reaction. Seriously. Click the photo to get the full experience.
Any other examples of odd or notable report cover art that we should know about? Tell us in comments or send me a note at thisweekineducation at gmail dot com.
PS: This is the report everyone's been talking about that includes the list of all the turnaround eligible schools in all the states, organized by Congressional district (hah!), all in one place.
Brookings' Russ Whitehurst put out a followup to his report on the Harlem Children's Zone that includes some new data and revised calculations as well as an attempt to clarify the focus of the report and correct our (mis)interpretations of its findings: "Our quarrel is not with the HCZ but with the evidence for the Obama administration’s request to Congress for $210 million to replicate the HCZ in 20 communities across the nation," says Whitehurst. Read the whole thing here: The Harlem Children’s Zone Revisited
"The fact that you spent hours in the college library writing papers doesn't necessarily mean that a student who spends those hours in her room writing papers (or crafting multimedia presentations) has had an education less rich than yours." (Analog Nostalgia | The American Prospect.)
Senate Moves EduJobs and FMAP Funding Washington Independent: This evening, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attached an amendment with funding to preserve teachers’ jobs and to provide much-needed Medicaid funding to states to a Federal Aviation Administration bill... Obama defends education policies in speech to National Urban League. Washington Post: "Part of it, I believe, reflects a general resistance to change. We get comfortable with the status quo," he said, adding, "Even as we applaud teachers for their hard work, we've got to make sure that we're seeing results in the classroom."... Obama Defends His Schools Program Against Civil Rights, Union Criticisms Bloomberg: “Getting states to say they will do things and actually getting them to do them are two different things,” Whitehurst said. “The political will to carry out the promised reforms will diminish over time.” [for more edujobs details, see below from CEF]
Sounds like Arne Duncan may be one of Christiane Amanpour's first guests in her new gig hosting one of those Sunday talk shows: "On Tuesday, her second day working in Washington for ABC News, where she debuts Sunday as anchor of "This Week," Amanpour went to hear U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan deliver a luncheon speech. Her intention was to get close enough to invite him on her new show." (LA Times) Hopefully he'll do it and she'll ask him some tough questions.
Move over, "Waiting For Superman." The cable channel A&E has just announced a new reality show called "Classroom Intervention" that will premier in September. A spinoff of its hit intervention show (which recent reports suggest has had real-world impact on its subjects), the new show will profile the performance of a struggling
teacher in each episode. Some of the
teachers will be rookies. Others will be veterans. Each will be observed, then counseled in an intense evaluation and support program. Some will improve. Others will fail. If it becomes popular, it could shed enormous light on the plight of
classroom teachers and the challenges of helping them improve. The channel is asking teachers to send in
recommendations for who could be on the show. Self nominations are allowed. If only there was such a show for bloggers -- I'm sure I need the help.
Lots of interesting books coming out. Here's one called Conversations with Great Teachers in which author Bill Smoot (himself a teacher) goes out to find and talk to great teachers of all kinds, in the spirit of Studs Terkel's Working.
"What is it that passes between the best teachers and their students to make learning happen? What are the keys to teaching the joys of literature, shooting a basketball, alligator wrestling, or how to survive one's first year in the U.S. Congress?"
The true beliefs of some principals around the issue of instructional leadership are eye-opening, as revealed in Kirsten Olson's recent EdWeek Commentary. One good example: "Being out in classes, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be seeing. ... " Fortunately, EdWeek's Christina Samuels reports that collective leadership -- as opposed to the individual model -- increases student performance. A principal need not directly demonstrate effective teaching as long as he or she can set the conditions that enable teachers to improve. Unfortunately, collective leadership isn't all that common. Rresearchers also found that much of the talk surrounding shared leadership is "meta-rhetoric," that denotes little reality on the ground.
July 29, 2010 | Posted At: 11:19 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Media Watch
While everyone else seems to be moving towards shorter, sillier stories (or long boring "I know this already" ones) -- or just covering the USDE storyline, Slate and a few other outlets are trying to revive the tradition of in-depth, investigative journalism that tells us something we don't already know (this is key). A reader suggesting story ideas comes up with one that's especially appropriate to readers of this blog: "Why not get inside one of the federal agencies, look at its mandate, look at what it says it's doing, and then look at what it's actually doing? Call it "embedding." It might be fun, and we all might learn a whole lot." (Help me find a long-form story). I know, embedding has its weaknesses, but at least we'd get past the over-friendly, increasingly superficial stuff that we're getting now.
"We think "Waiting for 'Superman'" has the potential to make public education top-of-mind for even more people throughout the country, and we look forward to channeling this expanded interest into direct support for teachers and students." - DonorsChoose resopnse to concerns about its co-promotion with pro-charter documentary.
No one likes to pay much attention to Chicago -- so far away! so humid! so corrupt! -- but, following several other districts where TFA has become a flashpoint, Chicago teachers union president Karen Lewis today called for the board of education to terminate its TFA contract, which calls for 200 new corps members to be placed this fall. So maybe that's enough to grab some attention. Or not. The union and district are in contract negotiations, and the district faces a large budget gap. Citywide teaching coaches have already been fired, and the district has threatened to lay off hundreds more -- some of them according to performance rather than seniority. Click here to download Lewis' fiery union rhetoric.
Last week it was the nice principal in Vermont. This week it's the nice lunch ladies in Chicago. The vivid but really sentimental story is from Chicago Public Radio and is focused on the lunch ladies at Deneen Elementary School. In the piece, beat reporter Linda Lutton takes a tour around the cafeteria and notes that there are seven lunch ladies at the school, all of whom have to apply for jobs now. Plus a beloved school security guard. I don't mind the story's focus on the disruption and collateral damage that school improvement efforts can cause, or the underlying questions about whether it's worth it to break these community ties. But this is pretty sentimental stuff - especially since a certain number of teachers and staff at most turnarounds can and often do end up getting rehired at the same school, and there are legitimate budget and staffing questions that need to be addressed at many struggling schools. Bottom line: being asked to reapply for a job isn't the same as being fired.
July 28, 2010 | Posted At: 08:57 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
The "Civil Rights Framework" of the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign speaks a simple truth. Even if Secretary Duncan's market-oriented "reforms" succeed, many poor children will be left further behind. Competition that produces "winners," always produces "losers." Some Title I experiments will succeed as others fail, damaging real kids. The civil rights coalition recognizes the brutality of the choice being imposed on poor parents of color. Who would seek a better educational future for a daughter in a charter or a small school if it means that her brother is sentenced to an even more destructive neighborhood school? The Framework's humane alternative is to invest in high-quality preschool and to transform low-performing schools into "Community Opportunity Networks." The Campaign's web site links to an ecumenical pastoral letter, "An Alternative Vision of Public Education," that illustrates inevitable outcome of competition-driven reform. Students in neighborhood schools are now called “over the counter” children.
July 27, 2010 | Posted At: 12:49 PM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Media Watch
Slate's journalist watchdog Jack Schafer calls out the Boston Globe for peddling a story about the supposed increase in students taking a break between high school and college, noting that the Globe has no numbers to supports its anecdotes and has to confess this absence later on in the story. ""While there is no data showing how many Americans opt for a gap year, some admissions deans say they are seeing an increase this year following more publicity about the benefits of delaying enrollment."
July 27, 2010 | Posted At: 12:30 PM | Author: Alexander Russo
And they are: AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, KY, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC via WSJ, PK12, etc.
If Illinois can be in the mix, then who can't really?
White House Names Race to the Top Finalists WSJ: Finalists
will make formal, in-person presentations before a judging panel in
August. Winners will be named in September, and Mr. Duncan said he
expects to pick 10 to 15.
A hedge fund paid a researcher to gather signatures from nonprofit homeless organizations on a letter criticizing for-profit colleges and universities for preying on homeless men and women - without fully disclosing who she was working for (and what the financial interests might be). The letter went to the USDE and became part of the case against for-profit colleges and universities. I'm no defender of anyone, but are nonprofits (and the media) being tricked into helping hedge funds make millions betting against for profit colleges? Next time you see a letter like that, or a news story, ask yourself -- or its source -- where it came from.
"To vote for this school improvement plan, press 2." Well, almost. A Delaware district is asking teachers at three low-performing schools to vote on the district's $2 million SIG plan -- using Surveymonkey. But there's no differentiation among the three schools -- they're all lumped together for voting purposes -- the information provided is limited to time and pay issues not curriculum or other key issues, and it's not clear that the survey is open only to teachers at the schools (try it out, maybe you can enter your vote). One additional wrinkle: if the teachers vote the SIG plan down then the schools will may become part of a Mass Insight turnaround zone, in which case the options include also closing, firing staff, etc.
Public Schools superintendent Don Pavlik was headed to the Mayo Clinic
in Rochester, Minn. with several friends and supporters when the plane started going down. His friend and doctor Jim Hall wrote the following note, which was discovered in the wreckage: "Dear
All, We love you. We lost power over the middle [of] Lake Michigan and
turning back. We are praying to God that all [will] be taken care of. We
love you. Jim." (Farewell Note)
Our tattered social safety nets, like our urban educational systems, are an inchoate mess of programs tacked onto programs that grew out of eighty years of unlovely political compromises. Had the data-driven crowd sought to scapegoat reform the War on Poverty instead of schools, they would now be attacking social workers’ unions. And social service providers would be complaining that they need help from schools to break cycles of poverty. Robert Manwaring's post at "The Quick and the Ed" would still be timely, however. Manwaring calls for community and school partnerships with a rational governance system, clear lines of authority, and shared accountability. The closest thing we have to such a system is the Harlem Children’s Zone where "Geoffrey Canada is the governance and accountability structure." But the New York Times article on Tony Smith institutionalizing the concepts of the HCZ in Oakland is hopeful.
July 26, 2010 | Posted At: 12:16 PM | Author: Alexander Russo
Not much education talk from the progressive and formerly much-discussed Netroots conference going on last week, far as I've come across. There are a couple of links to education issues / events, and a new blog I'd never heard of called Lily's Blackboard (Lily Eskelen) that may or may not be too closely associated with the NEA for my liking (disclosure-wise). That video of undocumented kids protesting Sen. Reid was pretty interesting to watch, though, assuming you think immigration is an education issue (I do, I guess). Were you there? Did we miss anything. Too lazy to check Twitter.
July 26, 2010 | Posted At: 08:55 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
Uh-oh. Some teachers have cancelled their DonorsChoose accounts and urged others to do the same in response to the organization's promotion of Waiting For Superman, a documentary that supports charter school operators and Michelle Rhee (among other things). Read some of the criticism and the organization's response here.
Let the debate over using tests scores and downrating teachers re-commence! Late on a Friday afternoon the Wall Street Journal posted this story about Rhee firing 6 percent of her teachers. It's unclear how many of the 241 (or how many of the 17 percent who were put on notice as minimally performing) were classified as such based on test scores, which matter more or less depending on what grade you teach and what subject.
Word is that Duncan's going to announce something big on Tuesday at the National Press Club. Results from the World Cup office pool? His feelings about the oil spill in the Gulf? Round two winners of Race To The Top? Who knows. His official media schedule is below. (For a second there I thought it said he was going to do Howard Stern show.) I'm hoping it's an announcement, not a speech. Speeches are just words. Announcements have dates and dollar amounts.
I'm late in noting the publication of John Merrow's new book, Below C Level, which answers all the questions you always wanted Merrow to answer (or at least all the answers he's going to give you as a journalist). Merrow is one of the more interesting figures in education journalism. He's got a face for TV -- and a voice for radio (and has done both). He produces the NewsHour education segments through an independent production company, Learning Matters. (He was ProPublica before there was a ProPublica.) He lives on the West Coast and works on the East - or at least he did until this week, when he moved back to town. I spent my first two or three years in New York City freeloading once or twice a week at a spare desk at Learning Matters and learned a lot from John and the rest of the hard-working reporters and producers there, watching them research and then find ways to shoot and tell stories that non-educators would want to watch. I haven't always agreed with him, disrespectful snot that I am, but it's always fun exchanging ideas. Check out the advance praise for the book and all the rest here.
This was the week that the Harlem Children's Zone got initiated. Until now, the Zone had either gotten glowing press (the vast majority of the time) or simply ignored the negative (the City Limits article and a few other items). Jay Mathews' columnset it off -- no one would have noticed the Brookings report without Jay's weighing in to defend the Zone model. Then the rest of us piled on, and Canada's response -- making some good points along with signaling a certain defensiveness -- came out yesterday. It's happened before. Other organizations -- TFA, New Leaders, KIPP come to mind -- have gone through the same general process, and I always feel sympathy for do-gooders working in them who are struggling with the first time experience of public questions and criticism from a source that has up until that point been friendly and compliant, while at the same time I struggle with their sense of justice and prerogative, their desire to be judged by their intentions rather than their accomplishments and to control the story. At least Canada responded, however belatedly. All too often, the choice is to ignore the criticism and encourage others to ignore it, which only delays the process of one day the news about what really happened coming out.
The other day on NPR, Larry Abrahamson reported on political pushback against the Race to the Top, citing Kate Walsh, of the National Council on Teacher Quality, complaining that the media will produce painful stories as some districts "screw up" and star teachers are wrongly identified as unsatisfactory. Walsh is worried about the political damage of those stories, but she is oblivious to the educational damage that will result from the inevitable misidentification of effective teachers by primitive methods of using test scores for evaluations. Assuming as a best case scenario that growth models are 95 percent accurate, that means in an actual school one in twenty teachers will be placed in jeopardy every year. What will be the educational effect of stories being recounted in faculty lounges throughout the nation? What will the effect be on the careers of effective teachers due to not-ready-for-prime-time evaluation models financed by the RttT? And what if scholarly research proves correct, and two or three of every 20 teachers in high-challenge secondary schools are incorrectly identified, every year, as ineffective?
July 23, 2010 | Posted At: 09:18 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
Feds strongarm Mass. on education standards Boston Herald: "Moving away from this standard, hitching our wagon to some
to-be-developed-and-vetted-later-on national process for standards and
testing is not fair to our students, and is not fair to our state," saidGOP
candidate Charlie D. Baker... Virginia's latest attempt to secede from the United States Washington Post (Steve Pearlstein): Now,
Virginia will bring its battle against federal authority right into the
classroom with its decision to opt out of the movement to establish
national standards for educational proficiency for elementary and high
school students...Alonso orders investigation into plummeting test scores at elementary school Baltimore Sun: State
education officials are investigating possible testing violations at a
Northeast Baltimore elementary school where in some cases 100 percent of
students passed annual reading and math exams last year but where
scores plunged by as much as half this year... Oakland Schools Struggle, but Emeryville May Point a Way Up NYT: Superintendent
Tony Smith of the Oakland schools has a five-year plan to turn the
system around, and it’s based on his success in the nearby Emeryville
district... The Cortines effect LA Times: The district has been lucky to have one of the most able crisis managers in the field of education — not once but twice... No Visa, No School, Many New York Districts Say NYT: Civil
liberties advocates have unsuccessfully asked the Education Department
to stop localities from imposing enrollment barriers on immigrant
children, intentionally or not.
Guest contributor Helen Zelon, author of one of the most in-depth looks at the Harlem Children's Zone, weighs in with her thoughts on what the Zone does and doesn't offer for the children of Harlem and the rest of the country, including a helpful explanation of how the selection and participation pipeline works within the Zone and an update on the Zone's attempts to expand into East Harlem. Many thanks to her and to City Limits for joining in.
[UPDATE 3:00 pm: See discussion of disputed quote below.]
It's a Zone-storm, a Canada-fest, World Of Statcraft! Check out this point by point response (Brookings Institute study response) from the Zone's Geoffrey Canada, which can be considered a takedown of Brookings or an indication that the Zone is worried (or both).
In it, Canada calls the Brookings paper "wrong-headed" and full of statistical misinterpretations (including leaving out the second Zone school, an issue Helen Zelon mentioned in her guest commentary below). Canada also clarifies (er, admits) that the schools are a small part of the Zone, and calls for his schools to be measured on progress not just absolute achievement results."Despite starting out below the average for black students in New York City, the middle school students closed the achievement gap with white students over their first three years." No word about the closed middle school, and the dropout rate, or the watered-down NY testing standards,
Over all, it sounds a tad defensive in places, but also like there may be some good points. Your turn, Russ!
Amazing how little attention this whole Common Core thing has gotten, what with the Tea Party and the RNC pushing hard against government intrusion. They've been asleep at the wheel on this one, which bodes poorly for their chances to take the House in November. Meantime, here's a sampling of mainstream commentary, courtesy of the Atlantic Wire:
Reports and conferences are a dime a dozen in Washington -- the vast majority are free. But that's not the approach being tried by Dutko's new ed policy endeavor, Whiteboard Advisors, which is putting out a July 29 report/webinar on ESEA reauthorization. It's just $499 for the single event (Margaret Spellings and Alice Cain will be there!) or $4,900 for a year's worth of Education Insider reports and events. What do you get from paying that you can't get pretty much anywhere else (like on Andy or John's Twitter feeds)? Essentially it sounds like they're going to get all the conventional wisdom by asking all the usual suspects the usual questions -- sort of like EdWeek did a while back with its insider predictions -- but the marketing materials tout "unique insider survey methodology" and
July 22, 2010 | Posted At: 08:41 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
Mass. Adopts Common Standards Amid Fiery Debate EdWeek/AP: The state board’s vote is seen as a tipping point in the effort to set common guidelines for what students learn in school... Has Obama’s “Race to the Top” Lost its Shine? Fox News: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Teachers Union, called the program a mixed bag. “The real issue is that ‘Race to the Top’ in principle would be a good program if we didn’t have the kind of budget shortfalls that we have right now. It’s hard to be innovative and to do new and different things that require time and resources when we’re seeing state after state having devastating budget cuts.”
... Arrests highlight education busing issues CNN: The
arrest of 19 protesters at a rancorous school board meeting Tuesday
brings the issue of busing and diversity in education into the national
spotlight... In tough economy, Arkansas' lottery launch exceeds expectations Stateline: Arkansas
is the latest state to create a lottery whose proceeds fund college
scholarships for state residents. In less than a year, revenues have
come in well above what was expected, and 28,000 students will get money
this fall... Sodexo to pay $20M for overcharging NY schools Boston Globe: Food
services giant Sodexo Inc. has agreed to pay $20 million to settle
claims that it overcharged 21 New York school districts and the State
University of New York over a five-year span.. Borders introduces textbook marketplace online Boston Globe: Bookseller
Borders Group on Wednesday said it is introducing a texbook marketplace
on its website in an effort to gain market share in that area.
Longtime education guy Dan Katzir is stepping down from the top education spot at Broad, according to this email from the foundation. He will be replaced by two folks whose work I don't know very well: Gregory McGinity and Rebecca Wolf DiBiase. There's also some gobbledygood about strategic planning and new grantmaking priorities. Congrats, condolences to all who are affected
A windfall for the white and the wealthy, just as many worried
it would be. Here's a roundup of the coverage of the new SES-based deseg plan Rick Kahlenberg cooked up for Chicago's magnet and selective schools, which seems to have failed to maintain diversity at the district's most coveted sites, according to numbers released yesterday - even with the last minute addition of 100 additional spots using race: Plan
maintains diversity but increases individual segregation Tribune:
instance, at Northside College Prep, arguably the most competitive
public high school in the city, the move [to add spots after the fact] more than doubled the
percentage of black students accepted, from 6 to 14 percent... Minority
enrollment in city's best schools has
'lost some ground' Catalyst: Huberman
noted that actual enrollment could be different from the acceptance
figures presented Tuesday [likely they will get worse given busing limitations]... CPS
maintains diversity after admission changes Sun Times: Notable
blips across the board are an increase in the Hispanic student
enrollment at these schools, and a corresponding decrease in both the
African-American and Asian student enrollments... Who's Admitted to Top Schools Under New
Magnet Policy Chicago Public Radio: Thirty-nine
percent of students at Northside College Prep were white last school
year. The incoming class will be 44 percent white.
July 21, 2010 | Posted At: 01:27 PM | Author: Alexander Russo
First, check out contributor John Thompson's defense of the Zone (below). Then check out my commentary on the issue at Valerie Strauss's Answer Sheet. One of
the biggest myths surrounding the Harlem Children's Zone is that the
kids who get early childhood and after school services are the same ones
who go to Zone middle schools later on -- that there's a conveyor belt
of services that individuals can receive from cradle to college. Alas,
that's not exactly the case, as I explain in this guest
column. Only a fraction of the 17,000 HCZ participants get into the
three Zone schools, which serve only 1200 kids. Until recently, there
wasn't even any guarantee that Zone participants would get into Zone
schools. Or maybe I am totally wrong. Uncle Jay and others have already started tearing my arguments to shreds.
Grover Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution attacked the Harlem Children’s Zone based on the test scores of nine successful schools. I do not doubt Whitehurst's claim that three "school-centric" KIPP schools may produce significantly higher 8thgrade test scores than the HCZ’s middle school. But is KIPP planning to scale up to serve entire inner city communities? Another Whitehurst paper for Brookings showed that the best preschool, early reading, and dropout programs were very effective, as it also made the case for curriculum reform. Then, he modestly concluded that "leaving curriculum reform off the table ... makes no sense." Now with much less evidence, Whitehurst grandly concludes that community schools are not a part of education reform, and should be removed from the table.
Spoiler alert: Some of the biggest flaws of our current teacher assignment system are, surprisingly enough, illustrated in "Toy Story 3," the Disney / Pixar sequel in which the toys at a day care center called Sunnyside have decided that only the newly arrived toys should have to deal with the roughest students (the toddlers, in this case), and that the good kids should be for the veteran teachers who have paid their dues, etc. Sound familiar? Only after the removal of the tyrranical stuffed bear Lots-O-Huggins do the toys realize that the only fair way to do things is to spread the burden evenly among the toys so that everyone takes his or her turn. Now, about "Inception"...
July 21, 2010 | Posted At: 08:46 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Daily News
States Embrace National Standards for Schools NYT: States that adopt the standards by Aug. 2 win points in
the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition for a share of
the $3.4 billion to be awarded in September... D.C. and Massachusetts to vote on national school
standards Washington Post: School boards in the District of Columbia and
Massachusetts are on the verge of adopting national standards for
English and math, adding momentum to a movement that in a few months has
swept Maryland and two dozen other states...
'Common Core' standards clearer, more rigorous AP: An analysis by an education policy think tank finds
that the common academic standards many states will be adopting are
clearer and more rigorous than those currently used in most states... Mass. Democrat Joins GOP Against Common Standards Vote EdWeek/AP: Two
leaders of the landmark 1993 Massachusetts education overhaul said Tuesday that a proposal set to
be voted upon to replace the state's math and English public school
curriculum with the common core standards was "high risk" and "a
retrograde step."... Racial tensions roil NC school board; 19 arrests AP: Protesters and police scuffled Tuesday at a school
board meeting in North Carolina over claims that a new busing system
would resegregate schools, roiling racial tensions reminiscent of the
1960s... District To Pay Lesbian Teen $35K Over Prom Dispute NPR: Constance McMillen challenged the Itawamba County
School District's rules banning prom dates of the same gender and
allowing only male students to wear tuxedos. The rural Mississippi
school district responded by canceling its prom, prompting the ACLU to
sue claiming the teen's rights had been violated.
July 20, 2010 | Posted At: 03:20 PM | Author: Alexander Russo
The Education Sector's Kevin Carey compares my union to George Wallace opposing desegregation because it represents teachers who may not want to work in high-poverty schools. From Carey's lofty perch, teacher experience is just "a resource that needs to be equalized." But he acknowledges that "assignment of teachers to schools where they’d rather not teach is nobody’s idea of a best-case scenario." Carey should look to Denver where forced placements created a managerial nightmare, and where Superintendent Tom Boasberg has already ended forced transfers into the lowest-performing schools. He should also read Steve Shawchuk at Education Week on the great potential of empowered teams of teachers choosing to transfer to high-challenge schools.
July 20, 2010 | Posted At: 10:20 AM | Author: Alexander Russo
"For all of its insights, behavioral economics alone is not a viable
alternative to the kinds of far-reaching policies we need to tackle our
nation’s challenges." - Economics professors Lowenstein and Ubell in a recent NYT op-ed
July 20, 2010 | Posted At: 08:49 AM | Author: Alexander Russo
"Ghetto parenting is cursing around, and at, a child. Ghetto parenting is letting your child roam the streets until
somebody else's mother has to tell the child to go home." Shocked?
Bored? Me, too. This is from a recent Mary Mitchell column from the Chicago Sun Times in which some (many) readers thought Mitchell was denigrating poor
families while others thought she was doing a valuable service in
calling out bad parenting. There's a roundup of the coverage on the New
York Times parenting blog called Motherlode: A New Term for Lousy Parenting. Let's
skip over the question of whether there is such a thing as ghetto
parenting. We all know that there is. The real question is what are
the acceptable uses of the term? Is it useful, or offensive, or both?
Do you have to BE ghetto to describe something as ghetto? Have you
(would you) ever used the term out loud? [Cross-posted from D299]
July 19, 2010 | Posted At: 03:16 PM | Author: Alexander Russo