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Update: Teachers/Unions Concerned About Police Leaving Schools

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. 

What's been left out so far is the tension between teachers' understandable concerns about classroom safety and order and advocates' understandable concerns about over-policing of schools.

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?

Quotes: On Being Black Or Brown At A Diverse School

Quotes2If 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)

#EDgif Of The Day: A Hippie Boomer Substitute Teacher's Views On Education

A substitute teacher grimaces as students ignore him.

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)

Numbers: School Closings Are Neither Popular Nor Common

Closings by year
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.
 
But school closings, while they can be traumatic for students and educators who have remained at a school, aren't as common as you may think -- and even when they happen they don't necessarily mean a building is being shuttered. As noted in this recent opinion piece, the "nuclear" option happens only 1-2 percent of the time, usually after an all-hands-on-deck effort to turn things around and/or dwindling enrollment. 
 
According to the NCES Fast Facts page, roughly 1,-2,000 of the nation's 99,000 schools have been closed over the years, fluctuating from a low of 1,2000 to a high of 2,200. And of course schools being closed doesn't necessarily mean that a school building is being shuttered. New schools are opened on the same site, or other schools within the same facility are enlarged.
 

People: Kaya Henderson's (Last?) Interview

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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: Documentary Explores How A Promising Student Fell Through the Cracks

image from www.thirteen.org
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. 

Quotes: Why Charters Shouldn't Be Standalone Nonprofit "Corporations"

Quotes2Charter 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)

Books: Nicholson Baker's "Substitute"

image from images-na.ssl-images-amazon.comFall 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.

 

Quotes: Boomer Teachers & School Reform

Quotes2What [Baker] may not perceive is how the programmed inanities of the School Reform movement are partly an overreaction to the very sort of teacher Baker at times typifies to the point of burlesque.

Garret Keizer NYT review of Nicholson Baker book (Imagine Your Substitute Teacher Is Nicholson Baker)

Quotes: A Novelist Turned Substitute Teacher Wants To End Homework, Too

Quotes2Knowing 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)

Quotes: Creating Lots Of Good Teachers Vs. Firing A Few Bad Ones

Quotes2Creating 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)

Quotes: How Charters Could Leverage Populist and Identity Momentum

Quotes2On 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)

 

Maps: Syrian Refugee Students Placed In Mid-Sized Cities (Boise, Worcester)

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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."

In Syria, schools have been bombed, forcing children to attend classes in bunkers or to forego an education entirely. For more on the challenge of schooling Syrian refugee children, click here.

Morning Video: "Cultural Competency" Teacher Prep Program Includes Homestay

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.

AM News: Loosened Teacher Licensing, Vergara Followup, Inadequate Refugee Education, & More

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…

Mental Health In Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions Of Students wamu.org/news/16/08/31/…
 
Why did Washington's schools get an F in recent test results? kuow.org/post/why-did-w…
 
Lead Tests on New York City Schools’ Water May Have Masked Scope of Risk - The New York Times ow.ly/bOEB303KVB0

In Chicago, preparing teachers for the classrooms that need them most - NewsHour  feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewshourHea…

Morning Video: What A Welcoming School Looks Like

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.

 

Morning Video: Helping Refugee Kids In 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."

#EDgif Of The Day: When The Teacher Doesn't Bail Out The Guest Speaker

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."

 

 

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.

#EDgif Of The Day: Vacationing EdReformers Sip Cold Brewed Coffee While Setbacks Mount

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.

 

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. 

Morning Videos: Dueling Massachusetts Charter Ads

Above find competing ads for and against lifting the MA charter schools cap. Via Boston Globe. See more here and here.

Explainer: #Vision4BlackLives Agenda Highlights School Reform Critics' Priorities (With Some Key Exceptions)

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Most of the attention on the Movement for Black Lives' agenda, released earlier this week, focused on the call for reparations and other agenda items.

However, a little-noted part of the comprehensive agenda was its education section, which calls for "An End to the Privatization of Education and Real Community Control by Parents, Students and Community Members of Schools Including Democratic School Boards and Community Control of Curriculum, Hiring/Firing, and Discipline Policies."

Some highlight quotes: 

*Privatization strips Black people of the right to self-determine the kind of education their children receive.

*Using mayoral control and state takeover, they impose their experimental, market-based approach to school reform.

*The education crises plaguing most of our public school districts are the result of corporate-controlled, state-sanctioned and federally-funded attacks to reverse Brown v. Board of Education, and create a desuetude discrimination and educational apartheid that must be challenged and overthrown.

*Their aims are to undermine Black democracy and self-determination, destroy organized labor, and decolor education curriculum, while they simultaneously  overemphasize  Standardized Testing, and use school closures to disproportionately disrupt access to education in Black communities.   

The authors of this section include Jonathan Stith (Alliance for Educational Justice), Hiram Rivera (Philadelphia Student Union), and Chinyere Tutashinda (Center for Media Justice). According to an Tweet from Stith, "A squad of Black education justice parent & youth organizers [was] present as well." The resources provided for this agenda include the Every Student Succeeds Act ExplainedAROS Demands Memo, and Journey For Justice.

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 In case it isn't clear, this call for elected school boards, an end to privatization, and a pullback from foundations like Gates and Broad is very much a reform critic's view of what needs to be done -- not at all a reformers' vision.

Or, as The American Prospect's Rachel Cohen put it, "There are some high-profile Teach for America alums in Black Lives Matter, but the platform calls for the program's end."

As such, this is the second time in recent weeks that we're reading about reform groups seeming to have been outflanked by their critics. The earlier instance was the development of the DNC party platform, which included amendments from Randi Weingarten and others that called for similar things.  (You could also include the release of stolen DNC emails in which campaign officials urge against mention of Common Core.) 

It's also an early indication of where the larger Black Lives Matter movement might be headed on education issues, which has been until now a murky thing to understand. There are several TFA alumni among the leaders of the movement, but the movement has also partnered with teachers unions in places like Chicago (where a BLM activist surprised union leaders by denouncing the police union). 

However, there are areas in which the movement's agenda would seem to go along with the priorities of many reform groups -- and put them in conflict with organized labor. Some quoted highlights:

*Put a moratorium on all out of school suspensions.

*Remove police from schools and replace them with positive alternatives to discipline and safety.

*Inequitable funding at the school district, local and state level leave most public schools — where poor communities of color are the majority — unable to provide adequate and high quality education for all students, criminalizing and targeting Black students through racist zero-tolerance discipline policies.

*Key stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, and students are left out of the decision making process.

*Create Community Schools that have wrap-around services for students and community members as a turnaround model instead of closing schools or charterization.

It's also well worth noting that this document, released by a group calling itself the Movement for Black Lives (aka ), may not represent the larger movement's education agenda, or the focal point of BLM efforts on education.

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

#TBT 2015: Teacher Draft Day (Remember?)

From last summer: "THIS JUST IN: Star English teacher Ruby Ruhf says goodbye to Ohio and signs with NY P.S. 431. She'll land $80 mil from the six-year deal, along with a possible additional $40 mil based on test scores."

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.

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/ __________________________________

    Events: Monday's DFER Education Panels

    There are several education-related events going on this week at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, and a handful of education-related appearances on the main stage. First up are a pair of education panels hosted by DFER.

    Afternoon Video: Violent Arrest Of Austin TX Black Teacher

    This is pretty upsetting to watch, though no guns are drawn and no one's killed. Maybe because it happened to a teacher. Maybe because we all know what can happen when things escalate like that. Read the accompanying article here.

    Afternoon Video: First Lady Sings & Snapchats To Promote "Let Girls Learn"

    "Meant to promote the first lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative, 'This Is For My Girls' grabbed headlines when it was first released but hasn’t quite stuck in the public consciousness since then."

    Update: If School Reform Is Class Conflict, A Social Justice Approach Could Hurt

    As I read it, this piece in The New Yorker (Pale Fire) suggests that the current conflict over education reform is in many ways the playing out of long-simmering white-on-white class conflicts.

    If so, this would suggest that focusing narrowly on social justice issues -- while entirely understandable in short-term tactical terms -- could only exacerbate the conflict and theoretically slow progress. 

    It's nothing you haven't thought or read or perhaps articulated yourself, but a worthwhile reminder. 

     

    Morning Video: Trump Son Decries Education System That Benefits Teachers Not Kids

     

    As you can see above, Donald Trump's son gave a speech last night that included some pretty harsh language about education:

    "Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they're stalled on the ground floor. They're like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers, for the teachers and administrators and not the students."

    [In response to accusations that the lines were plagiarized from a recent article, the author of the article noted that he was the primary speechwriter for the speech.]

    Other remarks:

    "The other party gave us public schools that far too often fail our students, especially those who have no options. ... You know why other countries do better on K through 12? They let parents choose where to send their own children to school. That’s called competition. It’s called the free market. And it’s what the other party fears.

    Books: Inequality & Achievement Gaps At "Rolling Acres Public Schools"

    41d-oIr7c9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_"Nestled in neighborhoods of varying degrees of affluence, suburban public schools are typically better resourced than their inner-city peers and known for their extracurricular offerings and college preparatory programs. Despite the glowing opportunities that many families associate with suburban schooling, accessing a district's resources is not always straightforward, particularly for black and poorer families."

    That's the promo blurb for Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling, by L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy.

    It's one of several recent books taking a long hard look at suburban communities whose schools may not be as good (or as equitable) as may be commonly believed -- for example Amanda Lewis' With The Best Of Intentions.

    Related posts: How Racial Inequality Gets Baked Into SchoolsWhite Teachers, Black Students: An "Awkward Disconnect"Mugshots Help Combat Racial StereotypesBest Titles To Help White Teachers, Parents, Reporters Understand RaceForthcoming Novel Highlights White Parents & Diverse Schools.

     

    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. 

     

    AM News: NEA At RNC, Clinton At AFT, & More

    At GOP Convention, NEA Thanks Republicans for Help Enacting ESSA - Politics K-12 pllqt.it/RDZfkq

    See also: NEA Adds $1.4 Million to Massachusetts Anti-Charter Campaign | Intercepts ow.ly/Fqyb302mE7k

    In AFT Talk, Hillary Clinton Doubles Down on Support for Teachers - Teacher Beat - Education Week ow.ly/z7nL302njQK

    A Harsh Critique Of Federally Funded Pre-K npr.org/sections/ed/20…

    After 2 Years, Progress Is Hard to See in Some Struggling City Schools - The New York Times ow.ly/MoD4302o5Yx

    Opting out of Common Core testing slightly up statewide, despite drop in Clark County - Las Vegas Sun News ow.ly/gKcX302mHeQ

    U.S. students win prestigious International Math Olympiad - for second straight year washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sh…

    Proposed Texas textbook describes Mexican-Americans as 'lazy,' new coalition works to block it washingtonpost.com/news/education…

    Denver Public Schools set to strip nearly 50 teachers of tenure after poor evaluations denverpost.com/2016/07/18/den…

    How racially diverse is your school? Use our interactive to find out seattletimes.com/seattle-news/d…

    Oklahoma City School Board approves modified charter school expansion  mediabullpen.com/view/oklahoma-…

    DPS superintendent describes what he learned abroad  denverpost.com/2016/07/18/dps…

    Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith Retires . News | OPB pllqt.it/piZUNn

    Quotes: "Be My Guest"

    Quotes2If supporters of charter schools want to go into the Democratic National Convention opposing “democratically governed” schools and insisting on the right to “replace or destabilize traditional public schools,” be my guest.

    - Jeff Bryant (Sanders Movement Pushes Democratic Party Platform Toward A Big Fight Over Charter Schools)

     

    Update: Whatever Happened To "Democrats For Education Reform"?

    image from pbs.twimg.com
    Here's the latest in a series of occasional case studies I've been doing the past few years, this one about an education-focused PAC called Democrats For Education Reform that was an early backer of Barack Obama and had lots of early success, but has struggled in recent years as its oponents (the teachers unions, mostly) have shifted tactics and politics have gotten more polarized. It came out late last week. Read it all here

    Morning Video: HBO's New Series, "Vice Principals"

    Here's the teaser trailer for the new HBO series, "Vice Principals," which features two highly flawed human beings attempting to replace a retiring principal played by Bill Murray.

    AM News: Pokémon Go In Education, Trump & 3rd Graders, Education In Cleveland

    Educators see gold in Pokémon Go - USA Today ow.ly/RO43302jcgx
     
    The Republican National Convention and Education: What to Watch For blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…
     
    Why Are Third-Graders Afraid of Donald Trump? theatlantic.com/education/arch…

    The skeptical left is lining up to make sure Hillary Clinton keeps her promises to progressives - LA Times ow.ly/RPOo302kyww

    New York City's Great Middle-School Divide theatlantic.com/education/arch…

    Charter school and union unite on wanting L.A. Unified to pay retiree benefits for charter teachers - LA Times ow.ly/rXcT302kyxA 

    San Diego County Schools superintendent to be placed on leave - LA Times ow.ly/6Bkm302kHv6

    Should D.C.'s Next Schools Chancellor Be A Local? wamu.org/programs/the_k…

    Paying for education must go beyond classrooms, advocates say seattletimes.com/education-lab/…

    What’s Gone Wrong – and Right – at San Diego High voiceofsandiego.org/topics/educati…
     
    Task Force Grills Chicago Officials Over Additions wbez.org/shows/wbez-new…
     

    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."

     

    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

    Campaign 2016: Can DFER Recover From A Rough Patch?

    CCI00000
    Most folks know the early history of DFER, the Democratic PAC that supports charters, choice, and accountability: the lucky pick of Barack Obama, the amazing timing on Race to the Top, etc.

    This picture, via Whitney Tilson, encapsulates those early days.

    However, a new case study out today from AEI (written by me) tells how those early successes were blunted, then turned into liabilities during the last four years: how critics began labeling DFER as part of "corporate" reform efforts, how the teachers unions turned Common Core concerns into a rallying cry, and -- most disappointingly, perhaps -- DFER generally stood by as social justice issues (immigration, integration, police violence) grew in importance. 

    Meantime, DFER failed to create the Emily's List-style donor base that would broaden its support and free it up from charter advocates. 

    With the Democratic platform amended by reform critics and the Democratic convention coming up later this month, there's no better time to look at what DFER's done, what it's become, and where it might go next.

    New DFER head Shavar Jeffries says that he's going to make DFER a deep part of the Democratic Party. But there's not much sign so far that DFER has changed, and from recent events it seems like he's got his work cut out for him. 

    Related posts: Meet DFER Head Shavar Jeffries.

     

     

    Afternoon Video: Amendments to Democratic Platform Anger Reformers

    Watch the platform committee meeting from last weekend above, thanks to Valerie Strauss, who appears to be the only media person covering the debate very closely.

    As Strauss has posted, the platform was changed over the weekend in ways that pleased the AFT and its allies and displeased DFER among others:

    "Democratic negotiators led by Troy LaRaviere, an outspoken Chicago educator who was pushed out of his job as principal of an elementary school by the school district leadership; Chuck Pascal, a Sanders delegate from Pennsylvania; and Christine Kramar, a Nevada delegate, worked to win agreement on key changes to the original language. They got help from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who has been a longtime supporter of Clinton’s, and some of their changes were adopted with little dissent."

    Politics K-12 has a bit about the extent of the changes to the earlier drafts of the platform, as well as the 2012 platform language.

    And DFER has posted its own transcript of the debate, in which Chicago's Troy Laravierre, Randi Weingarten and other reform critics appear.

    Were any reform allies present, or even eligible to be present? Did DFER and others try to get amendments presented to bolster its positions?

    Also, were any of the many education reporters out there covering the event, in person or online, and if not why not?  The Sanders-inspired changes to the platform (and the Clinton stump speech) seemed to warrant media attention, so it's curious that this debate is receiving so little attention.

    Events: Kozol, Hagopian, & Other Reform Critics Meet In DC Without Matt Damon

    Reform critics including Jesse Hagopian and Jonathan Kozol (pictured above, via Twitter) met over the weekend. In this picture, Hagopian carries a sign that reads "Black Lives Matter To Teachers."

    A quick scan of the #Peoplesmarch16 hashtag shows that Diane Ravitch was there, too.  Some of the event was livestreamed here.

    For a variety of reasons -- police killings, Clinton adoption of Sanders positions on college tuition (among other things), lack of clarity among reform critics about what to do next -- the event's supporters do not appear to have garnered support or coverage in nearly the same amounts as previous versions. 

    As far as I can tell, no major elected officials or candidates were there, or celebrities. (Way back in 2011, you may recall, Matt Damon appeared.)

    The only coverage of the event I've seen is from the Valerie Strauss blog: ‘For black lives to matter, black #education has to matter.’

    I'm also curious about reform critics who were in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, or other places over the weekend, during which #BlackLivesMatter protests were being held.

    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

     

    People: St. Paul Magnet School Parents Mourn Philando Castile

    This image from the memorial service for Philando Castile has been shared thousands of times in the past day or so.

    Afternoon Video: "We've Got No Time For These Education Wars"

    Via Politico. Click here if video doesn't display.

    Quotes: Clinton Addresses Non-School Factors

    Quotes2So much of what happens inside your classrooms is determined by what happens outside your classrooms. … You see students coming to school hungry, or exhausted from a long night at a shelter. … Let’s not ignore the weight of the problems that these little kids bring on their little shoulders to school every day. We need to tackle all the problems holding our kids back.

    Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in address at NEA convention, quoted in Slate (The Teachers' Candidate)

    #BlackLivesMatter: White Minnesota Cop Kills Black School Worker

    image from img.washingtonpost.comAccording to available reports, the latest highly-publicized death of a black man by a white police officer involves a Twin Cities school cafeteria worker named Philando Castile:

    "One woman at the scene said Castile was a cook and kitchen supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul. The St. Paul elementary school’s website lists Castile as the cafeteria supervisor." (Protesters target Governor’s Residence after fatal police shooting).

    "Clarence Castile, Philando’s uncle, said his nephew had worked in the J.J. Hill school cafeteria for 12 to 15 years, “cooking for the little kids.” He said his nephew was “a good kid” who grew up in St. Paul and also lived in Minneapolis for a time." (Aftermath of fatal Falcon Heights officer-involved shooting on video).

    The incident took place away from school, during a traffic stop. Some of it was broadcast on Facebook

    Other highly-publicized videos that have involved students or schools include a white South Carolina school police officer grabbing an African-American student by the neck last fall, and an officer manhandling a black teenage girl in McKinney Texas. 

     

     

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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.