According to this Bloomberg blog post (Who Marries CEOs, Doctors, Chefs and Janitors), elementary school teachers tend to marry retail supervisors and ... truck drivers? That is, when they don't marry each other: the most common marriage is between grade-school teachers. Click the link to check out the pattern for high school teachers, primary school teachers, and college teachers.
Here's a #TFA25 panel moderated by the NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones, who starts out expressing a view that the term "diversity" is cute but "integration" is an imperative. (Intentionally Diverse Learning Communities). Panelists include Kriste Dragon, Bill Kurtz, Jeremy Chiappetta, Julie Goldstein. 90 minutes.
Here's a cool map from The Century Foundation's new report, A New Wave of School Integration, showing the districts, schools, and charter networks that are involved.
The think tank calls this its "most comprehensive and ambitious audit of districts and charters pursuing socioeconomic integration to date," revealing that the number of school districts and charter networks pursuing socioeconomic integration has "more than doubled since 2007, and more than 4 million students are now enrolled in schools that use socioeconomic status as a factor in student assignment."
Freakonomics: "Okay, maybe the steps aren't so easy. But a program run out of a Toronto housing project has had great success in turning around kids who were headed for trouble." (Rebroadcast)
Or, if you want to see some cool video, check out this Sam Chaltain post This is what Kindergarten looks like in its ideal form.
More schools nationwide are experimenting with diversity programs, report says ChalkbeatNY: Ninety-one districts and charter networks now have at least one school that factors socioeconomic status into its assignments, according to a report released Tuesday by the Century Foundation. The number identified by the foundation has more than doubled since 2007 and represents about 4 million students nationwide, the report says. See also Washington Post.
The Common Core Has Its SupportersWSJ: Many in New York state have embraced the standards, believing they spur more analytical thinking by children and more teamwork among educators
Obama Budget to Seek New Money to Help Schools Integrate, Sources Say PK12: The Obama administration is expected to seek $120 million in new money to help schools become more integrated, among other proposals in the fiscal 2017 budget.
In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids Washington Post: An increasing number of school districts and charter networks are trying to break up concentrated poverty and balance their student populations by race and income.
Department Of Education Creates Student Aid Enforcement Office NPR: The Department of Education announced Monday it will create a Student Aid Enforcement Unit to crack down on higher education institutions that are taking advantage of vulnerable students. See also Washington Post.
New, Reading-Heavy SAT Has Students Worried NYT: Some educators fear that the revised test — one of the biggest redesigns ever — will penalize certain students, like immigrants and the poor.
'An Average Guy' Excels At Teaching Students AP Calculus NPR: David Greene talks to advanced placement calculus teacher Anthony Yom about his classroom magic, and how he's gotten every one of his students for the past five years to pass the exam.
Why is Milwaukee so bad for black people? WNYC: Suspensions are just the beginning. The state also has the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the country, and ranks last in reading comprehension tests among black fourth-graders. Milwaukee has the most black students in the state and is the biggest contributor to Wisconsin’s achievement gap. Its public school system has been plagued by federal and state funding cuts and a 20-year-old school choice program that diverts public tax dollars to private schools through vouchers. With 4-out-of-5 black children in Wisconsin living in poverty, an inadequate education can set up the most vulnerable students for failure.
D.C. teachers say new school system policy could cause grade inflation Washington Post: D.C. teachers no longer give students their final grades. Instead, teachers input letter grades for each marking term and for the final exam, and a software program averages the final grade, according to the union.
Charter schools say L.A. Unified is unfairly scrutinizing their campuses LA Times: Caprice Young thought the worst was behind her, that her group's charter schools would be free to grow after straightening out the poor financial record-keeping that prompted a recent state audit. She was wrong.
Repair Bill for Decaying Detroit Schools Could Top $50 Million District Dossier: The financially strapped school district has begun using money budgeted for other departments to fix the most urgent building problems.
"To force the issue, they staged a one-day school boycott on Feb. 3, when approximately 460,000 students refused to go to school -- the school boycott was the largest civil rights protest in U.S. history.... Yet, little came of the boycott, and the activists' demands resonate still." From WNYC (Demand for School Integration Leads to Massive 1964 Boycott — In New York City)
"By second grade, it was clear that while Zack Smith could sit in a chair, he had no intention of staying in it. He was disruptive in class, spoke in a loud voice, and had a hard time taking turns with others... Where Zack eventually landed is clinging spread-eagle to an east-facing slab of quartzite in the West Virginia panhandle." From Outside magazine (ADHD Is Fuel for Adventure)
Watch out, world. A week from today starts TFA's 25th Anniversary Summit in DC.
According to the event organizers, Friday includes "sessions focused on leadership development" (including one about social media that I'm going to be participating in), followed by Saturday's big day of panels (including a Denver case study panel I'm moderating) and an appearance from Janelle Monáe (above).
There are a bunch of social events, including charter networks (Democracy Prep, etc.), diverse charters (Brooklyn Prospect), and districts (Denver Public Schools).
#TFA25 seems to be the event hashtag.
There's a big EdWeek deep dive.
There's a BuzzFeed listicle: 19 Things To Do At The TFA 25th Anniversary Summit.
There's an app.
TFA Alumni Affairs (aka @onedayallkids) have put together a "TFA25 Twitter Track" for the conference http://ow.ly/XB7aA.
There's some great TFA memorabilia floating around on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, including this 1992 poster:
If Deray McKesson isn't there, I think there might be a riot. [He's scheduled to be there on Saturday, I'm told.]
What about LAUSD Board Chairperson Steve Zimmer, or StudentsFirst co-founder Michelle Rhee (pictured at #TFA20)? Jesse Hagopian? Alex Caputo-Pearl? [No idea]
The NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones is going to be there, according to Twitter. (Not as a TFA alum but on a panel on school desegregation.)
The last big gathering of TFA folks was in February 2011, which seems like 100 years ago. People were still talking about the Arab Spring back then. Michelle Rhee was sort of the rock star of the event. Questions about the organization's role and impact were coming up (including from founder Wendy Kopp herself) but hadn't gained real traction yet. There was no #BlackLivesMatter. Teachers in Chicago hadn't gone on strike for the first time in nearly 30 years. Yet.
Related posts: Key Takeaways From The NJ TFA Media Panel; 7 Things I Learned From The LA Times' TFA Article; TFA20: A Premature (Or Even Unwarranted) Celebration?; Looking Ahead To #TFA25; Stop Talking About Education's "Egypt Moment"; Five Ideas For TFA's *Next* 20 Years.
"Some large urban school systems get more bang for their buck than others. After adjusting for certain factors outside a district’s control, such as cost of living and student poverty, some big-city school systems spend millions of dollars more than others—but get far lower results on national math and reading exams." CAP 2011- used with permission.
This comes up because of a couple of recent reports on district spending in 2013 (NCES via Washington Post) and district achievement 2015 (CAP via USA Today). Anyone who wants to match up the more recent spending and NAEP figures?
"The numbers [for the biggest 100 districts in the nation] ranged from $5,539 per pupil in Utah’s Alpine School District to $20,331 in New York City. After New York, the highest-spending large districts were in Boston, Philadelphia and Anchorage. Four of the 11 highest-spending large districts were in the Washington area, reflecting the region’s relative wealth and high cost of living. Montgomery County was ranked fifth, spending $15,080 per student; Howard County was seventh, at $14,884; Prince George’s County was ninth, at $14,101; and Fairfax County was 11th, at $13,670." - Washington Post's Emma Brown (Spending in nation’s schools falls again)
Watch the event from this morning above. Featured are CAP's Catherine Brown, NY State's Mary Ellen Elia, CCSSO's Chris Minnich, Achieve's Mike Coehn, and DCPS teacher Chris Bergfalk, Ruidoso NM Supierntendent George Bickert, and NAACP LDEF's Janel George.
Read more here: Toward a Coherent, Aligned Assessment System | Center for American Progress. Read the Twitterstream #testbetter here.
"If U.S. schoolteachers are indeed "just a little bit below average," it's not really their fault. So what should be done about it?" From Freakonomics (2014, rebroadcast again recently)
Philanthropy’s quest to improve K-12 education feels stuck in a rut. Some of the biggest funders on the scene remain devoted to a reform strategy that has so far failed to yield transformative change, while a range of other funder-backed efforts aren’t yet operating at a scale likely to produce major breakthroughs.
- David Callahan in Inside Philanthropy (Ed Funders Need to Think Bigger About Systemic Change. Here Are Some Ideas)
"The new federal data were released on the heels of a report by the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that state governments in at least 31 states are contributing less to public education than they did in 2008, before the recession." (Washington Post: Spending in nation’s schools falls again, with wide variation across states). Image used with permission.
A Here's a new Reason.com video segment about the perils of residential assignment of kids to schools. (Brownstone Brooklyn's Racial Divide).
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 WSJ, ChalkbeatNY.
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 News, Telegram.
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.
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.
"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.
"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."
"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)
The truth of the matter is that in this global economy we talk about so much and so often, my students are competing with everyone... And so it was important to me to sort of find some sort of a tool where I could say, ‘I think these are the skill sets they’re getting that make them competitive.'
-- Tiffany Huitt, the principal of a 415-student Dallas magnet school that has administered the exam multiple times via EWA (Exam Gives Glimpse of How Schools Stack Up Globally)
We'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)
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.
"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)
"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.
Inflation-adjusting spending per student
This table shows total spending per pupil for elementary/secondary education after amounts are adjusted for inflation:
A new survey from Esquire and NBC shows that there's lots of upset folks out there, about a lot of different things, but educational opportunities is not a big priority. About all that anyone agrees about are school shootings.
By far the most interesting of Forbes' 2016 30 Under 30: Education list is WteiLab's Matthew Remirez, who not only thinks that 90 percent of feedback kids need to learn writing can be automated but also has time to do some ballroom dancing (and showed off some moves on camera). Thanks to the folks at Forbes for digging out this embeddable video.
NYT: "While graduating from college in unprecedented numbers, [Millennials] are earning between 5 and 9 percent less (after adjusting for inflation) than what their elders were receiving at similar points in their careers. No other age group saw a similar decline." (2015: The Year in Charts)
Over at NPR, they got Claudio Sanchez to say a couple of things that I'm not sure I think are correct.
In 6 Education Stories To Watch In 2016, Sanchez says:
"The controversy over the much-maligned Common Core State Standards will diminish. States will continue their efforts to re-brand or rename the standards, while for the most part following them. Despite the political controversy, the push for high academic standards will continue, and we'll see little of the "race to the bottom" that happened under NCLB."
First and foremost, predictions are worth what you pay for them, which is basically nothing. They're wishful thinking and confirmation bias as much as astute analysis, whether they come from advocates, practitioners, or veteran journalists.
I don't think anyone knows for sure whether the controversy over Common Core will diminish in 2016. They could just as easily flare up again, or potentially even get even stronger than in 2015.
Just as important, reporters as smart and knowledgeable as Sanchez shouldn't repeat the "race to the bottom" line about NCLB that even Arne Duncan stopped using so casually after being called out on it repeatedly.
Some states did lower standards and cut scores in response to NCLB, sure -- 20 states according to Duncan in early 2015 -- but many didn't and a few even raised them.
And some states have already tried to begin to water down expectations for students within Common Core assessments. Watering things down is what states do, to some extent, regardless of statutory framework.
Previous posts: Duncan Cherry Picks NCLB History To Sell Waivers (2012).
Back in the day, there used to be an advocacy organization called Broader, Bolder that was a counterpoint to some of the education reform ideas being promoted by EEP, DFER, and others.
In 2008, I named it one of the year's big winners in education. Arne Duncan signed onto the agenda for the group -- and also signed onto the agenda for EEP. It was funded by Nellie Mae, Annie Casey, and Atlantic Philanthropies, among others. EPI housed the original effort and Elaine Weiss staffed it. In 2009, I suggested "broader bolder" as an umbrella phrase for critics of reform (which didn't catch on, obviously).
Officially named the Broader, Bolder Approach, the project seemed less active for a while, replaced in part by outfits like Parents Across America, the National Public Education Network, and others. Take a look at its history in my Twitter feed to get a sense.
But I'm told now that @BroaderBolder is making a comeback -- relaunching within the next month or two According to Josh Starr, the co-chairs will be himself, Pedro Noguera, Paul Reville, and Helen Ladd. No word yet on the agenda specifics, staffing, and the funding sources.
From EPI: "In fact, children in the highest socioeconomic fifth have reading and math scores that are significantly higher (by a full standard deviation) than those of their peers in the lowest SES fifth." (The top charts of 2015) There's also one about collective bargaining and wages.
Feds: Most NYC elementary schools violate disabilities act AP: In a letter addressed to the city Department of Education's top lawyer, the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Monday said the two-year investigation also showed that six school districts, serving over 50,000 elementary students, did not have a school that was fully accessible. The entire system serves about 1.1 million students. See also Chalkbeat, WNYC, NYT.
Charter students start off higher academically, but some also learn faster in these schools LA Times: Students who enter Los Angeles charter schools are more academically advanced than their peers in traditional public schools, according to a study released Monday by researchers at UC Berkeley.
Public schools struggle with lessons about Islam amid renewed fears of terrorism LA Times: Experts say what's often not understood by parents today is that it's legal to teach about religion in public schools, a key exception carved out by the Supreme Court back when the battle was over Protestant Christianity's common appearance in the classroom.
D.C. Region May Not Be Prepared For Expected Surge Of Migrant Youth WAMU: Authorities in the Washington, D.C., region are worried about a new influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America as thousands of young people cross the Mexican border to enter the U.S.
Over Half of Race to the Top Cash Directly Supported Educators, Report Says PK12: The Center for American Progress highlights the program's successes, but will future Education Department leaders embrace Race to the Top's competitive-grant model?
Teacher shortage has schools in ‘crisis mode,’ survey finds Seattle Times: A state survey shows that principals are scrambling because there aren’t enough substitute or full-time teachers.
At least two education books have made some of the annual year-end roundups that are going around right now:
First up is Dale Russakoff's "The Prize," which gets a nice writeup in The New Yorker (The Books We Loved in 2015).
Greg Toppo's "The Game Believes In You" made the list in the Kansas City Star (Best nonfiction of 2015).
Any other examples? Let us know.
School funding efforts don't get much (enough) media attention, but they're out there and the National Education Access Network at Teachers College Columbia has a map that can get you started figuring out where the action is, plus a newsletter and state updates.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently reported that education funding hasn't recovered since the recession, and the new and expected federal funding levels don't seem likely to change things dramatically.
We do have housing segregation in New York City, and it’s quite serious. [But] we need to rethink the notion that we can’t do anything about integration until we integrate the neighborhoods.
-- Inside Schools' Clara Hemphill in in NYT (School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest)
"At 124 of [the city's 734 neighborhood elementary] schools they found the median household income was at least 20 percent lower than the income of the surrounding school zone... At 59 elementary schools in neighborhoods that were at least somewhat racially mixed, student populations were more than 90 percent black and Hispanic." NYT story on New School report (School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest).
It took me a few minutes to figure out what Conor Williams was talking about in his latest oped for The Seventy Four (Education Politics vs. Practice) but eventually I figured out that it was implementation.
"What if we considered implementation seriously when thinking about education policy? What if we started with our big priorities, and then mapped theories of action for putting them into place? What if we insisted on only pushing policies that would powerfully improve kids’ experiences at school?"
“We’ve got to get out of this cycle where we think the job is done when a policy gets enacted,” says Haycock. “When you know what’s in the policymaker’s head and you see how distant that is from the heads of the people on the ground, you can’t help but feel urgency on this."
Related posts: RTTT: "Implementation & Support Unit" Needs Results.
"Only 4 percent of Americans consider education the nation’s most important problem, according to Gallup’s monthly polling, which may explain why we haven’t heard much about specific education policy from the presidential candidates." via FiveThirtyEight (The Big Issues Of The 2016 Campaign)
From the CBPP: "General or formula funding is the primary form of state K-12 funding. States also typically provide revenue for other, more specific purposes, such as bus transportation and contributions to school employee pension plans."
Listen to this WNYC segment about a relatively diverse suburban charter school where an attempt at "colorblind" education didn't work out so well (A Case Study of "Colorblind" Schooling).
Or, listen to this hilarious Chicago WBEZ segment about kids' never-ending efforts to get out of swim class:
This chart from a new Center for Public Integrity story (.An epidemic of questionable arrests by school police) illustrates the number of arrests of minors by school cops (in blue) compared to city cops -- and even more than LAUSD. "Arrests by San Bernardino and some other school cops declined in recent years. But in 2014, some departments continued to rival or surpass the volume of juvenile arrests in many large cities — including San Francisco, Oakland and for some, Sacramento." Image used with permission.
Kudos to Shree for pointing out the ironic juxtaposition of today's signing of the new NCLB into law and the release of a CBPP report showing state and local education funding cuts in recent years.
As the new CBPP report shows, states and districts have struggled mightily to bring education funding levels back since the Stimulus expired.
Meantime, federal funding for education programs has decreased 10 percent.
These realities are problematic enough.'
The lack of requirements or incentives for states to increase education in the new version of the federal education law is one of the least-noted concerns out there.
In addition, the vague and complicated relationship between the law and state education efforts in the new version of the law creates little political incentive for lawmakers to support education funding at the federal level.
There may have been a false sense of proficiency under the previous state testing regime.... [But] simply by providing [Common Core test score] information and assuming that teachers and administrative leaders have the capacity to take that information and translate it into better practice seems to be — I’m skeptical of that.
- Rutgers University's Drew Gitomer on PBS (What the first round of test results say about Common Core progress)
As EdWeek notes, Teachers Say They Have Less Autonomy. However, not everyone perceives the changes in the same ways: "Veteran teachers of 10 years or more showed the biggest sense of loss of control, and white and black teachers were more likely than other teachers to feel they had less autonomy than they had before. Hispanic teachers, interestingly, reported feeling slightly more in control in 2011-12 than in 2007-08."
The 2014-2015 school year marked the first time, after an initial practice run, that Delaware, Georgia and many other states across the country implemented end-of-year assessments aligned to the Common Core. That makes this year the first that we'll have meaningful data to serve as a benchmark against which we can measure student performance for years to come.
-- Jack Markell and Sonny Perdue in US News (Common Core Tests Are Working)
U.S. teachers don’t write their own tests as often as teachers do in other nations. And U.S. students aren’t graded on their writing or projects as often as students elsewhere. In Finland, by contrast, student portfolios are frequently evaluated.
- Hechinger Report's Jill Barshay (Education myth: American students are over-tested)
According to Vox's Matt Yglesias, "American poor people are getting better-educated, but the poverty rate isn't falling." Read more about it here.