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Morning Video: Syrian Refugee Student Lands In Modesto School

Watch the segment above, then read the Modesto Bee story here.

Site News: Gone Fishing -- TGIF

Just so you know -- I'm away again today, this first Friday of Fall.

That frees you up to get offline, get lots done, and start preparing for the weekend.

Septembers are busy, frenetic even. You probably need some down time. 

See you Monday!


Update: Teachers/Unions Concerned About Police Leaving Schools

One of the big stories of the week is the Dignity In Schools campaign launch calling for the removal of most police officers from public schools. 

So far, the news has been covered by CPI (Coalition calls for end of police presence in schools), Huffington Post (Over 100 Education Groups Want To Kick Cops Out Of Schools), and Education Week (Get Police Out of Schools, Coalition of Student, Parent Groups Says).

According to the Huffington Post, the new recommendations are "the strongest that DSC member organizations ― groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund ― have ever made collectively on the issue of school policing." The campaign is active in 27 states and claims 100 city and state member groups including the NAACP LDEF.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration called for districts to “responsibly incorporate” officers into the learning environment -- but stopped short of a ban. 

What's been left out so far is the tension between teachers' understandable concerns about classroom safety and order and advocates' understandable concerns about over-policing of schools.

According to EdWeek, the National Association of School Resource Officers "largely agreed with the federal guidance" but has not so far as I know endorsed the #CounselorsNotCops campaign. Nor has the NEA or AFT commented on the campaign. 

Conflicting views over the benefits of police in schools came up in Chicago in April, when a Chicago Teachers Union-organized protest event included a #BlackLivesMatter calling for the removal of the police from city schools.  

As reporting by DNAInfo ('F The Police' Speaker At Teacher Rally Not With CPS, But Union Takes Heat), activist Page May slammed the Chicago police and anyone associated with them. Just before her, union head Karen Lewis had praised the police.

"The CTU keeps acting like they are on our side, but then Karen Lewis refuses to say cops need to get out of schools," May said in the DNAInfo story. "Until [the Chicago Teachers Union] come out explicitly opposed to cops in schools, I don't think we are fighting on the same side."

The Seattle Times has also reported about the challenges some schools and districts have found in trying to rethink their school discipline policies. One story (Highline district struggles with fallout after limiting student suspensions), focusing on the related issue of school suspensions, reports that roughly 200 teachers have left the district in the past few months, many of them in reaction to the "elimination" of out of school suspensions, and the local teachers union president has flagged the turnover as a sign of major trouble looming. 

Some social justice advocacy groups like the NAACP and #BlackLivesMatter may find common cause with classroom teachers and unions over prioritizing neighborhood schools and limiting "privatization" of education, but the Dignity In Schools campaign highlights the tensions that quickly emerge in other areas.

For practical and political reasons, classroom teachers and their unions are likely to be extremely reluctant about endorsing a move to remove police officers from schools.

Why so? Fear is one obvious reason. (Here's a cameraphone video said to be depicting a teacher and student fighting in a Philadelphia school.) At a more ideological level, teachers unions and police unions often try to work together at the local level, and as the Chicago incident reveals they can be reluctant to disagree publicly. 

Still, there's much we don't know. What do the NEA, AFT, and National Association of School Resource Officers have to say about the Dignity In Schools campaign? What does the Obama administration say? And what about Clinton and Trump?

Morning Video: Where Trump & Clinton Stand On Education

In this segment, the PBS NewsHour tries to get at the candidates' differences on education.

Or read about a disturbing video of kids chanting a racially offensive phrase on a Maryland school bus, via Washington Post. 

AM News: Weingarten, CA Foster Care Scores, CT Court Appeal

Randi Weingarten on Clinton, Trump, and Winning Over 'Skeptical' Teachers blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaig…

For the first time, California releases test scores for foster youth - and they're not good  latimes.com/local/educatio…

A City Looks To STEM School To Lift Economy, But Will Grads Stay? npr.org/2016/09/22/494…

Court refuses to mandate use of test scores in teacher evaluations latimes.com/local/educatio…

Conn. Supreme Court Will Hear Appeal to School Funding Case blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_e…

Denver students of color not making as much progress on state tests as white peers | Chalkbeat ow.ly/SPLZ304skMB

Chicago Teachers Union Begins Strike Authorization Vote abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/c…

California student had hit list, plans for school shooting hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie…
Changes Are Coming to New York City's Specialized High Schools Test wnyc.org/story/city-pla…

Afternoon Video: "Counselors, Not Cops," Says 100-Member Dignity In Schools Coalition

Watch above. Read EdWeek and HuffPost.

Quotes: On Being Black Or Brown At A Diverse School

Quotes2If you’re a white student, it is utopia. You get to be around kids of diverse backgrounds, listen to different music, have different experiences, and also get the finest of schools... If you’re a black student, you don’t feel as respected or welcome, you don’t feel like a full citizen.

- Evanston parent John Diamond in last week's Bloomberg story (Black Students Don’t Even Get an Equal Education in Diverse Schools)

AM News: EpiPens & Education, Clinton Vs. Trump, & Improving Head Start

Mylan CEO's mother used position with education group to boost EpiPen sales nationwide… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Clinton, Trump call for more federal funding in education, differ on use -UPI.com ow.ly/5Wch304q2Kd

L.A. Paves the way for 15,000 students to take community college classes — during their high school day - LAT ow.ly/Wk4i304q2NI

The Big Move To Improve Head Start npr.org/sections/ed/20…

NYC's Boys and Girls High School Tries to Turn a Corner Under New Leadership wnyc.org/story/boys-and…

Fairfax County school officials brace for a grueling superintendent search  washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

Want to be able to buy a house in California? Don't become a teacher. washingtonpost.com/news/education…

CTU strike vote begins Wednesday but no date set yet | Chicago Sun-Times ow.ly/N3U3304q4gQ

A School lunch worker quits after being forced to refuse hot meal to poor student washingtonpost.com/news/education…

NYC's Universal Pre-K is More Racially Segregated Than Kindergarten villagevoice.com/news/nycs-univ…

School mimics Pokémon Go to help new students adjust | District Administration Magazine  ow.ly/Xzwp304q1cx

#EDgif Of The Day: A Hippie Boomer Substitute Teacher's Views On Education

A substitute teacher grimaces as students ignore him.

Sara Mosle's review of Nicholson Baker's new book is very good, but first you need to check out the #edGIF that accompanies it. (Going Undercover as a Substitute Teacher)

AM News: NYC Segregation, CA Teacher Lawsuit Dismissed, NJ Funding Battle

The Public School Funding Battle: No Holds Barred - NJ Spotlight ow.ly/jwZO100koKi

Racial Segregation in New York Schools Begins in Pre-K, Report Finds nytimes.com/2016/09/21/nyr…

Court rejects California teacher evaluation lawsuit scpr.org/news/2016/09/1…

Chicago Teachers Union helping charter teachers in contract fight - Chicago Tribune ow.ly/RgGD100koK3

LA Unified superintendent asks for plan to cut central office by 30 percent | 89.3 KPCC ow.ly/Zkps304nAIi

NY Business groups warn Regents on Common Core | Crain's New York Business ow.ly/uztW304nAMv
Inside the South’s First LGBTQ School Where Students Are Safe, Free and Powerful | The 74 ow.ly/a7EA100koJM
Sixth Grade Is Tough; It Helps To Be 'Top Dog' wamu.org/news/16/09/19/…
School Sex Education Around the Globe is Out of Touch With Teens, Study Finds abcnews.go.com/Health/school-…
After Texas high school builds $60-million stadium, rival district plans one for nearly $70 million latimes.com/local/educatio…
An urban school serving needy kids posted big test gains. How did they do it? washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

Charts: Income & Educational Attainment Over 25 Years

WSJ: "The past 25 years have seen a growing split between households with different levels of educational attainment. The median household led by someone with a master’s degree earns $7,655 more per year than in 1991. Those with some college, but no degree, earn $7,768 less and those with a high-school diploma but no further education earn $6,316 less." (U.S. Poverty and Income Inequality in 9 Charts - Real Time Economics)


Charts: OECD Report Shows US Lagging On Education Spending

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 12.21.08 PMPBS NewsHour: Are U.S. children getting the best education for the dollar? 

Quotes: CT Union Head Applauds State's Appeal Of Court Decision


Quotes2The state attorney general made the right decision to appeal the part of the judge's ruling that imposed mandates on everything from determining how teachers are evaluated to denying education to severely disabled children to requiring new graduation standards... These education policy issues are clearly within the purview of the state legislature and executive branches of government ... and should not rest in the hands of a single person.

-- Sheila Cohen, president of the Connecticut Education Association, in the Hartford Courant (State To Appeal Controversial Education Overhaul Decision)


AM News: CT To Appeal Landmark School Funding Decision

Connecticut to Appeal Decision in Schools Funding Case - The New York Times ow.ly/n3Hl304h4Fe

State To Appeal Controversial Education Overhaul Decision - Hartford Courant http://ow.ly/HqV2304h9cZ

Connecticut to Appeal Landmark Education Ruling - AP abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/c…

Connecticut AG challenges ruling that state's education is unequal and unconstitutional - CSMonitor.com http://ow.ly/JZkt304h8ZJ

Reformers appeal dismissal of PA school funding lawsuit | News | phillytrib.com http://ow.ly/OWCb304h93y

Even In A Diverse School In Leafy Evanston, IL, Black Students Don’t Get an Equal Education - Bloomberg ow.ly/Ssf7304h5hM
 Christie goes to court over NJschool funding, teacher tenure newsworks.org/index.php/educ…
How does U NH use bequest of librarian to his alma mater/employer? $100K for library; $1mil for football scoreboard bit.ly/2cLt7ny

Numbers: School Closings Are Neither Popular Nor Common

Closings by year
A recent PDK International poll reported that American's don't like it when schools get closed. They much prefer troubled schools get new leadership and/or staff. Eighty-four percent of the public prefers fixing struggling schools while just 14 percent want to close them.
But school closings, while they can be traumatic for students and educators who have remained at a school, aren't as common as you may think -- and even when they happen they don't necessarily mean a building is being shuttered. As noted in this recent opinion piece, the "nuclear" option happens only 1-2 percent of the time, usually after an all-hands-on-deck effort to turn things around and/or dwindling enrollment. 
According to the NCES Fast Facts page, roughly 1,-2,000 of the nation's 99,000 schools have been closed over the years, fluctuating from a low of 1,2000 to a high of 2,200. And of course schools being closed doesn't necessarily mean that a school building is being shuttered. New schools are opened on the same site, or other schools within the same facility are enlarged.

People: Kaya Henderson's (Last?) Interview

Less than a dozen days from now, DC's long-serving chancellor is riding off into the sunset. But not before she answers some questions from us. As you can see in Kaya Henderson: The Exit Interview.

In her years heading the DCPS, Henderson played a complicated role in the wake of her predecessor, Michelle Rhee, whose tactics and philosophy were controversial. She has restored some semblance of peace among classroom teachers, continued pursuing many of Rhee’s strategies, and developed her own initiatives.

She's also benefited from hands-off treatment from the AFT's Randi Weingarten, as pointed out recently in a Richard Whitmire column.

Henderson is a strong proponent of mayoral control (rather than independent school boards) but not a wild-eyed charter enthusiast. She’s not inclined to make racial integration a top priority over quality schools. And she’s proud of what she has helped to accomplish (some suburban parents are now faking their addresses to get their kids into DC public schools!), but she knows there is a long way to go.

Click the link above to hear Henderson's surprising thoughts on charter schools, racial integration, predecessor Michelle Rhee, dealing with critics, and the best and worst parts of the job. 


AM News: 10 High Schools Each Win $10M In Contest From Apple Founder's Widow

$100 Million Awarded in Contest to Rethink U.S. High Schools nytimes.com/2016/09/15/nyr…

$10 million to ‘reinvent’ high school at Oakland charter sfgate.com/education/arti…

Brooklyn Lab Charter School Receives $10 Million - WSJ ow.ly/uzcd100k0PK

Memphis high school doesn't win $10 million XQ prize, but backers still want to 'rethink high school' - Chalkbeat TN news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&…

$100 million from Laurene Powell Jobs will remake schools for high tech age ow.ly/1IwW100k0Qy

Brooklyn Charter Wins Contest to Rethink American High Schools wnyc.org/story/brooklyn…

D.C. charter school wins $10 million prize to redesign high school washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

Louisiana high school on a barge wins $10 million prize nola.com/education/inde…

Three California schools awarded $10 million each to ‘reimagine high school’ edsource.org/2016/three-cal…

LA educators get $10 million to reinvent school for homeless kids scpr.org/news/2016/09/1…
A D.C. Charter Wins $10M to Invent Virtual Reality Programs that Will Change High School — All of Them | The 74 ow.ly/5beg304eJ9d

Texas Textbook Called Out As 'Racist' Against Mexican-Americans npr.org/sections/ed/20…

Education, Georgia school reform heat up as political issues - Atlanta Journal Constitution  news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&…

Another Unrealistic Trump Policy Proposal: Homeschool Vouchers tracking.feedpress.it/link/9499/4411…

National Anthem Protests Trickling Down to High School Level abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireSto…

Afternoon Video: Connecticut Judge Reads School Funding Decision


Here's Judge Moukawsher reading his 90-page decision decrying the inequalities and ineffectiveness of the current state education program, via the Hartford Courant's statehouse reporter Daniela Altimari. It takes nearly three hours.

Don't have that long? Speed-read the ruling here, via the NYT. Here's NPR's story including some audio highlights, or NPR Cory Turner's roundup of some of Judge Moukawsher's most scathing lines

Last but not least, Lincoln Caplan's take on the decision in The New Yorker.

Quotes: Stop Thinking White Parents Will Choose To Integrate Schools

Quotes2All of the choice-based reform efforts that they’ve come up with over the last 20 years have been designed to bring back all the white people who left after Brown v. Board. But the irony is that, if [districts] keep relying on choice, they’re going to be set up for failure because white people will not enroll their children in schools unless they’re already [predominantly] white.

-- Natalie Hopkinson, a black parent and journalist in The Atlantic (How Parents Can Help Desegregate Schools)

People: McKesson, Packnett, Goldrick-Rab, O'Leary, & Desmond

This year's POLITICO 50 includes almost a half-dozen education-related influencers, including Sara Goldrick-Rab, Deray McKesson, Brittany Packnett, Matthew Desmond, and Ann 'Oleary. Read all about them. Desmond is the person who wrote the book about the lives of poor black and white residents of Milwaukee, who are regularly forced to move from one expensive apartment to another. 

AM News: MA Charter Opposition, NC Hyper-Segregation, FL Test-Cutting

WBUR Poll: Mass. Voters Oppose Charter School Expansion, And Back Legal Weed - WBUR nzzl.us/wENJpW5

UNC report calls Wilmington schools "hyper-segregated" - News - Wilmington Star News - Wilmington, NC ow.ly/W7vN304ata3

Private School Choice Programs Muddle Delivery of Federal Services, Says GAO - Charters & Choice - Education Week ow.ly/Ipd1304cLZ2

Your State's Schools Are In Trouble When A Judge Says ... npr.org/sections/ed/20…

De Blasio blames testing system for diversity lack at top schools - NY Daily News ow.ly/wxnz304aYxF

Miami-Dade School District Cuts Testing Again | NBC 6 South Florida ow.ly/awu8304aYzY

CA school districts baffled about why they’re on English learners monitoring list scpr.org/news/2016/09/1…

Union argues law removing tenure for Kansas teachers is unconstitutional| The Kansas City Star ow.ly/dPzd304cKBl

New teacher training favored by charters comes to Denver as critics sound off | Chalkbeat ow.ly/gjks304cLTs 
More schools adopt new way to handle student misbehavior | The Seattle Times ow.ly/TiNZ304cLPY
Recess four times a day? Why some schools are now letting kids play an hour a day. washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sh…
For Kids, Anxiety About School Can Feel Like 'Being Chased By A Lion' npr.org/sections/ed/20…
These kids now have a life without homework - The Boston Globe ow.ly/RK19304asZt

Events: Tomorrow's Big Reveal

Tomorrow is the scheduled announcement of the XQ Challenge Winners -- the effort to rethink high school that's been going on for the past several months via the Emerson Collective. The initiative is called the XQ America challenge, and the hashtags are #RethinkHighSchool and/or #XQBigReveal


Quotes: It's Hard To Imagine The Inequitability Of CT's Education System

Quotes2The state’s wealthy students do so well that on average the whole state is the best in the nation. But the state’s poor students do so poorly that they are effectively worse than any other students in the nation

-- Josh Michtom (Town-based School Districts Today, Town-based School Districts Tomorrow)


Morning Video: "All The Difference"

Here's the POV PBS video that aired last night. It's about 90 minutes long. You probably should watch it. 

AM News: Texas Confronts Special Ed Limits, US Tracks Discrimination, & More

Officials vow to end limits put on special ed - Houston Chronicle http://ow.ly/Sp0n304acdY

Districts offer range of supports for refugee students, families | Education Dive ow.ly/ixYd3048VzB

 The U.S. Has Started Tracking Religious Discrimination In Schools huffingtonpost.com/2016/09/12/the…

3-week flood hiatus ends for Livingston Parish schools students nola.com/education/inde…

Riding the bus with Education Secretary John King washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

MA State Education Board Chair Gave $100K to Pro-Charter Group ow.ly/ZjqS304aaoE

More schools adopt new way to handle student misbehavior seattletimes.com/education-lab/…

ESSA Raises K-12 Stakes in 2016 State-Level Elections - Education Week ow.ly/bTml304abln
CTU strike talk abounds, but 2012 smack talk subsides | Chicago Sun-Times ow.ly/LUD4304aamT
Unions Go 1 for 2 in PA & NYC Charter School Representation Elections | Bloomberg BNA ow.ly/iuIa304aaJS
Apple Offers Free App to Teach Children Coding (iPads Sold Separately)  nytimes.com/2016/09/13/tec…
Students perform above grade level with surprising frequency, report finds scpr.org/news/2016/09/1…

Charts: Teachers Really Hate Those Interactive Whiteboards Everybody Bought

chart showing technologies currently in use by survey participants

According to a new survey of teachers reported in THE Journal, interactive whiteboards were the third most-hated category among teachers. (First and second most-hated were mobile phones and desktops.) However, 68 percent of respondents said those are in use at their schools.

Tonight: Documentary Explores How A Promising Student Fell Through the Cracks

image from www.thirteen.org
Tonight on New York public media airs a thought-provoking documentary about a promising kid who fell through the cracks in leafy and liberal Montclair, NJ.

After seeing a screening of the film at Scholastic last summer, I wrote that "the most interesting and helpful aspect to the film is how it describes a situation in which there are no black-and-white heroes or villains, and no bright or artificial line between parents, school, and social services agencies tasked with supporting families and children in tough circumstances. It's not the school, or the teacher, or the kid, or society. It's all of them."

Read more about the story behind the film at NJ.com. After screening locally -- perhaps you can view it online? -- it will apparently be offered to national PBS outlets for broadcast later this fall. 

Quotes: Gladwell On Charters, Scale, & Timelines

Quotes2You cannot turn around centuries of lack of advantage in a generation. Nobody's ever done that in the history of mankind... We've got to sustain this for 30, 40, 50 years if we're going to see some real change. 

- Malcolm Gladwell via OZY (Why Malcolm Gladwell Is Optimistic About Charter Schools)

Morning Video: Tonight On PBS

It's education week at PBS, starting with tonight's POV show about two kids from the South Side of Chicago who made it out of high school but are facing building challenges going forward. The rest of the week includes several other segments, rounded up here: PBS to 'Spotlight Education' Next Week.


AM News: CA Settles Over ELL Kids, Louisiana Kids Go Back To School

Feds say some students went a decade without help learning English. After lawsuit, state pledges new support latimes.com/local/educatio…

See also: California settles with US justice department over services to English learner students scpr.org/news/2016/09/0…

Flood-Ravaged Schools In Louisiana Try To Get Students Back On Track : NPR http://ow.ly/Bz2x3047NRo

Clinton's and Trump's Plans to Help Education Differ Sharply - AP - abcn.ws/2cop4eO via @ABC

U.S. education secretary visiting Chattanooga to talk about teacher leadership this week | Times Free Press ow.ly/PT0p3046LaT

In Connecticut, a Wealth Gap Divides Neighboring Schools nytimes.com/2016/09/12/nyr…

LAUSD tries a face-to-face approach to bring dropouts back to school scpr.org/news/2016/09/0…

Cleveland retreats on performance pay for teachers |cleveland.com ow.ly/SVM33047ECc

More School Counselors, in a Bid to Help Graduation Rates wnyc.org/story/counseli…

Advanced Placement participation soars in D.C. Public Schools washingtonpost.com/local/educatio…

As State Schools Chief Steps Aside, Two Newcomers Vie For Job kuow.org/post/state-sch…

Arne Duncan won't rule out a run for office | Chicago Sun-Times ow.ly/qVq83047EIN

Chicago Schools Progress Report Highlights Gains in On-Track, Dropout Rates | Chicago Tonight | WTTW ow.ly/CgRA100jKbv

Driver dies, several hurt as school bus carrying football team crashes near Denver airport ow.ly/Q8g43046RYN

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.