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Morning Video: Pros & Cons Of Neighborhood-Based School Assignment

A Here's a new Reason.com video segment about the perils of residential assignment of kids to schools. (Brownstone Brooklyn's Racial Divide).

AM News: Untimed Testing In NY, Common Core Lawsuit In MA, Barr For Mayor?

New York Will Shed Clock for Some Statewide Tests NYT: The English and math exams given to third- through eighth- grade students will no longer be timed, the State Education Department said, ending the call of “pencils down.” See also WSJChalkbeatNY.

Group Sues to Prevent Common Core Question on Massachusetts Ballot State EdWatch: The lawsuit claims that the question scheduled for a vote on November's ballot is invalid and would revert the state to outdated academic standards. See also New Salem NewsTelegram.

Charter schools founder Steve Barr weighs 2017 challenge to Garcetti LA Times: Although the mayor in L.A. has no formal control over the school district, Barr said Garcetti had abdicated any meaningful involvement in the school system — in contrast to Garcetti's predecessor, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who placed education reform at the core of his agenda. See also LA Weekly.

Virginia's Charter School Amendment Is Prepped For Round Two In Assembly WAMU: An amendment to the state Constitution to make it much easier to create charter schools is expected to take its second big step forward during this session of the General Assembly.

The Latest: Teacher says principal pushed students to safety AP: The Latest on a bus crash at an Indianapolis elementary school that killed the school's principal.

Oakland pledges to fund college for poor SF Gate: The centerpiece of the Oakland Promise initiative is an infusion of grants, ranging from $500 college savings accounts for children born into poverty to college scholarships of up to $16,000 for low-income students.

Afternoon Video: PBS Looks Into Vocational Education

"Of all the U.S. high school students who graduate high school and go on to college, a large proportion will never earn their degree. How can educators better train those who may struggle in trying to pick a course of study? One solution may lie in putting greater emphasis on high school vocational training, but critics disagree." (Should more kids skip college for workforce training?)

NB that one of the disagreeing parties speaking out in favor of giving all kids the same rigorous academic instruction is none other than Carol Burris. 

Quotes: Reformers Urged To Join In On Flint Fight

Quotes2I urge my colleagues fighting for radical change in our public schools to take up the call to action in Flint. This is an opportunity for those of us devoted to social justice to join forces against the structural inequities that deny our neediest and most vulnerable citizens the most critical services for public welfare.

- EdBuild's Rebecca Sibilia in The Seventy Four (Failing Schools, and the Lines That Divide Us)

Morning Video: Trump Touts His Anti-Common Core Position

 
Education

I will end common core. It's a disaster. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain #Trump2016

Posted by Donald J. Trump on Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Click here if the video doesn't load properly. Via Slate. "I will end common core. It's a disaster."

AM News: School Spending Down (Again, Though Not As Much As Last Year)

Spending in nation’s schools falls again, with wide variation across states Washington Post: The nation’s per-pupil spending on K-12 public schools dropped in 2013 for the third year in a row, reversing more than a decade of funding increases, according to federal data released Wednesday. The national average was $10,763, down 0.6 percent compared with 2012, adjusting for inflation. That decline was less dramatic than the 3 percent drop the year before, but it shows that, in many places, funding for public education has not rebounded as the economy recovered from the Great Recession. See also Stateline.

Emergency food program in DC schools expands its reach Washington Post: The District of Columbia's experiment serving hot meals to hungry students during a school shutdown picked up steam Tuesday, with twice as many students participating as the day before.

Arguing for mayoral control, de Blasio sparks a spat over charter school funding ChalkbeatNY: Since Cuomo and some Republican lawmakers view the mayoral control debate as more a referendum on de Blasio’s education policies than a governance question, and both embrace charter schools, de Blasio’s remarks could undermine his argument to them.

Illinois students left out of state exams, labeled ineligible for testing Chicago Tribune: Nearly 20 percent of freshmen were left out of PARCC testing in English — but not because families opted out or reported students absent on exam day. Administrators labeled most of those youths ineligible to test, part of the new and controversial way Illinois is testing high school students across the state: Kids take state exams only if they're in particular courses, and not because they're in a certain grade.

Lowering The Bar For The New GED Test NPR: Many students had complained the new version was too hard. Because of the change, tens of thousands of students could potentially get their high school equivalency diplomas retroactively.

From L.A. Unified teacher to superintendent: Who is the real Michelle King? LA Times: At the announcement that Michelle King had been promoted from deputy superintendent to the top leadership position at the huge and troubled Los Angeles Unified School District, the small throng gathered at district headquarters rose to its feet in applause. The applause was a "Survivor"-like salute...

Growing Numbers Of Chinese Teens Are Coming To America For High School NPR: More than 23,000 have come so far, with California a top destination — especially the Los Angeles suburbs in the San Gabriel Valley. Many teens live with host families and attend private schools.

Driver: Principal fatally hit by bus pushed kids out of way AP: An Indianapolis elementary school principal was seen pushing several students out of the way of an oncoming bus before the vehicle fatally struck her, authorities said Tuesday.... See also HuffPost, NY Post.

Somali youth in one Maine city are learning to navigate several cultures WNYC: Maine is home to many Somali refugees in the US, but fitting in hasn’t always been easy. There's even tension among Somali communities — between those who arrived first and those who came later. That also plays out at public schools in Lewiston, Maine’s second largest city.

Video: Run, Hide, Fight -- Until The Guys With Guns Show Up

In this video, The Atlantic magazine takes us inside a mockup school building used to train officers (How America Trains Its Officers to Respond to School Shootings).

TBT: Remembering The Duncan Confirmation Hearing & That New Yorker Profile

Six years ago, Arne Duncan was getting the New Yorker treatment. Seven years ago, he was going through an unusually easy confirmation process.

The confirmation hearing was so boring I spent most of the time making screengrabs and lame comments about folks sitting behind Duncan in the hearing room:

ScreenHunter_12 Jan. 25 23.50 

"Sneaking a peak at the ole Blackberry while Senator Alexander is talking." [

Remember Blackberries? 

As you may recall from Duncan Gets The New Yorker Treatment that came out a year later, I didn't think much of the New Yorker piece: "By and large, it's the Spellings treatment all over again.  Homey details, celebrity name-dropping, and lots of backstory about Duncan's childhood.  There's also the familiar effort to puff Duncan up over his "unprecedented" budget and his buddy-buddy status with the POTUS, as well as the (to my mind) overheated notion that we're on the verge of some great age of education reform." 

Around that time, I was also touting this Slate article about Obama's detached relationships with people and institutions and a 2008 piece I'd written about Obama's elusive support for local control in Chicago schools.

 

Quotes: How Clinton Will Govern (Everyone Says)

Quotes2If Clinton does win, it’s likely that on domestic policy, she will govern to Obama’s left... Clinton’s campaign proposals already signal a leftward shift. And people close to her campaign suggest that among her top agenda items would be paid family leave, debt-free college tuition, and universal preschool.

- The Atlantic's Peter Beinart (America Is Becoming More Liberal)

Morning Video: A Tour Inside A Detroit Public School (Plus Detroit Q & A)

Lakia Wilson, the school counselor at Spain Elementary School, takes us around for a tour. Via AFT.

See also:  DPS Denied Injunction Against Teachers; New Hearing Set  Detroit Free News: Judge Cynthia Stephens of the Michigan Court of Claims said she needs more information and that there's no proof the Detroit Federation of Teachers or its interim president encouraged the mass teacher absences. 

Q&A: A look at the Detroit Public Schools teacher sick-outs AP: Detroit Public Schools teachers have complained for several years about poor pay, overcrowded classrooms, a lack of supplies, unsafe building conditions and uncertainty about their futures as the district struggles under a mountain of debt. Rolling teacher sick-outs have - so far in January - forced the district to close dozens of schools on some days. A preliminary hearing will be held next month on the district's lawsuit seeking to end the sick-outs....

 

AM News: Snowstorm Recovery For East Coast Districts

Many Public School Students Get 2nd Snow Day AP: Students in Philadelphia, Baltimore and the District of Columbia will get a second consecutive snow day as officials said schools will be closed in those cities again on Tuesday.

For hungry DC kids stuck in snow, schools open their doors for meals Washington Post: The Jordan family — two parents and five children ages 3,6,8,9 and 10 — streamed into the cafeteria at the Columbia Heights Education Campus and made a beeline for the chicken nuggets sitting under heat lamps.

Chicago Public Schools gives layoff notices to 227 staff workers Chicago Tribune" Chicago Public Schools turned to a familiar tactic in the face of its latest fiscal crisis, slashing its nonteaching ranks and eliminating vacant positions in a bid to save tens of millions of dollars.

Educators Cobble Together a Post-Blizzard School Day WNYC: Student attendance was 74 percent compared to a typical day, when about 90 percent of students are in school citywide, according to Department of Education figures. Specifically, Queens and Staten Island had the lowest attendance rates, both hovering near 71 percent. 

For Some Schools, Learning Doesn't Stop On Snow Days NPR: It doesn't matter if they get 3 inches or 3 feet of snow — schools in Indiana can bring students into a virtual classroom if their physical classrooms shut down.

 

Teachers Union Calls for Stricter Charter School Laws in New York WNYC: According to a union analysis of charter schools sharing building space with district schools, 13.1 percent of students in the traditional public schools are English Language Learners, while the co-located charters served less than half as many. The charters also enrolled far fewer students with the most severe disabilities who require separate classrooms (1.5 percent compared to 7.1 percent of students in traditional schools). See also Chalkbeat.

Q&A: A look at the Detroit Public Schools teacher sick-outs AP: Detroit Public Schools teachers have complained for several years about poor pay, overcrowded classrooms, a lack of supplies, unsafe building conditions and uncertainty about their futures as the district struggles under a mountain of debt. Rolling teacher sick-outs have - so far in January - forced the district to close dozens of schools on some days. A preliminary hearing will be held next month on the district's lawsuit seeking to end the sick-outs....

In Efforts to Boost Teacher Diversity, Asians and Pacific Islanders Seek Inclusion EdWeek: Although Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders make up 5.1 percent of the U.S. population, census data show that the AAPI community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country. Yet between 2000 and 2012, there was virtually no change in the percentage of AAPIs in the teaching profession.

Once-Lagging Neighborhood Schools Now Drive Improvement at St. Louis Public Schools St. Louis Post-Dispatch: For decades, children who have fared the worst academically in St. Louis have been those in its neighborhood schools. They tend to come from unstable housing situations, from the deepest poverty.

Maps: Your State Makes It Hard For Poor Kids To Get A Four-Year Degree

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"In some states, low-income students going to community colleges are much more likely to get a college degree....But there were some notable exceptions in this report, such as Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, and New Hampshire, where the diploma gaps were significantly smaller." Via Mother Jones (This Map Shows Which States Make It Easiest and Hardest to Obtain a College Degree). Image used with permission.

Afternoon Video: In SoCal, WiFi School Buses Help Reduce Digital Divide

"The digital divide and lack of reliable Internet access at home can put low-income and rural students at a real disadvantage. So when superintendent Darryl Adams took over one of the poorest school district in the nation, he made it a top priority to help his students get online 24/7."

Quotes: Teacher Of The Year "Done With Charter Fights & Common Core Spats"

Quotes2Better teaching is the one thing we never really talk about. Better teaching is the only mechanism we have left. Our most needy students need our best teachers, yet our highest need schools have the least experienced teachers, the most turnover and are becoming burnout factories for those who remain. All the existing structural incentives for effective educators push them toward work in suburban schools, where they’ll be better supported and the workload is sustainable. Nobody wants to talk about this. I am done with charter fights and Common Core spats.

- 2016 NSTOY Nate Bowling (The Conversation I'm Tired of Not Having)

Morning Video: Charter School Head Moscowitz Talks Lawsuit, Bias

VIDEO:

AM News: Schools Dig Out From Storm; Detroit School Closings Continue

Snow Clean Up Underway As East Coast Tries To Get Back To Normal AP: While New York City schools are open today, D.C. Public Schools remain closed. In Virginia, classes at Fairfax County schools have already been canceled for Tuesday as well. See also WNYC.

Detroit Teachers Plan Protest at Court Hearing on Sick-Outs AP: Detroit teachers plan to protest before a judge hears arguments in a case that could force teachers to stop skipping school. See also Detroit Free Press, Detroit News.

Chicago Public Schools Announces 227 Layoffs WBEZ: More than 200 administrative employees with Chicago Public Schools are being laid off and another 180 already-vacant positions will be closed, changes officials say will help save the nation's third-largest district $45.1 million a year as it grapples with deep financial problems.

Success Academy Founder Defends Schools Against Charges of Bias NYT: Eva S. Moskowitz says her network of charter schools has room to improve in how it serves students with disabilities but does not discriminate against them. See also Politico NY.

Millions take AP courses, but percentage of schools offering them drops Washington Post: In two landmark studies, quantitative data expert Nat Malkus has confirmed the rigor of the most successful high school program of the past three decades, Advanced Placement, and revealed what might be a troubling decline in AP use in small and rural schools.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Schools Dig Out From Storm; Detroit School Closings Continue " »

Charts: White People Least Sure Government Should Help Diversify Schools

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"Some 61 percent of black Americans and 55 percent of Hispanic Americans said they think the government should take steps to increase school diversity. Only 28 percent of white Americans said the same." Via HuffPost (Surprise! White People Don't Really Care About School Diversity)

Morning Video: Elaborate Teacher Parody Turns Adele's "Hello" Into "Snow"

"Snow... it's me. I know we just got out for Christmas but I'm ready for some more... time to myself." via TIME, via Nuzzel. The original performance is pretty good, too. She's a third grade teacher.

Or, on a much more serious topic, listen to this new Macklemore & Ryan song, White Privilege II, which includes the repeated line:"We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for Black lives?" 

The Seattle-based duo credits a group of collaborators including local educator Georgia Roberts. Lyrics and explanations here.

Quotes: Obama Official Apologizes In Philadelphia

Quotes2A discussion that began with shared interests and shared values – the importance of learning and growth for all our children – ended up with a lot of teachers feeling attacked and blamed... And when [teachers] disagreed with evaluation systems, it appeared to pit them against those who they cherished most – their students... That was no one's desire. 

-- Acting EdSec John King in US News (King Apologizes for Politicized Education Atmosphere)

AM News: Detroit Schools Re-Open (Still Unclear What Candidates Would Do)

Clinton on Detroit schools: 'No one would tolerate these conditions in a wealthy suburb.' Washington Post:  Detroit Public Schools responded to Wednesday’s sickout by taking to the courts to stop further sickouts. The school system filed for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the Detroit Federation of Teachers and a number of individual teachers. Ivy Bailey, the interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, called the legal action “regrettable.”

Michigan Lawmakers Try to Toughen Strike Laws NYT: Angered by teacher sickouts that have closed many Detroit schools, majority Republicans in Michigan’s Legislature proposed legislation to make it easier to deem such work stoppages illegal strikes.

Detroit Schools in Session After Teacher Sick-out Shutdown AP: The Detroit public school district says all schools are in session Thursday, a day after a massive sick-out by teachers closed most schools

Here's How the Education World Thinks the Feds Should Regulate Under ESSA PK12: The online comment period for how the U.S. Department of Education should regulate under the Every Student Succeeds Act closed Thursday; here are some highlights.

Illinois Governor, GOP Legislators: State Should Take Over Chicago Schools State EdWatch: A state takeover plan would allow the financially struggling district to declare bankruptcy and the state to avoid any liability.See also WBEZ.

CTU president says union could 'possibly' give up pension pickup practice Chicago Tribune: Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, voiced optimism Thursday about the progress of contract negotiations with the school board and acknowledged her members could be in line to "lose certain things."

As charter schools rise, Dallas ISD rues loss of students — and millions in funding Dallas Morning News: DISD’s enrollment dropped by 2,000 students this school year, at a cost of at least $10 million in state funding provided on a per-pupil basis. About half the lost enrollment is kindergartners going to charter schools. The district’s chief financial officer expects another drop in enrollment next school year.

Afternoon Video: "Hip-Hop Therapy" At A Bronx High School

Check out this video short (School of Hip-Hop) about the "hip-hop therapy" program at New Visions Charter High School that accompanies Winnie Hu's feature (Bronx School Embraces a New Tool in Counseling: Hip-Hop). The white hipster counselor is unfortunate, and I'm not sure using hip hop this way can be considered "new," but I'll let it go this time.

 

Site News: Find Me On Facebook (& Tumblr, & Twitter, & via Email)

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As the snowstorm Jonas approaches the East Coast and all other action seems to slow down, this seems like a good a time to remind you that there are other places where you can read/follow my posts: my Facebook page (which features blog posts and Tweets), the media-focused The Grade at the WashMonthly (), and of course my Tumblr page, Hot For Education, which includes lots about pop culture in education, human interest stories, and Tumblr-like stuff.

There's also a daily This Week In Education email you can sign up for, and a weekly email version of "Best Education Journalism Of The Week" that at this point you have to email me (at thisweekineducation@gmail.com) to get on. Please do!

No Instagram or SnapChat yet, but it could happen. Yes, that's the bar at the old Riccardo's in Chicago -- one of my dad's gang's favorite watering holes. 

Quotes: Fuller Slams Obama & Clinton - Not Sanders - Over Narrow Education Vision

Quotes2It’s not entirely Clinton’s fault. President Barack Obama handed Republicans a huge win in December, repealing the thicket of federal rules called No Child Left Behind, while also gutting Washington’s authority to lead on education... But rather than blazing a clear path forward, Clinton seems to bob and weave among polling results.

- Bruce Fuller in the Sacramento Bee (Clinton’s weak school stand gives Republicans an opening)

AM News: Detroit Schools Still Closed (DC-Area Schools To Follow)

Most Detroit Public Schools Close Due to Teacher 'Sick-Outs' Demanding Better Classroom Conditions AP: A city-wide teacher "sick-out" shut down 88 Detroit schools today, causing 44,790 students to miss class, according to the Detroit Public Schools system. Staff members at the closed schools were expected to report to work or take a leave day, the announcement said. See also NPR.

Prince William County cancels school Thursday, Fairfax schools to open two hours late Washington Post: Virginia's two largest school systems will lose out on class time Thursday because of inclement weather.

CPS calls GOP takeover proposal a 'sideshow' AP: Chicago Public Schools officials say top Republicans' proposal for a state takeover of the nation's third-largest school district is a "sideshow" to school funding formula problems in the state. In a Wednesday statement, schools CEO Forrest Claypool said that that the real need is to fix the school funding formula to make it more equitable.

Filing Alleges Bias at Success Academy Network Against Students With Disabilities NYT: Parents of 13 current and former students of Success Academy filed a complaint against the charter school network with the federal Department of Education. See also NY Daily News.

Lowell school board alters course, backs PARCC Lowell Sun: In a nearly complete turnaround from an earlier decision, the School Committee voted 5-2 Wednesday night to adopt the PARCC test this year for students across the district.

New report says Gates Foundation favors businesses, not poor Seattle Times: As Bill Gates hobnobs in Switzerland, a U.K. group is critical of Seattle Foundation’s emphasis on technology and capitalism.

Funders Fuel a Bigger Push for Family Engagement in Schools Inside Philanthropy: In 2014, a group of leading advocates for family and community involvement in schools banded together to create the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) to build greater support around this issue. Now, the Bethesda, MD-based group has received a big boost in its efforts, thanks to two leading funders.

Morning Video: Deray Does Colbert Show (Then Lets Him Off The Hook)

Concerns about insufficient numbers of speakers and panelists of color at conferences, the need to talk more directly about racism, and "handing over the microphone" in general have been big issues this past year in education circles, media newsrooms, and the broader society.

Both Arne Duncan and Randi Weingarten participated in #BlackLivesMatter events (Duncan Wasn't The Only One At Last Weekend's Protests).

I wrote about the BLM-education connection in Scholastic earlier this year (#BlackLivesMatter, Deray McKesson, & Education Reform).

And we all remember last year's Yale Education Summit where an all-white, all-male panel followed a Bruce Fuller speech on race in education? (6 Ways To Diversify That Conference Or Panel). 

And so it was a feel-good moment a few days ago when Stephen Colbert had Deray McKesson on his show, talked about white privilege and structural racism, and even switched seats momentarily with the #BlackLivesMatter leader. (Click this link if the video doesn't render properly.)

Historically, Colbert has arguably done better than others booking guests of color in the past, including a memorable 2008 segment with Roland Fryer. And he even wore a BLM wristband on the air at one point.

What didn't get addressed in the segment with Deray-- baby steps, right? -- are Colbert (and other late-night hosts') guest lists and staffing patterns. Women and persons of color are notoriously ill-represented in comedy writing rooms. It's not clear that Colbert's is any different -- and Deray missed the chance (or was holding back) when he didn't bring that issue up in response to Colbert's invitation to help him unpack white privilege.

For Twitter commentary on the appearance start here.

Related posts: 6 Ways To Diversify That Conference Or Panel (ie, "Pass The Mic")*Whatever Happened To Roland Fryer (& Cash Incentives For School)?Where #BlackLivesMatter Meets Education (Reform)"I Thought I Knew How To Listen To People".

 

AM News: Detroit Teacher Sick-Out, Plus Supreme Court Immigration Review

Most of Detroit's Public Schools Close Amid Teacher Sick-Out AP: Most of Detroit's public schools are closed Wednesday due to teacher absences, as disgruntled educators step up efforts to protest the governor's plans for the district, its ramshackle finances and dilapidated buildings.

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Obama Deferred-Action Immigration PolicyEdWeek: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would take up the Obama administration's policy offering relief for undocumented immigrant parents of children who are U.S. citizens. The case may also affect a related policy regarding undocumented children, and is connected to a larger debate over immigration policies that has drawn in students, educators, and schools in multiple ways.

Obama Proposes Expansion of Pell Grants to Spur College Completion Washington Post: The Obama administration proposed Tuesday to expand the Pell grant program for college students in financial need, giving them new incentives to take a full schedule of courses year-round in an effort to boost graduation rates.

 
Microsoft acquires ‘MinecraftEdu’ with eye toward school-age audience Seattle Times:  With the purchase, the company is hoping it can leverage the huge popularity of “Minecraft” into a bigger Microsoft presence in schools.
 
How have large donations affected education policy in New York City? ChalkbeatNY:  Though contributions from big donors amount to only a fraction of the city’s education spending, they still have a real impact on public school policy, said Jeffrey Henig, professor of political science and education at Teachers College. Henig recently co-authored a book called “The New Education Philanthropy: Politics, Policy and Reform,” which details how powerful individuals and organizations increasingly use donations to advance policies they support.
 
To Be Young, 'Gifted' And Black, It Helps To Have A Black Teacher NPR: A new study finds black students are half as likely as white students to be assigned to a gifted program. Unless their teacher looks like them.
 
Water Contamination Raises Health Concerns for Mich. Students EdWeek: Educators in Flint, Mich., have long taught students buffeted by the pressures of poverty and urban blight. Now, they're facing a new crisis: toxic tap water. 
 
Bronx School Embraces a New Tool in Counseling: Hip-Hop NYT:  A program called hip-hop therapy encourages students to give voice to their day-to-day struggles in neighborhoods where poverty and crime are constants.
 
 

Quotes: OECD Test Is Different (Optional, International, Public)

Quotes2The 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

 

Morning Video: UFT's [Well-Deserved] Million-Dollar Victory Lap Over Common Core

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).

AM News: Cold-Weather Delays, Deportation Fears, "Baked-In" NYC Segregation

Schools in Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William to open two hours late Washington Post: Public schools in Virginia’s Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties will open two hours late Tuesday because of the extreme cold forecast for the morning hours, including wind chills as low as the single digits, officials said.

Attendance Drops At Maryland High School, As Deportation Fears Rise Washington Post: In Prince George's County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of the students at High Point High School are Latino. Principal Jimenez says the fear of deportation raids is making many immigrant students scared to come to school, despite assurances from government officials that there are no raids happening at schools.

Small number of schools enrolls large share of public housing residents, report says ChalkbeatNY: At 123 elementary and middle schools, or about 9 percent of schools, students who live in subsidized housing make up more than a third of the enrollment, according to a report released Friday by the city’s Independent Budget Office. By contrast, at over 700 other schools, such students account for less than 5 percent of the population.

Sexual violence isn’t just a college problem. It happens in K-12 schools, too. Washington Post: Twenty-one percent of middle school students reported that they experienced unwanted physical touching on school grounds, according to a 2014 study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Among high school students, 4 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls say they have been forced to have sexual intercourse against their will, according to a 2013 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Education Technology Graduates From the Classroom to the Boardroom NYT: Much of the money pouring into ed tech is going to start-ups focused on corporate training or professional skills, creating greater financing hurdles for companies that develop apps for school use.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Cold-Weather Delays, Deportation Fears, "Baked-In" NYC Segregation" »

Morning Video: NJ's Christie Claims To Have "Eliminated" Common Core

As Slate, EdWeek, Vox, and several others have pointed out, NJ hasn't really eliminated Common Core. But obviously the Christie campaign -- as with Jindal and others -- has made the call that getting through the Republican primary requires abrupt position changes and stretchings of the truth and that pointy-headed fact-checks don't make all that much of a difference to voters or the public at large.

Slate: Chris Christie didn't actually get rid of Common Core in New Jersey; Vox: Chris Christie said New Jersey has “eliminated” Common Core. It hasn’t; EdWeek: Fact-Checking Chris Christie on Common Core.

Or, listen to this WAMU radio segment about a new all-male high school being started in DC and the principal and recently-retired educator who played an important role in his life.

 

AM News: Common Core Comes Up In Republican Presidential Debate

Fact-Checking Chris Christie on Common Core PK12: Does the exchange in the debate mean the Common Core State Standards are back in the mix as a campaign issue? Maybe. See also Slate.

NJ to Consider Eliminating Opt-Out Option For PARCC Standardized TestNew Brunswick Today: Students in New Jersey might no longer have the option to opt out of the controversial PARCC standardized testing, after a panel handpicked by Governor Christie released the results of a six month study on standardized testing and Common Core. 

New L.A. schools chief favors steady progress and collaboration over drastic change LA Times: Los Angeles' beleaguered school system doesn't need the aggressive shake-up some critics have called for so much as consistent, steady progress and collaboration, new schools Supt. Michelle King said in a meeting Thursday with The Times.

Nonprofit formed to promote charter school expansion plan gets new director KPCC LA: Castrejón was most recently the director of lobbying and advocacy efforts at the California Charter School Association, where she has held various leadership roles since the association was launched in 2003. 

Joel Klein, Ex-New York Schools Chancellor, to Join Health Insurance Start-Up NYT: Mr. Klein, who left the schools in 2010 to work for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation as leader of a digital education division, will become a top executive at Oscar.

Meet The Man DCPS Tapped To Head A New All-Male Public High School WAMU: Benjamin Williams says that when he was young, a DCPS teacher changed his life. The two recently met again as Williams gets ready ot head the first all-male public high school in the District.

Md. school system keeps Jewish holidays, adds days off for Diwali, Lunar New Year and Eid al-Adha Washington Post: Howard County had considered opening on Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, but took opposite course.

Television: New TV Series Features Immature Teachers

There's a sitcom Those Who Can't premiering on TruTV next month. From this trailer, well, Bad Teacher was nothing. Apparently, a Denver-based comic troupe is to blame.

Quotes: Lottery Revenues Don't Necessarily Increase Education Spending

 

Quotes2We've all seen the big novelty check being handed over from the lottery director to the state secretary of education.The question is, are the effects on education as good as advertised?

--  College of Holy Cross economics professor Victor Matheson in VICE (What Happens to the Billions of Powerball Dollars That Nobody Wins)

Update: Lessons From The Hartford Selfie Flap

 

Campaign 2016: Obama Education Focus Declines Over Time

This infographic from Vox shows that it's out with a whimper rather than a bang when it comes to focusing national attention on education, even if you combine the "schools" column with the "education" column.

Morning Video: Controversial Atlanta Teacher-Student Dance Video

Watch this Ron Clark Academy video and read the commentary about it from Christopher Emdin (For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood and the Rest of Y'all Too). Spoiler: he's not as upset about it as some others.

Or, listen to WBEZ Chicago interview with AFT head Randi Weingarten talking about the potential impacts of the Friedrich decision (What's Next for Public Unions?). Or watch this NBC News segment on a new LEGO kid programming endeavor. Or, frozen soap bubbles via Kottke.

AM News: On Education, NY Gov. Cuomo Changes His Tune (Or At Least His Tone)

Cuomo Strikes a Different Tone on Education This Year WNYC: The Cuomo who presented his new budget on Wednesday sounded very different. He conceded a shift was necessary after roughly 20 percent of students opted out of the state math and reading tests in grades 3 through 8 this spring. Beyond the change in rhetoric, Cuomo's proposed budget included several education proposals. See also ChalkbeatNY.

Michelle King Becomes First Black Female Lead For L.A. School District HUffPost: For months, a high-profile head-hunting firm searched the nation for a new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. On Monday evening, the Board of Education gave the job to a candidate who was part of the district all along: Chief Deputy Supt. Michelle King.

What we’re seeing with new SAT, PSAT tests Newsday: College-bound Americans, along with their parents and guidance counselors, exhaled with relief when the PSAT scores were announced last week. This college entrance exam was the first to reflect the much-debated Common Core learning standards, and the importance of a good score cannot be overestimated. Anxiety over the PSAT ballooned when the scores were delayed by nearly two months. Usually, scores for a test taken on Oct. 14 would have been available in early November. They came out Jan. 7.

Lawmaker: School shootings have made teachers 1st responders AP: School shootings have turned teachers into first responders, and they deserve the same death benefits given to police officers and firefighters, a state lawmaker said Wednesday....

Bronx Science Bans Cellphones From Wi-Fi as Students Devour It NYT: Since New York City lifted its long-held prohibition on cellphones in schools, teenagers have been eating up their schools' bandwidth.

The father of a boy killed at Sandy Hook gets death threats from people who say the shooting was a hoax Washington Post: Parents of a Sandy Hook victim said they were harassed by a Florida professor who called the shooting a hoax. He was fired. And the father got death threats.

Quotes: Philanthropy > Campaign Contributions

Quotes2Philanthropy is having as much influence as campaign contributions, but campaign contributions get all the attention. The imbalance is stunning to me.
 
-- Inside Philanthropy's David Calllahan in the New York Review of Books (How to Cover the One Percent)

 

Maps: States' Use Education Lottery Revenues For Variety Of Purposes

Wertwert

 

"How much a state taxes a winning lottery ticket also varies — and what happens to taxable earnings is even more murky." (NBC News: Schools Don't Always Benefit From Lottery Sales)

 

Morning Video: President Obama Lists Education Priorities

 
Excerpt of last night's SOTU focused on education, via Slate.
 
Obama: I Will Keep Fighting for Preschool and College Access PK12: President Barack Obama used his very last State of the Union address to press for action on unfinished pieces of his agenda—including universal prekindergarten and offering two years of free community college to most students.
 
See also Washington Post.

The President Wants Every Student To Learn Computer Science. How Would That Work? NPR:  Adding a new, complex, technical subject to the curriculum won't be easy. We hear from students, teachers, entrepreneurs and educators about the challenges.

AM News: Veteran Insider To Head Nation's 2nd Largest School System

New LA Unified superintendent signs $350,000 contract KPCC: The new superintendent’s $350,000 salary is $50,000 more than what predecessor Ramon Cortines was paid, and it's roughly $47,000 more than her salary as chief deputy superintendent of schools. The nine-page contract provides King with a school district car and driver, and security if necessary. Outside consulting or employment must be approved by the school board.

L.A. Unified looked far and wide but found new superintendent Michelle King right at home LA Times: When the Los Angeles Board of Education began looking for an new superintendent last year, it vowed to aim high. Officials eyed nationally known school leaders in Miami and San Francisco. They even talked about high-profile politicians like such as Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro and U.S. Rep....

With new superintendent in place, LA school board gears for battle on charter plan Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Board of Education's resolution is effectively a symbolic gesture, but it highlights a key challenge for the district's new superintendent.

Study: Low-scoring teachers tend to work in schools with high poverty rates Tribune: Overall, the consortium concluded there was a bigger difference between teacher scores "within schools than there is across schools," noting that even the city's highest-poverty schools also had teachers that logged high scores on the district's evaluation system.

Conservative activist James O'Keefe targets Common Core with new hidden-camera video Washington Post: Video purportedly captures textbook sales rep saying companies embraced national academic standards because of their profit potential; she says comments were misconstrued, taken out of context.

Emanuel Brings Back High School Program He Cut During First Term WBEZ Chicago: The Freshman Connection program was eliminated in 2011, the first year Emanuel took office. In 2010, 100 coordinators for the program were eliminated to free up money for principal discretion. Some principals decided to use their discretionary money to keep it going.

Detroit Mayor: Dead Mouse, Cold Kids, Bad Floor in Schools AP:  More than 31,000 students stayed home Monday. School district spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said the number of children affected Tuesday wasn't immediately known.

Television: Bravo Series Revolves Around Posh LA Private School

Bravo's scripted dramedy, Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce, centers to a surprisingly large extent around the never-ending duties of parents who send their children to a posh progressive LA private school called the "Center for Expanding Horizons" that might be loosely based on Crossroads (?).

In the above gif, two of the main characters are on dropoff duty (helping kids get out of cars and keeping the flow of traffic moving before and after school).

The set is apparently the Old Nokia building in Burnaby’s Glenlyon Business Park (in Vancouver). Here's a little bit about the branding and visual strategy behind the school design. You can find show transcripts that mention the school here and here. More pics from around the Internet are below the break. 

Continue reading "Television: Bravo Series Revolves Around Posh LA Private School" »

#EDgif Of The Day: "Hell no. I did NOT leave the South Side for this."

From Mean Girls. Via The Billforld.
 

 

 

 

Update: Rethinking The NYT Ethicist's "Breezy" Public School Cop-Out

As you may have seen, the NYT's ethicist recently told some Bay Area parents that they were not ethically obliged to send their little kid to the local school that seemed safe but had low test scores:

"There’s no recognizably human world where parents treat their own children the same as everyone else’s. This doesn’t license lack of concern for those other kids, and you’re right to worry that your dysfunctional neighborhood school is failing those it serves. But you can do something about that — through involvement in local and state politics, for example — without sacrificing your son. And what you owe is not heroic commitment, ‘‘turning the school around’’ by your own efforts. You owe only your fair share of the duties of an engaged local citizen."

But, over at The Billfold, a Hartford public defender named Josh Michtom took issue with that advice, suggesting that the NYT ethicist had blown the answer. His piece, If You Don’t At Least Try Your Local School, You May Be Part Of The Problem, says that, "To say, simply, “Don’t worry about it” is the wrong answer, and it is a pernicious wrong answer. It is the answer that tells people with both the resources and (theoretically) the philosophical disposition to fight segregation on a voluntary basis that they needn’t bother. It’s a cop-out, and if this topic is to be resolved with a cop-out, it deserves a soul-searching, garment-rending, morosely guilty cop-out."

 

 

Morning Video: Adorable Teacher, Friedrichs Protesters, Hillary On White Privilege

From The Seventy Four: America's Oldest - and Most Adorable - Teacher. Or check out some pics and video from the competing groups outside the Supreme Court yesterday. Or -- watch Hillary Clinton field a question about white privilege (via Fusion/MediaLite).

AM News: Detroit Public School Protest

Detroit Public School Teachers Protest WNYC: Earley called the "sickout" in Detroit yesterday an action by a minority of public school teachers, saying it "served no purpose other than to harm and disrupt the efforts intended for those who cannot afford to lose instruction time, social building time, and time in the classrooms." See also Washington Post.

Could Lottery Money Save Charter Schools In Washington? Seattle Public Radio: Charters would pull an estimated $9 million a year from the lottery account, which Litzow says stands at around $150 million. It is currently limited to paying for grants, scholarships and early childhood education.

New York City’s High School Graduation Rate Tops 70% NYT: The announcement, which also noted that just over 78 percent of state students earned a diploma, came as state officials met to consider changes in graduation requirements. See ChalkbeatNY.

State To Apply For Federal Waiver To Try Out New School Evaluation System  Politico NY: A new type of assessment system could be in the works for New York as the state Education Department plans to apply for a federal pilot program under the new Every Student Succeeds Act — a program lawmakers said was written with New York in mind.

Michelle King is new superintendent for Los Angeles Unified School District  Los Angeles Times: Michelle King, center, receives applause from L.A. Unified board member Scott ... On Monday evening, the Board of Education gave the job to a candidate ... 2 after serving three times as leader of the nation's second-largest school.

LAUSD board picks long-time administrator Michelle King as new superintendent KPCC: In brief remarks to reporters after the announcement, she thanked the board for "their confidence and support" and as the first African American woman to lead the district, sees herself as a role model for what can be achieved. 

100,000 NYC School Children Face Airport-Style Security Screening Every Day ProPublica: Almost as many New York City students run the gauntlet of x-ray machines each day as pass through the scanners at busy Miami International Airport. And the procedure is numbingly similar. Students must remove belts, shoes, and sometimes bobby pins as the wait stretches as long as an hour.

Afternoon Action: All About #Friedrichs

Charts: Inflation-Adjusted Spending Over Time, By State

Ttytyt

"Please note that the reported totals cannot be reliably compared among states. Figures reported do not account for discrepancies in cost of living, which are typically calculated for specific metropolitan areas. In addition, accounting methods vary among state agencies." Click the link to see all the states. Governing: Education Spending Per Student by State.

Education Spending Per Student by State.

 

Inflation-adjusting spending per student

This table shows total spending per pupil for elementary/secondary education after amounts are adjusted for inflation:

Morning Video: Teacher Sick-Out Closes Bunch Of Detroit Schools

At least 50 Detroit Public Schools closed due to teacher sick-out

Or, watch this PBS NewsHour segment Country's oldest voluntary school desegregation program grows in Rochester, New York

Or, listen to this NPR story A 'No-Nonsense' Classroom Where Teachers Don't Say 'Please'.

Pop Culture: "Let's Read" (David Bowie, RIP)

As news of David Bowie's death spreads, there's at least one education-related angle to explore: this American Library Association PSA in which the singer (dressed in jeans and a letterman jacket) reads a paperback. "This used to be up at my library," explains Jason Diamond.

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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.