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Charts: Some States (NV, DE, NC, GA) Serving Super-Low Head Start Percentages

Head-Start-access2"Stephanie Schmit, senior policy analyst at CLASP and co-author of the report, says that researchers aren’t yet sure why access to these programs is so low but believes that inadequate funding and state-by-state policy differences might be to blame... In the meantime, however, tens of thousands of low-income children are missing a vital opportunity for getting ahead." (Washington Monthly: Head Start Is Missing the Population It’s Designed to Serve)

Quotes: A Rookie Teacher's Lament

Quotes2Of all the hours I was at graduate school, I don’t think there was all together an hour devoted to classroom management... We were developing beautifully crafted lesson plans that no one could use. I was learning esoteric phrases about test design. I spent two semesters doing a research project. I just wish somebody told me how to get a cellphone out of a kid’s hand. I just wish, when that girl stood on top of that desk, I knew what to do.
- Former rookie teacher Ed Boland in the NYT (The Myth of the Hero Teacher)

Morning Video: Anti-Bullying Commercial Wins Oscars2016

"The commercial has a "paper" student show up to school to face a group of mean-mugging "scissors" to find even the fellow "papers" have turned on him. It eventually takes a "scissors" and a "paper" — both sworn enemies according to the rules of the game — to befriend the lonely rock and break away from the schoolyard cruelty." via Mashable.

AM News: Cuomo's Reversals, Deportation Fears Lower Attendance, Super Tuesday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Faces Criticism for Reversals WSJ: In the interview, Mr. Cuomo said he supported a change of course because the large number of parents who allowed their children to skip statewide tests last year was “a totally new fact to take into consideration.”

Fear of Deportation Is Driving Migrant Kids to Stay Home from School VICE: Attendance dropped by one-third in several classes at Riverside High School the day after Acosta's arrest, according to Bryan Proffitt, the president of the Durham Educators Association. Since then, he told me attendance both at Riverside and neighboring schools has remained "inconsistent."

Super Tuesday: 15 Votes, 15 Big Education Stories The Seventy Four: From Alaska to Texas, from Vermont to American Samoa, 15 states and territories vote in Super Tuesday. Here's a quick survey of the top education issues affecting voters in the Super Tuesday states. See also Politico: Bernie’s Revolution Hits a Wall.

With Fewer Members, a Diminished Political Role for Wisconsin Unions NYT: In Superior, in the state’s far north, 241 members remain in a union for which 361 public school teachers are eligible. Andrea Moreau, an instructional coach for other teachers, stopped paying monthly dues in November, saying higher pension and health care contributions were insurmountable obstacles for her, especially with two young children in day care and student loans to pay off.

Judge Dismisses DPS Sick-Out Lawsuit Against Union Detroit Free Press: A judge has dismissed a controversial lawsuit Detroit Public Schools filed against the Detroit Federation of Teachers and its interim president in an effort to stop teacher sick-outs.

Success Academy Loses in Pre-K Battle With de Blasio Administration NYT: Success Academy suffered a defeat in a high-profile skirmish with New York City on Friday, when the state education commissioner ruled that the city could require the charter school network to sign a contract to receive funding for its prekindergarten program.&nbsp

Poor Scores Leave an Afrocentric School in Chicago Vulnerable NYT: An African-centered charter school is praised by supporters as instilling confidence in students, even as their subpar national test scores have led to a recommendation to close the academy.

Discipline in school shifts from harsh punishment to ‘progressive’ model LA Daily News: The new system, known as PBIS — Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports — emphasizes a different way.

Moskowitz offers rare apology in private memo to staff Politico NY: Saying she felt Success tried to help Miranda before the Times story was published, Moskowitz wrote, "we are deeply sorry she feels otherwise." Moskowitz then launches into a recounting of the logistics surrounding the video's release and attempts to apologize to Miranda. The details quickly become convoluted.

Audio: In an impoverished Silicon Valley neighborhood, a bold approach to preschool KPCC: In Santee there are only enough licensed childcare seats for 20 percent of children under 5. It's one of many childcare deserts in California. Then last September, Lujan hit the jackpot for her youngest child, 4-year-old Angela: a preschool slot in a brand new center called Educare

#OscarsSoWhite? Not At This School NPR: Ahead of the Oscars, school kids on Milwaukee's west side decided to pay tribute to African-American cultural icons in their own awards ceremony.

Quotes: What School Can Mean To A Homeless Student

Quotes2For 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)

Trends: Using Video & Animation To Tell Broad, Detailed Stories


USA Today's massive look at the inadequate national and state tracking system for teachers who have abused kids continues to make the rounds (and has already generated some renewed interest in closing the existing loopholes.

The main story package is here: Broken discipline tracking systems let teachers flee troubled pasts. There have been several updates and add-ons, including this one from Wisconsin: Educators do little time for sex crimes.

If you're interested, here are some other education-related examples of what's called "digital storytelling" that I can find, riffing off a recent piece about what makes some of these multimedia presentations work better than others:

From the Miami Herald: Higher-Ed Hustle

From the Tampa Bay Times: Failure Factories

From EdWeek: Rural Schools Still Struggle to Get Connected

There are a couple of examples that have education elements but are about other things (homelessness, gentrification):

From the New York Times: Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life

From NY Magazine: One Block

Some others that have been pointed out to me as great examples aren't about education but may still be worth looking at for the way they use maps, animations, videos, and text:

From The Guardian: NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations explained

From AP: 22 Years a Slave

From AP: Faded Grace

From the Washington Post: The perils at Great Falls

From the NYT: A Portrait of the Sandtown Neighborhood in Baltimore

If you're curious about what makes these examples work (and make some other examples seem like a giant waste of time), take a look at my attempt to dissect the USA Today story with the help of a few experts here.


Live Event: Ford Foundation #FundMovements Conference

fordfound on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

It's not too late to catch up with From Protest to Power, or at least to check out the topics and speakers. 

Update: Boston Lab Tests Abuse-Resistant Robot Teacher Prototype

In the lab, Boston Dynamics subjects its robot teacher prototype to a typical day of abuse. (Pictured here is the Hallway Hockey Stick Confrontation test.) Read more about it here.

AM News: Vergara Lawsuit Restarts, Obama Appointee Testifies, Chicago Teachers Protest

In 'Vergara' arguments, unions say courts should stay away from teacher tenure debate KPCC:  Much of Thursday morning's oral arguments in the California Court of Appeals was spent wrangling over whether it was appropriate for a court to weigh in — or whether teacher job protection laws were a matter of policy best left to the state legislature. See also NYT, LA Times, EdSource Today, LA School Report.

Obama's Pick For Education Says Teachers Saved His Life AP: President Barack Obama's choice to serve as Education Secretary says he rose to his current position because New York City public school teachers "literally saved my life.” At his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, John B. King Jr., told the story of his mother's death when he was eight and his father's passing four years later. See also New York Times and Education Week

Chicago Teachers Union Rallies Over Expected Layoffs, TIF Funds Tribune: A small group of Chicago Teachers Union members and supporters rallied Thursday outside City Hall to protest expected layoffs and repeat a long-standing call for using surplus tax-increment financing funds to help Chicago Public Schools. The district is expected to announce the number of employees being laid off next week. See also Sun Times.

In an impoverished Silicon Valley neighborhood, a bold approach to preschool: This new preschool has a bold vision: bring the kind of early education that affluent kids get to an impoverished neighborhood. No number and letter drills here. It's play-based and the curriculum is driven by children's interests and explorations. It's paid for largely by public preschool funds. And Educare also caters to the children not lucky enough to get a preschool seat through free community play spaces.

Activists Will Discuss Future of Opt-Out Movement at Sold-Out Conference EdWeek: Activists at United Opt Out's upcoming conference will work on ways to keep momentum going in their push against standardized tests, and to broaden their basket of issues.

Dallas ISD teachers plan appeal after losing fight against new pay-for-performance system Dallas Morning News: The National Education Association-Dallas is representing 91 teachers who contend the Teacher Excellence Initiative is flawed. The evaluation system bases a teacher’s pay on performance, student surveys and test scores.

Thursday LiveTweets: #ColemanEN Conference

Morning Video: What Education Can Learn From Other Social Change Movements

Here's a recent panel titled "Learning Lessons from Successful Social Change Movements" that might be of interest to education advocates, whatever point of view they may be espousing.

AM News: Student Data, Deportation Fears, House Budget Hearing

Ruling Raises Objections to Release of Personal Student Data AP: A recent federal court ruling ordering the release of personal data on more than 10 million California students highlights the growing amount of information schools now collect — and the loopholes that allow it to be released.

School system reassures immigrant families fearful of being deported Washington Post: "Children in our care will be safe," says schools chief in Arlington County, Va.

John King Quizzed on Charters, Teachers, Spending at House Budget Hearing PK12: Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. highlighted efforts to improve school diversity and elevate the teaching profession in the Education Department's fiscal 2016 budget request.

Officer uses stun gun to break up fight at Florida school AP: A resource officer at Florida middle school used a stun gun to break up a fight between students....

Mother of Girl Berated in Video Assails Success Academy’s Response NYT:  Nadya Miranda said officials of the charter school focused on defending the teacher and its public image, with little concern for her daughter’s welfare.

Vergara case appeal puts spotlight on debate over rights of students and teachers LA Times: The sides squaring off in a Los Angeles appeals courtroom on Thursday in the landmark case of Vergara vs. California agree on this: Teachers are key to whether students founder or thrive, and far too many students are failing or falling behind. See also EdWeek.

Should Teacher Union Officials Sit on Local School Finance Panels? Teacher Beat: A New Jersey teacher union official's appointment to such a board was a potential conflict of interest, a court ruled.

Afternoon Video: The End Of Education, The Future Of Learning

 The future of learning, via Sam Chaltain, also featuring Google education head Jaime Casap.

Morning Video: LAUSD's Plan To Move Special Education Students Back To Neighborhood Schools

"Public schools in Los Angeles have experienced rapid change in the last decade, and graduation rates for the city’s 80,000 special needs students have nearly doubled since 2003. But greater transitions lie ahead: the district plans to transfer these students from special education centers to neighborhood schools." PBS NewsHour (Los Angeles’ bold move to reform special education)

AM News: ESSA Hearing, LAUSD Grad Rate Spike, NY Opt-Out Penalties

Accountability Grabs the Spotlight at Senate ESSA Oversight Hearing PK12: Tuesday's congressional hearing was second so far on oversight of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Why LAUSD's projected graduation rate shot up nine points in one month KPCC: What looked like a sudden shift in the numbers is the result of what district officials described Tuesday as part of a year-long, district-wide effort to ensure off-track high school seniors earn the credits they need to get their diplomas. See also LA Times.

Landmark teacher tenure fight resumes in California court LA Times: One of the highest-stakes battles in education is about to resume Thursday in a Los Angeles courtroom as teacher unions and their allies try to win back job protections that were tossed out in a landmark 2014 ruling. 

Opt-out movement unlikely to provoke sanctions from state, this time around ChalkbeatNY: Though a federal mandate that 95 percent of students take state assessments still applies to New York, members of the Board of Regents indicated this week they are not inclined to impose sanctions on schools or districts with a low participation rates. They are, however, looking to craft a long-term plan.

Far higher share of students are passing at least one AP test during high school Washington Post:  Maryland leads the nation in the portion of its graduates from the Class of 2015 who earned a 3 or better on at least one Advanced Placement exam. Virginia was 6th in the country.

De Blasio's First School Closures Up for a Vote WNYC: As a matter of policy, de Blasio has shied away from closing schools in favor of giving troubled schools extra resources through school "Renewal" or community schools programs. Two of the schools up for closure, Peace Academy and Foundations, were part of the Renewal program.

State teachers union exec can't oversee local school budget, judge rules NJ.com: Judge Thomas Moore agreed with Montclair Kids First, a coalition of local parents, that Sean Spiller's seat on the Board of School Estimate represented a conflict of interest with his job as the New Jersey Education Association's secretary-treasurer.

The Latest: Md. school aide faces child-pornography charges AP: The latest on a child pornography scandal at a Maryland elementary school (all times local):...

Amazon’s Kindle to sponsor national spelling bee Seattle Times: The move should give Amazon’s line of e-readers a lot of visibility: more than 11 million students participate in the spelling contest every year.

Quotes: School Experimentation Key Sign Of City Success

Quotes2Early 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)

Update: Ten Thousand Proposals For XQ Design Competition


Laurene Powell Jobs aims to revolutionize education—and she has a plan to do it: http://vogue.cm/vDsCGBx

Posted by Vogue on Monday, February 22, 2016

Yep, that's Laurene Powell Jobs in the latest issue of Vogue, talking about how 10,000 proposal teams are trying to make it to the finalist list of about 400 and then 5 actual XQ awardees. Click the link if the Facebook embed doesn't render properly. #typepadsocreaky

Morning Video: CO Gets First-Year PARCC Scores Back (Low Scores, Low Turnout)

Watch this video about Colorado opt-out scores and the impact of kids walking out in Douglas County and Boulder.

Or, watch former EdSec Arne Duncan talk about education on Chicago Public Television.

AM News: Annual Gates Letter Day

Bill and Melinda Gates Ask Teens to Work on Global Clean Energy, Women’s LiberationWSJ: In annual letter, philanthropists look to tomorrow’s scientists to help fix development problems. Bill and Melinda Gates regularly challenge global leaders and policy makers to help them solve the world’s biggest development problems.

Bridging a Digital Divide That Leaves Schoolchildren Behind NYT: The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote soon on a plan that could add subsidies for broadband Internet services in low-income homes.

Success Academy Plans Another Harlem Elementary School WSJ: The network is starting a program that lets parents rank their preferences among its 11 middle school sites in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, and fifth-graders expecting to attend the Harlem Central site next fall are being redirected to Harlem North West nearby.

Louisiana voucher students did worse at new schools, study says NOLA: Louisiana's private school voucher program was billed as an exit hatch for students from bad public schools. But it was more like a trap door, according to a study released Monday (Feb. 22) by the University of Arkansas and the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University.

Teaching Laquan McDonald WBEZ Chicago: In the wake of the several released videos of Chicago police-involved shooting deaths of African Americans after the Laquan McDonald video, some educators have been tasked with altering their daily lesson plans for frank discussions about police brutality. Walter Taylor, a professional development facilitator for the Chicago Teachers Union’s Quest Center, talks about “Teaching About Laquan McDonald.”

Reality Check: Graduation Numbers Inflated At Nearly All CPS High Schools WBEZ Chicago: Indeed, the analysis done by WBEZ and the Better Government Association shows that compared to 2010, many schools graduation rates are up. Even after the revisions, 27 high schools saw double digit increases in their graduation rates between 2010 and 2015.

Study In Your PJs? What A High School 'Work From Home Day' Looks Like NPR: No alarm. No school bus. No problem. Thanks to a school's laptop program, everyone takes a virtual lesson.

Desegregation Proposal Depends on Parents' Choices WNYC: The vast majority of students in the district are Latino and black; at East Village Community School, more than half the students are white, about 20 percent are Hispanic and fewer than 10 percent are black. The school also has fewer low-income children than the district overall, just about 25 percent compared to almost 80 percent.

Books: Review: In ‘The End of Average,’ Cheers for Individual Complexity NYT: The author Todd Rose warns against conclusions drawn from large populations, arguing that they rarely account for important personal variations.

Quotes: Media Mogul Models Viral Site On Great Teaching

Quotes2The best teachers don’t just say, ‘I have a good way of communicating or connecting with the students.’ They also change what they’re communicating. They think of a new curriculum that they know the student will be excited about.

-- BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti in Fast Company (Building A 100-Year Media Company) via Chalkbeat.

Afternoon Video: White House Launches 10-City Chronic Absenteeism Initiative

"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.

Events: "Broader, Bolder" Set To Relaunch Tomorrow


Tomorrow morning in DC is the scheduled relaunch of Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, which was for a brief time a few years ago a sort of counterbalance to now-defunct organizations like EEP.

Panelists at the event are said to be Elaine Weiss, National Coordinator, BBA Paul Reville, BBA Co-chair and Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration, Harvard Graduate School of Education Joshua Starr, BBA Co-chair and CEO, Phi Delta Kappa International Helen Ladd, BBA Co-chair and Professor of Public Policy, Duke University Miriam Calderon, BBA Advisory Board member and Director of Special Projects, BUILD Initiative Warren Simmons, BBA Advisory Board member and Executive Director, Annenberg Institute for School Reform Lauren Wells, Chief Education Officer, Newark, NJ Ted Fiske, Founder, Fiske Guide to Colleges and Board Member, East Durham Children’s Initiative David Sovine, Superintendent, Frederick County, VA Public Schools (a Bright Futures affiliate).

The relaunch of BBA is accompanied by the creation of a new education policy think tank (The Learning Policy Institute) headed by Linda Darling-Hammond and the establishment of a new nonprofit led by Christopher Edley, among others (The Opportunity Institute).


Click the link to register and attend (if there's still room). Since it's at the Capitol, allow extra time for security screening.

Morning Video: Remembering Big School Segregation Protests In Chicago & New York

This video trailer from Chicago's Kartemquin documentary filmmakers comes from a "documentary project in progress" connecting the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott to today's education struggles.

In 1963, roughly 200,000 Chicagoans marched to protest the policies of then-CPS superintendent Benjamin Willis. (A year later, there was a 500,000-person protest against school segregation in New York City.) 

So far, nobody's identified footage of a young Bernie Sanders at the event, but who knows... it could happen.

A documentary project in progress connecting the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott to today's education struggles - See more at: http://63boycott.kartemquin.com/#sthash.ookF5KBI.dpuf


AM News: TN Pulling Plug On Online Testing, States Still Setting Own Proficiency Levels

The State That Pulled The Plug On Computer Testing NPR: Nearly two-dozen states have moved to online exams, many with the PARCC and Smarter Balanced consortiums. And Scherich says many have run into trouble. Florida's rollout was particularly rough. But Tennessee is unusual for abandoning computer-based testing for the year.

In the age of Common Core, states are still defining ‘proficient’ differently Washington Post: A new study says that PARCC tests are scored much more rigorously than Smarter Balanced.

How Chicago Teachers Union spends its money Sun-Times: With more than $25 million a year in dues coming from 28,000 teachers and other school employees, CTU president Karen Lewis and her 77-member staff are a well-funded adversary for the mayor and his schools chief, Forrest Claypool, a Chicago Sun-Times examination of the union’s financial filings shows.

California court to rule on suit to scrap K-12 funding system KPCC: Creating a funding system around what it costs to prepare each student for college or a career would ensure “every student can succeed in the work force and succeed as an engaged citizen in our democracy,” Affeldt said. But the county court dismissed that claim, saying that the state legislature can fund schools how it chooses and the constitution does not demand that schools meet any bar for excellence. And beyond the constitutional issues, the case also raises questions about what it means for schools to prepare students for college and to participate fully in civic life, and how much that costs.

Young Students Call for More School Diversity WNYC: The goal would be to distribute students more evenly among the schools by setting aside seats for low-income students. It's a topic of great interest for adults but one that most profoundly affects children which is why WNYC convened a small group of third graders from East Village Community School.

Why Science Teachers are Struggling with Climate Change NPR: Roughly 3 in 4 say they talk about global warming in class, though typically only for an hour or two. But the study's lead author, Eric Plutzer of Penn State, says barely a majority are getting the science right.

Got an A in Algebra? That’s Worth $120 NYT: Raise.me, a three-year-old start-up, allows students to accrue incremental scholarship credits by entering their high school achievements on a website.

Teaching Bronx Students the Language of Computers NYT: A growing movement in the borough seeks to equip young people with the knowledge and the skills to write code so that they can navigate an increasingly digital world.

City data shows number in Absent Teacher Reserve remains steady Chalkbeat: The latest numbers show that 1,083 teachers were collecting salaries and benefits without holding full-time positions in schools last month, compared to 1,102 in January 2015. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city teachers union have pledged to reduce the size of the pool, which swelled under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and costs the city millions of dollars each year.

Despite new requirements, L.A. Unified's projected graduation rate soars LA Times: For years, Los Angeles school officials have suggested that miracle academic turnarounds would be unsustainable and even suspect, and that real and lasting gains for the academically lagging school system would be a step-by-step journey. On Friday, that gospel changed.

Seattle Public Schools sends test results to wrong families Seattle Times: School district officials blame a database error and ask those who mistakenly received the 348 confidential letters to please return them unopened.

Morning Video: President Meets With Civil Rights Advocates New & Old

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Obama: I Wouldnt Be Here If Not for Battles Fought By Civil Rights Leaders (NBC News).

There's also coverage of the meeting and the controversy over whether the event was substantive or not from Baltimore Sun, PoliticoCBS, TIMEVIBE, Chicago TribuneThe Advocate

Or, watch Detroit Teachers, Community Stage "Walk-in" to Bring Attention to Their Schools (AFT).

AM News: NYC School Safety Data Differs Depending On Who's Counting What


School Safety Incidents Vary, Depending on Who CountsWNYC: The department suggested that the state's reporting system included a wider range of incidents, not all of which are violent. It said schools input incidents into the city's system, and then staff compile them for the state's system. But the city's own annual numbers are reported by the NYPD and only track incidents involving police. See also Chalkbeat.

Glitches continue to haunt controversial Common Core exam WINK News: A number of glitches with state exams still remain as testing dates approach, Lee County School District information technology experts said Thursday.

A 4-4 Supreme Court Could Be Good For Unions And Voting Rights Advocates Five Thirty Eight: Seven cases currently before the court were predicted by one or both of those sources to result in 5-to-4 reversal votes in which Scalia would’ve been in the majority. In other words, there are seven cases in which Scalia was predicted to be a pivotal voter but are now seen as likely to result in a tie.

State board rules against Chicago Teachers Union effort to get back pay for teachers Tribune: CPS said it told the union this summer that it would not distribute the step and lane payments while negotiations over a new contract were ongoing, and that it would not pay those increases through at least the first year of any ensuing contract.

A tale of two schools on protest day Medill Reports: At Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy, about 30 people gathered outside the school. Teachers, parents and students gave speeches about how the budget cuts could affect them in adverse ways. At Walter Payton College Prep, about 40 parents, students and teachers staged a walk-in. Payton hasn’t been as affected by the budget cuts.

Look, Mom, I’m Writing a Term Paper on My Smartphone WSJ: After years of cellphone bans, many teachers now invite teens to use smartphones for homework and during class.

Video: Rethinking Choice & The Neighborhood School

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.


Charts: Schools Resegregating Since 1990

Percent black students at marjority white schools

This chart from a Vox personal essay by school administrator Amy Piller titled How school segregation lives on in New York City.


Events: Next Week's EWA Seminar

Next week in LA, EWA is hosting a seminar on Teaching and Testing in the Common Core Era that looks interesting. Here's the tentative lineup for one of the panels, including everyone from FairTest's Bob Schaeffer to Fordham's Robert Pondiscio:


Morning Video: Patchwork Of State Laws Let Abusive Teachers Get Rehired

According to USA Today (Broken discipline tracking systems let teachers flee troubled pasts), school officials have failed to report the names of at least 9,000 disciplined teachers over a period of time. Of those, 1,400 had their teaching licenses revoked and roughly 200 faced sexual or physical abuse allegations. Click here if the CBS video doesn't load properly. 


AM News: #ReclaimOurSchools Rallies, #BlackLivesMatter At The White House

Parents, teachers and children rally for public education at schools across the nation Washington Post:  Alliance including teachers unions stages "walk-ins" at hundreds of schools. See also KPCC, Boston Learning Lab, WGN TV Chicago, SCPRA Times.

Obama To Meet With Civil Rights, Black Lives Matter Activists BuzzFeed: The White House told BuzzFeed News that President Obama will host a landmark meeting with activists from the Black Lives Matter and civil rights movements on Thursday. Icons like Wade Henderson and John Lewis will meet with movement leaders like Brittany Packnett, Aislinn Pulley and DeRay Mckesson.

10 million California student records about to be released to attorneys SJ Mercury News:California public-school records on about 10 million students -- including their Social Security numbers -- will soon be handed over to attorneys for a parent group suing the state, with both parties blaming the other for the impending release of private information. See also SFGate.

Gov. Bill Haslam: TNReady scores can be left off teacher evaluations Chattanooga Times Free Press: In the meantime, the state intends to move back to pencil-and-paper tests for ... and were approved over a flare-up over proposed Common Core tests.

Black CPS student suspension rates fall but still highest by far Chicago Sun-Times:Black students accounted for 39 percent of district-run and charter school students but 68 percent of 61,349 suspensions and 81 percent of expulsions in the 2014-15 school year.

At Chicago’s Only ‘Forest Playschool,’ Nature is the Classroom WBEZ: Research shows that imaginative social play and getting outside are key components to a good learning environment for preschoolers. At Chicago’s only “forest playschool,” nature is literally the classroom. Kids spend the entire day outside in the woods and a prairie, and the focus is on collaboration, not competition.

California School to Change Policy After Banning Gay T-Shirt AP: A central California school district has settled a free speech lawsuit brought by a high school junior who was sent home for refusing to change out of T-shirt that read, "Nobody Knows I'm A Lesbian."

Afternoon Video: High-Speed Internet Might (Finally) Come To Poor Rural Schools

From last night's PBS NewsHour/EdWeek: "New changes to an FCC program could help schools by offering to fund fiber networks of their own." (How schools with the slowest Internet could get re-wired)

#EdGIF Of The Day: Male Students Over-Rate Each Others' Abilities

"After surveying roughly 1,700 students across three biology courses, they found young men consistently gave each other more credit than they awarded to their just-as-savvy female classmates." From a depressing Washington Post story about research into perceived academic performance by gender. (The remarkably different answers men and women give when asked who’s the smartest in the class)

Quotes: What Denby's New Yorker Column Gets Right

Quotes2I 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)

Morning Video: States Letting Predator Teachers Get Re-Hired

Click here if the CBS video doesn't load properly.

Pictures: Teacher "Walk-Ins" Taking Place Around Nation Today

There are teacher walk-ins taking place in LA, Chicago, and a bunch of other cities today, and The American Prospect's Rachel Cohen is taking pictures at some of the Chicago events.

Anyone else?

The hashtag is #reclaimourschools - not trending yet but could be soon. Roughly 30 cities are involved. The event has been organized by AROS, whose members include the Annenberg Institute and the AFT.

AM News: Clinton's Bid For Black Votes, Sanders' Dubious Free College Plan, Teachers "Walk-In"

Hillary Clinton Calls for End to School-to-Prison Pipeline in Bid for Black Votes WSJ: Hillary Clinton, relying heavily on black voters in her battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, vowed Tuesday to address racial disparities in the nation’s economy, criminal-justice system, health and schools.

Bernie Sanders Promises Free College. Will It Work? NPR: Let's assume that, somehow, it gets done. Would getting rid of tuition at public colleges and universities, by itself, really give the United States "the most educated workforce in the world"? Probably not.

With ‘walk-ins,’ national teachers union spotlights LA charter fight KPCC: Teachers union sympathizers will rally at public school sites in more than two-dozen cities across the nation Wednesday morning — including at more than 170 Los Angeles Unified school sites — as part of a national demonstration of support for traditional public school districts. Among those expected to be in attendance in Los Angeles: the president of the nation's second-largest teachers union. And that she's in L.A. specifically is no accident.

ACT v. SAT: New Standards in Illinois WBEZ Chicago: For the past 15 years, high school students in Illinois have taken the ACT, just like many other students in the Midwest. But now, there’s a new college entrance exam in town: The SAT. Chicago Tribune’s Diane Rado explains differences between the two tests and how this move will affect students.

2015 Saw Historic Shift in State Education Leadership, New Report Says State EdWatch: At least 31 states got new education chiefs last year, according to Achieve, and there were 95 new state school board members in 33 states.

Google says it tracks personal student data, but not for advertising Washington Post: In a letter to Sen. Al Franken, Google says it doesn't target ads to students, but does track some K-12 student data.

D.C. Schools Budget Emphasizes Alternative High Schools and Programs The Washington Post: The D.C. school system is hoping to boost the city’s alternative high schools next year, proposing in its 2017 budget to put an additional $4 million toward programs that help students who are generally lagging far behind in school.

Appointed Boards To Continue At St. Louis And Riverview Gardens School Districts St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Missouri state school board voted Tuesday to keep St. Louis Public Schools under the leadership of an appointed board for at least three more years. The unanimous vote — which had been expected — means the Special Administrative Board, or SAB, will have controlled St. Louis schools for more than a decade by the time its fourth term expires in June 2019.

For Preservice Teachers, Lessons on Cultural Sensitivity Education Week: The K-12 student population has never been more diverse. The first, and arguably predominant, interaction with public institutions that people of color face is at school. But the teaching force continues to be dominated by white women. And through their interactions with students—whether explicit or subtle, well-meaning or ignorant—teachers can compound the biases that many experience. 

Mass. Education Chief Recommends Adding Charter Seats Boston Learning Lab:  Mitchell Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, announced Tuesday that he will advise the state board of education to approve new charter schools in Springfield and Brockton, plus the expansion of five existing charter schools, including four in Boston.

#edGIF Of The Day: "Rip & Redo" At Success Academy

That viral video from Friday has been turned into a GIF, not surprisingly.

As to whether Success Academy could have done better in responding to the NYT reporting, and whether the NYT reporting could have been more thoughtful, the answer is yes to both. Read about that over at The Grade.

Parents: Sarcastic Excuse Note From Chicago Parent

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"She is feeling better today and is eager to get back to school in hopes of achieving a high score on any number of Standardized Tests that will be given this year to insure that Private Corporations continue to receive huge and profitable contracts from CPS voted on by the Appointed Board of Education.” via Chicago Sun Times via FairTest

Charts: Poor DCPS Kids Not Gaining Much More Than Poor Kids Nationally*

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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.]


Morning Video: Outdoor Learning Is All The Rage (Again)


NBC News segment about so-called "nature" or "forest" schools. Click here if the video doesn't load properly.

AM News: Scalia's Death Throws Labor Lawsuit (Friedrichs) Into Uncertainty

How Scalia's Death May Grant Public-Sector Unions A Reprieve Huffington Post: But now, with the likelihood of the court's four liberal justices backing fair share fees, Friedrichs may no longer be the looming disaster for public-sector unions that it seemed. See also LA Times, ScotusBlogEdSource Today, Slate, NYT, EdWeek.

Louisiana Drops Common-Core Lawsuit—Again State EdWatch: Gov. Jon Bel Edwards announced last week that he'd dropped the lawsuit, only to have the state's attorney general claim the lawsuit wasn't the governor's to drop.

Working Shift: What’s It Like to Be a High School Principal? WBEZ: Chicago high school principal Anna Pavichevich explains what it’s like to lead a school with 1120 students and more than 100 staff members.

Should Computer Education Cover More Than Just Coding? NPR: Computers are not just about coding. There's also a lot of theory — and science — behind technology. And those theoretical concepts form the basis of much of computer science education in colleges and universities.

It's Not Easy Teaching Special Ed NPR: It's getting harder and harder to find quality special education teachers, which is why 49 out of 50 states report shortages.

Program Aims to Keep Schools Diverse as New York Neighborhoods Gentrify NYT: The city’s Education Department is allowing seven schools to set aside a percentage of seats for low-income families, English-language learners or students engaged with the child welfare system.

Dispute With New York City Threatens Success Academy’s Pre-K NYT: A critical deadline passed in a dispute between the charter school network and the de Blasio administration over the network’s prekindergarten program, leaving its fate in doubt.

Evaluation Process For DCPS Teachers Undergoing Changes WAMU: DCPS officials are making several changes to the formal teacher evaluation process that's been in place since 2009, some of which — including student evaluations — are opposed by the teacher's union.

Live: Success Academy Responds To Today's NYT "Rip & Redo" Story

The direct link to watch it on your web browser is here.

Or, listen to this audio of Success-picked parents talking to the NYT about their children's experiences at the school, posted by Success Academy earlier today.

Pictures: When Tent Cities For The Homeless Include School Staff

It's sad but not surprising when tent cities that have been popping up around the nation include not only students but also school staff.

"Deja-Lynn Rombawa-Quarles, a 24-year-old woman who works part time at an elementary school as a group leader, sits in her tent at a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu on August 26, 2015. Rombawa-Quarles is one of a growing number of working poor in Honolulu who, through a combination of high housing costs, a dearth of affordable housing, and bad circumstances, wound up living on the street."

This comes from Atlantic Magazine via Knowledge Alliance. 

Morning Video: NYC Charter School Teacher Loses Cool ("Rip & Redo")

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.

AM News: Obama To Nominate King For Education Secretary After All

Obama to Officially Nominate John B. King Jr. as Education Secretary PK12: Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate education committee, has been urging the White House to officially nominate someone to succeed former Secretary Arne Duncan, since back in December. See also AP, Washington Post.

D.C. accidentally uploads private data of 12,000 students Washington Post: According to the memo, someone in the office uploaded the data to a public D.C. Council Dropbox account ahead of a council hearing on the Individual Education Program, which provides tailored education plans for students with special needs. All 12,000 students, who attend public and charter schools in kindergarten through 12th grades, have such individual education plans.

Science Teachers’ Grasp of Climate Change Is Found Lacking NYT: A survey of 1,500 teachers in the United States found that on average they spend just one to two hours on average over the course of an academic year.

As The Water Crisis Continues, Flint's Superintendent Looks Forward NPR: While the damage from lead in Flint's water is not yet known, even low levels can be harmful to children. The Michigan city's superintendent of schools says he's bracing for an uncertain future.

ACT essay scores are inexplicably low, causing uproar among college-bound students Washington Post: Some students earn great marks overall -- at or near the top score of 36 -- but are graded in the low 20s for writing.

On Video, a First Grader, a Stumble in Math and a Teacher’s Anger NYT: At Success Academy, the charter school network in New York City, current and former educators say the quest for high scores drives some of them over the line.

Two years in, Carmen Fariña measures her progress by grad rates & grateful emails Chalkbeat: Many educators and parents praise Fariña’s school-by-school approach, saying they feel respected and reassured by her intimate knowledge of the system. But her critics often scoff at it. Those who identify as education reformers (a label Fariña also applies to herself) say her theory of change is too incremental and founded on experience over research, while some principals complain about micromanaging.


Charts: Grade School Teachers Destined To Marry Other Grade School Teachers

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 4.27.09 PMAccording to this Bloomberg blog post (Who Marries CEOs, Doctors, Chefs and Janitors), elementary school teachers tend to marry retail supervisors and ... truck drivers? That is, when they don't marry each other: the most common marriage is between grade-school teachers. Click the link to check out the pattern for high school teachers, primary school teachers, and college teachers. 

#TBT: What TFA Looked Like Five Years Ago

Here are some pictures I took from some of the #TFA20 receptions 5 years ago. Or take a look at the official TFA20 photo album (remember Flickr?).

Morning Video: The Challenges Intentionally Diverse Learning Communities

Here's a #TFA25 panel moderated by the NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones, who starts out expressing a view that the term "diversity" is cute but "integration" is an imperative. (Intentionally Diverse Learning Communities). Panelists include  Kriste Dragon, Bill Kurtz, Jeremy Chiappetta, Julie Goldstein. 90 minutes. 

AM News: Dues Increases, Charter Approvals, Immigration Raids (LAUSD)

L.A. teachers union wins dues increase, vows to battle foes of traditional public education LA Times: Members have responded by agreeing to raise their annual dues by about a third, to $1,000 a year. The increase was approved by 82% of those who cast ballots, according to United Teachers Los Angeles, which tallied the votes Wednesday.

As the the LAUSD charter schools conflict escalates, here’s what you need to know KPCC:  Tuesday’s L.A. Unified school board meeting was unusual. What made it out of the ordinary, charter school supporters said, is that school district staff is recommending the denial of charter school petitions much more often than now.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Has Banned Immigration Raids on Its Campuses VICE: The school board of the Los Angeles Unified School District unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday that bans US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from coming onto school property without permission — a move meant to signal to immigrant students and their families that they are secure while on campus.

D.C. Public Schools, closely watched for its reform efforts, is overhauling teacher evaluation and training Washington Post: Because few details of the plan have been released, it is unclear what kind of direct impact the changes will have for classroom teachers in the immediate future. The head of the city’s teacher union, Elizabeth Davis, said that teachers are unsettled and exhausted after adjusting to a series of changes and new initiatives in recent years.

Principals React to Middle of the School Year Budget Cuts WBEZ: Nearly every one of Chicago’s 654 public schools will have to cut its spending plan for the next four months. The average amount lost per school is about $60,000, which amounts to about one or two teachers for the remainder of the school year.



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.