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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

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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.

Quotes: NJ Gov. Christie Back To Bashing Baraka

Quotes2As the mayor knows, the demand for public charter schools grows every year in his city...Unfortunately, the mayor pursues policies which look to close the doors of new or expanded public charter schools to Newark families in order to pursue his pro-union political agenda. The state will stop him from doing so.

- NJ Governor Chris Christie (Christie calls Baraka funding criticisms part of 'pro-union' agenda)

Quotes: NYC's Publicly Funded Preschool Expansion Looks A Lot Like A Voucher Program

Quotes2Observers and policymakers refer easily to New York’s pre-K program as part of the “public” education system or at the very least as a “public” education program. Yet vouchers for K-12 private schools are often criticized for “privatizing” public education.

-- James Ryan in Medium (The Largest Voucher Program You’ve Never Heard About)

People: Don't Know Who Keron Blair Is? You Should.

 

CREDIT: KERON BLAIR/FACEBOOK

 
Meet Keron Blair, described as the Organizer Behind Education Protests Sweeping The Country in this ThinkProgress piece. I've been following him and the coalition he helps organize, AROS (Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools). AROS puts out the useful "This Week In Education Organizing" email. They were at NPE in North Carolina a couple of weekends ago. They're organization another round of Walk-Ins on 5/4 (next week). Details here.

 

People: Catching Up With Uber-Teacher Larry Ferlazzo

image from blogs.scholastic.com
 
If you haven't already gotten to know about Larry Ferlazzo, well, I don't know what to do with you at this point. The prolific Sacramento teacher/blogger is everywhere online, and has been so for several years now. I've written about him several times in the past here. 
 
And yet I have to admit I learned some new things talking to him for Scholastic Administrator (Catching Up With Larry Ferlazzo) including that he used to be a labor organizer and that he's still playing league basketball. He's also got interesting thoughts about ELL instruction, handling a large workload, and federal education policy. Favorite Ferlazzo response: "Sometimes the only thing worse than losing a power struggle is winning one."
 

Morning Video: It's Not Just Flint Schools That Have Water Safety Concerns

"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.

Events: NYC High School Kids Rap History At "Hamilton"

WNYC's Beth Fertig was at the performance (as was NYC schools head Carmen Farina) and Fertig's piece about the student performances on Broadway is running on NPR this morning: "Broadway's 'Hamilton' Makes Its Way Into NYC's High School Curriculum" ow.ly/10EAor

#edGIF Of The Day: "Why Is Being Educated Considered A 'White Thing'"?

One of BuzzFeed's latest videos, purportedly about questions black people want to ask other black people, has generated reactions ranging from 😬 to 😡.

One of the questions is a version of the age-old "acting white" issue, which Vox debunked not too long ago: The most insidious myth about black kids and achievement

Seriously, some people are really offended by the attempted humor. For example: 27 Answers To Buzzfeed’s Dumb Video. This is probably where I should provide a trigger warning. 

Related posts: Why Do Journalists Love Shaky Science on Race? Eduwonkette; How Barack Obama's Election Can Change the Myth of 'Acting White' NY Mag.

 

Today: NYC Kids Get To See Broadway "Hamilton"

"#EduHam What an experience these @NYCSchools HS juniors will have today!"

Charts: Riverside, San Antonio, Houston Top "Low College Grad Rate" List

Via The Atlantic via EWA

Events: See You At The Yale SOM Education Conference

Most Likely to Succeed Trailer from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

Along with many others, I'm going to be at the Yale SOM Education Conference (which actually starts tonight and goes through tomorrow).

The Friday morning keynotes are going to be Thrive Chicago's Sandra Abrevaya and Northside Achievement Zone's Sondra Samuels.

The closing keynote is DFER head Shavar Jeffries.

The panel on Common Core testing (which I'm moderating) features Chicago NBCT Sherisse A. Lucas, Dr. Ilene Tracey Director of Instruction and School Improvement, New Haven Public Schools, Ken Wagner Commissioner, Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner, Dianna Wentzell Commissioner, CT State Department of Education

You can find the full event schedule here.

There are also going to be screenings of the film, Most Likely To Succeed (see trailer above), which focuses among other things on the projects and presentations that are part of the model developed at High Tech High. 

For those of you who'll be following along online, the official hashtag is #DefiningSuccess2016  and you can find more on Instagram at @yalesomelc2016.

School Police: San Antonio Girl Slammed To Ground

The latest in a string of videos featuring school police acting in a deeply unsettling way, now trending on social media. 

Quotes: Black Superintendent Reacts To "Jim Crow" Accusation From White Protesters

Quotes2I’m not going to stand by while someone who doesn’t look like me accuses me of carrying out some form of Jim Crow... I teach my own kids that no one can take your dignity and only you can control your temper. I tell them that I know who I am. I know my history.

- Oakland superintendent Antwan Wilson quoted in this SF Chronicle column (Superintendent gets schooled in Oakland’s turbulent politics)

Trailers: "All The Difference" Scheduled For POV In September

The new season of PBS's POV series "Seek Redemption, Justice, Peace" starts in May and features at least one segment "All The Difference" focused on the struggles of two South Side Chicago teens named Robert and Krishaun who are trying to graduate high school and go on to college. The piece "follows the young men through five years of hard work, sacrifice, setbacks and uncertainty." Watch the trailer above. Look for it in September. 

 

Quotes: Public Systems (Including Education) Feed Off, Fail Too Many Kids

Quotes2By the time someone is coming to us job-ready, they've been failed by the healthcare system, the education system; by housing, by law enforcement... Maybe the foster care system, maybe the prison-industrial complex. And also, those systems have fed off of them, and they have a complete lack of trust in any sort of system operating for them.

--  Crown Heights Mediation Center's Amy Ellenbogen in VICE (How 'Violence Interrupters' Are Trying to Stop Gang Shootings in Brooklyn)

 

Update: Furlough Days & Teacher Walk-Outs In Chicago

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.

Morning Video: Chicago Teachers Prepare To Go On "Wildcat" Strike

 

The head of Chicago schools says that the Friday walkout is an illegal strike and that teachers won't get paid if they don't show up.

Or, watch PBS discuss Friedrichs ruling, or its weekly segment (this one featuring a successful foster student).

Or, watch folks debate expanding charter schools in Malden, Massachusetts.

 

Quotes: Oakland Supe's Actions "Unilateral...Not Collaborative"

Quotes2There are disruptive policies causing some chaos in schools, mass movements of principals and calls for quality schools that are not being supported in a bottom-up way... These are unilateral decisions. It’s not collaborative, and while he may feel a rush to get things done, we think things should be done in a more thoughtful way.

-- Oakland Education Association head Trish Gorham in this SF Chronicle column (Superintendent gets schooled in Oakland’s turbulent politics)

Charts: More Cops Than Counselors In NYC, Chicago, & Miami-Dade (But Not LA)

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Interesting to note that LAUSD has more counselors than cops, and many fewer of both than NYC, Chicago, or Miami-Dade. From The Seventy Four. See more detail here and here.

Quotes: Understanding When Parents Make "Sub-Optimal" School Choices

Quotes2Choice programs may give parents the ability to choose schools that are better (or simply better for their child). Nevertheless, this new study out of Louisiana suggests that there may also be a risk that students will sort into new schools in sub-optimal –- or even harmful –- ways. By better understanding how parents are choosing schools for their children, we can maximize the benefits of school choice while mitigating the risks.  

- Paul Bruno (Overregulation Theory isn’t enough to explain negative voucher effects

 

Quotes: "Even If Charter Numbers Were Better... They Would Still Be Terrible"

Quotes2I don’t think charter proponents are well served by attacking the numbers or slicing and dicing them for the best cut.  Neither are they served by attacking the authors for being “anti-charter” as I have heard. Even if the charter numbers were better than the district numbers they would still be terrible, and screaming for action.

 - Oakland's Dirk Tillotson in Great School Voices (What Did We Learn from the UCLA Charter School Discipline Study?)

Charts: Charter/District Suspension Rates, Compared Visually

Download (2)

In all the hullabaloo about the UCLA Civil Rights Project study last week, I somehow never saw this chart from admittedly pro-reform Great School Voices showing what they found in terms of district (blue) and charter (red) suspension rates.

There are differences, to be sure, but looked at visually they don't seem that large and it's clear that all types of schools are suspending SWD and AA kids an awful lot. 

Morning Video: What Should We Do When The Whole School Fails?

This panel featuring among others Vanessa Rodriguez and Steve Zimmer, is highlighted in Gary Rubinstein's lengthy recap/review of the TFA25 summit earlier this year.

Or, watch these New Orleans 7th graders' version of Beyonce's "Formation." (ABC News via Huffington Post)

AM News: Duncan's New Gig, Legal Loophole For School Lead

Arne Duncan to Focus on Disconnected Youth at the Emerson Collective PK12: Duncan's official title will be managing partner for the Palo Alto, Calif.,-based philanthropy and advocacy organization, which is led up by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. See also Washington Post, USA TodayWSJ.

Newark Schools to Test Pupils for Lead as Officials Cite Longstanding Problem NYT: As many as 17,000 students may have been affected, but the immediate plan will be to offer testing to children who attend two early-childhood programs at schools where lead was detected in the water.

A legal loophole might be exposing children to lead in the nation's schools Washington Post: Under federal law, the vast majority of schools don’t have to test the water flowing out of their taps and drinking fountains, and many states and districts also do not mandate water testing at schools. Even when districts do test their water, they don’t always tell parents about the problems they find.

Early-Ed. Measures Percolate at State, Local Levels EdWeek: According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 450 bills with some tie to early childhood are pending in 46 states. At this early stage, it's unclear how many of those proposals will be enacted into law. But if local and state lawmakers follow the trend of previous years, many places will see increased early-childhood investment.

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will help dropouts in violence-plagued Chicago find jobs LA Times: Since Arne Duncan left his job as U.S. secretary of Education in December, a problem has been nagging him: the high numbers of kids dropping out of school, joining gangs and getting killed in his city, Chicago. So he’s taken on a new job, he said Thursday, that will help him find opportunities...

2 Breakfasts May Be Better Than None For School Kids NPR: A study looked at students who ate breakfast at school versus those who ate at home, at both places, or not at all. One of these groups had a higher risk of obesity, and it's not the one you'd think.

Why Big-City School Systems Are Going Broke US News: Detroit's school system, already $515 million in debt, can't afford to pay its staff past April 8. In Chicago, the city school district – the third-largest in the country – is a whopping $1.1 billion in debt. In Philadelphia, despite the school system there ending the year with an $88 million surplus, the city has backed a lawsuit against the state by other school districts over inadequate funding. More than 2,000 public school students in Boston also walked out of their classrooms earlier this month in opposition to proposed budget cuts.

High Schools Are Failing Girls Who Report Sexual Assault Huffington Post: Under Title IX, schools receiving federal funding must eliminate a hostile environment stemming from gender-based violence. And the Education Department has told schools since at least the Clinton administration that a single incident of severe sexual harassment -- such as an assault -- can constitute a hostile environment. So when a high school gets a report of a student-on-student assault, it's typically supposed to do its own investigation.

Fariña talks changes to metal detector policy, defends classroom breakfast WNYC: Chancellor Carmen Fariña told City Council members Wednesday that the city’s classroom breakfast program has had a “rocky start,” and signaled that metal detector policies could shift by next fall.

City Schools to See Some Money They're Owed — But Not All WNYC: Orlando said the mayor's preliminary budget includes more than $150 million to "raise the floor" from last year's minimum of 82 percent to a new minimum of 87 percent. This will affect 650 schools. However, Renewal Schools — which were already receiving extra funds — will receive 100 percent of what they were owed instead of last year's 92 percent.

Qualified Providers, Space Hard To Find For Seattle Preschool Program Seattle Public Radio: The promise of the city of Seattle’s new subsidized preschool program to bring low- or no-cost preschool to three- and four-year-olds across the city is facing a challenge as the city struggles to find space and providers for the second year.

Vaccination aversion has fueled measles and whooping cough outbreaks, study finds LA Times: A comprehensive new study of measles and pertussis outbreaks in the United States suggests that adults’ reluctance or refusal to vaccinate themselves and their children has played a key role in the resurgence of diseases that had been largely eradicated in this country.

People: The High Schooler Who Could Have Been Rosa Parks

image from res.cloudinary.com

"The NAACP considered using her case to challenge the segregation laws, but ultimately decided against it for several reasons:  1. They thought she was too young to be the face of their movement. 2. She got pregnant right around the time of her arrest and they thought it would attract too much negative attention." (The 15-Year-Old Schoolgirl Who Paved the Way for Rosa Parks)

Morning Video: "Look How We're Living... Ain't Nothing Funny"

This is the longest version I've been able to find of Detroit-raised motivational speaker Eric Thomas talking at Vashon High School in St. Louis that's been going around. The whole thing is worth watching, but the key moment for me was this: "I work in any other school and they’re like, “There go ET, we taking notes.” I come home — you talking. You capping jokes. You think something funny. Look how we’re living. There ain’t nothing funny. Ain’t nothing funny y’all." (TheBlaze.com)

AM News: A Metro-Less Day For DC Schools, Chicago Teachers Plan Walkout

Absences at D.C. public schools will be excused Wednesday, some charters to close due to Metro shutdown Washington Post: D.C.’s public schools will remain open Wednesday despite Metro shuttering its entire rail system for an unprecedented 24 hours. At least three charter schools, however, have decided to close, according to Tomeika Bowden, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Charter School Board.

CTU Leaders Plan Walkout At Schools on April 1 Chicago Tribune: Chicago Teachers Union leaders will ask its members to walk off their jobs April 1 for a one-day demonstration over contract talks and public education funding, Vice President Jesse Sharkey said Monday.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Cements Ties With Teachers Union Wall Street Journal: Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg once likened an endorsement from the New York City teachers union to a “kiss of death.” Mayor Bill de Blasio, by contrast, has embraced the United Federation of Teachers and its president, Michael Mulgrew, meeting more with him over the past two years than with any other registered lobbyist, city records show. The men usually chat weekly and sometimes daily.  

Before Flint, Lead-Contaminated Water Plagued Schools Across U.S. NPR: Michigan isn't the only place dealing with lead-contaminated water. Schools all over the country have struggled to eliminate lead from water fountains and cafeterias — some for more than a decade.

Advocacy Groups Unhappy With List of ESSA Negotiators PK12: The list already has its share of critics, both among advocates for educational practitioners and those who represent parents or particular groups of students.

In Alabama, Teachers School Lawmakers NPR: The 2016 Teacher of the Year in that state decided it was about time the people who write the laws that affect schools actually see the inside of a classroom.

Wallace Foundation To Invest $47 Million In Redesigning Principal Preparation Washington Post: Strong principals are critical components of successful schools, and yet school leaders usually receive far less attention than teachers in the national conversation about education. The Wallace Foundation has been seeking to change that for years, investing millions of dollars in research into what makes a principal effective.

L.A. Unified board member Monica Ratliff eyes City Council campaign LA Times: To compete in the March 2017 council election, she will have to give up her seat on the seven-member at the end of her term. Los Angeles Unified School District board. Candidates cannot simultaneously run for two seats in the same L.A. municipal election.

Quotes: A Minneapolis Grad Rate "Party Trick"

Quotes2My party trick is always to ask people which city has one of the lowest grad rates. I always know they'll never win, because it's Minneapolis. It just doesn't come to people's mind as the most impacted, the most struggling urban city in America.

-- Robert Balfanz, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University, in MPR (Without support, Minnesota students left behind at graduation)

Magazines: Why The Crossing Guard's "STOP" Sign Gets So Banged-Up

"Our favorite [crossing guard] is an energetic lady who spins around and sings to herself in the middle of the street, luring and halting traffic with graceful pirouettes that make it look as if she’s controlling the cars as part of some larger, secret ballet. However, she can turn on the cars just as easily: we’ve seen her scream at disobeying drivers, smacking her stop sign on the pavement with rage."

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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.