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Quotes: How The Recession Might Help Explain Low-Income Kids' Progress

Quotes2One 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)

AM News: Narrowing Gaps, Poll Time, Homework Debate, & More

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…

Trump’s ‘Education Week’ Calculation: A New Pivot to Woo Reluctant Republicans and Swing State Minorities | The 74 ow.ly/qVKk303FYlU
 
Poll: Rising Share of Americans Like Their Local Schools ... But There's a Catch blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…
 
Americans Like Their Schools Just Fine — But Not Yours - NPR ow.ly/aWm7303FWWM
 
Dozens of Baltimore County Schools Closed for Heat abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/d…
 
A new school year, and a 204th school, as enrollment surges in Maryland district washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…
 
As Students Return to School, Debate About the Amount of Homework Rages nytimes.com/2016/08/25/us/…
 
4 Years After Tragedy, A New Sandy Hook Elementary Prepares To Open Its Doors npr.org/sections/thetw…
 
From Humans of New York to Obama's Office: How a Principal Built a School - NYT nzzl.us/0kspD5L
 
Buckeye, Ariz., HS Student Wears 'Black Lives Matter' Shirt, Told to Change - EBONY nzzl.us/zz58IEK
 

Charts: Teacher Pay Gap Keeps Going Up - Now 23 Percent

According to a new report from EPI, teachers’ weekly wages are now 23 percent lower than those of other college graduates.

Maps: Primary School Teachers Top Some State Job Lists (But Robots...)

Npr-map-most-common-job-2014

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. 

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.

Campaign 2016: Black Kids 500% More Likely To Die From Asthsma

Quotes: Wealthier White Parents Want One Thing, Wealthier Black Parents Another

Quotes2I found middle class and affluent white families organizing to limit access, taking the good teachers, in the principal’s office daily advocating that ‘my kid gets the good programs.’ Wealthy Black families would rather pay their money and send kids to private schools.

- CUNY professor L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy in EWA via Education Post (We Can't Keep Ignoring the Suburbs and the Black People That Live in Them)

Morning Video: Advanced Math Classes Too Much For Most?

"Algebra is a core subject for U.S. high school students. But should it be? Author Andrew Hacker believes we should reconsider how math is taught: only 5 percent of the American workforce actually uses math beyond arithmetic, though higher-level classes are widely required." Via PBS NewsHour

Maps: "Island" (Fortress?) School Districts Isolate Kids By Wealth

Campaign 2016: Yes, Schools Today More Segregated Than 1960s

Quotes: Busing -- Fake Issue, Or Real?

Quotes2Without doubt, “busing” became a charged term during the 1970’s, but calling it fake ignores critical facts about its symbolic meaning. For the vast majority of parents it meant loss of control over where their child went to school. 

- David Armor in Brookings (Why busing was definitely not a fake issue)

AM News: Homeless Students, Refugee Kids, Planning Time, & More

U.S. Education Department issues guidelines for supporting homeless students washingtonpost.com/news/education…

Department of Education issues new guidelines for schools aimed at helping homeless students abcn.ws/2aa1XoD

Camp For Young Refugees Teaches U.S. School Skills wnyc.org/story/young-re…

NCTQ ranks the amount of planning time teachers get in 147 districts | Education Dive ow.ly/gBnV302FJtd

As deadline looms, California struggles to finalize new school accountability system edsource.org/2016/as-deadli…

Chicago Teachers Union, district set to begin fresh round of talks - Chicago Tribune ow.ly/89xJ302G7jf

CPS: Special education programs failing despite higher costs - Chicago Tribune ow.ly/l1xd302Ftsb

LA Unified 'soft-launching' parent website for tracking student attendance, graduation progress scpr.org/news/2016/07/2…

Education policy expert tapped as president of state education board  washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

New York City Is Taking A Big Step To Keep Young Kids In School  huffingtonpost.com/2016/07/26/new…

How the relationship between L.A. Unified and charter schools is 'like a middle school dance' latimes.com/local/educatio…

Note that there will be no news roundup tomorrow, July 29th. Back again on Monday. 

Charts: DC Schools Improving Faster Than Demographics Predict

image from pbs.twimg.com

Morning Video: Is This The Third Reconstruction?

Advances, then backlash. That's the big story of civil rights and inequality, says Washington Monthly's Nancy LeTourneau.

Money: Teaches Make Less Than 60 Percent Of Average Pay For Peers

U.S. teachers earn less than 60% of the average pay for other full-time college-educated workers, according to CAP.

Quotes: School Integration's Many Benefits For Kids

Quotes2When kids are exposed to children who are different than them, whether it’s along racial lines or economic lines, that contact between different groups reduces the willingness of kids to make stereotypes and generalizations about other groups... It also reduces anxiety because a lot of prejudice grows out of fear of the unknown and feeling anxious when you’re around different people because you’ve never had that experience before.

-- Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education in US News (Racial Tensions Flare as Schools Resegregate)

What Does A Social Justice Agenda For Schools Really Look Like?

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Last night on Twitter there was some disagreement about whether folks like Diane Ravitch qualify as "social justice" advocates. Ditto for school reform advocates like, say, Arne Duncan. 

What I learned from the discussion was that people probably have very different notions about what it means to come at improving schools from a social justice perspective. For reform critics like Ravitch, opposing approaches that disempower classroom teachers or put pressure on traditional schools feels like social justice. For reform advocates like Duncan giving parents choices and making schools accountable for results feels like social justice. 

Eager as they might be to claim the mantle of social justice advocacy, my sense is that both sides are wrong, and that the things that they spend most of their time advocating for are not the things that social justice advocates would prioritize for children and communities of color who most need better schools.

It's important to note that changes to education are not central to the current #BlackLivesMatter movement that embodies social justice advocacy in the current era. When education does come up, things like more charters, school desegregation, teacher empowerment, accountability, and student loans are not priority items.

So what would a social justice education agenda look like? Here's a highly imperfect guess at some of the priorities that might be highlighted. There's got to be a better version of this somewhere, but it's a start:

10/ Cops out of schools

    9/ Ending defiance-based suspensions and expulsions

    8/ Anti-racism /cultural awareness training for teachers

    7/ High-quality universal preschool

    6/ Living wages for paras, aides, and early childhood teacher

    5/ Equitable distribution of certified teachers (and payroll costs) among district schools

    4/ Limits on self-segregation of affluent students within neighborhoods and island districts

    3/ Dramatic reduction in local control/property tax-based funding

    2/ Giving parents right to legal action against inadequate education (as with IDEA)

    1/ __________________________________

    Morning Video: Update On XQ

    Via The Seventy Four.

    Charts: Alternative Poverty Rate Not So Bad As Official One

    For years we've been told that poverty has been increasing. So it might not seem like a big deal that Majority Leader Paul Ryan claimed that poverty is worse under Obama earlier this week. At 15 percent, the official measure is high. But the official measure doesn't account for certain public benefits, such as food stamps, notes The Washington Post. An alternative measure "also indicates that a greater share of Americans are poor now than were poor under the Bush or Clinton administrations. Yet the current rate is moderate by historical standards — below its level throughout much of the Reagan administration."

    #EDgif Of The Day: Middle Schoolers Print New Leg For Cute Penguin

    Quotes: Before You Let Your School Go Pokemon Crazy ...

    Quotes2The whole "Pokemon Go will revolutionize education" claims have made me incredibly angry, even though it's a claim that's made about every single new product that ed-tech's early adopters find exciting (and clickbait-worthy)... All this matters for Pokemon Go; all this matters for ed-tech....“Gotta catch ’em all” may be the perfect slogan for consumer capitalism; but it’s hardly a mantra I’m comfortable chanting to push for education transformation. 

    - Audrey Watters in  Hack Education Weekly Newsletter (HEWN) 

     

    Morning Listen: Unacknowledged Racism In The Leafy Suburbs

    Check out this fascinating American RadioWorks interview titled Race in Suburban Schools, featuring L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy talking about his look at one Midwestern suburban school district that illustrates the increasing diversity and nagging achievement gaps in the leafy burbs. One striking example Lewis-McCoy describes is how he observes white teachers hold back from correcting the grammar and speech of black and brown students to avoid stigmatizing them. 

     

    Maps: Gap Between Rich & Poor Schools Grows 44 Percent (Now $1,500 Per Kid)

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    Red and orange states are where students in rich districts receive more funds than students in poor districts. via Hechinger Report (The gap between rich and poor schools grew 44 percent over a decade).

    "The richest 25 percent of school districts receive 15.6 percent more funds from state and local governments per student than the poorest 25 percent of school districts, the federal Department of Education pointed out last month (March, 2015).  That’s a national funding gap of $1,500 per student, on average, according to the most recent data, from 2011-12. The gap has grown 44 percent since 2001-02, when a student in a rich district had only a 10.8 percent resource advantage over a student in a poor district."

     

    Campaign 2016: Independent Voters Don't Care Much About Education Issues

    By the looks of this polling data, independent voters care about education just a smidgen less than they care about who gets picked for the Vice President.

    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:

    Charts: Teacher Salaries Spread Over Time

    If I'm reading this right, the salary spread for educators (purple) has grown much wider over time. http://ow.ly/RGim302dxqa

    Charts: Overconfident Parents

    Here's the latest evidence that parents' beliefs about how well their schools are doing educating their children differ from NAEP performance evidence.

    Morning Video: Strong Results (Again) For "Becoming A Man"

    "A new study finds a program that works with at-risk young men in Chicago schools reduced overall arrests in the group by 35 percent, violent crime arrests by 50 percent and boosted on-time high school graduation for participants by 19 percent." via WTTW Chicago Public Television (Program for At-Risk Youth Cuts Arrests by 35 Percent)

    Charts: States Flee Common Assessments To Save Common Core

    image from educationnext.org"As of May 2016, just six states planned to implement the PARCC-designed assessment in the 2016-17 academic year. SBAC ... retains 14 states that plan to use the full test." via Education Next.

    Maps: Las Vegas Teachers Absent More Than State/National Averages

    Check out the absentee rates around massive Clark County, Nevada, and read the story here

     

    Maps: Nearly 200 "Island" Districts Segregate School Communities

    Reform critics like to talk about big social issues like poverty, or focus on reform challenges like racial segregation in charter schools, but downplay ignore structural issues in public education like school assignment policies and district boundaries.

    It's not just attendance zones and school assignment policies within districts that contribute to segregation and school inequality. According to a new report from EdBuild, school district boundaries themselves play a dramatic role in "segregating communities and separating low-income kids from educational opportunity." The most vivid examples of this effect are "island" districts entirely surrounded by other school districts of vastly different means.

    "The way we fund schools in the United States creates incentives for communities to segregate along socioeconomic lines in order to preserve local wealth. In so doing, communities create arbitrary borders that serve to lock students into, or out of, opportunity. This reality is especially glaring in the case of island school districts that are entirely surrounded by single districts of very different means."

    While there are nearly 200 examples nationwide, the report highlights examples in Oakland, Freehold NJ, and Columbus OH.

     

    Maps: State Prison Spending Increases Outpace Education Spending By 63-668 Percent

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    "While prison spending has risen three times as quickly as school spending nationally, in some states the disparities are far greater. In Colorado, prison spending rose five times faster than school spending. Prison spending grew six times more quickly in South Dakota and seven times in Wyoming. In Texas, where the disparity is greatest, prison spending grew at nearly eight times the rate as school spending."

    From the Washington Post (The states that spend more money on prisoners than college students)

    Morning Video: At Aspen, Civil Rights In The 21st Century

    There wasn't much education talk at the Aspen Ideas festival this year, compared to previous years, but here's a panel on civil rights from the festival held recently. See #AspenIdeas for more. 

    Morning Video: "Defending The Early Years" (From School Reform)

     

    "As kindergarten and pre-k have become more academically rigorous, some worry that the very youngest students may be missing out on crucial development through abundant playtime. But other educators believe setting high expectations for achievement helps kids, especially low-income students, excel. " From PBS NewsHour. Set at Mission Hill. Cameo from Matt Damon's mom -- and Fordham's Robert Pondiscio.

    Charts: PA Funding Formula Benefits Declining Districts

    "Of the 100 districts that receive the most per-pupil funding from the state, the overwhelming majority have residents who spend below the state average when it comes to the share of personal income that goes to local property taxes for schools." (The story of Pennsylvania's per-pupil school funding

    Charts: Seattle High School Illustrates Integration/Inequality Problem

    Seattle's Garfield High School is integrated in terms of student demographics, but not when it comes to participation in advanced courses (or where students hang out), notes this Seattle Times story.

    Quotes: Charters For Everyone!

    Quotes2There was a period of time where it was as if almost anyone who wanted to open a charter school could get a grant of $100,000 from the Waltons. It ran like that for a number of years, until eventually they looked at the results and decided this wasn’t working.

    NACSA's Greg Richmond in The American Prospect (Education Reformers Reflect at 25)

    Afternoon Video: Two Contrasting Charter School Models

    This video highlights Avalon School in St. Paul, Minn., and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Los Angeles, Calif -- one charter led by teachers, another part of a college-prep focused network. (Charter Schools After 25 Years: Inside Two Contrasting Schools via EdWeek)

    Quotes: Parents Choose Diversity If They "Have To"

    Quotes2Parents generally place greater value on schools with a high percentage of students of the same race/ethnicity as their child — but only if their child would otherwise be in the smallest minority at school. If their child won’t be in the smallest minority, parents are less concerned about — and, in fact, supportive of — schools with a more diverse student body.

    - From Mathematic analysis of DC school lottery choices, via NY Times

    Charts: Making the Grade in America's Big Cities

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    Here's an Urban Institute look at how various big-city school systems look, using NAEP TUDA data and controlling for demographics.  Click the link to read the report. 

    Afternoon Video: Teaching Tolerance In The Segregated South

    "Special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks to Maureen Costello of the Southern Poverty Law Center for insight into how Southern schools can move race relations forward."

    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”)

     
     

    Morning Video: Here Come Next-Generation Science Standards

    "The battle over Common Core education standards is playing out across the country, but a new set of requirements for teaching science is creeping into curricula without the same fanfare. Some states are voluntarily adopting the practices, which emphasize more consistent science instruction as well as hands-on experimentation." PBS NewsHour

    Charts: How Far Are Parents Willing To Go For Better Demographics, Scores?

    School Choice in DC image

    "For the [2014 Washington DC] lottery, families submitted rank-ordered lists of their preferred schools from a long list of options, including charter schools and traditional public schools."

    From Mathematica (Market Signals: A Deep-Dive Analysis of Parental School Choice)

    Morning Video: The Case Against Raising MA's Charter School Cap

    Here's a two-minute video from Save Our Public Schools making the case against raising MA's charter school cap. There's a big state referendum on the issue coming later this year. The video claims that charters already take $400 million away from public schools. 

    Quotes: Should We Ban The "Other" Box, Too?

    Quotes2Roughly 75 percent of colleges and universities collect high school discipline information and almost 90 percent of those use the information in admission decisions. The Common Application, used by 600 colleges and universities, specifically asks applicants if they have “ever been found responsible for a disciplinary violation” at school. School discipline records are not automatically expunged and, according to the study, 50 percent of high schools provide colleges with these records.
     
    --  Youth Defender Clinic's Kate Weisburd in The Marshall Project (Ban the Other Box)

    Morning Video: Peer Tutoring Inside A Multilingual High School

    "At Pennsylvania’s Upper Darby High School in suburban Philadelphia, more than 15 languages are spoken in a student body of nearly 4,000. To help support such a diverse array of English-language learners, the school created a peer tutoring program."

    Update: How They're Teaching "Hamilton"

    image from blogs.scholastic.com
    You know about the Broadway hit, and maybe even know that high school kids are seeing the show and performing for the cast. But what's the backstory, and how's the curriculum put together?

    Check out Scholastic Administrator editor Wayne D'Orio's new piece about how Hamilton teamed with two nonprofits to immerse high school students in American history'—and challenge them to create their own performances. 

    "Thirteen teams of 11th graders from around New York City are waiting anxiously in the wings to perform their own two-minute pieces on events or people from the birth of our country. “Welcome to the best day of the year for us here at the Richard Rodgers: EduHam,” says an enthusiastic Miranda as he looks out on a theater packed entirely with high school students. After the student performances, the high schoolers will see Hamilton, culminating their immersion in the life and times of the “10-dollar founding father without a father.”

     

    Charts: EdTech Investing Cooling Off In 2016, Says New Report

    Ed-Tech Market in Flux as Investors Grow More Selective - Education Week http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/06/08/ed-tech-market-in-flux-as-investors-grow.html?cmp=SOC-SHR-TW … via @educationweek https://twitter.com/EdWeekSCavanagh

    Maps: Detroit & DC Have High Chronic Absence Rates, Says USDE

    image from download.gannett.edgesuite.net

    "Overall, the national average of chronic absenteeism was 13 percent, or about 6.5 million students, the Education Department said....Detroit Public Schools has the highest rate of chronic absenteeism among the nation’s largest 100 school districts." via AP

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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.