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Thompson: Project Fatherhood

978-080701452-3When writing her excellent Project Fatherhood, the UCLA gang expert Jorja Leap exposed herself to a daunting risk. Leap accepted a degree of physical danger but it was the professional risk that could have been intimidating. Leap defied academic convention and spoke honestly about race, family, child-rearing, domestic abuse and, even, the “P-stuff” or post-traumatic shock.

Much of the credit for Project Fatherhood’s open and candid discussion of some of the 3rd rails of social policy must go to “Big Mike” Cummings, who guided her and the quest they shared with felons and fathers in Watts. Big Mike was exceptionally astute in coaxing the project’s participants into an honest appraisal of the causes and the effects of domestic abuse, as well as fathers not holding up their share of family responsibilities.

Scholars and educators often shy away from the issues tackled by Leap and Big Mike, and correctly argue that it is not just fathers - of whatever backgrounds - who have failed our kids. The horrific conditions of the inner city are a legacy of history, of economic exploitation and oppression, and of abusive political and criminal justice systems.  It is often feared that a conversation about child-rearing will be seen as “blaming the victim” or excuse-making.

We cannot improve inner city schools without building trusting relationships, however, and neither can we establish those bonds with students and patrons without dialogues about fatherhood. As Leap writes, “These men – who routinely used guns and dealt drugs and brutalized women and went to prison and had no clue how to father their own children – needed first to be fathered themselves.”

One of the first things that an inner city teacher seeking to build relationships should learn is that students will test them. It should be clear that much of the chronic disorder of urban classrooms is due to high-risk kids acting out their pain. A crucial reason is less obvious, however, and it is made much more understandable by the chapter entitled “Are You Gonna Leave Us, Too?” Teachers aren’t being tested to see if we are tough enough; students, like their fathers before them, want to see whether mentors are “for real.” These fathers also doubt whether outsiders, who may seek to do good, will care enough to stick it out when the going gets rough.

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Numbers: $831 Billion #BTS15

image from www.emarketer.com
Marketing research company eMarketer estimates that US retail back-to-school season sales will reach $831.33 billion in the months of July and August this year, "up 4.6% year over year and representing 17.3% of full-year retail sales." (Students Stuff Backpacks with Tech for Back-to-School)

Morning Video: Christie Swipes At Teachers Unions (Again), Missouri District Tries Integration (Again)

Here's Chris Christie's now-obligatory slap at the teachers unions from CNN.

But you really should spend your time listening to This American Life's latest podcast, about an unlikely and unexpected school integration experiment in Missouri. Streaming and download versions here.

 

AM News: Presidential Candidates Focus On Colleges & Teachers Unions

2016 election: College in the crosshairs Politico: Presidential candidates from both parties are tapping into Americans’ growing angst over paying for college, placing an unprecedented bright glare on higher education this election. For Democrats, the solution is making college cheaper, or free. Republicans want more innovation and efficiency.

Gov. Christie: Teachers' Unions Need a 'Punch in the Face' and Are 'Destructive' State EdWatch: Seeking an upper hand in a crowded GOP presidential election field, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called for an upper cut to his old political foe. See also NY Post.

Jeb Bush Addresses National Urban League; Touts Black, Hispanic Test Scores PK12: Bush touted the achievement of black and Hispanic students in Florida, noting that the number of such students passing AP exams quadrupled during his time as governor. See also Politico.

Teachers summit draws thousands to sites across California EdSource: About 15,000 California teachers and principals gave up one of their summer vacation days to talk among themselves Friday about a subject that, depending on how the school day is going, can excite, inspire, frustrate or irritate: the Common Core.

How 'Assembly-Line Justice' Victimizes Kids In St. Louis County HuffPost: Hundreds of children who have come into contact with the juvenile justice system in Missouri's St. Louis County have been subjected to a process that is "rife" with "obvious" conflicts of interest, where allegations against them are "simply assumed to be true," where constitutional rights are routinely denied, and where black kids are much more likely to receive harsh punishments, and even be locked up prior to their day in court, due to nothing more than the color of their skin. 

Federal report finds scant scientific evidence for effectiveness of Head Start programs Hechinger Report: The July 2015 report from the What Works Clearinghouse describes how it reviewed 90 widely different studies on Head Start.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Presidential Candidates Focus On Colleges & Teachers Unions" »

Charts: Time To Rethink [Teacher] Licensing?

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"Today, more than a quarter of American workers need a license to do their job, representing a fivefold increase relative to the 1950s," according to this recent Vox article. That's no surprise to anyone in education. We take licensing for granted. This chart has it coming in 3rd, after only health care and law, at about 60 percent of workers participating. However, licensing isn't all good. According to a new White House report, licensing can lead to higher prices for services & reduced opportunity for individuals (in the form of barriers to entry into a profession and the threat of license revocations based on student loan defaults in some states). Vox recommends state-level license review agencies and -- hah! -- bipartisan work at the federal level.  

Related posts:  19 States Adopting Tougher Licensing (2010); Helping New Teachers With The First Days Of School (Bruno).

Quotes: Defiance Or ADHD? Depends What Color The Kid Is

Quotes2White kids tend to get viewed as having ADHD, or having some sort of behavioral problem. Black kids are viewed as being unruly and unwilling to learn.

-- David Ramey, an assistant professor of sociology and criminology at Penn State, quoted in Daily Beast via Vox (How schools push black students to the criminal justice system)

Morning Video: "TeacherCenter" Isn't Even Key & Peele's Best Education Sketch

TeacherCenter, the Key & Peele parody in which teachers are the subject of a SportsCenter-style show makes the obvious point that our society treats pro athletes much better than it does classroom teachers, delightfully imagining what it'd be like if things were very, very different. But it might not even be their best work on this topic. Some other favorite school-related Key & Peele segments on school bullying, substitute teachers (1 & 2), and inspirational speakers can be found here, here, here, and here. I think substitute teacher 1 (above) is my favorite. OK, now you can go. 

AM News: State Test Score Results, Teachers vs. Nurses, College Board Cave

Minn. student test scores show little change despite vow to improve Star Tribune: In reading, nearly 60 percent of students mastered state standards, compared with 59 percent in 2014. In math, 60 percent of students met math standards, down from nearly 62 percent in 2014. White students continued to outperform students of color by more than 20 percentage points on average.

Maury students excel in reading Columbia Daily Herald: For the state overall, students have shown significant gains in all areas of testing except English/Language Arts. This growth continues a five-year trend in student proficiency in math and biology across the state.

Ark. Common-Core Review Recommends a Smartphone App ... And Another Review State EdWatch: The latest state to complete a review of the standards is Arkansas. But its review has led to a somewhat unusual, if not unique, recommendation.

Hillary Clintons multi-step strategy to woo labor Politico: The first to make its own endorsement was the 1.6-million member American Federation of Teachers, which endorsed Clinton in July and whose president,Randi Weingarten, is among the most senior and influential members of the AFL-CIO's executive...

Labor debates Hillary versus Bernie Washington Post: Two women epitomize the divide inside labor: Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, defended her group’s early endorsement of Clinton. RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the 185,000-member National Nurses United, hinted that her group may endorse Sanders sometime in the next month. 

Conference Process to Rewrite ESEA Gets Underway PK12: All the expected characters were at the table: Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Bobby Scott, D-Va.

College Board bows to critics, revises AP U.S. History course WP: Conservatives had blasted the 2014 AP U.S. History course framework as essentially being unpatriotic and presenting American history in a negatively biased light. After a year of defending the framework, the College Board just changed it. See also HuffPost.

More news below (and throughout the day @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: State Test Score Results, Teachers vs. Nurses, College Board Cave" »

Charts: Together, AIR & Pearson Have 27 State Testing Contracts

GfshfsVia RealClear Education. Click here for interactive version.

Morning Video: Let's Talk About Segregated Housing & Segregated Schools

Click "play" on this recent panel featuring TCF fellows Stefanie DeLuca and Halley Potter and L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy of CUNY discussing the nexus of race, housing, and education in America. 

According to TCF's Potter, "segregation in housing and schools are intimately linked, and that we need to consider strategies that address both problems." She also notes that integrating schools doesn't really go far enough if classrooms aren't integrated, too, and choice alone isn't probably enough without equitable access to information and other supports. 

AM News: Renewed Controversy Over AP US History Course

In a county that tried to amend US history course, a lesson in politics Washington Post: Voters in Jefferson County, Colo., are petitioning to recall three conservative members of the local school board who caused a national stir last fall after criticizing the Advanced Placement U.S. History course for being insufficiently patriotic.

Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism HuffPost: The company behind Advanced Placement courses for U.S. high school students will release a revision to the standards for AP U.S. history on Thursday morning, after significant pushback from conservatives who claimed the redesigned course framework, released last year, painted American history in too negative a light.

Pell Grants For Prisoners: An Old Argument Revisited NPR: The Obama administration is expected to announce a new program Friday that would once again allow some prisoners access to federal Pell grants.

The AFL-CIO has a perfect champion in Bernie Sanders. Is that enough for an endorsement? Vox: The AFL-CIO’s executive council meeting is this week, which means visits from presidential candidates: Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, and, of course, Hillary Clinton, who has a 1 pm with the union federation tomorrow. There's also a sole Republican visitor: Mike Huckabee.

Georgia is Segregating Troublesome Kids in Schools Used During Jim Crow ProPublica: Georgia has been illegally and unnecessarily segregating thousands of students with behavioral issues and disabilities, isolating them in run-down facilities and providing them with subpar education, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Track the Ebb and Flow of Public School Spending in 50 States State EdWatch: EdSource highlights both per-student spending figures per year and how much spending rose and fell during a single student's 13 years in a K-12 system.

Rep. Fattah Charged With Illegally Funneling Money Through His Ed Nonprofit PK12: Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was previously a member of the House education committee, has pushed for legislation that would require states to equalize educational resources.

OC teachers union president, other officers relieved of duty WESH Orlando: "The AFT and the Florida Education Association have exhausted every possible effort to help the union operate by its own bylaws,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Renewed Controversy Over AP US History Course" »

AM News: Renewed Controversy Over AP US History Course

In a county that tried to amend US history course, a lesson in politics Washington Post: Voters in Jefferson County, Colo., are petitioning to recall three conservative members of the local school board who caused a national stir last fall after criticizing the Advanced Placement U.S. History course for being insufficiently patriotic.

Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism HuffPost: The company behind Advanced Placement courses for U.S. high school students will release a revision to the standards for AP U.S. history on Thursday morning, after significant pushback from conservatives who claimed the redesigned course framework, released last year, painted American history in too negative a light.

Pell Grants For Prisoners: An Old Argument Revisited NPR: The Obama administration is expected to announce a new program Friday that would once again allow some prisoners access to federal Pell grants.

The AFL-CIO has a perfect champion in Bernie Sanders. Is that enough for an endorsement? Vox: The AFL-CIO’s executive council meeting is this week, which means visits from presidential candidates: Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, and, of course, Hillary Clinton, who has a 1 pm with the union federation tomorrow. There's also a sole Republican visitor: Mike Huckabee.

Georgia is Segregating Troublesome Kids in Schools Used During Jim Crow ProPublica: Georgia has been illegally and unnecessarily segregating thousands of students with behavioral issues and disabilities, isolating them in run-down facilities and providing them with subpar education, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Track the Ebb and Flow of Public School Spending in 50 States State EdWatch: EdSource highlights both per-student spending figures per year and how much spending rose and fell during a single student's 13 years in a K-12 system.

Rep. Fattah Charged With Illegally Funneling Money Through His Ed Nonprofit PK12: Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was previously a member of the House education committee, has pushed for legislation that would require states to equalize educational resources.

OC teachers union president, other officers relieved of duty WESH Orlando: "The AFT and the Florida Education Association have exhausted every possible effort to help the union operate by its own bylaws,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: Renewed Controversy Over AP US History Course" »

Quotes: In NYC, Reformers Oppose Mayoral Control

Quotes2When a group professing to support education reform opposes mayoral control of schools, it calls into question what exactly it stands for.

--Wiley Norvell in NYT (Groups That Back Bloomberg’s Education Agenda Enjoy Success in Albany)

Maps: Handful Of States Like Indiana & Missouri Where Common Core/Testing Is Hotly Debated

Sdfgdfsgdfsgdfs"The landscape hasn’t changed drastically since the winter, as most of the Common Core climate has shifted more politically than legislatively. That, however, could change we enter election season and are faced with possible new implications in an NCLB rewrite, and as states reassess testing contracts and consider new legislation." (Where the Standards Stand- RealClear Education). Click the link for the interactive version (couldn't get it to embed properly).

Morning Video: Black Students More Likely to Receive "Stigmatizing" SPED Labels

"The data shows that black students are often times two or three times more likely than white students to be identified, especially in the most stigmatizing categories such as emotional disturbance, mental retardation or intellectual disabilities and some other categories," said Daniel Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies. "They are underrepresented in categories like autism, and perhaps other categories like speech and language." (The Complicated Problem Of Race And Special Education.)

AM News: ESEA Next Steps, Effective Teachers, Clinton Vs. Sanders

Senate’s ESEA rewrite would do away with supplanting rule SI&A Cabinet Report: A compromise revision of the nation’s primary education law would essentially eliminate long-standing federal prohibitions on using Title I dollars to replace or supplant state and local funds, a top education policy expert said Tuesday.

To get support for education bill, senators conjure lost art: Compromise  Washington Post: Alexander, 75, and Murray, 64, had never worked closely but they were suited to the task. Murray had a growing reputation as a dealmaker after negotiating a budget with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in 2013; Alexander had stepped down from Republican leadership in 2011, saying he wanted to focus on bridging divides rather than scoring political points.

Schools are able to hire stronger teachers when economy is weak, study finds Washington Post: Teachers who entered the profession during recessions were roughly one-tenth of a standard deviation more effective in raising students’ math test scores than teachers who entered the profession during better economic times. The recession effect was smaller in reading — about half as large. Other factors — such as teachers’ age and race, and the characteristics of the schools they worked in — could not explain the differences that researchers found between teachers hired during recession vs. non-recession periods.

The Complicated Problem Of Race And Special Education HuffPost: A group of experts who spoke with HuffPost Live last week said that while minorities may be underrepresented in some categories of special education, they're overrepresented in the most "stigmatizing" groups.

Education officials say PARCC tests saved $2.5M compared to previous assessment Baltimore Sun: Statewide, 1.3 million tests were completed during the school year. More than 80 percent of students took the assessments online.

Teacher-Turned-Congressman: Rep. Mark Takano's Take on ESEA Rewrite PK12: Takano favors grade-span testing, supports the federal mandate that states and schools test 95 percent of students, and thinks accountability should be entirely left up to states.

Labor Wrestles Over Choice Of Clinton Or Sanders AJAM: “I don’t quite know where this is coming from, because it’s rare for AFL to endorse in the primaries,” said AFT head Randi Weingarten, whose union has already endorsed Clinton. “And AFL always waits for what its affiliates are doing. What would have been surprising is if AFL did any kind of endorsement now instead of waiting." 

Why schools are rushing to hire more bilingual teachers Fusion: Some districts are sending officials to Mexico or Puerto Rico to find qualified bilingual Spanish teachers. For many districts, however, it’s languages other than Spanish that are most in demand. Facing growing numbers of refugees from places like Iraq and Myanmar, the Lincoln, Neb. school district budgeted $1.2 million this month to hire more English Language Learner teachers, as well as bilingual liaisons to help families keep in touch with their schools. Most of the new students are young, in kindergarten and first grade, officials said.

The struggle to breathe life back into empty schools WBEZ Chicago: It's the same story across the country in cities like Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago, where district leaders are facing the big question — what to do with all of those empty schools?

School Funding Fight Back in Hands of Washington State's Supreme Court State EdWatch: One of the most contentious K-12 spending battles in the nation could be close to a conclusion after over three years of legal and legislative wrangling.

Is This The Beginning Of The End For The SAT And ACT? NPR: George Washington University is the latest and one of the largest private universities to drop its admissions testing requirement.

How Squeezed Are the Schools? We May Get a Better Picture WNYC: Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration had convened a working group to examine the Blue Book, and six months ago, they submitted recommendations to the mayor and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

Charts: How Gerrymandered Attendance Zones Reinforce Segregation

37boundary-c1Here's a chart comparing actual Loudoun County (VA) attendance zones to model zones that balance student demographics as much as possible and aren't "gerrymandered" in ways that exclude certain groups. Via EdWeek (New Tool Maps School Attendance Zones). Used with permission. Credit Teachers College Record.

Thompson: Chris Barbic's Resignation & the Failure of School "Reform"

In 2009 and 2010, the contemporary school reform movement became the dog that caught the bus it was chasing. The Obama administration funded the entire corporate reform agenda. The wish list of market-driven reformers, test-driven reformers, and even the most ideological anti-union, teacher-bashers, became the law (in part or in totality) in 3/4ths of the states. Due to the Race to the Top, School Improvement Grants, and other innovations, competition-driven reformers, and corporate reform think tanks were granted the contracts that they claimed would reverse the effects of poverty. 

Now, ideology-driven reformers are supposed to be announcing the increases in student performance that their gold-plated reforms promised. Instead, across the nation, outcome-driven reformers are delivering excuses about their experiments’ disappointing results. Some are completely contradicting themselves, as they announce gains in graduation rates that are attributable to more counselors and student supports. Accountability hawks conveniently forget that they previously derided those old-fashioned, input-driven programs as artifacts of the education “status quo,” and its “low expectations.”

Some defeated reformers, like Michelle Rhee and Cami Anderson, remain blunt in blaming teachers and persons who disagree with them for the failure of schools that accept every student who walks in the door to produce significant gains. Others, like Kaya Henderson and the true believers in the New Orleans portfolio model, predict that early education and wraparound services will turn the toughest schools around. In doing so, these reformers forget how they previously condemned advocates of those policies as the problem.

Perhaps the most interesting spin was issued by Chris Barbic  when he resigned as the superintendent of the Tennessee Achievement School District (ASD). Chalkbeat Tennessee’s Daarel Burnette, in Chris Barbic, Founding Superintendent of State-Run Achievement School District, to Exit, explains that “Tennessee used more than 10 percent of its $500 million windfall in federal education funds to launch the ASD. Those funds, which arrived through the Race to the Top competition to spur education policy changes, have now disappeared.” Moreover, the legislature has made a number of efforts to shift gears away from Barbic’s and the ASD’s approach to school improvement.

Continue reading "Thompson: Chris Barbic's Resignation & the Failure of School "Reform"" »

Quotes: Your School Attendance Boundaries Are Gerrymandered

Quotes2Everybody’s concerned about political gerrymandering, but nobody really blinks an eye at gerrymandered school districts.

-- SMU Professor Meredith Richards, quoted in Edweek (New Tool Maps School Attendance Zones)

Morning Video: Teachers As Free Agents, Paid Based On Test Scores

Here's a Key & Peele sendup of SportsCenter in which teachers are highly-paid free agents who are wooed from one school to another based on salaries partly based on test scores. Includes a horrifyingly realistic in-video ad promoting BMWs for teachers.  Via Toppo

AM News: Columbia University-Affiliated School Reels Over Cheating Scandal & Principal's Suicide

Principal's Suicide, Forged Tests Rock Promising NYC School AP: The scandal has stirred sorrow and uncertainty after a promising start for Teachers College Community School and clouded the career of a Wall Street worker-turned-educator who'd earned praise for her approach. Meanwhile, Teachers College Community School seemed poised to prosper in its first round of Common Core tests, which factor in teacher and principal evaluations. See also NYTChalkbeatNY Post.

Colorado State Board of Education at Crossroads After Contentious Run Denver Post:  The item was not even on the agenda. The Colorado State Board of Education was supposed to spend the morning recognizing award-winning teachers and digesting a routine school-finance update.On that January day, Colorado Springs Republican Steve Durham sprung the first of many surprises that would shake the state's education establishment, prevailing in a vote to allow school districts to skip a portion of new state tests required by federal law.
 
Education Secretary Signals Push to Make Colleges More Accountable WSJ: One month after backing away from their plan to rate colleges, the Obama administration signaled it would take a harder line on issues of accountability in higher education over the homestretch of the president’s second term. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he wants to switch the nation’s focus from getting more students into college to getting more students out—with degrees.
 
The Effort To Stop Campus Rape Is Finally Starting To Focus On High Schools HuffPost: A provision in the Senate’s proposed rewrite of the nation's main education law governing K-12 schools would push for more sex education that focuses on dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Beyond the headlines: NCLB reform's lesser-known provisions MinnPost: If you followed the congressional votes, you no doubt know a few things: that the overhaul is almost a decade overdue, that the differing versions passed by the House of Representatives and Senate tackle hot-button policies concerning equity in funding, school accountability and student testing.

The Toughest Job In Education? Maybe Not NPR: It's been a theory of mine that the assistant principal has the toughest job in education. I got that idea a long time ago, when I was a student teacher at a middle school. 

Quality of Teacher Hires Improved During the Recession, Analysis Finds Teacher Beat: The paper was written by Markus Nagler of the University of Munich; Marc Piopiunik, of the ifo Institute for Economic Research (also in Munich); and Martin R. West of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Fact Checking Donald Trump on Gov. Scott Walker's Education Record PK12: The developer and GOP presidential hopeful has hit rival candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on common core and education cuts. Are his criticisms valid?

Expect Education To Be Big Issue In 2016 Presidential Campaign, Survey Shows Forbes: The foundation’s recent Schooling in America Survey found that 17% of respondents said education was the most important issue facing the nation. That compares with 31% who put economy and jobs at the top of their list of concerns. Healthcare was the most important issue for 13% of those surveyed.

Watts riots, 50 years later: What has L.A. learned, and done? LA Times: Locke High School is now Alain LeRoy Locke College Preparatory Academy and is run by charter school operator Green Dot rather than by the school district. Jordan Downs is in the midst of a remake, with its residents part of the planning process.

‘Parent trigger’ campaigns can continue despite lack of new test scores EdSource: Anaheim City School District officials argued in the Orange County Superior Court case that parents were ineligible to use the “parent trigger law” because no test scores were available from 2014 – the year when parents started collecting signatures for the transformation of Palm Lane Elementary School. Both sides filed legal complaints in April.

The Struggle To Breathe Life Back Into Empty Schools NPR: As urban schools across the country continue to lose students, the question districts like St. Louis face is: What to do with all of those empty buildings?

Transgender Teen Fights to Use the Boys' Restroom WNYC: Gavin is transgender. His family decided to sue the school after the school board prohibited Gavin from using the boys' restrooms at Gloucester High School. On Monday, lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia argued in federal court for an injunction that would permit Gavin to use the male restroom facilities at his school during the pending legal proceedings.

Maps: All But 8 States Have NCLB Waivers Now

image from s3.amazonaws.com

In a piece titled Why No Child Left Behind must be fixed, in one map, the Washington Examiner (I know) notes that the waiver system we're operating under currently (thanks, Arne Duncan) has more strings than NCLB or its likely successor. 

Morning Videos: Teacher Heroes, White People, Bluetooth Teacher Coaching

Gov. Jindal praises heroic teachers - via Washington Post. Or, here's a new MTV documentary called "White People" by (undocumented) documentary filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas in which young folks talk about what it's like being white. Read about it here in NY Mag:

 

Are folks doing this with white educators, I hope? Please fill me in. 

Or, watch KIPP's Dave Levin talk about the now-controversial program in which teachers are given instructions/ideas via earbud to help improve classroom teaching:

Via Washington Post / Valerie Strauss

AM News: Teachers Probably Saved Lives In Louisiana Shooting

After Lafayette theater shooting, union chief praises teachers NOLA.com: About 20 minutes into The Grand 16's showing of the film "Trainwreck" on Thursday night (July 24), gunman John Russell Houser stood up and began firing into the crowd, wounding Martin, Meaux and seven others and killing two more, authorities said. But one teacher jumped up to cover the other, and managed to pull the fire alarm to alert emergency responders, Weingarten said.See also Atlantic/EWAWashington PostPhilly.com.

Some Common Core tests are getting shorter. What are they losing? Hechinger Report: After a rough spring testing season, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of two state consortia tapped by the federal government to develop tests tied to the Common Core educational standards, is making big changes to its tests, which were administered to over five million students across 11 states and the District of Columbia this year.

Missouri Law Can’t Block Scholarships for Undocumented Immigrant Students Kansas City-Star:  In a memo sent Thursday to college presidents, chancellors and directors, Missouri Department of Higher Education Commissioner David Russell said language in the title or preamble of a recently passed higher education appropriations bill “has no legal authority to withhold scholarship awards from otherwise eligible students.” 

Carnegie Mellon project revives failed inBloom dream to store and analyze student data Hechinger Report: LearnSphere, a new $5 million federally-funded project at Carnegie Mellon University, aims to become “the biggest open repository of education data” in the world, according to the project leader, Ken Koedinger.

Why a Fight in Massachusetts Over Kindergarten Funding Is Getting Ugly Slate: While Massachusetts has a long way to go, access to early childhood education is indeed slowly expanding in many nearby areas. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push for universal pre-kindergarten continues with the announcement that preschool teachers at community-based early childhood centers, including day cares—who generally earn less than teachers

New GAO Report: Teacher Prep Programs Lack Performance Data PK12: Seven states ignored the federal higher education law's requirement to identify "at risk" and "low performing" teacher programs, some of them blatantly.

City Invalidates Test Scores of Third Graders at Harlem School NYT: The Education Department invalidated the results of the state exam taken by third graders amid allegations of testing improprieties by the principal of the Teachers College Community School. See also WNYC, NY Post.

What Do We Value More: Young Kids Or Fast Food? NPR: New York state recently announced an increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers, to $15 an hour. It's the fruit of a three-year labor campaign. But there's another group of workers out there that hasn't had a real wage increase in decades. Right now, at preschool programs around the country, teachers are tapping infinite reserves of patience to keep the peace among children at various stages of development and need. They're also providing meals, wiping noses and delivering a curriculum in math and reading that will get the kids ready for school. And there are hugs. Lots of hugs.

Quotes: Does State Trooper Encinia Remind You Of Anyone?

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"Replace Sandra Bland with a twelve-year-old girl. Replace the lit cigarette with chewing gum. Replace the car with a desk. Replace the state trooper with a teacher."
 

- The Synapse (White Educators: Do You Recognize State Trooper Encinia?)

Morning Video: In South Carolina, Clinton Addresses "Black Lives Matter"

Watch the NBC News clip above, or read more about the speeches here from AP. Or, watch acclaimed rapper (and college graduate) J. Cole talk about the importance of education and his issues with it (from March on Tavis Smiley).

AM News: NEA Ponders Timing, Selection Of Clinton -- Or Sanders

Who Will the NEA Endorse for President, Clinton or Sanders -- & When? TeacherBeat: Hillary Clinton, obviously, is the odds-on favorite for NEA pick. But consider this: At the NEA meeting this summer, by far the loudest delegate cheer went to Bernie Sanders, when the names of the three Democratic candidates interviewed by NEA President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia were announced. And officially, the NEA has been utterly silent about its endorsement plans. In a way, though, the "who" question is the wrong one to ask. The right question is whether the union can even get a primary endorsement together at all while it still matters.

In New White House Bid, Clinton Embraces Race as a Top Issue AP: At multiple stops in South Carolina, Clinton on Thursday bemoaned "mass incarceration," an uneven economy, increasingly segregated public schools and poisoned relations between law enforcement and the black community.

Judges Revive Claim that AT&T Overcharged Schools for Internet Service ProPublica: The little-noticed June 23 ruling concluded that the complaint by Todd Heath was properly filed under the U.S. False Claims Act – a decision that could lead to the disclosure of AT&T’s internal records about the federal program known as E-Rate. AT&T said then, and reaffirmed in a recent email to ProPublica, that it complies with the requirement that it charge such customers what is known as the “lowest corresponding price.”

Pool for Unassigned Teachers Swells in Newark Wall Street Journal: The pool swelled recently due to the cyclical flux between school years; many teachers are expected to find jobs in the fall. Many teachers, however, are there because they balked at longer hours in schools slated for overhauls. Under a union-district agreement, teachers joined the pool if they didn’t agree to a stipend, typically $3,000, for working about an hour more daily, several Saturdays and two weeks in the summer. A union spokesman said some who kept to contract hours and left at 3:05 p.m. were derided by other staffers as “Three-oh-fivers.”

Seven States Get NCLB Waiver Renewals, Including Opt-Out Friendly Oregon PK12: Alaska, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah can keep their flexibility from mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, no matter what happens with a pending rewrite of the law.

Pearson’s Fallon Seen Turning to Education Deals After FT Sale Bloomberg Business: Pearson Plc’s sale of the Financial Times newspaper to Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc. clears the way for the U.K. company to pursue acquisitions in educational publishing.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Continue reading "AM News: NEA Ponders Timing, Selection Of Clinton -- Or Sanders" »

Charts: Who's Running All Those Charter Schools?

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I don't know if it's been vetted by NAPCS or NACSA or anyone else yet, but Bruce Baker's maps and charts showing Who’s actually running America’s charter schools are pretty interesting to look at, and give a good sense of how narrow the conversation about charters can get given the distribution of providers/operators out there. 

Books: Hey, Leave Those Low-Scoring High Schools Alone!

 
It tells the story of Mission High, which has apparently enjoyed great success despite challenging circumstances -- including the possibility of being closed thanks (indirectly) to federal education law focused narrowly on test scores rather than other metrics:


"Based on four years of reporting with unprecedented access, the unforgettable, intimate stories in these pages throw open the doors to America’s most talked about—and arguably least understood—public school classrooms where the largely invisible voices of our smart, resilient students and their committed educators can offer a clear and hopeful blueprint for what it takes to help all students succeed."

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven't read the book yet, but longtime readers may recall that I critiqued the Mother Jones article Rizga wrote and the accompanying KQED feature that ran in 2012.
 
At that time, I wrote a post titled Everything You Read In That Mother Jones Article Is Wrong that praised Rizga for her writing but not for her fairness in terms of characterizing federal efforts to encourage districts to revamp schools that didn't appear to be doing well by students. I also suggested that Mission High might be something of an outlier, in terms of the apparent mismatch between test scores and other measures.
 
For the new book, there are blurbs from Dave Eggers, Jeff Chang, Dana Goldstein, Katrina vanden Heuvel, and LynNell Hancock. The book officially launches August 15.

Morning Video: New Teachers, Job Prospects, Minority Retention

Here's last night's PBS NewsHour segment on teacher supply and demand, which describes how 200,000 newly-minted teacher education graduates might fare in the job marketplace. (The piece quotes the 40 percent/5 year departure statistic we've long seen for new teachers, though I thought that new research suggested that number might not be as high as we've been told.)

"If and when they do get hired, chances are at least 40 percent of them will leave teaching in the first five years. "

According to Ingersoll, the profession has become even more female-dominated, and minority teachers have doubled but have higher quit rates (largely due to the kinds of schools and districts into which they are hired).

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