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Quotes: Bedbugs & Distressed Teachers In Detroit

Quotes2Just imagine being at a school where you sit down, get your education, you get back up, go home, next thing you know you brought bedbugs from school to your home... Just imagine being at a school where your teachers are all sick and tired, and they’re acting like they’re not able to teach because they’re not getting paid for what they do.

-- Detroit high school student Demarcus Taylor quoted in Alexandria Neason's Harper's feature story (Held Back)

Update: Teachers/Unions Concerned About Police Leaving Schools

One of the big stories of the week is the Dignity In Schools campaign launch calling for the removal of most police officers from public schools. 

So far, the news has been covered by CPI (Coalition calls for end of police presence in schools), Huffington Post (Over 100 Education Groups Want To Kick Cops Out Of Schools), and Education Week (Get Police Out of Schools, Coalition of Student, Parent Groups Says).

According to the Huffington Post, the new recommendations are "the strongest that DSC member organizations ― groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund ― have ever made collectively on the issue of school policing." The campaign is active in 27 states and claims 100 city and state member groups including the NAACP LDEF.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration called for districts to “responsibly incorporate” officers into the learning environment -- but stopped short of a ban. 

What's been left out so far is the tension between teachers' understandable concerns about classroom safety and order and advocates' understandable concerns about over-policing of schools.

According to EdWeek, the National Association of School Resource Officers "largely agreed with the federal guidance" but has not so far as I know endorsed the #CounselorsNotCops campaign. Nor has the NEA or AFT commented on the campaign. 

Conflicting views over the benefits of police in schools came up in Chicago in April, when a Chicago Teachers Union-organized protest event included a #BlackLivesMatter calling for the removal of the police from city schools.  

As reporting by DNAInfo ('F The Police' Speaker At Teacher Rally Not With CPS, But Union Takes Heat), activist Page May slammed the Chicago police and anyone associated with them. Just before her, union head Karen Lewis had praised the police.

"The CTU keeps acting like they are on our side, but then Karen Lewis refuses to say cops need to get out of schools," May said in the DNAInfo story. "Until [the Chicago Teachers Union] come out explicitly opposed to cops in schools, I don't think we are fighting on the same side."

The Seattle Times has also reported about the challenges some schools and districts have found in trying to rethink their school discipline policies. One story (Highline district struggles with fallout after limiting student suspensions), focusing on the related issue of school suspensions, reports that roughly 200 teachers have left the district in the past few months, many of them in reaction to the "elimination" of out of school suspensions, and the local teachers union president has flagged the turnover as a sign of major trouble looming. 

Some social justice advocacy groups like the NAACP and #BlackLivesMatter may find common cause with classroom teachers and unions over prioritizing neighborhood schools and limiting "privatization" of education, but the Dignity In Schools campaign highlights the tensions that quickly emerge in other areas.

For practical and political reasons, classroom teachers and their unions are likely to be extremely reluctant about endorsing a move to remove police officers from schools.

Why so? Fear is one obvious reason. (Here's a cameraphone video said to be depicting a teacher and student fighting in a Philadelphia school.) At a more ideological level, teachers unions and police unions often try to work together at the local level, and as the Chicago incident reveals they can be reluctant to disagree publicly. 

Still, there's much we don't know. What do the NEA, AFT, and National Association of School Resource Officers have to say about the Dignity In Schools campaign? What does the Obama administration say? And what about Clinton and Trump?

Numbers: School Closings Are Neither Popular Nor Common

Closings by year
A recent PDK International poll reported that American's don't like it when schools get closed. They much prefer troubled schools get new leadership and/or staff. Eighty-four percent of the public prefers fixing struggling schools while just 14 percent want to close them.
 
But school closings, while they can be traumatic for students and educators who have remained at a school, aren't as common as you may think -- and even when they happen they don't necessarily mean a building is being shuttered. As noted in this recent opinion piece, the "nuclear" option happens only 1-2 percent of the time, usually after an all-hands-on-deck effort to turn things around and/or dwindling enrollment. 
 
According to the NCES Fast Facts page, roughly 1,-2,000 of the nation's 99,000 schools have been closed over the years, fluctuating from a low of 1,2000 to a high of 2,200. And of course schools being closed doesn't necessarily mean that a school building is being shuttered. New schools are opened on the same site, or other schools within the same facility are enlarged.
 

People: Kaya Henderson's (Last?) Interview

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Less than a dozen days from now, DC's long-serving chancellor is riding off into the sunset. But not before she answers some questions from us. As you can see in Kaya Henderson: The Exit Interview.

In her years heading the DCPS, Henderson played a complicated role in the wake of her predecessor, Michelle Rhee, whose tactics and philosophy were controversial. She has restored some semblance of peace among classroom teachers, continued pursuing many of Rhee’s strategies, and developed her own initiatives.

She's also benefited from hands-off treatment from the AFT's Randi Weingarten, as pointed out recently in a Richard Whitmire column.

Henderson is a strong proponent of mayoral control (rather than independent school boards) but not a wild-eyed charter enthusiast. She’s not inclined to make racial integration a top priority over quality schools. And she’s proud of what she has helped to accomplish (some suburban parents are now faking their addresses to get their kids into DC public schools!), but she knows there is a long way to go.

Click the link above to hear Henderson's surprising thoughts on charter schools, racial integration, predecessor Michelle Rhee, dealing with critics, and the best and worst parts of the job. 

 

Books: How Repeated Evictions Impact Students' Lives

image from www.motherjones.com
Fans of high-quality nonfiction and those concerned about education and segregation should check out Matthew Desmond's pretty amazing book, Evicted, out earlier this year.

Focusing on the lives of poor white and black residents of one midsized city (Milwaukee), but making a national case, Desmond shows why poor people tend to move more often, but largely stay within confined geographic areas.

"There is an enormous amount of pain and poverty in this rich land,’ argues American sociologist Desmond in this brilliant book about housing and the lives of eight families in Milwaukee. (Via The Guardian)

The educational impacts of children whose families are moving frequently aren't the focus of the book, but they're ever-present: Lost sleep, changes of schools, going hungry, lack of heat or electricity, and constant worry. Families with children are much more likely to be evicted, notes this Mother Jones article.

The book also shows how academics and policymakers have missed much of what's going on by focusing on relatively small parts of the problem (federal housing vouchers and public housing) rather than larger ones (the private market) most poor renters inhabit.

Last but not least, Evicted shows that it's not just slumlords who are culpable for the deplorable, exploitative situation. The legal system, law enforcement, and even social support agencies all play a role in creating and perpetuating things -- and tolerating what's clearly intolerable. 

Morning Listen: Oakland Diversity? Not So Much When It Comes To Schools

KQED story describes impact of historic housing segregation, lack of district-provided transportation, and influx of white parents displaces kids of color in higher-performing schools (Oakland Prides Itself on Being Diverse — Until It Comes Time to Send Kids to School).

Or, listen to super-cute incoming kindergartners starting school in Chicago, via WBEZ. ("I can count in Spanish")

Morning Video: Why Ohio Leads Nation In Poverty-Segregated School Districts

Above, watch a clean-shaven Cory Turner segment about how Ohio and other non-Southern states have neighboring districts with wildly different poverty levels. 

Or, watch this Emerson Collective video segment about TFA's recruitment of undocumented college students to become classroom teachers.  

Maps: Syrian Refugee Students Placed In Mid-Sized Cities (Boise, Worcester)

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This NYT map and accompanying story (Here’s Where They Went) shows the 231 towns and cities where the 10,000 Syrian refugees accepted into the United States have been settled over the past four years. 

These numbers are tiny compared to what other nations are doing currently or what the US has done in the past with Cuban and Vietnamese refugees, points out the Times.

Big cities like NYC, Chicago, and LA haven't been among the leaders compared to affordable mid-sized citeis. "Boise, Idaho, has accepted more refugees than New York and Los Angeles combined; Worcester, Mass., has taken in more than Boston."

Students in Lancaster, PA are suing the district for providing an inadequate education. School districts on Long Island, NY are being monitored to ensure that they enroll and serve refugee students appropriately. 

"The suit claims district administrators routinely sent older refugee students to a "disciplinary school" that subjected them to bullying, intense security protocols and an accelerated learning program that runs counter to conventional wisdom on the subject."

In Syria, schools have been bombed, forcing children to attend classes in bunkers or to forego an education entirely. For more on the challenge of schooling Syrian refugee children, click here.

Morning Video: "Cultural Competency" Teacher Prep Program Includes Homestay

On PBS last night, a segment about a small seven year-old program in Chicago that attempts to prepare teachers (mostly white) for kids and communities they're likely to teach in (mostly black and brown) -- including a cross-cultural homestay program. Roughly half of Chicago teachers are white, while less than 10 percent of Chicago students are.

Update: Remembering Mike Brown, Two Years Later

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Two years after the death of Mike Brown is as good a time as any to point to remember a few important parts of the story of the Ferguson teen who was killed on this day in 2014.
 
We all probably remember that he he had graduated from high school three months early -- and that his graduation was not an unremarkable accomplishment.
 
It's less widely known that his mother, Lezley McSpadden, was among many teens who had been bused to school as part of a state desegregation program. According to a ProPublica story, she attended school in affluent Ladue.
 
But perhaps the most important thing to remember is how she responded in one interview, demonstrating frustration, despair, and anger that few of us will ever feel: 
 
 
Click the link to view the clip.
 
 
 
 
 

Explainer: #Vision4BlackLives Agenda Highlights School Reform Critics' Priorities (With Some Key Exceptions)

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Most of the attention on the Movement for Black Lives' agenda, released earlier this week, focused on the call for reparations and other agenda items.

However, a little-noted part of the comprehensive agenda was its education section, which calls for "An End to the Privatization of Education and Real Community Control by Parents, Students and Community Members of Schools Including Democratic School Boards and Community Control of Curriculum, Hiring/Firing, and Discipline Policies."

Some highlight quotes: 

*Privatization strips Black people of the right to self-determine the kind of education their children receive.

*Using mayoral control and state takeover, they impose their experimental, market-based approach to school reform.

*The education crises plaguing most of our public school districts are the result of corporate-controlled, state-sanctioned and federally-funded attacks to reverse Brown v. Board of Education, and create a desuetude discrimination and educational apartheid that must be challenged and overthrown.

*Their aims are to undermine Black democracy and self-determination, destroy organized labor, and decolor education curriculum, while they simultaneously  overemphasize  Standardized Testing, and use school closures to disproportionately disrupt access to education in Black communities.   

The authors of this section include Jonathan Stith (Alliance for Educational Justice), Hiram Rivera (Philadelphia Student Union), and Chinyere Tutashinda (Center for Media Justice). According to an Tweet from Stith, "A squad of Black education justice parent & youth organizers [was] present as well." The resources provided for this agenda include the Every Student Succeeds Act ExplainedAROS Demands Memo, and Journey For Justice.

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 In case it isn't clear, this call for elected school boards, an end to privatization, and a pullback from foundations like Gates and Broad is very much a reform critic's view of what needs to be done -- not at all a reformers' vision.

Or, as The American Prospect's Rachel Cohen put it, "There are some high-profile Teach for America alums in Black Lives Matter, but the platform calls for the program's end."

As such, this is the second time in recent weeks that we're reading about reform groups seeming to have been outflanked by their critics. The earlier instance was the development of the DNC party platform, which included amendments from Randi Weingarten and others that called for similar things.  (You could also include the release of stolen DNC emails in which campaign officials urge against mention of Common Core.) 

It's also an early indication of where the larger Black Lives Matter movement might be headed on education issues, which has been until now a murky thing to understand. There are several TFA alumni among the leaders of the movement, but the movement has also partnered with teachers unions in places like Chicago (where a BLM activist surprised union leaders by denouncing the police union). 

However, there are areas in which the movement's agenda would seem to go along with the priorities of many reform groups -- and put them in conflict with organized labor. Some quoted highlights:

*Put a moratorium on all out of school suspensions.

*Remove police from schools and replace them with positive alternatives to discipline and safety.

*Inequitable funding at the school district, local and state level leave most public schools — where poor communities of color are the majority — unable to provide adequate and high quality education for all students, criminalizing and targeting Black students through racist zero-tolerance discipline policies.

*Key stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, and students are left out of the decision making process.

*Create Community Schools that have wrap-around services for students and community members as a turnaround model instead of closing schools or charterization.

It's also well worth noting that this document, released by a group calling itself the Movement for Black Lives (aka ), may not represent the larger movement's education agenda, or the focal point of BLM efforts on education.

Charts: DC Schools Improving Faster Than Demographics Predict

image from pbs.twimg.com

Morning Video: Is This The Third Reconstruction?

Advances, then backlash. That's the big story of civil rights and inequality, says Washington Monthly's Nancy LeTourneau.

What Does A Social Justice Agenda For Schools Really Look Like?

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Last night on Twitter there was some disagreement about whether folks like Diane Ravitch qualify as "social justice" advocates. Ditto for school reform advocates like, say, Arne Duncan. 

What I learned from the discussion was that people probably have very different notions about what it means to come at improving schools from a social justice perspective. For reform critics like Ravitch, opposing approaches that disempower classroom teachers or put pressure on traditional schools feels like social justice. For reform advocates like Duncan giving parents choices and making schools accountable for results feels like social justice. 

Eager as they might be to claim the mantle of social justice advocacy, my sense is that both sides are wrong, and that the things that they spend most of their time advocating for are not the things that social justice advocates would prioritize for children and communities of color who most need better schools.

It's important to note that changes to education are not central to the current #BlackLivesMatter movement that embodies social justice advocacy in the current era. When education does come up, things like more charters, school desegregation, teacher empowerment, accountability, and student loans are not priority items.

So what would a social justice education agenda look like? Here's a highly imperfect guess at some of the priorities that might be highlighted. There's got to be a better version of this somewhere, but it's a start:

10/ Cops out of schools

    9/ Ending defiance-based suspensions and expulsions

    8/ Anti-racism /cultural awareness training for teachers

    7/ High-quality universal preschool

    6/ Living wages for paras, aides, and early childhood teacher

    5/ Equitable distribution of certified teachers (and payroll costs) among district schools

    4/ Limits on self-segregation of affluent students within neighborhoods and island districts

    3/ Dramatic reduction in local control/property tax-based funding

    2/ Giving parents right to legal action against inadequate education (as with IDEA)

    1/ __________________________________

    Afternoon Video: First Lady Sings & Snapchats To Promote "Let Girls Learn"

    "Meant to promote the first lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative, 'This Is For My Girls' grabbed headlines when it was first released but hasn’t quite stuck in the public consciousness since then."

    Update: If School Reform Is Class Conflict, A Social Justice Approach Could Hurt

    As I read it, this piece in The New Yorker (Pale Fire) suggests that the current conflict over education reform is in many ways the playing out of long-simmering white-on-white class conflicts.

    If so, this would suggest that focusing narrowly on social justice issues -- while entirely understandable in short-term tactical terms -- could only exacerbate the conflict and theoretically slow progress. 

    It's nothing you haven't thought or read or perhaps articulated yourself, but a worthwhile reminder. 

     

    Books: Inequality & Achievement Gaps At "Rolling Acres Public Schools"

    41d-oIr7c9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_"Nestled in neighborhoods of varying degrees of affluence, suburban public schools are typically better resourced than their inner-city peers and known for their extracurricular offerings and college preparatory programs. Despite the glowing opportunities that many families associate with suburban schooling, accessing a district's resources is not always straightforward, particularly for black and poorer families."

    That's the promo blurb for Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling, by L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy.

    It's one of several recent books taking a long hard look at suburban communities whose schools may not be as good (or as equitable) as may be commonly believed -- for example Amanda Lewis' With The Best Of Intentions.

    Related posts: How Racial Inequality Gets Baked Into SchoolsWhite Teachers, Black Students: An "Awkward Disconnect"Mugshots Help Combat Racial StereotypesBest Titles To Help White Teachers, Parents, Reporters Understand RaceForthcoming Novel Highlights White Parents & Diverse Schools.

     

    Morning Listen: Unacknowledged Racism In The Leafy Suburbs

    Check out this fascinating American RadioWorks interview titled Race in Suburban Schools, featuring L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy talking about his look at one Midwestern suburban school district that illustrates the increasing diversity and nagging achievement gaps in the leafy burbs. One striking example Lewis-McCoy describes is how he observes white teachers hold back from correcting the grammar and speech of black and brown students to avoid stigmatizing them. 

     

    Magazine: Rethinking "Ghetto" Communities -- & Their Schools

    This recent New Yorker article (There Goes the Neighborhood) raises a bunch of important questions about how we think about gentrification and low-income communities that used to be commonly called "ghettos" -- and, by extension, low-income (generally low-performing) schools.

    Scholars have long been sympathetic towards these communities, according to the piece:

    "Scholars who studied the ghetto tended to be motivated by sympathy for its residents, which often resulted in a complicated sort of sympathy for ghettos themselves."

    It could be argued that some of the same emotions have been on display when it comes to the low-income, generally low-performing school.

    However public opinion has changed dramatically.

    "Where the ghetto once seemed a menace, threatening to swallow the city like an encroaching desert, now it often appears, in scholarly articles and the popular press, as an endangered habitat."

    The reality may be, however, that displacements from gentrification are not be as widespread as is commonly thought. That's because underlying mobility rates are already relatively high in these communities, as evictions, better opportunities, and other shifts move families in and out of low-income areas.

    In addition, "Gentrification needn’t be zero-sum, because gentrifying neighborhoods may become more densely populated, with new arrivals adding to, rather than supplanting, those currently resident. 

    Sympathetic scholars, recent focus on gentrification, and questions about underlying mobility rates suggest that the common "gentrification = bad" construction that's prevalent right now might warrant some careful rethinking. Perhaps changes to neighborhood schools -- demographic, programmatic, etc. -- shouldn't necessarily be viewed with immediate suspicion. Perhaps gentrification isn't universally bad. 

    Related posts:

    Morning Video: Strong Results (Again) For "Becoming A Man"

    "A new study finds a program that works with at-risk young men in Chicago schools reduced overall arrests in the group by 35 percent, violent crime arrests by 50 percent and boosted on-time high school graduation for participants by 19 percent." via WTTW Chicago Public Television (Program for At-Risk Youth Cuts Arrests by 35 Percent)

    Quotes: "It Took Me A While To See Past Race."

    Quotes2Like many white people, my only experience of institutions was majority white. And so there was a learning curve for me. I was a little uncomfortable the first day of kindergarten. I saw black families – I didn’t see individuals. I saw Hispanic families … It took me a while to see past race, in a way, if that makes any sense, and to see that these were potential friends for me, these were potential allies, mom friends.

    - Brooklyn parent and author Lucinda Rosenfeld, talking with WNYC's Rebecca Caroll and the NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones at a recent panel on school segregation (What role should parents play in promoting integration?). Rosenfeld's next novel, about a white mom choosing a majority-minority school for her child, comes out early next year. 

    Maps: Nearly 200 "Island" Districts Segregate School Communities

    Reform critics like to talk about big social issues like poverty, or focus on reform challenges like racial segregation in charter schools, but downplay ignore structural issues in public education like school assignment policies and district boundaries.

    It's not just attendance zones and school assignment policies within districts that contribute to segregation and school inequality. According to a new report from EdBuild, school district boundaries themselves play a dramatic role in "segregating communities and separating low-income kids from educational opportunity." The most vivid examples of this effect are "island" districts entirely surrounded by other school districts of vastly different means.

    "The way we fund schools in the United States creates incentives for communities to segregate along socioeconomic lines in order to preserve local wealth. In so doing, communities create arbitrary borders that serve to lock students into, or out of, opportunity. This reality is especially glaring in the case of island school districts that are entirely surrounded by single districts of very different means."

    While there are nearly 200 examples nationwide, the report highlights examples in Oakland, Freehold NJ, and Columbus OH.

     

    Charts: Seattle High School Illustrates Integration/Inequality Problem

    Seattle's Garfield High School is integrated in terms of student demographics, but not when it comes to participation in advanced courses (or where students hang out), notes this Seattle Times story.

    AM News: What's Next For DC Schools? Plus Seattle, NYC, Indianapolis, Chicago

    With Kaya Henderson leaving, Bowser has a decision to make - The Washington Post ow.ly/CPWx301PUcE

    The end of busing in Indianapolis: 35 years later, a more segregated system calls it quits bit.ly/29cevii

    Garfield High principal navigates racial divide | The Seattle Times pllqt.it/UhslkY

    Pittsburgh school directors reviewed report on superintendent's resume for 1 hour before vote | TribLIVE ow.ly/LxTf301PTVw

    Schools Can't Accurately Measure Poor Students | US News ow.ly/nbYd301PVEQ

    Research is limited on the systemic impact of restorative justice | Education Dive ow.ly/uv1I301OslQ
     
    CPS pays $657 million for pensions, leaving district with $83M | Chicago Sun-Times ow.ly/DlHs301PV9X
     
    How One Bronx School Got More Parents Involved - WNYC ow.ly/3uIO301PUje
     
    Did the city bet against one of its Renewal schools making progress? Supporters of M.S. 50 in Williamsburg say yes. nyti.ms/293Vcmd
     

    Amid teacher hiring binge, Philly union cries foul - Philadelphia newsworks.org/index.php/educ…

    First Teachers Union in Post-Katrina New Orleans Inks Contractblogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacher…

    Bellevue schools consider banning many short-term suspensions | The Seattle Times ow.ly/gCfJ301PUDq

    Afternoon Video: Choosing A School When Race Is An Issue

    Here's the video from last night's WNYC #raceinschools conversation including Lucinda Rosenfeld, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Rebecca Carol. 

    Quotes: DC's Henderson Credits Mayoral Control Over Schools

    Quotes2I don’t think we could have done this if I had to answer to a school board. My superintendent colleagues spend the vast majority of their time trying to convince people to allow them to do what is good and right for kids. That’s never how I spend my time. I take great ideas to great leaders and they say yes or they say no and we keep it moving. There is no way that we could have gotten as far as we have gotten without mayoral control.

    - DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson explaining keys to her success on WAMU (Chancellor Kaya Henderson Says She's Leaving D.C. Public Schools)

    Books: Forthcoming Novel Highlights White Parents & Diverse Schools

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    Lucinda Rosenfeld's new novel, Class, is scheduled to come out in a few months, but we're already starting to hear about it this summer.

    According to the Amazon blurb, the book focuses on "idealistic forty-something Karen Kipple" who sends her kid to an integrated Brooklyn school.

    "But when a troubled student from a nearby housing project begins bullying children in Ruby's class, the distant social and economic issues Karen has always claimed to care about so passionately feel uncomfortably close to home."

    Sounds interesting -- if also perhaps stereotypical. But perhaps that's the point. Anyway, can't wait to read it. 

    Meantime, Rosenfeld is on a panel tonight at 7 with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Rebecca Carroll.

    Crossed fingers they'll talk about the UWS parents who are trying to block school integration, along with the Brooklyn situation.

    You can watch the livestream here.

    Afternoon Video: Two Contrasting Charter School Models

    This video highlights Avalon School in St. Paul, Minn., and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Los Angeles, Calif -- one charter led by teachers, another part of a college-prep focused network. (Charter Schools After 25 Years: Inside Two Contrasting Schools via EdWeek)

    Quotes: UWS Parents Tout Diversity & Defend Resistance To Integration At The Same Time

    Quotes2There aren't a lot of African Americans who live on the Upper West Side...We were sad to learn that, you know? I would like more diversity, but we chose to move to this place because we put the quality of the education at a higher value.

    -- An unnamed UWS parent in this Gothamist piece (UWS Parents Fight Proposal To Relocate School)

    Quotes: Segregation & White Middle Class Voters

    Quotes2School segregation is the result of intentional policy choices and governmental interventions. It was constructed, and to end it we must deconstruct it through further interventions. We also must acknowledge that segregation was created at the behest of middle class white voters and business leaders and it can only be undone at their behest.

    - Nate Bowling (We have the answer, we choose to ignore it)

    Charts: Making the Grade in America's Big Cities

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    Here's an Urban Institute look at how various big-city school systems look, using NAEP TUDA data and controlling for demographics.  Click the link to read the report. 

    Quotes: "Stop Talking To The Press" About Their School, Advises Former "Daily Show" Correspondent

    Quotes2So I urge you A, to stop talking to the press... This is a private matter, I think, from our community. This story doesn't exist without your quotes... Be mindful of when you speak, if you're going to speak to the press, because slandering or saying anything negative about this teaching staff is wrong... Conversely, painting any opposition as classist or racist is about as bad as it can get.

    -- Jason Jones quoted on WNYC (Advice from Jason Jones to Upper West Side Parents: Don't Talk to the Press)



    Photos: A Different Kind Of Yearbook

    Morning Video: In SF & Elsewhere, Elite Public Schools Struggle To Diversify

    "San Francisco’s Lowell High School is one of the most selective public schools in the country. But the school’s selectivity means that black and Latino students, who are often less prepared for academic rigor than Lowell’s majority-Asian students, are underrepresented." via PBS NewsHour.

    Or, watch this kid imitate Presidential candidates at his graduation.

    Afternoon Video: Watch EduHam Kids Perform

    Still buzzing over the Sunday Tony awards show? Me, too. Check out the show performances if you missed any here, or click the link above and watch some of the NYC high school kids who've been attending the show and performing for Lin Manuel-Miranda as part of what Scholastic's Wayne D'Orio dubbed "Hamilton 101." It's pretty cool to watch them. The video is about a half-hour long.

    Morning Video: "I Care About Diversity, But..."

    "I Care About Diversity, But...": Moving from Talk to Action from NewSchools Venture Fund on Vimeo.

    Here's an hourlong panel from this year's recent NSVF Summit addressing the gap between the idea of diversity and making it happen. The topic seems especially timely given this last weekend's NYT Sunday Magazine article about how individual parent decisions cumulatively reinforce residential segregation and school assignment policies.

    Want more? There's another panel What Will it Take to Integrate Our Schools? that also looks good. 

     

     

    Maps: Detroit & DC Have High Chronic Absence Rates, Says USDE

    image from download.gannett.edgesuite.net

    "Overall, the national average of chronic absenteeism was 13 percent, or about 6.5 million students, the Education Department said....Detroit Public Schools has the highest rate of chronic absenteeism among the nation’s largest 100 school districts." via AP

    Morning Video: Baltimore Teens Push Towards Graduation

    Quotes: It Takes More Than Demographics To Integrate A School

     

    Quotes2When you have people coming from all different neighborhoods to come to school together, they have no reason or way to get to know each other unless you sort of rip the top off the school and say the school is going to be the community.

    - Community Roots Charter School Co-Founder Allison Keil in WNYC (How One Brooklyn Charter School Integrates With Intention)

    Morning Video: When Middle-Class Parents Send Their Kids To Segregated Schools

    This WNYC video short shows NYT writer Nikole Hannah-Jones and her husband taking their daughter to a segregated school in Brooklyn. Read the accompanying article by WNYC's Rebecca Carroll here, or the NYT piece about the decision and the controversy over rezoning the segregated school to give wealthier white kids access to the building.

    #EDgif Of The Day: Projected School-Level Changes Under "Controlled Choice" In NYC

    Here's a GIF showing how each school in NYC's District 1 would be affected by a controlled choice school integration initiative, based on a model presented by WNYC in its school integration series.

    As you can see in the top row, schools that currently have almost 100 percent poor kids would see an influx of nonpoor kids. The bottom row shows how schools with relatively high percentages of nonpoor kids would gain poor classmates under a model plan.

    The plan would phase in over time, and only new students (kindergartners, mostly) would be affected. But obviously these would be big changes for schools and families. Some families won't have choices. But we all know what happens when more affluent families don't get what they want. 

    Livestream: #EquityMatters Gathers Academics & Education Journalists

    Watch above, check out the details here. #equitymatters

     

    Charts: Comparing Denver, NOLA, & DC On 2015 PARCC ELA

    More data here.

    AM News: NOLA Plan Returns Charters To Local Control

    New Orleans Plan: Charter Schools, With a Return to Local Control - The New York Times ow.ly/T2Bk3004sT8

    Yes, the feds could pull North Carolina’s education funding for violating transgender civil rights - Washington Post ow.ly/3EXB3004sJw

    U.S. Urges Colleges to Rethink Questions About Criminal Records - The New York Times ow.ly/9aLI3004sG6

    Teacher prep programs attracting/accepting disproportionate share of white candidates pllqt.it/BkQOjO

    NYC mayor draws scrutiny over developer-funded pet project - Salon.com ow.ly/MBKV3004teR

    Union-commissioned report says charter schools are bleeding money from traditional ones - LA Times ow.ly/rB5y3004t8p

    Don't just invest in charter schools': school board seeks help to grow L.A. Unified's best programs | 89.3 KPCC ow.ly/wTPa3004sEc

    How migrant students from Central America get shut out of some US schools | Public Radio International ow.ly/1oIT3004sDo

    Morning Video: Chicago Principal Accuses Mayor Emanuel Of Corruption

    Watch WGN TV coverage of the LaRavierre/Emanuel conflict (which for the record has not been fully reported by independent media). Or, click here to watch President Obama talk to Howard University students about being young, gifted, and black in 2016. Or, check out this 360 degree video of a tornado.

    AM News: New Orleans Returns, DC Teachers Protest, Detroit Bailout Moves

    Decade after Katrina, New Orleans poised to regain schools : AP Article ow.ly/4nuzGA

    D.C. teachers protest salaries and failed contract negotiations - The Washington Post ow.ly/4nuzi2

    Michigan House Passes Legislation to Pay Off Debt of Detroit Schools - WSJ http://ow.ly/4nuGVi

    Survey: Nearly half of teachers would quit now for higher-paying job http://ow.ly/4nuGZb

    ALEC summit in Pittsburgh to attract lawmakers, controversy | TribLIVE ow.ly/4ntLU6

    Donald Trump Says He Likes Local School Boards, But Don't Tell That to Los Angeles -Education Week ow.ly/4nuzAi

    Randi Weingarten: Donald Trump's Rhetoric Has Contaminated Schools - Politics K-12 - Education Week ow.ly/4nuzEk

    Top State Senator Attacks de Blasio on School Control Push - The New York Times ow.ly/4nuzua

    Funding US Schools | OPB ow.ly/4nuzT1

    Emanuel: Teachers union tax ideas not an answer for school funding - Chicago Tribune ow.ly/4nuA1A

    Police: Gunman Killed Estranged Wife Outside High School - ABC News ow.ly/4nuzX9

    Deep Inside New York's JFK Airport, There's A High School : NPR Ed : NPR ow.ly/4nuzta

     

    Charts: Inter-District Racial Segregation Is The Real [Much Harder] Problem, Folks

    Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 4.50.36 PM

    So much of the recent attention towards school segregation has focused on within-district segregation, which makes sense. Gentrification, attendance zone boundaries, immigration, and other factors all play a role there, and are relatively easily understood and at least theoretically addressed by a single school district or mayoral agency.  

    But as USC's Ann Owens explained at last week's #EWA16 event, the most segregation takes place between different districts.

    One reason this may garner less attention is that it makes it harder to consider what the solutions might be when two semi-autonomous public agencies are involved, and one of them is probably much better-off than the other. Consolidating districts? Good luck with that. Transfer agreements between districts? NCLB called for those but generated precious few actual transfers.

    Interested in more about media coverage of segregation? Check out my column at The Grade about the surge in coverage, and some possible problems it raises.

    Credit Ann Owens and sources listed.

     

    Morning Video: Late-Night TV Returns To Teaching

     

    Here's Seth Myers talking about Teacher Appreciation Week and the Detroit teachers sick-out. Via Valeria Strauss. Meantime, Chicago teachers seem to be backing off their move towards a second strike.

    AM News: Jane Sanders On Testing, Clinton Treads Lightly, Plus Detroit and Chicago

    Jane Sanders: Bernie and I Stand With Unions and Against Standardized Testing - Politics K-12 via The Nation https://t.co/bQ1dLOWTWE

    In NY, Clinton treads lightly in praise of uncontroversial school [Eagle Academy]| POLITICO

    Sick-out by Teachers Shuts Nearly All Detroit Public Schools - ABC News https://t.co/sDjoln5DAA

    CTU: Teachers leaning away from May strike  

    Nearly 300 11th graders opt out in Burbank CA | 89.3 KPCC https://t.co/1d1AvP93wk

    Paying For America's Schools: Is There A Better Way? : NPR https://t.co/fp9lMGiWAI

    Access to education a challenge for NY immigrants | Newsday https://t.co/4PvvGlkS1H

    Charts: Income & Achievement Matches -- With Variations

    A NYT piece out today emphasizes the strong correlation between income and student achievement. This chart reads: "6th graders in richest districts test 4 grades ahead of peers in poorest."

    Some districts, like Union City, NJ seem to beat the odds. Others -- especially areas with large SES variations and school segregation -- show large gaps between low- and high-income student populations. 

    Folks like @thaddomina were quick to point out that the data also show that "the variation among SES-similar districts is important, too." The MSDF's Joe Siedleki picked New Orleans out.

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    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.