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#EduWeen15: It's On!

After a slow start, #eduween15 is off and running. Check out some recent entries, and feel free to toss in your own:

Campaign 2016: A Teacher-Led Campaign PAC

More and more, it feels like it's going to take something new or different to break the current stalemate on education changes.

So it's hard not to be curious about America's Teachers, the teacher-led pro-Hillary PAC that popped up in the LA Times a few days ago. They two teachers behind the effort are TFA and union members. Take that reformers/critics.

5tgh

 According to the America's Teachers site, "Teachers aren’t supposed to start Super PAC’s. That’s exactly why we created one." The priorities are universal preschool, college affordability, and education rights from DREAMers.

According to the LA Times (Meet the teacher lobby behind Hillary Clinton that's not the teachers union), the group's goals are to make sure that Hillary Clinton hears "from more than just unions or reformers." One main strategy is to focus on "friendlier, softer issues" rather than closing schools and limiting tenure.

What form "something new" is going to take, nobody quite knows. And not all of the new approaches coming along are going to be able to survive, much less thrive. Previous attempts at a middle-ground approach -- remember "thin" contracts for charters, anyone? -- have ended up being ignored even opposed by both of the major sides (who appear at times to prefer trench warfare to progress). And as soon as new people and approaches show up -- think Deray McKesson and Black Lives Matter -- they're claimed by one side and/or vilified by the other.

But eventually something/someone new is going to come along that's so compelling to the public and policymakers that entrenched interests can't ignore or avoid it any longer. The only real question in my mind is who/what will it be?

Charts: DC Public Schools Take NAEP 2015 Victory Lap

"No school district grew more in 4th grade math in the past four years than DCPS!"

Then again, scandal-plagued Chicago Public Schools came in second on the same measure, and even LAUSD came in with some improvements. Did these districts make less movement towards Common Core in some way that advantaged them on NAEP 2015? Do they have participation/exclusion policies that are different from other cities?

Morning Video: School Police Officers Under The Spotlight

PBS: What's the role of a school resource officer? In my school, I'm part of the fabric.

AP: Experts Discuss How to Handle Defiant High School Students

Hechinger Report: Filmed classroom arrest of South Carolina schoolgirl spotlights police brutality, prison pipeline

AM News: NYC Schools Face Rising Integration Pressures (Plus Success Press Conference At Noon)

On Upper West Side, Fariña says school integration can’t be forced on parents Chalkbeat: Fariña displayed little sympathy for parents seeking to keep hold of their 199 seats at all costs, saying that overcrowding will only be solved through “hard decisions,” not “fairy dust.” But she also declined to get behind alternative zoning proposals floated by parents, which they say would alleviate overcrowding while also doing more to integrate both schools. See also DNA Info: NYC Schools Boss Touts Pen Pal System as Substitute for Racial Integration [seriously]

How a Legal Footnote Stymied Efforts to Desegregate New York City Schools WNYC: Because of a confluence of trends any New Yorker would recognize — overcrowding, rapid development, the choice of whiter, wealthier families to raise their children in the city — parents and school leaders have become increasingly concerned about segregation. 

At a Success Academy Charter School, Singling Out Pupils Who Have ‘Got to Go’ NYT: Sixteen children at the Brooklyn school appeared on a list with that title; nine later left. Current and former employees say the network puts pressure on some parents to withdraw.

Moskowitz to face tough questions after reports of schools pushing out kids Chalkbeat: By the afternoon, the union-allied Alliance for Quality Education had started a social media campaign highlighting aspects of the story, including pictures of Moskowitz with facts from the story and #GotToGo. Two people from AQE attended the Success event on Thursday, one carrying a large poster showing the Times story.

Obama Backs Transgender Teen In School Restroom Dispute HuffPost: The administration's position in Grimm's case represents its clearest statement to date on a modern civil rights issue that has roiled some communities as more children identify as transgender at younger ages.

Pennsylvania Schools Short On Funds As Budget Stalemate Continues NPR: The governor and legislators can't agree how to fix the deficit or how much money schools should get. Meanwhile, districts are taking out loans and racking up interest costs to keep the lights on.

CAP Report: Congress Shouldn't Forget 'Subgroup' Students in ESEA Renewal PK12: Some of the biggest achievement gaps are found in schools that are performing well otherwise, a CAP analysis finds.

For At-Risk Kids, Mentors Provide Far More Than Just Homework Help NPR: At Baltimore's Renaissance Academy High School, mentors help students cope with the trauma in their daily lives. The principal says the aim is not just to keep boys in school, but to keep them alive.

2 LAUSD students awarded $3 million each in Telfair molestation case LA Daily News: A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than a day before reaching its verdict. The district previously admitted liability for the actions of ex-Telfair Avenue Elementary School third-grade teacher Paul Chapel III.

Most applicants for school-choice program are from wealthy neighborhoods Las Vegas Review Journal: Overall, half of the nearly 3,100 applications submitted as of Oct. 28 list an address in a ZIP Code among the top 40 percent of median households in Nevada. That's in contrast to just 10.7 percent of applications from households with median incomes in the bottom 40 percent.

Most Illinois high schools leave grads unprepared for college Chicago Tribune: •At 482 of 666 Illinois high schools with ACT scores, more than half of graduates were unable to score at least 21, the national average. That score is one method the state uses to determine if students are ready for college classes.

#TBT: Top 5 #EDgifs Of All Time (On This Blog)

I've been sharing/making ed-related GIFs for a little while now --including one new one earlier this week. So for #TBT I thought I'd collect and rank the best (some of which you may have missed. Some are serious, many are silly. A few are both.  For example:
 
Inline image 1
 
Below are other other "best" examples, followed by a roundup of all the ones I could find (that still work):

Continue reading "#TBT: Top 5 #EDgifs Of All Time (On This Blog)" »

Charts: School Police Officers Associated With Higher Arrest Rates

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"A report by the Justice Policy Institute found that, even controlling for a school district's poverty level, schools with officers had five times as many arrests for 'disorderly conduct' as schools without them." Vox's Libby Nelson (The school-to-prison pipeline, explained)

Quotes: Bloomberg Slams Duncan/Obama Testing Rollback

Quotes2Now that results from tests aligned to these standards are showing just how many students are not on track for college, the public backlash against the tests seems to have given Obama and Duncan a case of cold feet... That’s deeply regrettable. 

- Michael Bloomberg via Washington Post (Bloomberg: Obama and Duncan are making a wrong turn over testing)

Morning Video: Republican Candidate Opposes - Then Supports - Local Funding Of Schools

 

AM News: South Carolina Spotlight On School Police, Plus NAEP Followup

Rough Student Arrest Puts Spotlight on School PoliceNYT: As common as the officers and their arrests have become, there are no generally accepted standards for how they should be trained, used, armed or organized. No one even knows for certain how many there are — most experts estimate between 10,000 and 15,000 nationwide.

Assaulted S.C. Student Is A Recent Orphan Living In Foster Care, Attorney Says AP: The attorney for a 16-year-old student who was thrown across a classroom during an arrest says the officer should be jailed for his actions.

School Board Recall Vote in Colorado Tests Conservative Policies NYT: The vote here in Jefferson County, just west of Denver, has become a money-soaked proxy war between union supporters and conservative groups like the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, testing whether parents in an election-year battleground believe a rightward turn in their schools has gone too far.

Wisconsin holds steady while U.S. slips in national test report Journal-Sentinel Online: But, as is the case in so many measurements of academic success, the achievement gap between white and black students remains great in Wisconsin, ranking the second widest in the NAEP report for both reading and math.

Teaching the Common Core in China NYT: I learned some surprising things that day, as well as throughout the two years that followed. It was the last time, however, that I was invited to a parents meeting.

Fight over charter school signals philosophical differences in how schools are viewed WBEZ Chicago: For a decade, Chicago has followed the school reform strategy it laid out in its Renaissance 2010 program: improve the entire system by adding new “high quality” schools. But the city’s school reform strategy, and Noble’s expansion plans, have clashed this year with dire fiscal, political, and educational realities to a degree unseen before.

Montgomery County Schools To See Long Overdue Expansion And Modernization WAMU: School officials in Montgomery County are unveiling their construction plans for the next five years, and thanks to a backlog the northernmost part of the county will see a lot of construction. See also Washington Post.

LAUSD fires controversial lawyer in sex abuse case — again KPCC: W. Keith Wyatt represented LAUSD in arguing that a Los Angeles middle school student was mature enough to consent to sex with her 28-year-old teacher.

A Teacher Killed by Palestinians, Recalled as a Man of PeaceNYT: A civil rights activist and Connecticut elementary school principal, Mr. Lakin moved to Jerusalem with his family in 1984. He taught English to Israeli and Palestinian children, performed in musicals and, according to Rabbi Weiman-Kelman, never missed a peace rally.

EdGIF Of The Day: Tests Can Help Kids, "Uh, Learn," Says Obama

 

If our kids had more free time at school, what would you want them to do with it? A) Learn to play a musical instrument?B) Study a new language?C) Learn how to code HTML?D) Take more standardized tests?Take the quiz, then watch President Obama's message about smarter ways to measure our kids’ progress in school.

Posted by The White House on Saturday, October 24, 2015
"What to make of the striking way in which, when speaking of the value of tests for students, Obama suddenly jerks his head backwards, and bats his eyelids for a prolonged moment..?" [at around 1:20]

The New Yorker's Rebecca Mead takes a close look at President Obama's body language and speech in last weekend's testing video. 

Charts: What About The Big Districts' NAEP Scores?

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"Results of the Trial Urban District Assessment, also released today, show D.C. as a standout performer, with fourth graders making significant gains in math and reading.... Baltimore and Maryland saw some of the biggest drops in scores, “but as counterintuitive as it seems, those are actually good news,” Duncan argued. “Why? Because some of those drops reflect the state including many more special-needs students.” (Morning Education) Image via NAGB. Used with permission.

Quotes: Data-Heavy [Rezoning] Proposals Don't Address Parents' Priorities

Quotes2Parents don’t really care about enrollment projections... What they care about is whether their child’s going to be safe and happy.

- InsideSchools' Clara Hemphill in the NYT (Manhattan Rezoning Fight Involves a School Called ‘Persistently Dangerous’)

Morning Video: On CNN, Classmate Describes Columbia HS Takedown

"One of the students who recorded the now-infamous video of a South Carolina officer confronting and grabbing another student was arrested and charged with disturbing schools, and she spoke out on CNN tonight about what she witnessed and that particular officer’s reputation." Medialite ("Classmate of SC Student Speaks Out: Officer Has ‘Dangerous’ Reputation).

Or, watch Fox News: Mark Fuhrman Defends The Actions Of School Officer via Media Matters.

AM News: New NAEP Scores Show First-Ever Lack Of Progress

American Kids Have Disappointing Reading And Math Scores, But There Are Some Bright Spots HuffPost: "One downturn does not a trend make, and that’s what we’re comfortable in saying about the data," Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of NCES, said on a call with reporters. "We’re trying not to read too much into a decline at this point."

Consistent with national trends, city and state NAEP results show little change ChalkeatNY: “We’re trying not to read too much in a decline in at this point
,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center of Education Statistics, which administers NAEP. “We understand it’s a pattern consistent across many states, but … we don’t know yet if these changes we’re talking about today are long-term.
”

A decade of academic progress halts, NAEP standardized test scores show LA Times: Overall, Los Angeles, where the test has been given since 2003, landed in the bottom third of the 21 big cities whose results were reported. In fourth-grade reading, 21% of L.A. Unified students reached or exceeded proficiency, compared with 27% in the big cities overall, 27% in Chicago and 26% in New York.

U.S. student performance slips on national test Washington Post: Recent demographic shifts mean that schools are grappling with the challenge of educating an increasing number of students who come from low-income families and are learning how to speak English. And in recent years, most states have adopted sweeping educational policy changes, including teacher evaluations tied to test scores and Common Core academic standards that have changed what and how students learn in the classroom.

Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities NYT: Education officials said that the first-time decline in math scores was unexpected, but that it could be related to changes ushered in by the Common Core standards, which have been adopted by more than 40 states. For example, some of the fourth-grade math questions on data analysis, statistics and geometry are not part of that grade’s guidelines under the Common Core.

Anemic report card for nation’s school kids AP: "Having the higher academic standards caused the states and teachers and districts to change the way they’re teaching certain things,” CCSSO's Chris Minnich said in an interview. “We may be in a place where some of the questions that are asked on this national test aren’t being taught at the same time they were being taught before.”

Deputy Who Flipped Spring Valley High Student Acted Reprehensibly, School Officials Say HuffPost: Richland School District 2 Chair James Manning and Superintendent Debbie Hamm didn't mince words at a press conference to decry Richland County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Fields' actions on Monday.

More Chinese students enroll in U.S. high schools WBEZ:  Li is a senior at St. Laurence High School in Burbank, Illinois. He’s living with about 20 other Chinese high school students, dorm style, at the Write Inn in Oak Park. Chinese students alone make up 10 percent of the freshmen class at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Q&A: Inside the search for the next LAUSD superintendent KPCC: Hank Gmitro, the man who heads the hunt for the next Los Angeles Unified superintendent says the size of the 650,000-student school district and its high-profile search are adding to the challenge of finding a new leader. 

7 percent of U.S. kids have had a parent in jail PBS NewsHour: More than 5 million children in the U.S. have had a parent in jail. That’s roughly 7 percent of the nation’s kids 17 and under, or one out of every 14 children.

Student suspended following lockdown of West Virginia school AP: Police say a student has been suspended after reports of a gun prompted the lockdown of a West Virginia school....

 Oracle to Build High School on Its Silicon Valley Campus AP: Oracle adding public high school next to Silicon Valley headquarters to teach tech to students.

Afternoon Video: PBS Interviews Dale Russakoff

On Friday night, the PBS NewsHour ran this interview with Dale Russakoff about her Newark school reform book. Transcript here.

States: States Making NAEP Progress (Some More Than Others)

Naep-fig-3At the risk of committing mis-NAEPery, check out this chart (via Urban Institute) showing how state NAEP scores have progressed since 2003 -- adjusted and unadjusted.

As explained by Vox's Libby Nelson, "Hawaii made a dramatic leap between 2003 and 2013 that should at least in part offset concerns about its still-low adjusted scores. And Massachusetts continues to be a standout, with the best scores with or without the demographic adjustment, and one of the biggest leaps in adjusted scores between 2003 and 2013 — even though in 2003 it already had some of the best schools in the country." ("These are the states that really have the best schools in the US)

Morning Video: Broadcast Outlets Pick Up Testing Reduction Plan

The blizzard of testing news coverage continues with this NBC News segment from last night. See also this PBS NewsHour segment featuring the NYT's Kate Zernike and this PBS NewsHour interview with Mike Casserly and Arne Duncan (click to the 8:30 mark).

AM News: More About Test Reduction (Plus Detroit, Free Lunch)

Arne Duncan, John King: Don't Cap Testing at the Expense of Testing Quality PK12: "Everybody has had a hand in what our current testing system looks like—this situation was not created by just one entity," said Michael Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. See also Washington Post, EdWeekPBS NewsHour.

Obama calls for less school testing: What California's classrooms do now KPCC: "California has cut testing under Gov. Brown by over 50 percent since 2013, so I don't think the state in California is anywhere close to 2 percent. But the locals have the right to add on and do whatever they want. So you need to pay attention to each school district," he said. See also EdSource.

USDA Sees 20 Percent Increase in Schools Offering Free Meals to All Students EdWeek: More than 17,000 high-poverty schools now offer free federally subsidized meals to about 8 million students through the provision, Vilsack announced at a meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Washington. 

FBI looked into Byrd-Bennett before she worked in Chicago Sun-Times: Byrd-Bennett was the Detroit schools chief academic and accountability auditor, making $18,000 a month, when Houghton Mifflin Harcourt won the giant contract for textbooks and online training that began in August 2009.

Video Shows Officer Flipping Student in South Carolina, Prompting Inquiry NYT: A white school police officer is seen flipping a black female high school student backward in her desk and dragging her on the floor. See also Washington Post, Huffington Post.

Merryl Tisch to Leave N.Y. Regents After Busy, Polarizing Tenure State EdWatch: Tisch oversaw big changes to Empire State K-12 policy during her six-year tenure as the leader of the Regents, and unleashed a torrent of political controversy in the process. See also NYT, ChalkbeatNYT.

Louisiana State Board Elections Give Boost to Common Core State EdWatch: Of the eight seats on the 11-member Louisiana state school board that were up for election, six were won by those that favor the common core.

Education group says school choice could be what unifies Illinois lawmakers WBEZ: WBEZ got a draft of Mendoza’s plan. It hasn’t been introduced in the Statehouse, but Mendoza’s looking for a lawmaker’s backing. It’s early in the process, but Mendoza was willing to explain why, in spite of all of the financial issues facing Illinois, lawmakers should support tax breaks to corporations.

Urging Students to Apply to College, New York City Will Make SAT Free for Juniors NYT: The change, which Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced, is intended to encourage more students to apply to college.

Many Montgomery teachers say they don’t want to eliminate final exams Washington Post: Teachers union survey finds an “overwhelming number” object to the idea of scrapping county final exams.

New financial problem at state's first charter school AP: The Washington Supreme Court's September ruling that the state's new charter school law is unconstitutional is causing new financial problems for the state's first charter school.

Quotes: Nobody's Talking About Latino Segregation (But Maybe They Should)

Quotes2There is a dearth of research on how segregation impacts Latino students specifically, although there is plentiful data on how racial isolation impacts African-Americans. As efforts to address African-American segregation have faltered, public discourse on growing Latino segregation remains elusive.

- HuffPost's Rebecca Klein (The Big Education Problem That No One Is Talking About

Charts: Top-Scoring NAEP States Not Nearly As Good After Demographic Adjustment

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 9.06.10 AM"The new analysis suggests that [white, affluent states] have better reputations than they deserve. They enroll a lot of students who come to school well prepared and thus excel on tests. But the schools themselves are not doing as good a job as their test scores suggest."

Urban Institute report featured in NYT (Florida and Texas Excel in Math and Reading Scores)

Events: Looking Ahead To #TFA25 (By Looking Back At #TFA20)

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.com

I'm excited to be going to  this year. Check out the website here.

But as with all things (TFA and otherwise) it will likely be a mixed bag. 

Here's what I wrote at #TFA20 (which seems like 100 years ago)

"Imagine a world in which Michelle Rhee is something of a rock star no one’s much over 45 everyone is smart and optimistic and hard working and basically competent (if not particularly wise) and thinks they’re doing a bang-up job. 

"That’s what it was like at this weekend’s TFA20 Summit, a slick celebration and expensive-seeming birthday party for Teach For America."

A Premature (Or Even Unwarranted) Celebration?

Even before I arrived at the big event, I had some unsolicited suggestions: 

"Get off the charter school pipe.  Charter placements shouldn't exceed the percentage of kids being taught at charter schools in any given district."

 
I know, I know. TFA overkill. I'm violating my own ban. 

Morning Videos: All Testing, All The Time

The Council of the Great City Schools released a new report on student testing in the U.S., followed by a panel discussion with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and others.

 

Watch the testing briefing above. (Click here if it's not displaying properly.) Or watch this PBS NewsHour segment about the study and the proposal (featuring the NYT's Kate Zernike):

 

AM News: Clinton Endorses Obama Test Reduction Proposal (Sanders?)

Obama encouraging limits on standardized student tests AP: Hillary Rodham Clinton embraced the principles laid out by Obama. "We should be ruthless in looking at tests and eliminating them if they do not actually help us move our kids forward," she said in a statement.

See blizzard of testing coverage here: 

Too Much Testing? Ed. Dept. Outlines Steps to Help States and Districts Cut Back PK12: The U.S. Department of Education has released some general principles for states and districts to help them figure out how to cut back on assessments and ensure that they're used to drive instruction.

Study says standardized testing is overwhelming nation’s public schools Washington Post: Typical student takes 112 required tests from pre-K through 12th grade; federal officials vow to help reduce redundant, low-quality exams.

Obama encouraging limits on standardized student tests AP: And from the 2016 presidential campaign, Democratic contender Hillary Rodham Clinton embraced the principles laid out by Obama. "We should be ruthless in looking at tests and eliminating them if they do not actually help us move our kids forward," she said in a statement.

Obama proposes capping standardized testing at 2% of classroom time Los Angeles Times:  The Obama administration executed a significant about-face in its education policy Saturday, calling for a cap on the amount of time students spend taking standardized tests.

Obama Administration Calls for Limits on Testing in Schools NYT: The administration acknowledged its own role in the proliferation of tests, and urged schools to make exams less onerous and more purposeful.

Ed Dept.: Too Much Testing, Partly Our Fault Politico: The Education Department took some of the blame for the sometimes stressful, excessive and time-consuming testing at many schools and said Saturday that it hasn't done enough to help states tackle the problem.

A Standardized Test Parents Need to Take LA Times: The Obama administration has announced a plan to limit the amount of time students spend taking standardized tests -- and to ensure that such examinations are limited to "tests that are worth taking."

Obama Wants To Limit Class Time Devoted To Standardized Tests AP: Students spend about 20 to 25 hours a school year taking standardized tests, according to a study of the nation's 66 largest school districts that was released Saturday by the Council of Great City Schools. But it's not known how much class time students spend preparing for tests that became mandatory, starting in third grade, under the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind law and are a flashpoint in the debate over the Common Core academic standards.

Following President's Call, New York Touts Efforts to Reduce Overtesting WNYC: In New York, state education officials have taken steps to reduce over-testing, and indeed the Obama administration called New York a leader in this effort. These steps include limiting the amount of time students spend on required standardized tests and establishing a grant to allow administrators to review the assessments given to students.

Students Take Too Many Redundant Tests, Study Finds EdWeek: The comprehensive report by the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools examines testing in 66 of the council's 68 member school districts, looking at the types of tests administered, their frequency, and how they are used. The findings are expected to add hard numbers and evidence to the fractious national debate around whether U.S. students are being overtested.

President Obama Calls To Curb Number Of Standardized Tests NPR: The Obama Administration has a plan to limit the number of standardized tests that children take. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks to correspondent Anya Kamenetz about what changes the efforts might bring.

Teaching Teachers To Teach: It's Not So Elementary NPR: How are great teachers created? Practice, practice, practice, says Deborah Ball, dean of the University of Michigan School of Education.

The Online College That's Helping Undocumented Students NPR: There are no federal laws in this country that prohibit undocumented students from enrolling in college. But few can afford it. Now, one online college is offering them an option.

With Switch From Pencils To Computers, GED Gets Tougher For Inmates NPR: Formerly, the test to get a GED diploma was multiple-choice, and taken with a pencil. Not anymore: Now, it requires computer skills some inmates simply don't have.

Superintendents in Florida Say Tests Failed State’s Schools, Not Vice Versa NYT: Superintendents are arguing that student tests imported from Utah were flawed and should not be used to give schools A-to-F grades.

Grading on the Curve: Surprise: Florida and Texas Excel in Math and Reading Scores NYT: A new analysis, taking into account student demographics, finds the states in third and fourth place, after Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Setting Bold Course, Delaware Serves Up Info on Teacher-Prep Performance Teacher Beat: The reports also contain data on some of the measures the U.S. Department of Education wants states to use to grade their preparation programs.

Porter Ranch bucks trend of students flocking away from LAUSD LA Times:About a third of the campus' 1,100 students in kindergarten through eighth grade have come from nearby charter and private schools – a development that caught officials off-guard. "We didn't anticipate that; these students were off the grid," said Principal Mary Melvin.

How a growing Arkansas town avoided segregation in its two high schools PBS: In 2006, the Rogers school district faced a difficult choice. The student population had grown enormously over the past decade and school officials didn’t relish the prospect of a massive high school of more than 4,000 students. They wanted to open a new school, but they didn’t want schools to be segregated by ethnicity, which would surely happen if the schools were zoned by neighborhood. Nearby Springdale had been in the same position and had ended up with one school that had almost twice the percentage of Latino students as the other.

Events: Education Writers Study Teacher Prep In Chicago

Another day, another EWA seminar. This one titled (Ready for Day 1? Covering the Education of Teachers) includes appearances from Dan GoldhaberRoss BrennemanSteve Drummond, Shaina Cavazos, Susan AsiyanbiUlrich Boser, Alexandria Neason, Stephanie Banchero, and Louise Kiernan.

Catch up on yesterday's proceedings by looking back at the hashtag #EWApoverty.

Morning Video: Inside A School Lockdown Drill

We've heard and read a lot about these drills, including the powerful post in the Washington Post earlier this week Rehearsing for death, but this is the first time I know of that we've seen one of these drills on video -- a short segment from a forthcoming film called Lockdown. Via The Atlantic.

AM News: LA Searches For Acceptable New Schools Leader

Who might head L.A. Unified, and what are officials looking for in a leader? LA Times: In its search for a new superintendent, the Los Angeles Board of Education is out to find that rare leader who can tame political turmoil, manage a multibillion-dollar organization and somehow drive academic achievement upward. See also KPCC.

Sesame Street Reveals New Character, A Girl With Autism NPR: There's big news from one of the world's most famous neighborhoods. "Sesame Street" has a new character. Her name is Julia, she's 4, and likes chocolate milk and playing with Elmo. She also wears lime green tights that match her eyes. And one more thing - she has autism. Here's Cory Turner of the NPR Ed team.

New report shows disconnection among black youths in Montgomery Washington Post: Survey showed more than one in four black youths feel people have discriminated against them at school.

Why Calling Slaves 'Workers' Is More Than An Editing Error NPR: This high school geography textbook calls slaves "workers" and "immigrants." The publisher is working to correct the error, but what does it tell us about teaching history? 

Teach For America Pledges to Recruit More Latino Teachers NBC News: Mario Benabe, 24, teaches special education mathematics at Bronx River High School in New York City as a Teach For America corps member. The school is just minutes away from where he grew up, so he shares the same background as many of the students he teaches. Benabe is just the type of teacher thatTeach For America wants more of.

LeBron James And Michelle Obama Take Stage To Promote Education HuffPost: One is from Chicago’s south side, the daughter of a city pump operator. The other was raised by a single mother, who bounced around Akron looking for a better life for her talented son. But as they stood side-by-side Wednesday, Michelle Obama and LeBron James were proof to kids that dreams do come true.

'Say Something' slogan, born of terror, adopted for schools AP: A variation on the adage "If You See Something, Say Something," first introduced in a jittery New York City after 9/11, is being adopted for schools at a time of heightened vigilance for the next classroom shooter....

U.S. Department of Education Approves More State Teacher-Distribution Plans PK12: The states are: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. See also EdSource Today.

A Disadvantaged Start Hurts Boys More Than Girls NYT: Poverty and related problems hurt all children in things like school readiness, but a study finds boys are more sensitive to such factors.

When Students Become Patients, Privacy Suffers ProPublica: Under FERPA, the fact that Andrea was no longer a minor did not matter. FERPA allowed the university to share information with her parents.

Advocacy: #BlackLivesMatter, Deray McKesson, & Education Reform

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The timing of my latest Scholastic Administrator column couldn't really have been better, coming out as it did this week when #BlackLivesMatter activist (and TFA alumnus) Deray McKesson appeared at UPenn to talk about education and the social justice movement.

My hope is that educators from across the spectrum can rally around some of the elements of the BLM agenda, rather than fight over whose side Deray is on or where he did his teaching:

"Some observers see Black Lives Matter as a powerful alternative to the debate over school reform efforts that focus on accountability, effectiveness, and choice. If BLM and a more explicitly school-related online movement called #educolor seeking to make the voices of teachers of color heard can gain traction, it could help break up the stalemate between reformers and critics that’s hamstrung so many attempts to improve schools."

Frankly, reformers and reform critics need to rally around #BlackLivesMatter if they want to remain relevant and influence the course of events:

"The reform movement has experienced a series of setbacks in places like Newark and New York, and it faced relentless criticism for what some see as an elitist and unrealistic expectation of what schools can reasonably be expected to accomplish. Reform critics—many of them white, college-educated Boomers—have struggled to persuade the public that they are closely allied with poor minority children who attend the nation’s worst schools."

If these entrenched reform/critic interests instead fight over this new movement, they will show themselves to be more interested in their ideas than in making progress, and eventually will be left behind by other more powerful and compelling approaches than the ones they stick to so rigidly. 

Quotes: De Blasio Deputy Attempts To Bridge Poverty/Reform Divide

Quotes2I think for a long time in our society we have used those set of challenges as an excuse not to do anything... I think often we overcompensate now by [now saying] none of those things matter, that teaching is teaching. 

-- Deputy Mayor Richard Buery in Chalkbeat (Do schools need to tackle poverty or boost teaching? In that debate, Buery calls for truce)

Charts: Four Years Of TNTP's ACE Assessment In 7 Cities

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"In the four years since we rolled out ACE at scale, we’ve seen about an 80 percent initial pass rate; we’ve offered extension plans to about another 10 percent, some of whom then pass in their second year. As of fall 2014, 170,000 students have been taught by teachers who passed the ACE screen in those seven cities." via TNTP (Teacher Prep…What’s Data Got to Do With It?)

Events: Education Writers Study Poverty In Chicago

Today's #EWApoverty workshop in Chicago is taking place at Northwestern and being sponsored by the Ford Foundation.

See livetweets above. See the agenda here or click below.

Continue reading "Events: Education Writers Study Poverty In Chicago" »

Morning Video: James Baldwin Explains Institutional Racism (1968)

"I don't know what most white people [unions, boards of education, churches, etc.] in this country feel, but I can only include what they feel from the state of their institutions."(James Baldwin Brakes Down Institutional Racism)

AM News: Charter Teachers Rally (NY), Teacher PAC Launches (LA)

Charter School Teachers Make Bid For Support Politico NY: Families for Excellent Schools held its second rally in as many weeks in Manhattan's Foley Square, but this time, the rally was attended by more than 1,000 charter school teachers, rather than many thousands of charter school students and parents. See also Chalkbeat New York, BuzzFeed.

Meet the teacher lobby behind Hillary Clinton that's not the teachers union Los Angeles Times: Naveed Amalfard and Luke Villalobos want to influence education policy, and they want Hillary Clinton to hear from more than just unions or reformers. They were in Los Angeles on Wednesday to jump-start efforts around a political action committee, a group that can raise money on behalf of candidates. 

Charters’ clout grows as top performer to disadvantaged EdSource: Half of the top-performing schools serving low-income students in California are charters, according to a new analysis of scores from this year’s Common Core-aligned assessments.

Judge Rules Against Bobby Jindal's Common Core Suit AP: A federal judge has issued a final judgment rejecting Gov. Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit against the Common Core education standards, clearing the way for him to take his case to an appeals court.

D.C. Adopts National Proficiency Level For Its New PARCC Tests Washington Post: The D.C. State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesdayevening to set what board members called a rigorous proficiency score in anticipation of soon-to-be released results from the new standardized tests administered last year.
 
US to spend millions on educating Pakistani girls Los Angeles Times: The Obama administration plans to announce a new partnership with Pakistan to promote education for girls there by doubling spending on schools ...
 
San Francisco Principal Causes Controversy After Delaying Results Of Student Election AP: A student election at a mostly Hispanic San Francisco middle school turned into a debate about the democratic process when the principal delayed the results because the winners did not reflect the school's diverse student body.

Charts: Influential Economist Urges Housing Vouchers To Help The Poor

NA-CH593_CHETTY_16U_20151020181207Mobility is generally low but varies widely among different cities, according to Raj Chetty's research. That's one reason that candidate Hillary Clinton and others are interested in his ideas for encouraging low-income families to move to better neighborhoods (with, one assumes, better-performing schools). See more in WSJ: Proposals on Inequality Draw Interest on Both Sides of the Political Aisle.

 

Morning Video: PBS Features Seattle's Hagopian (Plus Newark Kerfluffle)

On the NewsHour, watch this Gwen Ifill profile of Seattle teacher and reform critic Jesse Hagopian (a TFA alumnus, if anyone cares).

Or, watch Mayor Baraka explain the picture he took on Sunday with kids showing a KIPP charter school picture.

AM News: Schools Enter Year 2 Of Unaccompanied Minors (Plus Baraka KIPP Kerfluffle)

A Year Later: The School System That Welcomed Unaccompanied Minors NPR: It's been a year since thousands of unaccompanied minors surged into the U.S. In the schools of Oakland, Calif., such children were seen not as a burden but as a challenge. See also Marketplace, US News.

Family of Ahmed Mohamed, Student Clockmaker, to Move to Qatar NYT: Ahmed, 14, who was detained after he took to his school a clock, which a teacher feared was a bomb, has won a full scholarship to a science program in Doha. See also HuffPost. See also Washington Post: Before Ahmed and his clock, there was Kiera and her science project.

Arne Duncan to Launch Crackdown on College Accrediting Wall Street Journal: Education Secretary Arne Duncan is preparing to unveil a package of proposals aimed at forcing colleges that receive federal money to improve graduation rates and to provide students with job skills.

Baraka blasts critics for 'using our children' in charter school fight NJ.com: On Tuesday, one day after calling the expansion "irresponsible" and potentially harmful to Newark children outside of KIPP schools, Baraka clarified that the picture had no bearing on his stance.

Michelle Obama Wants More Students to Continue Their Education Beyond High School Newsweek: As part of the campaign, BetterMakeRoom.org has been launched. It is a platform for students ages 14 to 19 to find information about applying to college, filling out federal financial aid forms and signing up for the SAT and ACT exams, according to the White House 

At a school with a history of social protest, this teacher is leading an opposition to ‘excessive testing’ PBS NewsHour: Jesse Hagopian is a teacher on a mission. He wants his Garfield High School students to know their history, that Jimi Hendrix and Quincy Jones ones walked these halls before the students were even born. And he wants them to know their choices, among them, the right to opt out of the standardized tests Washington State schools use to gauge student performance.

Test Scores Decline as New Jersey Aligns Exams With Common Core NYT: The results from the 2014-2015 school year show that there is “still much work to be done,” the state education commissioner said. See also WSJ.

The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield NYT: She told the family of a severely disabled man that she could help him to communicate with the outside world. The relationship that followed would lead to a criminal trial.

Can Newark’s New(ish) Schools Chief Chris Cerf Bring Political Peace and Lasting Change? The Seventy Four: While the visit is one of dozens Cerf made to schools during his first weeks as Newark’s new superintendent, he and Baraka have represented two warring factions who have fought bitterly over the direction of the school system and who will get to guide it.

Enrollment Up in D.C. Public Schools For Seventh Consecutive Year Washington Post: Enrollment reached 87,749 this school year, up 2 percent from the previous year, based on an annual enrollment audit each fall. The uptick represents the seventh consecutive year of growth in the public schools after decades of declines. The school system enrolled 48,653 students this fall, while public charter schools enrolled 39,096, both growing by about 2 percent. Charter schools continue to serve about 44 percent of the city’s public schools.

San Francisco school election delay sparks criticism AP: A student election at a mostly Hispanic San Francisco middle school turned into a debate about the democratic process when the principal delayed the results because the winners did not reflect the school's diverse student body....

Union Notches a Victory in Unionization Drive at Calif. Charter Chain Teacher Beat: The Public Employee Relations Board granted a teachers' union request for injunctive relief against a charter chain that has opposed its unionization bid.

 

Events: Grantmakers In Education (SF), Plus EWA x2 (Chicago)

2012-05-08-buddhaThis week's big education conference that I know of is Grantmakers For Education, which is meeting in SF and has a speaking appearance from Arne Duncan. The Twitter handle is @Edfunders, the hashtag is . EdSource's John Fensterwald is slated to do an interview with Duncan/King.

But it's not the only one.

Later this week, EWA is hosting two Chicago-based seminar/conferences for education reporters, one on covering poverty (Covering Poverty’s Influence on Education). Highlights from the agenda include an appearance from Alex Kotlowitz.

The second EWA event is called Ready for Day 1? Covering the Education of Teachers, which is being hosted by Northwestern University and "will examine the teacher pipeline, with a focus on how states can build a better route that attracts the best candidates, the extent to which states are — or aren't — taking adequate steps to ensure high quality preparation programs, and look more broadly at best practices to make sure new teachers are ready for Day One in the classroom." 

You can see the updated online agenda for highlights including a session with Dan Goldhaber and some advice from NPR's Steve Drummond about covering teacher shortages.

Any other events going on that we should know about? Anyone see or write a great summary of the Great Cities event last week? 

Morning Video: Astronomy Night At The White House

 

"While not everybody was thrilled at the public invitation via Twitter, the President made good on his promise, hosting Mohamed and 300 other students for the White House’s second “Astronomy Night” on Monday. (Mediaite). See Twitter for images of the POTUS and the Texas student. 

AM News: Obama Administration Reports Grad Rate Increases

Most states show increase in high school graduation rates AP: High school graduation rates for most states continue to improve, according to preliminary data released Monday by the Obama administration.... See also Washington Post.

White House hosts Texas student arrested for homemade clock Washington Post: The president and Ahmed did not have a formal meeting at the White House Monday, but they spoke briefly during the Astronomy Night event, according to the Associated Press.

Graduation Rate Gap Between Black And White Students Is Closing In Most States HuffPost: Thirty-six states experienced an increase in graduation rates, while six saw decreases, according to a press release from the Education Department. Twenty-eight states saw decreases in the graduation rate gap between black and white students, as shown in the graph below.

Michelle Obama announces new education push WBEZ Chicago: Michelle Obama is continuing her push to get every young person to pursue some form of higher education. At the White House Monday, the First Lady is expected to launch a new public awareness campaign geared toward students aged 14 to 19. See also Tubefilter.

Arne Duncan, John King Talk Higher Graduation Rates, ESEA, and Testing PK12: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has a piece of good news to announce on his way out the door: High school graduation rates appear to be on track to rise for the third year in a row.

How one Chicago high school built a college culture WBEZ: To catch up, Gallick started making college part of the conversation at Washington. The school staged a phonathon, reaching out to parents to answer their questions about applications and financial aid.

Seattle School Board races: Transparency, funding issues loom large Seattle Times: At least three and possibly four of the Seattle School Board’s seven members will be newcomers after the November election.

State labor panel to file injunction in charter school unionization push LA Times: Leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles had asked the Public Employment Relations Board to seek the injunction, accusing Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, a charter organization, of intimidating employees, denying organizers access to school buildings and blocking emails. In its request, the union said there would be irreparable harm if the courts did not intervene.

Noble maps out massive charter school expansion, feds support it WBEZ Chicago: Despite a financial crisis in Chicago Public Schools and increasingly organized opposition to the prospect of more charter schools, Chicago’s largest charter network has plans for a massive expansion in the city, according to a successful grant application it submitted to the federal government.

New York City Seeks Teacher Evaluation Waiver WNYC: "We want to make sure that our teacher development and evaluation system is high quality and works best for students, teachers and school communities as a whole," said Devora Kaye, spokeswoman for the Department of Education. "Learning to implement a brand new system of teacher development and evaluation at this time would not be best for students and school communities."

Nevada Fights Against ACLU Suit Over Voucher-Like Program AP: The program, which is considered the broadest school choice program in the country because it's not limited by factors such as family income, allows parents to claim most of their child's per-pupil state education funding and use it toward private school tuition or other qualified education expenses.

As Campus Fears Rise, So Do Efforts to Enact School Gun Laws NYT: While California passed a ban on concealed weapons at schools, other states considered bills to ease restrictions on concealed firearms on campus.

Brooklyn Mother Fights for Changes After Disabled Son Misses Graduation by One Point NYT: New York State students who come within three points of passing a Regents exam can appeal in certain cases, but that option isn’t available to some disabled students.

How a diverse yet divided school blended ‘segregated’ classes Seattle Times: After experiencing a striking racial imbalance, Leschi Elementary altered a popular program that had drawn white families to a traditionally black school.

Keeping Black Men In Front Of The Class NPR: Studies show high rates of teacher turnover — especially among minorities. One researcher is trying to figure out why and how schools can reverse the trend.

LAUSD holds first community forum on superintendent search KPCC: As about two dozen more people trickled into the auditorium, Hank Gmitro, president of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the company helping to search for the next superintendent, talked about the search process. Then he asked those present what kind of superintendent they would like to see selected.

Charts: Do Schools Affect Economic Equality (And If So For Better Or Worse?)

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It used to be that everyone thought -- assumed/wished? --  that education was the great income inequality-reducer.

Then reform critics and others came along and pointed out that there were lots of non-school factors (parents' education level and income) that made as much or more of a difference, and that we shouldn't put all our hopes on schools to do any magic. 

Now, Michigan State researchers have issued a study written up by the Hechinger Report showing that US schools actually exacerbate the growing achievement gap between rich and poor (largely by teaching them very different material). "The researchers calculated that this educational content difference accounts for a third of the achievement gap, on average." 

The good news is that US is only about average when it comes to this unwanted effect, and that there are other countries out there that deliver a more equitable academic program to poor kids that we can try to learn from. 

Graphic via Hechinger Report and MSU.

 

Quotes: More Of The Same From The Gates Foundation

Quotes2And so from the largest philanthropic foundation on the planet, we can expect not self-reflection but more of the same. Bill and Melinda Gates still believe that the academic playing field is made fair by three good teachers in a row and by charters schools in which six year olds robotically tell visitors what college they will attend.

- NEPC's Carol Burris in The Washington Post's Answer Sheet (What are Bill and Melinda Gates talking about?)

Books: Cohen Joins Huffman, Others Writing Edu-Book

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Former Mass Insight head Justin Cohen is writing a book "about the broken U.S. education system" and was recently named a fellow at the Carey Institute (which supports nonfiction writers).

According to the writeup, Cohen "aims to reinvigorate the debate about reform, and change the old arguments that perpetuate the brokenness."

If he achieves this end, it would be greatly welcomed. However, he's not alone in making the effort. Others working on books that might sound similar ideas include Kevin Huffman and journalist Sara Mosle.

Cohen was a 2008 Obama campaign adviser and DC schools advisor. He's on Twitter at @juscohen and his blog is Justin C. Cohen. He also co-hosts The Beard Brothers Dope Show, "a muscular and witty podcast covering the public education wars" that I must admit has made me laugh a couple of times though I have only listened to a few minutes.

Cohen has been mentioned before on this blog, including this quote: "The big problem here is that somehow we have arrived at a point wherein placing value on student achievement results ismutually exclusive to respecting the voting rights of African-American communities... That is a fight that neither side can win, nor should want to fight."

"Cohen’s work focuses on the intersection of race, class, social justice and education in a country that is once again wrestling with the original sins of racism and white supremacy," notes the Carey Institute writeup.

Related posts: The Rise of AVIDHow Racial Inequality Gets Baked Into SchoolsNotes From Yale SOM 2011"Smarter" Charters Are Diverse, Teacher-Led.

Charts: Math & Computer Skills Not Enough In Coming Robot Age

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“Machines are automating a whole bunch of these things, so having the softer skills, knowing the human touch and how to complement technology, is critical, and our education system is not set up for that,” said Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, where he studies education - in the NYT (How the Modern Workplace Has Become More Like Preschool)

Morning Video: Standing Desks - For Students

 
Kids Are Now Using Standing Desks

Some classrooms are now using standing desks to keep kids active

Posted by NowThis on Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Proving yet again that there's no trend or fad too ridiculous to import into education, standing desks are a thing for some classrooms and schools. This just emerges as some of the research about sitting has come under question. Oh, well. Give them laptops and standing desks and maybe a drone and they'll turn out fine. It's clear. It only costs $6,000 per classroom.

AM News: Schools Trying to Reduce Suspensions (Is It Working?)

Schools across US find alternatives to suspending students AP: The school districts in New York, Los Angeles and Denver are just some of those that have moved away from discipline policies that relied heavily on suspensions. State governments have also been taking action: This year, Connecticut limited out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for students up through the second grade, Texas decriminalized truancy and Oregon limited when suspensions and expulsions can be applied to students up through the fifth grade.

Why Test Prep May Be Key to Improving School Diversity WNYC: WNYC spent the summer and fall talking with students across the city, many of whom hope to attend a specialized high school. We wanted to know who prepared for the test and how. Now that the high school application season is about halfway through, with the deadline on Dec. 1, we've created five short vignettes about the pressure city students face to get into a good school.

For two sharply divided Manhattan schools, an uncertain path to integration ChalkbeatNY: In order to stem overcrowding at 199, where soaring demand created the city’s longest kindergarten waitlist this year, the city education department has proposed new zone lines that would reroute some would-be 199 students to 191, which has many open seats. In that way, a solution to overcrowding could spur integration.

The Evidence That White Children Benefit From Integrated Schools NPR: It's long been established that poor and minority children do better in integrated classrooms. But there's more and more to suggest that the benefits spread to all students.

As Charter Schools Become Divisive, Two Parents Give Their Take NPR: The number of charter schools that are suing the Baltimore City Public Schools is increasing and some parents need to make a choice between two big options: district vs. charter.

The surprising power of the ninth grade WBEZ Chicago: Years ago, researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that how students perform during their freshman year is the best predictor of whether they’ll graduate — better than their previous grades or attendance or their family’s income.

A Tiny School District Reaches Far And Wide For New Teachers NPR: Across the country, school districts are struggling to find new teachers. One rural town in Colorado is reaching outside the 50 states.

Are School Dress Codes Sexist? WNYC: Parents in some public school districts in New Jersey are saying the dress codes are sexist: they argue it singles out girls and shames them, saying their bodies are a distraction to the boys.

LAUSD iPad settlement now coming out of Pearson’s pocket KPCC: But on Thursday, the district said it will be Pearson that will pay the settlement. The company will pay $4.2 million directly to LAUSD and reimburse Lenovo for a $2.25 million account credit that Lenovo is providing the school district.

Some Mississippi educators told to stay quiet on school funding battle Hechinger Report: Tucker is among the Mississippi educators, including teachers and superintendents who say they’ve been pressured to keep quiet about Initiative 42, which will be on the ballot on Nov. 2 along with a competing amendment filed by lawmakers who are against 42 and want to keep funding fully in the hands of legislators.

Books: When [White] Parents Are An Obstacle To Making Schools More Equitable

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 6.11.32 PMIf you haven’t checked out the new book Despite The Best Intentions by Amanda Lewis, you really should do so – at least, based on a fascinating phone call I had with her earlier this week.

As you may recall, there's a long interview from WGN Chicago here: How does racial inequality thrive in good schools?. There's also mention of the book in this EdWeek piece How Does an Equity Audit Work?.

It’s not so much that the general topic of the book is so new or different. We all know about implicit racial bias at this point, and there are several much-discussed efforts underway to reduce suspensions and other practices that give some kids a much tougher time in school than they may already have.

But Lewis and her co-author bring some additional attention to the problematic role that white, privileged parents (and others) sometimes bring to making changes in schools that would help make them fairer or work better for other students.

“People don’t talk about this as much, how much white parents play a role in maintaining things as they are,” says Lewis.

They understandably behave towards the school in ways that benefit them and their kids, even if they originally started out with the goal of providing a diverse, equitable experience for their children.  Perhaps they want that on one hand, “but on the other hand -- even more than that -- they wanted their kids to have an advantaged experience.” As a result, they’re “worried about any changes that could affect their children’s protected experience of being in what is essentially a school within a school.”

Like others involved in making schools the way they are, these parents aren’t explicitly or consciously behaving in ways that exhibit racial bias or malice. And they’re not the sole culprit here – teachers, administrators, district policies all play a role -- and of course the larger society.  But their function in protecting or preserving advantages for their children are highlighted in ways that I don’t often see discussed.

What’s clear to Lewis and others is that Black and Latino kids aren't breaking the rules more often, “they're just getting punished more often.” They also may not be getting as much time as other kids to try and answer a question, or the same reaction from a teacher when they get a “B” on a test, or the same exceptions or accommodations as other kids if they fall short or break a rule.

These observations remind me of several similar remarks made over the years by folks as diverse as Bill and Melinda Gates and Dale Russakoff. The Gates funders have talked about the pushback their grantees have gotten from parents within schools, especially privileged enclaves. In her book about Newark, Russakoff noted that reformers who expected help from parents sometimes found that the parents best positioned were focused on finding or maintaining advantages in terms of teacher assignment and other things for their own children, not the school as a whole. (In this case, the parents were African-American, but the dynamic seems to be roughly parallel.)

“There’s this perception that having a desegregated space is going to benefit all kids,” says Lewis. But that’s not what often happens in practice. Paraphrasing an educator she worked with, Lewis says “The white kids always have to be understood and the black kids have to be disciplined.” And the exemptions and accommodations for the white kids mean that there’s little pressure to change an overly strict or unworkable rule. Just as white, college-educated parents disadvantage neighborhood schools by finding other options, white college-educated parents undercut diverse schools by seeking special treatment.

So far, at least, Lewis says that the school has responded positively to being portrayed in the book, and that at a recent talk at the Minority Student Achievement Network several superintendents said they thought Riverview sounded like it might be one of theirs. (I can imagine that the folks at the Consortium of Large Countywide and Suburban Districts would be interested in this, research, too.)

What can be done? Lewis and her co-author are working on a book trying to pull examples of changes that schools are trying that seem to have gotten some traction. For example, making sure to hire teachers who believe in a growth mindset, tracking informal disciplinary referrals that aren’t captured in official data, creating “earned” honors programs rather than standalone programs.

“There has to be some entity who's looking out for the larger common good,” says Lewis. “Our general societal commitment to the common good is not where it should be.” And it seems like parents’ commitment to the good of other children might not be there, either, she says.

“Parents aren't going to be the force for equity in our schools.” 

Charts: Sankey Diagrams Show Memphis, NOLA, DC Turnaround Results

image from www.crpe.org"Those different paths are clear if we compare charts that track what happened to schools ranked in the bottom 5% of their state over three years in three cities: Memphis, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.  via CPRE (More Than One Path Out of the Bottom)

Morning Video: Social Justice Activist Talks TFA, Plus Merrow & Chicago

Above, watch TFA alum Deray McKesson being interviewed by TFA alum Kelly Amis about how his work as a teacher connects with his work as a #BlackLivesMatter activist.

Or, here's that PBS NewsHour interview with longtime education reporter John Merrow, including highlights from his past reporting such as when he followed a bunch of new teachers through the year and when he filmed Michelle Rhee firing someone.

Or, click here to listen to a Marketplace audio segment on how freshmen academies are helping Chicago kids graduate -- with higher ACT scores.

AM News: A Peek At Hillary Clinton's NEA Answers, Plus Chicago Probe Spreads To Detroit

What Hillary Clinton Told the NEA Board of Directors PK12: Earlier this month, the National Education Association voted to endorse Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary for president. But what went into that decision beforehand?

Authorities probing ex-Chicago schools CEO's Detroit tenure AP:Authorities are investigating Detroit Public Schools contracts awarded by a former official who has pleaded guilty to her role in a kickback scheme while she was CEO of Chicago's school system, DPS said Thursday.... See also Sun-Times: Barbara Byrd-Bennett's Detroit contracts under federal investigation.

Teacher Rafe Esquith's misconduct investigation is a high-profile test for LAUSD panel LA Times: When a colleague complained that Rafe Esquith, the most celebrated teacher in Los Angeles, had made a joke about nudity to his fifth-grade students, the district called into action a newly formed squad of investigators to get to the bottom of it. See also KPCC: Lawyer for fired LAUSD teacher responds with class-action lawsuit, Washington Post L.A. school board fires Rafe Esquith, one of nation’s most lauded teachers.

New financial problem for state’s first charter school Seattle Times: The chairman of the Charter School Commission revealed at a meeting Thursday in Tacoma that First Place Scholars is being forced to quickly refund an overpayment in state dollars it received last school year.

Chiefs Share Insights From School-Turnaround Efforts in New Mexico, Utah State EdWatch: Has any state cracked the code when it comes to turning around schools that have been foundering for decades?

Months After Promise of Help, Atlanta Students Still Waiting AP: The Atlanta Redemption Academy states on its website that cheating on standardized tests deprived students of educational help and left Atlanta with an under-educated workforce. The website says the academy aimed to provide them with tutoring, GED classes or job training.

Clashes Erupt in the Streets of Santiago over Education Reforms NBC News: Protesters battle with police in Chile’s capital, after thousands of students demonstrated over government measures regulating free education.

McTeacher's Nights: Teachers Unions Say No To School Fundraisers NPR: During McTeacher's Nights, teachers stand behind the counter at McDonald's, serving up food to their students who come in. At the end of the event, the school gets a cut of the night's sales.

Long Island Assistant Principal With Role in Racy Rap Video Is Reassigned NYT: Esther Adler-O’Keefe has been given other duties in the Southampton, N.Y., school district after appearing in a video by the rapper J.R.

The surprising power of the ninth grade Marketplace: The school year is just a few weeks old, and ninth graders at George Washington High on Chicago’s southeast side are still trying to get the hang of things. They’re at a much bigger school, with hundreds more kids, and a more complicated class schedule. To help ease the transition, the school has grouped most of the freshman classes along one hallway.

Iraq Vet Offers A Final Lesson For His Former Student: 'Real Men Cry' NPR: Erik Booker is a seventh-grade teacher in Sumpter, S.C. He also happens to be an Army veteran who served in Iraq — just like the father of one of his students last year, Jenna.

Quotes: Refomers' Ironic Disdain For Curriculum

Quotes2Education reformers are so united behind the Common Core standards, and yet 1) those very standards explicitly endorse scientifically based reading instruction, and 2) the focus on the importance of “reading complex text” appears to come at the expense of early reading instruction. 

- NCTQ's Kate Walsh via Fordham (Curriculum: The great divide among education reformers)

 

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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.