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Pictures: When Tent Cities For The Homeless Include School Staff

It's sad but not surprising when tent cities that have been popping up around the nation include not only students but also school staff.

"Deja-Lynn Rombawa-Quarles, a 24-year-old woman who works part time at an elementary school as a group leader, sits in her tent at a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu on August 26, 2015. Rombawa-Quarles is one of a growing number of working poor in Honolulu who, through a combination of high housing costs, a dearth of affordable housing, and bad circumstances, wound up living on the street."

This comes from Atlantic Magazine via Knowledge Alliance. 

#TBT: What TFA Looked Like Five Years Ago

Here are some pictures I took from some of the #TFA20 receptions 5 years ago. Or take a look at the official TFA20 photo album (remember Flickr?).

Morning Video: The Challenges Intentionally Diverse Learning Communities

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. 

Afternoon Video: Syrian Students Play In Recreation Of Bombed-Out School

It's a recreation -- not the real school in Aleppo -- but it's still pretty vivid, and connects us to schools and kids which is what this site is all about. 

Afternoon Video: Moving A School From Crisis To Calm

"If you wonder how such a change could be brought about, take a look at this video (26 min long), and see what you think about the ways in which its educators transformed the teaching and learning climate at their school." (This is how you move a school from crisis to calm via Sam Chaltain).

Morning Video: School Yoga, Everywhere?

"Students at the Montesorri School pratice yoga to help clear their minds of the violence that surrounds their lives," reports Al Jazeera America (Yoga To Help Kids Cope With Violence in Chicago).

See also: Why Schools Are Embracing Yoga (featuring NYC, Detroit, Litchfield, Minn, and Encenitas, CA).

Morning Video: Male High School Student Makes School Dance Team


"Adrian is the only male dancer on his high school’s Lariettes dance team," according to this PBSNewsHour segment (The chance to dance). "Many consider this brave, but according to Adrian he’s just is doing what makes him happy." Read more about the #Outsidethebox series here.

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).

Charts: White People Least Sure Government Should Help Diversify Schools


"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.

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".


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


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.

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



"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)


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."



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.

Afternoon Video: Fast Times At "Rich Bay High"

Do yourself a Friday afternoon favor and check out Rich Bay High, the YouTube miniseries lampooning career-changing teachers, Silicon Valley ideas about fixing schools, and education bureaucrats. via Ken Libby. For background: Teacher launches new sitcom, ‘Rich Bay High’.

Related posts: Leave No Privilege Behind (DonorsChoose Meets AirBnB?).

Charts: Lots Of Anger Out There - But Education Not The Priority

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. 

Morning Video: The Hoverboarding Principal


Shoutout to this cool principal @doctor_kool at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Maryland for inspiring kids to be the best they can be and always having their best interest in mind --- in the coolest way possible! P.S he used to be one of our staff member's Vice Principal back in HS and he's still doing it big I see! #TSRPositiveImages "Good, better, best...never let it rest... Till your good is your better, and your better is your best! "

Posted by The Shade Room on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

While some colleges and airlines are banning so-called hoverboards, and a priest who hoverboarded his way through part of a ceremony got in trouble, this principal [@doctor_kool] is using his hoverboard to try and hype his kids and staff. Go over to my Facebook page if the video doesn't render properly.

Or, listen to this housing/attendance zone story from NPR's Marketplace, via Mike Petrilli, or this WNYC segment about that Brooklyn school integration/rezoning story.

Quotes: How Education Reform Failed Trump Voters

Quotes2They simply do not have the skills needed to compete in today's labor market. Their numbers are quickly rising. And they are angry. Angry in part because they cannot get work and support their families, but enraged because having a job and supporting their family is the single most important key to self-respect in our society.

NCEE's Marc Tucker quoted by Robert Pondiscio in US News (Education Reform Failed White, Working-Class Donald Trump Voters)


Morning Video: Big TV Surprise For VA Second-Grade Teacher

"The average U.S. teacher spends about $500 of their own money to outfit their classrooms each year, and one in 10 teachers says he or she spends more than $1,000 each year, according to the National School Supply and Equipment Association," notes the Washington Post (Ellen heaps prizes on teacher who pays for class supplies out of her own pocket). "Lots of times, teachers do this quietly, without fanfare or thanks. But earlier this month talk show host Ellen DeGeneres highlighted the hidden sacrifices of the nation’s teachers with a surprise for Meghan Bentley, a Virginia second-grade teacher."

Quotes: What Happens To Blacks When Latinos Become "White?

Upwardly mobile immigrant groups have always defined themselves in opposition the descendants of slaves as part of the effort to enter the American mainstream... Some immigrants will “become” white, and others won’t, but—as always—everyone will define themselves in contrast to African-Americans.

-- Jamelle Bouie in a 2012 article in The Nation (The Majority-Majority Future)

Morning Listen: A Problematic Attempt At "Colorblind" Education

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:

Charts: In CA, School Police Arrests Of Minors Declining -- But Still High

43rftThis 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.

Books: Best Titles To Help White Teachers, Parents, Reporters Understand Race

image from img.huffingtonpost.com

There's no shortage of education-related titles in this list of 16 Books About Race That Every White Person Should Read, but this Beverly Tatum book "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria" is perhaps the most direct.

"Through research and case studies psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum confronts the subtle ways in which racism dictates the ways both white and non-white people navigate the world.  

Picked by Zeba Blay, Huffington Post Voices Culture Writer, the list also includes Ta-Nehisi Coates, James Baldwin, and many other familiar titles. 

The only obvious omission that comes to mind is "Some of my Best Friends Are Black." There was also a great documentary a few years ago called "Prep School Negro."

But I'm sure you can think of others.

Related posts: Ta-Nehesi Coates' New Book On Race (& Schooling)White Teachers, Black Students: An "Awkward Disconnect"Mugshots Help Combat Racial StereotypesWhite Reporters & Students Of Color.


Charts: Better Educated But No Less Poor

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.

Morning Video: Comedy Central Takes On Texas Textbooks

Comedy Central's Larry Wilmore Skewers Textbook 'Whitewash' (featuring a made-up children's book called "Good Night, Slavery.") Warning: NSFW ("Good night to wrongs done in this nation. Good night Native American decimation.) I'm not sure how I feel about Wilmore reading this story aloud to real kids. Via EdWeek. 

Gentrification: All Eyes On Bed-Stuy

Proving yet again that pretty much all stories are education stories, there are at least two school-related elements to the fascinating New York magazine gentrification cover story Meet the Residents of MacDonough Street (in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy).
There is a charter school at one end of the block (Excellence Boys Uncommon Charter School) and a district school on the other (PS/MS 262 El Hajj Malik El Shabazz School.
One of the renters who's profiled says she moved to the neighborhood to be closer to the charter school her son attends. 
Another part of the story features Brooke Vermillion and husband Ben Chapman (education reporter at the NY Daily News) - both above.
No word yet on where they're planning to send their child when it gets to school age. 

Books: The Battle for Room 314 (Forthcoming)

51aqvyi-7tLLooking for a new education book to look forward to? You might consider Ed Boland's forthcoming The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School.

"In a fit of idealism, Ed Boland left a twenty-year career as a non-profit executive to teach in a tough New York City public high school. But his hopes quickly collided headlong with the appalling reality of his students' lives and a hobbled education system unable to help them: Jay runs a drug ring for his incarcerated brother; Nee-cole is homeschooled on the subway by her brilliant homeless mother; and Byron's Ivy League dream is dashed because he is undocumented.

"In the end, Boland isn't hoisted on his students' shoulders and no one passes AP anything. This is no urban fairy tale of at-risk kids saved by a Hollywood hero, but a searing indictment of reform-minded schools that claim to be progressive but still fail their students.Told with compassion, humor, and a keen eye, Boland's story will resonate deeply with anyone who cares about the future of education."

The book's slated to come out in February.

I've met Boland and his candor and fearlessness talking about the experience are pretty eye-opening.  

It'll be interesting to see how the book has turned out.

Other than Dale Russakoff's Newark book and Greg Toppo's education learning book, it seems like it's been a relatively slow year for much-discussed education books. Or perhaps we've just gotten greedy, or can't tolerate anything but the most simplistic kinds of narratives.

Good thing that there are some intriguing-sounding books in the works, and more that I'm sure I'm not yet aware of.

Related posts: Cohen Joins Huffman ...The Rise of AVIDAn Anthropological Look At School FundraisingWhen [White] Parents Are An Obstacle To Making Schools More Equitable.

Update: Other Places To Find Great Education Stuff


There's way too much interesting stuff to put it all in one place -- especially pictures and videos and off-beat human interest stories related to education.

That's why I created a side project called Hot For Education.  

If you like videos, GIFs, and all the rest, you should definitely check it out.

There's no Facebook page (yet), but you can follow it, or get it via RSS (Feedly, Digg), or track it via Twitter (@hotfored). 

Morning Video: Michael Moore Invades Finland

"Moore, indeed, has fun in France, where even at a school on the low end of the socioeconomic pole, students enjoy healthy, restaurant quality-meals, with not a soda or snack vending machine to be found." (New Michael Moore Film Looks to Europe for Education Policy Ideas) Or, watch a pro-charter ad from Washington State (via Morning EDU).

Cartoons: Parent Teacher's-Parents Conference

“Your son is teaching third grade at a second-grade level.”

Morning Video: Remembering CA Student Killed In Paris

NBC News: Friends, Relatives Recall Student Killed in Paris

Update: Re-Imaging The Stories Behind "Humans Of New York"

Last week's New Yorker had a thought-provoking article about how we produce and consume media including media about kids and schools. Titled Humans of New York and the Cavalier Consumption of Others, the article focuses on the well-known photo from HONY (now a book as well as a website, etc.) of a boy named Vidal, who attends Mott Hall Bridges Academy, in Brownsville, run by Nadia Lopez, and whose appearance on Facebook led to a White House visit, a crowdfunding campaign. 

Just the description of the picture might make you think a bit more about it than you did when you first saw it online:

"Beneath the jacket is a fleece-lined hoodie, also black, and in his hand the boy holds a black plastic bag, stretched by the weight of what might be groceries. The sidewalk behind him is cracked and dotted with litter. Dull-brown public-housing towers—as much a part of the quintessential visual New York as the bodega bag—form a jagged horizon."

The critique of HONY -- and TED Talks, and The Moth -- might make you bristle:

"A story has lately become a glossier, less thrilling thing: a burst of pathos, a revelation without a veil to pull away. “Storytelling,” in this parlance, is best employed in the service of illuminating business principles, or selling tickets to non-profit galas, or winning contests."

The New Yorker piece urges us to do the impossible and forget the story, focusing back on the image:

"Forget, for a moment, the factual details that we have gathered in the course of knowing-but-not-really-knowing him... Consider, instead, the ease of the boy’s sneakers against the sidewalk; his shy, smirking confidence; the preternatural calm with which he occupies the space within the frame. Viewed like this—as, yes, irrefutably real, but also as a readable image—he is reminiscent of Gordon Parks’s squinting Harlem newsboy. Both convey something almost spiritual: something about the delicate string that hangs between youth and resilience, about the miraculous talent of children, however voiceless, to stand unswallowed by the city."

Whether you agree or disagree with the point -- and the rest of the essay's reflection on images in politics and society -- it's helpful I think to remember that stories and images can overtake us if we let them, and that sometimes we need to step back from the narrative we're constructing and look at the individual parts. 

Related posts: "Humans Of New York" Comes To The White HouseUnemployed Photographer & Bronx Middle School"Humans Of New York" Principal Was Thinking Of Quitting.

People: Students, Fans Rally Behind Emotional Math Teacher

Maybe you missed it (as I did), but a 42-year-old eighth grade math teacher from Queens (aka #WillFromQueens) made news last month when he cried during a sports radio call-in show and -- after being mocked initially -- was celebrated by his students and sports fans.

Quotes: Outrage ≠ Change

Quotes2White Americans are increasingly aware of the realities with which black and brown Americans live; black and brown Americans are increasingly aware of the granular details of events beyond their own communities... What we haven’t seen yet is change.

—  Emily L. Hauser (Why outrage over police brutality isn’t enough)

Morning Video: Kids Debate Whether Hillary Clinton Could Be President

Watch kids talk about whether a woman could be President -- and then meet Hillary Clinton.

Or (it's Friday!), watch this amazing video of two "jetmen" flying alongside a massive jetliner:

Morning Video: "I Thought I Knew How To Listen To People"

Watch this UC Memphis panel on #BlackLivesMatter and education, featuring among others  Brittany Packnett. (Skip to 14:00 to hear her "I thought I knew how to listen people... I thought that I was not being paternalistic in my practice...")

Morning Video: Charter Principal Apologizes For Targeting Disruptive Kids

“As an educator I fell short of my commitment to all children and families at my school and for that I am deeply sorry,” said Success Academy Fort Greene principal Candido Brown, speaking through tears. (via Chalkbeat: Success Academy principal gives emotional apology for list of ‘Got-to-Go’ students)

#EDgif Of The Day: Holding On Until Thanksgiving

giphy (88)

From Pixar's Inside Out. More #EDgifs here.

#EduWeen15: It's On!

After a slow start, #eduween15 is off and running. Check out some recent entries, and feel free to toss in your own:

Morning Video: School Police Officers Under The Spotlight

PBS: What's the role of a school resource officer? In my school, I'm part of the fabric.

AP: Experts Discuss How to Handle Defiant High School Students

Hechinger Report: Filmed classroom arrest of South Carolina schoolgirl spotlights police brutality, prison pipeline

#TBT: Top 5 #EDgifs Of All Time (On This Blog)

I've been sharing/making ed-related GIFs for a little while now --including one new one earlier this week. So for #TBT I thought I'd collect and rank the best (some of which you may have missed. Some are serious, many are silly. A few are both.  For example:
Inline image 1
Below are other other "best" examples, followed by a roundup of all the ones I could find (that still work):

Continue reading "#TBT: Top 5 #EDgifs Of All Time (On This Blog)" »

Morning Video: On CNN, Classmate Describes Columbia HS Takedown

"One of the students who recorded the now-infamous video of a South Carolina officer confronting and grabbing another student was arrested and charged with disturbing schools, and she spoke out on CNN tonight about what she witnessed and that particular officer’s reputation." Medialite ("Classmate of SC Student Speaks Out: Officer Has ‘Dangerous’ Reputation).

Or, watch Fox News: Mark Fuhrman Defends The Actions Of School Officer via Media Matters.

Morning Video: Inside A School Lockdown Drill

We've heard and read a lot about these drills, including the powerful post in the Washington Post earlier this week Rehearsing for death, but this is the first time I know of that we've seen one of these drills on video -- a short segment from a forthcoming film called Lockdown. Via The Atlantic.

Morning Video: Astronomy Night At The White House


"While not everybody was thrilled at the public invitation via Twitter, the President made good on his promise, hosting Mohamed and 300 other students for the White House’s second “Astronomy Night” on Monday. (Mediaite). See Twitter for images of the POTUS and the Texas student. 

Morning Video: Standing Desks - For Students

Kids Are Now Using Standing Desks

Some classrooms are now using standing desks to keep kids active

Posted by NowThis on Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Proving yet again that there's no trend or fad too ridiculous to import into education, standing desks are a thing for some classrooms and schools. This just emerges as some of the research about sitting has come under question. Oh, well. Give them laptops and standing desks and maybe a drone and they'll turn out fine. It's clear. It only costs $6,000 per classroom.



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.