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Magazines: 5 Ways The SF Protests Can Help You Understand Education

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.comNow that you're done reading this week's New Yorker story about cheating in Atlanta, time to circle back and read last week's piece (California Screaming) about the conflicts in San Francisco over class, culture, and education.  

Why, you ask?  I'll tell you"

1- The opening protest highlights the impact of gentrification and other inequities on a career educator:

Benito Santiago, a sixty-three-year-old special-education teacher, is being evicted from the apartment he’s lived in since 1977.

2- The piece describes a conflict between two groups who are remarkably similar in their ideals and goals -- but not their methods.  They're mirror versions of each other, only one is younger and richer and more entrepreneurial than collective than the other:

What’s going on in San Francisco has been called a “culture war,” and yet the values each side espouses can sound strikingly similar. 

Sound familiar?

Three more to go -- the best ones! -- click the link and see.

3- The piece describes the roller-coaster ride of Omakase, a nonprofit startup that channelled money from tech to worthy charities including ones that help schools and poor people:

Omakase is now called Codestarter, and focusses on crowdfunding laptops for children.) [There's a DonorsChoose-like startup called HandUp for poor people instead of teachers, and another intermediary called Tipping Point that seems interesting to know about.]

4-The piece describes a bit about FWD.us, one of the efforts set up to address policy and advocacy issues on behalf of Silicon Valley, which includes education:

[FWD head Joe Greene] focussed on two issues, immigration reform and education reform, that the entire industry could rally around, and has managed to inspire political sentiments where previously there seemed to be none. “If there’s anything that reflects the spirit of the Valley, it’s having a meritocracy, and the idea that anyone should be able to rise up through the system,” Green said.

5- The piece highlights some of the fundamental conflicts that have taken place between reformers and traditional educators, and the mismatch between reform and policymaking that we've seen so many times in recent years:

Public process is antithetical to tech culture. It is not fast. It is unruly and can be dispiriting. There are many people involved, with disparate ideas, and most big decisions are put to public vote—which means more people and ideas. This is the hell of regulatory blockades and referenda and open meetings to which crazy people come to read bizarre complaints off rumpled notebook paper. 

There's lots more that's related to but not included in the piece, of course: Apple founder Steve Jobs' anti-job protection views (What Steve Jobs Thinks Of Teacher Unions), the absence of any real Apple/Jobs philanthropic efforts (The Missing Steve Jobs / Apple Philanthropy) until very recently (Steve Jobs’s Widow Sets Philanthropy Goals [NYT], and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's casual disregard for child privacy protections (Zuckerberg Wants To Educate Kids - On Facebook).

But you get the idea.  Now go back and read the article. 

Previous posts: The Innovation/Disruption "Myth"New Yorker Digs Into Newark Reform BacklashWhat The New Yorker's Parent/Reporter Should Write About Next


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