From PBS NewsHour: "Emily Feistritzer has come a long way from her first entrepreneurial endeavor: going door to door selling glow-in-the-dark statues of the Virgin Mary. After a long career in education, she founded Teach-Now, a global company that provides online teaching degrees for $6,000 in just nine months -- a cheaper and faster alternative to what most traditional universities offer. William Brangham reports."
Supplementing a highly inequitable system with a relatively small amount of federal funding is one small step in a much longer journey. Even with supplemental funds, schools within communities of concentrated poverty remain highly disadvantaged. Fifty years after President Johnson fired the first salvo in his War on Poverty, the fight continues.
- CEP's Maria Ferguson in the November issue of Kappan (Still trying to get equity right
"This effect is driven almost entirely by black students, especially black boys, who are markedly less likely to be subjected to exclusionary discipline when taught by black teachers. There is little evidence of any benefit for white students of being matched with white teachers." (Teacher Race and School Discipline)
Here's an updated version of EdWeek's Tracking the Common Core State Standards map, in case you forgot which states are doing what. By EdWeek's count, 37 states have "Kept Common-Core Adoption," 9 in red have announced "a Major Common Core Rewrite or Replacement," 4 never adopted Common Core, and 1 only adopted ELA standards. Note that they "have not tried to pick apart each state’s standards and judge which ones created new standards that are truly distinct from the common core. Adopting “new” standards can mean different things in different states, so different people might come to different judgments about the total number of states that use the common core." Click the link to see the interactive version with state-level details.
Where Donald Trump And Hillary Clinton Stand On 10 Policy Issues [including education] : NPR ow.ly/OSZJ305j8km
Labor funding to outside political groups increases 38% as part of an effort to boost Clinton - WSJ ow.ly/NFTv305ktTT
Which States Have Seen the Most Progress (or None at All) on Graduation Rates? - Education Week ow.ly/iKvK305kv36
L.A. Unified decides fate of six charter schools; El Camino leader resigns latimes.com/local/educatio…
Gary Solomon pleads guilty to fraud in Chicago schools bribery case hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie…
3 Students Shot Outside San Francisco High School: Police abcnews.go.com/US/students-sh…
UNO teachers, Chicago charter network avert strike - Chicago Tribune ow.ly/6VO3305kvYn
U.S. Minority Students Less Exposed to Computer Science gallup.com/poll/196307/mi…
Texas House Digging in Heels for School Voucher Fight kut.org/post/texas-hou…
So is the answer to address concentrated poverty? Sure. Except that, if anything, attempts to address poverty have a worse track record than attempts to improve education. Hell, attempts to address poverty have such a bad track record that even credulous pundits rarely bother writing about it anymore. Nobody really seems to have any compelling answers, and for about 90% of the country it's just too easy to ignore the problem entirely.
Kevin Drum, in Mother Jones (2010) Schools and Poverty
Personalized education? OK, maybe. But don’t tell me you want your kids brought up in a classroom without teachers... No one is going to disrupt teachers away. Teaching is probably the most difficult of all current jobs for an AI to manage.
-- Hank Green in Medium (You Can’t Fix Education)
Earlier this week, New York media outlets including the NYT noted that homeless children have higher absentee rates because they’re trying to travel to schools that aren’t close to the shelters to which they’ve been assigned.
A recent Washington Post article noted “the remarkable thing that happens to poor kids when you help their parents with rent. Researchers speculate that parents who don’t have to worry about paying private-sector rents “might have more time to spend on their children — helping them with their homework, keeping them out of trouble and guiding them to a more successful adulthood.”
Even years after the Great Recession, districts like Sacramento are seeing spikes in homeless children.
In a recent Housing Matters interview, Desmond described the impact of evictions this way: “People lose their communities. Kids lose their schools…They move into neighborhoods with higher crime rates. They also relocate to housing that has more housing problems.”
In The Atlantic, Desmond notes “We value fairness in this country. We value equal opportunity. Without a stable home, those ideals really fall apart. Without the ability to plant roots and invest in your community or your school… eviction becomes something of an inevitability to you.”
In a recent phone interview, Desmond emphasized the housing-school connections in his work. The relationship between housing and education is “huge for me,” said Desmond, and keeps coming up on his book tour.
“I remember I was in Phoenix a few months ago and a teacher stood up and told me that 40 percent of her students who start the year with her will not be there the last week of school. She said, ‘Before reading your book, I never knew why.’”
It's not that poor families want to move as much as they end up moving. These families would love to keep their children in the same school, but are often unable to do so. Poor families spending well north of 50 percent of their income on rent are vulnerable to eviction, which requires them to move suddenly even if it’s the middle of the school year.
This level of churn is far from desirable. “If we want more family and school stability, we need a lot fewer evictions,” said Desmond.
Making matters worse, evicted families generally move into worse neighborhoods and worse housing, which generally have lower-performing schools.
In between between evictions, children from poor families live in overcrowded conditions that have direct effects on their ability to do well in school. One of the families Desmond profiled in his book was far too crowded and noisy to allow children to do homework, he recalled.
Of course, high housing costs are also affecting teachers directly, making it difficult for them to afford housing in some places.
Desmond also reports that some middle and high school teachers are teaching the book as part of units on poverty and homelessness. “I’ve been thrilled to hear from high school students around the country that have read the book,” he said. “It’s been a pleasant surprise.”
And the impact on parents’ ability to support their children’s school success should not be underestimated, according to Desmond. “We have to come to terms with all the bandwidth that this crisis is sucking out of parents minds,” he said. “If I was a mom spending 80 percent of income on rent, facing inevitable eviction, I don’t think I’d have that extra brainpower to think about school lotteries or magnets schools.”
I think voluntary [integration] is great, but the number of school districts that are willing to take this on? ... It's something like 1 percent of school districts in the country are attempting these programs. I don't think that's going to scale much beyond 5 percent or 10 percent unless there is real political will put behind it.
-- ASU's Matt Delmont on NPR (Why Busing Didn't End School Segregation)
Either your teacher training programs are attracting an unusually gifted group of students or the standard for honors in education is too low. We know from other studies that it is not the first explanation.
-- Former EdSec Arne Duncan, in Brookings (An open letter to America’s college presidents and education school deans)
The key issue is not whether there will be enough warm bodies to enter teaching. The key issue is whether there will be enough well-qualified individuals willing to offer their services in the specific fields and locations that currently lack an adequate supply.
-- Response from researchers at the Learning Policy Institute to questions about their recent teacher shortage study (Teacher Supply and Demand)
If you want to try and understand how education writers and editors decide to write the stories that they produce -- and how they come out the way they do -- it's good to know what they're being told. (And if you're a savvy education editor or reporter it's also a good thing to know a little about what you're being told.)
For example, later this week in Chicago is the Education Writers Association's mini-conference on The ABCs of ESSA, in which they association will try and make sure that education reporters know about the new federal law and how it's going to be implemented.
The preliminary schedule of events to be held in Chicago includes appearances from CCSSO's Chris Minnich, LPI's Charmaine Mercer, the Leadership Conference's Liz King, and former EdWeek editor and reporter Erik Robelen (now at EWA). I'm also supposed to be there (as an attendee).
There are also going to be appearances from the USDE's Emma Vadehra, some discussion about low-performing school interventions (including someone from San Francisco's Mission High), and a panel on great ESSA stories led by NPR's Steve Drummond, Chalkbeat's Scott Elliott, and the Joyce Foundation's Stephanie Banchero. AFT head Randi Weingarten was scheduled to be there -- probably the highest-profile person on the original speakers list -- but she's being replaced by staffer Rob Weil.
Anything notable about the list of topics and attendees? Anyone left out? Education journalism didn't do an entirely stellar job describing NCLB to the public. Ditto for Common Core. Crossed fingers that ESSA training and the subsequent coverage are both strong.
People think we’re better now than we used to be. But we’re not. Those white families in Cleveland are going to flee.
-- Greenville, Miss. parent and lawyer Kimberly Merchant, in Hechinger Report (The anonymous town that was the model of desegregation in the Civil Rights era)
Here the New York Times looks back at the rise of zero-tolerance discipline policies, going back to Joe Clark, and then takes us to the current wave of restorative justice programs (featuring Furr High School in Houston).
"The concept of zero tolerance has come to encompass such a broad range of disruptive actions that roughly three million schoolchildren are suspended each year... Many students are hauled off to police station houses for antisocial behavior that, a generation or two ago, would have sent them no farther than the principal’s office."
Watch the video to see Eric Holder talk about high school kids as predators back in the 1990s, and admit that the policies and implementation went way too far. Read the accompanying article here.
The series, part of the Times' Retro Reports series, gives a helpful overview, though I wish it pointed out the struggles that some districts are having transitioning from zero tolerance to restorative practices without additional resources for counselors and teacher training. Eliminating zero tolerance isn't as easy as flipping a switch, and trying to do it without care and planning could lead schools right back to some of the same problems as before.
The vast majority of Latino youth are US citizens. Eight out of 10 states with fastest growing Latino populations between 2000-2015 were in the South. Graduation rates are up. All this and more via NCLR's new report #kidsdata.
WSJ: "The past 25 years have seen a growing split between households with different levels of educational attainment. The median household led by someone with a master’s degree earns $7,655 more per year than in 1991. Those with some college, but no degree, earn $7,768 less and those with a high-school diploma but no further education earn $6,316 less." (U.S. Poverty and Income Inequality in 9 Charts - Real Time Economics)
A recent PDK International poll reported that American's don't like it when schools get closed. They much prefer troubled schools get new leadership and/or staff. Eighty-four percent of the public prefers fixing struggling schools while just 14 percent want to close them.
All of the choice-based reform efforts that they’ve come up with over the last 20 years have been designed to bring back all the white people who left after Brown v. Board. But the irony is that, if [districts] keep relying on choice, they’re going to be set up for failure because white people will not enroll their children in schools unless they’re already [predominantly] white.
-- Natalie Hopkinson, a black parent and journalist in The Atlantic (How Parents Can Help Desegregate Schools)
This year's POLITICO 50 includes almost a half-dozen education-related influencers, including Sara Goldrick-Rab, Deray McKesson, Brittany Packnett, Matthew Desmond, and Ann 'Oleary. Read all about them. Desmond is the person who wrote the book about the lives of poor black and white residents of Milwaukee, who are regularly forced to move from one expensive apartment to another.
You cannot turn around centuries of lack of advantage in a generation. Nobody's ever done that in the history of mankind... We've got to sustain this for 30, 40, 50 years if we're going to see some real change.
- Malcolm Gladwell via OZY (Why Malcolm Gladwell Is Optimistic About Charter Schools)
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.
In Detroit, schools and teachers reach pact ow.ly/dQBd303YzYe
Parents Sue After New York State Denies Money to ‘Failing’ Schools - The New York Times ow.ly/ksdB303YzWu
State Testing Disruptions Likely Produced Dips and Gains in Student Scores, Study Says - Market Brief ow.ly/rOjU303XayY
An Effective but Exhausting Alternative to High School Suspensions nytimes.com/2016/09/11/mag…
Christie blasts teachers union, calls for longer school year during back-to-school event burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/local/chr…
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Calls Teachers Union 'Mafia,' Signs Education Bills blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_e…
On Eve Of Court Hearing, WA Lawmakers Get An Earful On School Funding kuow.org/post/eve-court…
Creating better teachers is more complicated — and more expensive — than claiming we can drastically improve education with pink slips. But in fact, pretty great teachers can be made.
- Karin Klein in LA Times Opinion Page (Why firing bad teachers isn't nearly as important as creating good ones)
Curious why states and districts are so upset with the notion of having to reallocate funding in order to remain eligible for ESSA? According to FiveThirtyEight, state funding has gone down nearly 7 percent since 2008, and student spending over all has gone down over 2 percent during the same period -- even as enrollments have increased (a bit).
U.S. education chief to visit New Orleans, Baton Rouge nola.com/education/inde…
Top Clinton advisor Anne O'Leary splits with Goodwin Liu - SFChronicle pllqt.it/4wPwvC
Michelle Obama visits the District’s Howard University with host of NBC’s ‘Late Night’ wpo.st/3g5w1
Small reductions in children’s lead exposure dramatically improve educational outcomes - Vox pllqt.it/rRZvJY
In Austin Public Schools, a Clear Divide on AP Test Passing Rates | KUT ow.ly/hNfy303Ofrd
Room for compromise as teachers strike vote nears | Chicago Reporter ow.ly/wKyT303P7b0
Welcome to first grade! Please bring two reams of copy paper with you kuow.org/post/welcome-f…
Above, watch a clean-shaven Cory Turner segment about how Ohio and other non-Southern states have neighboring districts with wildly different poverty levels.
Or, watch this Emerson Collective video segment about TFA's recruitment of undocumented college students to become classroom teachers.
This NYT map and accompanying story (Here’s Where They Went) shows the 231 towns and cities where the 10,000 Syrian refugees accepted into the United States have been settled over the past four years.
These numbers are tiny compared to what other nations are doing currently or what the US has done in the past with Cuban and Vietnamese refugees, points out the Times.
Big cities like NYC, Chicago, and LA haven't been among the leaders compared to affordable mid-sized citeis. "Boise, Idaho, has accepted more refugees than New York and Los Angeles combined; Worcester, Mass., has taken in more than Boston."
Students in Lancaster, PA are suing the district for providing an inadequate education. School districts on Long Island, NY are being monitored to ensure that they enroll and serve refugee students appropriately.
"The suit claims district administrators routinely sent older refugee students to a "disciplinary school" that subjected them to bullying, intense security protocols and an accelerated learning program that runs counter to conventional wisdom on the subject."
On PBS last night, a segment about a small seven year-old program in Chicago that attempts to prepare teachers (mostly white) for kids and communities they're likely to teach in (mostly black and brown) -- including a cross-cultural homestay program. Roughly half of Chicago teachers are white, while less than 10 percent of Chicago students are.
States Loosen Teacher-Licensure Rules Amid Shortage Fears blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacher…
Despite Vergara Ruling, Teacher-Tenure Battles Set to Heat Up - Education Week ow.ly/WfyH303KTSm
FBI raids home of ex-College Board official in probe of SAT leak | Reuters ow.ly/XgaS303Jlyn
Staunch City Hall critic abandons appeal & resigns as principal of top Chicago school - Chicago Magazine ow.ly/TgME303K1Go
ACLU claims Lancaster PA denies refugees proper education | PhillyVoice pllqt.it/OUxLlL
Finally, a disturbing trend in education shows signs of reversal - LA Times ow.ly/R0xk303KRDj
Why was it the ACLU, not charter school overseers, who called out 'illegal' behaviors? scpr.org/news/2016/08/3…
Charts: Poll Shows Majority Of Americans & Public School Parents Oppose Opting Out Of Standardize Tests
"Fifty-five percent of public school parents oppose allowing children to sit out standardized tests. Overall, the demographic groups most opposed to the opt-out movement are black people (67 percent) and senior citizens (68 percent)." Results from #PDKPoll via Chalkbeat.
Via Larry Ferlazzo: I Wonder How Many Students Experience School As It’s Illustrated In This Video?. The video was apparently produced by the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School.
One likely explanation for the across-the-board increase in parents’ investing in their young children’s learning is that parents today are just far more aware of the unique importance of the early childhood years in shaping their children’s development... It also may be that the increase in parent-child interactions among low-income families has been driven, in part, by the shift of low-income children out of preschool programs and into parental care during the economic recession.
-- Daphna Bassok, a co-author of the study and professor at the University of Virginia (Despite Growing Income Inequality, Learning Gaps Between Rich And Poor Kids Are Actually Closing)
Surprise! Amid rising inequality, one school gap is narrowing scpr.org/news/2016/08/2…
Low-income kindergartners are closing the achievement gap, reversing a decades-old trend washingtonpost.com/news/education…
According to a new report from EPI, teachers’ weekly wages are now 23 percent lower than those of other college graduates.
The most common profession in many states is truck driver -- a group that could soon lose their jobs to robots, according to Vox. But the most common job in few states including Florida, Alaska and some in New England is primary school teacher -- a notoriously low-paying but abundant job. No news yet on robot primary school teachers. But it's probably coming soon.