Via The Seventy Four.
There's still no official news about DFER and other education groups holding events during next week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but I'm being told that there are going to be some early-week panels and a reception.
The first panel might address what happens next for education and DFER. Another panel might address non-school issues that DFER has up until now been extremely reluctant to get involved in.
You'll be the first to know when some official details come out about panelists, access, and all the rest. As you may recall, DFER held its first big event in Denver in 2008 at the DNC, and held another event in 2012 at which union leaders appeared. My case study about the sudden rise and recent challenges facing DFER came out via AEI just a few days ago.
The last year especially has been an awkward one for the organization. A recent example: DFER appeared to have been caught unprepared a couple of weeks ago when the DNC platform committee accepted a handful of amendments from reform critics such as Troy Laravierre and Randi Weingarten. Platform positions may not matter, and the amendment may not make much sense, but it was a pretty startling turn of events for a group that has for so many years been on the inside, seeming to be able to press all the right levers.
Maybe the best way to think of Monday's events is as some sort of reboot/relaunch.
Here's the latest in a series of occasional case studies I've been doing the past few years, this one about an education-focused PAC called Democrats For Education Reform that was an early backer of Barack Obama and had lots of early success, but has struggled in recent years as its oponents (the teachers unions, mostly) have shifted tactics and politics have gotten more polarized. It came out late last week. Read it all here.
This picture, via Whitney Tilson, encapsulates those early days.
However, a new case study out today from AEI (written by me) tells how those early successes were blunted, then turned into liabilities during the last four years: how critics began labeling DFER as part of "corporate" reform efforts, how the teachers unions turned Common Core concerns into a rallying cry, and -- most disappointingly, perhaps -- DFER generally stood by as social justice issues (immigration, integration, police violence) grew in importance.
Meantime, DFER failed to create the Emily's List-style donor base that would broaden its support and free it up from charter advocates.
With the Democratic platform amended by reform critics and the Democratic convention coming up later this month, there's no better time to look at what DFER's done, what it's become, and where it might go next.
New DFER head Shavar Jeffries says that he's going to make DFER a deep part of the Democratic Party. But there's not much sign so far that DFER has changed, and from recent events it seems like he's got his work cut out for him.
Related posts: Meet DFER Head Shavar Jeffries.
Reform critics like to talk about big social issues like poverty, or focus on reform challenges like racial segregation in charter schools, but downplay ignore structural issues in public education like school assignment policies and district boundaries.
It's not just attendance zones and school assignment policies within districts that contribute to segregation and school inequality. According to a new report from EdBuild, school district boundaries themselves play a dramatic role in "segregating communities and separating low-income kids from educational opportunity." The most vivid examples of this effect are "island" districts entirely surrounded by other school districts of vastly different means.
"The way we fund schools in the United States creates incentives for communities to segregate along socioeconomic lines in order to preserve local wealth. In so doing, communities create arbitrary borders that serve to lock students into, or out of, opportunity. This reality is especially glaring in the case of island school districts that are entirely surrounded by single districts of very different means."
While there are nearly 200 examples nationwide, the report highlights examples in Oakland, Freehold NJ, and Columbus OH.
There wasn't much education talk at the Aspen Ideas festival this year, compared to previous years, but here's a panel on civil rights from the festival held recently. See #AspenIdeas for more.
There was a period of time where it was as if almost anyone who wanted to open a charter school could get a grant of $100,000 from the Waltons. It ran like that for a number of years, until eventually they looked at the results and decided this wasn’t working.
NACSA's Greg Richmond in The American Prospect (Education Reformers Reflect at 25)
"Special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks to Maureen Costello of the Southern Poverty Law Center for insight into how Southern schools can move race relations forward."
Still buzzing over the Sunday Tony awards show? Me, too. Check out the show performances if you missed any here, or click the link above and watch some of the NYC high school kids who've been attending the show and performing for Lin Manuel-Miranda as part of what Scholastic's Wayne D'Orio dubbed "Hamilton 101." It's pretty cool to watch them. The video is about a half-hour long.
Watch above, check out the details here. #equitymatters
Some of the speakers include Gloria Ladson-Billings, Sean Reardon, and Richard Rothstein.
Some of the Equity Project journalists who will talk about their projects include Alejandra Lagos, Zaidee Stavely, Kristina Rizga, and Patrick Wall. Cara Fitzpatrick, will also be there. Spencer Fellowship head LynNell Hancock, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Keith Woods are also scheduled to attend.
What's it all about? According to the promo materials, the Equity Matters event "will bring together the nation’s top experts and education journalists in examining the root causes and impact of our nation’s ever-widening “opportunity gap.”
This isn't the first such gathering. There was an event in San Francisco not too long ago featuring Rizga, Pirette McKamey and Robert Roth.
Philanthropists are not generally education experts, and even if they hire scholars and experts, public officials shouldn’t be allowing them to set the policy agenda for the nation’s public schools. The Gates experience teaches once again that educational silver bullets are in short supply and that some educational trends live only a little longer than mayflies.
- LA Times editorial page (Gates Foundation failures show philanthropists shouldn’t be setting America's public school agenda)
Spending by oil companies, education advocates, business groups and labor unions reaches record levels - LA Times ow.ly/FGQh300ISyS
‘Don’t force us to give up our school’: A Mississippi town is being told to integrate - The Washington Post ow.ly/9YVx300GhGu
20th Street Elementary parents protest potential change in school management - LA Times ow.ly/Wz47300KGok
Active-shooter drills help schools prepare for the worst: AP Article ow.ly/u2iW300KFX4
One Student Tries To Help Others Escape A 'Corridor Of Shame' : NPR Ed pllqt.it/NkB6Fx
What One District's Data Mining Did For Chronic Absence : NPR Ed : NPR ow.ly/KIyQ300KFF4
Harvard Graduate Student's Speech Resonates With Educators : NPR ow.ly/KEte300KFDo
School superintendent candidate proposes $14k raise for Washington teachers ow.ly/69C4300JOrp
The most interesting moment might be the 55:00 minute mark, where Lisa Snell and Roland Martin discuss a failed NOLA mobilization effort. The Seventy Four contributor Cynthia Tucker Haynes is the moderator. Watch all NSVF Summit videos here. Which one should I watch/show next?
That's Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of "Hamilton," speaking at the UPenn graduation ceremony last weekend. It's a line from the show, which a foundation is sending thousands of NYC high school kids to see this Spring.
Normally, teachers unions and school advocates support Democratic politicians and are the mortal enemies of conservative Republicans. Yet this time, they found an enthusiastic supporter in Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
-- Kevin Carey in the NYT (Why Poor Districts Receive Less Government School Funding Than Rich Ones)
Check out this DC event, or click here for more information.
Signs abound that this era of polarization is giving way to a different and more constructive phase in U.S. efforts to boost student achievement.... The dawn of a new era of K-12 philanthropy .... Funders [like Walton and Broad] are no longer the dominant drivers.
Inside Philanthropy's David Callahn (The New Era of K-12 Philanthropy)
There are all sorts of conferences going on in May, including the upcoming May 10-11 New Schools Venture Fund Summit 2016 in San Francisco.
In case you haven't heard, NewSchools Summit is "an annual invitation-only gathering for education leaders who bring important and diverse perspectives in K-12 education innovation." And it's big -- 1,000 attendees. Lots of VIP speakers (see above).
NSVF was the first place I saw Google Glass (RIP), and I'm guessing that this year's event will be full of drone demos, holograms/VR, hoverboards, 3D printers, bots, and wearables. AltSchool's Max Ventilla will be a mini-celebrity. Newly-hired Chan Zuckerberg honcho Jim Shelton will be a full-on celebrity.
No surprise -- everyone's doing it -- one of the big pushes at NSVF this year is trying to create an authentic, diverse movement. LEE's organizing guru Mark Fraley, is going to be speaking, along with #BlackLivesMatter's Brittany Packnett and DREAMer José Patiño.
Sponsors of the $1,000 per ticket event include Carnegie Corporation, Walton, Startup:Education (aka Chan Zuckerberg), Gates, Peak , the College Board + Khan Academy, and the Schusterman Foundation.
Related posts: NewSchools 2015 Summit Live Twitter Feed; They're Beaming NSVF Summit 2014 To Boston; Google Glasses Live from NSVF Summit 2013; Thoughts On NSVF 2012; Rahm Emanuel And Arlene Laurene Powell Jobs At NSVF'12; Reformy 2011 Summit Returns To Silicon Valley; Fashion Hits & Misses At The 2010 NSVF Summit; Another Spring, Another Summit (2009); NSFV: Live Tweets From Pasadena '09; Microblogging The 2008 NSVF Summit.
The 69th Education Writers Association National Seminar is taking place starting Sunday, and all your favorite education journalists are scheduled to be there: members of the NPR education team, the NYT's Peabody-winning Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Tampa Bay Times' Pulitzer-winning Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner, the the NYT's Kate Zernike, WSJ's Leslie Brody, etc. Plus there will be many big-name policy wonks and education leaders, such as Boston superintendent Tommy Chang, Stanford's Sean Reardon, UPenn's Angela Duckworth, the AFT's Randi Weingarten, MA's Mitch Chester, and EdSec John King.
The vast majority of the upcoming EWA annual conference in Boston starting this weekend is dedicated to helping journalists understand hot topics in education. There's an app. There's a print program. There are "lightning talks." There's a hashtag: #EWA16.
But there are also a slew of few panels and events focused on education journalism itself, including of course the annual EWA awards. The first morning of the conference is focused on journalists describing how they reported a challenging topic, using data, adding audio, and getting access. The afternoon session includes journalists like Kristina Rizga and Dale Russakoff talking about their book-length projects. Some of the "Lightning Talks" -- 5 Mistakes Journos Make When Covering Ed Research, How to Really Talk with Boys from Diverse Backgrounds, Maximizing Digital Media for Reporting -- focus on the tools of the trade.
The only topics missing that I can see are writing for social media (Snapchat, Facebook Live) and using images and graphics.
Teachers and education reporters have lots in common, notes EWA head Caroline Hendrie in the program introduction: "In both education and journalism, interest in addressing inequality and injustice – social, economic, and institutional – is on the rise. Both educators and members of the news media face demands for greater fairness from the communities affected by their work. Concern about inculcating cultural competence in both educators and reporters is keen. How to diversify both fields’ workforces remains a stubborn problem. At the same time, the two sectors are struggling to meet ever-changing standards of quality. After all, both fields are traversing periods of transformation, as new technologies and standards of excellence continuously redefine success."
Indeed, as has been noted before, the overlap between education reporters and educators -- including lack of diversity -- raises some interesting issues.
The results of the EWA member survey will be released on Sunday. For more on #edJOC read Why Nikole Hannah-Jones Matters (To Education Journalism In Particular) or read some of the related posts at the bottom of the page.
Another notable angle: For the first time in recent memory, the EWA award winners will be announced at this event -- after the Peabody and Pulitzer awards have already been named. For background on the finalists, read Hits, Misses, Snubs, & Mysteries.
Who funds all this? Well, the event is co-sponsored with BU's Communications and Education Schools, and the sponsor page includes the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Raikes, Wallace, Walton, Hewlett, Nellie Mae, American Federation of Teachers, Pearson, College Board, Edwin Gould, Gates, National Education Association, Secure Schools Alliance, American Institutes for Research, and Scholastic. Programming for new reporters comes from Spencer and the W.T. Grant Foundation.
Related posts: Efforts To Recruit More Journalists Of Color (To Cover Education); Just How White Is Education Journalism — & How To Encourage More #edJOC?; New Opportunities - & New Challenges - For 7 Education Journalism Teams; Delightful High School Swim Class Story Wins Murrow Journalism Award; School Segregation Coverage Wins 2 Pulitzers & A Peabody.
If all goes as expected, Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson (above right) will lose the Baltimore mayoral primary today.
There's no doubt that BLM has burst onto the scene like a much-anticipated Beyonce album. Just the other day, President Obama -- sounding somewhat out of tune given the detailed proposals of Project Zero -- criticized BLM for too much yelling and not enough engagement.
Everybody wants to ally with BLM -- from Sanders and Clinton to teachers and school reformers -- at least most of the time.
But it isn't at all clear where the fit is going to last and (so far at least) BLM leaders haven't fractured or joined forces with any particular stakeholder group -- labor, education reform, the Democratic Party establishment, or Bernie Sanders liberals.
McKesson, with his school reform background, has raised suspicions among some labor activists and progressives who might otherwise be eager to join with the social justice leader.
But for union and other leaders it's hard to figure out how to be with and against BLM leaders at the same time, or to come up with any coherent approach.
In recent weeks, there have been some fascinating, seemingly illustrative run-ins between BLM and existing advocacy groups like the Chicago Teachers Union.
In case you missed it, the CTU invited BLM to join a rally a few weeks ago, then struggled to figure out what to do when BLM's Page May started denouncing the police -- a union local -- from the event podium.
"The CTU keeps acting like they are on our side, but then Karen Lewis refuses to say cops need to get out of schools," May said in the DNA Info story. "Until they come out explicitly opposed to cops in schools, I don't think we are fighting on the same side."
Read more about that in this excellent Laura Moser piece from Slate (Chicago Teachers Union is going through an awkward radicalization).
According to this American Prospect story, local BLM activists were part of the one-day CTU walkout. And indeed they were there. But obviously CTU and the local BLM weren't really on the same page -- creating a conflict with the union that represents police officers.
When called on to apologize to the police for the rally comments, one CTU ally defiantly Tweeted "CTU can apologize once the [police union] apologizes for supporting & fundraising 100k for [police officer] Van Dyke who killed our CPS student."
A top CTU official distanced the union from the comments.
At roughly the same time, McKesson was indicating his support in the form of a raised fist emoji:
.@may20p, ✊🏾.— deray mckesson (@deray) April 6, 2016
How this is going to resolve is anybody's guess. BLM could implode or fade, like so many previous groups. It could splinter, or it could find an ally with one or several of the existing combatants out there.
The conundrum is just as much a challenge to education reform groups and Democratic Party traditionalists as it is to the CTU or progressives.
And of course much of the outcome will be shaped by BLM itself.
Last weekend in North Carolina, Jennifer Berkshire and Peter Cunningham talked education at the NPE conference. Watch it above. Note how close to the door Cunningham has arranged to sit. Read his reflections on the experience here.
Skip to the 32:00' mark to watch EdSec King talk at a recent Century Foundation event about encouraging districts to return to school desegregation. Seems like it might be too little too late to me, but it's certainly an interesting thing to have discussed.
Or, watch Chicago teachers union head in a public TV segment on her fiery speech yesterday.
In case you didn't know, former Newark board member and mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries now heads DFER. He was the afternoon keynote at the Yale SOM education conference last week, and spoke to The Seventy Four.
Or, watch Steve Harvey interview a 5 year old math genius.
There are at least three big outsider campaigns going on right now, though most folks are only paying attention to Sanders and Trump. The third is BlackLivesMatter's Deray McKesson running for mayor of Baltimore, which like the others has implications (for BlackLivesMatter, most of all) regardless of whether he wins (seems unlikely) or loses.
Along with many others, I'm going to be at the Yale SOM Education Conference (which actually starts tonight and goes through tomorrow).
The Friday morning keynotes are going to be Thrive Chicago's Sandra Abrevaya and Northside Achievement Zone's Sondra Samuels.
The closing keynote is DFER head Shavar Jeffries.
The panel on Common Core testing (which I'm moderating) features Chicago NBCT Sherisse A. Lucas, Dr. Ilene Tracey Director of Instruction and School Improvement, New Haven Public Schools, Ken Wagner Commissioner, Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner, Dianna Wentzell Commissioner, CT State Department of Education
You can find the full event schedule here.
There are also going to be screenings of the film, Most Likely To Succeed (see trailer above), which focuses among other things on the projects and presentations that are part of the model developed at High Tech High.
For those of you who'll be following along online, the official hashtag is #DefiningSuccess2016 and you can find more on Instagram at @yalesomelc2016.
Here's my latest Scholastic Administrator column, about the Teach for America Reboot: "The controversy surrounding TFA may have been helpful, in the end. As Villanueva Beard told Politico, “'I’m grateful for when people make our shortcomings clear, because it enables us to get better.'”
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.
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 Atlantic, Teacher 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.
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)
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 Today, WSJ.
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.
There are two big pieces about the Chan-Zuckerberg philanthropy initiative that you should probably know about:
The first is a package of stories and charts from EdWeek, including an exclusive interview with Zuckerberg himself (Examining Mark Zuckerberg's New K-12 Giving Strategy.
The second piece is a long look at How Mark Zuckerberg Should Give Away $45 Billion from Huffington Post, which includes a major section on education and some information about an international effort called Bridge International Academies.
One particularly interesting line: "The history of philanthropy is littered with projects that helped the poor at a small scale, then made them worse off at a larger one."
Yep, that's Laurene Powell Jobs in the latest issue of Vogue, talking about how 10,000 proposal teams are trying to make it to the finalist list of about 400 and then 5 actual XQ awardees. Click the link if the Facebook embed doesn't render properly. #typepadsocreaky
Bill and Melinda Gates Ask Teens to Work on Global Clean Energy, Women’s LiberationWSJ: In annual letter, philanthropists look to tomorrow’s scientists to help fix development problems. Bill and Melinda Gates regularly challenge global leaders and policy makers to help them solve the world’s biggest development problems.
Bridging a Digital Divide That Leaves Schoolchildren Behind NYT: The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote soon on a plan that could add subsidies for broadband Internet services in low-income homes.
Success Academy Plans Another Harlem Elementary School WSJ: The network is starting a program that lets parents rank their preferences among its 11 middle school sites in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, and fifth-graders expecting to attend the Harlem Central site next fall are being redirected to Harlem North West nearby.
Louisiana voucher students did worse at new schools, study says NOLA: Louisiana's private school voucher program was billed as an exit hatch for students from bad public schools. But it was more like a trap door, according to a study released Monday (Feb. 22) by the University of Arkansas and the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University.
Teaching Laquan McDonald WBEZ Chicago: In the wake of the several released videos of Chicago police-involved shooting deaths of African Americans after the Laquan McDonald video, some educators have been tasked with altering their daily lesson plans for frank discussions about police brutality. Walter Taylor, a professional development facilitator for the Chicago Teachers Union’s Quest Center, talks about “Teaching About Laquan McDonald.”
Reality Check: Graduation Numbers Inflated At Nearly All CPS High Schools WBEZ Chicago: Indeed, the analysis done by WBEZ and the Better Government Association shows that compared to 2010, many schools graduation rates are up. Even after the revisions, 27 high schools saw double digit increases in their graduation rates between 2010 and 2015.
Study In Your PJs? What A High School 'Work From Home Day' Looks Like NPR: No alarm. No school bus. No problem. Thanks to a school's laptop program, everyone takes a virtual lesson.
Desegregation Proposal Depends on Parents' Choices WNYC: The vast majority of students in the district are Latino and black; at East Village Community School, more than half the students are white, about 20 percent are Hispanic and fewer than 10 percent are black. The school also has fewer low-income children than the district overall, just about 25 percent compared to almost 80 percent.
Books: Review: In ‘The End of Average,’ Cheers for Individual Complexity NYT: The author Todd Rose warns against conclusions drawn from large populations, arguing that they rarely account for important personal variations.
Here are some pictures I took from some of the #TFA20 receptions 5 years ago. Or take a look at the official TFA20 photo album (remember Flickr?).
The advocacy group known as FWD (forward) is pushing this message out on social media today: "Mass deportation would tear families apart + separate 4.5 million U.S. citizens from their parents."
I'm not sure if the threat is considered to be real, or whether this is just a news hook to rally the base. No candidates are mentioned. Follow along on Twitter here.
I've written about FWD a bit in the past -- see below.
Related posts: 5 Ways The SF Protests Can Help You Understand Education (2014).
There were at least two former organizers of the Yale SOM education summit at the TFA conference last week - Edna Novak and Graham Brown (pictured with me above) -- and Yale SOM 2016 is fast approaching.
Keynote speakers include Shavar Jeffries, Sandra Abrevaya, and Sondra Samuels. As in the past, it's being held at the Omni in New Haven.
There are scheduled to be panels on Common Core testing, blended learning, college attainment, parent advocacy, teachers of color, segregation of schools, community colleges, school readiness, federal policy after NCLB, revisiting "no excuses" approaches, effective philanthropy, and many others.
If you want to follow last year's social media, check out #backtowhy, or check out my livetweets from that day. There was some controversy about the lack of racial diversity on one or two of the panels -- even though the event was much more diverse than some of its predecessors.
I wrote a blog post about it shortly after: 6 Ways To Diversify That Conference Or Panel (ie, "Pass The Mic")*. PIE's Suzanne Tacheny wrote more about the topic here: Notes to Self.
What I don't see on the program so far is anything that focuses on the state and local education agencies who govern most public schools, or the unions whose locals represent many educators who work with them. But the panel list doesn't look final and there are no panelists listed so far.
It's on April 7th and 8th. The twitter is @YaleELC. The hashtag is#DefiningSuccess2016.
The livestream begins Saturday morning at 9, but the conference officially starts Friday and there's sure to be a ton of Tweeting going on the next few days as #TFA25 ramps up. (Nearly 200
#TFA25 speakers/moderators, all in one Twitter List http://ow.ly/XRwRY.)
There are 20 sessions Friday, and another 60 on Saturday -- not nearly enough for all the interest in presenting and speaking at the conference. The Frequently Asked Questions makes clear that TFA was expecting (or experiencing) more demand to present than it could handle using the format it decided.
There's no opening plenary session -- the conference version of a outmoded home page -- or even keynotes. Topics covered at the 2011 summit are being avoided. As a result, "Even very senior/VIP speakers will be sharing a session with other speakers and panelists."
Here's a bit more information about what I'm doing -- or hoping to do (depending on which sessions are full, etc.) -- along with some information about what's going to be livestreamed. Take a look and then let us know what you're going to do.
What's on your #TFA25 wishlist? Or, even better, what are you already signed up for?
Watch out, world. A week from today starts TFA's 25th Anniversary Summit in DC.
According to the event organizers, Friday includes "sessions focused on leadership development" (including one about social media that I'm going to be participating in), followed by Saturday's big day of panels (including a Denver case study panel I'm moderating) and an appearance from Janelle Monáe (above).
There are a bunch of social events, including charter networks (Democracy Prep, etc.), diverse charters (Brooklyn Prospect), and districts (Denver Public Schools).
#TFA25 seems to be the event hashtag.
There's a big EdWeek deep dive.
There's a BuzzFeed listicle: 19 Things To Do At The TFA 25th Anniversary Summit.
There's an app.
TFA Alumni Affairs (aka @onedayallkids) have put together a "TFA25 Twitter Track" for the conference http://ow.ly/XB7aA.
There's some great TFA memorabilia floating around on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, including this 1992 poster:
If Deray McKesson isn't there, I think there might be a riot. [He's scheduled to be there on Saturday, I'm told.]
What about LAUSD Board Chairperson Steve Zimmer, or StudentsFirst co-founder Michelle Rhee (pictured at #TFA20)? Jesse Hagopian? Alex Caputo-Pearl? [No idea]
The NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones is going to be there, according to Twitter. (Not as a TFA alum but on a panel on school desegregation.)
The last big gathering of TFA folks was in February 2011, which seems like 100 years ago. People were still talking about the Arab Spring back then. Michelle Rhee was sort of the rock star of the event. Questions about the organization's role and impact were coming up (including from founder Wendy Kopp herself) but hadn't gained real traction yet. There was no #BlackLivesMatter. Teachers in Chicago hadn't gone on strike for the first time in nearly 30 years. Yet.
Related posts: Key Takeaways From The NJ TFA Media Panel; 7 Things I Learned From The LA Times' TFA Article; TFA20: A Premature (Or Even Unwarranted) Celebration?; Looking Ahead To #TFA25; Stop Talking About Education's "Egypt Moment"; Five Ideas For TFA's *Next* 20 Years.
Philanthropy’s quest to improve K-12 education feels stuck in a rut. Some of the biggest funders on the scene remain devoted to a reform strategy that has so far failed to yield transformative change, while a range of other funder-backed efforts aren’t yet operating at a scale likely to produce major breakthroughs.
- David Callahan in Inside Philanthropy (Ed Funders Need to Think Bigger About Systemic Change. Here Are Some Ideas)
The truth of the matter is that in this global economy we talk about so much and so often, my students are competing with everyone... And so it was important to me to sort of find some sort of a tool where I could say, ‘I think these are the skill sets they’re getting that make them competitive.'
-- Tiffany Huitt, the principal of a 415-student Dallas magnet school that has administered the exam multiple times via EWA (Exam Gives Glimpse of How Schools Stack Up Globally)
In case you haven't seen it, here's the new UFT ad touting some of the Common Core-related changes coming from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (UFT Airs Common Core Ad). See also NY Post: UFT spends $1M thanking Cuomo for Common Core backtrack.
Or, listen to this MLK Day WBUR segment featuring Deray McKesson (Black Lives Matter And Civil Rights In Modern America).
Massachusetts Education Again Ranks No. 1 Nationally Boston Learning Lab: Education Week’s annual national report, Quality Counts, gave Massachusetts the top spot because it has the nation’s top fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores, high postsecondary degree attainment and rising AP test scores.
Walton foundation puts up $1 billion to boost charters AP: A foundation run by the heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton said Thursday it will spend $1 billion over the next five years to improve public education by backing new charter schools and helping programs already up and running....
Feds quietly close long-running probe of Milwaukee voucher program Journal Sentinel: The U.S. Department of Justice has closed a long-running investigation into whether the Milwaukee private school voucher program discriminates against students with disabilities, with no apparent findings of major wrongdoing.
Emanuel appoints Guzman to Board of Ed Chicago Sun-Times: Guzman also ran CPS’ department overseeing the approval of new privately run but publicly funded charter schools from 2007 to 2009, according to the district
School Superintendents Think Parents Just Don't Understand, Gallup Poll Finds District Dossier: The survey also reveals that most superintendents believe that measuring the success of schools should include factors such as student engagement and student hope.
How To Help Kids In Poverty Adjust To The Stability Of School After Break NPR: Returning to school after a few weeks away is a tough transition for many kids, but it's even harder for children living in stressful homes.
Florida Professor Who Cast Doubt On Mass Shootings Is Fired NYT: James F. Tracy suggested that the 2012 massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary and other mass shootings were a hoax designed by the Obama administration.
Georgia Town Teaches ‘Fight Back’ as Option in Mass Shootings NYT: In Douglasville, Ga., and other cities, seminars instructing residents to stay alert, and to attack the attacker if necessary, have become increasingly common.
40 Alumni Assert Sexual Abuse at a Rhode Island Prep School NYT: The scope of the scandal at St. George’s School in Rhode Island has expanded, with reports covering three decades.