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Events: Here Comes Yale SOM 2016 (Crossed Fingers)

There were at least two former organizers of the Yale SOM education summit at the TFA conference last week - Edna Novak and Graham Brown (pictured with me above) -- and Yale SOM 2016 is fast approaching.

Keynote speakers include Shavar Jeffries, Sandra Abrevaya, and Sondra Samuels. As in the past, it's being held at the Omni in New Haven.

There are scheduled to be panels on Common Core testing, blended learning, college attainment, parent advocacy, teachers of color, segregation of schools, community colleges, school readiness, federal policy after NCLB, revisiting "no excuses" approaches, effective philanthropy, and many others. 

If you want to follow last year's social media, check out #backtowhy, or check out my livetweets from that day. There was some controversy about the lack of racial diversity on one or two of the panels -- even though the event was much more diverse than some of its predecessors.

I wrote a blog post about it shortly after: 6 Ways To Diversify That Conference Or Panel (ie, "Pass The Mic")*. PIE's Suzanne Tacheny wrote more about the topic here: Notes to Self.

What I don't see on the program so far is anything that focuses on the state and local education agencies who govern most public schools, or the unions whose locals represent many educators who work with them. But the panel list doesn't look final and there are no panelists listed so far. 

It's on April 7th and 8th. The twitter is @YaleELC. The hashtag is#DefiningSuccess2016.

 Related posts: New Faces At This Week's Yale Education Conference (2105); Deray Does Colbert Show (Then Lets Him Off The Hook).

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?" »

Charts: Urban District Spending/NAEP Scores Compared

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"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.

 

Maps: Declining Spending On Schools (Still Varies Widely By State)

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"The new federal data were released on the heels of a report by the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that state governments in at least 31 states are contributing less to public education than they did in 2008, before the recession." (Washington Post: Spending in nation’s schools falls again, with wide variation across states). Image used with permission.

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....

 

Maps: Your State Makes It Hard For Poor Kids To Get A Four-Year Degree

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"In some states, low-income students going to community colleges are much more likely to get a college degree....But there were some notable exceptions in this report, such as Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, and New Hampshire, where the diploma gaps were significantly smaller." Via Mother Jones (This Map Shows Which States Make It Easiest and Hardest to Obtain a College Degree). Image used with permission.

Quotes: OECD Test Is Different (Optional, International, Public)

Quotes2The truth of the matter is that in this global economy we talk about so much and so often, my students are competing with everyone... And so it was important to me to sort of find some sort of a tool where I could say, ‘I think these are the skill sets they’re getting that make them competitive.'

-- Tiffany Huitt, the principal of a 415-student Dallas magnet school that has administered the exam multiple times via EWA (Exam Gives Glimpse of How Schools Stack Up Globally

 

Quotes: Philanthropy > Campaign Contributions

Quotes2Philanthropy is having as much influence as campaign contributions, but campaign contributions get all the attention. The imbalance is stunning to me.
 
-- Inside Philanthropy's David Calllahan in the New York Review of Books (How to Cover the One Percent)

 

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.

Afternoon Video: WriteLab's Ballroom Dancing Matthew Ramirez

By far the most interesting of Forbes' 2016 30 Under 30: Education list is WteiLab's Matthew Remirez, who not only thinks that 90 percent of feedback kids need to learn writing can be automated but also has time to do some ballroom dancing (and showed off some moves on camera). Thanks to the folks at Forbes for digging out this embeddable video.

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."

#TBT: Carpetbaggers, Charlatans, Martyrs, & Hustlers -Which Are You?

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Way back in August 2010, there was a bit of talk about charlatans in education.

First there was a Rudy Crew quote via Larry F. about all the attention and money going into school turnaround efforts ("Carpetbaggers And Charlatans"):

“This is like the aftermath of the Civil War, with all the carpetbaggers and charlatans." 

Then there was a diagram via Kottke with the three options (Charlatans. Martyrs. Hustlers.). 

"Charlatans talk a lot but don't do much work.  Martyrs work a lot but don't talk.  Hustlers do both."

At the time, I identified myself as "a hustler -- or maybe a charlatan.".  How about you?

Thanks to CB for reminding me of this one. 

 

Magazines: Education Companies To Work For Next?

Somehow I missed this from last February, but EdWeek tells us that Unnamed (7)Fast Company's Most Innovative Education Companies of 2015 includes several familiar names:
 
"This is the fifth year that the magazine has identified its Top 10 innovators among education enterprises. The magazine casts a wide net for organizations to be considered, according to David Lidsky, the deputy editor who is in charge of the lists. As they make their selections, the judging team looks for selections that “reflect the themes and ideas that have been prime areas of thought, debate, and work” among people in the field, he said in a phone interview."
 
Image via FastCompany.
 

Implementation: Delivering On Education, Then And Now

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 1.29.11 PMIt took me a few minutes to figure out what Conor Williams was talking about in his latest oped for The Seventy Four (Education Politics vs. Practice) but eventually I figured out that it was implementation. 

"What if we considered implementation seriously when thinking about education policy? What if we started with our big priorities, and then mapped theories of action for putting them into place? What if we insisted on only pushing policies that would powerfully improve kids’ experiences at school?"

Apparently there's a new "deliverology" book out by Sir Michael Barber. 

Longtime readers may recall that I wrote about this approach to making better policy turn into better programs a few years ago, for Harvard Education Letter.

Back then, the question was whether states could implement the new programs and policies that they'd promised to tackle in their Race to the Top applications.

Take a look here.

I had forgotten that Kati Haycock was involved in the creation of the The Delivery Institute, along with Mike Cohen. Said Haycock at the time:

“We’ve got to get out of this cycle where we think the job is done when a policy gets enacted,” says Haycock. “When you know what’s in the policymaker’s head and you see how distant that is from the heads of the people on the ground, you can’t help but feel urgency on this."

Related posts: RTTT: "Implementation & Support Unit" Needs Results.

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

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"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.

Quotes: Bracing Test Score Results In New Jersey - But Now What?

Quotes2There may have been a false sense of proficiency under the previous state testing regime.... [But] simply by providing [Common Core test score] information and assuming that teachers and administrative leaders have the capacity to take that information and translate it into better practice seems to be — I’m skeptical of that.

- Rutgers University's Drew Gitomer on PBS (What the first round of test results say about Common Core progress)

Quotes: (Some) Republican & Democratic Govs. (Still) Support Common Core

 

Quotes2The 2014-2015 school year marked the first time, after an initial practice run, that Delaware, Georgia and many other states across the country implemented end-of-year assessments aligned to the Common Core. That makes this year the first that we'll have meaningful data to serve as a benchmark against which we can measure student performance for years to come.

-- Jack Markell and Sonny Perdue in US News (Common Core Tests Are Working)

Live Event: Shanker Institute #TeachingQuality Event

Live tweets from the event are above. Panelists and moderators include Josh Starr, Randi Weingarten, Dan Weisberg, Rob Weil, Stephen Sawchuk. Or go here and read and watch and grab materials.

Quotes: PISA Data Suggests US Kids Not Tested More

Quotes2U.S. teachers don’t write their own tests as often as teachers do in other nations. And U.S. students aren’t graded on their writing or projects as often as students elsewhere. In Finland, by contrast, student portfolios are frequently evaluated.

- Hechinger Report's Jill Barshay (Education myth: American students are over-tested)

Morning Video: Comedy Central Takes On Texas Textbooks

Comedy Central's Larry Wilmore Skewers Textbook 'Whitewash' (featuring a made-up children's book called "Good Night, Slavery.") Warning: NSFW ("Good night to wrongs done in this nation. Good night Native American decimation.) I'm not sure how I feel about Wilmore reading this story aloud to real kids. Via EdWeek. 

Update: School-Level PISA Goes Online

As you may recall, the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] Test for Schools has been around a few years now, giving schools that sign up for the assessment a snapshot of how their kids are doing compared to nations and regions that also take the PISA [Programme for International Student Assessment].

In the spring 2014 Harvard Education Letter, I wrote a story about the effort (Quietly, a New Test Gains Advocates) that had been piloted at 105 schools in the 2012-2013 school year and nearly 300 schools last year.  

The latest news is that NWEA is going to administer the 2016 version, which will also be available online. According to EdWeek (OECD Chooses NWEA for Testing Contract, Platform), the test costs $5,000 per school and NWEA is taking over from CTB/McGraw-Hill. According to a press release, more than 400 schools have participated in recent years.

Via email, America Achieve's Peter Kannam says that the new online version wil cost only about half of the previous version, and that 153 U.S. schools took the assessment this past spring (65 were repeat participants) along with 92 schools across England and Wales.

See also THE Journal: Northwest Evaluation Association Selected To Deliver 2016 OECD Test for Schools; NWEA:  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Selects NWEA.

Related posts: Ripley "Less Certain" Of PISA Towards End Of BookThe "PISA Myth" Everyone LovesNightly News PISA Coverage (Rigor Vs. Poverty)Don't Blame Students' Poverty For Academic Achievement.

Quotes: Charter Alliance Head Slams Online Charters

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"If you were to eliminate the (test scores of) online schools, the performance of the state would dramatically improve... I don't know if these online schools are the right fit in the charter model."

- NAPC head Nina Rees in The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Online schools creating divisions in national charter school movement)

Morning Video: If Friedrichs Passes, CTA "Won't Have The Money..."

"The California Teachers Empowerment Network and the Association of American Educators hosted an event in September in which we examined the Friedrichs and Bain lawsuits and their possible ramifications for teachers and the general public. The panel discussion featured lawyers and plaintiffs from both cases, and a lively audience Q&A followed. " via Larry Sand. 

Update: Network For Public Education & STAND Claim November Victories

Unnamed (14)The Network for Public Education has put out a list of electoral victories from earlier this month, including Helen Gym (Philadelphia, Suzie Abijian (South Pasadena), and several others.

The email acknowledges losses in Louisiana, blaming the defeat on lack of money. (There's no mention of labor or progressive backing of their candidates.) Click the link above for the full email. 

Meanwhile, there's an email from Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman touting recent election victories. As you can see, the focus is on Louisiana and Denver, where Stand and its allies generally prevailed.

There's no mention of races where things didn't work out so well -- I've asked for some additional information and will let you know what I get back. The full email is below. 

I'm still looking for a DFER brag sheet, and haven't seen a roundup from NEA or AFT now that I think of it. Tell them I'm looking, will you?

Related posts: States Where StudentsFirst Claims Victories - & What Comes NextWhere's Michelle Rhee (& What's StudentsFirst Up To Now)?Effective Advocacy Doesn't Stop With Policy Wins.

Continue reading "Update: Network For Public Education & STAND Claim November Victories" »

Maps: Which States Have Reported Common Core Scores

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Here EdWeek rounds up which states have reported Common Core scores -- though some data are already outdated. Read the whole story here. Image used with permission.

Philanthropy: Funding Public Charters (Broad) Vs. Funding Private Schools (Geffen)

"And Eli Broad is the bad guy? Whatever you think of Broad strategy, he is trying to help kids who need it the most." Neerav Kingsland responding to news of David Geffen's $100 million donation to create a new private school at UCLA.

Morning Video: Struggling Schools Tries "Self-Organized" Learning

"A public elementary school in Harlem, New York, is adopting a radical idea that threatens the education industry as we know it, SOLEs, Self-Organized Learning Environments." From the PBS NewsHour -- includes reactions from teachers and a union rep. 

Charts: Impact Of Personalized Learning On Student Achievement

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“The longer students experiences personalized learning practices, the greater their growth in achievement,” asserts a new report from the Gates Foundation (
Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning#inacol15
 

 

Maps: Most Grade 3-8 Students To Be Assessed Online in 2016

image from blogs.edweek.org"For the first time, most state-required summative assessments in U.S. elementary and middle schools will be administered via technology rather than by paper and pencil in the 2015-16 school year, according to a report released Thursday by EdTech Strategies, LLC, a research and consulting firm." Edweek (Paperless Testing: Most Grade 3-8 Students To Be Assessed Online in 2016). 

Quotes: Zuckerberg's Philanthropy "Not That Much Different"

Quotes2Whatever you may think of Zuckerberg’s philanthropy, in most ways it’s not that much different than that of a great many other funders who gone before him. The same can also be said of most tech leaders. A notable exception to this point is that Zuckerberg and other younger tech funders seem unlikely to create large bureaucratic organizations to give away their money.

- Inside Philanthropy's David Callahan (What Mark Zuckerberg’s Big Announcement Tells Us About the New Philanthropy)

Maps: How Many States Have "Repealed" Common Core, Again?

image from si.wsj.net
There's some energetic back and forth going on behind the scenes about the accuracy of this WSJ piece and how it codes the states (Financial Woes Plague Common-Core Rollout), but that doesn't mean you can't read it and check out the map of states.

Charts: The Great Convergence (Of NAEP Scores, Demographically Adjusted)

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"Once you control for demographics, nearly every state performs about the same," notes a recent post from Neerav Kingsland (NAEP and the Great Convergence). "only 4-5 states are outside of the +/- six month band... This feels like a great convergence of some sort."

 

 

Charters: When "Thin" Contracts Were All The Rage (2009)

There was a moment, maybe six or seven years years ago, when it seemed like charter schools with "thin" contracts were all the rage. 

They combined the autonomy and flexibility of a charter with the protections against unwarranted dismissal or arbitrary treatment from supervisors. But not all of the schools that had them performed as well as some may have hoped (just like teacher-run schools and every other type of governance option that's been proposed), and charter stalwarts and union hard-liners both hated them equally. 

I wrote about them in Harvard's Education Letter (RIP): Charters and Unions: What's the future for this unorthodox relationship?. But that was long ago. I declared them "so 2009" in 2011.

These days, pretty much only the Century Fund talks about them. Some giant percentage of the charters in Chicago are now organized, thanks in part to the efforts of a smooth-talking South African(?) union organizer who's never been seen or photographed. But not with thin contracts, as far as I understand. Much more common seem to be traditional (antagonistic) organizing/unionization efforts like the one currently going on in LA. 

Eventually, one would imagine, reform advocates and critics would get their acts together and return to an idea like this -- or a new generation of parents, funders, and politicians would get sick of the more rigid charter and union ideologies. But it's going to be a little while -- and going to take a lot of bravery. 

Related posts:Would Unions Ruin Charter Schools -- Or Vice Versa? (2009); Thin Contract At Locke High School.; The Return Of The "Thin" Contract? (2010); "Smarter" Charters Are Diverse, Teacher-Led (2014); 

Campaign 2016: A Teacher-Led Campaign PAC

More and more, it feels like it's going to take something new or different to break the current stalemate on education changes.

So it's hard not to be curious about America's Teachers, the teacher-led pro-Hillary PAC that popped up in the LA Times a few days ago. They two teachers behind the effort are TFA and union members. Take that reformers/critics.

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 According to the America's Teachers site, "Teachers aren’t supposed to start Super PAC’s. That’s exactly why we created one." The priorities are universal preschool, college affordability, and education rights from DREAMers.

According to the LA Times (Meet the teacher lobby behind Hillary Clinton that's not the teachers union), the group's goals are to make sure that Hillary Clinton hears "from more than just unions or reformers." One main strategy is to focus on "friendlier, softer issues" rather than closing schools and limiting tenure.

What form "something new" is going to take, nobody quite knows. And not all of the new approaches coming along are going to be able to survive, much less thrive. Previous attempts at a middle-ground approach -- remember "thin" contracts for charters, anyone? -- have ended up being ignored even opposed by both of the major sides (who appear at times to prefer trench warfare to progress). And as soon as new people and approaches show up -- think Deray McKesson and Black Lives Matter -- they're claimed by one side and/or vilified by the other.

But eventually something/someone new is going to come along that's so compelling to the public and policymakers that entrenched interests can't ignore or avoid it any longer. The only real question in my mind is who/what will it be?

Quotes: Bloomberg Slams Duncan/Obama Testing Rollback

Quotes2Now that results from tests aligned to these standards are showing just how many students are not on track for college, the public backlash against the tests seems to have given Obama and Duncan a case of cold feet... That’s deeply regrettable. 

- Michael Bloomberg via Washington Post (Bloomberg: Obama and Duncan are making a wrong turn over testing)

Morning Video: Broadcast Outlets Pick Up Testing Reduction Plan

The blizzard of testing news coverage continues with this NBC News segment from last night. See also this PBS NewsHour segment featuring the NYT's Kate Zernike and this PBS NewsHour interview with Mike Casserly and Arne Duncan (click to the 8:30 mark).

Morning Videos: All Testing, All The Time

The Council of the Great City Schools released a new report on student testing in the U.S., followed by a panel discussion with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and others.

 

Watch the testing briefing above. (Click here if it's not displaying properly.) Or watch this PBS NewsHour segment about the study and the proposal (featuring the NYT's Kate Zernike):

 

Events: Grantmakers In Education (SF), Plus EWA x2 (Chicago)

2012-05-08-buddhaThis week's big education conference that I know of is Grantmakers For Education, which is meeting in SF and has a speaking appearance from Arne Duncan. The Twitter handle is @Edfunders, the hashtag is . EdSource's John Fensterwald is slated to do an interview with Duncan/King.

But it's not the only one.

Later this week, EWA is hosting two Chicago-based seminar/conferences for education reporters, one on covering poverty (Covering Poverty’s Influence on Education). Highlights from the agenda include an appearance from Alex Kotlowitz.

The second EWA event is called Ready for Day 1? Covering the Education of Teachers, which is being hosted by Northwestern University and "will examine the teacher pipeline, with a focus on how states can build a better route that attracts the best candidates, the extent to which states are — or aren't — taking adequate steps to ensure high quality preparation programs, and look more broadly at best practices to make sure new teachers are ready for Day One in the classroom." 

You can see the updated online agenda for highlights including a session with Dan Goldhaber and some advice from NPR's Steve Drummond about covering teacher shortages.

Any other events going on that we should know about? Anyone see or write a great summary of the Great Cities event last week? 

Charts: Do Schools Affect Economic Equality (And If So For Better Or Worse?)

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It used to be that everyone thought -- assumed/wished? --  that education was the great income inequality-reducer.

Then reform critics and others came along and pointed out that there were lots of non-school factors (parents' education level and income) that made as much or more of a difference, and that we shouldn't put all our hopes on schools to do any magic. 

Now, Michigan State researchers have issued a study written up by the Hechinger Report showing that US schools actually exacerbate the growing achievement gap between rich and poor (largely by teaching them very different material). "The researchers calculated that this educational content difference accounts for a third of the achievement gap, on average." 

The good news is that US is only about average when it comes to this unwanted effect, and that there are other countries out there that deliver a more equitable academic program to poor kids that we can try to learn from. 

Graphic via Hechinger Report and MSU.

 

Charts: Math & Computer Skills Not Enough In Coming Robot Age

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“Machines are automating a whole bunch of these things, so having the softer skills, knowing the human touch and how to complement technology, is critical, and our education system is not set up for that,” said Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, where he studies education - in the NYT (How the Modern Workplace Has Become More Like Preschool)

Morning Video: Standing Desks - For Students

 
Kids Are Now Using Standing Desks

Some classrooms are now using standing desks to keep kids active

Posted by NowThis on Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Proving yet again that there's no trend or fad too ridiculous to import into education, standing desks are a thing for some classrooms and schools. This just emerges as some of the research about sitting has come under question. Oh, well. Give them laptops and standing desks and maybe a drone and they'll turn out fine. It's clear. It only costs $6,000 per classroom.

Next Week's Conferences: Grantmakers for Education (In SF)

If like me you can't go to many conferences but still really like to know when they're happening, it might be good to know that GFE's 19th Annual Conference is taking place next week in SF.

What do education grantmakers do?

"We cheer from the sidelines and influence from the inner circle. We bring people together when they are divided. We open forums for discussion and offer important opportunities—that no one else does—to take big risks, to make big gains. We are without limits in our vision of a future where outcomes for all learners improve and with them, the strength of our nation."

And what's the big deal with this conference?

"This unique gathering, like GFE’s flourishing network, is unrivaled in its size and focus. It brings together grantmakers from coast-to-coast, from organizations large and small. Together, we will seek answers to such questions as: What can we learn from trend research? Will present strategies create future inequalities? How will we exercise our power as grantmakers to empower future generations?"

I haven't posted a ton about GFE here but there are a bunch of references on Twitter here and some of the folks there were helpful with my chapter about "new" education philanthropy in education (for an AEI volume that's coming out.... sometime).

Meantime, anyone seen/written a writeup of the Council of Great Cities Conference that took place last week? I'm on a conferences binge.

Update: Here Comes NPR Education's New Series, "Ideas"

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In case you hadn't seen it already, NPR's education team has launched a new themed series, dubbed Ideas.

Its motto: "There's nothing new under the sun in education. Except when there is. We'll explore how innovation happens, who drives it and what works."

So far, Ideas item include "An EdTech Buzzword Bingo Card, Higher Ed's Moneyball?, and (my favorite so far) The Mind-Reading Robo Tutor In The Sky.

The previous series, 50 Great Teachers, was apparently a big hit.

Check it out. Tell me what you think -- or what you hope they do or don't cover (drones! hoverboards!).

Morning Video: PBS NewsHour Examines Primary School Suspensions

In his PBS NewsHour finale, John Merrow takes on NYC's Success Academy charter school network and its school discipline policies.

"At the largest charter school network in New York City, strict academic and behavior standards set the stage for learning. That doesn't exclude children as young as 5 or 6 years old, who can be given out-of-school suspensions if they don't follow the rules. Special correspondent for education John Merrow explores what that policy means for both the child and the school."

Watch it above or read the transcript here.

Quotes: Low Cut Scores "Killing" Employment/Competitiveness

Quotes2That mentality of saying let’s set proficient at a level where not too many people fail is going to kill us... The global standard of what proficient is keeps moving up.

- NCEE's Marc S. Tucker in the NYT via Education Dive (Are cut scores undermining Common Core's intent?)

Charts: Numbers Of Homeless Students On The Rise (Partly Due To Better Tracking)

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"There were about 1.4 million homeless students nationwide in the 2013-14 school year, according to the Department of Education, twice as many as there were in the 2006-07 school year, when roughly 680,000 students were homeless." via FiveThirtyEight (There Are Way More Homeless Students Than There Used To Be)

Books: An Anthropological Look At School Fundraising

image from www.tinyspark.orgI don't know much of anything about this, but a new book called A Good Investment? is coming out and it's written up at Tiny Spark (When a School Markets Students as Charity Cases):

"Amy Brown’s forthcoming book examines how a NYC public high school managed its image to donors and critiques big philanthropy’s role in public education. A Good Investment? Philanthropy and the Marketing of Race in an Urban Public School is based on her two years at the pseudonymous “College Prep Academy.”

According to LinkedIn, Brown is a "Critical Writing Fellow at University of Pennsylvania Critical Writing Program."

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