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Quotes: Bedbugs & Distressed Teachers In Detroit

Quotes2Just imagine being at a school where you sit down, get your education, you get back up, go home, next thing you know you brought bedbugs from school to your home... Just imagine being at a school where your teachers are all sick and tired, and they’re acting like they’re not able to teach because they’re not getting paid for what they do.

-- Detroit high school student Demarcus Taylor quoted in Alexandria Neason's Harper's feature story (Held Back)

TV: "Transparent" Producers Were Bullied In High School

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Transparent is back -- horrifying and human as ever. And with it, discussion of the lives of trans people in America.

“It was only when I started working at the high school that I saw she took a lot of crap,” said one parent. 

"As the only queer kid at his public middle school and later at the local Quaker school, he says, he was treated poorly by both students and teachers."

From the NYT's How Two Producers of ‘Transparent’ Made Their Own Trans Lives More Visible

TV: Always Good When Shows Open With A Classroom Scene

The new HBO series "Insecure" (produced by Comedy Central's Larry Wilmore, among others) opens with the protagonist presenting her nonprofit program ("We Got You All") getting a gentle hazing from a class of middle(?) school students.

One of the opening voiceover lines: "My boss founded a nonprofit to help kids in the hood. But she didn't hire anyone from the hood."

Afternoon Video: "The Home Stretch" Won An Emmy Last Week

"Roque, Kasey, and Anthony will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their educations while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age." Read more here. From Independent Lens. 

Tonight: Documentary Explores How A Promising Student Fell Through the Cracks

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Tonight on New York public media airs a thought-provoking documentary about a promising kid who fell through the cracks in leafy and liberal Montclair, NJ.

After seeing a screening of the film at Scholastic last summer, I wrote that "the most interesting and helpful aspect to the film is how it describes a situation in which there are no black-and-white heroes or villains, and no bright or artificial line between parents, school, and social services agencies tasked with supporting families and children in tough circumstances. It's not the school, or the teacher, or the kid, or society. It's all of them."

Read more about the story behind the film at NJ.com. After screening locally -- perhaps you can view it online? -- it will apparently be offered to national PBS outlets for broadcast later this fall. 

Quotes: Boomer Teachers & School Reform

Quotes2What [Baker] may not perceive is how the programmed inanities of the School Reform movement are partly an overreaction to the very sort of teacher Baker at times typifies to the point of burlesque.

Garret Keizer NYT review of Nicholson Baker book (Imagine Your Substitute Teacher Is Nicholson Baker)

Books: How Repeated Evictions Impact Students' Lives

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Fans of high-quality nonfiction and those concerned about education and segregation should check out Matthew Desmond's pretty amazing book, Evicted, out earlier this year.

Focusing on the lives of poor white and black residents of one midsized city (Milwaukee), but making a national case, Desmond shows why poor people tend to move more often, but largely stay within confined geographic areas.

"There is an enormous amount of pain and poverty in this rich land,’ argues American sociologist Desmond in this brilliant book about housing and the lives of eight families in Milwaukee. (Via The Guardian)

The educational impacts of children whose families are moving frequently aren't the focus of the book, but they're ever-present: Lost sleep, changes of schools, going hungry, lack of heat or electricity, and constant worry. Families with children are much more likely to be evicted, notes this Mother Jones article.

The book also shows how academics and policymakers have missed much of what's going on by focusing on relatively small parts of the problem (federal housing vouchers and public housing) rather than larger ones (the private market) most poor renters inhabit.

Last but not least, Evicted shows that it's not just slumlords who are culpable for the deplorable, exploitative situation. The legal system, law enforcement, and even social support agencies all play a role in creating and perpetuating things -- and tolerating what's clearly intolerable. 

Morning Listen: Helping Low-Income Kids Make It To Graduation

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Listen to this new hourlong audio documentary from APM Reports (formerly known as American RadioWorks, about "what kids are up against at the growing number of high-poverty schools in America." And look forward to a September 20 event in DC.

Morning Audio: Chicago Parents Debate School Integration Plan

Chicago Public Radio's Becky Vevea has a long piece about what happened when two principals and some parents come up with a plan to merge an overcrowded high-performing school (with relatively large numbers of white kids) with an under-enrolled lower-performing school (mostly serving kids of color).

It isn't pretty, but it's fascinating and important -- especially the voices and viewpoints of the parents who currently send their children to the two schools. 

Check out the story here

 

Events: Lots Of Education Discussion At Minority Journalists' Conference

There's lots of education-related panels at the conference in DC going on this week. Check it all out here or scroll through the #NABJNAHJ16 hashtag.

TV: On HBO's New Show, 2 Angry White Vice Principals Try To Unseat A Competent Black Principal

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Lots of folks seem to have tuned into the premier episode of Vice Principals last weekend, at least according to the number of writeups I've come across in the last few days.

Over at Vox, the show is described as "a vicious free-for-all" focused on helping the rest of us understand why white guys are well, so angry. They're also tired, and bored, and sexist/racist: "If you’re cool watching two slacker white dudes fight to take down a completely competent black woman, then you’ll love Vice Principals."

According to EdWeek's Mark Walsh, the show is part of the "the coarse-ification of the Hollywood image of educators in recent years." He predicts educators won't like Vice Principals but admits that the show is "pretty funny most of the time, exposing some of the quirks of education bureaucracy and high school culture in our country."

The New Republic tells us the show is about love and toxic masculinity, though it credits the series for avoiding gay panic humor.

Want more? You can find more reviews rounded up at IndieWire.

 

Morning Video: HBO's New Series, "Vice Principals"

Here's the teaser trailer for the new HBO series, "Vice Principals," which features two highly flawed human beings attempting to replace a retiring principal played by Bill Murray.

Magazine: Rethinking "Ghetto" Communities -- & Their Schools

This recent New Yorker article (There Goes the Neighborhood) raises a bunch of important questions about how we think about gentrification and low-income communities that used to be commonly called "ghettos" -- and, by extension, low-income (generally low-performing) schools.

Scholars have long been sympathetic towards these communities, according to the piece:

"Scholars who studied the ghetto tended to be motivated by sympathy for its residents, which often resulted in a complicated sort of sympathy for ghettos themselves."

It could be argued that some of the same emotions have been on display when it comes to the low-income, generally low-performing school.

However public opinion has changed dramatically.

"Where the ghetto once seemed a menace, threatening to swallow the city like an encroaching desert, now it often appears, in scholarly articles and the popular press, as an endangered habitat."

The reality may be, however, that displacements from gentrification are not be as widespread as is commonly thought. That's because underlying mobility rates are already relatively high in these communities, as evictions, better opportunities, and other shifts move families in and out of low-income areas.

In addition, "Gentrification needn’t be zero-sum, because gentrifying neighborhoods may become more densely populated, with new arrivals adding to, rather than supplanting, those currently resident. 

Sympathetic scholars, recent focus on gentrification, and questions about underlying mobility rates suggest that the common "gentrification = bad" construction that's prevalent right now might warrant some careful rethinking. Perhaps changes to neighborhood schools -- demographic, programmatic, etc. -- shouldn't necessarily be viewed with immediate suspicion. Perhaps gentrification isn't universally bad. 

Related posts:

Quotes: "It Took Me A While To See Past Race."

Quotes2Like many white people, my only experience of institutions was majority white. And so there was a learning curve for me. I was a little uncomfortable the first day of kindergarten. I saw black families – I didn’t see individuals. I saw Hispanic families … It took me a while to see past race, in a way, if that makes any sense, and to see that these were potential friends for me, these were potential allies, mom friends.

- Brooklyn parent and author Lucinda Rosenfeld, talking with WNYC's Rebecca Caroll and the NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones at a recent panel on school segregation (What role should parents play in promoting integration?). Rosenfeld's next novel, about a white mom choosing a majority-minority school for her child, comes out early next year. 

TGIF: Best Education Journalism Of The Week (Ending July 1, 2016)

BEST OF THE WEEK

Seattle Times: Garfield High principal navigates racial divide pllqt.it/UhslkY

Reveal: Who got rich off the student debt crisis ow.ly/1N9j301MkBf

NPR: Looking For Change, Teachers Hit The Campaign Trail ow.ly/jeAm301KISK

Chalkbeat TN: Months of missteps leading up to disastrous online testing debut  http://ow.ly/S7Up301Qp7s

WSJ: Teachers Union, Hedge Funds War Over Pension Billions ow.ly/e5in301KIDJ

Chalkbeat Indiana: The end of busing in Indianapolis: 35 years later, a more segregated system calls it quits bit.ly/29cevii

Washington Post: With DC Schools head Kaya Henderson leaving, Bowser has a decision to make ow.ly/CPWx301PUcE

Slate: Chris Christie’s shockingly regressive education plan nzzl.us/SoZLxSd

US News: Schools Can’t Accurately Measure Poor Students ow.ly/nbYd301PVEQ

FROM “THE GRADE

NYT Detroit Charter Story Misleads On Results, Says Researcher ow.ly/vt8g301QEdr

NPR’s Deeply Unbalanced Profile Of Rocketship Charter Schools  ow.ly/2mZu301GtdK

Hardship Reporting Project Needs More School Stories & Contributors Of Color ow.ly/k4zD301IQkO

Media Grants Are Up — But Journalism Grants Aren’t ow.ly/zbB5301Or9O

KICKER

The Synapse: Is it fair to test students during Ramadan? ow.ly/I0OO301L5TW

Books: Forthcoming Novel Highlights White Parents & Diverse Schools

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Lucinda Rosenfeld's new novel, Class, is scheduled to come out in a few months, but we're already starting to hear about it this summer.

According to the Amazon blurb, the book focuses on "idealistic forty-something Karen Kipple" who sends her kid to an integrated Brooklyn school.

"But when a troubled student from a nearby housing project begins bullying children in Ruby's class, the distant social and economic issues Karen has always claimed to care about so passionately feel uncomfortably close to home."

Sounds interesting -- if also perhaps stereotypical. But perhaps that's the point. Anyway, can't wait to read it. 

Meantime, Rosenfeld is on a panel tonight at 7 with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Rebecca Carroll.

Crossed fingers they'll talk about the UWS parents who are trying to block school integration, along with the Brooklyn situation.

You can watch the livestream here.

Morning Video: Hot Actor From Gray's Anatomy Wakes The Crowd At BET

In case you missed it Sunday night, here's an AJ+ video clip from Jesse Williams' impassioned speech honoring organizers, students, activists at the BET Awards show.

"We’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil."

Read the whole thing here.

Quotes: Duckworth's "Indifference"

Quotes2Duckworth—indifferent to class, race, history, society, culture—strips success of its human reality, and her single-minded theory may explain very little. 

- David Denby in The New Yorker (The Limits of “Grit”)

 
 

Quotes: "Stop Talking To The Press" About Their School, Advises Former "Daily Show" Correspondent

Quotes2So I urge you A, to stop talking to the press... This is a private matter, I think, from our community. This story doesn't exist without your quotes... Be mindful of when you speak, if you're going to speak to the press, because slandering or saying anything negative about this teaching staff is wrong... Conversely, painting any opposition as classist or racist is about as bad as it can get.

-- Jason Jones quoted on WNYC (Advice from Jason Jones to Upper West Side Parents: Don't Talk to the Press)



Events: NYT Education Summit Today & Tomorrow

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Today and tomorrow, the NYT is gathering EdSec John King, Carmen Farina, Pasi Sahlberg, Angela "Grit" Duckworth, and others for its annual education conference. Times journalists including Kate Zernike and Nikole Hannah-Jones are scheduled to participate.

 "The New York Times will bring together the most influential leaders in higher education – including presidents, provosts, chancellors and other decision-makers at colleges and universities ... to explore and assess the most pressing issues on campuses today."

As you can probably tell, the event is focused on higher education and called the Higher Ed Leaders Forum. The issues highlighted in the promo materials include "diversity and free-speech dilemmas, the STEM-humanities debate, sexual assault, the digital future, the crisis in public funding of education and much more."

Check out the schedule here. Far as I can tell, there's no livestream. 

 

Charts: Click To Watch School Demographics Change

Site News: Best Education Journalism Of The Week

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A close-up from the cover of last week's New Yorker.

In case you missed it, here's my roundup of last week's best education journalism. It comes out every Friday over at THE GRADE, where I write about education coverage. You can also get it via email by sending me an email at alexanderusso@gmail with "subscribe" in the headline. 

BEST OF THE WEEK

USNews: US News: $2.6 Billion In Federal Poverty Funding Going To Wealthier Districts bit.ly/282Q3Vn

LA Times: Record spending by oil companies, education advocates, business groups & labor unions ow.ly/FGQh300ISyS

NYT: Kansas Parents Worry Schools Are Slipping Amid Budget Battles ow.ly/J0MD300Nzaw

NPR: One Student Tries To Help Others Escape A 'Corridor Of Shame' pllqt.it/NkB6Fx

EdWeek: U.S. Graduation Rate Breaks Another Record ow.ly/HLGP300SQQP

NPR: Practice Makes Possible: What We Learn By Studying Amazing Kids ow.ly/kC8O300QchD

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Low scores on Ohio's high school math tests spark debate over graduation requirements http://ow.ly/9CNu300U4bo

Washington Post: Report on racial disparities in gifted and magnet programs gets strong reaction ow.ly/sM5l300Qc0c

 

KICKER

Twitter Moments: Teachers Letting Kids Out Of Finals For Retweets/Likes bit.ly/1XkS4JA

Livestream: #EquityMatters Gathers Academics & Education Journalists

Watch above, check out the details here. #equitymatters

 

Events: Equity Matters Symposium In NYC Friday

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There's a big Equity Matters Symposium being held tomorrow at the Ford Foundation offices in NYC, and while invitations are limited to journalists you can apparently watch via livestream here

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.

You can find the full list of Speakers and the Schedule of events by clicking the links.

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.”

Funded by the Ford Foundation (with whom I've discussed supporting THE GRADE), the Equity Project is part of a broader SF-based initiative called Renaissance Journalism, which sponsors "national initiatives that support journalists and their news organizations to produce ambitious, in-depth and compelling stories that reveal and illuminate social injustice and inequity."
 
In addition to Rizga and Wall, some of the Fellows who've had work sponsored by the Equity Project over the past two years include Charla Bear (KQED), Marquita Brown (News & Record in Greensboro, North Carolina), Kavitha Cardoza (WAMU), Dan Carsen (WBHM), Matt Collette (WNYC, formerly of The Teacher Project), Elisa Crouch (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Emily DeRuy (The Atlantic), Beth Hawkins (Education Post, formerly MinnPost), Laura Isensee (Houston Public Media), Alejandra Lagos (Univision), Celia Llopis-Jepsen (Topeka Capital-Journal), Rob Manning (Oregon Public Broadcasting), and Claudio Sanchez (NPR).

Some examples of work funded in part by the Renaissance Journalism project include the Detroit Journalism Collaborative's seven-part series on race and poverty. Click here for the full list.

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.

These aren't the only fellowships for education journalists. Others include the Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship (which I received in 2009), new EWA Fellowships, the Teacher Project fellowships (whose work appears in Slate).

#EDgif Of The Day: The Nonprofit College That Banned Fs, Spent Little On Classes,

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This jittery GIF accompanies BuzzFeed's expose expose of a nonprofit college serving overseas students whose misdeeds were ignored or overlooked by a regional accrediting agency. Check it out if you want to be horrified. 

Morning Video: Education (Or The Lack Thereof) In Campaign 2016

Left, Right, Kids in the Middle: Education in 2016 from NewSchools Venture Fund on Vimeo.

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?

 

Morning Video: Paying For Pre-K With A Soda Tax In Philadelphia

 

From PBS NewsHour: "When other cities have proposed a tax on sugary soft drinks, it’s often sold as a plan to fight obesity. Not in Philadelphia, where a battle is brewing over the mayor’s 3 cents-per-ounce tax plan that would be used to fund citywide pre-K. The beverage industry opposes the tax and argues that if you’re going to tax them, then why not cakes and candy?"

Or, click here to watch tons of recently uploaded NewSchools Summit 2016 videos.

Or, click below to watch a PBS NewsHour segment about 100 Girls Of Code.

 

Continue reading "Morning Video: Paying For Pre-K With A Soda Tax In Philadelphia" »

Morning Video: SNL's Gory Spoof Of "Dead Poets Society"

Be warned, it gets very gory about halfway through. And the satire of the Intro to Poetry is pretty mean, too. 

Afternoon Video: The Silencing Effect Of Teacher Hero/Villain Rhetoric

 I'm not exactly sure what the news hook was here - Teacher Appreciation Week, maybe? -- but here's a May 3rd Vox video of former education reporter Dana Goldstein (now at The Marshall Project) talking about outsized demands the public and policymakers demand of teachers, rhetorically at least.

In other places, Goldstein has argued that there has been a "moral panic" about veteran classroom teachers, in which they are vilified and end up leaving the field. You can read about that here: At AFT Conference, Goldstein Compares Reform Efforts To "Moral Panic"Goldstein Compares Current Teacher Fears To 1980s' Welfare Fears

There are certainly examples of teachers being called on to do superhuman work, or denounced for the failures of a handful. But the rhetoric certainly goes both ways (hero and villain), and I'm not sure that these extremes are taken very seriously by policymakers or the public.

There may be some cumulative effect of the repeated assertion, however -- and the unfortunate effect of silencing pragmatic debate over improving teaching. 

Events: Another Week, Another Education Summit

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"At the second annual Education Summit, The Atlantic will illuminate the most pressing debates in the education world today, from cradle to college," says the promo copy for Education Summit 2016. It start tomorrow morning and continues Wednesday, in DC. Topics under discussed are listed as ESSA, Common Core, School to Prison Pipeline, Speech on College Campuses, and College Affordability. Speakers and panelists include Jen Holleran, executive director of Startup:Education (part of the Chan Zuckerberg effort). The Atlantic's education editor, Alia Wong, will also participate. Hashtag? Livestream? LMK. 

AM News: Who Cares About ESSA When There's A $63M HS Football Stadium In Texas

That’s Right: $63 Million for a Football Stadium … for High Schoolers - The New York Times ow.ly/9LNQ3008f0E

New York’s Increase in Pre-K Funding Leads Nation - WSJ ow.ly/GKzk3008ftO

California's schools will soon be on the hook for things like suspensions, attendance and graduation rates - LA Times http://ow.ly/8bOE3008jBy

Enrollment in state-funded preschool inched up in 2014-15 - AP Article ow.ly/vN3w3008faf

A 'borderless' school district with lots of choices: LA's superintendent outlines priorities | 89.3 KPCC ow.ly/mwpv3008f83

Arne Duncan, Priscilla Chan Discuss Next Steps for K-12 Education - Politics K-12 - Education Week ow.ly/e77G3008f6N

N.C. school board caught up in ‘bathroom bill’ debate after voting to okay pepper spray, mace - The Washington Post ow.ly/XFCg3008eXo

These 2 teens with similar backgrounds took very different paths to college - LA Times ow.ly/OYAe3008eQ2

#EDgif Of The Day: When You Have To Guess The Answer

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"When you don't know the answer but have to give it a try anyway." 

From Monday's Mathletics National Championship, which was broadcast on ESPN. 

 
 

 

#EDgif Of The Day: Google's Lovely Teacher Appreciation Doodle

I am bound and determined to bring GIFs and short videos to education-land, and here's a good start to the week I think. Via TIME magazine.

Pictures: New Images Of President Bush At Elementary School Day Of 9/11 Attacks

There's something moving about these and other pictures of President Bush and his team, and the kids he's visiting.

Events: Previewing Next Week's EWA National Conference In Boston

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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 TeamsDelightful High School Swim Class Story Wins Murrow Journalism AwardSchool Segregation Coverage Wins 2 Pulitzers & A Peabody.

Events: NYU "Politics Of Privatization" Summit [#PoPNonCon16] Going On Now

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In case you haven't seen it, there's a "Non-Conference" on Privatization in Education at NYU going on this week.

According to the website, discussants will include education historian and NYU Steinhardt research professor Diane Ravitch; and union leaders Lily Eskelsen García of the National Education Association and Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers.

The hashtag is #PoPNonCon16. The livestream is here.

Apparently, there's a Bernie Sanders rally going on across the street.

 

 

Morning Video: Meet DFER Head Shavar Jeffries

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.

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. 

 

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.

People: The High Schooler Who Could Have Been Rosa Parks

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"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)

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.

Charts: Exploding The Minnesota Myth

Check out the rest of this great MPR story package.

#TBT: Principal Joe Clark On The Cover Of TIME (1988)

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It was February, 1988 -- nearly 30 years ago now. 

Books: Remembering "Prince Of Tides" Author's 1972 Teaching Memoir

WaterIsWideHidden in the news that author Pat Conroy passed away recently was the reminder that the popular author started out as a one-room schoolhouse teacher and wrote "The Water Is Wide," a book about his experience that was turned into a feature film and then a TV special.

From thePost and Courier: "Conroy took work as a teacher in the Beaufort County School District, where he was assigned a one-room schoolhouse on Daufuskie Island. He soon came to realize he was expected to be nothing more than a baby sitter to an island full of underprivileged black children. He made it his mission to give them a good education. His unorthodox methods and ambitious plans led to his dismissal."

According to Wikipedia, The Water Is Wide came out in 1972 and "details Conroy's efforts to communicate with the islanders, who are nearly all directly descended from slaves and who have had little contact with the mainland or its people."

"A film adaptation, titled Conrack, was created in 1974, starring Jon Voight. A Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie titled The Water Is Wide, starring Jeff Hephner and Alfre Woodard, was made in 2006."

 

Morning Video: Clinton & Sanders Defend Teachers Against Anderson Cooper

On one hand, teachers have to be happy that Clinton and Sanders defended them so vigoriously in last night's Democratic debate. On the other hand, they might well be concerned that CNN moderator Anderson Cooper chose to have them talk about education in the context of sexual predators who need to be removed.

America Rising via Erika Sanzi. Check out her interpretation of events here. Or take a look at PK12's coverage here. The Guardian has some recaps and quotes here. Look back at Maggie Haberman's NYT story from last summer where Clinton also referenced the issue of teacher scapegoating.

Update: Where'd "Rip & Redo" Come From? Nobody Seems To Know.

As you may recall from just a few days ago, the New York Times obtained and published video of a Success Academy teacher dramatically ripping up a student's work and telling her to do it over. The video and accompanying story went viral.

But the Times wasn't just Internet shaming an individual teacher for her behavior. It was making the case that ripping up student's work was a common practice at Success Academy schools:

“Five of the teachers interviewed… described leaders at multiple Success schools and a Success supervisor in the teacher training program that the network runs with Touro College endorsing the practice of ripping up work if it was deemed not to reflect sufficient effort.  The purpose, they said, was to get students’ attention and demonstrate urgency.  At some schools, there was even a term for it.” “It was ‘rip and redo’…”

According to that interpretation, teacher Charlotte Dial wasn't just losing her cool at a moment that happened to be caught on video. She was doing what she'd been taught to do. In which case this GIF of teacher Charlotte Dial ripping up a student's work is an illustration of something that someone, somewhere, taught or told her to do:

But is that true? Spoiler alert: nobody knows.

The phrase "rip and redo" is dramatic and memorable. But there's nothing about rip and redo that's easily found on the web -- no course syllabus or materials endorsing the practice. Nobody seems to know, and everyone who might tell us seems not to be aware of or approve of the practice. 

At a now-infamous press conference, Success Academy's Eva Moskowitz disavowed rip and redo: "It is not our policy to rip up student work,'" she's quoted as saying. "It is our policy to insist that children re-do. We make no apologies for the need to re-do work when it's not done." 

Asked again about the practice a spokesperson from Success responded: “As we have repeatedly said, this practice is not and has never been part of our program.”

But in an email, the folks at Touro also disavowed the practice: "The practices discussed in the [NYT] article are absolutely not part of our curriculum, and Touro neither condones nor approves of them."

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The Times says that rip and redo was being taught by Success trainers, and it's not hard to imagine that kind of scenario. After all, school districts and big charter networks can exert tremendous influence over what's taught to its teachers and by whom. In some cases, teacher training providers can be asked to include specific materials or to hire specific instructors as adjuncts.

But Tauro says that's not the case: "Success Academy staff enroll at Touro College on a cohort basis and matriculate in our Graduate Education master’s program. Full time and adjunct Touro faculty deliver our programs.  We pay our faculty."

And NCTQ's Sandi Jacobs isn't so clear that Touro would necessarily know what is going on in each and every of its courses, even if it hired all its instructors. "It is generally our sense that it is up to the individual instructor to teach whatever they want," she said in a phone interview.

"I don't know how they would know" whether all its teachers were or weren't teaching rip and redo. "We don't generally see that programs are coordinated in such a way that anyone could say what is going on in an individual course."

So the mystery remains. Someone out there -- a rogue Touro instructor or Success supervisor -- has apparently been teaching "rip and redo" to Success teachers. But both Success and Touro disavow any knowledge of the practice, and the Times doesn't appear to have any concrete evidence that it is as widespread as has been claimed.  

A version of this post was originally published at The Grade.

Books: Ignoring Race Not The Solution For Schools

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Here's a review of a book that sounds really interesting and timely:

"Many saw the 2008 election of Barack Obama as a sign that America had moved past the issue of race, that a colorblind society was finally within reach.

"But as Marianne Modica reveals in Race Among Friends, attempts to be colorblind do not end racism—in fact, ignoring race increases the likelihood that racism will occur in our schools and in society.  

"Modica finds that even in an environment where students of all racial backgrounds work and play together harmoniously, race affects the daily experiences of students and teachers in profound but unexamined ways.

"In the end, the school’s friendly environment did not promote—and may have hindered—serious discussion of race and racial inequity.   The desire to ignore race in favor of a “colorblind society,” Modica writes, has become an entrenched part of American culture. But as Race Among Friends shows, when race becomes a taboo subject, it has serious ramifications for students and teachers of all ethnic origins."  

You can listen to an interview she did on WNYC in December.

Related posts: New Yorker Writer's Year Embedded In High School EnglishTa-Nehesi Coates' New Book On Race (& Schooling) In America 'Confessions Of A Headmaster'Teacher Perceptions Of Autonomy Vary By RaceEducators & Advocates Need Authentic Conversations About Race, Too.

Morning Video: The Costs Of Special Ed Inclusion

From PBS: "The Los Angeles school system has come far in the last ten years, especially in terms of inclusivity. In 2003, only 54 percent of LA’s disabled students were taught alongside their nondisabled peers; today, it’s more than 90 percent. But some parents worry that general education schools won’t provide the specialized attention their children require." (LA schools grow more inclusive, but at what cost?)

Quotes: "I Did Everything You Suggested"

Quotes2I got my masters in education in advance of teaching, I did even more student teaching than was required, I sought out good mentors. This was not a silly whim. I may not have had the chops for the job, but if so I have plenty of company... I’m trying to call attention to the fact that we are expecting teachers in high poverty schools to do too much. We must end the myth of the hero teacher.

- Author Ed Boland on Diane Ravitch's blog (Ed Boland Responds to Critics)

Morning Video: Swamp Nurse, Middle School Exodus, Centennial High School

Here's a 12-minute documentary about a home visit nurse, which as you may recall was the subject of Kate Boo's 2006 feature story, Swamp Nurse. Go here if the video doesn't appear or you want more background.

Or, go listen to an WAMU story about how white parents' decisions not to send their kids to a local middle school affect its demographics and test scores.

Or, watch this new Viceland documentary about young African Americans in Compton, featuring a brief segment at Centennial High School, via Mark Walsh.

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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.