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Morning Video: Charter School Head Moscowitz Talks Lawsuit, Bias


AM News: Schools Dig Out From Storm; Detroit School Closings Continue

Snow Clean Up Underway As East Coast Tries To Get Back To Normal AP: While New York City schools are open today, D.C. Public Schools remain closed. In Virginia, classes at Fairfax County schools have already been canceled for Tuesday as well. See also WNYC.

Detroit Teachers Plan Protest at Court Hearing on Sick-Outs AP: Detroit teachers plan to protest before a judge hears arguments in a case that could force teachers to stop skipping school. See also Detroit Free Press, Detroit News.

Chicago Public Schools Announces 227 Layoffs WBEZ: More than 200 administrative employees with Chicago Public Schools are being laid off and another 180 already-vacant positions will be closed, changes officials say will help save the nation's third-largest district $45.1 million a year as it grapples with deep financial problems.

Success Academy Founder Defends Schools Against Charges of Bias NYT: Eva S. Moskowitz says her network of charter schools has room to improve in how it serves students with disabilities but does not discriminate against them. See also Politico NY.

Millions take AP courses, but percentage of schools offering them drops Washington Post: In two landmark studies, quantitative data expert Nat Malkus has confirmed the rigor of the most successful high school program of the past three decades, Advanced Placement, and revealed what might be a troubling decline in AP use in small and rural schools.

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

Continue reading "AM News: Schools Dig Out From Storm; Detroit School Closings Continue " »

Charts: White People Least Sure Government Should Help Diversify Schools


"Some 61 percent of black Americans and 55 percent of Hispanic Americans said they think the government should take steps to increase school diversity. Only 28 percent of white Americans said the same." Via HuffPost (Surprise! White People Don't Really Care About School Diversity)

Morning Video: Elaborate Teacher Parody Turns Adele's "Hello" Into "Snow"

"Snow... it's me. I know we just got out for Christmas but I'm ready for some more... time to myself." via TIME, via Nuzzel. The original performance is pretty good, too. She's a third grade teacher.

Or, on a much more serious topic, listen to this new Macklemore & Ryan song, White Privilege II, which includes the repeated line:"We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for Black lives?" 

The Seattle-based duo credits a group of collaborators including local educator Georgia Roberts. Lyrics and explanations here.

Quotes: Obama Official Apologizes In Philadelphia

Quotes2A discussion that began with shared interests and shared values – the importance of learning and growth for all our children – ended up with a lot of teachers feeling attacked and blamed... And when [teachers] disagreed with evaluation systems, it appeared to pit them against those who they cherished most – their students... That was no one's desire. 

-- Acting EdSec John King in US News (King Apologizes for Politicized Education Atmosphere)

AM News: Detroit Schools Re-Open (Still Unclear What Candidates Would Do)

Clinton on Detroit schools: 'No one would tolerate these conditions in a wealthy suburb.' Washington Post:  Detroit Public Schools responded to Wednesday’s sickout by taking to the courts to stop further sickouts. The school system filed for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the Detroit Federation of Teachers and a number of individual teachers. Ivy Bailey, the interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, called the legal action “regrettable.”

Michigan Lawmakers Try to Toughen Strike Laws NYT: Angered by teacher sickouts that have closed many Detroit schools, majority Republicans in Michigan’s Legislature proposed legislation to make it easier to deem such work stoppages illegal strikes.

Detroit Schools in Session After Teacher Sick-out Shutdown AP: The Detroit public school district says all schools are in session Thursday, a day after a massive sick-out by teachers closed most schools

Here's How the Education World Thinks the Feds Should Regulate Under ESSA PK12: The online comment period for how the U.S. Department of Education should regulate under the Every Student Succeeds Act closed Thursday; here are some highlights.

Illinois Governor, GOP Legislators: State Should Take Over Chicago Schools State EdWatch: A state takeover plan would allow the financially struggling district to declare bankruptcy and the state to avoid any liability.See also WBEZ.

CTU president says union could 'possibly' give up pension pickup practice Chicago Tribune: Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, voiced optimism Thursday about the progress of contract negotiations with the school board and acknowledged her members could be in line to "lose certain things."

As charter schools rise, Dallas ISD rues loss of students — and millions in funding Dallas Morning News: DISD’s enrollment dropped by 2,000 students this school year, at a cost of at least $10 million in state funding provided on a per-pupil basis. About half the lost enrollment is kindergartners going to charter schools. The district’s chief financial officer expects another drop in enrollment next school year.

Afternoon Video: "Hip-Hop Therapy" At A Bronx High School

Check out this video short (School of Hip-Hop) about the "hip-hop therapy" program at New Visions Charter High School that accompanies Winnie Hu's feature (Bronx School Embraces a New Tool in Counseling: Hip-Hop). The white hipster counselor is unfortunate, and I'm not sure using hip hop this way can be considered "new," but I'll let it go this time.


Site News: Find Me On Facebook (& Tumblr, & Twitter, & via Email)

As the snowstorm Jonas approaches the East Coast and all other action seems to slow down, this seems like a good a time to remind you that there are other places where you can read/follow my posts: my Facebook page (which features blog posts and Tweets), the media-focused The Grade at the WashMonthly (), and of course my Tumblr page, Hot For Education, which includes lots about pop culture in education, human interest stories, and Tumblr-like stuff.

There's also a daily This Week In Education email you can sign up for, and a weekly email version of "Best Education Journalism Of The Week" that at this point you have to email me (at thisweekineducation@gmail.com) to get on. Please do!

No Instagram or SnapChat yet, but it could happen. Yes, that's the bar at the old Riccardo's in Chicago -- one of my dad's gang's favorite watering holes. 

Quotes: Fuller Slams Obama & Clinton - Not Sanders - Over Narrow Education Vision

Quotes2It’s not entirely Clinton’s fault. President Barack Obama handed Republicans a huge win in December, repealing the thicket of federal rules called No Child Left Behind, while also gutting Washington’s authority to lead on education... But rather than blazing a clear path forward, Clinton seems to bob and weave among polling results.

- Bruce Fuller in the Sacramento Bee (Clinton’s weak school stand gives Republicans an opening)

AM News: Detroit Schools Still Closed (DC-Area Schools To Follow)

Most Detroit Public Schools Close Due to Teacher 'Sick-Outs' Demanding Better Classroom Conditions AP: A city-wide teacher "sick-out" shut down 88 Detroit schools today, causing 44,790 students to miss class, according to the Detroit Public Schools system. Staff members at the closed schools were expected to report to work or take a leave day, the announcement said. See also NPR.

Prince William County cancels school Thursday, Fairfax schools to open two hours late Washington Post: Virginia's two largest school systems will lose out on class time Thursday because of inclement weather.

CPS calls GOP takeover proposal a 'sideshow' AP: Chicago Public Schools officials say top Republicans' proposal for a state takeover of the nation's third-largest school district is a "sideshow" to school funding formula problems in the state. In a Wednesday statement, schools CEO Forrest Claypool said that that the real need is to fix the school funding formula to make it more equitable.

Filing Alleges Bias at Success Academy Network Against Students With Disabilities NYT: Parents of 13 current and former students of Success Academy filed a complaint against the charter school network with the federal Department of Education. See also NY Daily News.

Lowell school board alters course, backs PARCC Lowell Sun: In a nearly complete turnaround from an earlier decision, the School Committee voted 5-2 Wednesday night to adopt the PARCC test this year for students across the district.

New report says Gates Foundation favors businesses, not poor Seattle Times: As Bill Gates hobnobs in Switzerland, a U.K. group is critical of Seattle Foundation’s emphasis on technology and capitalism.

Funders Fuel a Bigger Push for Family Engagement in Schools Inside Philanthropy: In 2014, a group of leading advocates for family and community involvement in schools banded together to create the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) to build greater support around this issue. Now, the Bethesda, MD-based group has received a big boost in its efforts, thanks to two leading funders.

Morning Video: Deray Does Colbert Show (Then Lets Him Off The Hook)

Concerns about insufficient numbers of speakers and panelists of color at conferences, the need to talk more directly about racism, and "handing over the microphone" in general have been big issues this past year in education circles, media newsrooms, and the broader society.

Both Arne Duncan and Randi Weingarten participated in #BlackLivesMatter events (Duncan Wasn't The Only One At Last Weekend's Protests).

I wrote about the BLM-education connection in Scholastic earlier this year (#BlackLivesMatter, Deray McKesson, & Education Reform).

And we all remember last year's Yale Education Summit where an all-white, all-male panel followed a Bruce Fuller speech on race in education? (6 Ways To Diversify That Conference Or Panel). 

And so it was a feel-good moment a few days ago when Stephen Colbert had Deray McKesson on his show, talked about white privilege and structural racism, and even switched seats momentarily with the #BlackLivesMatter leader. (Click this link if the video doesn't render properly.)

Historically, Colbert has arguably done better than others booking guests of color in the past, including a memorable 2008 segment with Roland Fryer. And he even wore a BLM wristband on the air at one point.

What didn't get addressed in the segment with Deray-- baby steps, right? -- are Colbert (and other late-night hosts') guest lists and staffing patterns. Women and persons of color are notoriously ill-represented in comedy writing rooms. It's not clear that Colbert's is any different -- and Deray missed the chance (or was holding back) when he didn't bring that issue up in response to Colbert's invitation to help him unpack white privilege.

For Twitter commentary on the appearance start here.

Related posts: 6 Ways To Diversify That Conference Or Panel (ie, "Pass The Mic")*Whatever Happened To Roland Fryer (& Cash Incentives For School)?Where #BlackLivesMatter Meets Education (Reform)"I Thought I Knew How To Listen To People".


AM News: Detroit Teacher Sick-Out, Plus Supreme Court Immigration Review

Most of Detroit's Public Schools Close Amid Teacher Sick-Out AP: Most of Detroit's public schools are closed Wednesday due to teacher absences, as disgruntled educators step up efforts to protest the governor's plans for the district, its ramshackle finances and dilapidated buildings.

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Obama Deferred-Action Immigration PolicyEdWeek: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would take up the Obama administration's policy offering relief for undocumented immigrant parents of children who are U.S. citizens. The case may also affect a related policy regarding undocumented children, and is connected to a larger debate over immigration policies that has drawn in students, educators, and schools in multiple ways.

Obama Proposes Expansion of Pell Grants to Spur College Completion Washington Post: The Obama administration proposed Tuesday to expand the Pell grant program for college students in financial need, giving them new incentives to take a full schedule of courses year-round in an effort to boost graduation rates.

Microsoft acquires ‘MinecraftEdu’ with eye toward school-age audience Seattle Times:  With the purchase, the company is hoping it can leverage the huge popularity of “Minecraft” into a bigger Microsoft presence in schools.
How have large donations affected education policy in New York City? ChalkbeatNY:  Though contributions from big donors amount to only a fraction of the city’s education spending, they still have a real impact on public school policy, said Jeffrey Henig, professor of political science and education at Teachers College. Henig recently co-authored a book called “The New Education Philanthropy: Politics, Policy and Reform,” which details how powerful individuals and organizations increasingly use donations to advance policies they support.
To Be Young, 'Gifted' And Black, It Helps To Have A Black Teacher NPR: A new study finds black students are half as likely as white students to be assigned to a gifted program. Unless their teacher looks like them.
Water Contamination Raises Health Concerns for Mich. Students EdWeek: Educators in Flint, Mich., have long taught students buffeted by the pressures of poverty and urban blight. Now, they're facing a new crisis: toxic tap water. 
Bronx School Embraces a New Tool in Counseling: Hip-Hop NYT:  A program called hip-hop therapy encourages students to give voice to their day-to-day struggles in neighborhoods where poverty and crime are constants.

Quotes: OECD Test Is Different (Optional, International, Public)

Quotes2The truth of the matter is that in this global economy we talk about so much and so often, my students are competing with everyone... And so it was important to me to sort of find some sort of a tool where I could say, ‘I think these are the skill sets they’re getting that make them competitive.'

-- Tiffany Huitt, the principal of a 415-student Dallas magnet school that has administered the exam multiple times via EWA (Exam Gives Glimpse of How Schools Stack Up Globally


Morning Video: UFT's [Well-Deserved] Million-Dollar Victory Lap Over Common Core

In case you haven't seen it, here's the new UFT ad touting some of the Common Core-related changes coming from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (UFT Airs Common Core Ad). See also NY Post: UFT spends $1M thanking Cuomo for Common Core backtrack.

Or, listen to this MLK Day WBUR segment featuring Deray McKesson (Black Lives Matter And Civil Rights In Modern America).

AM News: Cold-Weather Delays, Deportation Fears, "Baked-In" NYC Segregation

Schools in Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William to open two hours late Washington Post: Public schools in Virginia’s Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties will open two hours late Tuesday because of the extreme cold forecast for the morning hours, including wind chills as low as the single digits, officials said.

Attendance Drops At Maryland High School, As Deportation Fears Rise Washington Post: In Prince George's County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of the students at High Point High School are Latino. Principal Jimenez says the fear of deportation raids is making many immigrant students scared to come to school, despite assurances from government officials that there are no raids happening at schools.

Small number of schools enrolls large share of public housing residents, report says ChalkbeatNY: At 123 elementary and middle schools, or about 9 percent of schools, students who live in subsidized housing make up more than a third of the enrollment, according to a report released Friday by the city’s Independent Budget Office. By contrast, at over 700 other schools, such students account for less than 5 percent of the population.

Sexual violence isn’t just a college problem. It happens in K-12 schools, too. Washington Post: Twenty-one percent of middle school students reported that they experienced unwanted physical touching on school grounds, according to a 2014 study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Among high school students, 4 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls say they have been forced to have sexual intercourse against their will, according to a 2013 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Education Technology Graduates From the Classroom to the Boardroom NYT: Much of the money pouring into ed tech is going to start-ups focused on corporate training or professional skills, creating greater financing hurdles for companies that develop apps for school use.

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

Continue reading "AM News: Cold-Weather Delays, Deportation Fears, "Baked-In" NYC Segregation" »

Morning Video: NJ's Christie Claims To Have "Eliminated" Common Core

As Slate, EdWeek, Vox, and several others have pointed out, NJ hasn't really eliminated Common Core. But obviously the Christie campaign -- as with Jindal and others -- has made the call that getting through the Republican primary requires abrupt position changes and stretchings of the truth and that pointy-headed fact-checks don't make all that much of a difference to voters or the public at large.

Slate: Chris Christie didn't actually get rid of Common Core in New Jersey; Vox: Chris Christie said New Jersey has “eliminated” Common Core. It hasn’t; EdWeek: Fact-Checking Chris Christie on Common Core.

Or, listen to this WAMU radio segment about a new all-male high school being started in DC and the principal and recently-retired educator who played an important role in his life.


AM News: Common Core Comes Up In Republican Presidential Debate

Fact-Checking Chris Christie on Common Core PK12: Does the exchange in the debate mean the Common Core State Standards are back in the mix as a campaign issue? Maybe. See also Slate.

NJ to Consider Eliminating Opt-Out Option For PARCC Standardized TestNew Brunswick Today: Students in New Jersey might no longer have the option to opt out of the controversial PARCC standardized testing, after a panel handpicked by Governor Christie released the results of a six month study on standardized testing and Common Core. 

New L.A. schools chief favors steady progress and collaboration over drastic change LA Times: Los Angeles' beleaguered school system doesn't need the aggressive shake-up some critics have called for so much as consistent, steady progress and collaboration, new schools Supt. Michelle King said in a meeting Thursday with The Times.

Nonprofit formed to promote charter school expansion plan gets new director KPCC LA: Castrejón was most recently the director of lobbying and advocacy efforts at the California Charter School Association, where she has held various leadership roles since the association was launched in 2003. 

Joel Klein, Ex-New York Schools Chancellor, to Join Health Insurance Start-Up NYT: Mr. Klein, who left the schools in 2010 to work for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation as leader of a digital education division, will become a top executive at Oscar.

Meet The Man DCPS Tapped To Head A New All-Male Public High School WAMU: Benjamin Williams says that when he was young, a DCPS teacher changed his life. The two recently met again as Williams gets ready ot head the first all-male public high school in the District.

Md. school system keeps Jewish holidays, adds days off for Diwali, Lunar New Year and Eid al-Adha Washington Post: Howard County had considered opening on Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, but took opposite course.

Television: New TV Series Features Immature Teachers

There's a sitcom Those Who Can't premiering on TruTV next month. From this trailer, well, Bad Teacher was nothing. Apparently, a Denver-based comic troupe is to blame.

Quotes: Lottery Revenues Don't Necessarily Increase Education Spending


Quotes2We've all seen the big novelty check being handed over from the lottery director to the state secretary of education.The question is, are the effects on education as good as advertised?

--  College of Holy Cross economics professor Victor Matheson in VICE (What Happens to the Billions of Powerball Dollars That Nobody Wins)

Update: Lessons From The Hartford Selfie Flap


Campaign 2016: Obama Education Focus Declines Over Time

This infographic from Vox shows that it's out with a whimper rather than a bang when it comes to focusing national attention on education, even if you combine the "schools" column with the "education" column.

Morning Video: Controversial Atlanta Teacher-Student Dance Video

Watch this Ron Clark Academy video and read the commentary about it from Christopher Emdin (For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood and the Rest of Y'all Too). Spoiler: he's not as upset about it as some others.

Or, listen to WBEZ Chicago interview with AFT head Randi Weingarten talking about the potential impacts of the Friedrich decision (What's Next for Public Unions?). Or watch this NBC News segment on a new LEGO kid programming endeavor. Or, frozen soap bubbles via Kottke.

AM News: On Education, NY Gov. Cuomo Changes His Tune (Or At Least His Tone)

Cuomo Strikes a Different Tone on Education This Year WNYC: The Cuomo who presented his new budget on Wednesday sounded very different. He conceded a shift was necessary after roughly 20 percent of students opted out of the state math and reading tests in grades 3 through 8 this spring. Beyond the change in rhetoric, Cuomo's proposed budget included several education proposals. See also ChalkbeatNY.

Michelle King Becomes First Black Female Lead For L.A. School District HUffPost: For months, a high-profile head-hunting firm searched the nation for a new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. On Monday evening, the Board of Education gave the job to a candidate who was part of the district all along: Chief Deputy Supt. Michelle King.

What we’re seeing with new SAT, PSAT tests Newsday: College-bound Americans, along with their parents and guidance counselors, exhaled with relief when the PSAT scores were announced last week. This college entrance exam was the first to reflect the much-debated Common Core learning standards, and the importance of a good score cannot be overestimated. Anxiety over the PSAT ballooned when the scores were delayed by nearly two months. Usually, scores for a test taken on Oct. 14 would have been available in early November. They came out Jan. 7.

Lawmaker: School shootings have made teachers 1st responders AP: School shootings have turned teachers into first responders, and they deserve the same death benefits given to police officers and firefighters, a state lawmaker said Wednesday....

Bronx Science Bans Cellphones From Wi-Fi as Students Devour It NYT: Since New York City lifted its long-held prohibition on cellphones in schools, teenagers have been eating up their schools' bandwidth.

The father of a boy killed at Sandy Hook gets death threats from people who say the shooting was a hoax Washington Post: Parents of a Sandy Hook victim said they were harassed by a Florida professor who called the shooting a hoax. He was fired. And the father got death threats.

Quotes: Philanthropy > Campaign Contributions

Quotes2Philanthropy is having as much influence as campaign contributions, but campaign contributions get all the attention. The imbalance is stunning to me.
-- Inside Philanthropy's David Calllahan in the New York Review of Books (How to Cover the One Percent)


Maps: States' Use Education Lottery Revenues For Variety Of Purposes



"How much a state taxes a winning lottery ticket also varies — and what happens to taxable earnings is even more murky." (NBC News: Schools Don't Always Benefit From Lottery Sales)


Morning Video: President Obama Lists Education Priorities

Excerpt of last night's SOTU focused on education, via Slate.
Obama: I Will Keep Fighting for Preschool and College Access PK12: President Barack Obama used his very last State of the Union address to press for action on unfinished pieces of his agenda—including universal prekindergarten and offering two years of free community college to most students.
See also Washington Post.

The President Wants Every Student To Learn Computer Science. How Would That Work? NPR:  Adding a new, complex, technical subject to the curriculum won't be easy. We hear from students, teachers, entrepreneurs and educators about the challenges.

AM News: Veteran Insider To Head Nation's 2nd Largest School System

New LA Unified superintendent signs $350,000 contract KPCC: The new superintendent’s $350,000 salary is $50,000 more than what predecessor Ramon Cortines was paid, and it's roughly $47,000 more than her salary as chief deputy superintendent of schools. The nine-page contract provides King with a school district car and driver, and security if necessary. Outside consulting or employment must be approved by the school board.

L.A. Unified looked far and wide but found new superintendent Michelle King right at home LA Times: When the Los Angeles Board of Education began looking for an new superintendent last year, it vowed to aim high. Officials eyed nationally known school leaders in Miami and San Francisco. They even talked about high-profile politicians like such as Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro and U.S. Rep....

With new superintendent in place, LA school board gears for battle on charter plan Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Board of Education's resolution is effectively a symbolic gesture, but it highlights a key challenge for the district's new superintendent.

Study: Low-scoring teachers tend to work in schools with high poverty rates Tribune: Overall, the consortium concluded there was a bigger difference between teacher scores "within schools than there is across schools," noting that even the city's highest-poverty schools also had teachers that logged high scores on the district's evaluation system.

Conservative activist James O'Keefe targets Common Core with new hidden-camera video Washington Post: Video purportedly captures textbook sales rep saying companies embraced national academic standards because of their profit potential; she says comments were misconstrued, taken out of context.

Emanuel Brings Back High School Program He Cut During First Term WBEZ Chicago: The Freshman Connection program was eliminated in 2011, the first year Emanuel took office. In 2010, 100 coordinators for the program were eliminated to free up money for principal discretion. Some principals decided to use their discretionary money to keep it going.

Detroit Mayor: Dead Mouse, Cold Kids, Bad Floor in Schools AP:  More than 31,000 students stayed home Monday. School district spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said the number of children affected Tuesday wasn't immediately known.

Television: Bravo Series Revolves Around Posh LA Private School

Bravo's scripted dramedy, Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce, centers to a surprisingly large extent around the never-ending duties of parents who send their children to a posh progressive LA private school called the "Center for Expanding Horizons" that might be loosely based on Crossroads (?).

In the above gif, two of the main characters are on dropoff duty (helping kids get out of cars and keeping the flow of traffic moving before and after school).

The set is apparently the Old Nokia building in Burnaby’s Glenlyon Business Park (in Vancouver). Here's a little bit about the branding and visual strategy behind the school design. You can find show transcripts that mention the school here and here. More pics from around the Internet are below the break. 

Continue reading "Television: Bravo Series Revolves Around Posh LA Private School" »

#EDgif Of The Day: "Hell no. I did NOT leave the South Side for this."

From Mean Girls. Via The Billforld.




Update: Rethinking The NYT Ethicist's "Breezy" Public School Cop-Out

As you may have seen, the NYT's ethicist recently told some Bay Area parents that they were not ethically obliged to send their little kid to the local school that seemed safe but had low test scores:

"There’s no recognizably human world where parents treat their own children the same as everyone else’s. This doesn’t license lack of concern for those other kids, and you’re right to worry that your dysfunctional neighborhood school is failing those it serves. But you can do something about that — through involvement in local and state politics, for example — without sacrificing your son. And what you owe is not heroic commitment, ‘‘turning the school around’’ by your own efforts. You owe only your fair share of the duties of an engaged local citizen."

But, over at The Billfold, a Hartford public defender named Josh Michtom took issue with that advice, suggesting that the NYT ethicist had blown the answer. His piece, If You Don’t At Least Try Your Local School, You May Be Part Of The Problem, says that, "To say, simply, “Don’t worry about it” is the wrong answer, and it is a pernicious wrong answer. It is the answer that tells people with both the resources and (theoretically) the philosophical disposition to fight segregation on a voluntary basis that they needn’t bother. It’s a cop-out, and if this topic is to be resolved with a cop-out, it deserves a soul-searching, garment-rending, morosely guilty cop-out."



Morning Video: Adorable Teacher, Friedrichs Protesters, Hillary On White Privilege

From The Seventy Four: America's Oldest - and Most Adorable - Teacher. Or check out some pics and video from the competing groups outside the Supreme Court yesterday. Or -- watch Hillary Clinton field a question about white privilege (via Fusion/MediaLite).

AM News: Detroit Public School Protest

Detroit Public School Teachers Protest WNYC: Earley called the "sickout" in Detroit yesterday an action by a minority of public school teachers, saying it "served no purpose other than to harm and disrupt the efforts intended for those who cannot afford to lose instruction time, social building time, and time in the classrooms." See also Washington Post.

Could Lottery Money Save Charter Schools In Washington? Seattle Public Radio: Charters would pull an estimated $9 million a year from the lottery account, which Litzow says stands at around $150 million. It is currently limited to paying for grants, scholarships and early childhood education.

New York City’s High School Graduation Rate Tops 70% NYT: The announcement, which also noted that just over 78 percent of state students earned a diploma, came as state officials met to consider changes in graduation requirements. See ChalkbeatNY.

State To Apply For Federal Waiver To Try Out New School Evaluation System  Politico NY: A new type of assessment system could be in the works for New York as the state Education Department plans to apply for a federal pilot program under the new Every Student Succeeds Act — a program lawmakers said was written with New York in mind.

Michelle King is new superintendent for Los Angeles Unified School District  Los Angeles Times: Michelle King, center, receives applause from L.A. Unified board member Scott ... On Monday evening, the Board of Education gave the job to a candidate ... 2 after serving three times as leader of the nation's second-largest school.

LAUSD board picks long-time administrator Michelle King as new superintendent KPCC: In brief remarks to reporters after the announcement, she thanked the board for "their confidence and support" and as the first African American woman to lead the district, sees herself as a role model for what can be achieved. 

100,000 NYC School Children Face Airport-Style Security Screening Every Day ProPublica: Almost as many New York City students run the gauntlet of x-ray machines each day as pass through the scanners at busy Miami International Airport. And the procedure is numbingly similar. Students must remove belts, shoes, and sometimes bobby pins as the wait stretches as long as an hour.

Afternoon Action: All About #Friedrichs

Charts: Inflation-Adjusted Spending Over Time, By State


"Please note that the reported totals cannot be reliably compared among states. Figures reported do not account for discrepancies in cost of living, which are typically calculated for specific metropolitan areas. In addition, accounting methods vary among state agencies." Click the link to see all the states. Governing: Education Spending Per Student by State.

Education Spending Per Student by State.


Inflation-adjusting spending per student

This table shows total spending per pupil for elementary/secondary education after amounts are adjusted for inflation:

Morning Video: Teacher Sick-Out Closes Bunch Of Detroit Schools

At least 50 Detroit Public Schools closed due to teacher sick-out

Or, watch this PBS NewsHour segment Country's oldest voluntary school desegregation program grows in Rochester, New York

Or, listen to this NPR story A 'No-Nonsense' Classroom Where Teachers Don't Say 'Please'.

Pop Culture: "Let's Read" (David Bowie, RIP)

As news of David Bowie's death spreads, there's at least one education-related angle to explore: this American Library Association PSA in which the singer (dressed in jeans and a letterman jacket) reads a paperback. "This used to be up at my library," explains Jason Diamond.

AM News: Supreme Court Hears Teachers Union Case

Supreme Court Case Could Weaken Government Workers Unions AP: While half the states already have right-to-work laws banning mandatory fees, most members of public-employee unions are concentrated in more liberal-leaning states that don't, including California, New York and Illinois.

Conservative group nears big payoff in Supreme Court case Politico: The conservative Bradley Foundation has spent millions over three decades to smash labor unions. Now an investment that could barely buy a house in Washington may bring it closer to that goal than ever before. The vehicle is a Supreme Court case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, to bar public employee unions from compelling payments from nonmembers.

CTU allies benefit from newly enriched union foundation Chicago Sun Times: Although most of the foundation’s grants were doled out locally, one of the biggest recipients — getting a total of $200,000 — is the Arizona-based Network for Public Education. The network’s co-founder and board president is Diane Ravitch, a New York University professor and nationally prominent blogger who has supported CTU in its battles with City Hall.

Detroit braces for 'sickout' by teachers frustrated by class sizes and conditions The Guardian:  A ‘substantial’ number of educators are expected to be absent from at least 40 schools in a district facing financial calamity with liabilities of $3.5bn

Gaps in preschool access largest for Latino kids KPCC LA: Kim Pattillo Brownson, director of educational equity at the Advancement Project, said only 41 percent of all kids countywide have access to licensed childcare seat. Since two thirds of all children under 5 in the county are Latino, even if seats were distributed equitably, Latino children would still miss out at higher rates than their counterparts.

Will California's booming economy pay off in pupil spending? AP: Soaring tax revenues have carried per-pupil education spending in California beyond where it stood before the Great Recession. But advocates and education officials say the record sum proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown is unlikely to reverse the state's standing as a comparative miser when it comes to investing in public schools.

Principals’ Union Says Mayor de Blasio Has Lost Focus on Students NYT: The union’s president blames micromanagement from the top, with conflicting orders and too many school staff members being overwhelmed with paperwork and meetings.

A 'no-nonsense' classroom where teachers don't say 'please' NPR: The center has worked with more than 250 schools across the country since 2009. Many of those are charter schools, but some are traditional public schools in places like Denver and Cleveland. All of them have similar populations: students from low-income families, many of them black and Hispanic. Nine of those schools are in Charlotte.

L.A. schools insider and an outsider emerge as favorites to lead the district LA Times: As the Los Angeles Board of Education closes in on choosing a new leader, attention appears to be focused on two candidates: Deputy Supt. Michelle King, an LAUSD insider, and Kelvin Adams, a superintendent from St. Louis.

Montgomery schools superintendent could be selected as soon as March Washington Post: School board members say they are pleased with the pool of candidates for the district’s top job.

Afternoon Video: Fast Times At "Rich Bay High"

Do yourself a Friday afternoon favor and check out Rich Bay High, the YouTube miniseries lampooning career-changing teachers, Silicon Valley ideas about fixing schools, and education bureaucrats. via Ken Libby. For background: Teacher launches new sitcom, ‘Rich Bay High’.

Related posts: Leave No Privilege Behind (DonorsChoose Meets AirBnB?).

Quotes: Working Families Party Feeling Its Oats

Quotes2We stood up to the hedge funders who look at our schools and see dollar signs, from Bridgeport to Newark, from Philadelphia to Chicago....We’re electing leaders, we’re winning on issues, and most importantly, we’re changing what’s politically possible.

- Demos president Heather McGhee in The Atlantic (The Pugnacious, Relentless Progressive Party That Wants to Remake America)


Morning Listen: A NYC Principal Talks Student Diversity / Gentrification

A recent WNYC segment featured education reporter Yasmeen Khan and Arthur Mattia, Principal of P.S. 372, which is trying to increase economic diversity under a new City Hall plan. (New Steps Toward School Integration in Brooklyn). Interesting story. Good also to remember the next time charter school diversity is raised as a concern. 

Campaign 2016: 5th Grade Student Seems To Survive Ben Carson Gaffe

There was a bit of outrage when it was first reported that Ben Carson might have embarrassed a 5th grader in Iowa -- as if the student in question was going to be scarred for life -- but the candidate seems to have figured out how to neutralize the gaffe. Foiled again, the Internet Outrage Machine settled in to wait for the next opportunity. 

 See also: Washington Post: Ben Carson asks fifth-graders to single out the ‘worst student’ in their class, Politico: Ben Carson 'worst student' Iowa rally gaffe.

AM News: Oklahoma Cuts, California Boosts, Chicago Teachers Want Rahm Gone


Oklahoma cuts public school funding by $47 million AP: Some Oklahoma school districts could be forced to close their doors as a result of about $47 million in funding cuts due to the state's budget crisis, Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said Thursday....

Calif. Budget Plan Boosts Spending but Democrats Seek More AP: The plan calls for significant increases in funding for education, health care and state infrastructure, while bolstering the state's Rainy Day Fund and paying down state debts and liabilities. In addition, per-pupil spending would increase to $10,591. Schools are guaranteed about 40 percent of general fund revenues under voter-approved Proposition 98. See also SI&A Cabinet Report.

Chicago Teachers Union calls for Emanuel, Alvarez to resign Chicago Tribune: The union said its House of Delegates "voted overwhelmingly" last week to support efforts aimed at getting Emanuel and Alvarez to resign. CTU President Karen Lewis will talk about the issue at the union's annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Breakfast on Jan. 15, the union said.

Maryland Near Top Of Education Rankings, But Do Grades Mask Poverty Gap? WAMU: Education Week put our their annual "Quality Counts" report this week, grading states on their efforts to improve public education. But researchers caution that rising tides do not raise all boats.

New High School Equivalency Exam Demands More of Teachers WNYC:  It’s now called the TASC, rather than the G.E.D. And it’s aligned with the Common Core learning standards, meaning it’s harder to pass.  But the teachers at CASES said the more rigorous standards were making them better at their jobs. And many students, too, were responding well to the extra demands.

Maine Common Core foes cross party lines to push repeal New Boston Post: The measure he submitted last month differs from the bill that failed last year in two ways, Tuell said. It would let local jurisdictions keep Common Core or revert to Maine’s former state standards, and it would create a stakeholder group to formulate new state standards.

St. George’s School Agrees to Inquiry Into Sexual Abuse NYT: The Rhode Island school said it would commission a third party to investigate reports spanning several decades of abuse of students.

Charts: Lots Of Anger Out There - But Education Not The Priority

A new survey from Esquire and NBC shows that there's lots of upset folks out there, about a lot of different things, but educational opportunities is not a big priority. About all that anyone agrees about are school shootings. 

Quotes: Sanders Opposes "Privately-Run" Charter Schools

Quotes2I'm not in favor of privately-run charter schools. If we are going to have a strong democracy and be competitive globally, we need the best educated people in the world. And I believe in public education — I went to public schools my whole life. So I think rather than give tax breaks to billionaires, I think we invest in teachers and we invest in public education.

- Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire via Politico/Diane Ravitch (at 1:48:00 mark) in response to a question from a charter school-graduate concerned about funding cuts her school experienced. 


Morning Video: The Hoverboarding Principal


Shoutout to this cool principal @doctor_kool at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Maryland for inspiring kids to be the best they can be and always having their best interest in mind --- in the coolest way possible! P.S he used to be one of our staff member's Vice Principal back in HS and he's still doing it big I see! #TSRPositiveImages "Good, better, best...never let it rest... Till your good is your better, and your better is your best! "

Posted by The Shade Room on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

While some colleges and airlines are banning so-called hoverboards, and a priest who hoverboarded his way through part of a ceremony got in trouble, this principal [@doctor_kool] is using his hoverboard to try and hype his kids and staff. Go over to my Facebook page if the video doesn't render properly.

Or, listen to this housing/attendance zone story from NPR's Marketplace, via Mike Petrilli, or this WNYC segment about that Brooklyn school integration/rezoning story.

AM News: Mass. Ranks First (Again), Walton Puts Up (Another) $1B For Charters

Massachusetts Education Again Ranks No. 1 Nationally Boston Learning Lab: Education Week’s annual national report, Quality Counts, gave Massachusetts the top spot because it has the nation’s top fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores, high postsecondary degree attainment and rising AP test scores.

Walton foundation puts up $1 billion to boost charters AP: A foundation run by the heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton said Thursday it will spend $1 billion over the next five years to improve public education by backing new charter schools and helping programs already up and running....

Feds quietly close long-running probe of Milwaukee voucher program Journal Sentinel: The U.S. Department of Justice has closed a long-running investigation into whether the Milwaukee private school voucher program discriminates against students with disabilities, with no apparent findings of major wrongdoing.

Emanuel appoints Guzman to Board of Ed Chicago Sun-Times: Guzman also ran CPS’ department overseeing the approval of new privately run but publicly funded charter schools from 2007 to 2009, according to the district

School Superintendents Think Parents Just Don't Understand, Gallup Poll Finds District Dossier: The survey also reveals that most superintendents believe that measuring the success of schools should include factors such as student engagement and student hope.

How To Help Kids In Poverty Adjust To The Stability Of School After Break NPR: Returning to school after a few weeks away is a tough transition for many kids, but it's even harder for children living in stressful homes.

Florida Professor Who Cast Doubt On Mass Shootings Is Fired NYT: James F. Tracy suggested that the 2012 massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary and other mass shootings were a hoax designed by the Obama administration.

Georgia Town Teaches ‘Fight Back’ as Option in Mass Shootings NYT: In Douglasville, Ga., and other cities, seminars instructing residents to stay alert, and to attack the attacker if necessary, have become increasingly common.

40 Alumni Assert Sexual Abuse at a Rhode Island Prep School NYT: The scope of the scandal at St. George’s School in Rhode Island has expanded, with reports covering three decades.

Afternoon Video: WriteLab's Ballroom Dancing Matthew Ramirez

By far the most interesting of Forbes' 2016 30 Under 30: Education list is WteiLab's Matthew Remirez, who not only thinks that 90 percent of feedback kids need to learn writing can be automated but also has time to do some ballroom dancing (and showed off some moves on camera). Thanks to the folks at Forbes for digging out this embeddable video.

Books: 'Confessions Of A Headmaster'

Longtime educator Paul Cummins has a memoir out ('Confessions Of A Headmaster') that's gotten some much-deserved attention, especially because his background ("privileged kid and ivory-tower scholar") mirrors that of so many other folks trying to improve education (for better and worse). He's credited with helping launch several LA schools, including Crossroads School, New Roads School, Camino Nuevo Charter School, and New Village Charter School. I got to know him nearly 30 years ago when I was looking for a teaching job out of college, and have interviewed and socialized with him occasionally over the years. For more, read here: Paul Cummins, Education Warrior, and  Renowned Educator Dishes Lessons From A Life Spent Empowering Youth (WNYC).

AM News: LA Struggles To Replace Cortines, NYC Rezones Brooklyn School, Friedrichs Looms

5-hour meeting ends without a decision on an LA schools chief LA Times: "This is very, very hard work, as it should be," school board President Steve Zimmer said after the meeting.

2 Brooklyn Schools in Gentrifying Area Will Get New Zones NYT: The Department of Education proposed the rezoning to alleviate crowding at a mostly white school, Public School 8. But the debate over the move has raised thorny issues of race and class. See also WNYC, ChalkbeatNY.

High Stakes in Union-Fee Case Before Supreme Court EdWeek: Abood held that state interests in maintaining labor peace and eliminating "free riders" justified requiring nonmembers to pay such fees, which are also known as service fees or "fair share" fees. The Friedrichs case holds high stakes for the future of public-sector unions, not least the teachers' unions that are parties to the case.

Washington Charter Schools Get Creative To Keep State Funding Seattle Public Radio: While school was out for winter vacation, charter operators and their supporters were hard at work to keep the doors open and state funds flowing to the schools. See also AP.

Some Families Lie To Get Their Kids Into Top CPS Schools WBEZ Chicago: The report cites more than a dozen cases of families using false city addresses to gain access to selective schools this year. Some were found to live in suburbs — including a Des Plaines family with a student at Walter Payton College Prep and an Elmwood Park family with a student at Whitney Young Magnet. This violates requirements that all CPS students — with rare exceptions — live in the city.

He’s acting, but the nation’s new education secretary is for real Washington Post: King, who turned 41 Tuesday, will retain the “acting” modifier for the rest of President Obama’s time in office. He has not been nominated by the president, and he will not undergo the confirmation process required of Cabinet-level officers under the Constitution.

Hillary Clinton Unveils Proposals to Support Children With Autism PK12: The front-runner for the Democratic nomination wants to restrict the use of seclusion and restraints for children with autism and other students in special education.

In California, federal sanctions on failing schools don’t die easy SI&A Cabinet Report: Officials at the California Department of Education have recommended that local educational agencies identified as needing Program Improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act must continue to meet all of the old obligations through August, 2016.

Quotes: How Education Reform Failed Trump Voters

Quotes2They simply do not have the skills needed to compete in today's labor market. Their numbers are quickly rising. And they are angry. Angry in part because they cannot get work and support their families, but enraged because having a job and supporting their family is the single most important key to self-respect in our society.

NCEE's Marc Tucker quoted by Robert Pondiscio in US News (Education Reform Failed White, Working-Class Donald Trump Voters)


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.