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AM News: Scalia's Death Throws Labor Lawsuit (Friedrichs) Into Uncertainty

How Scalia's Death May Grant Public-Sector Unions A Reprieve Huffington Post: But now, with the likelihood of the court's four liberal justices backing fair share fees, Friedrichs may no longer be the looming disaster for public-sector unions that it seemed. See also LA Times, ScotusBlogEdSource Today, Slate, NYT, EdWeek.

Louisiana Drops Common-Core Lawsuit—Again State EdWatch: Gov. Jon Bel Edwards announced last week that he'd dropped the lawsuit, only to have the state's attorney general claim the lawsuit wasn't the governor's to drop.

Working Shift: What’s It Like to Be a High School Principal? WBEZ: Chicago high school principal Anna Pavichevich explains what it’s like to lead a school with 1120 students and more than 100 staff members.

Should Computer Education Cover More Than Just Coding? NPR: Computers are not just about coding. There's also a lot of theory — and science — behind technology. And those theoretical concepts form the basis of much of computer science education in colleges and universities.

It's Not Easy Teaching Special Ed NPR: It's getting harder and harder to find quality special education teachers, which is why 49 out of 50 states report shortages.

Program Aims to Keep Schools Diverse as New York Neighborhoods Gentrify NYT: The city’s Education Department is allowing seven schools to set aside a percentage of seats for low-income families, English-language learners or students engaged with the child welfare system.

Dispute With New York City Threatens Success Academy’s Pre-K NYT: A critical deadline passed in a dispute between the charter school network and the de Blasio administration over the network’s prekindergarten program, leaving its fate in doubt.

Evaluation Process For DCPS Teachers Undergoing Changes WAMU: DCPS officials are making several changes to the formal teacher evaluation process that's been in place since 2009, some of which — including student evaluations — are opposed by the teacher's union.

Live: Success Academy Responds To Today's NYT "Rip & Redo" Story

The direct link to watch it on your web browser is here.

Or, listen to this audio of Success-picked parents talking to the NYT about their children's experiences at the school, posted by Success Academy earlier today.

Pictures: When Tent Cities For The Homeless Include School Staff

It's sad but not surprising when tent cities that have been popping up around the nation include not only students but also school staff.

"Deja-Lynn Rombawa-Quarles, a 24-year-old woman who works part time at an elementary school as a group leader, sits in her tent at a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu on August 26, 2015. Rombawa-Quarles is one of a growing number of working poor in Honolulu who, through a combination of high housing costs, a dearth of affordable housing, and bad circumstances, wound up living on the street."

This comes from Atlantic Magazine via Knowledge Alliance. 

Morning Video: NYC Charter School Teacher Loses Cool ("Rip & Redo")

Want to see something uncomfortable and upsetting this cold February morning? "In 2014, an assistant teacher at Success Academy Cobble Hill secretly filmed her colleague, Charlotte Dial, scolding one of her students after the young girl failed to answer a question correctly." From a NYT story by Kate Taylor.

AM News: Obama To Nominate King For Education Secretary After All

Obama to Officially Nominate John B. King Jr. as Education Secretary PK12: Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate education committee, has been urging the White House to officially nominate someone to succeed former Secretary Arne Duncan, since back in December. See also AP, Washington Post.

D.C. accidentally uploads private data of 12,000 students Washington Post: According to the memo, someone in the office uploaded the data to a public D.C. Council Dropbox account ahead of a council hearing on the Individual Education Program, which provides tailored education plans for students with special needs. All 12,000 students, who attend public and charter schools in kindergarten through 12th grades, have such individual education plans.

Science Teachers’ Grasp of Climate Change Is Found Lacking NYT: A survey of 1,500 teachers in the United States found that on average they spend just one to two hours on average over the course of an academic year.

As The Water Crisis Continues, Flint's Superintendent Looks Forward NPR: While the damage from lead in Flint's water is not yet known, even low levels can be harmful to children. The Michigan city's superintendent of schools says he's bracing for an uncertain future.

ACT essay scores are inexplicably low, causing uproar among college-bound students Washington Post: Some students earn great marks overall -- at or near the top score of 36 -- but are graded in the low 20s for writing.

On Video, a First Grader, a Stumble in Math and a Teacher’s Anger NYT: At Success Academy, the charter school network in New York City, current and former educators say the quest for high scores drives some of them over the line.

Two years in, Carmen Fariña measures her progress by grad rates & grateful emails Chalkbeat: Many educators and parents praise Fariña’s school-by-school approach, saying they feel respected and reassured by her intimate knowledge of the system. But her critics often scoff at it. Those who identify as education reformers (a label Fariña also applies to herself) say her theory of change is too incremental and founded on experience over research, while some principals complain about micromanaging.

 
 

Charts: Grade School Teachers Destined To Marry Other Grade School Teachers

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 4.27.09 PMAccording to this Bloomberg blog post (Who Marries CEOs, Doctors, Chefs and Janitors), elementary school teachers tend to marry retail supervisors and ... truck drivers? That is, when they don't marry each other: the most common marriage is between grade-school teachers. Click the link to check out the pattern for high school teachers, primary school teachers, and college teachers. 

#TBT: What TFA Looked Like Five Years Ago

Here are some pictures I took from some of the #TFA20 receptions 5 years ago. Or take a look at the official TFA20 photo album (remember Flickr?).

Morning Video: The Challenges Intentionally Diverse Learning Communities

Here's a #TFA25 panel moderated by the NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones, who starts out expressing a view that the term "diversity" is cute but "integration" is an imperative. (Intentionally Diverse Learning Communities). Panelists include  Kriste Dragon, Bill Kurtz, Jeremy Chiappetta, Julie Goldstein. 90 minutes. 

AM News: Dues Increases, Charter Approvals, Immigration Raids (LAUSD)

L.A. teachers union wins dues increase, vows to battle foes of traditional public education LA Times: Members have responded by agreeing to raise their annual dues by about a third, to $1,000 a year. The increase was approved by 82% of those who cast ballots, according to United Teachers Los Angeles, which tallied the votes Wednesday.

As the the LAUSD charter schools conflict escalates, here’s what you need to know KPCC:  Tuesday’s L.A. Unified school board meeting was unusual. What made it out of the ordinary, charter school supporters said, is that school district staff is recommending the denial of charter school petitions much more often than now.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Has Banned Immigration Raids on Its Campuses VICE: The school board of the Los Angeles Unified School District unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday that bans US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from coming onto school property without permission — a move meant to signal to immigrant students and their families that they are secure while on campus.

D.C. Public Schools, closely watched for its reform efforts, is overhauling teacher evaluation and training Washington Post: Because few details of the plan have been released, it is unclear what kind of direct impact the changes will have for classroom teachers in the immediate future. The head of the city’s teacher union, Elizabeth Davis, said that teachers are unsettled and exhausted after adjusting to a series of changes and new initiatives in recent years.

Principals React to Middle of the School Year Budget Cuts WBEZ: Nearly every one of Chicago’s 654 public schools will have to cut its spending plan for the next four months. The average amount lost per school is about $60,000, which amounts to about one or two teachers for the remainder of the school year.

Maps: Where The Districts Trying SES-Based Integration Are

Here's a cool map from The Century Foundation's new report, A New Wave of School Integration, showing the districts, schools, and charter networks that are involved.

The think tank calls this its "most comprehensive and ambitious audit of districts and charters pursuing socioeconomic integration to date," revealing that the number of school districts and charter networks pursuing socioeconomic integration has "more than doubled since 2007, and more than 4 million students are now enrolled in schools that use socioeconomic status as a factor in student assignment."

Morning Video: Detroit Faces Further Teacher Sick-Outs (Plus: Chicago Noble)

 

"Despite cautioning that school system is set to run out of money in April, state-appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley has announced his resignation effective at the end of February. He exits amid chaos, and another potential teacher sick-out." (From PBS NewsHour Why Detroit's teachers are 'sick' of their inadequate schools).

Or click here to listen to an overview of Chicago Catalyst's deep dive into the city's biggest charter network, Noble Charter Schools

xx

AM News: School Takeover Threat Unifies Chicago Mayor, Teachers Union

Power Struggle Over Future Of Public Schools Heats Up In Chicago NPR: The politics surrounding the future of Chicago's public school system are intensifying. Three different players are in a power struggle for control of the system, which is suffering financially.

Education Magazine Takes Readers Inside Chicago’s Biggest Charter Network WBEZ Chicago: Catalyst associate editors Melissa Sanchez and Kalyn Belsha take us inside the Noble charter network, where one out of every 10 kids in the CPS system get their education.

PARCC Considers Reorganization, Seeks Input to Shape its Future EdWeek: The consortium, which has battled declining membership and a backlash against standardized testing, is trying to sort out the best way to provide its services to states. Among the questions it's asking: What's the best way to set ourselves up to get good test content to states, and let them customize what they get? What's the best way to let states collaborate to build test content, and still safeguard test quality and comparability?

Los Angeles teachers union seeks to re-negotiate evaluation system KPCC: The proposal could spell more change for the district's teacher evaluation system, which the union says has been in "transition" in recent years. See also LA Times: L.A. teachers union seeks to raise dues as it fights a charter school push.

Obama Budget Would Prioritize Integration, Flat Fund Key Programs PK12: The budget puts a premium on integration but provides essentially level funding for Title I grants for disadvantaged kids and special education state grants. See also Washington Post.

This teenager is one of 12 students in the world who aced the AP Calculus exam Washington Post: Landon Labuskes, of Virginia, was one of 12 to ace AP Calculus AB -- out of 302,532 who took the test last year. He was 14.

Facing Teacher Shortages, States Turn to Emergency Certificates TeacherBeat: A handful of states are now relying on emergency permits or other nonstandard certificates to meet immediate hiring needs.

 

 

Afternoon Video: Syrian Students Play In Recreation Of Bombed-Out School

It's a recreation -- not the real school in Aleppo -- but it's still pretty vivid, and connects us to schools and kids which is what this site is all about. 

Charts: Mass Deportation (Is The Threat Real?)

The advocacy group known as FWD (forward) is pushing this message out on social media today: "Mass deportation would tear families apart + separate 4.5 million U.S. citizens from their parents."

I'm not sure if the threat is considered to be real, or whether this is just a news hook to rally the base. No candidates are mentioned. Follow along on Twitter here.

I've written about FWD a bit in the past -- see below.

Related posts: 5 Ways The SF Protests Can Help You Understand Education (2014).

Morning Listen: Fixing A Broken High Schooler (Plus, The Ideal Kindergarten)

Freakonomics: "Okay, maybe the steps aren't so easy. But a program run out of a Toronto housing project has had great success in turning around kids who were headed for trouble." (Rebroadcast)

 

Or, if you want to see some cool video, check out this Sam Chaltain post This is what Kindergarten looks like in its ideal form.

AM News: Districts & Charters Experimenting With Diversity Growing, Says Report

More schools nationwide are experimenting with diversity programs, report says ChalkbeatNY: Ninety-one districts and charter networks now have at least one school that factors socioeconomic status into its assignments, according to a report released Tuesday by the Century Foundation. The number identified by the foundation has more than doubled since 2007 and represents about 4 million students nationwide, the report says. See also Washington Post.

The Common Core Has Its SupportersWSJ: Many in New York state have embraced the standards, believing they spur more analytical thinking by children and more teamwork among educators

Obama Budget to Seek New Money to Help Schools Integrate, Sources Say PK12: The Obama administration is expected to seek $120 million in new money to help schools become more integrated, among other proposals in the fiscal 2017 budget.

In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids Washington Post: An increasing number of school districts and charter networks are trying to break up concentrated poverty and balance their student populations by race and income.

Department Of Education Creates Student Aid Enforcement Office NPR: The Department of Education announced Monday it will create a Student Aid Enforcement Unit to crack down on higher education institutions that are taking advantage of vulnerable students. See also Washington Post.

New, Reading-Heavy SAT Has Students Worried NYT: Some educators fear that the revised test — one of the biggest redesigns ever — will penalize certain students, like immigrants and the poor.

'An Average Guy' Excels At Teaching Students AP Calculus NPR: David Greene talks to advanced placement calculus teacher Anthony Yom about his classroom magic, and how he's gotten every one of his students for the past five years to pass the exam.

Why is Milwaukee so bad for black people? WNYC: Suspensions are just the beginning. The state also has the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the country, and ranks last in reading comprehension tests among black fourth-graders. Milwaukee has the most black students in the state and is the biggest contributor to Wisconsin’s achievement gap. Its public school system has been plagued by federal and state funding cuts and a 20-year-old school choice program that diverts public tax dollars to private schools through vouchers. With 4-out-of-5 black children in Wisconsin living in poverty, an inadequate education can set up the most vulnerable students for failure.

D.C. teachers say new school system policy could cause grade inflation Washington Post: D.C. teachers no longer give students their final grades. Instead, teachers input letter grades for each marking term and for the final exam, and a software program averages the final grade, according to the union.

Charter schools say L.A. Unified is unfairly scrutinizing their campuses LA Times: Caprice Young thought the worst was behind her, that her group's charter schools would be free to grow after straightening out the poor financial record-keeping that prompted a recent state audit. She was wrong.

Repair Bill for Decaying Detroit Schools Could Top $50 Million District Dossier: The financially strapped school district has begun using money budgeted for other departments to fix the most urgent building problems.

Events: Here Comes Yale SOM 2016 (Crossed Fingers)

There were at least two former organizers of the Yale SOM education summit at the TFA conference last week - Edna Novak and Graham Brown (pictured with me above) -- and Yale SOM 2016 is fast approaching.

Keynote speakers include Shavar Jeffries, Sandra Abrevaya, and Sondra Samuels. As in the past, it's being held at the Omni in New Haven.

There are scheduled to be panels on Common Core testing, blended learning, college attainment, parent advocacy, teachers of color, segregation of schools, community colleges, school readiness, federal policy after NCLB, revisiting "no excuses" approaches, effective philanthropy, and many others. 

If you want to follow last year's social media, check out #backtowhy, or check out my livetweets from that day. There was some controversy about the lack of racial diversity on one or two of the panels -- even though the event was much more diverse than some of its predecessors.

I wrote a blog post about it shortly after: 6 Ways To Diversify That Conference Or Panel (ie, "Pass The Mic")*. PIE's Suzanne Tacheny wrote more about the topic here: Notes to Self.

What I don't see on the program so far is anything that focuses on the state and local education agencies who govern most public schools, or the unions whose locals represent many educators who work with them. But the panel list doesn't look final and there are no panelists listed so far. 

It's on April 7th and 8th. The twitter is @YaleELC. The hashtag is#DefiningSuccess2016.

 Related posts: New Faces At This Week's Yale Education Conference (2105); Deray Does Colbert Show (Then Lets Him Off The Hook).

Afternoon Video: Moving A School From Crisis To Calm

"If you wonder how such a change could be brought about, take a look at this video (26 min long), and see what you think about the ways in which its educators transformed the teaching and learning climate at their school." (This is how you move a school from crisis to calm via Sam Chaltain).
 

Quotes: Education (Reform) Is Part Of The Problem

Quotes2Here is the inconvenient truth: Education, including education reform, is part of the problem.We have not made a dent in the problem, and in some cases we’ve made it worse.

- Former Newark superintendent Cami Anderson via The Answer Sheet (The Washington Post)

Morning Listen: NPR Interviews TFA Head On 25th Anniversary

Or, listen to this WNYC story about "pushy moms" helping community college kids transfer to four-year programs. Has anyone tried this approach at the K-12 level?

AM News: In 3 Months, Nearly 100K Immigrant Minors Enter US Schools

As immigration resurges, U.S. public schools help children find their footing Washington Post: Between Oct. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2015, federal officials released more than 95,000 unaccompanied minors into U.S. communities, virtually all of them entitled to enroll in public school.

Acting Ed. Secretary: Educators 'unfairly blamed' for schools' challenges USA Today: In his first major speech, the acting U.S. Secretary of Education John King apologized to the nation’s teachers.

States Without Waivers No Longer Must Withhold Money for Tutoring, Choice PK12: States without waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act can come up with an alternative plan to support students in schools that have missed achievement targets.

L.A. Parents Launch Second Parent-Trigger Initiative at Struggling School EdWeek: Parents at 20th Street Elementary dropped a parent-trigger initiative in June after reaching an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District, but now say LAUSD hasn't delivered.

Differences In Suspension May Cause 20 Percent Of Achievement Gap Boston Learning Lab: Now a study of more than 15,000 students in Kentucky says that as much as 20 percent of the difference may be due to a single cause: getting suspended from school. Even after controlling for other factors, such as socioeconomic status and disabilities, they found a strong correlation between suspension and lower scores on end-of-year tests.

Chicago Principal and Her School Collect Bottled Water for Flint District Dossier: Lisa Epstein, a principal at Chicago's Richard Henry Lee school, grew up in Flint, Mich., and launched an effort in her school community to collect bottled water for children and families in her hometown.

Live Event: Teach For America 25th Anniversary Conference In DC

Here's the fast-and-furious live Twitter stream from #TFA25. Check it out while watching some of the event livestreamed here:

Quotes: White America's "Broken Heart"

Quotes2The current urgency about inequality as an issue is really about how some white Americans are coming to live an experience that many minorities in this country have long lived — structural inequity has leapt the racial barrier — and that the legacy to which they fully assumed they were heirs is increasingly beyond their grasp.

- NYT columnist Charles Blow (White America’s ‘Broken Heart’)

 

Morning Videos: Chicago Teachers Rally, Duncan Reflects, & OK UPK

 

Fresh off the heels of news that the public supports them more than City Hall, Chicago teachers rallied downtown. From WTTW Chicago Public Television.

See also WGN TV interview of former EdSec Arne Duncan interviewed about Chicago, unfinished business, and what he might do next.

Or, watch this PBS NewsHour segment on the Oklahoma universal preschool program.

AM News: Computer Testing Discrepancies Raise Common Core Questions

PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on Computers EdWeek: Hard numbers from across the consortium are not yet available. But the advantage for paper-and-pencil test-takers appears in some cases to be substantial, based on independent analyses conducted by one prominent PARCC state and a high-profile school district that administered the exams. See also Washington Post: Report: Kids who took Common Core test online scored lower than those who used paper

Thousands rally downtown for Chicago Teachers Union Chicago Tribune: "I have no idea what goes (on) inside the CTU union and its internal politics, I really don't," Claypool said. "I do see a sincere effort by (CTU President) Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey and other members of CTU to get a deal, to get a deal." See also WTTW.

Teachers union has triple the public support of Emanuel Tribune: The survey also found that Emanuel's approval rating on education has fallen to a record low as the mayor and Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool are slashing budgets and cutting jobs in the face of the latest massive budget shortfall. Voters' displeasure with the mayor's handling of education tracks with the similarly low marks they gave Emanuel on his overall job performance and handling of crime.

Jindal Lawsuit Against Common Core Scrapped by New Governor AP: Gov. John Bel Edwards is ending Louisiana's lawsuit against President Barack Obama's administration over the Common Core education standards.

After Speedy Test Reforms, State Education Commissioner Says It's Time to 'Unplug' WNYC: State education commissioner MaryEllen Elia said she hopes more parents will let their children take this year's tests, after 20 percent opted out last year.

New York’s opt-out movement aims to influence policy, not just parents. Here’s how ChalkbeatNY: The opt-out movement’s efforts to influence the Board of Regents have raised eyebrows. Some wonder whether a group founded expressly to encourage parents to skip legally mandated state tests should have a say in statewide policy.

U.N. Experts Seem Horrified By How American Schools Treat Black Children HuffPost: The U.N.'s Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent traveled around the U.S. last month to learn more about the various structural barriers and challenges African-American face. The group, which plans to release its full report in September, has given the media its preliminary findings, including several recommendations about reducing inequality in the U.S. education system.

In Oakland, Building Boys Into Men NYT: A California school district tries to reverse the underachievement and lack of opportunity for the country’s most vulnerable students, African-American boys.

Motorist Dead, 4 Students Hurt in School Bus Crash AP: One person is dead and four students injured in an accident involving a school bus and an SUV in southern New Jersey.

TBT: Camika Royal (2011) Deray McKesson (Today)

Teach For America’s 25th anniversary summit is this weekend. I won't be there, but this was me at the 20th. #TBT https://t.co/MPboYkTTd9

— Camika Royal (@DrCamikaRoyal) February 4, 2016

She says she's not going to be there for #TFA25, but here's Camika Royal's TFA20 speech, via Twitter. Royal was TFA 1999 but has since become a critic of the TFA model.

Here's a 2012 blog post she wrote on Diane Ravitch's site: Camika Royal Responds to Critics. Here's a Huffington Post entry about her speech: Swift to Hear; Slow to Speak: A Message to TFA Teachers, Critics, and Education Reformers.

Meanwhile, TFA critics led by the Badasss Teachers and Network for Public Education have set up a "Thunderclap" to bombard the TFA25 twitter stream. Think of it as social media countermeasures.

And perhaps the biggest news leading up to the conference is the announcement that blue-vested alumnus Deray McKesson is running for mayor of Baltimore:

 

It's unclear if he has any chance of winning in a field that already includes 28 candidates, or even if he's the first to run for big-city mayor, but the announcement might seem to represent a new generation of TFA alumni taking on post-classroom challenges.

Campaign 2016: Teachers Unions Flood New Hamphire

From Randi Weingarten: "Educators from around the North East for @HillaryClinton are ready to get out the vote here in NH. #ImWithHer"

Morning Video: School Yoga, Everywhere?

"Students at the Montesorri School pratice yoga to help clear their minds of the violence that surrounds their lives," reports Al Jazeera America (Yoga To Help Kids Cope With Violence in Chicago).

See also: Why Schools Are Embracing Yoga (featuring NYC, Detroit, Litchfield, Minn, and Encenitas, CA).

AM News: Common Core Testing Discrepancies, Intensifying Chicago Confrontation

PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on Computers EdWeek: Students who took the 2014-15 PARCC exams via computer tended to score lower than those who took the exams with paper and pencil—a revelation that prompts questions about the validity of the test results and poses potentially big problems for state and district leaders.

Classroom Cuts Move Ahead, Absent a New Chicago Teachers' Contract WBEZ: Claypool said the cuts -- which could mean one position per school, on average -- could still be avoided if the two parties reach an agreement soon.

Rauner: I'm no saboteur Chicago Sun-Times: On that issue, Claypool and CTU President Karen Lewis agreed, with Lewis blasting Rauner. “Please don't pay any attention to the ravings of a mad man,” Lewis said. “He knows absolutely nothing about real education. So that's a problem.”

School Network With Most Kindergarten Suspensions Says It Will Stop Them Boston Learning Lab: Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students were suspended 78 times at schools operated by a single nonprofit school management company in the 2014-15 school year, according to state data.

Nation's charter schools aren't growing as fast as once thought Washington Post: The 7 and 9 percent increases over the last two years were lower than the average 11 percent annual enrollment growth over the last eight years, according to the National Alliance.

Parents gather 'parent trigger' signatures a second time after LAUSD doesn’t make changes KPCC: Parents at 20th St. Elementary School first organized in 2014, but decided not to formally submit their petition when LAUSD administrators proposed an improvement plan that included promises to improve the administration of the school, provide teachers with professional development, and use data to measure teaching and learning.

School kisses Valentine's Day and other holidays goodbye AP: A Minnesota elementary school has kissed Valentine's Day goodbye. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, too....

New York High School Wrestlers Break Stereotypes in Coed Division NYT: At a number of public high schools, wrestling teams with male and female athletes are breaking gender stereotypes.

Event Preview: My #TFA25 Playlist - What's Yours?

DgfsdfgdsfgfThe livestream begins Saturday morning at 9, but the conference officially starts Friday and there's sure to be a ton of Tweeting going on the next few days as #TFA25 ramps up. (Nearly 200 speakers/moderators, all in one Twitter List .)

There are 20 sessions Friday, and another 60 on Saturday -- not nearly enough for all the interest in presenting and speaking at the conference. The Frequently Asked Questions makes clear that TFA was expecting (or experiencing) more demand to present than it could handle using the format it decided.

There's no opening plenary session -- the conference version of a outmoded home page -- or even keynotes. Topics covered at the 2011 summit are being avoided. As a result, "Even very senior/VIP speakers will be sharing a session with other speakers and panelists."

Here's a bit more information about what I'm doing -- or hoping to do (depending on which sessions are full, etc.) -- along with some information about what's going to be livestreamed. Take a look and then let us know what you're going to do.

What's on your #TFA25 wishlist? Or, even better, what are you already signed up for?

Continue reading "Event Preview: My #TFA25 Playlist - What's Yours?" »

Morning Listen: That Time When Nearly 500K Kids Protested NYC School Segregation

"To force the issue, they staged a one-day school boycott on Feb. 3, when approximately 460,000 students refused to go to school -- the school boycott was the largest civil rights protest in U.S. history.... Yet, little came of the boycott, and the activists' demands resonate still." From WNYC (Demand for School Integration Leads to Massive 1964 Boycott — In New York City)

AM News: Teachers Unions Undaunted By Iowa (Plus: Detroit, Chicago Drama)

NEA, AFT Presidents: Hillary Clinton Can Make Things Happen PK12: Teachers' union leaders who put muscle and money behind Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton say they're not disheartened with her photo finish in the Iowa caucuses.

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager To Step Down NPR: The state-appointed emergency manager of the Detroit public schools system is calling it quits. Darnell Earley was a big target because of his job before this one — as emergency manager of Flint. See also NYT.

Chicago Teachers Union calls proposed cuts by district 'an act of war' Chicago Tribune: One day after the Chicago Teachers Union rejected a contract proposal from Chicago Public Schools, district officials said they would slash school budgets and stop paying the bulk of teachers' pension contributions — moves CTU's president quickly decried.

Chicago Schools Announce Cuts After Union Rejects Offer AP: Chicago school officials say they're ready to cut $100 million from school budgets and force teachers to pay more pension costs after the teachers' union rejected the latest offer in contentious contract negotiations that have lasted over a year.

Senior Education official collapses after heated four-hour hearing on Hill Washington Post: A senior executive at the Education Department who was the target of a four-hour interrogation by members of Congress on Tuesday collapsed after the hearing and was taken by ambulance to George Washington University Hospital.

This 17-year-old is a rising voice in Baltimore’s Black Lives Matter movement Washington Post: A high-ranking police officer was reassigned after the teen called attention to his tweets, which she said showed “entrenched racism.”

Demand for School Integration Leads to Massive 1964 Boycott — In New York City WNYC:  It didn't happen in the South; it happened in New York City, where the mostly white elected officials and Board of Education members said they believed in integrated education. 

Hoaxers increasingly going online to threaten schools AP: In December, Los Angeles, New York City and several other school systems received an email warning of a grisly attack. In late January, districts in Delaware, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey and elsewhere received bomb threats phoned in using an electronic voice. In almost every instance, the threats disrupted the lives of thousands of students. Schools were closed or locked down. 

Afternoon Listen: The Premiere Episode Of "Have You Heard?"

It's finally here: New Progressive Education Podcast launches, hosted by Jennifer Berkshire and Aaron French. First up is a look at African-American parents in Philadelphia who oppose standardized testing. Or, check out the fundraising site. Agree or disagree with the perspective being explored, you've got to admire the sound quality.

Pics: NEA & AFT Heads Together Canvassing For Hillary In Iowa

 

In Cedar Rapids canvassing with NEA's Lily Eskelsen Garcia-talking with folks about Hillary in advance of Iowa Caucus

Posted by Randi Weingarten on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quotes: Weingarten Contextualizes Early State Primaries

Quotes2I know the early four states love being the early four states, and every four years you hear more and more about them. But 60 percent of the delegates actually get decided in March.

- AFT President (and Clinton supporter) Randi Weingarten in the NYT (Tight Democratic Race in Iowa Unnerves Clinton Campaign)

Morning Video: Male High School Student Makes School Dance Team

 

"Adrian is the only male dancer on his high school’s Lariettes dance team," according to this PBSNewsHour segment (The chance to dance). "Many consider this brave, but according to Adrian he’s just is doing what makes him happy." Read more about the #Outsidethebox series here.

AM News: Clinton Wins Iowa With Teachers Unions' Help

School spending per student drops for a third year in a row Hechinger Report: Per-pupil spending in the nation’s public schools fell for the third straight year in 2012-13*, according to the most recent federal financial data, which was released on January 27, 2016. In that school year, U.S. public schools spent only $10,763 per elementary, middle and high school student, on average, across the country. 

Chicago Teachers Union Rejects 'Serious Offer' From District AP: The Chicago Teachers Union says it has rejected a contract proposal because it does not address school conditions, lack of services to some students and the long-term fiscal crisis of the nation's third-largest school district... See also Sun-TimesChicago Tribune.

Public Advocate Sues New York City over Glitches in Special Ed Tracking WNYC: Public Advocate Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Monday that alleged the city's computer system for tracking students with disabilities was such a failure that it led to the loss not only of basic services for children in need but also of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicaid reimbursements. See also ChalkbeatNY.

Public schools see influx of state funds but financial challenges still loom KPCC: Up and down California, public schools are enjoying a rapid rise in state funding. With the state’s economic gains and a temporary tax increase approved by voters in 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $71.6 billion education budget for the next fiscal year is up more than 50 percent since 2011. Spending per student has increased more than $3,800, to a projected $14,550 this year.

S.F. considers giving condoms away to middle schoolers SF Gate: Public school nurses and social workers in San Francisco would be allowed to hand out condoms to individual middle school students under a proposal before the district’s school board, expanding school-based access to the contraceptive to younger teens and preteens.

GOP-led states increasingly taking control from local school boards Washington Post: Eleven states have passed or debated legislation to create state-run school districts in the past year, according to the Education Commission of the States, which tracks state education policy.

Top Education official will acknowledge ‘poor judgment’ at hearing into his behavior Washington Post: Harris, 56, also failed to report $10,000 in income from his various businesses on his federal disclosure forms and to the Internal Revenue Service, according to investigators. The agency’s inspector general launched an investigation into Harris’s activities in 2011 after receiving anonymous complaints.

EdSec: Six Years Ago, Duncan's Biggest Gaffe (& Perhaps A Turning Point)

Quotes
Six years ago yesterday, Arne Duncan made what is arguably the biggest gaffe of his entire tenure, talking about Hurricane Katrina. It was a big one, no doubt, and might have represented something of a turning point in media coverage of Duncan and educators' perceptions of him. But it was also one of very few mistakes like these that I can recall him making. The only other that comes to mind is the time he came out in favor of same-sex marriage before President Obama. 

 

 

Preview: Friday Social Media & Journalism Events In DC

On Friday in DC, I'll be appearing at a couple of #TFA25 sessions on social media and education journalism. The social media event is titled “Becoming an Education Influencer on Twitter” and is described as a "professional development" track and will take place in room 144BC of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Familiar and new to me, the list of other speakers include Alicia Herald https://twitter.com/aliciaherald, Andre Perry https://twitter.com/andreperryedu, Brittany Packnett- https://twitter.com/MsPackyetti, David Johns https://twitter.com/MrDavidJohns, Jeff Casimir https://twitter.com/j3, Jeremy Chiappetta https://twitter.com/chiachess, Jessica Cordova Kramer https://twitter.com/JJCordovaK, Jo Kmet https://twitter.com/JoKmet, Joseph Manko https://twitter.com/joemanko, Liz Dwyer https://twitter.com/losangelista, Reshma Singh https://twitter.com/reshma_a_singh, and Rishawn Biddle https://twitter.com/dropoutnation.

Someone should make a #TFA25 Twitter Power list from the speakers, right?

I'm also glad to be participating in a media panel at 3:05 titled "Five Things You Should Know Before You Talk to the Press" According to the event description, it will help #TFA25 attendees with the following: "How do stories and pitches sound from the other side of the divide? This panel of editors and writers will share mistakes to avoid when you share your story with journalists, edtech trends they've noticed in the market, and more." It's also in the Convention Center, in East Overlook Room.

Related posts: 52 regions. 40,000 Alumni. TFA At 25Key Takeaways From The NJ TFA Media Panel7 Things I Learned From The LA Times' TFA ArticleTFA20: A Premature (Or Even Unwarranted) Celebration?Looking Ahead To #TFA25Stop Talking About Education's "Egypt Moment"Five Ideas For TFA's *Next* 20 Years.

Books: New Yorker Writer's Year Embedded In High School English

image from images.macmillan.comYou might know David Denby for his writing in the New Yorker about movies among other things, but he's also interested in education.

He wrote a big profile of Diane Ravitch four years ago.

Now, the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss has this excerpt from his new book, ‘Lit Up.’

It's the account of his return to English class, following up (20 years later) on a similar tale about returning to college.

In the introduction, he explains the motivation behind the project:

"Teenagers may be reading more words than ever, but many of those words are scraps, messages, fragments of books and articles, information from everywhere and nowhere. What about reading serious books? The best way to find out, I reasoned, was not to scan education research and statistical surveys but to “embed” in a single tenth-grade English class all year long and to see what happened as a good teacher worked with 15-year-olds. I would read everything the kids read, sit on the side of the room, keep my mouth shut, and interview the kids when they had some free time."

Denby chose Beacon School, which he describes as a magnet school "with a multi-ethnic and multi-class population of New York kids." From this Wikipedia entry, you can see it's not your typical NYC high school. And the teacher whose classroom Denby observed was not just a teacher, according to Denby, he was "a maker of souls as well as a maker of readers."

It's got blurbs from Dave Eggers and Diane Ravitch, among others. Click the link above for the excerpt, or click here for some reviews. 

Morning Video: The CBO That Started A Charter (Plus Feynman)

Meet the Visionary Chicago School Leader Who Won a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant (via The Seventy Four.

Or, watch Bill Gates talk about scientist Richard Feynman (The Best Teacher I Never Had).

AM News: Chicago Teachers, NYC Special Ed, Koch Brothers Do Poverty

Will teachers accept CPS offer or start countdown to strike? Chicago Sun-Times: Forty members of the Chicago Teachers Union are slated Monday to consider a “serious offer” for a new four-year contract, a step that’s making another teachers strike look less likely. See also Chicago TribuneDNA Info.

NYC Rejects Federal Findings That Many Elementary Schools Defy Disabilities Law NYT: The de Blasio administration took issue with a report saying that the majority of city elementary schools are not fully accessible to disabled people.

Koch brothers' new group will take on poverty, educational quality USA Today: The organization, known as Stand Together, is still in its start-up phase but aims to raise $15 million this year, top officials told USA TODAY in the first interview about the new organization. The group will make its first public splash this week — launching its website and broadly sharing its plans as an annual winter seminar for hundreds of Koch donors opens Saturday near Palm Springs, Calif.

State Pre-K Funding Increases For Fourth Year Straight State EdWatch: Thirty-two states have increased funding while only nine states decreased funding for preschool.

Education Department Tells States: If Students Don't Take Tests, You Will Lose Funding
Huffington Post: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said states need support from the Education Department during the transition, "not the threat of sanctions."

School funding increases in California don't buffer from future uncertainties LA Daily News: Vallejo High School teacher Lewis Brown starts his morning government class with a question of the day that takes advantage of newly assigned iPads.

Baltimore schools lose hundreds of students, millions in funding Washington Post: The school system is investigating whether students were kept on the rolls after enrollment dropped.

The New Student Activists NYT: Black students and their allies are demanding change. Seven from colleges and universities around the country discuss the problem, their protests and themselves.

White House Announces 'Computer Science for All' Initiative PK12: Today, the White House announced what it's calling an "ambitious, all-hands-on deck" initiative to get every student in the United States coding. See also NYT, HuffPost

Students Say Racial Hostilities Simmered at Historic Boston Latin School NYT: Two black students, employing YouTube videos and a hashtag, started a campaign to expose what they see as a hostile climate at Boston Latin School, a beacon of high achievement that was founded in 1635.

Afternoon Video: Outdoor Learning Program Serves Autistic Kids' Needs

"By second grade, it was clear that while Zack Smith could sit in a chair, he had no intention of staying in it. He was disruptive in class, spoke in a loud voice, and had a hard time taking turns with others... Where Zack eventually landed is clinging spread-eagle to an east-facing slab of quartzite in the West Virginia panhandle." From Outside magazine (ADHD Is Fuel for Adventure)

 

Events: 52 regions. 40,000 Alumni. TFA At 25

Watch out, world. A week from today starts TFA's 25th Anniversary Summit in DC.

According to the event organizers, Friday includes "sessions focused on leadership development" (including one about social media that I'm going to be participating in), followed by Saturday's big day of panels (including a Denver case study panel I'm moderating) and an appearance from Janelle Monáe (above). 

There are a bunch of social events, including charter networks (Democracy Prep, etc.), diverse charters (Brooklyn Prospect), and districts (Denver Public Schools).

#TFA25 seems to be the event hashtag. 

There's a big EdWeek deep dive.

There's a BuzzFeed listicle: 19 Things To Do At The TFA 25th Anniversary Summit.

There's an app.

TFA Alumni Affairs (aka @onedayallkids) have put together a "TFA25 Twitter Track" for the conference .

There's some great TFA memorabilia floating around on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, including this 1992 poster:

CZ5v9BWWkAAxm_A

 

If Deray McKesson isn't there, I think there might be a riot. [He's scheduled to be there on Saturday, I'm told.] 

What about LAUSD Board Chairperson Steve Zimmer, or StudentsFirst co-founder Michelle Rhee (pictured at #TFA20)? Jesse Hagopian? Alex Caputo-Pearl? [No idea]

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.com

The NYT's Nikole Hannah-Jones is going to be there, according to Twitter. (Not as a TFA alum but on a panel on school desegregation.)

The last big gathering of TFA folks was in February 2011, which seems like 100 years ago. People were still talking about the Arab Spring back then. Michelle Rhee was sort of the rock star of the event. Questions about the organization's role and impact were coming up (including from founder Wendy Kopp herself) but hadn't gained real traction yet. There was no #BlackLivesMatter. Teachers in Chicago hadn't gone on strike for the first time in nearly 30 years. Yet.

Related posts: Key Takeaways From The NJ TFA Media Panel7 Things I Learned From The LA Times' TFA ArticleTFA20: A Premature (Or Even Unwarranted) Celebration?Looking Ahead To #TFA25Stop Talking About Education's "Egypt Moment"Five Ideas For TFA's *Next* 20 Years.

 

Charts: Urban District Spending/NAEP Scores Compared

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"Some large urban school systems get more bang for their buck than others. After adjusting for certain factors outside a district’s control, such as cost of living and student poverty, some big-city school systems spend millions of dollars more than others—but get far lower results on national math and reading exams." CAP 2011- used with permission.

This comes up because of a couple of recent reports on district spending in 2013 (NCES via Washington Post) and district achievement 2015 (CAP via USA Today). Anyone who wants to match up the more recent spending and NAEP figures?

 

 

Numbers: Big-City School Spending Tops Out At $20K Per Kid (NYC

Numbersign"The numbers [for the biggest 100 districts in the nation] ranged from $5,539 per pupil in Utah’s Alpine School District to $20,331 in New York City. After New York, the highest-spending large districts were in Boston, Philadelphia and Anchorage. Four of the 11 highest-spending large districts were in the Washington area, reflecting the region’s relative wealth and high cost of living. Montgomery County was ranked fifth, spending $15,080 per student; Howard County was seventh, at $14,884; Prince George’s County was ninth, at $14,101; and Fairfax County was 11th, at $13,670." - Washington Post's Emma Brown (Spending in nation’s schools falls again)

Today: New CAP Report/Briefing On Testing Better (#TestBetter)

Watch the event from this morning above. Featured are CAP's Catherine Brown, NY State's Mary Ellen Elia, CCSSO's Chris Minnich, Achieve's Mike Coehn, and DCPS teacher Chris Bergfalk, Ruidoso NM Supierntendent George Bickert, and NAACP LDEF's Janel George. 

Read more here: Toward a Coherent, Aligned Assessment System | Center for American Progress. Read the Twitterstream #testbetter here.

 

Morning Listen: How Much Does Teaching Matter From An Economist's POV?

"If U.S. schoolteachers are indeed "just a little bit below average," it's not really their fault. So what should be done about it?"  From Freakonomics (2014, rebroadcast again recently)

AM News: Teachers Unions Sue Detroit Over Poor Conditions & State Oversight

Detroit Teachers Sue District Over 'Deplorable' Conditions AP: The Detroit teachers' union has filed a lawsuit against the district calling for repairing "deplorable" conditions and removing the state-appointed emergency manager. See also Washington Post, US News, Detroit Free Press.

Education Department Tells States: If Students Don't Take Tests, You Will Lose Funding AP: A letter from the federal department last month reminded state school chiefs that the requirement to test at least 95 percent of grade 3-8 students is still in place and will continue under the nation's new education law, passed in December.

Per Pupil Spending Down in Most States, According to Federal Data State EdWatch: Despite the economic recovery, districts spent 1.8 percent less per student in 2013 than they did the prior year.

At least 145 sickened from apparent gas leak at Texas school AP: Authorities say at least 145 students and staff members at a Southeast Texas middle school received hospital treatment after an apparent carbon monoxide leak Thursday....

Immigrants' Son Is 1 Of 12 Students Worldwide To Ace AP Calculus Exam NPR: Of the 302,532 students who took the Advanced Placement Calculus exam, Cedrick Argueta, the son of a Salvadoran maintenance worker and a Filipina nurse, was one of 12 to earn every single point.

Quotes: Education Philanthropy's Mysterious Devotion To Failed Strategies

Quotes2Philanthropy’s quest to improve K-12 education feels stuck in a rut. Some of the biggest funders on the scene remain devoted to a reform strategy that has so far failed to yield transformative change, while a range of other funder-backed efforts aren’t yet operating at a scale likely to produce major breakthroughs.

- David Callahan in Inside Philanthropy (Ed Funders Need to Think Bigger About Systemic Change. Here Are Some Ideas)

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.