About this blog Subscribe to this blog

Morning Videos: Chicago Teachers Rally, Duncan Reflects, & OK UPK

 

Fresh off the heels of news that the public supports them more than City Hall, Chicago teachers rallied downtown. From WTTW Chicago Public Television.

See also WGN TV interview of former EdSec Arne Duncan interviewed about Chicago, unfinished business, and what he might do next.

Or, watch this PBS NewsHour segment on the Oklahoma universal preschool program.

Campaign 2016: Teachers Unions Flood New Hamphire

From Randi Weingarten: "Educators from around the North East for @HillaryClinton are ready to get out the vote here in NH. #ImWithHer"

AM News: Common Core Testing Discrepancies, Intensifying Chicago Confrontation

PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on Computers EdWeek: Students who took the 2014-15 PARCC exams via computer tended to score lower than those who took the exams with paper and pencil—a revelation that prompts questions about the validity of the test results and poses potentially big problems for state and district leaders.

Classroom Cuts Move Ahead, Absent a New Chicago Teachers' Contract WBEZ: Claypool said the cuts -- which could mean one position per school, on average -- could still be avoided if the two parties reach an agreement soon.

Rauner: I'm no saboteur Chicago Sun-Times: On that issue, Claypool and CTU President Karen Lewis agreed, with Lewis blasting Rauner. “Please don't pay any attention to the ravings of a mad man,” Lewis said. “He knows absolutely nothing about real education. So that's a problem.”

School Network With Most Kindergarten Suspensions Says It Will Stop Them Boston Learning Lab: Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students were suspended 78 times at schools operated by a single nonprofit school management company in the 2014-15 school year, according to state data.

Nation's charter schools aren't growing as fast as once thought Washington Post: The 7 and 9 percent increases over the last two years were lower than the average 11 percent annual enrollment growth over the last eight years, according to the National Alliance.

Parents gather 'parent trigger' signatures a second time after LAUSD doesn’t make changes KPCC: Parents at 20th St. Elementary School first organized in 2014, but decided not to formally submit their petition when LAUSD administrators proposed an improvement plan that included promises to improve the administration of the school, provide teachers with professional development, and use data to measure teaching and learning.

School kisses Valentine's Day and other holidays goodbye AP: A Minnesota elementary school has kissed Valentine's Day goodbye. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, too....

New York High School Wrestlers Break Stereotypes in Coed Division NYT: At a number of public high schools, wrestling teams with male and female athletes are breaking gender stereotypes.

Event Preview: My #TFA25 Playlist - What's Yours?

DgfsdfgdsfgfThe livestream begins Saturday morning at 9, but the conference officially starts Friday and there's sure to be a ton of Tweeting going on the next few days as #TFA25 ramps up. (Nearly 200 speakers/moderators, all in one Twitter List .)

There are 20 sessions Friday, and another 60 on Saturday -- not nearly enough for all the interest in presenting and speaking at the conference. The Frequently Asked Questions makes clear that TFA was expecting (or experiencing) more demand to present than it could handle using the format it decided.

There's no opening plenary session -- the conference version of a outmoded home page -- or even keynotes. Topics covered at the 2011 summit are being avoided. As a result, "Even very senior/VIP speakers will be sharing a session with other speakers and panelists."

Here's a bit more information about what I'm doing -- or hoping to do (depending on which sessions are full, etc.) -- along with some information about what's going to be livestreamed. Take a look and then let us know what you're going to do.

What's on your #TFA25 wishlist? Or, even better, what are you already signed up for?

Continue reading "Event Preview: My #TFA25 Playlist - What's Yours?" »

AM News: Teachers Unions Undaunted By Iowa (Plus: Detroit, Chicago Drama)

NEA, AFT Presidents: Hillary Clinton Can Make Things Happen PK12: Teachers' union leaders who put muscle and money behind Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton say they're not disheartened with her photo finish in the Iowa caucuses.

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager To Step Down NPR: The state-appointed emergency manager of the Detroit public schools system is calling it quits. Darnell Earley was a big target because of his job before this one — as emergency manager of Flint. See also NYT.

Chicago Teachers Union calls proposed cuts by district 'an act of war' Chicago Tribune: One day after the Chicago Teachers Union rejected a contract proposal from Chicago Public Schools, district officials said they would slash school budgets and stop paying the bulk of teachers' pension contributions — moves CTU's president quickly decried.

Chicago Schools Announce Cuts After Union Rejects Offer AP: Chicago school officials say they're ready to cut $100 million from school budgets and force teachers to pay more pension costs after the teachers' union rejected the latest offer in contentious contract negotiations that have lasted over a year.

Senior Education official collapses after heated four-hour hearing on Hill Washington Post: A senior executive at the Education Department who was the target of a four-hour interrogation by members of Congress on Tuesday collapsed after the hearing and was taken by ambulance to George Washington University Hospital.

This 17-year-old is a rising voice in Baltimore’s Black Lives Matter movement Washington Post: A high-ranking police officer was reassigned after the teen called attention to his tweets, which she said showed “entrenched racism.”

Demand for School Integration Leads to Massive 1964 Boycott — In New York City WNYC:  It didn't happen in the South; it happened in New York City, where the mostly white elected officials and Board of Education members said they believed in integrated education. 

Hoaxers increasingly going online to threaten schools AP: In December, Los Angeles, New York City and several other school systems received an email warning of a grisly attack. In late January, districts in Delaware, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey and elsewhere received bomb threats phoned in using an electronic voice. In almost every instance, the threats disrupted the lives of thousands of students. Schools were closed or locked down. 

Afternoon Listen: The Premiere Episode Of "Have You Heard?"

It's finally here: New Progressive Education Podcast launches, hosted by Jennifer Berkshire and Aaron French. First up is a look at African-American parents in Philadelphia who oppose standardized testing. Or, check out the fundraising site. Agree or disagree with the perspective being explored, you've got to admire the sound quality.

Pics: NEA & AFT Heads Together Canvassing For Hillary In Iowa

 

In Cedar Rapids canvassing with NEA's Lily Eskelsen Garcia-talking with folks about Hillary in advance of Iowa Caucus

Posted by Randi Weingarten on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quotes: Weingarten Contextualizes Early State Primaries

Quotes2I know the early four states love being the early four states, and every four years you hear more and more about them. But 60 percent of the delegates actually get decided in March.

- AFT President (and Clinton supporter) Randi Weingarten in the NYT (Tight Democratic Race in Iowa Unnerves Clinton Campaign)

AM News: Clinton Wins Iowa With Teachers Unions' Help

School spending per student drops for a third year in a row Hechinger Report: Per-pupil spending in the nation’s public schools fell for the third straight year in 2012-13*, according to the most recent federal financial data, which was released on January 27, 2016. In that school year, U.S. public schools spent only $10,763 per elementary, middle and high school student, on average, across the country. 

Chicago Teachers Union Rejects 'Serious Offer' From District AP: The Chicago Teachers Union says it has rejected a contract proposal because it does not address school conditions, lack of services to some students and the long-term fiscal crisis of the nation's third-largest school district... See also Sun-TimesChicago Tribune.

Public Advocate Sues New York City over Glitches in Special Ed Tracking WNYC: Public Advocate Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Monday that alleged the city's computer system for tracking students with disabilities was such a failure that it led to the loss not only of basic services for children in need but also of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicaid reimbursements. See also ChalkbeatNY.

Public schools see influx of state funds but financial challenges still loom KPCC: Up and down California, public schools are enjoying a rapid rise in state funding. With the state’s economic gains and a temporary tax increase approved by voters in 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $71.6 billion education budget for the next fiscal year is up more than 50 percent since 2011. Spending per student has increased more than $3,800, to a projected $14,550 this year.

S.F. considers giving condoms away to middle schoolers SF Gate: Public school nurses and social workers in San Francisco would be allowed to hand out condoms to individual middle school students under a proposal before the district’s school board, expanding school-based access to the contraceptive to younger teens and preteens.

GOP-led states increasingly taking control from local school boards Washington Post: Eleven states have passed or debated legislation to create state-run school districts in the past year, according to the Education Commission of the States, which tracks state education policy.

Top Education official will acknowledge ‘poor judgment’ at hearing into his behavior Washington Post: Harris, 56, also failed to report $10,000 in income from his various businesses on his federal disclosure forms and to the Internal Revenue Service, according to investigators. The agency’s inspector general launched an investigation into Harris’s activities in 2011 after receiving anonymous complaints.

Books: New Yorker Writer's Year Embedded In High School English

image from images.macmillan.comYou might know David Denby for his writing in the New Yorker about movies among other things, but he's also interested in education.

He wrote a big profile of Diane Ravitch four years ago.

Now, the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss has this excerpt from his new book, ‘Lit Up.’

It's the account of his return to English class, following up (20 years later) on a similar tale about returning to college.

In the introduction, he explains the motivation behind the project:

"Teenagers may be reading more words than ever, but many of those words are scraps, messages, fragments of books and articles, information from everywhere and nowhere. What about reading serious books? The best way to find out, I reasoned, was not to scan education research and statistical surveys but to “embed” in a single tenth-grade English class all year long and to see what happened as a good teacher worked with 15-year-olds. I would read everything the kids read, sit on the side of the room, keep my mouth shut, and interview the kids when they had some free time."

Denby chose Beacon School, which he describes as a magnet school "with a multi-ethnic and multi-class population of New York kids." From this Wikipedia entry, you can see it's not your typical NYC high school. And the teacher whose classroom Denby observed was not just a teacher, according to Denby, he was "a maker of souls as well as a maker of readers."

It's got blurbs from Dave Eggers and Diane Ravitch, among others. Click the link above for the excerpt, or click here for some reviews. 

Afternoon Video: Outdoor Learning Program Serves Autistic Kids' Needs

"By second grade, it was clear that while Zack Smith could sit in a chair, he had no intention of staying in it. He was disruptive in class, spoke in a loud voice, and had a hard time taking turns with others... Where Zack eventually landed is clinging spread-eagle to an east-facing slab of quartzite in the West Virginia panhandle." From Outside magazine (ADHD Is Fuel for Adventure)

 

Events: 52 regions. 40,000 Alumni. TFA At 25

Watch out, world. A week from today starts TFA's 25th Anniversary Summit in DC.

According to the event organizers, Friday includes "sessions focused on leadership development" (including one about social media that I'm going to be participating in), followed by Saturday's big day of panels (including a Denver case study panel I'm moderating) and an appearance from Janelle Monáe (above). 

There are a bunch of social events, including charter networks (Democracy Prep, etc.), diverse charters (Brooklyn Prospect), and districts (Denver Public Schools).

#TFA25 seems to be the event hashtag. 

There's a big EdWeek deep dive.

There's a BuzzFeed listicle: 19 Things To Do At The TFA 25th Anniversary Summit.

There's an app.

TFA Alumni Affairs (aka @onedayallkids) have put together a "TFA25 Twitter Track" for the conference .

There's some great TFA memorabilia floating around on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, including this 1992 poster:

CZ5v9BWWkAAxm_A

 

If Deray McKesson isn't there, I think there might be a riot. [He's scheduled to be there on Saturday, I'm told.] 

What about LAUSD Board Chairperson Steve Zimmer, or StudentsFirst co-founder Michelle Rhee (pictured at #TFA20)? Jesse Hagopian? Alex Caputo-Pearl? [No idea]

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.com

The NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones is going to be there, according to Twitter. (Not as a TFA alum but on a panel on school desegregation.)

The last big gathering of TFA folks was in February 2011, which seems like 100 years ago. People were still talking about the Arab Spring back then. Michelle Rhee was sort of the rock star of the event. Questions about the organization's role and impact were coming up (including from founder Wendy Kopp herself) but hadn't gained real traction yet. There was no #BlackLivesMatter. Teachers in Chicago hadn't gone on strike for the first time in nearly 30 years. Yet.

Related posts: Key Takeaways From The NJ TFA Media Panel7 Things I Learned From The LA Times' TFA ArticleTFA20: A Premature (Or Even Unwarranted) Celebration?Looking Ahead To #TFA25Stop Talking About Education's "Egypt Moment"Five Ideas For TFA's *Next* 20 Years.

 

Charts: Urban District Spending/NAEP Scores Compared

Sdfgdfsgfgfgfgf
"Some large urban school systems get more bang for their buck than others. After adjusting for certain factors outside a district’s control, such as cost of living and student poverty, some big-city school systems spend millions of dollars more than others—but get far lower results on national math and reading exams." CAP 2011- used with permission.

This comes up because of a couple of recent reports on district spending in 2013 (NCES via Washington Post) and district achievement 2015 (CAP via USA Today). Anyone who wants to match up the more recent spending and NAEP figures?

 

 

Numbers: Big-City School Spending Tops Out At $20K Per Kid (NYC

Numbersign"The numbers [for the biggest 100 districts in the nation] ranged from $5,539 per pupil in Utah’s Alpine School District to $20,331 in New York City. After New York, the highest-spending large districts were in Boston, Philadelphia and Anchorage. Four of the 11 highest-spending large districts were in the Washington area, reflecting the region’s relative wealth and high cost of living. Montgomery County was ranked fifth, spending $15,080 per student; Howard County was seventh, at $14,884; Prince George’s County was ninth, at $14,101; and Fairfax County was 11th, at $13,670." - Washington Post's Emma Brown (Spending in nation’s schools falls again)

Today: New CAP Report/Briefing On Testing Better (#TestBetter)

Watch the event from this morning above. Featured are CAP's Catherine Brown, NY State's Mary Ellen Elia, CCSSO's Chris Minnich, Achieve's Mike Coehn, and DCPS teacher Chris Bergfalk, Ruidoso NM Supierntendent George Bickert, and NAACP LDEF's Janel George. 

Read more here: Toward a Coherent, Aligned Assessment System | Center for American Progress. Read the Twitterstream #testbetter here.

 

Morning Listen: How Much Does Teaching Matter From An Economist's POV?

"If U.S. schoolteachers are indeed "just a little bit below average," it's not really their fault. So what should be done about it?"  From Freakonomics (2014, rebroadcast again recently)

AM News: Teachers Unions Sue Detroit Over Poor Conditions & State Oversight

Detroit Teachers Sue District Over 'Deplorable' Conditions AP: The Detroit teachers' union has filed a lawsuit against the district calling for repairing "deplorable" conditions and removing the state-appointed emergency manager. See also Washington Post, US News, Detroit Free Press.

Education Department Tells States: If Students Don't Take Tests, You Will Lose Funding AP: A letter from the federal department last month reminded state school chiefs that the requirement to test at least 95 percent of grade 3-8 students is still in place and will continue under the nation's new education law, passed in December.

Per Pupil Spending Down in Most States, According to Federal Data State EdWatch: Despite the economic recovery, districts spent 1.8 percent less per student in 2013 than they did the prior year.

At least 145 sickened from apparent gas leak at Texas school AP: Authorities say at least 145 students and staff members at a Southeast Texas middle school received hospital treatment after an apparent carbon monoxide leak Thursday....

Immigrants' Son Is 1 Of 12 Students Worldwide To Ace AP Calculus Exam NPR: Of the 302,532 students who took the Advanced Placement Calculus exam, Cedrick Argueta, the son of a Salvadoran maintenance worker and a Filipina nurse, was one of 12 to earn every single point.

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).

Afternoon Video: PBS Looks Into Vocational Education

"Of all the U.S. high school students who graduate high school and go on to college, a large proportion will never earn their degree. How can educators better train those who may struggle in trying to pick a course of study? One solution may lie in putting greater emphasis on high school vocational training, but critics disagree." (Should more kids skip college for workforce training?)

NB that one of the disagreeing parties speaking out in favor of giving all kids the same rigorous academic instruction is none other than Carol Burris. 

Morning Video: A Tour Inside A Detroit Public School (Plus Detroit Q & A)

Lakia Wilson, the school counselor at Spain Elementary School, takes us around for a tour. Via AFT.

See also:  DPS Denied Injunction Against Teachers; New Hearing Set  Detroit Free News: Judge Cynthia Stephens of the Michigan Court of Claims said she needs more information and that there's no proof the Detroit Federation of Teachers or its interim president encouraged the mass teacher absences. 

Q&A: A look at the Detroit Public Schools teacher sick-outs AP: Detroit Public Schools teachers have complained for several years about poor pay, overcrowded classrooms, a lack of supplies, unsafe building conditions and uncertainty about their futures as the district struggles under a mountain of debt. Rolling teacher sick-outs have - so far in January - forced the district to close dozens of schools on some days. A preliminary hearing will be held next month on the district's lawsuit seeking to end the sick-outs....

 

Afternoon Video: In SoCal, WiFi School Buses Help Reduce Digital Divide

"The digital divide and lack of reliable Internet access at home can put low-income and rural students at a real disadvantage. So when superintendent Darryl Adams took over one of the poorest school district in the nation, he made it a top priority to help his students get online 24/7."

Quotes: Teacher Of The Year "Done With Charter Fights & Common Core Spats"

Quotes2Better teaching is the one thing we never really talk about. Better teaching is the only mechanism we have left. Our most needy students need our best teachers, yet our highest need schools have the least experienced teachers, the most turnover and are becoming burnout factories for those who remain. All the existing structural incentives for effective educators push them toward work in suburban schools, where they’ll be better supported and the workload is sustainable. Nobody wants to talk about this. I am done with charter fights and Common Core spats.

- 2016 NSTOY Nate Bowling (The Conversation I'm Tired of Not Having)

Morning Video: Charter School Head Moscowitz Talks Lawsuit, Bias

VIDEO:

Charts: White People Least Sure Government Should Help Diversify Schools

Dgfhhh

"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)

Quotes: Obama Official Apologizes In Philadelphia

Quotes2A discussion that began with shared interests and shared values – the importance of learning and growth for all our children – ended up with a lot of teachers feeling attacked and blamed... And when [teachers] disagreed with evaluation systems, it appeared to pit them against those who they cherished most – their students... That was no one's desire. 

-- Acting EdSec John King in US News (King Apologizes for Politicized Education Atmosphere)

Afternoon Video: "Hip-Hop Therapy" At A Bronx High School

Check out this video short (School of Hip-Hop) about the "hip-hop therapy" program at New Visions Charter High School that accompanies Winnie Hu's feature (Bronx School Embraces a New Tool in Counseling: Hip-Hop). The white hipster counselor is unfortunate, and I'm not sure using hip hop this way can be considered "new," but I'll let it go this time.

 

AM News: Detroit Schools Still Closed (DC-Area Schools To Follow)

Most Detroit Public Schools Close Due to Teacher 'Sick-Outs' Demanding Better Classroom Conditions AP: A city-wide teacher "sick-out" shut down 88 Detroit schools today, causing 44,790 students to miss class, according to the Detroit Public Schools system. Staff members at the closed schools were expected to report to work or take a leave day, the announcement said. See also NPR.

Prince William County cancels school Thursday, Fairfax schools to open two hours late Washington Post: Virginia's two largest school systems will lose out on class time Thursday because of inclement weather.

CPS calls GOP takeover proposal a 'sideshow' AP: Chicago Public Schools officials say top Republicans' proposal for a state takeover of the nation's third-largest school district is a "sideshow" to school funding formula problems in the state. In a Wednesday statement, schools CEO Forrest Claypool said that that the real need is to fix the school funding formula to make it more equitable.

Filing Alleges Bias at Success Academy Network Against Students With Disabilities NYT: Parents of 13 current and former students of Success Academy filed a complaint against the charter school network with the federal Department of Education. See also NY Daily News.

Lowell school board alters course, backs PARCC Lowell Sun: In a nearly complete turnaround from an earlier decision, the School Committee voted 5-2 Wednesday night to adopt the PARCC test this year for students across the district.

New report says Gates Foundation favors businesses, not poor Seattle Times: As Bill Gates hobnobs in Switzerland, a U.K. group is critical of Seattle Foundation’s emphasis on technology and capitalism.

Funders Fuel a Bigger Push for Family Engagement in Schools Inside Philanthropy: In 2014, a group of leading advocates for family and community involvement in schools banded together to create the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) to build greater support around this issue. Now, the Bethesda, MD-based group has received a big boost in its efforts, thanks to two leading funders.

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".

 

Morning Video: UFT's [Well-Deserved] Million-Dollar Victory Lap Over Common Core

In case you haven't seen it, here's the new UFT ad touting some of the Common Core-related changes coming from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (UFT Airs Common Core Ad). See also NY Post: UFT spends $1M thanking Cuomo for Common Core backtrack.

Or, listen to this MLK Day WBUR segment featuring Deray McKesson (Black Lives Matter And Civil Rights In Modern America).

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.

AM News: Veteran Insider To Head Nation's 2nd Largest School System

New LA Unified superintendent signs $350,000 contract KPCC: The new superintendent’s $350,000 salary is $50,000 more than what predecessor Ramon Cortines was paid, and it's roughly $47,000 more than her salary as chief deputy superintendent of schools. The nine-page contract provides King with a school district car and driver, and security if necessary. Outside consulting or employment must be approved by the school board.

L.A. Unified looked far and wide but found new superintendent Michelle King right at home LA Times: When the Los Angeles Board of Education began looking for an new superintendent last year, it vowed to aim high. Officials eyed nationally known school leaders in Miami and San Francisco. They even talked about high-profile politicians like such as Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro and U.S. Rep....

With new superintendent in place, LA school board gears for battle on charter plan Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Board of Education's resolution is effectively a symbolic gesture, but it highlights a key challenge for the district's new superintendent.

Study: Low-scoring teachers tend to work in schools with high poverty rates Tribune: Overall, the consortium concluded there was a bigger difference between teacher scores "within schools than there is across schools," noting that even the city's highest-poverty schools also had teachers that logged high scores on the district's evaluation system.

Conservative activist James O'Keefe targets Common Core with new hidden-camera video Washington Post: Video purportedly captures textbook sales rep saying companies embraced national academic standards because of their profit potential; she says comments were misconstrued, taken out of context.

Emanuel Brings Back High School Program He Cut During First Term WBEZ Chicago: The Freshman Connection program was eliminated in 2011, the first year Emanuel took office. In 2010, 100 coordinators for the program were eliminated to free up money for principal discretion. Some principals decided to use their discretionary money to keep it going.

Detroit Mayor: Dead Mouse, Cold Kids, Bad Floor in Schools AP:  More than 31,000 students stayed home Monday. School district spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said the number of children affected Tuesday wasn't immediately known.

#EDgif Of The Day: "Hell no. I did NOT leave the South Side for this."

From Mean Girls. Via The Billforld.
 

 

 

 

Morning Video: Teacher Sick-Out Closes Bunch Of Detroit Schools

At least 50 Detroit Public Schools closed due to teacher sick-out

Or, watch this PBS NewsHour segment Country's oldest voluntary school desegregation program grows in Rochester, New York

Or, listen to this NPR story A 'No-Nonsense' Classroom Where Teachers Don't Say 'Please'.

AM News: Supreme Court Hears Teachers Union Case

Supreme Court Case Could Weaken Government Workers Unions AP: While half the states already have right-to-work laws banning mandatory fees, most members of public-employee unions are concentrated in more liberal-leaning states that don't, including California, New York and Illinois.

Conservative group nears big payoff in Supreme Court case Politico: The conservative Bradley Foundation has spent millions over three decades to smash labor unions. Now an investment that could barely buy a house in Washington may bring it closer to that goal than ever before. The vehicle is a Supreme Court case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, to bar public employee unions from compelling payments from nonmembers.

CTU allies benefit from newly enriched union foundation Chicago Sun Times: Although most of the foundation’s grants were doled out locally, one of the biggest recipients — getting a total of $200,000 — is the Arizona-based Network for Public Education. The network’s co-founder and board president is Diane Ravitch, a New York University professor and nationally prominent blogger who has supported CTU in its battles with City Hall.

Detroit braces for 'sickout' by teachers frustrated by class sizes and conditions The Guardian:  A ‘substantial’ number of educators are expected to be absent from at least 40 schools in a district facing financial calamity with liabilities of $3.5bn

Gaps in preschool access largest for Latino kids KPCC LA: Kim Pattillo Brownson, director of educational equity at the Advancement Project, said only 41 percent of all kids countywide have access to licensed childcare seat. Since two thirds of all children under 5 in the county are Latino, even if seats were distributed equitably, Latino children would still miss out at higher rates than their counterparts.

Will California's booming economy pay off in pupil spending? AP: Soaring tax revenues have carried per-pupil education spending in California beyond where it stood before the Great Recession. But advocates and education officials say the record sum proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown is unlikely to reverse the state's standing as a comparative miser when it comes to investing in public schools.

Principals’ Union Says Mayor de Blasio Has Lost Focus on Students NYT: The union’s president blames micromanagement from the top, with conflicting orders and too many school staff members being overwhelmed with paperwork and meetings.

A 'no-nonsense' classroom where teachers don't say 'please' NPR: The center has worked with more than 250 schools across the country since 2009. Many of those are charter schools, but some are traditional public schools in places like Denver and Cleveland. All of them have similar populations: students from low-income families, many of them black and Hispanic. Nine of those schools are in Charlotte.

L.A. schools insider and an outsider emerge as favorites to lead the district LA Times: As the Los Angeles Board of Education closes in on choosing a new leader, attention appears to be focused on two candidates: Deputy Supt. Michelle King, an LAUSD insider, and Kelvin Adams, a superintendent from St. Louis.

Montgomery schools superintendent could be selected as soon as March Washington Post: School board members say they are pleased with the pool of candidates for the district’s top job.

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?).

Quotes: Working Families Party Feeling Its Oats

Quotes2We stood up to the hedge funders who look at our schools and see dollar signs, from Bridgeport to Newark, from Philadelphia to Chicago....We’re electing leaders, we’re winning on issues, and most importantly, we’re changing what’s politically possible.

- Demos president Heather McGhee in The Atlantic (The Pugnacious, Relentless Progressive Party That Wants to Remake America)

 

Morning Listen: A NYC Principal Talks Student Diversity / Gentrification

A recent WNYC segment featured education reporter Yasmeen Khan and Arthur Mattia, Principal of P.S. 372, which is trying to increase economic diversity under a new City Hall plan. (New Steps Toward School Integration in Brooklyn). Interesting story. Good also to remember the next time charter school diversity is raised as a concern. 

Quotes: Sanders Opposes "Privately-Run" Charter Schools

Quotes2I'm not in favor of privately-run charter schools. If we are going to have a strong democracy and be competitive globally, we need the best educated people in the world. And I believe in public education — I went to public schools my whole life. So I think rather than give tax breaks to billionaires, I think we invest in teachers and we invest in public education.

- Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire via Politico/Diane Ravitch (at 1:48:00 mark) in response to a question from a charter school-graduate concerned about funding cuts her school experienced. 

 

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.

Books: 'Confessions Of A Headmaster'

Longtime educator Paul Cummins has a memoir out ('Confessions Of A Headmaster') that's gotten some much-deserved attention, especially because his background ("privileged kid and ivory-tower scholar") mirrors that of so many other folks trying to improve education (for better and worse). He's credited with helping launch several LA schools, including Crossroads School, New Roads School, Camino Nuevo Charter School, and New Village Charter School. I got to know him nearly 30 years ago when I was looking for a teaching job out of college, and have interviewed and socialized with him occasionally over the years. For more, read here: Paul Cummins, Education Warrior, and  Renowned Educator Dishes Lessons From A Life Spent Empowering Youth (WNYC).

Quotes: NPR Reporter Predicts Increased Charter School Scrutiny

Quotes2You can expect these publicly funded, privately run schools to face new scrutiny, and new criticism.... Charters will also be one of the very few education issues to get any attention in the presidential campaign.

- NPR's Claudio Sanchez (6 Education Stories To Watch In 2016)

Movies: "The Big Short" Says Teachers Blamed For Crashing Economy

There's an interesting, strange line at the end of the new film The Big Short, which chronicles the Wall Street doings that caused the economy to crash.

In a voiceover near the end of the film, Ryan Gosling tells us that while bigwigs got off without consequences for what they did leading up to the Great Recession, people blame "immigrants, the poor and for the first time teachers."

I'm certainly not the only one who noticed the inclusion of teachers among the list of the blamed. Some people loved it:

Others like the NY Post's Kyle Smith thought that teachers deserved more blame (‘The Big Short’ is a lot of Hollywood bull).

The Capital Times' Rob Thomas decided it was a swipe at Gov. Scott Walker.

To be honest, I wasn't clear who was blaming teachers for the collapse of Wall Street, or if they were what the argument might be. It seems pretty ridiculous -- or at least it's not something I can quite get my head around. (Common Core, on the other hand, was clearly part of the problem.)

Over at WND, Drew Zahn thinks the argument is off: "Nobody blames “immigrants and poor people and teachers” for the 2008 collapse." (Bernie Sanders movie to win an Oscar?)

But maybe that's being too literal. Even if nobody's blaming teachers for crashing the economy, there are certainly lots of folks who'd rather talk about public sector unions (and their pesky pensions), immigrants, and the poor rather than economic inequality, corporate profiteering, and political reform. 

Update: The Return Of "Broader, Bolder"

Bold_header_650
Back in the day, there used to be an advocacy organization called Broader, Bolder that was a counterpoint to some of the education reform ideas being promoted by EEP, DFER, and others.

In 2008, I named it one of the year's big winners in education. Arne Duncan signed onto the agenda for the group -- and also signed onto the agenda for EEP. It was funded by Nellie Mae, Annie Casey, and Atlantic Philanthropies, among others. EPI housed the original effort and Elaine Weiss staffed it. In 2009, I suggested "broader bolder" as an umbrella phrase for critics of reform (which didn't catch on, obviously). 

Officially named the Broader, Bolder Approach, the project seemed less active for a while, replaced in part by outfits like Parents Across America, the National Public Education Network, and others. Take a look at its history in my Twitter feed to get a sense. 

But I'm told now that is making a comeback -- relaunching within the next month or two According to Josh Starr, the co-chairs will be himself, Pedro Noguera, Paul Reville, and Helen Ladd.  No word yet on the agenda specifics, staffing, and the funding sources.

Related posts: Who You Calling "Status Quo"? (2008); Broader Bolder Accountability Meeting (2009); More Ways To Measure Advocacy's Impact (2013)

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)
 

Numbers: Major Resurgence Of Unaccompanied Minors Arriving In US

Quotes: Wealthy Donors Try To Read Clinton Tea Leaves

Quotes2

I think when push gets to shove, she’ll be more like Bill Clinton and perhaps [Obama Education Secretary] Arne Duncan than we think right now.

- Eli Broad in WSJ (Clinton Views on Charter Schools, Teacher Evaluations Upset Some Democrats)

On The Hill: Teachers Unions Spend $3.7M Lobbying Congress In 2015, Reports Politico

GtdE51
"The NEA and the American Federation of Teachers are on track to spend $3.7 million combined lobbying Capitol Hill before 2015 is done," according to Maggie Severns in Politico.

Best Of 2015: Top #EquityReads Features Vilson, Hawkins, Anderson, & Others

Here's another good roundup of books and articles you should check out, from @NYCLeadership, which describes itself as "An independent, national nonprofit organization that prepares and supports school leaders who create equity in education and foster student success."

 The list (Top Education Equity Reads of 2015) includes many of the usual suspects (Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pedro Noguera, etc), along with a few unfamiliar (to me) or less well-known titles that look intriguing:

Race, Equity and Lessons at St. Paul’s Como Elementary is a MinnPost article by Beth Hawkins that examines the strategies used to increase racial equity in schools in St. Paul, Minnesota. It serves as an important example of an entire school using an equity lens for every decision and observation — big and small.

Lead With Love [Spring Valley High Is Your School Too] is an article by New York City teacher, writer and EduColor co-founder Jose Vilson, who challenges educators to recognize their role in protecting children and standing up against racism.

White America’s Racial Illiteracy: Why Our National Conversation is Poisoned from the Start is an article by Dr.Robin DiAngelo, the author of “What Does It Mean to Be White?” This book and article list examples of challenges that trigger racial stress for white people and why it is worth working through the discomfort these challenges present.

The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education report commissioned by AFT’s Albert Shanker Institute provides data and insights into the role educators play in reducing implicit bias. In The Shanker Blog, Burnie Bond puts the findings in perspective.

And, unlike many other such things, this list includes both 2015 and previous years -- as well as speeches, films, and other forms of media -- and has its own hashtag (#equityreads).

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

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.