"At the second annual Education Summit, The Atlantic will illuminate the most pressing debates in the education world today, from cradle to college," says the promo copy for Education Summit 2016. It start tomorrow morning and continues Wednesday, in DC. Topics under discussed are listed as ESSA, Common Core, School to Prison Pipeline, Speech on College Campuses, and College Affordability. Speakers and panelists include Jen Holleran, executive director of Startup:Education (part of the Chan Zuckerberg effort). The Atlantic's education editor, Alia Wong, will also participate. Hashtag? Livestream? LMK.
Signs abound that this era of polarization is giving way to a different and more constructive phase in U.S. efforts to boost student achievement.... The dawn of a new era of K-12 philanthropy .... Funders [like Walton and Broad] are no longer the dominant drivers.
Inside Philanthropy's David Callahn (The New Era of K-12 Philanthropy)
There are all sorts of conferences going on in May, including the upcoming May 10-11 New Schools Venture Fund Summit 2016 in San Francisco.
In case you haven't heard, NewSchools Summit is "an annual invitation-only gathering for education leaders who bring important and diverse perspectives in K-12 education innovation." And it's big -- 1,000 attendees. Lots of VIP speakers (see above).
NSVF was the first place I saw Google Glass (RIP), and I'm guessing that this year's event will be full of drone demos, holograms/VR, hoverboards, 3D printers, bots, and wearables. AltSchool's Max Ventilla will be a mini-celebrity. Newly-hired Chan Zuckerberg honcho Jim Shelton will be a full-on celebrity.
No surprise -- everyone's doing it -- one of the big pushes at NSVF this year is trying to create an authentic, diverse movement. LEE's organizing guru Mark Fraley, is going to be speaking, along with #BlackLivesMatter's Brittany Packnett and DREAMer José Patiño.
Sponsors of the $1,000 per ticket event include Carnegie Corporation, Walton, Startup:Education (aka Chan Zuckerberg), Gates, Peak , the College Board + Khan Academy, and the Schusterman Foundation.
Related posts: NewSchools 2015 Summit Live Twitter Feed; They're Beaming NSVF Summit 2014 To Boston; Google Glasses Live from NSVF Summit 2013; Thoughts On NSVF 2012; Rahm Emanuel And Arlene Laurene Powell Jobs At NSVF'12; Reformy 2011 Summit Returns To Silicon Valley; Fashion Hits & Misses At The 2010 NSVF Summit; Another Spring, Another Summit (2009); NSFV: Live Tweets From Pasadena '09; Microblogging The 2008 NSVF Summit.
They live in this county, but they will not send their children to the schools in this county... We shop in the same place. We eat at the same restaurant. So why can’t our kids go to school together?
-- Sumter County school board member Julene Delaine in School Funding In Alabama
"Over the past few decades, school districts in Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Washington and elsewhere have found higher than acceptable lead levels in their students’ drinking water due to old plumbing systems." via PBS NewsHour.
I'm not there, but you may be -- the annual ASU-GSV confab is happening this week.
We've decided that when teachers really want a voice, to just organize under whatever law is operational... But then as soon as we start organizing, these same charter operators who in one breath say it's a public school, in the other breath say when it comes to school teachers, it's private, not public.
AFT head Randi Weingarten in Bloomberg BNA (Charter School Teachers Organizing Under Federal Labor Law)
Here's my latest Scholastic Administrator column, about the Teach for America Reboot: "The controversy surrounding TFA may have been helpful, in the end. As Villanueva Beard told Politico, “'I’m grateful for when people make our shortcomings clear, because it enables us to get better.'”
We already have so much work to do to try to close the achievement gap that this is a distraction... It's not Latino parents, it's not African-American parents. We don't have the time to be wasting trying to opt out. We need to know exactly how the kids are doing because when they go to college, if they are not prepared it's going to cost people more money.
-- Luis Torres, director of policy and legislation for the League of United Latin American Citizens, quoted in Politico (Opt-out movement aims to lure more African-American, Latino parents)
Last week, the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools told teachers to stay home on a pre-Easter Weekend furlough day. On Friday, the Chicago Teachers Union is calling on teachers to picket schools rather than teach in them to protect the district and state's lack of funding.
The reason you care is that Reuters is reporting a "major security hole with the SAT" in which the College Board gave SAT tests that "it knew had been compromised in Asia."
Phoenix New Times: Clinton Releases New Ad Targeting Arizona's Abysmal Education Record. It's so interesting to see everyone using the "no matter what ZIP code" language, given that folks mean such different things by the phrase.
"New research... finds that an increase in relative funding for low-income school districts actually has a profound effect on the achievement of students in those districts." (“Throwing money at the problem” may actually work in education - Equitable Growth.)
Via WPost Wonkblog.
There's already some use of Yelp for schools (see screengrab above). And now the Nieman Journalism Lab reports that ProPublica is teaming up with Yelp to make it easier to find good local health care services:
"ProPublica is collaborating with the recommendation app to help provide better health care information on medical facilities and other providers. The idea is that finding a good doctor, nursing home, or dialysis clinic in your neighborhood will now be as easy as finding a reliable taco joint."
"Instead of noting whether a place has wifi and if it’s good for kids, the health care data notes a provider’s wait time, noise level in patient rooms, and how well a doctor communicates with patients."
Sounds good, right?
To be sure, there are other sites that try and do the same kinds of things -- GreatSchools, SchoolBook, InsideSchools, etc.
And some will argue that rating schools is different from rating restaurants or even doctor's offices.
But give credit to Yelp for democratizing information about businesses and trends that otherwise would have been limited to a small set of people who are in the know, and note also that none of the existing sites has the ease of use, user base, and mobile options that Yelp provides.
Related posts: A Yelp (Or Facebook) For Schools? (2012); Young Joins GreatSchools [Plus Unsolicited Advice] (2014).
From New America's "Beyond Ratings" Report: "State education agencies are beginning to embrace the notion that both accountability and development play important roles in ensuring that evaluation systems have their intended effect of improving the quality of teaching for all students."
Good news. Six more districts -- Las Vegas, Denver, Fort Worth, Greensboro, Milwaukee and Memphis -- will join the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) starting in 2017, according to NAGB. Denver, Milwaukee, and Memphis are especially important additions, politically and otherwise. However, as you can see there are a bunch more districts who still aren't participating. And for some reason Seattle still isn't on the list of schools that are participating or eligible.
Mo Canady of the National Association of School Resource Officers in The Seventy Four (Video of Baltimore Cop Slapping Student Reignites Big Questions About Child Training for School Cops)
"At least 39 states are working to reduce testing time," according to CCSSO's Chris Minnich in a Nichole Dobo tweet from #ewaLA. To see which states, click on the image and try to make them out. I'll see if I can get a better image.
The best teachers don’t just say, ‘I have a good way of communicating or connecting with the students.’ They also change what they’re communicating. They think of a new curriculum that they know the student will be excited about.
-- BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti in Fast Company (Building A 100-Year Media Company) via Chalkbeat.
Next week in LA, EWA is hosting a seminar on Teaching and Testing in the Common Core Era that looks interesting. Here's the tentative lineup for one of the panels, including everyone from FairTest's Bob Schaeffer to Fordham's Robert Pondiscio:
From last night's PBS NewsHour/EdWeek: "New changes to an FCC program could help schools by offering to fund fiber networks of their own." (How schools with the slowest Internet could get re-wired)
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.
The 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
#TFA25 speakers/moderators, all in one Twitter List http://ow.ly/XRwRY.)
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?
"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?
"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)
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.
"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.
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....
"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.
The 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)
I'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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
It 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?"
“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.
"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.
There 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)
The 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)
U.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)