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Update: Cosby Allegations Raise Tough Education Issues

Last week, NPQ discussed the issue of Cosby's board memberships (Must Nonprofits Change Their Relationship with Bill Cosby?), and I'm told that StudentsFirst has now removed the entertainer from its board.

But there's another, deeper issue, which is the reminder of our persistent collective refusal to acknowledge hard truths (or at least widespread allegations) that are uncomfortable or require a reconsideration of past beliefs:

What of today's deeply held beliefs or school practices do we arlready know are wrong, but just can't bear to acknowledge or change? And who is speaking hard truths but is being ignored - for now? 

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I know it's on a wildly different level of magnitude, so I'm only bringing it up as a response. But I see education coverage that does the same thing that numerous journalists are now admitting to doing about Bill Cosby -- ignoring or downplaying the egregious because it doesn't fit the storyline.

Examples:

-- Paul Tough's book about the Harlem Children's Zone, which mentions almost in passing that HCZ leader Geoffrey Canada threw out an entire grade cohort for low achievement and behavior problems.

-- A long New York Times Sunday Magazine report on the SEED school, which mentions almost in passing that the graduating class dropped from an initial students to 20 by graduation.

-- Joanne Jacobs' book on San Jose's Downtown College Prep charter, which clearly states that the school threw students out for academic and behavioral problems. When questioned directly, she flat-out denied that the words said what the words said.

-- Um, a book about the Green Dot takeover of Locke High School in Los Angeles, which mentioned almost in passing that a large percentage of the graduating class (sorry, I lent the book out and don't have it to look up the percentage) was walking the stage without having met the graduation requirements.

-- Jonathan Schorr's book about two Oakland charter schools that manages to make clear that the schools were failing in almost every conceivable way (including posting lower test scores than the "failing" TPS's that the students had left, and that was just for starters) while still kind of wrapping it in a storyline that the schools were successes. (One or both have now been closed down.)

-- Just now a report has come out showing that a large percentage of California charter schools require (as opposed to requesting or encouraging) parent volunteer hours, which violates the state Ed Code. But this has been explicitly stated in media and on charter schools' websites and all over for years -- just winked at and ignored -- and all of a sudden it's treated as a story.

This is just for starters. It's a puzzlement.

Sorry, left out a key number. The SEED school class dropped from 70 to 20 students. That was mentioned in passing in the New York Times Magazine story on the SEED school -- as though the attrition were worth mentioning but not particularly notable.

Your blog is very nice and attractive. Your school facilities and faculties are good.

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