Want to see something uncomfortable and upsetting this cold February morning? "In 2014, an assistant teacher at Success Academy Cobble Hill secretly filmed her colleague, Charlotte Dial, scolding one of her students after the young girl failed to answer a question correctly." From a NYT story by Kate Taylor.
Here's a #TFA25 panel moderated by the NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones, who starts out expressing a view that the term "diversity" is cute but "integration" is an imperative. (Intentionally Diverse Learning Communities). Panelists include Kriste Dragon, Bill Kurtz, Jeremy Chiappetta, Julie Goldstein. 90 minutes.
"Despite cautioning that school system is set to run out of money in April, state-appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley has announced his resignation effective at the end of February. He exits amid chaos, and another potential teacher sick-out." (From PBS NewsHour Why Detroit's teachers are 'sick' of their inadequate schools).
Or click here to listen to an overview of Chicago Catalyst's deep dive into the city's biggest charter network, Noble Charter Schools.
Freakonomics: "Okay, maybe the steps aren't so easy. But a program run out of a Toronto housing project has had great success in turning around kids who were headed for trouble." (Rebroadcast)
Or, if you want to see some cool video, check out this Sam Chaltain post This is what Kindergarten looks like in its ideal form.
More schools nationwide are experimenting with diversity programs, report says ChalkbeatNY: Ninety-one districts and charter networks now have at least one school that factors socioeconomic status into its assignments, according to a report released Tuesday by the Century Foundation. The number identified by the foundation has more than doubled since 2007 and represents about 4 million students nationwide, the report says. See also Washington Post.
The Common Core Has Its SupportersWSJ: Many in New York state have embraced the standards, believing they spur more analytical thinking by children and more teamwork among educators
Obama Budget to Seek New Money to Help Schools Integrate, Sources Say PK12: The Obama administration is expected to seek $120 million in new money to help schools become more integrated, among other proposals in the fiscal 2017 budget.
In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids Washington Post: An increasing number of school districts and charter networks are trying to break up concentrated poverty and balance their student populations by race and income.
Department Of Education Creates Student Aid Enforcement Office NPR: The Department of Education announced Monday it will create a Student Aid Enforcement Unit to crack down on higher education institutions that are taking advantage of vulnerable students. See also Washington Post.
New, Reading-Heavy SAT Has Students Worried NYT: Some educators fear that the revised test — one of the biggest redesigns ever — will penalize certain students, like immigrants and the poor.
'An Average Guy' Excels At Teaching Students AP Calculus NPR: David Greene talks to advanced placement calculus teacher Anthony Yom about his classroom magic, and how he's gotten every one of his students for the past five years to pass the exam.
Why is Milwaukee so bad for black people? WNYC: Suspensions are just the beginning. The state also has the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the country, and ranks last in reading comprehension tests among black fourth-graders. Milwaukee has the most black students in the state and is the biggest contributor to Wisconsin’s achievement gap. Its public school system has been plagued by federal and state funding cuts and a 20-year-old school choice program that diverts public tax dollars to private schools through vouchers. With 4-out-of-5 black children in Wisconsin living in poverty, an inadequate education can set up the most vulnerable students for failure.
D.C. teachers say new school system policy could cause grade inflation Washington Post: D.C. teachers no longer give students their final grades. Instead, teachers input letter grades for each marking term and for the final exam, and a software program averages the final grade, according to the union.
Charter schools say L.A. Unified is unfairly scrutinizing their campuses LA Times: Caprice Young thought the worst was behind her, that her group's charter schools would be free to grow after straightening out the poor financial record-keeping that prompted a recent state audit. She was wrong.
Repair Bill for Decaying Detroit Schools Could Top $50 Million District Dossier: The financially strapped school district has begun using money budgeted for other departments to fix the most urgent building problems.
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.
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.
— Camika Royal (@DrCamikaRoyal) February 4, 2016
She says she's not going to be there for #TFA25, but here's Camika Royal's TFA20 speech, via Twitter. Royal was TFA 1999 but has since become a critic of the TFA model.
Here's a 2012 blog post she wrote on Diane Ravitch's site: Camika Royal Responds to Critics. Here's a Huffington Post entry about her speech: Swift to Hear; Slow to Speak: A Message to TFA Teachers, Critics, and Education Reformers.
Meanwhile, TFA critics led by the Badasss Teachers and Network for Public Education have set up a "Thunderclap" to bombard the TFA25 twitter stream. Think of it as social media countermeasures.
And perhaps the biggest news leading up to the conference is the announcement that blue-vested alumnus Deray McKesson is running for mayor of Baltimore:
“I Am Running for Mayor of Baltimore” https://t.co/tYQ58AOXYp— deray mckesson (@deray) February 4, 2016
It's unclear if he has any chance of winning in a field that already includes 28 candidates, or even if he's the first to run for big-city mayor, but the announcement might seem to represent a new generation of TFA alumni taking on post-classroom challenges.
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.
"To force the issue, they staged a one-day school boycott on Feb. 3, when approximately 460,000 students refused to go to school -- the school boycott was the largest civil rights protest in U.S. history.... Yet, little came of the boycott, and the activists' demands resonate still." From WNYC (Demand for School Integration Leads to Massive 1964 Boycott — In New York City)
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.
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."
"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?
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.
A Here's a new Reason.com video segment about the perils of residential assignment of kids to schools. (Brownstone Brooklyn's Racial Divide).
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....
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.
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.
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'.
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.
NYC took steps to boost academic diversity in 2015, new report shows ChalkbeatNY: The department stopped most middle schools in three districts from screening applicants based on their academic records, and allowed 51 low-performing middle schools to recruit students from beyond their normal catchment areas, the report said. The department also added 20 new “educational option” high school programs.
Effort to Recall Arizona Schools Superintendent Fails State EdWatch: Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas has battled with Gov. Doug Ducey over funding and education department staffing decisions.
Parent Council Readies for Vote on Brooklyn School Rezoning WNYC: The Jan. 5 vote by the District 13 Community Education Council, made up of parent leaders, will be the latest-ever vote on a school rezoning proposal to take effect in September. More pressing, the decision to rezone affects the current kindergarten application process, already underway.
At the 10th largest school system, a violent threat comes every other day Washington Post: Retired Secret Service agent Tom Vaccarello analyzes threats to schools in Fairfax County.
Chicago Seeks More Charter Schools WBEZ: A CPS spokesperson providing written responses “on background” said CPS will host public hearings on any charters that make it through the application process. The applications will be viewable online, and a “feedback portal” is being set up for community members to share their views.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
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)
Feds: Most NYC elementary schools violate disabilities act AP: In a letter addressed to the city Department of Education's top lawyer, the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Monday said the two-year investigation also showed that six school districts, serving over 50,000 elementary students, did not have a school that was fully accessible. The entire system serves about 1.1 million students. See also Chalkbeat, WNYC, NYT.
Charter students start off higher academically, but some also learn faster in these schools LA Times: Students who enter Los Angeles charter schools are more academically advanced than their peers in traditional public schools, according to a study released Monday by researchers at UC Berkeley.
Public schools struggle with lessons about Islam amid renewed fears of terrorism LA Times: Experts say what's often not understood by parents today is that it's legal to teach about religion in public schools, a key exception carved out by the Supreme Court back when the battle was over Protestant Christianity's common appearance in the classroom.
D.C. Region May Not Be Prepared For Expected Surge Of Migrant Youth WAMU: Authorities in the Washington, D.C., region are worried about a new influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America as thousands of young people cross the Mexican border to enter the U.S.
Over Half of Race to the Top Cash Directly Supported Educators, Report Says PK12: The Center for American Progress highlights the program's successes, but will future Education Department leaders embrace Race to the Top's competitive-grant model?
Teacher shortage has schools in ‘crisis mode,’ survey finds Seattle Times: A state survey shows that principals are scrambling because there aren’t enough substitute or full-time teachers.
Here's the long-awaited four-minute StoryCorps audio from that conversation between Arne Duncan and former mentee Lawanda Crayton (Former U.S. Education Secretary Says Mentoring Kids Matters).
You can also watch outgoing LAUSD superintendent Ramon Cortines in a recent interview.
We do have housing segregation in New York City, and it’s quite serious. [But] we need to rethink the notion that we can’t do anything about integration until we integrate the neighborhoods.
-- Inside Schools' Clara Hemphill in in NYT (School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest)
"At 124 of [the city's 734 neighborhood elementary] schools they found the median household income was at least 20 percent lower than the income of the surrounding school zone... At 59 elementary schools in neighborhoods that were at least somewhat racially mixed, student populations were more than 90 percent black and Hispanic." NYT story on New School report (School Segregation Persists in Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Maps Suggest).
New York City to Close 3 Troubled Public Schools in Brooklyn NYT: It is the first time Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has elected to shut down any noncharter public schools. See also WNYC, Chalkbeat.
Chicago Teachers Say Yes To Strike OptionWBEZ: Under state law, the earliest that teachers could walk off the job this time around is March, but union leaders say it could happen closer to the end of the school year or even into next fall. See also Tribune, AP, Washington Post, NYT.
Baltimore schools officials warn that students may face consequences for protesting Freddie Gray verdict Washington Post: As Baltimore braced for a verdict in the first trial related to Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody, Baltimore schools officials warned students that they may risk disciplinary action for taking part in certain protest activities, including walking out of class.
Black, Latino Students Speak Up About Problems in Boston Schools Boston Globe: For two hours Saturday at the city’s public education headquarters in Dudley Square, officials with impressive titles outlined how Boston public schools struggle to educate black and Latino boys.
Coming To Texas: Special-Ed Cams To Protect Students From Their Own Teachers NPR: A new state law will require cameras in special needs classrooms at parents' request. But the schools must pay for recording systems, and there's no way for other students in the room to opt out.
New York Regents Vote to Exclude State Tests in Teacher Evaluations NYT: The board, which was acting on a report from a task force created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, also heard recommendations for addressing problems at a Rockland County school system. See also Chalkbeat.
In this high school, reading and writing happens in every class, even math and chemistry Washington Post: The chemistry students at Northwestern High School were not fiddling with bunsen burners or studying the periodic table one recent weekday morning. They were sitting at their desks, reading an article about food coloring, underlining key ideas and preparing to analyze it in an essay.
There's no shortage of education-related titles in this list of 16 Books About Race That Every White Person Should Read, but this Beverly Tatum book "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria" is perhaps the most direct.
"Through research and case studies psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum confronts the subtle ways in which racism dictates the ways both white and non-white people navigate the world.
Picked by Zeba Blay, Huffington Post Voices Culture Writer, the list also includes Ta-Nehisi Coates, James Baldwin, and many other familiar titles.
The only obvious omission that comes to mind is "Some of my Best Friends Are Black." There was also a great documentary a few years ago called "Prep School Negro."
But I'm sure you can think of others.
Watch here as a Newark North Star teacher wins Milken Award (and $25,000) during a school assembly. Read more about it here.
Also on NJ.com, the editorial page describes Chris Cerf and Ras Baraka as "the new odd couple" of Newark school reform. Over at Education Post (which sponsors The Grade), Cerf responds to some of the claims made in Dale Russakoff's Newark book -- four months after the book came out.
House to Vote on No Child Left Behind Rewrite AP: House members are expected to vote on a bill Wednesday, followed by a Senate vote next week.The bill would continue the requirement for annual testing of children in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. But it would end federal efforts to tie scores to teacher evaluations and to encourage schools to embrace academic standards such as Common Core.
With vote planned on No Child Left Behind replacement bill, revolt brewing on right and left Washington Post: Conservatives say the bill leaves too much power in federal hands; civil rights groups say it leaves too little.
Civil Rights, Disability, Education Groups Give Lukewarm Nod to ESEA Rewrite PK12: Thirty-six disability, civil rights, education, and other organizations—including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—offered a measured endorsement of the Every Student Succeeds Act. See also Al Jazeera.
Facebook CEO, Now a Father, Will Give Away Most of His Money AP: In the same post, Zuckerberg said he and Chan will commit 99 percent of their Facebook stock to such causes as fighting disease, improving education, harnessing clean energy, reducing poverty and promoting equal rights. They are forming a new organization, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to pursue those goals.
Newark Launching Community Schools With Facebook Money AP: The Foundation for Newark's Future will invest $1.2 million now and up to $12.5 million total on two initiatives unveiled Tuesday in Newark. They will include additional support to students living in poverty, including programs in school and the community.
PAC shielded $2.3 million in donations by LA charter school backers Sacramento Bee: The charter PAC was the biggest money player in these contests, spending about $2.7 million. The teachers union spent about $1.6 million, according to state and local records.
LAUSD board gets first names of superintendent candidates KPCC: The names are confidential, but a source involved in the search process tells KPCC the school board will begin “three to four days” of first round interviews with top candidates starting this Sunday.
Wyoming Schools Get Poor Report Card For Native American Absenteeism NPR: One in three Native students are what's considered "chronically absent," in this state. Educators on the Wind River Indian Reservation say that's a major factor holding back student achievement.
To Measure What Tests Can't, Some Schools Turn To Surveys NPR: Social-emotional skills? Growth mindset? Grit? To see how students are doing in important areas beyond reading and math ... there's a survey for that.
Adelanto will not renew charter for Desert Trails parent trigger school San Bernardino Sun: The problem isn’t with what’s happening academically at Desert Trails Prep, school board president Teresa Rogers said Tuesday, but with what’s happening administratively. Tarver and other officials had failed to file the necessary paperwork for multiple issues, Rogers said, putting the school and district afoul of state regulations.
"As of 2014, children occupied 32 percent of American households, a figure that's slowly declined over the past decade. Of the 100 most populated cities, the only jurisdictions where children resided in more than half of households were Laredo, Texas, and Santa Ana, Calif. Nearly all cities where they're most prevalent are found in California, Texas and Arizona." (The Most and Least Kid-Filled Cities)
Or, listen to this WAMU segment on Kaya Henderson's five-year tenure as head of DC Public Schools.
Or, check out this WHYY Philadelphia story about a magnet school dropping its admissions criteria as part of a school consolidation plan.
L.A. Unified explores possibility of becoming an all-charter district LA Times: On Tuesday, a board committee reviewed a report that outlines the process for becoming an entirely charter school district. Board members said the goal was primarily to identify how the district could benefit from the same flexibility currently provided to charters. See also LA Daily News.
Massachusetts Board Approves Hybrid PARCC, State Test State EdWatch: By an 8-3 vote, the state school board approved creation of a new English and mathematics test to be administered by all of the state's schools by 2017. See also WNYC, Boston Learning Lab.
Schools postpone D.C. field trips amid increased concerns about terrorism Washington Post: Schools in S.C., Conn., and Md. scrapped field trips to the nation’s capital after online threat of attack.
New York State Accuses Utica School District of Bias Against Refugees NYT: Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a lawsuit that the city diverted immigrants over 16 and unsteady in English into alternative programs in which they could not earn diplomas.
Calls mount to remove metal detectors from NYC schools AP: A student has not been shot in a New York City school in 13 years, a heartening statistic in an era of commonplace school massacres. But there is a growing cry to rid the city's schools of metal detectors, the very tool some observers credit with keeping them safe....
Mark Zuckerberg on Philanthropy: Move Slow and Build Things AP: Last year, Zuckerberg and Chan announced they would give $120 million to public and charter schools closer to home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Instead of attempting to overhaul an entire school district, they are doling the money out to smaller programs that provide teacher training, classroom technology and attempts to develop more personalized instruction for individual students.
St. Paul becomes latest district to study doing away with school buses MinnPost: This year, St. Paul Public Schools launched a pilot program to study how feasible it may be to send their high school students to and from school via city bus. And if the program proves successful, St. Paul may soon be joining Minneapolis in doing away with most yellow buses for their public high schools. The district estimates the cost of providing the passes to be about the same as operating yellow buses.
Will Seattle schools start later? Vote gets national spotlight Seattle Times: Seattle Public Schools could become one of the largest districts in the country to push back start times for teens, thanks to parents, sleep scientists and a school board willing to make it a priority.
Nonprofit is formed to advance charter-school plan in Los Angeles area LA Times: Great Public Schools Now will be run by two executives from ExED, a local company that specializes in helping charter schools manage their business operations. Eli Broad or a designee, however, is expected to occupy one seat on an 11-member board of trustees.
Here's a recent video from Chicago Public Television about efforts to keep effective principals on the job. Click the link for additional charts and information.
Just the description of the picture might make you think a bit more about it than you did when you first saw it online:
"Beneath the jacket is a fleece-lined hoodie, also black, and in his hand the boy holds a black plastic bag, stretched by the weight of what might be groceries. The sidewalk behind him is cracked and dotted with litter. Dull-brown public-housing towers—as much a part of the quintessential visual New York as the bodega bag—form a jagged horizon."
The critique of HONY -- and TED Talks, and The Moth -- might make you bristle:
"A story has lately become a glossier, less thrilling thing: a burst of pathos, a revelation without a veil to pull away. “Storytelling,” in this parlance, is best employed in the service of illuminating business principles, or selling tickets to non-profit galas, or winning contests."
The New Yorker piece urges us to do the impossible and forget the story, focusing back on the image:
"Forget, for a moment, the factual details that we have gathered in the course of knowing-but-not-really-knowing him... Consider, instead, the ease of the boy’s sneakers against the sidewalk; his shy, smirking confidence; the preternatural calm with which he occupies the space within the frame. Viewed like this—as, yes, irrefutably real, but also as a readable image—he is reminiscent of Gordon Parks’s squinting Harlem newsboy. Both convey something almost spiritual: something about the delicate string that hangs between youth and resilience, about the miraculous talent of children, however voiceless, to stand unswallowed by the city."
Whether you agree or disagree with the point -- and the rest of the essay's reflection on images in politics and society -- it's helpful I think to remember that stories and images can overtake us if we let them, and that sometimes we need to step back from the narrative we're constructing and look at the individual parts.
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson celebrates 5 years at helm Washington Post: Most urban superintendents leave after three years; many credit stability at the top for D.C.’s improvement. See also Washington Post.
Ahead of Departure, Arne Duncan Reflects on Signature Education Programs US News: On Thursday, speaking at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, Duncan plans to reflect on his work thus far in conjunction with the department's release of two comprehensive assessments of its most significant programs, the Race to the Top competition and the School Improvement Grant.
New SIG Data Serves Up Same Old Conclusion: Mixed Results PK12: The latest Education Department report on the federal School Improvement Grant program paints an uneven picture of SIG's impact, just as Congress is about to decide its fate. See also Washington Post.
What the Ed. Dept.'s New Race to the Top Report Reveals, and What It Avoids PK12: The Education Department says all states in the competitive-grant program made progress toward their goals, but makes little mention of areas where they stumbled or backtracked.
How N.J. school distirct is making enrollment much easier NJ.com: Replacing a "patchwork" system of 17 different applications, the Camden City School District on Tuesday rolled out a better way of getting kids into school.
Montgomery County Schools Recognize Muslim Holiday of Eid Slate: Some districts in New Jersey have closed for Muslim holidays for years, while others, like Jersey City, recently voted against closing for Eid this year. And this spring, the New York City Department of Education, the largest school district in the country, where an estimated 10 percent of students are Muslim, announced that schools would close for Eid al-Adha.
Common Core testing showdown in Massachusetts Hechinger Report: The Massachusetts Board of Education is deciding whether to use a multi-state test, the Partnership for Assessing College and Career Readiness, known as PARCC, or to stick with its own test.
Research Group Latest to Caution Use of 'Value Added' for Teachers TeacherBeat: The American Educational Research Association lists eight principles that it says must be considered before using VAM to judge teachers or teaching programs.
Want To Make A School Better? Get Kids To Show Up NPR: Students who miss 15 or 20 days of school a year may never catch up. The Department of Education is looking for prevention ideas, and one Baltimore school could provide some.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
Here's a list of the top 200 local education foundations in the US, which is somewhat ironically led by Pinellas County (where there's been some pretty dramatic resegregation of schools lately). I can't vouch for the data, the methodology, or anything else. MSU's Sarah Reckhow notes on Twitter that it's not a lot of money that they're talking about in the larger scheme of things. The report is put out annual by Dewey and Associates. Thanks to Mesa's Joe O'Reilly for passing this along.
For decades, Hillary Clinton has been a strong supporter of both public charter schools and an unflinching advocate for traditional public schools, their teachers and their students,... [She] wants to be sure that public charter schools, like traditional public schools, serve all students and do not discriminate against students with disabilities or behavioral challenges.
-- Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson in Washington Post (Hillary Clinton wades into the internal Democratic battle over public schools)
White Americans are increasingly aware of the realities with which black and brown Americans live; black and brown Americans are increasingly aware of the granular details of events beyond their own communities... What we haven’t seen yet is change.
— Emily L. Hauser (Why outrage over police brutality isn’t enough)
This Slate article describes how Highland Park keeps itself separate from the surrounding Dallas schools. Plus map from EdBuild.
Obama: Schools 'Really Don’t Have An Excuse' To Keep Native American Mascots HuffPost: With Adidas' recent announcement that the company will help schools transition away from Native American mascots, "schools now really don’t have an excuse" for keeping them, President Barack Obama said Thursday at the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference.
De Blasio: City must respect families’ investments amid school diversity debates Chalkbeat: “You have to also respect families who have made a decision to live in a certain area oftentimes because of a specific school,” de Blasio said when a reporter asked what is stopping the city from creating new zones to promote school integration. Those families, he said, have “made massive life decisions and investments because of which school their kid would go to.”
Zuckerberg Talks Success, Lessons Learned in Newark Schools AP: "It's very important to understand the desires of a community, to listen and learn from families, teachers, elected officials and other experts," he wrote. "We now better understand why it can take years to build the support to durably cement the changes needed to provide every student with a high quality education."
Chicago lead way on charter school unions Catalyst: Nationally, the movement to organize charter school teachers is just now gaining momentum. For example, the United Teachers of Los Angeles is working to organize teachers in that city's largest charter network, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.
How to build a better teacher: Groups push a 9-point plan called TeachStrong Washington Post: A coalition of 40 education groups — including some strange bedfellows — is starting a national campaign aimed at “modernizing and elevating” the teaching profession.
A Hedge Fund Sales Pitch Casts a Spell on Public Pensions New York Times: “The report was really intended to give information to pension trustees so they could ask the tough questions and fulfill their fiduciary duties to the funds and their participants,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the teachers' union.
What kids saw on a Common Core test NPR: Amid all the political controversy over the Common Core and whether students should even take these exams, this gives us a chance to look objectively at the tests themselves. In this post, we picked a handful of those questions that jumped out at us (and likely would have jumped out at you, too). We ran them by a few experts who played no official role in developing them.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
"I worry about the folks who link every challenge public school districts face to "privatization." It's such an easy way to avoid issues." - Deray McKesson
I worry about the folks who link every challenge public school districts face to "privatization." It's such an easy way to avoid issues.— deray mckesson (@deray) November 5, 2015
“As an educator I fell short of my commitment to all children and families at my school and for that I am deeply sorry,” said Success Academy Fort Greene principal Candido Brown, speaking through tears. (via Chalkbeat: Success Academy principal gives emotional apology for list of ‘Got-to-Go’ students)