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Site News: Taking An Early Memorial Day Weekend

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I'm taking an early Memorial Day Weekend, so you should get your news from RealClear Education, the Annenberg Institute roundup, Morning Edu, or on Twitter. (Speaking of which, I may pass along a few must-reads which you can see below) Have a great weekend. See you Tuesday:

Quotes: The "Emerging Alliance" Between Teachers Unions & Republicans

Quotes2The emerging alliance between teachers unions and Republicans runs against decades of built-up cultural distrust. But the interests of the two partners are closely aligned...[And it's] not the first instance of this alliance in action.

- NY Mag's Jonathan Chait (Who’s Blocking Obama From Helping Poor Schools?)

Morning Video: Senate HELP Committee Hearing On ESSA Implementation

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Click this link to watch the video from yesterday's hearing (sorry but it's not embeddable), and to see the list of speakers and read their written testimony. Look at this morning's news roundup for coverage from PK12, USNews, and others. 

AM News: Senate Debates Proposed ESSA Funding Rule (Where's Clinton?)

Battle Raging Over Implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act | US News ow.ly/7EIh300mAYa

Sen. Murray supports USDE without endorsing Obama rule -- still no word from Clinton campaign? -- Politics K-12 ow.ly/uJZS300mL0z

Biggest Transitions Facing States for ESSA Accountability Flagged in New Report - Politics K-12 ow.ly/MaGp300mAEB

Publisher's ultimatim in test leak riles educators | 12NEWS.com ow.ly/dmOo300mKku

Paying Students May Raise Test Scores, But The Lesson Is Not Over : NPR Ed : NPR ow.ly/s6m9300mAxa

LAUSD administrative staff jumps 22 percent even as enrollment drops - LA School Report ow.ly/MEXY300mLSv

Wisconsin Supreme Court Affirms Power of State Superintendent - State EdWatch - Education Week ow.ly/Aua5300mAIF

Online School Enriches Affiliated Companies if Not Its Students - The New York Times ow.ly/MwXc300mAtj

California to Revise Textbooks to Reflect Diversity - ABC News ow.ly/bFea300mBaT

Teachers: The Wisdom Of The Cool Substitute

Some of the advice is a bit dated, and -- it has to be said -- Ryan Gosling may no longer be the heartthrob he once was -- but it's still good stuff. Anyone else remember "Hey, New Teacher"?

ESSA: The Obama Rule, A Clinton Quandary, & "Daylighted" Data To Come*

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Curious about the ESSA funding debate but not sure where to start or why to care? Let me see if I can help sort the substantive, political, and other aspects of the story out for you -- and point you towards and even more obscure part of ESSA that may make the current debate moot.

As you may already know, Senator Alexander and several education groups (including the teachers unions) are strongly opposed to an ESSA rule that the Obama education department has developed. No doubt, requiring districts to document equitable funding outcomes for Title I schools would require a series of changes for states and districts.

In extremely simplified terms, the Obama rule would require that states and districts show that they weren't spending more money on poorer schools* than less poor ones. Complying with the requirement could result in large-scale transfers of teachers, cutting of programs at middle-poverty schools, and other unwanted outcomes.

In establishing this requirement, the Obama rule goes against the flow of play these days, which under ESSA generally limits the USDE's role in overseeing the states and districts and how they use roughly $15 billion a year in federal education funding. According to ESSA, districts are relieved of having to identify specific services as supplemental and the USDE is specifically prohibited from requiring a “specific methodology” for distributing state and local funds.

Ed Week has covered this a number of times, including these two pieces (Education Secretary Advocates Robust ESSA Rules Amid GOP BacklashReport to Congress: Proposed Spending Rules Appear to Exceed ESSA Language). An NPR story this morning (The 'Intolerable' Fight Over School Money) adds that Senator Alexander has told states to resist this regulation if it isn't changed or stopped through other means. A NYT piece by New America's Kevin Carey (Why There’s an Uproar Over Trying to Increase Funding for Poor Schools) tells the backstory and makes the case in favor of the Obama position.

During a phone interview earlier this morning, Carey explained that the crafty folks at the USDE decided that the new law didn’t block them from requiring states to document comparable outcomes, as long as they didn’t meddle in the methods. “It’s a new and very different interpretation of the ‘supplement, not supplant’ rule,” according to Carey – but not an unjustifiable one. (On Twitter, economist Bruce Baker took issue with Carey's analysis, and the original headline of the piece [Why Poor Districts Receive Less Government School Funding Than Rich Ones] was quickly changed.) 

It comes down to semantics, really. If ESSA bans the USDE from establishing any specific method of allocating funding, does that also mean that it can’t require the resulting amounts to be equitable?

Nine Democratic Senators (including Senator Sanders and Senator Warren) are supporting the Obama position. A group of civil rights organizations is also supportive. 

We still don't know where Senator Murray and Hillary Clinton stand on the issue -- I've asked the Clinton campaign and will let you know when they respond. 

It’s worth adding that the Obama administration has made regular use of whatever flexibility it can find in federal law in the past. The 2009 Race to the Top initiative, the SIG program, and the NCLB waiver program all stretched – or perhaps broke – the limits of the USDE’s statutory and regulatory powers.

In pushing ahead with this ESSA rule the Obama administration could be seen as creating problems for the Clinton campaign. It certainly isn't taking a backseat and giving the presumptive nominee as much maneuvering room as possible. 

Even if the USDE blinks first, funding expert Marguerite Roza argues in the Brookings blog that a transparency provision put into the law by Senator Bennet is going to end up having much the same effect (More equitable spending on its way regardless of rulemaking). 

Roza argues that, when differentials between schools are finally published, it will become difficult for lawmakers to continue doing what they've done for so long:

"When the spending data are daylighted, the evidence will be clear that many districts have hardwired systematic spending inequities in their operations.... School boards will have no choice but to do the hard work of rethinking longstanding policies that contributed to the uneven spending."

*Correction: The original version stated poorer districts, not schools.

Quotes: Trump Would Overturn Gun-Free School Zones

Quotes2I’m going to get rid of the gun-free zones on the military bases. I’m also going to do it in schools. You say you have a school, and it’s gun-free. The criminals are out there saying, ‘This is incredible. This is perfect. There’s no guns in there. I’m the only one that’s going to have guns.’ You can’t do it. I’m going to work with the states, and if I have to, I’m going to try and perhaps override the states if I have to...

-- Donald Trump, quoted in the Washington Post (Clinton campaign’s claim that Trump would ‘force schools to allow guns in classrooms’)

Morning Video: Islamophobia In St. Cloud, Minnesota Schools

From the PBS NewsHour: "The St. Cloud school district has seen several incidents motivated by race and religion, but educators there have poured their energy into supporting immigrants with language and cultural services and taken steps to ensure a more welcoming and tolerant school climate for all its students."

See also this recent Education Week story on the St. Cloud district's initiative to improve language and cultural awareness in its schools and watch a Web video on some of the educators who work with the Somali community to address students' needs.

 

AM News: Federal Funding Dispute, Segregation Surge, CA Grad Rate Uptick

The 'Intolerable' Fight Over School Money : NPR Ed : NPR pllqt.it/EfH7Sc

On the anniversary of Brown v. Board, new evidence that U.S. schools are resegregating - Washington Post ow.ly/yL26300k0sk

Black And Latino Students Lose Out To White Peers. And It's Getting Worse. - HuffPost ow.ly/NiC7300k1fl

Lusher teachers reject union for collective bargaining | NOLA.comow.ly/BwCh300k1Vu

California high school students graduating at record rate - SFGate ow.ly/tykr300k20z

Are more engaging classes improving California graduation rates? scpr.org/news/2016/05/1…

Boston Students Walk Out To Protest Proposed Cuts ow.ly/xshc300k26F

LAUSD puts millions into its magnet expansion - LA School Report ow.ly/G6JP300k0eG

Girls better at leveraging tech to solve problems - POLITICO ow.ly/X4IT300k1Xc

#EDgif Of The Day: "Immigrants - The Get The Job Done."

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That's Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of "Hamilton," speaking at the UPenn graduation ceremony last weekend. It's a line from the show, which a foundation is sending thousands of NYC high school kids to see this Spring. 

Charts: Teachers Estimate Time Spent On State & District Testing

F4A_Teacher-estimated_time_per_year_spent_preparing_students_for_mandated_tests (1)From CEP.

 

Quotes: Why Are Education Groups Aligned With Republicans?

Quotes2Normally, teachers unions and school advocates support Democratic politicians and are the mortal enemies of conservative Republicans. Yet this time, they found an enthusiastic supporter in Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Education Committee. 

-- Kevin Carey in the NYT (Why Poor Districts Receive Less Government School Funding Than Rich Ones)

Morning Video: Watch The Atlantic's 2nd Education Summit (Live)

Check out this DC event, or click here for more information.

AM News: Girls Beat Boys On Tech/Engineering Test, Plus Other Tuesday Stories

Girls outscore boys on inaugural national test of technology, engineering skills - The Washington Post  ow.ly/PjPe300hr1w 

PA Governor not ready to revise teacher layoff law :: SI&A Cabinet Report ow.ly/Ssgt300hrF3

Pearson gets emergency test scoring contract from Tennessee | Chalkbeatow.ly/Zz2z1005u57

A First: Pell Grants For High School Students Who Take College Classes : NPR Ed : NPR ow.ly/dd6y300hr9s

Some, But Not All of New i3 Grants Will Prioritize School Integration - Politics K-12 - Education Week ow.ly/TK7d300hrdt

Desegregation order: Mississippi district must merge schools: AP Article ow.ly/9Rfb300hrfY

Candidate for CPS principals' group arrested on phone charge | Chicago Sun-Times ow.ly/AjvX300hrQe

What if one culture shares multiple languages? That’s a challenge Oregon is taking up with its Somali students. ow.ly/keqD300hrnc

Uncovering the Stark Disparities Behind School Money - ProPublica ow.ly/wkcn300hrLK

Old time courtesies getting new currency in Maryland schools offsetting disrespect with etiquette lessons. fw.to/oEY9Jlh

Chicago Principal Grapples With Potential Budget Cuts | WBEZ ow.ly/yKx7300g9Ck

Afternoon Video: The Silencing Effect Of Teacher Hero/Villain Rhetoric

 I'm not exactly sure what the news hook was here - Teacher Appreciation Week, maybe? -- but here's a May 3rd Vox video of former education reporter Dana Goldstein (now at The Marshall Project) talking about outsized demands the public and policymakers demand of teachers, rhetorically at least.

In other places, Goldstein has argued that there has been a "moral panic" about veteran classroom teachers, in which they are vilified and end up leaving the field. You can read about that here: At AFT Conference, Goldstein Compares Reform Efforts To "Moral Panic"Goldstein Compares Current Teacher Fears To 1980s' Welfare Fears

There are certainly examples of teachers being called on to do superhuman work, or denounced for the failures of a handful. But the rhetoric certainly goes both ways (hero and villain), and I'm not sure that these extremes are taken very seriously by policymakers or the public.

There may be some cumulative effect of the repeated assertion, however -- and the unfortunate effect of silencing pragmatic debate over improving teaching. 

Magazines: So Long, The Toast

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This is a rough time of year for teachers who haven't had as good a year as they wanted to have, as chronicled in The Gradual Devolution of My Goals as an English Teacher:

From "My students will learn to lose and then find themselves again through the existential questions of great literature" to "Maybe I can help just one student become a marginally better person."

But that's not the only school-related post from The Toast, a much-admired but little-read site that's closing up shop. Some other notable columns:

My 4th grade teacher called me Lillian for the entire year - The Names They Gave Me

The teacher I wish I had. ": Edna Krabappel's Finest Moments | "

Your Inspirational Non-English Teacher

My Sexual Education in the 1950s

On Working in Cook County Schools and Jails | O

Events: Another Week, Another Education Summit

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"At the second annual Education Summit, The Atlantic will illuminate the most pressing debates in the education world today, from cradle to college," says the promo copy for Education Summit 2016. It start tomorrow morning and continues Wednesday, in DC. Topics under discussed are listed as ESSA, Common Core, School to Prison Pipeline, Speech on College Campuses, and College Affordability. Speakers and panelists include Jen Holleran, executive director of Startup:Education (part of the Chan Zuckerberg effort). The Atlantic's education editor, Alia Wong, will also participate. Hashtag? Livestream? LMK. 

Quotes: Clinton's "Unadulterated Support" Of Teachers

Quotes2Clinton’s unadulterated support of teachers unions and improving teaching conditions show just how rapidly the rhetoric is changing on the Democratic side, both in speeches directed at teachers and in the wider public discourse.

-- ThinkProgress education reporter Casey Quinlan (Hillary Clinton's Revolutionary Promise To Lift Up The Teaching Profession)

Morning Video: Remembering Jazz Jennings

Hidden in the new LA Times story about a West LA transgender elementary school student is a 2007 ABC segment about Jazz, who was born as a boy. It seems like it's cut off at the end. Anyone know the update? 

AM News: Bathroom Access, Detroit's Demise, SF's TFA Opt-Out

Few Solutions in Texas School Finance Ruling - The New York Times ow.ly/TqeV300eLMs

Detroit schools' decline and teacher sickout reflect bad economy and demographic shifts - LA Times ow.ly/4Xwk300dcsG

SF school leaders give Teach for America a time-out - San Francisco Chronicle ow.ly/uQBo300eMB0

Gov. Wolf pledges to veto bill that diminishes teacher seniority ow.ly/OQwx300eOsl

CPS: School budget cuts next year could top 20 percent, absent state action - Chicago Tribune ow.ly/p0Ol300dPt5

Abdul Wright of Best Academy is 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year | Star Tribune ow.ly/L1aO1004Z5f

How Denver Public Schools will decide to close low-performing schools | Chalkbeat ow.ly/AV8G300eOYY

Some embrace Obama administration’s transgender directive, others vow to fight - The Washington Post ow.ly/xrTG300eLKg

In Many School Districts, Transgender Bathroom Access Is The Norm : NPR ow.ly/z6RV300eLRR

A transgender 9-year-old tells her story - LA Times ow.ly/3QTH300eLtl

Math. Science. Recess. Minecraft? Twitch club brings gaming to school - LA Times ow.ly/LZui300c7pT 

#EDgif Of The Day: Imagine John King With Big Felt Petals Sticking Out Of His Head

 

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"Imagine me with big felt petals sticking out of my head." - John King on Chelsea Handler the other night.

Continue reading "#EDgif Of The Day: Imagine John King With Big Felt Petals Sticking Out Of His Head" »

Morning Video: More NYC Kids See/Perform At "Hamilton"

Good Morning America covers the program to bring NYC kids in to see the Broadway show -- and do some performing of their own.

AM News: Transgender Bathrooms, ESSA Conflict

U.S. Directs Public Schools to Allow Transgender Access to Restrooms nyti.ms/1WtMvrd

See also: Reaction To White House Directive On Transgender Bathrooms : NPR ow.ly/6cM2300a7Jc

USDE says it's trying to protect poor children. A senator says they’re trying to break the law. - WashPost ow.ly/Q78T300a7BL

Report: California’s charter schools lag behind traditional schools in graduating students | EdSource ow.ly/b3ar300a8br

CA schools will soon be on the hook for things like suspensions, attendance and graduation rates - LA Times ow.ly/eHlY3008Sc3

LAUSD votes to create thousands more magnet school seats in 2017 - LA Times pllqt.it/YymcSR

LAUSD makes $$ from charters, contradicting @UTLAnow-funded study, docs show.  LA School Report buff.ly/1Nso76y

Va. governor moves to upend traditional high school - The Washington Post ow.ly/29mq300a7ww

DC School Chief's Plea for Contractor Cash Draws Complaint - ABC News ow.ly/Kl5l300a7Py

Principals bracing to lose 20 percent in school budgets | Chicago Sun-Times ow.ly/qo8L300a8i5

More Chicago kids live in 'affluence bubble' than in most U.S. cities - Crain's Chicago Business ow.ly/XBsq300a7xo

Children in disadvantaged neighborhoods more likely to see local schools close. | USAPP pllqt.it/0eRQ4i

NAACP in St. Petersburg calls for Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego to resign | Tampa Bay Times ow.ly/kJWs3008SeE

Books: "Last Voyageurs" Chronicles A School Trip Wilder Than Most

Maps: Slow Progress On Preschool

Or, as the Huffington Post put it, "At This Rate, It Will Be A Very Long Time Before Every Child Gets Access To Preschool."

Morning Video: Snippets From #NSVF (Including Standing Ovation For Duncan)

"Sit down before I start crying," says Duncan in response to standing ovation. Read more from PK12 here. See more snippets here. Full video?

 

AM News: Who Cares About ESSA When There's A $63M HS Football Stadium In Texas

That’s Right: $63 Million for a Football Stadium … for High Schoolers - The New York Times ow.ly/9LNQ3008f0E

New York’s Increase in Pre-K Funding Leads Nation - WSJ ow.ly/GKzk3008ftO

California's schools will soon be on the hook for things like suspensions, attendance and graduation rates - LA Times http://ow.ly/8bOE3008jBy

Enrollment in state-funded preschool inched up in 2014-15 - AP Article ow.ly/vN3w3008faf

A 'borderless' school district with lots of choices: LA's superintendent outlines priorities | 89.3 KPCC ow.ly/mwpv3008f83

Arne Duncan, Priscilla Chan Discuss Next Steps for K-12 Education - Politics K-12 - Education Week ow.ly/e77G3008f6N

N.C. school board caught up in ‘bathroom bill’ debate after voting to okay pepper spray, mace - The Washington Post ow.ly/XFCg3008eXo

These 2 teens with similar backgrounds took very different paths to college - LA Times ow.ly/OYAe3008eQ2

Afternoon Video: Highlights From NSVF Summit

#nsvfsummit New Schools Venture Fund Summit 2016 Highlight: Dr. Manuel Pastor, Brittany Packnet, and Jose Patiño from NewSchools Venture Fund on Vimeo.

Map: Virtual Schools In Most States Have "Unacceptably Low" Graduation Rates

Quotes: When Even School Advocates Can't Figure Out The System

Quotes2Here I was this advocate for education, and I couldn’t find a place for my son... I was crying in the principal’s office and I said, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ The principal said, ‘I don’t either.

Parent and advocate Arlyssa Heard in The Atlantic (The Bills That Want to Solve Detroit's School Crisis)

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.