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Trailers: "All The Difference" Scheduled For POV In September

The new season of PBS's POV series "Seek Redemption, Justice, Peace" starts in May and features at least one segment "All The Difference" focused on the struggles of two South Side Chicago teens named Robert and Krishaun who are trying to graduate high school and go on to college. The piece "follows the young men through five years of hard work, sacrifice, setbacks and uncertainty." Watch the trailer above. Look for it in September. 

 

Quotes: Public Systems (Including Education) Feed Off, Fail Too Many Kids

Quotes2By the time someone is coming to us job-ready, they've been failed by the healthcare system, the education system; by housing, by law enforcement... Maybe the foster care system, maybe the prison-industrial complex. And also, those systems have fed off of them, and they have a complete lack of trust in any sort of system operating for them.

--  Crown Heights Mediation Center's Amy Ellenbogen in VICE (How 'Violence Interrupters' Are Trying to Stop Gang Shootings in Brooklyn)

 

Update: Furlough Days & Teacher Walk-Outs In Chicago

Last week, the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools told teachers to stay home on a pre-Easter Weekend furlough day. On Friday, the Chicago Teachers Union is calling on teachers to picket schools rather than teach in them to protect the district and state's lack of funding.

Morning Video: Sen. Warren On Clinton/Sanders (Plus Chelsea at AFT)

 

Watch Colbert interview Senator Warren (above via Medialite), or watch Chelsea Clinton address AFT members here (via AFTHQ).

AM News: Opt-Out/Testing Season Begins Soon In States Like NY, IL

To Opt Out or Not? Dueling Messages Before Next Week's Tests WNYC: Leaders of the opt out movement accuse the city’s Department of Education of withholding information from families about their right to boycott the state tests, in what appears to be an attempt to reach a broader audience before next week’s tests.

Will Parents Opt Their Kids Out Of PARCC Test Like Last Year? WBEZ: The PARCC is aligned with Common Core standards, which are national standards. Some parents think the PARCC and other Common Core tests ...

Friedrichs ends with a whimper Politico: SEIU's Mary Kay Henry, NEA's Lily Eskelsen Garcia, AFT's Randi Weingarten, and AFSCME's Lee Saunders all held a joint press call after Tuesday's decision, and “all four of us understand the importance of working together and combining our resources, ...

Chicago Teachers Union pushes broad message for fiscal reform with walkout Tribune: The union's repeated threats to strike over pay and pension issues in recent weeks have evolved into a labor-led fight against Rauner's anti-union agenda, and a call for new revenue amid a state budget impasse that has jeopardized social service programs and public universities. See also Crain's: April 1 teacher strike 'all but' assured, CTU says.

Chicago Teachers Union walkout raises legal questions Tribune: Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool insists it would be illegal, and Gov. Bruce Rauner calls it an "abuse of power." Even union members have sought reassurances...

Educator misconduct cases continue to choke the system SI&A Cabinet Report: The number of teacher misconduct cases awaiting an appeal hearing has actually increased since the governor and state lawmakers agreed last year to provide additional funding to help clear a backlog of some 265 open investigations.

Lower East Side families get first look at a sweeping plan to integrate schools ChalkbeatNY: The proposal would re-introduce families’ demographic information into the admissions system, under a model known as “controlled choice.” Now, families applying to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten would first submit information about their income level and whether they earned a high school or college degree, along with whether their child lives in temporary housing, is not a native English speaker, or has a disability.

School board backs away from rezoning proposal tagged by critics as segregation Washington Post: Loudoun County board drew criticism for a plan that would have created high-poverty schools.

A Diverse Teaching Force? This Search Firm Can Help, But It'll Cost You NPR: Meet Stratégenius Consulting — a company that helps schools find candidates from a wide range of backgrounds.

Detroit Schools to Get Stopgap Aid, More Corruption Alleged ABC News: The state's largest school district was in danger of starting to run out of money in April. The stopgap spending legislation shows the district's challenges "aren't just Detroit's problem, they are concerns for all of Michigan," Snyder said. 

Morning Video: Chicago Teachers Prepare To Go On "Wildcat" Strike

 

The head of Chicago schools says that the Friday walkout is an illegal strike and that teachers won't get paid if they don't show up.

Or, watch PBS discuss Friedrichs ruling, or its weekly segment (this one featuring a successful foster student).

Or, watch folks debate expanding charter schools in Malden, Massachusetts.

 

Quotes: Time "Running Out" For Common Core Advocates

Quotes2CCSS advocates say it is too early to tell, and we’ll just have to wait to see the benefits.  That defense won’t work much longer.  Time is running out.  The political challenges that Common Core faces the remainder of this year may determine whether it survives.

- Brookings' Tom Loveless (Common Core’s major political challenges for the remainder of 2016)

AM News: Union Fee Win, StudentsFirst Merger, NY Primary Showdown

With Supreme Court Tie, Teachers Unions Dodge A Bullet NPR: The 4-4 ruling by the high court means the failure of an effort to overturn requirements that nonunion members contribute to the cost of bargaining. See also AP, EdSourceTeacherBeat, NYT.

Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst will merge with education advocacy group 50Can LA Times: Just several years after its glitzy launch, StudentsFirst, the Sacramento-based education group started by former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, is merging with another education advocacy organization, 50Can. See also The Seventy FourTeacherBeat.

Bernie and Hillary prep for New York clash Politico: American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, a former president of New York's local teachers union branch, spent the past week talking to her own members and leaders in Albany and the Hudson Valley about the stakes of the election. See also PK12.

National PTA's New Stand on Opt-Outs Could Prove Timely This Testing Season EdWeek: The group's January update of its position statement on assessments, its first in 35 years, includes its opposition to policies letting parents remove children from standardized testing.

The overwhelming whiteness of U.S. private schools, in six maps and charts Washington Post: Should there be more civil rights scrutiny of private schools that accept taxpayer funding via vouchers?

Detroit Schools to Get Stopgap Aid, More Corruption Alleged AP: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law $48.7 million in emergency funding to keep the Detroit Public Schools open through the end of the school year. See also District Dossier, Daily Caller.

In African-American Communities, Growing Interest In Home-Schooling NPR: When it comes to teaching their children at home, African-Americans often cite different reasons than white families.

Loudoun County school board votes down controversial rezoning plan Washington Post: The school board declined to push forward a plan to create two majority-poverty schools. See also WAMU.

D.C. now has more children. Here's where they're living. Washington Post: Neighborhoods just east of Rock Creek Park, like Columbia Heights and Petworth, saw the biggest jump in the population under 18.

Quotes: Oakland Supe's Actions "Unilateral...Not Collaborative"

Quotes2There are disruptive policies causing some chaos in schools, mass movements of principals and calls for quality schools that are not being supported in a bottom-up way... These are unilateral decisions. It’s not collaborative, and while he may feel a rush to get things done, we think things should be done in a more thoughtful way.

-- Oakland Education Association head Trish Gorham in this SF Chronicle column (Superintendent gets schooled in Oakland’s turbulent politics)

#edGIF Of The Day: SAT Security Hole Plus Foreign Student Spike

The reason you care is that Reuters is reporting a "major security hole with the SAT" in which the College Board gave SAT tests that "it knew had been compromised in Asia."

Morning Video: That Group Michelle Rhee Started Is Merging With 50CAN

In honor of the announcement from The Seventy Four that 50CAN and StudentsFirst were merging, which is either a totally understandable move or a strange and early April Fool's, here's the video of the original Michelle Rhee announcement.

AM News: Syrian Refugee Students, Chicago Teachers Walkout, Teachers Using Snapchat

For Syrian Refugees in New Jersey, a Bumpy Adjustment to School WNYC: In March, WNYC visited Aisha during science class at the Islamic school, where she copied words in English while her classmates answered questions with enthusiasm. She wore a blue and yellow uniform, which includes a yellow hijab for the girls.

Chicago Teachers Union sets plans for Friday walkout Chicago Tribune: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and an ally of CTU President Karen Lewis, is scheduled to appear at a teach-in on the campus of Northeastern Illinois University on Friday morning, according to a tentative schedule. See also: CTU: Teachers who cross picket line April 1 could lose union membership.

Say goodbye to eighth grade Algebra 1 and hello to the rise of Common Core math LA Times: Eighth grade math is changing: instead of emphasizing Algebra I where only some students thrive, many schools are placing all students in the same general class that covers several concepts. Common Core standards for the eighth grade call for all students to learn the same general math concepts,...

With ESSA on the Books, Here's an Early Look at Trends in State K-12 Legislation PK12: In many respects, officials in statehouses and state education departments are still figuring out how they'll proceed under ESSA.

How Teachers Are Using Snapchat NPR: Teachers explain how they're applying the social media app to lessons and homework.

Quotes: Ravitch Claims Victory

Quotes2Everything the corporate reformers do has failed. Their day has come and gone. ... They remain in power by deception and the power of money, not the efficacy of their ideas. They will go out with the tide. 

- Diane Ravitch on her blog (26 Million Page Views! Thank You!)

Charts: More Cops Than Counselors In NYC, Chicago, & Miami-Dade (But Not LA)

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Interesting to note that LAUSD has more counselors than cops, and many fewer of both than NYC, Chicago, or Miami-Dade. From The Seventy Four. See more detail here and here.

Morning Video: Detroit Schools Going Bankrupt

Watch the NYT's Kate Zernike describe the problem on this PBS NewsHour weekend segment. Or, watch this 2015 PSA about kids and violence featuring a kid who was hit by a stray bullet last weekend.

AM News: Testing Changes, Bad Water, Plus Trio Of Edu-Profiles (King, O'Connor, Gordon)

PARCC testing begins again but still no opt-out policy Chicago Sun-Times: For its second year, PARCC has been shortened. It has a simpler format, and results have been promised much sooner than last year — by the summer, rather than late autumn, so that teachers and parents can actually use the results. Those improvements still won’t stop a number of families in Chicago from skipping it.

Smarter Balanced test changes affect California special ed students KPCC: This year the Smarter Balanced test will allow students to control the volume and pitch on the computer program that reads a question to a student and that reads glossary words related to questions on the test. The test will also now provide Spanish language glossaries to help students who have a disability and who are classified as English Learners.

Schools Nationwide Still Grapple With Lead in Water NYT: The Flint, Mich., crisis has cast attention on the issue, but in schools from Jersey City, N.J., to Los Angeles, problems have dragged on for years. See also: Digging Further Into a Water Problem.

New Education Secretary: Bold Agenda. Just 10 Months To Get It Done NPR: John B. King Jr. talks about his priorities for a tenure that may be short-lived: implementing the new education law, high-quality preschool and college access, to name a few.

A Supreme Court Pioneer, Now Making Her Mark on Video Games NYT: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said she had never played video games until a few years ago. But now she is using them to teach students valuable civics lessons.

 Should Schools Ask Students About Their Sexual Orientation To Protect LGBT Rights? Washington Post: Researchers are calling on the federal government to begin collecting information about LGBT students’ experiences at the nation’s schools. Embedded in that argument, though, is a call to begin asking students to declare their gender identity and sexual orientation at school — a move that the Equity Project acknowledges is fraught with privacy concerns.

Education's Mr. Fix-it Christian Science Monitor/Hechinger Report: While he may be relatively invisible to the students, Mr. Gordon is hardly unknown outside the school. As the overseer of 21 charter schools in Philadelphia, he has carved out a reputation as a turnaround artist – someone willing to try to fix high schools that are failing, a task that many other reformers have shied away from in their quest to transform urban education. 

When School-Installed Software Stops A Suicide NPR: School administrators increasingly have the power to track students' Web browsing even when they're at home. The implications are complicated.

Brooklyn Private School Looks to Expand to ManhattanWSJ: Basis Independent, an ambitious, for-profit, private school that opened in Brooklyn last year, says it will expand to the Upper West Side in the fall of 2017.

How Chicago Will Keep Classes Going When Teachers Strike Tribune: Chicago Public Schools will provide about 250 "contingency sites" for students locked out of the classroom by a one-day teachers strike April 1, while also asking teachers who disagree with the walkout to report for work.

See additional news and commentary from over the weekend here.

Twitter Friday: News, Opinion & Analysis Via Social Media

Happy Friday. I'm working on a couple of longform pieces today. But that doesn't mean I won't be sharing out news, commentary, and all the rest. You can check out all my updates here, or on Facebook (Alexander Russo), or directly on Twitter (@alexanderrusso). You won't miss a thing, plus you can see the fun things people Tweet at me all day. 

Pictures: Obama & King In The Oval Office

In case you missed it (like I did), here's a picture of President Obama greeting newly-official EdSec John King in the Oval Office last week.

Charts: Two Similar States - MA & WA - With Very Different Outcomes

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"Both states are about 80 percent white, with similar rates of home-ownership and non-English speakers. Both boast household incomes well above the national average, yet see their schools filled with increasing numbers of low-income kids. The Bay State, however, soars in national comparisons, as well as international ones," according to the Seattle Times (Why are Massachusetts schools so much better?)

Image used with permission. Credit Garland Potts Seattle Times. To see a larger high-resolution version click Edlab

 

 

 

Morning Video: #TBT "What Teachers Make" (2005)

Yesterday at the local grocery store, I met a guy named Taylor and realized after a minor delay that he was none other than the famous-for-education teacher/poet Taylor Mali. 

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I accosted him, made him take a selfie with me, and got a quick update on his news. This past Fall, Mali raffled off the original version of his poem to raise funds for a favorite charity.  What poem, you ask?  You must be new here. 

Way back in 2005, Mali's slam performance, riffing off of "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach," was an early viral hit -- and could be considered part of an early wave of teacher voices angry at longtime denigration by the public and policymakers.

See one of many versions of the performance here. See a critic's takedown of his work here.

Related posts: The Return Of "What Teachers Make" (2011); "You Want To Know What I Make?" A Teacher Responds (2008).

AM News: Chicago Teachers Approve One-Day Walkout

CTU delegates give go-ahead for April 1 walkout Tribune: The Chicago Teachers Union's governing body approved a plan Wednesday to shut down the city's schools with a one-day walkout April 1. Union leaders called the walkout to bring attention to its differences with the district in contract talks and to push. See also Catalyst: Teachers split over CTU vote on one-day strike.

Protests erupt at St. Paul Public Schools board meeting; teacher contract OK'd MinnPost: Things hit a tipping point when Jim Endres, a substitute teacher, moved the focus away from students, asking the board to better support teachers in the classroom, including Olson. He started to elaborate on what he considers to be the impossible standards placed on teachers today because we have “something called political correctness,” when booing audience members began to drown him out.

Pennsylvania Governor Relents After 9-Month Budget Impasse AP: Pennsylvania's Democratic governor says he won't block Republicans' $6.6 billion no-new-taxes spending package after nearly nine months of budget gridlock.

Calif. Teachers, Administrators Disagree About How Well Common Core Is Going Teacher Beat: On common-core implementation, 70 percent of district leaders said their district had made good or excellent progress toward Common Core implementation. But teachers say there's room for improvement.

How one Minnesota school district handles a rising immigrant population WNYC: The United States is now home to the largest number of foreign-born black people in its history—and many are K-12 students enrolled in public schools. The English-learners among them are overwhelmingly native Spanish, French, or Haitian Creole speakers, but districts have had to adjust on the fly to meet the needs of students who arrive communicating in less frequently spoken languages such as Amharic, Haitian Creole and Somali.

Why This Teacher Says More Classrooms Should Be Modeled After Gangs Huffington Post: Gangs give their members true responsibility, says Emdin, a professor at Columbia University's Teachers College. They make their members feel like they're part of a family -- a unit that will protect them. They give members a sense of "cosmopolitanism," or make them feel they're valued citizens of a larger community.   

Alabama lawmaker apologizes for bill requiring teachers be trained not to have sex with students Washington Post: And then there's the legislation in Kansas that would allow anyone who saw a transgender person in a school bathroom to sue the school for $2,500.... The state bills just keep on coming.

More Teachers Can't Afford To Live Where They Teach NPR: Rising rents, housing prices and living costs in the top real estate markets from Boston to San Francisco are putting the squeeze on teachers.

CPS Sues State Commission Over Charter School Closures WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Charter School Commission, challenging the commission’s ruling that three Chicago charter schools can stay open.

New York Public Schools Posts Lead Test Results Online WNYC: In response to reports of elevated lead levels in drinking water from Flint, Mich., to Newark, the New York City public school system is taking the extraordinary step of posting results from nearly 90,000 samples taken over the last 14 years.

One Monica in, one Monica out: How the LAUSD school board will change LA School Report: Meanwhile, fellow board member Monica Ratliff surprised many education and City Hall watchers last week when she quietly took out papers with the... 

Campaign 2016: 3 Sample Questions From Trump University Final Exam

The questions are simple: 1. Two plus two equals what?   2. Describe a major theme of “The Old Man and the Sea.” 3. H2O is the chemical symbol for what compound? It's the answers that are brilliant (The New Yorker).

Quotes: Understanding When Parents Make "Sub-Optimal" School Choices

Quotes2Choice programs may give parents the ability to choose schools that are better (or simply better for their child). Nevertheless, this new study out of Louisiana suggests that there may also be a risk that students will sort into new schools in sub-optimal –- or even harmful –- ways. By better understanding how parents are choosing schools for their children, we can maximize the benefits of school choice while mitigating the risks.  

- Paul Bruno (Overregulation Theory isn’t enough to explain negative voucher effects

 

Quotes: "Even If Charter Numbers Were Better... They Would Still Be Terrible"

Quotes2I don’t think charter proponents are well served by attacking the numbers or slicing and dicing them for the best cut.  Neither are they served by attacking the authors for being “anti-charter” as I have heard. Even if the charter numbers were better than the district numbers they would still be terrible, and screaming for action.

 - Oakland's Dirk Tillotson in Great School Voices (What Did We Learn from the UCLA Charter School Discipline Study?)

Morning Video: "Knock, Knock."

 
Daniel Beaty - Knock, Knock

Daniel Beaty performing "Knock, Knock." We're speechless. Just watch!

Posted by Films For Action on Sunday, February 14, 2016

AM News: Chiefs For Change, Chicago Teachers, Autonomous Schools

Some Cities Are Making Great Strides In Educating Low-Income Students HuffPost: Only two in 10 low-income students from big cities go to schools where they perform near or on par with affluent students. Over 60 of the country's largest cities have what the report classifies as "massive" achievement gaps.  On the bright side, the study -- funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation -- also highlights several cities that have made tremendous gains in helping vulnerable students.  

Chiefs For Change Brings on Six District Superintendents District Dossier: The organization, which advocates for the use of the Common Core State Standards and school choice, once consisted solely of state school chiefs.

Chicago Teachers Union Seeks Furlough Trade For April 1 Walkout Tribune: A CPS spokeswoman said the district would not consider such a trade. The call by union leaders for an April 1 walkout has elicited skepticism from some CTU members. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said the walkout will have to be approved by a substantial margin before leaders decide to go forward with the plan.

Autonomous schools gain ground in Minneapolis and across the nation MinnPost: In researching similar initiatives that have already taken root in cities like Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Oakland,  and Denver, as well as in Massachusetts, Ohrn says there’s strong reason to believe CPS schools in Minneapolis have the potential to achieve similar outcomes.

Report finds massive under-investment in nation’s school buildings Washington Post: The last time the federal government attempted to survey the condition of the nation’s school buildings was in 1995. At the time, more than 8 million students attended 15,000 schools with poor air quality; 12 million students attended 21,000 schools in need of new roofs or roof upgrades; 12 millions students attended 23,000 schools with inadequate plumbing. See also EdSource Today.

Should Student Surveys Inform Teacher Evaluations? Educators Call It 'Bad Choice' WAMU: Research has found that student surveys are one of the most effective methods of assessing teacher performance, but educators that have already implemented a plan DCPS is looking at are cautioning teachers here to think again.

Plan to Restructure Detroit Schools Takes a Step Forward AP: The Michigan Senate approved a $720 million restructuring plan Tuesday that would divide Detroit's ailing school district in two as a means of retiring a massive operating debt over a decade

Education Data, Student Privacy Take Spotlight at Capitol Hill Hearing PK12: The House education committee weighs the issue at a time when some lawmakers are pushing to update the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

The Untold Stories Of Black Girls NPR: Black girls are suspended from school at six times the rate of white girls. In a new book, Pushout,author Monique Morris tells their stories.

College Opens New Frontier In Education Outsourcing BuzzFeed: Pearson's deal with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, a two-year school of some 9,000 students, is the first time the company has taken over recruiting for an entire university. It's also the first time Pearson will handle recruiting for a community college — earning as much as 20% of the school's tuition revenue from new students.

Afternoon Video: Awesome All-Girls Poetry Slam Team Makes Chicago Finals

Cartoons: "Time's Up. Crayons Down"

I'm not sure I agree with Bruce's assessment -- and this is at least a year old -- but it's still a funny cartoon.

Morning Video: Clinton's Arizona Education Ad "No Matter What ZIP Code"

Phoenix New Times: Clinton Releases New Ad Targeting Arizona's Abysmal Education Record. It's so interesting to see everyone using the "no matter what ZIP code" language, given that folks mean such different things by the phrase. 

AM News: Staff Cuts At TFA, Plus New Pro Opt-Out NY Regent Head

Teach for America to cut national staff by 15 percent Washington Post: The two shake-ups will leave Teach for America with approximately 930 national staff members in fiscal year 2017, 410 fewer than it employed in fiscal year 2015, according to the organization. It’s a staffing level that the organization expects will be sustainable even if there are fluctuations in the number of new corps members it is able to recruit. See also AtlanticTeacher Beat.

Rosa, new head of New York education policy: As a parent, ‘I would opt out’ ChalkbeatNY: Rosa spoke about the need to retool the tests to rebuild trust with parents, and said that families have the right to choose what is best for their children. “If I was a parent and I was not on the Board of Regents, I would opt out at this time,” Rosa told reporters Monday, shortly after she was elected chancellor of the Board of Regents.

Prospects for the Next President Keeping John B. King Jr. as Education Secretary PK12: On the Senate education committee, Sanders joined the rest of his Democratic colleagues by voting to advance King's nomination to the full Senate earlier this month. But he is listed as not voting in the full Senate on King's nomination. Generally speaking, if Sanders wins out, there's no reason to believe the unions would significantly alter their political strategy regarding King.

Alternative education program still in danger after budget restoration Boston Globe: “I always hated school, to be honest . . . but I had men that I could look up to and get knowledge from,” Luis Aponte, now a student at Northeastern University, said of the Diploma Plus program in Charlestown.

Kansas Campuses Prepare For Guns In Classrooms NPR: A Kansas law will allow students to carry concealed weapons into their college classrooms, and many teachers aren't happy about it.

Pierre Omidyar helps fund education startup Tinkergarten BBJ: The startup specializes in outdoor early childhood education, helping educators lead activities for kids outside. The activities include "outsmart a leprechaun" and "celebrate the winter solstice." Tinkergarten said the company now has classes running across 14 states.

Cartoon: "Oh, But It's Fine For You To Grade Papers?"

Charts: Charter/District Suspension Rates, Compared Visually

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In all the hullabaloo about the UCLA Civil Rights Project study last week, I somehow never saw this chart from admittedly pro-reform Great School Voices showing what they found in terms of district (blue) and charter (red) suspension rates.

There are differences, to be sure, but looked at visually they don't seem that large and it's clear that all types of schools are suspending SWD and AA kids an awful lot. 

Site News: Ten Years Of Twitter #LoveTwitter

Facbook_vs_twitter_infographicSo it's Twitter's 10th anniversary today, and apparently I've been using the service for about eight of those. You can find your first tweet here.

The service has been both a vehicle for distributing news and commentary, and also the subject of some frequent observation (especially during the early years).

Most of all, it's been a place of tremendous discovery for me (of new views, voices) and engagement (most of it constructive) about ideas and trends. 

Here are some of my posts about Twitter from the past, to give you a sense of its role in education and journalism:

12 Observations About EdNext's "Top Twitter Feeds": For me, the hands-down top new Twitter feed in education in 2014 is @thnkscommoncore, but I may be alone in that. (2014)

Twitter Isn't Only For Narcissists: Jay Greene had already established himself as one of the judgiest Twitter observers before publishing his second(!) Twitter "narcissism" index last month. (Bruno 2013)

How Twitter Has Helped & Hurt: The upside of the tool has been reaching and engaging with a broader audience who prefers short bursts of text vs. slightly longer blog posts.   The downside is having folks I don't follow or don't think offer much useful information tweeting at me all day -- their messages showing up in Hootsuite as "mentions" when in reality they're just trying to get my attention and bait me into responding to them. (2013)

More Reporters Join Twitter: Looking for education reporters to follow (or bother) on Twitter? Here are a few recent entrants -- maybe you know others. There's also that massive but now outdated list of 100+ ed reporters on Twitter from last summer, which you can find here. (2010)

How To "Do" Twitter: Passing things along is good -- especially if they're things not everyone has seen already. Crediting others is key, even if they are competitors or rivals (we can tell if you're shady and don't).  Sightings ("just rode elevator with Margaret Spellings") and first-hand experiences ("yelled at colleague in front of funder a staff meeting") are always good (unique, mobile, real-time). (2009)

"Live" Twitter Projection During Conferences (& Hearings?): Projecting Twitter feeds onto a screen during meetings and conferences is the cool thing to do in some circles these days.  You hear and read about it all the time  -- most recently in that TIME magazine article from last week that I'm too lazy to look up for you.  (2009)

There have been some notable successes and failures for me on Twitter over the years, including the short-lived #5bb and #thisweekined hashtags (and others like #edJOC I'm still pushing).

Lately, it's all been about Nuzzel, the service that curates the items that are being shared by large numbers of folks you follow on Twitter. 

Check out my tweets about Twitter here. What's your favorite/least favorite part of being on Twitter?

Related posts: It's About Time You Got To Know #EducolorNew Voices Challenging Reform Critics' "Belief Gap"Don't Let Citizen Stewart Win #StraightOutta ("Where You From?").

Morning Video: Visiting The DC School Where SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland Tutors

Watch above, and read the Washington Post story here. Or, watch video of a school pep rally firebreathing stunt gone wrong.

AM News: NY Opt-Out Advocates Unsatisfied By State Testing Changes

New York's Opt Out Movement Revs Back Up WNYC: State education officials... shortened the tests for all grades in both math and English, though only slightly so (some parents say the change is negligible). Students this year will be allowed as much time as they need to finish the tests. And, according to the state education department, teachers have played a more active role in reviewing test questions. But making small revisions and acknowledging flaws did not appease Deutermann and other parents gathered for a rally in Long Beach, Long Island on Sunday. 

GOP Candidates Taking Aim at Common Core Academic Standards AP: Republican presidential candidates are taking aim at the Common Core academic standards, criticizing them as an overreach of the federal government even though they were created by the states.

Spike in weapons seized in schools, pro-charter group reports ChalkbeatNY: The data, which the city did not dispute, shows that the police recovered 1,678 weapons in the 2014-15 school year, an increase of 170 weapons from the previous year. (That included a significant spike in taser and stun gun recoveries.) 

Montclair Still Feels Strife From School Tests Posted Online in ’13 NYT: Documents circulating through a liberal New Jersey township lately are adding new fuel to a fierce, long-running battle over education philosophy in the local schools.

The ‘Broad plan’ for LA schools grows to more than charters only EdSource Today: Whether the shift in approach represents a sincere effort to involve the school district or a strategy to blunt intense criticism from defenders of traditional public education, or maybe both, Castrejón says the group intends to examine district schools that are excelling and replicate their efforts in low-income areas of Los Angeles where academic performance is lagging.

New Parent-Trigger Bills Fail to Gain Traction in States This Year EdWeek: Legislators in four states have introduced parent-trigger bills this year, but none of those proposals have moved forward so far. See also LA Times.

Separate but equal? Wealthy county’s plan would concentrate low-income, Hispanic students Washington Post: A debate in Virginia centers on serving high-need students amid concerns about segregation.

Student suspensions in Calif. charter schools follow familiar, troubling patterns KPCC: The study also found the demographic disparities in suspension rates at charter schools differed little from the rates at non-charter schools, suggesting charter schools have played a significant — but not outsized — role in the creation of a so-called "school-to-prison pipeline."

Name Games: Donald Trump Isn’t Alone in Exploiting the Word ‘University’ NYT: Students have been taught to trust places called universities, even though few of them actually are.

Student stabbed at Boyle Heights elementary school LA Times: A student at Bridge Street Elementary School in Boyle Heights was rushed to the hospital after a reported stabbing Thursday morning, officials said. A parent told KTLA that the victim was a fifth grade boy who was attacked by another student. Los Angeles Fire Department officials said they responded...

Retiring: Claims of Age Bias Rise, but Standards of Proof Are High NYT: Even though a law meant to protect older workers has existed since 1967, proving discrimination has since been made tougher.

Quotes: Trump Explains Campaign Viciousness To 11 Year-Old Reporter

Quotes2It’s not really O.K., but it’s something you have to live with. It’s called life. As you grow older, you’ll understand it. The campaigns can be very vicious, just like life can be very vicious. But you have to figure it out and overcome it.

- Donald Trump responding to 11 year old student reporter in USA Today (For kid reporters covering Trump's presidential bid, safety now a factor)

Morning Video: What Should We Do When The Whole School Fails?

This panel featuring among others Vanessa Rodriguez and Steve Zimmer, is highlighted in Gary Rubinstein's lengthy recap/review of the TFA25 summit earlier this year.

Or, watch these New Orleans 7th graders' version of Beyonce's "Formation." (ABC News via Huffington Post)

AM News: Duncan's New Gig, Legal Loophole For School Lead

Arne Duncan to Focus on Disconnected Youth at the Emerson Collective PK12: Duncan's official title will be managing partner for the Palo Alto, Calif.,-based philanthropy and advocacy organization, which is led up by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. See also Washington Post, USA TodayWSJ.

Newark Schools to Test Pupils for Lead as Officials Cite Longstanding Problem NYT: As many as 17,000 students may have been affected, but the immediate plan will be to offer testing to children who attend two early-childhood programs at schools where lead was detected in the water.

A legal loophole might be exposing children to lead in the nation's schools Washington Post: Under federal law, the vast majority of schools don’t have to test the water flowing out of their taps and drinking fountains, and many states and districts also do not mandate water testing at schools. Even when districts do test their water, they don’t always tell parents about the problems they find.

Early-Ed. Measures Percolate at State, Local Levels EdWeek: According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 450 bills with some tie to early childhood are pending in 46 states. At this early stage, it's unclear how many of those proposals will be enacted into law. But if local and state lawmakers follow the trend of previous years, many places will see increased early-childhood investment.

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will help dropouts in violence-plagued Chicago find jobs LA Times: Since Arne Duncan left his job as U.S. secretary of Education in December, a problem has been nagging him: the high numbers of kids dropping out of school, joining gangs and getting killed in his city, Chicago. So he’s taken on a new job, he said Thursday, that will help him find opportunities...

2 Breakfasts May Be Better Than None For School Kids NPR: A study looked at students who ate breakfast at school versus those who ate at home, at both places, or not at all. One of these groups had a higher risk of obesity, and it's not the one you'd think.

Why Big-City School Systems Are Going Broke US News: Detroit's school system, already $515 million in debt, can't afford to pay its staff past April 8. In Chicago, the city school district – the third-largest in the country – is a whopping $1.1 billion in debt. In Philadelphia, despite the school system there ending the year with an $88 million surplus, the city has backed a lawsuit against the state by other school districts over inadequate funding. More than 2,000 public school students in Boston also walked out of their classrooms earlier this month in opposition to proposed budget cuts.

High Schools Are Failing Girls Who Report Sexual Assault Huffington Post: Under Title IX, schools receiving federal funding must eliminate a hostile environment stemming from gender-based violence. And the Education Department has told schools since at least the Clinton administration that a single incident of severe sexual harassment -- such as an assault -- can constitute a hostile environment. So when a high school gets a report of a student-on-student assault, it's typically supposed to do its own investigation.

Fariña talks changes to metal detector policy, defends classroom breakfast WNYC: Chancellor Carmen Fariña told City Council members Wednesday that the city’s classroom breakfast program has had a “rocky start,” and signaled that metal detector policies could shift by next fall.

City Schools to See Some Money They're Owed — But Not All WNYC: Orlando said the mayor's preliminary budget includes more than $150 million to "raise the floor" from last year's minimum of 82 percent to a new minimum of 87 percent. This will affect 650 schools. However, Renewal Schools — which were already receiving extra funds — will receive 100 percent of what they were owed instead of last year's 92 percent.

Qualified Providers, Space Hard To Find For Seattle Preschool Program Seattle Public Radio: The promise of the city of Seattle’s new subsidized preschool program to bring low- or no-cost preschool to three- and four-year-olds across the city is facing a challenge as the city struggles to find space and providers for the second year.

Vaccination aversion has fueled measles and whooping cough outbreaks, study finds LA Times: A comprehensive new study of measles and pertussis outbreaks in the United States suggests that adults’ reluctance or refusal to vaccinate themselves and their children has played a key role in the resurgence of diseases that had been largely eradicated in this country.

#TBT: That Time When Obama Laid Out His Education Vision (March 2009)

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Take a look back at this March 2009 speech from newly-elected President Obama about his plans for education reform (Obama: 'We've let our grades slip')

Charts: "Throwing Money At The Problem" Might Actually Have Helped

"New research... finds that an increase in relative funding for low-income school districts actually has a profound effect on the achievement of students in those districts." (“Throwing money at the problem” may actually work in education - Equitable Growth.)

Via WPost Wonkblog.

People: The High Schooler Who Could Have Been Rosa Parks

image from res.cloudinary.com

"The NAACP considered using her case to challenge the segregation laws, but ultimately decided against it for several reasons:  1. They thought she was too young to be the face of their movement. 2. She got pregnant right around the time of her arrest and they thought it would attract too much negative attention." (The 15-Year-Old Schoolgirl Who Paved the Way for Rosa Parks)

Morning Video: "Look How We're Living... Ain't Nothing Funny"

This is the longest version I've been able to find of Detroit-raised motivational speaker Eric Thomas talking at Vashon High School in St. Louis that's been going around. The whole thing is worth watching, but the key moment for me was this: "I work in any other school and they’re like, “There go ET, we taking notes.” I come home — you talking. You capping jokes. You think something funny. Look how we’re living. There ain’t nothing funny. Ain’t nothing funny y’all." (TheBlaze.com)

AM News: UCLA Study Says Charter Schools Suspend More

Are charter schools suspending too many students? LA Times

See also EdWeek.

USDE Seeks Standard Rule on Flagging Bias in Special Education - Education Week

Charter school in the I Can network becomes first in city to unionize - Cleveland.com

Tests Show Elevated Lead Levels at Newark Schools Since 2012 - WSJ

Charts: The College "Bump" Is Smaller For Low-Income Graduates

"Wages are lower for BA holders raised on low incomes," according to Brookings. via Rachel Cohen.

"If a college degree is not the great equalizer we hoped, strategies to increase social mobility by promoting post-secondary education will fall short. A more comprehensive approach may be needed."

Quotes: Ravitch Bravely Defies Sanders-Voting Readers

Quotes2I admire Bernie Sanders and will support him if he is the party's nominee... I admire Hillary's guts... If she is the party's nominee, I will support her.... [When the primaries are over] I will not sit home. I will not vote for a third party candidate... No matter how disappointed I have been in Obama's education policy, there is more at stake: the Supreme Court; the economy; foreign policy, and other issues. We can't allow an extremist or a demagogue to win the presidency.

 

Morning Video: Posse Foundation Tackles Veteran College Students

From PBS NewsHour: "The nonprofit Posse Foundation aims to alter this dynamic, sending veterans to elite schools that otherwise would have been off-limits." (When veterans enroll at elite schools, they’re not just students)

AM News: A Metro-Less Day For DC Schools, Chicago Teachers Plan Walkout

Absences at D.C. public schools will be excused Wednesday, some charters to close due to Metro shutdown Washington Post: D.C.’s public schools will remain open Wednesday despite Metro shuttering its entire rail system for an unprecedented 24 hours. At least three charter schools, however, have decided to close, according to Tomeika Bowden, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Charter School Board.

CTU Leaders Plan Walkout At Schools on April 1 Chicago Tribune: Chicago Teachers Union leaders will ask its members to walk off their jobs April 1 for a one-day demonstration over contract talks and public education funding, Vice President Jesse Sharkey said Monday.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Cements Ties With Teachers Union Wall Street Journal: Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg once likened an endorsement from the New York City teachers union to a “kiss of death.” Mayor Bill de Blasio, by contrast, has embraced the United Federation of Teachers and its president, Michael Mulgrew, meeting more with him over the past two years than with any other registered lobbyist, city records show. The men usually chat weekly and sometimes daily.  

Before Flint, Lead-Contaminated Water Plagued Schools Across U.S. NPR: Michigan isn't the only place dealing with lead-contaminated water. Schools all over the country have struggled to eliminate lead from water fountains and cafeterias — some for more than a decade.

Advocacy Groups Unhappy With List of ESSA Negotiators PK12: The list already has its share of critics, both among advocates for educational practitioners and those who represent parents or particular groups of students.

In Alabama, Teachers School Lawmakers NPR: The 2016 Teacher of the Year in that state decided it was about time the people who write the laws that affect schools actually see the inside of a classroom.

Wallace Foundation To Invest $47 Million In Redesigning Principal Preparation Washington Post: Strong principals are critical components of successful schools, and yet school leaders usually receive far less attention than teachers in the national conversation about education. The Wallace Foundation has been seeking to change that for years, investing millions of dollars in research into what makes a principal effective.

L.A. Unified board member Monica Ratliff eyes City Council campaign LA Times: To compete in the March 2017 council election, she will have to give up her seat on the seven-member at the end of her term. Los Angeles Unified School District board. Candidates cannot simultaneously run for two seats in the same L.A. municipal election.

Update: White Privilege-Erasing Glasses For Everyone

 

The world can look a whole lot different with these glasses on. (via Chicago Theological Seminary)

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, March 14, 2016

Here's a fun if super simplistic look at what it'd be like if there were glasses that would help white folks see the world as if they were someone who wasn't white.

Other favorites in this genre include Leave No Privilege Behind (2015), Vox's explainer video What Is Privilege?, Educators & Advocates Need Authentic Conversations About Race, Too, and of course LL Bean's Invisible Backpack of White Privilege.

Update: Inching Closer To "Yelp For Schools"

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A "Yelp For Education" used to seem like a joke, but maybe it's not so far off as we may think. 

There's already some use of Yelp for schools (see screengrab above). And now the Nieman Journalism Lab reports that ProPublica is teaming up with Yelp to make it easier to find good local health care services:

"ProPublica is collaborating with the recommendation app to help provide better health care information on medical facilities and other providers. The idea is that finding a good doctor, nursing home, or dialysis clinic in your neighborhood will now be as easy as finding a reliable taco joint."

"Instead of noting whether a place has wifi and if it’s good for kids, the health care data notes a provider’s wait time, noise level in patient rooms, and how well a doctor communicates with patients."

Sounds good, right?

To be sure, there are other sites that try and do the same kinds of things -- GreatSchools, SchoolBook, InsideSchools, etc.

And some will argue that rating schools is different from rating restaurants or even doctor's offices.

But give credit to Yelp for democratizing information about businesses and trends that otherwise would have been limited to a small set of people who are in the know, and note also that none of the existing sites has the ease of use, user base, and mobile options that Yelp provides. 

Related posts: A Yelp (Or Facebook) For Schools? (2012); Young Joins GreatSchools [Plus Unsolicited Advice] (2014).

 

Lunchtime Video: SAT Prep Courses Accused Of Overcharging Some Students

From TODAY: "A brand new version of the SAT was rolled out this month, aiming to better reflect what kids learn in school, and many students are preparing for the exams online. But as NBC's Ronan Farrow reports, some SAT prep courses are charging students more than others, based on location or possibly even race." (Some SAT prep courses accused of charging students unfairly)

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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.