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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 http://ow.ly/4njQqo
Sick-out by Teachers Shuts Nearly All Detroit Public Schools - ABC News https://t.co/sDjoln5DAA
CTU: Teachers leaning away from May strike http://sun-tim.es/1W1vJjE
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
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.
As 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)
Observers 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)
"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.
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
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.
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.
I’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)
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.
By 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)
Last week, the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools told teachers to stay home on a pre-Easter Weekend furlough day. On Friday, the Chicago Teachers Union is calling on teachers to picket schools rather than teach in them to protect the district and state's lack of funding.
The 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 folks debate expanding charter schools in Malden, Massachusetts.
There 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)
Choice 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.
I 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?)
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.
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)
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 Today, WSJ.
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.
"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)
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)
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.
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.
My 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)
"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."
Good news. Six more districts -- Las Vegas, Denver, Fort Worth, Greensboro, Milwaukee and Memphis -- will join the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) starting in 2017, according to NAGB. Denver, Milwaukee, and Memphis are especially important additions, politically and otherwise. However, as you can see there are a bunch more districts who still aren't participating. And for some reason Seattle still isn't on the list of schools that are participating or eligible.
In too many real-world history classrooms and textbooks, our country omits white actors and focuses instead on oppressed peoples’ suffering. They let the passive voice cloak privilege and aggression like pointed hoods, hiding who is responsible for the oppression we’re still working to dismantle. This is dangerous.
Progressive Fellow Sabrina Stevens (The Case for White History Month)
Mo Canady of the National Association of School Resource Officers in The Seventy Four (Video of Baltimore Cop Slapping Student Reignites Big Questions About Child Training for School Cops)
Here's a 12-minute documentary about a home visit nurse, which as you may recall was the subject of Kate Boo's 2006 feature story, Swamp Nurse. Go here if the video doesn't appear or you want more background.
Or, go listen to an WAMU story about how white parents' decisions not to send their kids to a local middle school affect its demographics and test scores.
Or, watch this new Viceland documentary about young African Americans in Compton, featuring a brief segment at Centennial High School, via Mark Walsh.
"On February 13th, StudentsFirstNY teamed up with Assemblymember Michael Blake to host a panel discussion at the The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Caucus weekend." (How New York’s School System Can Best Serve Communities of Color)
For children like Dasani, school is not just a place to cultivate a hungry mind. It is a refuge. The right school can provide routine, nourishment and the guiding hand of responsible adults. But school also had its perils.
- Andrea Elliott in the NYT (Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life)
Early in our stay, we would ask what was the most distinctive school to visit at the K–12 level. If four or five answers came quickly to mind, that was a good sign. The examples people suggested ranged widely... The common theme was intensity of experimentation.
-- James Fallows (Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed)
"Boston is one of the first 10 cities to launch the initiative, along with Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Miami; New York City; Philadelphia; Providence, Rhode Island; San Antonio; and Seattle." (White House Sets Out to Fight Chronic Absenteeism - US News). See also Washington Post.
Here's a videotape of that Shanker Institute panel on school segregation from last week. The event, titled Where We Live and Where We Learn, featured a bunch of interesting panelists and ideas raising questions about neighborhood schools, gentrification, individual choice and government policy. See also Rachel Cohen's blog post about the event at The American Prospect.
I think he is correct to argue that reform movement, such as it is, ought to advance a coherent anti-poverty agenda, put more political capital towards raising teacher pay, improve teacher evaluation systems, and do more to cut back on unnecessary testing. Indeed, some of what Denby recommends — higher teacher salaries, greater efforts to address poverty — are not at odds with the reform agenda. They actually complement it, and many reformers recognize as much.
- Matt Barnum in The Seventy Four (Don’t Humiliate Teachers… But Fire the Worst)
Despite a truly shocking amount of tax effort and a decade and a half of reform, what DCPS has figured out how to do is to give the most academically to the kids born on third base. Mind you this is much better than giving approximately nothing to anyone a la DCPS circa 1990, but that is in the big picture a cold comfort.
- Matthew Ladner* (who points out that the gains for FRL kids in DCPS is roughly the same as the national average) in a blog post titled Gentrification is the primary driver of District of Columbia Academic Gains. [*Originally mis-attributed to Jay Greene.]
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.