Here's the video from last night's WNYC #raceinschools conversation including Lucinda Rosenfeld, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Rebecca Carol.
Sunday night's stirring BET speech put Jesse Williams' activism on the front burner, but this obviously wasn't the start of anything for him.
Vox has a nice roundup of issues and moments he's spoken out. The Times has a transcript of the speech. He's a board member of the Advancement Project, which bills itself as a "next generation national civil rights organization."
But that's not all. He's the son of educators, was a teacher himself. He grew up in Chicago and worked at a Philadelphia charter school after graduating from Temple, according to his biography. Wikipedia says he taught for six years.
“I loved being a teacher. It’s the best thing I have ever done. My favorite job ever. I miss it every day,” says Williams in The Guardian (Jesse Williams: I am not going to participate in celebrity culture.)
I haven't been able to find out which schools he taught at, or which schools he attended.
I don’t think we could have done this if I had to answer to a school board. My superintendent colleagues spend the vast majority of their time trying to convince people to allow them to do what is good and right for kids. That’s never how I spend my time. I take great ideas to great leaders and they say yes or they say no and we keep it moving. There is no way that we could have gotten as far as we have gotten without mayoral control.
- DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson explaining keys to her success on WAMU (Chancellor Kaya Henderson Says She's Leaving D.C. Public Schools)
There's a small but growing group of white education folks out there who are identifying themselves as "woke," by which they mean they are aware of structural inequalities and racism (and presumably working against these things).
But I'm not sure that employing the term is a good thing for white folks to do, much as they might be tempted. And I'm especially unsure that it's a good thing for white men to do, given all the privileges and blind spots that come along with being white and male.
The question of being white and woke came up recently on Twitter, thanks to Jonas Chartock expression discomfort with the spread of the term:
It's also been a topic of debate since Justin Timberlake got slammed for his well-intended but clueless response to Jesse Williams' amazing BET speech Sunday night (while you were probably watching Game Of Thrones and I was watching soccer).
The reason, in simple terms, that white folks probably shouldn't use the term is that using "woke" seems like blatant appropriation of a term that people of color in the #BlackLivesMatter movement are using, which is in itself a form of racism.
How can you be a "woke" white person if using the term suggests that you aren't?
So what's a good alternative if you're a white person who thinks s/he "gets it"? There are a few out there to consider, including ally, aspiring ally, and anti-racist. I like the last term the most because it's the most explicit.
If the numbers of white people who are concerned and active about racism are going to grow, then they will likely need an identifier (and maybe even an affinity group) of their own.
The work matters more than the identifier, of course, but I hope it's not "woke."
Related reading: Earning the ‘Woke’ Badge (Amanda Hess in the NYT), Daily Dot (Black Twitter lists the woke white people invited to their cookout), The Cut (Macklemore Is All of My Woke Ex-Boyfriends)
This video highlights Avalon School in St. Paul, Minn., and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Los Angeles, Calif -- one charter led by teachers, another part of a college-prep focused network. (Charter Schools After 25 Years: Inside Two Contrasting Schools via EdWeek)
Bill keeps longer tenure, scraps other ‘Vergara reforms’ | EdSource ow.ly/GnMm301FriJ
5 Colorado Republicans Fight to Take on CO Senator Michael Bennet - ABC News ow.ly/JAxQ301Frbq
Preschool Teaching Programs Too Diffuse, Unfocused: Analysis - Teacher Beat - Education Week ow.ly/rssE301Fs4A
A School Where The Students Hire Their Teachers | WBEZ ow.ly/Mpwa301FrrV
Leg up or catch up? Wealthier students use summer school to get a step ahead | 89.3 KPCC ow.ly/xXxm301Fr6S
Kansas Votes More Money For Public Schools To Avert Shutdownn.pr/28X0QLS
Kansas Lawmakers Pass Bill in Bid to Stop Court From Closing Schools - The New York Times ow.ly/kgwl301Fr4s
Tutors See Stereotypes and Gender Bias in SAT. Testers See None of the Above. - NYT ow.ly/LUSf301Fr28
Fighting for ‘Our School’ | American RadioWorks | ow.ly/yOOu301ExDA
1 In 10 Cal State Students Is Homeless, Study Finds n.pr/29bPaBc
There aren't a lot of African Americans who live on the Upper West Side...We were sad to learn that, you know? I would like more diversity, but we chose to move to this place because we put the quality of the education at a higher value.
-- An unnamed UWS parent in this Gothamist piece (UWS Parents Fight Proposal To Relocate School)
School segregation is the result of intentional policy choices and governmental interventions. It was constructed, and to end it we must deconstruct it through further interventions. We also must acknowledge that segregation was created at the behest of middle class white voters and business leaders and it can only be undone at their behest.
- Nate Bowling (We have the answer, we choose to ignore it)
"Special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks to Maureen Costello of the Southern Poverty Law Center for insight into how Southern schools can move race relations forward."
"The battle over Common Core education standards is playing out across the country, but a new set of requirements for teaching science is creeping into curricula without the same fanfare. Some states are voluntarily adopting the practices, which emphasize more consistent science instruction as well as hands-on experimentation." PBS NewsHour
Here's a two-minute video from Save Our Public Schools making the case against raising MA's charter school cap. There's a big state referendum on the issue coming later this year. The video claims that charters already take $400 million away from public schools.
"San Francisco’s Lowell High School is one of the most selective public schools in the country. But the school’s selectivity means that black and Latino students, who are often less prepared for academic rigor than Lowell’s majority-Asian students, are underrepresented." via PBS NewsHour.
Or, watch this kid imitate Presidential candidates at his graduation.
"At Pennsylvania’s Upper Darby High School in suburban Philadelphia, more than 15 languages are spoken in a student body of nearly 4,000. To help support such a diverse array of English-language learners, the school created a peer tutoring program."
Still buzzing over the Sunday Tony awards show? Me, too. Check out the show performances if you missed any here, or click the link above and watch some of the NYC high school kids who've been attending the show and performing for Lin Manuel-Miranda as part of what Scholastic's Wayne D'Orio dubbed "Hamilton 101." It's pretty cool to watch them. The video is about a half-hour long.
City on Fire, Garth Risk Hallberg (M, 30s, no book dust jacket, perched on edge of his seat, Brown NB) pic.twitter.com/9gk5zS5cOq— CoverSpy CHI (@CoverSpyCHI) March 24, 2016
A long novel about mid-1970s New York City, this book features a key subplot about a Southern-born college graduate brought north to teach at an elite and nearly all-white private girls' school in Manhattan.
That doesn't make it an education book, and at nearly 1,000 pages it's not exactly a quick read, but if you're an educationista looking for an excuse to read about the birth of punk, the near-bankruptcy of NYC, and proto-terrorism, it's all you need :-)
What's on *your* summer reading list, and what's its slender connection to education?
Related posts: Best Of 2015: Two Education Books Make The List; Best Titles To Help White Teachers, Parents, Reporters Understand Race; An Anthropological Look At School Fundraising; New Yorker Writer's Year Embedded In High School English; 'Confessions Of A Headmaster'.
Check out Scholastic Administrator editor Wayne D'Orio's new piece about how Hamilton teamed with two nonprofits to immerse high school students in American history'—and challenge them to create their own performances.
"Thirteen teams of 11th graders from around New York City are waiting anxiously in the wings to perform their own two-minute pieces on events or people from the birth of our country. “Welcome to the best day of the year for us here at the Richard Rodgers: EduHam,” says an enthusiastic Miranda as he looks out on a theater packed entirely with high school students. After the student performances, the high schoolers will see Hamilton, culminating their immersion in the life and times of the “10-dollar founding father without a father.”
Do shorter hours or higher wages make better teachers? - https://t.co/Nnr0ySNxFf— Savas Savides (@SSavides) May 22, 2016
This recent chart from the Economist magazine uses OECD and IMF numbers to try and track the relationship between hours of work, purchasing power, and student achievement. American teachers are shown to work 45 hours a week and make $60,000. Its PISA scores are in the middle. Are these figures correct?
These Mexican teachers were forced to shave their heads – because they didn't participate in a strike. https://t.co/eD7l2Mtuju— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 6, 2016
AJ+ and El Pais in English are reporting that some teachers who declined to participate in a strike were forced by members of the teachers union to walk barefoot, wear signs, and have their heads shaved (or, more accurately, cut). But apparently the union is now denying it was them, or at least that it was not authorized.
Schoolkids suggest naming a building after Banksy, and the mysterious artist reacted with a bit of controversial artwork. See more including video of kids' reactions here.
You can be pro-charter and still be critical of things that charters ought not to be doing... [Clinton] squarely came down in favor of what the vision of charters were when this started, not flooding the zone with new schools that then destroyed public education.
AFT head Randi Weingarten in the NYT (Union President, Randi Weingarten, Defends Hillary Clinton on Charter Schools)
We’ve been talking a lot about the idea of modernizing the teaching profession and that has been a real point of contention with some folks because they say, “We don’t need to change it. We just need to be nicer to teachers. We need to reward teachers more and pay them more.” That reflexive defense of the status quo is just as unhelpful as people who say, “Let’s throw the whole system out and start over.”
-- Lanae Erickson Hatalsky in Education Post (Staying Chill, the Teacher Wars...)
Consolidation isn't easy.
She actually when she is talking about how to move this country forward given education a program. She's involving teachers in the discussion. She's not looking at it from a privatized position. She's actually collaborating with the people who actually work in the classroom. And to me that show a commitment she wants to do a really positive pro education policy. And she wants to be invested in public schools because she realizes public schools are in areas of poverty and (education) is one of the smartest ways to get children out of poverty.
-- Former Perth Amboy teachers union president Donna Chiera (Former President Clinton stumps for Hillary in Edison)
Spending by oil companies, education advocates, business groups and labor unions reaches record levels - LA Times ow.ly/FGQh300ISyS
‘Don’t force us to give up our school’: A Mississippi town is being told to integrate - The Washington Post ow.ly/9YVx300GhGu
20th Street Elementary parents protest potential change in school management - LA Times ow.ly/Wz47300KGok
Active-shooter drills help schools prepare for the worst: AP Article ow.ly/u2iW300KFX4
One Student Tries To Help Others Escape A 'Corridor Of Shame' : NPR Ed pllqt.it/NkB6Fx
What One District's Data Mining Did For Chronic Absence : NPR Ed : NPR ow.ly/KIyQ300KFF4
Harvard Graduate Student's Speech Resonates With Educators : NPR ow.ly/KEte300KFDo
School superintendent candidate proposes $14k raise for Washington teachers ow.ly/69C4300JOrp
This internecine warfare is not admirable. It should stop. It helps Trump. One candidate will emerge from the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. It will be the candidate who gets the requisite number of delegates. It will be either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. When the convention chooses the candidate, I will support that candidate.
- Diane Ravitch (My Choice for President)
What do parents need to know to find a good school? New federal rules help California find an answer - LA Times ow.ly/wbWG300E3Yg
Education Department proposes rules for judging schools - The Washington Post ow.ly/6Seb300E2Zw
AP: Rules proposed for school accountability | U.S. News | US News ow.ly/FD5c300Cngd
Education Department Releases ESSA Accountability Rules - Politics K-12 - Education Week ow.ly/63Oi300E37k
Advisers to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Debate Education Policy - Politics K-12 - Education Week ow.ly/dtt2300Dprj
See also: Clinton, Sanders Higher Education Policies Similar - Diverse ow.ly/awgQ300Dpkj
Calling for end to "internecine warfare" among Dems, Ravitch announces she will support the Democratic nominee ow.ly/uZMR300CogP
Inside The College That Abolished The F And Raked In The Cash buzzfeed.com
In Texas, new math standards look a whole lot like Common Core - The Hechinger Report ow.ly/YxOU300E3Ba
Facing potential economic downturn, LA Unified considers financial future | EdSource ow.ly/oPM7300E3m7
It takes an exceptional teacher to marginally increase a student’s test score, and these gains fade out quickly. It takes an average urban charter school to increase a student’s test score, and these gains increase over time. Lastly, test scores aren’t everything, so we should be cautious in how we use them and we should give strong deference to parental choice.
-- Arnold Foundation's Neerav Kingsland [Missing the Schools for the Teachers (the Folly of the Teacher Wars)]
-- Paula Dwyer in Bloomberg View (Bringing Back Labor, Without the Unions)
The emerging alliance between teachers unions and Republicans runs against decades of built-up cultural distrust. But the interests of the two partners are closely aligned...[And it's] not the first instance of this alliance in action.
- NY Mag's Jonathan Chait (Who’s Blocking Obama From Helping Poor Schools?)
Some of the advice is a bit dated, and -- it has to be said -- Ryan Gosling may no longer be the heartthrob he once was -- but it's still good stuff. Anyone else remember "Hey, New Teacher"?
Curious about the ESSA funding debate but not sure where to start or why to care? Let me see if I can help sort the substantive, political, and other aspects of the story out for you -- and point you towards and even more obscure part of ESSA that may make the current debate moot.
As you may already know, Senator Alexander and several education groups (including the teachers unions) are strongly opposed to an ESSA rule that the Obama education department has developed. No doubt, requiring districts to document equitable funding outcomes for Title I schools would require a series of changes for states and districts.
In extremely simplified terms, the Obama rule would require that states and districts show that they weren't spending more money on poorer schools* than less poor ones. Complying with the requirement could result in large-scale transfers of teachers, cutting of programs at middle-poverty schools, and other unwanted outcomes.
In establishing this requirement, the Obama rule goes against the flow of play these days, which under ESSA generally limits the USDE's role in overseeing the states and districts and how they use roughly $15 billion a year in federal education funding. According to ESSA, districts are relieved of having to identify specific services as supplemental and the USDE is specifically prohibited from requiring a “specific methodology” for distributing state and local funds.
Ed Week has covered this a number of times, including these two pieces (Education Secretary Advocates Robust ESSA Rules Amid GOP Backlash, Report to Congress: Proposed Spending Rules Appear to Exceed ESSA Language). An NPR story this morning (The 'Intolerable' Fight Over School Money) adds that Senator Alexander has told states to resist this regulation if it isn't changed or stopped through other means. A NYT piece by New America's Kevin Carey (Why There’s an Uproar Over Trying to Increase Funding for Poor Schools) tells the backstory and makes the case in favor of the Obama position.
During a phone interview earlier this morning, Carey explained that the crafty folks at the USDE decided that the new law didn’t block them from requiring states to document comparable outcomes, as long as they didn’t meddle in the methods. “It’s a new and very different interpretation of the ‘supplement, not supplant’ rule,” according to Carey – but not an unjustifiable one. (On Twitter, economist Bruce Baker took issue with Carey's analysis, and the original headline of the piece [Why Poor Districts Receive Less Government School Funding Than Rich Ones] was quickly changed.)
It comes down to semantics, really. If ESSA bans the USDE from establishing any specific method of allocating funding, does that also mean that it can’t require the resulting amounts to be equitable?
Nine Democratic Senators (including Senator Sanders and Senator Warren) are supporting the Obama position. A group of civil rights organizations is also supportive.
We still don't know where Senator Murray and Hillary Clinton stand on the issue -- I've asked the Clinton campaign and will let you know when they respond.
It’s worth adding that the Obama administration has made regular use of whatever flexibility it can find in federal law in the past. The 2009 Race to the Top initiative, the SIG program, and the NCLB waiver program all stretched – or perhaps broke – the limits of the USDE’s statutory and regulatory powers.
In pushing ahead with this ESSA rule the Obama administration could be seen as creating problems for the Clinton campaign. It certainly isn't taking a backseat and giving the presumptive nominee as much maneuvering room as possible.
Even if the USDE blinks first, funding expert Marguerite Roza argues in the Brookings blog that a transparency provision put into the law by Senator Bennet is going to end up having much the same effect (More equitable spending on its way regardless of rulemaking).
Roza argues that, when differentials between schools are finally published, it will become difficult for lawmakers to continue doing what they've done for so long:
"When the spending data are daylighted, the evidence will be clear that many districts have hardwired systematic spending inequities in their operations.... School boards will have no choice but to do the hard work of rethinking longstanding policies that contributed to the uneven spending."
*Correction: The original version stated poorer districts, not schools.
I'm not exactly sure what the news hook was here - Teacher Appreciation Week, maybe? -- but here's a May 3rd Vox video of former education reporter Dana Goldstein (now at The Marshall Project) talking about outsized demands the public and policymakers demand of teachers, rhetorically at least.
In other places, Goldstein has argued that there has been a "moral panic" about veteran classroom teachers, in which they are vilified and end up leaving the field. You can read about that here: At AFT Conference, Goldstein Compares Reform Efforts To "Moral Panic"; Goldstein Compares Current Teacher Fears To 1980s' Welfare Fears.
There are certainly examples of teachers being called on to do superhuman work, or denounced for the failures of a handful. But the rhetoric certainly goes both ways (hero and villain), and I'm not sure that these extremes are taken very seriously by policymakers or the public.
There may be some cumulative effect of the repeated assertion, however -- and the unfortunate effect of silencing pragmatic debate over improving teaching.
"At the second annual Education Summit, The Atlantic will illuminate the most pressing debates in the education world today, from cradle to college," says the promo copy for Education Summit 2016. It start tomorrow morning and continues Wednesday, in DC. Topics under discussed are listed as ESSA, Common Core, School to Prison Pipeline, Speech on College Campuses, and College Affordability. Speakers and panelists include Jen Holleran, executive director of Startup:Education (part of the Chan Zuckerberg effort). The Atlantic's education editor, Alia Wong, will also participate. Hashtag? Livestream? LMK.
From last week: "Across Boston and around the country, thousands of educators, parents and students—along with our community allies—gathered in close to 80 cities on May 4 to demonstrate support for the public schools all our students deserve—public schools that have the resources to provide every student with a world-class education. In the face of increasing threats to our public education system, these "walk-ins" showed support." via AFT.
I am bound and determined to bring GIFs and short videos to education-land, and here's a good start to the week I think. Via TIME magazine.
Signs abound that this era of polarization is giving way to a different and more constructive phase in U.S. efforts to boost student achievement.... The dawn of a new era of K-12 philanthropy .... Funders [like Walton and Broad] are no longer the dominant drivers.
Inside Philanthropy's David Callahn (The New Era of K-12 Philanthropy)
So much of the recent attention towards school segregation has focused on within-district segregation, which makes sense. Gentrification, attendance zone boundaries, immigration, and other factors all play a role there, and are relatively easily understood and at least theoretically addressed by a single school district or mayoral agency.
But as USC's Ann Owens explained at last week's #EWA16 event, the most segregation takes place between different districts.
One reason this may garner less attention is that it makes it harder to consider what the solutions might be when two semi-autonomous public agencies are involved, and one of them is probably much better-off than the other. Consolidating districts? Good luck with that. Transfer agreements between districts? NCLB called for those but generated precious few actual transfers.
Interested in more about media coverage of segregation? Check out my column at The Grade about the surge in coverage, and some possible problems it raises.
Credit Ann Owens and sources listed.
Here's Seth Myers talking about Teacher Appreciation Week and the Detroit teachers sick-out. Via Valeria Strauss. Meantime, Chicago teachers seem to be backing off their move towards a second strike.
Online Testing in Georgia Disrupted by Glitches - Market Brief ow.ly/4nqKHP
School-related civil rights complaints surgeow.ly/4ns5P7
Chancellor Encourages Schools to 'Re-Brand' Better - WNYC ow.ly/4ns5Rv
Garfield High choir teacher placed on leave | The Seattle Times ow.ly/4ns5Cs
How Much Does It Cost To Educate A Student In Michigan? (Or, In The U.S.?) : NPR ow.ly/4ns5eq