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."
Democrats feud over charter schools in Massachusetts - POLITICO ow.ly/S4jb305Y4Wp
Question 2 Donations — For And Against — Top $41 Million | Edify http://ow.ly/ozK6305Y7DH
22 Big Races and Ballot Questions to Watch Tuesday Night | The 74 ow.ly/gKXH305WibA
The education policies Americans will vote on this Tuesday ow.ly/MCLK305X7xS
Why are so many school districts canceling classes tomorrow at schools used as polling sites? ow.ly/vteM305WaAB
Bloomberg’s 2016 tally: $65 million and counting - POLITICO ow.ly/R75g305X7Nh [Including $1.3M to charters in 3 states]
Almost nothing spent to oppose key California education initiatives edsource.org/2016/spending-…
President Obama endorses SF school board candidate Matt Haney - SF Examiner pllqt.it/jaF5MX
Making (Dollars and) Cents of Austin School Board Campaign Contributions | KUT ow.ly/nj09305Y4Tb
GOP Lawmakers to John King: Take Back Your Draft ESSA Spending Rules blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…
N.C. Gets New Insights on Teacher Turnover blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacher…
Watch last night's PBS NewsHour segment (California ballot revives debate on expanding bilingual education)
"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)
Wall Street must not be allowed to hijack public education in Massachusetts. We must defeat Massachusetts Ballot Question 2. This is Wall Street’s attempt to line their own pockets while draining resources away from public education at the expense of low-income, special education students, and English-language learners.
- Bernie Sanders via Diane Ravitch's blog (Bernie Sanders Opposes Mass. Question 2)
Quitting school: Turnover rises for urban superintendents hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie…
Prosecutor drops charge against school board member arrested at Trump rally - The Washington Post ow.ly/lh0P305IF05
"The AFT Solidarity Fund is spending $500,000 for the 30-second ad called “Coming Together,” which looks to close out the contentious presidential race on a hopeful note as a way to persuade undecided and unenthusiastic voters to vote for Clinton." Via Washington Post
Where The Money Comes From In The Fight Over Charter Schools | Edify pllqt.it/D20Xor
Hillary Clinton Campaign Releases $500 Million Anti-Bullying Plan blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…
Chicago Board of Education approves $1 billion in more borrowing | Chicago Sun-Times ow.ly/PLgU305CRuQ
Parents Question $840 Million In CPS Construction Bonds wbez.org/shows/wbez-new…
Clinton Says New Bullying Plan Will Undo Harm of Trump Campaign the74million.org/article/clinto…
Washington beats national average on science exams seattletimes.com/education-lab/…
As many as 13 staff members injured in high school fight hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie…
Merger Of Two Disparate Chicago Public Schools Resurfaces wbez.org/shows/wbez-new…
Education Initiatives: Support for Prop. 55 strong but lags for Prop. 51 edsource.org/2016/education…
Can LA Unified fairly oversee the charter schools it competes against? | 89.3 KPCC ow.ly/maAh305BQCW
L.A. Unified has persistent problems resolving allegations of teacher misconduct latimes.com/local/educatio…
A school board member's support for Trump stirs a free speech debate washingtonpost.com/news/education…
4 Myths About School Bullying And The 'Trump Effect' npr.org/sections/ed/20…
There's no shortage of activity in Massachusetts, with just under two weeks until the voters decide on whether to expand charter schools. As you can see above, big bunches of local school committees have come out against lifting the cap. Impressive, but no big surprise.
Meantime, the Schott Foundation posted this statement against the measure, which is something you don't usally see foundations do.
Here's an AFT video compilation of AROS "Walk-Ins" from a few weeks ago.
Over at ThinkProgress, Ulrich Boser has rounded up numerous incidents in which Donald Trump has expressed his contempt for teachers, including in his own school years, as a businessman, and as a political candidate.
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)
Chicago charter school teachers remain in contract battle, could strike next week - Chicago Tribune ow.ly/5DaS305b8CJ
Born In The U.S., Raised In China: 'Satellite Babies' Have A Hard Time Coming Home npr.org/2016/10/13/497…
New York City’s Absent Teacher Reserve is steadily decreasing, city says | Chalkbeat ow.ly/g03B305b8H1
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.”
Watch Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis describe what the teachers got and didn't get in the preliminary deal, and talk a bit about her relationship with Mayor Emanuel.
Obama administration releases final rules for teacher preparation programs - Inside Higher Ed nzzl.us/CHwjtRe
Obama administration releases long-delayed regulations for teacher-preparation programs washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…
Final U.S. Teacher-Prep Regs Allow Flexibility on Student-Outcome Measures blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacher…
N.Y. Congressional Race Highlights Testing, Charters, Common Core blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…
Union bloc on top, Louisiana's largest school system rethinks past nola.com/education/inde…
Full Pricetag On Chicago Public Schools, Teachers Union Deal Unknown wbez.org/shows/wbez-new…
WikiLeaks Emails: AFT Worried Joel Klein Was Helping Hillary Clinton's Campaign - Politics K-12 - Education Week ow.ly/sdNV3056kly
AFT freaked out after Joel Klein was rumored to join Hillary Clinton’s campaign, WikiLeaks email shows | Chalkbeat ow.ly/OWrd3056kjV
Wikileaks: NEA Was Ready to Call Off Hillary Endorsement Vote eiaonline.com/intercepts/201…
WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton Calls Common Core a ‘Political Failure’ - Breitbart ow.ly/XIK03056k6l
Charter School Leaders Cry Foul Over Cap Slipped Into Negotiations To Avoid Chicago Teachers Strike| The 74 ow.ly/uWUY3056kfp
To Help Avert Teachers Strike, Alderman Agreed To Forego New School Named For Obama wbez.org/shows/wbez-new…
Nasty Campaign Rhetoric Puts Parents and Teachers in a Tough Spot - NBC News ow.ly/Fewb3056khE
Exposed by suicide, Boulder students’ Facebook chat advocated killing blacks, Jews – The Denver Post ow.ly/vr9F3056ker
Why an organization once seen as LA Unified's biggest threat now plans to give money to LAUSD schools scpr.org/news/2016/10/1…
Facebook-backed school software shows promise — and raises privacy concerns washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…
AltSchool: When Silicon Valley Takes on Elementary School wnyc.org/story/altschoo…
St. Paul home visits stretch teachers and build relationships minnpost.com/education/2016…
This mysterious footage was found on our Instagram story last night.https://t.co/tiybBsRXTb— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) August 26, 2016
Is this really the school from Stranger Things? I don't know. But I'm sure one of you does. Apparently the series was shot in Atlanta. Note that the teachers in the series (so far as I've seen) are portrayed as helpful and encouraging. At least the science teacher.
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)
It's a Verizon ad -- sorry! -- but the message is pretty strong. "Encourage her love of science and technology, and inspire her to change the world."
From the PBS NewsHour and EdWeek: "Oklahoma ranks 45 out of 50 states in spending per student. It’s home to overcrowded classrooms and more than 100 districts that have approved four-day school weeks. Now, more than 40 teachers who are tired of not being heard are trying to change things themselves -- by running for office."
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)
Just imagine being at a school where you sit down, get your education, you get back up, go home, next thing you know you brought bedbugs from school to your home... Just imagine being at a school where your teachers are all sick and tired, and they’re acting like they’re not able to teach because they’re not getting paid for what they do.
-- Detroit high school student Demarcus Taylor quoted in Alexandria Neason's Harper's feature story (Held Back)
One of the big stories of the week is the Dignity In Schools campaign launch calling for the removal of most police officers from public schools.
So far, the news has been covered by CPI (Coalition calls for end of police presence in schools), Huffington Post (Over 100 Education Groups Want To Kick Cops Out Of Schools), and Education Week (Get Police Out of Schools, Coalition of Student, Parent Groups Says).
According to the Huffington Post, the new recommendations are "the strongest that DSC member organizations ― groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund ― have ever made collectively on the issue of school policing." The campaign is active in 27 states and claims 100 city and state member groups including the NAACP LDEF.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration called for districts to “responsibly incorporate” officers into the learning environment -- but stopped short of a ban.
According to EdWeek, the National Association of School Resource Officers "largely agreed with the federal guidance" but has not so far as I know endorsed the #CounselorsNotCops campaign. Nor has the NEA or AFT commented on the campaign.
Conflicting views over the benefits of police in schools came up in Chicago in April, when a Chicago Teachers Union-organized protest event included a #BlackLivesMatter calling for the removal of the police from city schools.
As reporting by DNAInfo ('F The Police' Speaker At Teacher Rally Not With CPS, But Union Takes Heat), activist Page May slammed the Chicago police and anyone associated with them. Just before her, union head Karen Lewis had praised the police.
"The CTU keeps acting like they are on our side, but then Karen Lewis refuses to say cops need to get out of schools," May said in the DNAInfo story. "Until [the Chicago Teachers Union] come out explicitly opposed to cops in schools, I don't think we are fighting on the same side."
The Seattle Times has also reported about the challenges some schools and districts have found in trying to rethink their school discipline policies. One story (Highline district struggles with fallout after limiting student suspensions), focusing on the related issue of school suspensions, reports that roughly 200 teachers have left the district in the past few months, many of them in reaction to the "elimination" of out of school suspensions, and the local teachers union president has flagged the turnover as a sign of major trouble looming.
Some social justice advocacy groups like the NAACP and #BlackLivesMatter may find common cause with classroom teachers and unions over prioritizing neighborhood schools and limiting "privatization" of education, but the Dignity In Schools campaign highlights the tensions that quickly emerge in other areas.
For practical and political reasons, classroom teachers and their unions are likely to be extremely reluctant about endorsing a move to remove police officers from schools.
Why so? Fear is one obvious reason. (Here's a cameraphone video said to be depicting a teacher and student fighting in a Philadelphia school.) At a more ideological level, teachers unions and police unions often try to work together at the local level, and as the Chicago incident reveals they can be reluctant to disagree publicly.
Still, there's much we don't know. What do the NEA, AFT, and National Association of School Resource Officers have to say about the Dignity In Schools campaign? What does the Obama administration say? And what about Clinton and Trump?
If you’re a white student, it is utopia. You get to be around kids of diverse backgrounds, listen to different music, have different experiences, and also get the finest of schools... If you’re a black student, you don’t feel as respected or welcome, you don’t feel like a full citizen.
- Evanston parent John Diamond in last week's Bloomberg story (Black Students Don’t Even Get an Equal Education in Diverse Schools)
Sara Mosle's review of Nicholson Baker's new book is very good, but first you need to check out the #edGIF that accompanies it. (Going Undercover as a Substitute Teacher)
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.
Less than a dozen days from now, DC's long-serving chancellor is riding off into the sunset. But not before she answers some questions from us. As you can see in Kaya Henderson: The Exit Interview.
In her years heading the DCPS, Henderson played a complicated role in the wake of her predecessor, Michelle Rhee, whose tactics and philosophy were controversial. She has restored some semblance of peace among classroom teachers, continued pursuing many of Rhee’s strategies, and developed her own initiatives.
She's also benefited from hands-off treatment from the AFT's Randi Weingarten, as pointed out recently in a Richard Whitmire column.
Henderson is a strong proponent of mayoral control (rather than independent school boards) but not a wild-eyed charter enthusiast. She’s not inclined to make racial integration a top priority over quality schools. And she’s proud of what she has helped to accomplish (some suburban parents are now faking their addresses to get their kids into DC public schools!), but she knows there is a long way to go.
Click the link above to hear Henderson's surprising thoughts on charter schools, racial integration, predecessor Michelle Rhee, dealing with critics, and the best and worst parts of the job.
Tonight on New York public media airs a thought-provoking documentary about a promising kid who fell through the cracks in leafy and liberal Montclair, NJ.
After seeing a screening of the film at Scholastic last summer, I wrote that "the most interesting and helpful aspect to the film is how it describes a situation in which there are no black-and-white heroes or villains, and no bright or artificial line between parents, school, and social services agencies tasked with supporting families and children in tough circumstances. It's not the school, or the teacher, or the kid, or society. It's all of them."
Read more about the story behind the film at NJ.com. After screening locally -- perhaps you can view it online? -- it will apparently be offered to national PBS outlets for broadcast later this fall.
Charter schools were designed to be public but at a very fundamental level they are not public... There are very critical errors in the way the laws are designed. They decided to make these things be nonprofit corporations, and almost all the problems with charter schools flow from that essential, unnecessary decision. You want a school with autonomy over its pedagogy and hiring? There's no reason to make it a separate corporation.
-- Shaun Richman former director of the AFT’s charter organizing program from 2010-2015 in The American Prospect (The National Labor Relations Board Says Charter School Teachers Are Private Employees)
Fall means book season, and one of the newest out there is Nicholson Baker's Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids.
From the promotional copy:
"In 2014, after a brief orientation course and a few fingerprinting sessions, Nicholson Baker became an on-call substitute teacher in a Maine public school district.
"What emerges from Baker’s experience is a complex, often touching deconstruction of public schooling in America: children swamped with overdue assignments, overwhelmed by the marvels and distractions of social media and educational technology, and staff who weary themselves trying to teach in step with an often outmoded or overly ambitious standard curriculum."
See also this NYT review.
Garret Keizer NYT review of Nicholson Baker book (Imagine Your Substitute Teacher Is Nicholson Baker)
Knowing how to paddle a canoe, or fix a faucet, or work a cash register, or bake a coffeecake, or comfort someone who is unhappy, is much more important than knowing the names of the six kingdoms of living organisms, or the layers of the atmosphere, even if you’re going to become a naturalist or an atmospheric physicist.
- Nicholson Baker in the NYT (What I Learned as a Substitute Teacher)
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)
On the populist side, there is room to build bridges with those who distrust elitist authority... On the identity side... the charter community could do more to build bridges with race-based organizations that consist of, or serve, these families.
Neerav Kingsland (The Politics of Populism, Identity, and Charter Schools)
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…
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.
From PBS NewsHour:"Students at the Refugee Youth Summer Academy in New York City are taking their first steps to adjusting to life in a U.S. classroom. This year's class of 118 students comes from families who have been granted asylum in the U.S."
Or, watch this VERY excited kid talk about going back to school: "Because I'm going to fourth grade and then after that I'm going to fifth grade and then I'm going to college—or high school."
In the opening scene of Sunday night's episode of "The Night Of," hapless criminal defense lawyer John Stone (John Turturro) visits a high school classroom to explain what he does.
But the kids aren't interested or sympathetic, and might turn on him any second now. So Turturro's character turns to see if the teacher will help him out.
She gives him a blank look and says, "No, this is great."
According to a new report from EPI, teachers’ weekly wages are now 23 percent lower than those of other college graduates.
There have been three recent setbacks for edreform folks -- somewhat symbolic in nature but important nonetheless. The edereform response -- even with a recent effort to get opposing views out there -- has been slow, confused, and seemingly ineffective.
The first edreform setback was the addition of anti-charter amendments to the DNC platform last month.
The second was the decision by the NAACP to include strong anti-charter legislation in its annual resolutions.
The third was the inclusion of several anti-charter provisions in the Black Lives Matter education agenda released last week (along with some provisions with which the edreform community would likely agree).
While symbolic in nature, these three instances are both critical of the edreform approach and -- even more important -- seem to expose the lack of engagement and reach of edreform advocates in the DNC, NAACP, and BlackLivesMatter.