President John Jackson of the Schott Foundation, in his Moving from Standards to Support, explains how school “reform” went wrong and how we should change course. Nearly a generation ago, sincere non-educators, influenced by the corporate worldview, mandated standards-driven school reform driven by “outputs.” Jackson says that we must reject their failed focus on flawed metrics (outputs) and concentrate on a tough-minded system of supports (formerly known as inputs.)
Standards and standardized test-driven “reform” failed because it ignored the root cause of the achievement gap – poverty. As Jackson explains, “Standards-based reform creates an inherent system of winners and losers by raising the bar and assessing who makes the cut.” Because of its focus on tests for punishment, standards for children who are academically drowning have moved the shoreline further away in order to teach them how to swim.
It is time to hold “reformers” accountable for their educational outputs i.e. their results in terms of student performance. Under any objective reckoning, test-driven accountability backfired. It is time to invest in “supports-based reforms.” We must strategically align:
High-quality early education for all students; mandatory kindergarten with assurances that all students are achieving at grade level by 3rd grade; recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers, along with supplying the training and resources those teachers need to provide more learning time and deeper learning approaches; access to student-centered learning and personalized academic, social, and health plans to keep all students on a college path; and equitable resources and policies so that all students remain in engaging, high-quality educational settings.
Bill Gates used his most recent TED talk to make the case for putting video cameras in every classroom. Teachers, he says, don't get enough feedback about their practice and performance; recording and submitting lessons for review would have a "phenomenal" impact on teacher quality for a modest price.
To be clear, Gates badly underestimates how much feedback teachers currently receive. I've certainly never had a single evaluation in which I "just got one word of feedback", so I have no idea why he thinks "98% of teachers" get so little. New teachers in particular are often assigned dedicated coaches, and formal observation and coaching is not the only way to get feedback.
Still, it's not unreasonable to think that frequent videotaping and coaching could help teachers improve. Sarah Brown Wessling agrees, and Cassandra Tognoni is so excited by the prospect of a camera in every classroom that she thinks Gates should just put up the $5 billion required to buy them himself.
But if cameras offer so much promise for improving education, it's worth asking why they're not already more heavily used. An adequate camera can be purchased for about $100: not nothing, but not so much that an enthusiastic teacher, administrator, or coach couldn't invest in one.
So far, Florida’s new state superintendent of education, Tony Bennett, is having what seems like an awfully good time. He’s head of one of the most pro-reform school systems in the nation. He’s got the support of both the governor, Rick Scott, who tapped him for the job, and a powerful business and reform community headed by former governor Jeb Bush.
A member of the reform-leaning state superintendents’ group Chiefs for Change, Bennett speaks with the rapid confidence of someone who has been a building and district administrator, a state education leader, and a classroom teacher.
But Bennett hasn’t been in his current position long. Just this past November, he was ousted from his spot as the head of public schools in Indiana—the position is an elected one and his policies had become controversial. Some of the same challenges will undoubtedly emerge in the Sunshine State, where administrators are pursuing an aggressive timeline for implementing the Common Core, and state lawmakers are considering a “parent trigger” that would allow parents to convert failing district schools into charters.
Click here to read the interview, which appears in the Summer 2013 edition of Scholastic Administrator, which sponsors this blog. Image via Scholastic.
"A young Houston couple is planning to give away $4 billion—but only to projects that prove they are worth it. Can they redefine the world of philanthropy?" The New Science Behind Philanthropy (WSJ via @mikepetrilli)
The Columbus Dispatch editorial, Another Blow to City Schools complains that the city's schools “scrubbed” 2.8 million attendance records since 2006. They allegedly marked some students with low scores as withdrawn so they wouldn’t be counted against the district.
Columbus schools are also facing criminal investigations for grade changing. Obviously, I have no idea whether Columbus schools are guilty and, if they are, whether they did something qualitatively different than accumulating millions of speeding tickets.
Statistical gamesmanship predated data-driven "reform," and those policies are not an excuse for cheating. They just create a "perfect storm" where the damage done by education's longstanding "culture of compliance," is combined with inherently destructive and punitive accountability schemes, and where all are made worse by the resulting malfeasance. I also know that I must be particularly careful with my words when addressing this tragedy.
"Juking the stats" is not limited to schools. It has long been said that the prime qualification for a policeman, for instance, is a course in creative writing. As it was cryptically explained in The Wire, our legal system could not function without the ability to "turn felonies into misdemeanors."
I suspect that the cumulative damage of manipulating the nation's withdrawals and grades, as well as other tricks for jacking up attendance rates, will dwarf the consequences of outright cheating scandals. But, the Ohio case prompts die-hard supporters of test-driven accountability, such as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Andrew Rotherham, to grasp at more straws. They seem to claim that because test-driven accountability has opened multiple doors to a wide variety of scandals that, somehow, their favored policies aren't to blame.
Read between the lines and there are lots of interesting tidbits in June Kronholz's Education Next piece (Still Teaching for America) for both TFA fans and skeptics.
The piece takes a look at the much-discussed school reform organization as it goes through a key transition of leadership and size.
Two new co-CEOs have taken over from founder Wendy Kopp, and the annual budget that in 2012 was $320 million is expected to go up to half a billion dollars within the next three years.
Kronholz boils the organization's successful growth (if not large-scale impact on educational outcomes) on things like regional innovations (Houston's content coaches, Jacksonville's localized summer institute, South Dakota's rural principal leadership incubator), and its willingness to create and scrap ideas that don't pan out.
As has become increasingly common in recent years, TFA's new leaders are focusing as much on what alumni do as what they accomplish in the classroom:
"Kramer also paints a vision of TFA as an instigator of change, producing alumni that TFA expects—just expects—will become the sort of shake-up-the-beast leaders who will “do something radically different” for the schools."
However, TFA won't share its specific leadership goals. And the organization is hampered by the need for more local and regional EDs, says Kronholz. Four of the regions were empty earlier this year, and plans to expand to two new (unnamed) cities) were scrapped for lack of management talent. How interesting that an organization with such a surplus of applications for initial teaching spots is having trouble finding enough qualified candidates to staff its own expansion.
Image via Education Next.
From a recent Saturday Night Live
Education Song Rejects via @aei
Arthur Levine’s Education Week Commentary The Plight of Teacher' Unions offers a disheartened, broad brush account of America’s social, political, and economic institutions.
He then presents a narrow, and impoverished, vision of public education -- and in particular, teachers unions.
Levine apparently expects everyone to accept the fate that many policymakers are planning to impose on us. He seems to argue that our focus on teaching will be replaced by a focus on outcomes, but he does not seem upset at the prospect of teaching being tossed on the ash pile of history. Most of all, Levine is factually incorrect when he writes that all of our institutions are trapped in the industrial era.
OK, it was a director of medical education, not a public school teacher evaluator, who made that affirmation. New Yorker's Every Disease on Earth,by Rivka Galchen, profiles Dr. Joseph Lieber and his ability to teach doctors in training. Dr. Lieber brushes off the lower salary and less respect devoted to those who educate doctors, "Oh, people are always giving teachers a hard time. Look at the way they write about public school teachers in the Post."
The bottom line for Dr. Lieber is "You have to love what you do."
According to the article's conclusion, Lieber is a great diagnostician, but his distinctive quality as a teacher is being "always nice."-JT (@drjohnthompson) Image via.
From the latest Scholastic Administrator Magazine (by me):
For all those reasons, it’s very good and somewhat surprising news that there are now a handful of broad-based efforts and initiatives focused on teacher preparation in 2013 that might actually stand a chance of improving the quality and effectiveness of teachers...
There are predictable disagreements about how hard to make any new preservice exam—and whether to encourage or even require specific elements, or to rely entirely on outcomes such as longevity, evaluation, and effectiveness.
And the question remains: Will the higher education community—as well as state policymakers and the powerful national associations—block or water down the current momentum as they have in the past?
But for the first time in a long time there is activity—and with it, at least, the possibility of substantial progress.Read all about it here. Agree or disagree?
David Letterman, 10 TFA newbies, and Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher." via TQATE's Quick Hits. Gotta give TFA credit for snagging yet another chunk of free media.
A new documentary tracks the rise of the environmental movement, focusing on the Love Canal disaster and Greenpeace's "save the whales" campaign.
Los Angeles mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti may support publishing teachers’ performance ratings – and indeed the LA Times did just that a few years ago. But, according to this new Education Week chart, California is one of 22 states that currently exempt individual teachers’ ratings from open records laws. Via Twitter, EdWeek reporter Stephen Sawchuk says it’s California code Section 6524 that prohibits this. Cross-posted from LA School Report.
This is a guest post from Michael Maher [@mj_maher], who works at the NC State College of Education:
Once again, Mr. Duncan shows either his disdain for teacher preparation programs, his ignorance of the field of teacher preparation, or both. Is this just another example of the secretary making a bold, albeit factually inaccurate, statement or is there something more? Perhaps if Mr. Duncan spent a little more time talking with those of us who dedicate our lives to the work of preparing teachers, he might truly begin to understand where our interests lie.
There is no doubt that we need to increase the diversity of America’s teaching force. Since colleges of education continue to prepare the majority of America’s teachers it is incumbent on us to increase the number of diverse candidates enrolled in teacher preparation programs. The secretary needs to remember, however, that we can’t MAKE people become teachers; they have options. Lack of diversity is not just an education issue.
Wasn't Sir Ken's PBS TED talk wonderful? Did Bill Gates stick around after his presentation and hear Sir Ken Robinson proclaim, "leadership should not be command and control?"
Does the first public education television TED signal that Gates is changing gears? After all, he downplayed the bubble-in accountability aspect of his talk, so maybe he is learning about the dangers of his test-driven approach to instruction. And, Geoffrey Canada directed his anger toward the lack of budgetary support, not unions. Neither did host John Legend seem like an enabler of Michelle Rhee. Maybe he is realizing that the "reformers" who he has supported are responsible for the curriculum narrowing that Sir Ken derided and driving music, hands-on science and media studies from public schools. Finally, wasn't Angela Duckworth fantastic and wasn't that young poet, Malcolm London, inspiring?
I kid myself. I know that sometimes a PBS program is just a PBS program. I know it is humiliating for teachers to continually be watching the tea leaves in the hopes that a billionaire or a media star will stop attacking us. Educators have to continually worry about the next Waiting for Superman or Won't Back Down, using teacher-bashing as a quick fix for urban ills. But, what we really want is to be a part of a constructive, reality-based effort to improve schools.
The first PBS Education TED did not mention the keys to accountability-driven "reform," standardized testing and top down mandates for drill and kill, except to criticize them. If veteran educators and researchers wrote the script, we couldn't have done a better job. Maybe we are seeing a new day or maybe we're just seeing a kinder, gentler spin. We might just be watching the same excellence that is expected on PBS, and it might have prompted "reformers" to be on their best behavior. Or, perhaps we are ready to discuss ways for teaching students to be empowered students, improving instruction, and making schooling into a team effort, as opposed to seeking scapegoats for the failure to meet growth targets.-JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.
Video from the NewSchools Venture Fund summit last week. Or, you can watch Laurene Powell Jobs interview Arne Duncan (his answers on parent trigger are at the 38:00 mark).
Watch Rita Pierson: Build Relationships With Your Students on PBS. See more from TED Talks Education.
David Kirp’s new book, Improbable Scholars, explains how Union City used research-based reforms to turnaround a school system that had been one of New Jersey’s worse. Kirp shows how we can build great schools on the strengths of our democracy. Their successes did not come from outside technocrats, but from a local culture of “abrazos” or caring. Rather than firing our way to the top, Kirp shows that school improvement must come from trusting relationships. The secret sauce of Union City’s success is “respeto,” or respect.
The equally good news is that school improvement is best achieved by the “grunt” work of “continuous improvement.” Rather that gambling on “disruptive innovation” and “transformative” change, real reform requires a modest ethic of “plan, do, and review.”
The worrisome news is that Union City’s turnaround was expensive. It was made possible by an activist New Jersey Supreme Court that ordered the state to produce equity. This allowed the funding of high-quality early education, reduced class sizes, professional development in English as a Second Language and methods of motivating and engaging students, and one-on-one coaching to struggling teachers and students.
The sobering news, however, is that Union City shows that it will take just as much planning, coordination, and trial and error to coordinate and align policies that work as we have squandered in the last decade on aligning instruction and testing.
Watch Maine School Engages Kids With Problem-Solving Challenges on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour."Teachers have swapped traditional curriculum for an unusually comprehensive science curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving, with a little help from some robots."
Inflation-Adjusted Title I Budget Back to Pre-George W. Bush Level via Thompson (Andy Brownstein plus special appearance by Wayne (CRS) Riddle).
Two updates from California to end the week, both via LA School Report: The first is an update on the "miscommunication" between DFER national and DFER California over the issue of a district waiver for LAUSD and other California districts (Reform Group Splits over Federal Waiver for LAUSD). No doubt, running a national organization with strong state leaders is no easy feat. This is just one of several examples of the kinds of concerns and considerations that take place.
The second is an update from Sacramento, where six state senators on the senate education committee voted "abstain" on a proposed teacher evaluation bill that was being touted by LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst and opposed by the teachers unions and the state superintendent of instruction. The six abstentions effectively killed the bill, and were all the more notable since five of the six had voted for or gainst it just a week before. You can watch one of the members try and explain his decision to abstain to voters in the video above. (Senators' Silence Dooms Teacher Evaluation Bill)
I agree and disagree with Alexander’s take on David Brook’s New York Times’ Op Ed, Engaged, or Detached? Brooks argues that today we mostly have engaged writers who are less concerned about persuasion than mobilizing people who already agree with them. Engaged writers can be repetitive as they seek immediate political influence. A detached writer, however, is more like a teacher. He or she prods people to think.
Also, detached writers have more realistic goals. Detached writers generally understand that they are not going to succeed in telling people what to think. It is enough to prod people to think about “underlying concepts, underlying reality and the underlying frame of debate.” A detached writer understands that politics is a “bipolar struggle for turf.”
I agree with Brooks and, presumably, Russo, in drawing that distinction, although I would offer a more nuanced view. If a detached writer is like a teacher, what is a detached teacher like?
I disagree with Russo that Diane Ravitch should be defined as an engaged writer under Brook’s definition. Fundamentally, she is bilingual. Ravitch has long demonstrated fluency in the language of scholarship. Her research is presented in vivid prose. It is as solid as that of any detached writer. It is her ability to cut through the jargon and articulate a mass message that "reformers" can't stand.
I have no idea how to take Evaluating Evaluations by Ross Weiner and Kasia Lundy. The report they wrote was issued by the Aspen Institute and the Parthenon Group and they have seemed supportive of the contemporary school "reform" movement.
But, Weiner and Lundy describe its “teacher quality” approach to school improvement in the third person. They repeat its factually incorrect statement that teachers have the most impact on learning. So, it is hard to tell whether Weiner and Lundy believe that, or if they are just summarizing the logic of using improved teacher quality as the driving force of school improvement. My sense is that they are trying to diplomatically push towards more realistic methods of improving instruction.
For the record, teachers are responsible for only a small part of student learning so there are many other ways of improving schools other than gambling the farm on teacher evaluations. But, Weiner and Lundy seem to assume that we have no choice but to ride the teacher quality horse until it wins, or collapses. They thus offer constructive criticism of the abusive way that it has been implemented.
Still, Evaluating Evaluations makes numerous belated but smart suggestions. It says that systems must start listening to teachers and even adjust their plans after contemplating our input. They describe surveys of teachers' attitudes, such as those conducted in New York, Washington D.C. and, especially, Tennessee. They should have been wake-up calls.
Here's the full list of courses that have been developed for Coursera's first foray into K12 education. I assumed these MOOCs would be asynchornous/on demand. Instead, they have start dates and "last" a certain number of weeks. (There's no "House of Cards" option for on demand bingeing.)
This is a guest commentary from longtime journalist Richard Lee Colvin comparing the current debate over the leadership of LAUSD to a similar one that took place more than a decade ago -- in San Diego:
But, in this one, philanthropists and other moneyed interests spent big money backing reform candidates whose opponents enjoyed the strong support of the teacher union. It featured lots of partisan campaign ads, some that pushed right up to the edge of truth. The fate of the aggressive superintendent, who had made improving teacher effectiveness the centerpiece of his administration, seemed to hang in the balance.
The election I’m talking about took place in 2000 in San Diego, not Los Angeles earlier this year. But the similarities are such that an analysis of the former yields insights that may be relevant to the latter as well.
In Los Angeles, Superintendent John Deasy had deep-pocketed supporters including New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg and philanthropist Eli Broad contributed nearly $4 million to support friendly candidates in the primary. (Another $600,000 has been put into a run-off for one of the seats.) The results were mixed in the primary, with one Deasy supporter winning and the incumbent union loyalist retaining his seat.
The superintendent in San Diego was Alan Bersin, who had been the U.S Attorney in San Diego before being hired in 1998 as one of the country’s first non-traditional superintendents.
Heading over to the Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored reception to start the NewSchools Venture Fund education summit, I thought there was no time like the present to update you on my progress figuring out the ins and outs of outside spending on local school board elections like that being done by NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
As you may recall, Bloomberg and others have been giving funds to various local school board candidates over the past few years, either directly to the candidates or via an independent expenditure committee. The funding is intended to provide a counterbalance to union contributions, local and otherwise, and is entirely legal but raises lots of issues when it is so new and novel (for a school board race) and also when it comes from outside the city or state where the race is taking place.
My issue is not with the campaign contributions themselves, which are perfectly legal, or even with the need for a counterbalance to union power in low turnout events. The AFT spent $1M to get rid of Adrien Fenty, and the CTA spent $300K to block board members favorable to former San Diego superintendent Alan Bersin.
My question is whether the funding is worth the blowback, and whether reform advocates like Bloomberg (and DFER, and StudentsFirst) will ever figure out a way to tell their story and give their money without spending all their time defending themselves. I also want to know how much of it is out there, on both sides.
There's been some buzz recently about myEdmatch.com, the new job listing site that promises to better match teachers to schools based on their stated philosophies of education. Prospective teachers sign up, fill out a survey about their educational beliefs, and then, hopefully, find a similarly-aligned school.
Since I'm on the job market myself I signed up for myEdmatch as soon as the site came online at the end of February.
So far I've been underwhelmed.
There's lots that's familiar about this year's NewSchools Venture Summit taking place tomorrow in Burlingame, California -- but at least one major change: livestreaming!
That's right-- this somewhat expensive, invitation-only event is going to be putting some of its main speakers and panels out onto the Internet where everybody can see them. Now if NewSchools would only dig up and send me the videotape of the heated 2008 exchanges between Randi Weingarten and Michelle Rhee, I'd be content.
Last week I wrote an essay for EdSource arguing that California should not adopt the Next Generation Science Standards.
One real limitation of the piece is that I'm only familiar with California's existing science content standards. This means that I don't know whether the final draft of the NGSS represents a likely improvement for other states that might not have already have standards as good as California's.
My sense is that the NGSS may, in fact, be an improvement for a significant number of states. For example, while a 2012 review of state standards by the Fordham Foundation resulted in an 'A' rating for California, fully three-quarters of states earned a 'C' or lower. Ten states received an 'F'.
Existing state standards may be especially weak on controversial subjects. A 2005 review by Editorial Projects in Education found that many state standards neglected important aspects of evolutionary theory. In 2009 a study by the National Center for Science Education gave half of all state standards a grade of 'C' or lower for their treatment of evolution.
So while the NGSS are not great, they are arguably pretty good - especially on politically contentious issues like evolution and climate change - and that may be enough to justify replacing existing standards for many states.
For the second time this year, the resignation of a principal of a troubled Oklahoma City secondary school hit the newspaper. The Daily Oklahoman's Jaclyn Cosgrove, in Oklahoma City Principal Resigns After Large-Scale Tardiness Effort, describes it as a result of three days of "hall sweeps" at a middle school in order to get students to class on time and of the arrests that followed.
According to the police report, 100 to 200 kids (or up to 1/5th of the student body) were late to class every day. Four tardy students were suspended and told to not return to school without a parent, but they came back the next day. They were charged with trespassing, which could result in a fine as large as $1000. One student explained that he was too scared to tell his parents and he didn't believe he would actually be arrested.
I do not know the principal and even if I did, I would be like the OKCPS central office and not comment about an individual in a controversy like this. In my twenty-plus years of experience with the OKCPS, this type of sad story is the inevitable result of the inability of neighborhood schools to enforce their tardy and attendance policies. When schools are not allowed to address one or two dozen chronic "hallwalkers" during the first semester, by April we often see one or two hundred who are either tardy or who do not attempt to attend class.
Jefferson Middle School received a grade of "D" in the controversial new state report card. Last year, it received an "F" for the growth in student performance and and an "F" for growth for the bottom quartile. Jefferson received an "A" for attendance. Those metrics may or may not say something about the school. But, clearly they say that the administrators are under severe stress. And, this is the height of the high-stakes testing that will determine the school's fate.
Also, in my experience, the overuse of criminal penalties becomes worse every spring, when decent and caring principals are overwhelmed with stress. Our inability to enforce school rules makes everyone frustrated. But, that is no excuse for criminalizing the conduct of a boy who said his guardian told him to go to school because he would send his case worker to clear up the situation.-JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.
I was somewhat surprised at the lack of pushback against the big This American Life episodes about school violence earlier this year, so you can imagine my interest in coming across this letter written by a disappointed Chicago high school teacher named DJ Cashmere (@cashmeredaniel) to This American Life's Ira Glass about the coverage of Harper High School in two recent shows:
"While I understand that you were interested in investigating the impact of violence on Harper, I was still stunned that education and learning were completely absent from a two-hour broadcast about a school. In the end, I believe that your coverage served to excuse many of the most harmful practices in our schools today and perpetuate some of the most harmful myths about urban education."
Read the letter and let us know if you think it's a fair critique. Did the show convey an imbalance of compassion over a critical eye? Did the show convey the belief that gangs were inevitable?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given another$350,000 to the Coalition for School Reform, an independent expenditure (IE) group in Los Angeles supporting Antonio Sanchez for School Board in the East Valley District 6 LAUSD School Board race that will be decided May 21.
“For years, the funding in these sorts of races was only on one side with the union,” said Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna (pictured on the left). Mayor Bloomberg is “committed to providing a counterbalance.”
During the primary, Bloomberg gave $1 million to the Coalition, which supported three candidates: Monica Garcia, Kate Anderson and Sanchez. According to the LA Times, this was the largest campaign contribution in School Board history.
Anderson lost narrowly to incumbent Steve Zimmer; some blamed a backlash to big out-of-state donations from non-Democrats such as Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch.
When asked if Bloomberg had any second thoughts about giving to the Coalition after the primary results, LaVorgna replied simply: “No.”
So far, the Coalition has spent roughly $130,000 in support of Sanchez in the May 21 general election. SEIU local 99 and the Los Angeles Federation of Labor are also running IEs for Sanchez. His opponent, teacher Monica Ratliff, currently enjoys no IE support.
Cross-posted from LA School Report. Image via LinkedIn
Watch Creating a New Planet for Math and Science: Super STEM on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.Creating a Whole New Planet for Math and Science via PBSNewsHour
Daniel Goldhaber and Susanna Loeb's What Do We Know About the Tradeoffs Associated with Teacher Missclassification in High Stakes Personnel Decisions?, posted in the Carnegie Knowledge Network, argues that value-added evaluations could result in roughly 25% of teachers labeled as ineffective being wrongly placed in that category. These mistakes are called false positives.
Then, they estimate that 25% of those who not are classified as being ineffective should have be in that category. These mistakes are false negatives.
Are false positives equally destructive? Are there ways to work around the mistakes these systems are going to make? Or should we be focused on much simpler, more concrete measures of teacher performance such as attendance, timeliness, and active participation in the classroom?
There's been lots of discussion online this past week about Jonathan Cohn's New Republic article on the chaotic and low-quality system we have for childcare in America, titled The Hell of American Day Care.
Though obviously the kids are younger and only 40 percent of them are involved, anyone taking a few minutes to read it will see a lot of similarities to K-12 education: huge variations in quality and cost depending on location and family income, low pay and limited screening for effectiveness, lack of data about program quality, political obstacles to expansion (conservatives, usually, though I'm sure some of today's reform critics would find things to object to in a national childcare program), a patchwork of state and local programs with very little national oversight, the slow pace of change:
"The United States has always been profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of supporting child care outside the home, for reasons that inevitably trace back to beliefs over the proper role of women and mothers. At no point has a well-organized public day care system ever been considered the social ideal."
Interestingly, the DoD has developed one of the few high quality childcare systems -- nearly all of its programs meet NAEYC standards, compared to 10 percent in the private sector. Head Start is narrowly targeted on the poor -- more on that elsewhere. A broader plan passed Congress but was vetoed by President Nixon. Image via TNR.
A couple of weeks from now will be the broadcast premier for the PBS "TED Talks Education" which is slated to include talks from familiar names (Bill Gates, Geoffrey Canada) and new ones -- to me, at least (Angela Duckworth , Ramsay Musallam, and Pearl Arrendondo, among others).
This post is mostly just an excuse to use the Washington Post's parent trigger image (a riff on the famous "Easy" button from Staples), and to link to some recent stories on LA School Report. But it's also a chance to rebut Valerie Strauss's highly selective and inaccurate post about the parent trigger, which ignores all the career Democrats who are involved with and support the trigger and bypasses the latest events in Los Angeles where the trigger is being used in interesting new ways that don't involve lawsuits or ousting school board members.