PBS: A program in Kansas City, Missouri is trying to stem [preschool expulsions] by "looking beyond the classroom to the issues these children face at home -- and helping them to feel safe." (Giving traumatized kids a head start in healing)
Campbell Brown’s group to file teacher tenure suit ChalkbeatNY: A group of seven families led by the news-anchor-turned-education-activist Campbell Brown will file a complaint in state court on Monday. The suit, to be filed in Albany by Brown’s group, is the second such case in New York and follows a California ruling in June that deemed teacher tenure laws in that state unconstitutional.
Feds back English learner lawsuit against state EdSource via Hechinger: The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has found an ally in the U.S. Department of Justice for its lawsuit charging that the state abdicated its obligation to ensure all students classified as English learners get extra instructional services to become fluent in English. The lawsuit, filed in April 2013, is set for a one-day trial next week in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Washington state stands alone on US education law AP: When the past school year began, four states were in danger of losing their waivers from aspects of the law. But only one has actually lost the flexibility Duncan began promoting in 2011: Washington. The three others - Oregon, Kansas and Arizona - appear to be on the path to resolving their differences with the federal government.
Learning To Read May Take Longer Than We Thought NPR: A Dartmouth study suggests that fifth-graders are still "learning to read," not just "reading to learn."
Gene I. Maeroff, Education Reporter and Author, Dies at 75 NYT: A former education reporter for The Times, Mr. Maeroff found a second career working as an author, a researcher and an adviser on education issues.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderusso).
It's Friday and so I'll be updating the site -- lightly -- via Twitter (which also posts to Facebook and here). See it all below. Have a great weekend! Tweets about "@alexanderrusso"
Ed tech promoters need to understand how most of us learn | The Hechinger Report ow.ly/zxWbN
From ECS: "42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have charter school laws. Important, evolving elements of these state laws include: Statewide authorizing bodies (33 states); Standards for authorizers (quality school authorizing) (15 states and D.C.); Requirements that authorizing bodies report annually on their portfolios of schools (15 states and D.C.); Explicit performance thresholds below which charters must be revoked or non-renewed (11 states and D.C.); Explicit attention to one type of charter: the Internet, or cyber charter (24 states define or permit; 20 outline elements of oversight)."
Charter Schools Database via EdWeek.
Image Flickr CC via
If someone knocks on your door and says, ‘I’m Mark, I’m from the state Democratic Party,’ you take the literature and shut the door. “If you say, ‘Hi, I’m Karen, I’m a third-grade teacher at Hillsmere Elementary and I’m here to tell you what’s at stake for public education,’ that gets a very different reaction from the voter. - Karen White, political director for the National Education Association in today's Politico story (
Districts get early look at test scores as SED responds to concerns ChalkbeatNY: State education officials said they’re releasing “instructional reports” to districts more than a month earlier than in previous years. It’s the first time it will come before the state’s release of statewide test results, which officials said won’t come for at least another two weeks.
A Bird's-Eye View On Common Core Across The Country NPR: With conservative commentator Glenn Beck renewing his fight against the Common Core State Standards, it's worth taking a bird's-eye view of the learning benchmarks. Where are they now being implemented, what challenges remain and what does the coming school year have in store?
Glenn Beck takes to the theaters to attack Common Core Washington Post: Conservative media commentator Glenn Beck led a national strategy session to kill the Common Core State Standards on Tuesday night, using a two-hour simulcast into movie theaters across the country as a way to embolden critics of the standards and recruit foot soldiers to the cause.
Glenn Beck Takes His Campaign Against Common Core To The Big Screen NPR: Conservative commentator Glenn Beck hosted a live, interactive "night of action" against the Common Core State Standards. He has long fought against the learning benchmarks in reading and math now being used in 43 states. Events such as these, and the Common Core itself, could continue to play a role in the 2014 midterm campaigns.
Why Do Americans Stink at Math? NYT Magazine: The Common Core should finally improve math education. The problem is that no one has taught the teachers how to teach it.
Charter School Cap and Closure Laws Among Growing Policy Trends EdWeek: The report says 15 states and the District of Columbia have established standards for authorizers, while 16 states and D.C. require authorizers to submit annual reports on their portfolios of schools. The brief also points to statewide authorizing bodies as another policy trend: Of the 42 states with charter laws, 33 have an authorizer that charters and oversees schools statewide. The remaining policy trends identified by the Denver-based ECS were not directly related to charter school authorizing, but still share oversight as a theme.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
Apple Claims 85% of U.S. Education Market for Tablets http://ow.ly/zuqy8 [Even as iPad consumer sales flatline]
This Aspiring Astronaut Might Be The World's Most Amazing Teen : Goats and Soda : NPR http://ow.ly/zvGZe
High schools worse than colleges handling rape, reports Al Jazeera America http://ow.ly/zviOv Harrowing story re Seatle's Garfield HS
"The average teacher in South Dakota with a bachelor's degree and 10 years of experience earns $33,600 per year — less than the average South Dakotan auto-repair worker," writes Vox's Libby Nelson, working off a CAP report (After 10 years at work, teachers in some states make less than $40,000) that should provide more context (re cost of living, salaries for other bachelors'-level jobs, etc.), IMHO.
However strongly they disagree with Obama and the education reformers about the design of education and teacher pay, they do agree on the principle of paying teachers more. This is in contrast to Republicans, who generally support all the reformers’ accountability measures and lower public budgets as well. - Jonathan Chait in NY Magazine last week.
Though not entirely alone in covering the education (and political) angles to the unaccomanpied migrant story, EdWeek and Lesli Maxwell have been leading the way in recent weeks. Examples include a late-June story this photo spread (Documenting the Immigrant-Children Influx), some recent statistics, and a backgrounder. Image courtesy EdWeek.
From last night's PBS NewsHour: "In Houston, Texas, the superintendent of one school district [Spring Branch] has invited competing charter schools to set up shop alongside a regular middle school. Special correspondent John Merrow reports on their evolving partnership." (Transcript here.)
Teachers union steps into legal battle over tenure, against a former ally ChalkbeatNY: The lawsuit pits the union against a former ally, Mona Davids, who is among the parents suing to undo the tenure laws. Davids heads the New York City Parents Union, which consulted with the UFT on a union-sponsored parent advocacy group two years ago. [See also TeacherBeat]
Bobby Jindal Sued By His Allies Over Common Core HuffPost: Two years ago, Jindal visited a charter school operated by the Choice Foundation, a nonprofit organization that manages a chain of charter schools in Louisiana. Now, Jim Swanson, chair of the Choice Foundation schools, is joining a group of parents and teachers to sue Jindal for trying to reverse his state's adoption of the standards.
Lessons from a school that scrapped a longer student day and made time for teachers Hechinger Report: The case in New Haven tells a cautionary tale of what can happen when a low-performing school rushes to add time to close that gap. It also reflects the latest focus of the expanded-time movement: making extra time for teachers to learn.
Charter and traditional schools bridge divide under one roof PBS NewsHour: Charter schools have often been seen as a threat to traditional schools, diverting resources and students to these publicly funded but privately run institutions. In Houston, Texas, the superintendent of one school district has invited competing charter schools to set up shop alongside a regular middle school. Special correspondent John Merrow reports on their evolving partnership.
Is There a Mismatch Between Ed. Dept.'s Teacher-Equity Plans and NCLB Waivers? PK12: For the past five-plus years of the Obama administration, the big teacher-policy emphasis has been on educator effectiveness, meaning tying teacher performance to student outcomes, including on standardized tests. States had to develop teacher evaluations that take test scores into account, both to get a slice of the Race to the Top money, and later, to get flexibility from the No Child Left Behind Act.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
The Hill's profile of Third Way's national security guru makes me wonder whatever happened to their education work? http://ow.ly/zsAt6
Ivy League Schools Are Overrated. Send Your Kids Elsewhere. | New Republic http://ow.ly/zsysB
Vox's Libby Nelson has a good starter list of 12 New Yorker education articles to read while the archives are free but I think she might have missed and/or gotten a few wrong.
No problem -- that's what I'm here for.
It recommends Kate Boo's story about the attempt to revamp Denver's Manual Arts (Expectations) but leaves out her amazing (2006 - I'm cheating) story about early childhood interventions (Swamp Nurse).
Steve Brill's The Rubber Room was an artful rehash of reporting done by others. Rachel Aviv's Wrong Answer is a fascinating look at how some teachers decided they had to cheat that loses out in the end with its lazy reliance on NCLB as the main reason.
Stories mysterious left out include the New Yorker's take on executive function (Delayed Gratification = 210 SAT Points) and Jill Lepore's fascinating revelation that liberal Icon Elizabeth Warren hates neighborhood-based school assignment (Your Favorite Liberal Lawmaker Supports Universal Vouchers*). Nick Lemann's 2010 turning point piece is left out, too (The overblown crisis in American education).
All that being said, kudos to Nelson for getting things started and including some ed-related stories like this summer's Jill Lepore takedown of "innovation" (The Disruption Machine), which I blogged about last month (The Innovation/Disruption "Myth"). Lots more examples from Gawande, Gladwell, etc. to be found. The Hit Man's Tale!?
Previous TWIE posts about the New Yorker: Learning From The Gay Rights Movement; Last Week's Problematic New Yorker Parent Opt-Out Story; The New Yorker Takes Another Look At Coaching; Delayed Gratification = 210 SAT Points; Lessons From Earth Day 1970; If Doctors Can Do It, So Can Teachers, Coaching: Even Veterans & Star Teachers Could Benefit, Checklists: The Simple Solution No One Wants To Try.
"Only 13 percent of American children meet an international definition of disadvantage, lower than in many other countries. [And yet] in a survey of 29 countries, more principals in the United States reported having at least 30 percent of students come from socioeconomically disadvantaged homes than in any other country." (NYT Principals in U.S. Are More Likely to Consider Their Students Poor).
Marketplace reporter Amy Scott has launched a Kickstarter to finish out a documentary about a Cincinnati school that's transformed itself into a K-12 community center (OYLER). Watch the trailer above and click the link to contribute (@oylerdoc)
Principals in U.S. Are More Likely to Consider Their Students Poor NYT: American principals are much more likely to describe their students as disadvantaged than principals in many other countries — including some countries that are significantly poorer than the United States.
Florida counts down to new Common Core standards, exams Hechinger: Although the teachers at Monroe Middle School are optimistic, many teachers and school leaders think the switch to Common Core is the biggest change in education now, and it’s taken a lot of work.
Waiverless Washington State's Request for New NCLB Flexibility Denied PK12: Washington state can't seem to catch a break these days when it comes to No Child Left Behind Act waivers.
No go: Feds deny state request to reinstate part of WA No Child waiver Seattle Times: The U.S. Department of Education has denied Washington state's request to reinstate one piece of the state's former No Child Left Behind waiver.
New political action committee forms in L.A. school board race LA Times: A new political action committee has formed to influence the outcome of Los Angeles school board races, filling a gap created when a group of civic leaders, which includes former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, decided to sit out next month's key upcoming election.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
NEA & AFT Give More Than $2.2 Million to Democratic Governors | Intercepts ow.ly/zpHLn
RapGenius goes to School = Education Genius ow.ly/zpEFB Anyone trying or using it out there?
How come there aren't any great twitter bots for education/edreform? ow.ly/zpJr8
The Oklahoma State Department of Education annual Vision 2020 conference opened as Secretary of Education Robert Sommers announced his resignation. Sommers was a CEO of Carpe Diem charters, and a supporter of the former Indiana Chief for Change Tony Bennett.
Sommers’s exit followed the resounding electoral defeat of State Superintendent and Chief for Change Janet Barresi. It also followed the legislative defeats of high stakes 3rd grade testing and the withdrawal from Common Core.
The week's biggest news was also education-related. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman had once been more of an underdog than those who challenged Superintendent Barresi, but now a Rasmussen poll shows that his Republican opponent, Gov. Mary Fallin, is in a freefall.
Dorman was given the perfect opportunity to proclaim, “We cannot continue Fallin and Barresi’s destructive education policies.”
As Dorman pulled almost even with the incumbent, Fallin repudiated Barresi’s and her own agenda.
The story of how this happened will follow the break.
The formless young protagonist of Richard Linkalter's new film, "Boyhood," gets a number of talkings-to during his 12 years growing up onscreen, but none of them is better than the one delivered by his photography teacher (Mr. Turlington, played by actor Tom McTigue) about two thirds of the way through the movie. Part lecture, part pep talk, the teacher clearly has established a relationship with his troublesome student and is able to drop some wisdom about talent vs. effort without being overly alienating. Image via NY Mag. A million Internets to anyone who has the script and/or the scene.
VOCEL – a small education non-profit for children from under-resourced communities – is behind one of the first initiatives to use crowdfunding to open a preschool, the AFP reports. (TIME via Annenberg Institute)
Cities in New York State Get Ready for Arrival of Child Migrants District Dossier: Syracuse and New York City leaders are mobilizing services and supports for the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have arriving in their communities.
Obama's initiative gets $104 million boost MSNBC: According to a White House official, Obama will announce Monday at the Walker Jones EducationCenter in Washington new partnerships with public and private groups to the tune of about $104 million in funding.
Rocketship Slows Down EdSurge: In recent weeks the San Jose, CA-based network withdrew charter applications for eight schools in Dallas and San Antonio. Plans to expand to Indianapolis, where it had previously gained approval to build another eight schools that would have opened doors in 2015, have been delayed. Also on hold are plans to grow to New Orleans and Memphis.
Incoming NEA head inherits tension with Education Secretary Arne Duncan MSNBC: Former elementary school teacher Lily Eskelsen García will become president of America's biggest labor union, the National Education Association (NEA), on Sept. 1. In the meantime, she already has plenty of work to do.
New college data give fuller picture of graduation rates — and show challenges Washington Post: Dozens of public universities across the country, including three in Maryland, report that fewer than half of their full-time freshmen in 2007 earned bachelor’s degrees after six years at those schools or after switching to other schools.
Pro-Charter School Group Spent Nearly $6 Million in Media Blitz NYC: Lobbyists representing de Blasio's own interests were also heavy spenders this year. The Campaign for One New York spent $1.76 million on its own successful pitch to expand pre-kindergarten, which included money from unions.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
Happy Friday! I'll be updating the site via Twitter today -- back to normal blogging on Monday. You can read it all here, or on Facebook (Alexander Russo), or directly on Twitter (@alexanderrusso). Have a great weekend! Tweets about "@alexanderrusso"
Massachusetts Senate Votes Not to Lift Cap on Charter Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog ow.ly/zhcFp
The case for shutting down Stuyvesant High School, the best public school in New York. ow.ly/zeQzs
Principal comes close to breaking down talking about losing kids due to boundary changes ow.ly/zhhbE 18 min mark
Yes, Gaza militants hide rockets in schools, but Israel doesn't have to bomb them - Vox ow.ly/zheHp
Among several news outlets awarded a Knight Foundation "prototype" grant is the Viginian-Pilot:
Pilot for School by The Virginian-Pilot (Project lead: Shawn Day):
Building a targeted digital system that will allow Virginia teachers to search newspaper content and use it to complement class curricula; content will align with Virginia’s Standards of Learning and help students apply academic concepts to what’s happening in their community.
When Storytelling Meets Civic Action (via PBS)
Does it make sense for newspapers to try and guide teachers and parents on Common Core materials, or is there a danger it's going to be misleading or overkill?
"Here's somebody whose influence on ed policy is in no way related to their hotness, unlike that bimbo Campbell Brown," quipped NY Mag journo Jonathan Chait, linking to Matt Damon's appearances at various anti-reform events a few years back.
ICYMI, Ravitch questioned Brown's credibility on education issues about which the two people happen to disagree and in the process made several comments about Brown's looks.
Damon has appeared at various anti-reform events in recent years, based in large part on his good looks and celebrity (and views on education with which Ravitch happens to agree).
The fact is, that while NEA does not control curriculum, set funding levels, or hire and fire, we cannot go on denying responsibility for school quality. - Former NEA President Bob Chase (in 1997) via DFER's Charlie Barone