Looking more closely at Hillary Clinton's education SWAT team idea - EdWeek http://ow.ly/ZcON9
Christie Warns on Newark Schools - WSJ http://ow.ly/Zd7l2
Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Common Core (and Neither Do His Rivals) - The New York Times http://ow.ly/ZcO3a
Boston students walk out of class to protest budget cuts - AP Article http://ow.ly/ZcNYf
CTU vows 'showdown' on April 1 | Chicago Sun-Times http://ow.ly/ZcPeN
A principal met a student she expelled, and it changed her approach to discipline - The Washington Post http://ow.ly/ZcOYd
College Board Says Khan Academy Partnership Has Led to 19 Percent Fewer Students Paying for SAT Prep https://shar.es/1C87s5
The marshmallow gun demonstration from 2012 is still my favorite -- along with the one of him raising his hand in class to ask a question (which is inexplicably left out of this compilation).
In too many real-world history classrooms and textbooks, our country omits white actors and focuses instead on oppressed peoples’ suffering. They let the passive voice cloak privilege and aggression like pointed hoods, hiding who is responsible for the oppression we’re still working to dismantle. This is dangerous.
Progressive Fellow Sabrina Stevens (The Case for White History Month)
There are two big pieces about the Chan-Zuckerberg philanthropy initiative that you should probably know about:
The first is a package of stories and charts from EdWeek, including an exclusive interview with Zuckerberg himself (Examining Mark Zuckerberg's New K-12 Giving Strategy.
The second piece is a long look at How Mark Zuckerberg Should Give Away $45 Billion from Huffington Post, which includes a major section on education and some information about an international effort called Bridge International Academies.
One particularly interesting line: "The history of philanthropy is littered with projects that helped the poor at a small scale, then made them worse off at a larger one."
On one hand, teachers have to be happy that Clinton and Sanders defended them so vigoriously in last night's Democratic debate. On the other hand, they might well be concerned that CNN moderator Anderson Cooper chose to have them talk about education in the context of sexual predators who need to be removed.
America Rising via Erika Sanzi. Check out her interpretation of events here. Or take a look at PK12's coverage here. The Guardian has some recaps and quotes here. Look back at Maggie Haberman's NYT story from last summer where Clinton also referenced the issue of teacher scapegoating.
Hillary Clinton: Teachers Are Often 'Scapegoats' for Low-Performing Schools PK12: Clinton said she'd like to create an "education SWAT team" at the U.S. Department of Education to help intervene in Detroit's struggling schools, as well as steer federal money to repairing and modernizing schools.
'Just Say No' anti-drug campaign was Nancy Reagan's most memorable achievement LA Times: Drugs already had a strong grip in Compton High School when Maple Cornwell became assistant principal in 1983. Crack cocaine was just making its debut. Educators had few tools to fight what would quickly turn into an epidemic. Into this void came the voice of Nancy Reagan, with a message for children around the nation: "Just Say No."
States seek to stymie hiring suspected sex-predator teachers AP: A school suspects a teacher of sexual misconduct and forces the teacher out to protect the students. But that person can still get a new job in a new school, sometimes with a glowing recommendation....
Charter schools rethink discipline after focus on tough consequences ChalkbeatNY: Parallel shifts are happening across New York City, as some charter school leaders take a second look at discipline policies they put in place when they opened. Those policies, connected to a broader set of ideas referred to as “no excuses,” combine teachers’ high academic expectations for students with strict behavior rules meant to ensure an orderly learning environment.
Officer in School Beating Probe Was Fired Deputy AP: A Baltimore public school police officer under investigation for slapping and kicking a teenager at a school was fired by the city sheriff's department in 2003
Connecticut Approves New School Accountability System State EdWatch: The new accountability system ranks schools based on 12 indicators, including college access and physical fitness, in addition to test scores and expanded ways of measuring graduation.
Judge: Plaintiffs may still access complete California student database, but with tightened security KPCC: A massive database that includes sensitive information on every student who attended California public schools since 2008 will no longer be handed over in its entirety to a small team of experts and lawyers who've filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Education.
Guard at Pennsylvania school stabbings dies of heart attack AP: A security guard wounded trying to stop a student who had just stabbed 20 others at a western Pennsylvania high school has died....
Mo Canady of the National Association of School Resource Officers in The Seventy Four (Video of Baltimore Cop Slapping Student Reignites Big Questions About Child Training for School Cops)
"Michelle Obama casually jaunted into a classroom at John Burroughs Elementary School in Northeast Washington wearing a three-quarters sleeved baseball-style blouse." (She also learns that modern-day kids in some schools are taught to snap when they approve of something.)
At GOP Debate, Candidates Talk Detroit Public Schools, Common Core PK12: Kasich said he'd like to slim down the U.S. Department of Education, but didn't say whether he would bail out Detroit public schooos.
Baltimore school police officer in video was fired as sheriff's deputy in 2003 Baltimore Sun: Spence was one of two Baltimore sheriff's deputies who were fired in 2003 after a wrongful Taser attack that sparked outrage in the Hispanic community, according to reports in The Baltimore Sun at the time. See also AP, The Seventy Four, AP.
Students Get Early Crack at New SAT Exam WNYC: The new three-hour SAT has more emphasis on reading. The essay is optional. Only correct answers will be scored, so students are not penalized for guessing. And the test will no longer focus on obscure vocabulary words, in favor of testing students on vocabulary in context. See also AP, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Hechinger Report.
Opt-Out Fans Urge Senate to Reject John King's Ed. Sec. Nomination PK12: A group of progressives, including leaders in the opt-out movement, sent a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee this week recommending that its members not confirm King, whose nomination is slated for a vote next week.
Illinois House passes bill to create elected CPS board Chicago Sun-Times: If the legislation makes it through the Senate — and that’s still a giant “if” considering that its president is hammering out a solution to the state’s stalled budget — Chicago’s Public Schools would be overseen by 21 democratically elected members of the public rather than the seven the mayor alone chooses. See also District Dossier.
At morning ‘walk-ins,’ advocates press Cuomo for more school funding Chalkbeat: Thursday’s demonstrations across the state are part of a national campaign led by the Chicago-based Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. The group said 40,000 people from 838 schools nationwide had attended similar events.
Flint Is in the News, but Lead Poisoning Is Even Worse in Cleveland NYT: By the most recent estimate, about 37 million homes and apartments still have some lead paint on walls and woodwork, 23 million with potentially hazardous levels of lead in soil, paint chips or household dust.
Do kids learn more when they trade in composition books for iPads? Washington Post: Montgomery County Public Schools has one of the nation’s largest laptop initiatives. At the halfway point, the district has distributed more than 50,000 laptops to classrooms at a cost of $21.8 million. Across the river, far-smaller Arlington Public Schools is halfway through an effort to provide an iPad Air or MacBook Air to every student in grades two through 12 by 2018; the school system has used $5.6 million in local and state funds.
As you may recall from just a few days ago, the New York Times obtained and published video of a Success Academy teacher dramatically ripping up a student's work and telling her to do it over. The video and accompanying story went viral.
But the Times wasn't just Internet shaming an individual teacher for her behavior. It was making the case that ripping up student's work was a common practice at Success Academy schools:
“Five of the teachers interviewed… described leaders at multiple Success schools and a Success supervisor in the teacher training program that the network runs with Touro College endorsing the practice of ripping up work if it was deemed not to reflect sufficient effort. The purpose, they said, was to get students’ attention and demonstrate urgency. At some schools, there was even a term for it.” “It was ‘rip and redo’…”
According to that interpretation, teacher Charlotte Dial wasn't just losing her cool at a moment that happened to be caught on video. She was doing what she'd been taught to do. In which case this GIF of teacher Charlotte Dial ripping up a student's work is an illustration of something that someone, somewhere, taught or told her to do:
But is that true? Spoiler alert: nobody knows.
The phrase "rip and redo" is dramatic and memorable. But there's nothing about rip and redo that's easily found on the web -- no course syllabus or materials endorsing the practice. Nobody seems to know, and everyone who might tell us seems not to be aware of or approve of the practice.
At a now-infamous press conference, Success Academy's Eva Moskowitz disavowed rip and redo: "It is not our policy to rip up student work,'" she's quoted as saying. "It is our policy to insist that children re-do. We make no apologies for the need to re-do work when it's not done."
Asked again about the practice a spokesperson from Success responded: “As we have repeatedly said, this practice is not and has never been part of our program.”
But in an email, the folks at Touro also disavowed the practice: "The practices discussed in the [NYT] article are absolutely not part of our curriculum, and Touro neither condones nor approves of them."
The Times says that rip and redo was being taught by Success trainers, and it's not hard to imagine that kind of scenario. After all, school districts and big charter networks can exert tremendous influence over what's taught to its teachers and by whom. In some cases, teacher training providers can be asked to include specific materials or to hire specific instructors as adjuncts.
But Tauro says that's not the case: "Success Academy staff enroll at Touro College on a cohort basis and matriculate in our Graduate Education master’s program. Full time and adjunct Touro faculty deliver our programs. We pay our faculty."
And NCTQ's Sandi Jacobs isn't so clear that Touro would necessarily know what is going on in each and every of its courses, even if it hired all its instructors. "It is generally our sense that it is up to the individual instructor to teach whatever they want," she said in a phone interview.
"I don't know how they would know" whether all its teachers were or weren't teaching rip and redo. "We don't generally see that programs are coordinated in such a way that anyone could say what is going on in an individual course."
So the mystery remains. Someone out there -- a rogue Touro instructor or Success supervisor -- has apparently been teaching "rip and redo" to Success teachers. But both Success and Touro disavow any knowledge of the practice, and the Times doesn't appear to have any concrete evidence that it is as widespread as has been claimed.
A version of this post was originally published at The Grade.
From The Real News: DeRay: Maryland's Unionized Charter Schools Could Be Model For Nation.
Here's a review of a book that sounds really interesting and timely:
"Many saw the 2008 election of Barack Obama as a sign that America had moved past the issue of race, that a colorblind society was finally within reach.
"But as Marianne Modica reveals in Race Among Friends, attempts to be colorblind do not end racism—in fact, ignoring race increases the likelihood that racism will occur in our schools and in society.
"Modica finds that even in an environment where students of all racial backgrounds work and play together harmoniously, race affects the daily experiences of students and teachers in profound but unexamined ways.
"In the end, the school’s friendly environment did not promote—and may have hindered—serious discussion of race and racial inequity. The desire to ignore race in favor of a “colorblind society,” Modica writes, has become an entrenched part of American culture. But as Race Among Friends shows, when race becomes a taboo subject, it has serious ramifications for students and teachers of all ethnic origins."
You can listen to an interview she did on WNYC in December.
Related posts: New Yorker Writer's Year Embedded In High School English; Ta-Nehesi Coates' New Book On Race (& Schooling) In America; 'Confessions Of A Headmaster'; Teacher Perceptions Of Autonomy Vary By Race; Educators & Advocates Need Authentic Conversations About Race, Too.
From PBS: "The Los Angeles school system has come far in the last ten years, especially in terms of inclusivity. In 2003, only 54 percent of LA’s disabled students were taught alongside their nondisabled peers; today, it’s more than 90 percent. But some parents worry that general education schools won’t provide the specialized attention their children require." (LA schools grow more inclusive, but at what cost?)
Jarring New Video Shows A School Police Officer Kicking A Black Teen HuffPost: Four seconds, three slaps, two profane words and one kick. That's the narrative of a disturbing new video that appears to show a Baltimore school police officer assaulting an unidentified male teenager at Reach Partnership High School. See also Washington Post, AP.
Baraka calls Christie's charter expansion OK a 'huge step backwards' for Newark NJ.com: Mayor Ras Baraka is coming out strongly against Gov. Chris Christie's decision to clear the way for a new wave of charter school expansion in Newark, calling it "huge step backwards" for their traditional public counterparts.
Activists urge Senate not to confirm Obama’s pick for new education secretary Washington Post: Dozens of students, parents, educators and activists are urging the U.S. Senate not to confirm John King, President Obama’s choice to succeed Arne Duncan as education secretary, because he pushed education policies when he was education commissioner of New York State that they say were “ineffective and destructive.”
Head Start Program Expanded In Flint To Help Kids Exposed To Lead NPR: It's an effort to combat the damaging effects on kids from the city's lead-laced water. The effects of lead exposure are lifelong and can cause learning disabilities.
Is 'Grit' Doomed To Be The New Self-Esteem? NPR: Schools are moving to high-stakes testing of social and emotional skills. Some experts say it's too soon.
I got my masters in education in advance of teaching, I did even more student teaching than was required, I sought out good mentors. This was not a silly whim. I may not have had the chops for the job, but if so I have plenty of company... I’m trying to call attention to the fact that we are expecting teachers in high poverty schools to do too much. We must end the myth of the hero teacher.
- Author Ed Boland on Diane Ravitch's blog (Ed Boland Responds to Critics)
Here's a 12-minute documentary about a home visit nurse, which as you may recall was the subject of Kate Boo's 2006 feature story, Swamp Nurse. Go here if the video doesn't appear or you want more background.
Or, go listen to an WAMU story about how white parents' decisions not to send their kids to a local middle school affect its demographics and test scores.
Or, watch this new Viceland documentary about young African Americans in Compton, featuring a brief segment at Centennial High School, via Mark Walsh.
Thousands of New York City Students Deprived of Special-Education Services, Report Says NYT: The city’s Education Department said that its data systems were so unreliable that it was not exactly sure what percentage of students were not receiving the services. See also WNYC, Chalkbeat.
Refugees Say N.Y. School District Blocked Them From Going To High School NPR: Utica City School District is facing two federal lawsuits that say it is illegally diverting refugees away from its high school, instead funneling them to other programs to mainly learn English.
Debate surfaces over how much state action needed to ease teacher shortages EdSource Today: An LAO report argues market forces are likely to reverse the recent trend.
As online Common Core tests fail, Tennessee schools face unknown once again Hechinger Report: It was just after nine on Monday morning when Lori Smith, the associate principal at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Kingsport, received a text from her sister, the instructional technology coordinator for Monroe County Schools.
How One D.C. Elementary's 5th Grade Enrollment Highlights Concerns About Middle School WAMU: Brent Elementary on Capitol Hill has a robust student body through 4th grade. After that, things change dramatically. Why?
L.A. Supt. King pledges to bring charters and traditional schools together LA Times: Recently hired school L.A. schools Supt. Michelle King on Tuesday called for traditional public schools and charters—groups often at odds—to work together, pledging to set up a conference where they could share ideas.
New LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King gets earful from Valley parents LA Daily News: The hourlong town hall-style event was hosted and led by LAUSD board member Monica Ratliff of District 6, in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Let's Stop Requiring Advanced Math, A New Book Argues NPR: Algebra, trigonometry and calculus keep millions of people from graduating. And they're unnecessary, argues author and professor Andrew Hacker.
French, Spanish, German ... Java? Making Coding Count As A Foreign Language NPR: Florida is poised to become the first state to allow high school students to take computer coding as a way to meet a language requirement.
South: Virginia: Bill to Notify Parents of Books’ Content Advances AP: The state’s Senate approved a bill that would force schools to notify parents if their children will be assigned to read books with sexually explicit content.
Rising Poverty Rates, Tight Budgets Put The Pinch On Virginia Schools WAMU: For cities like Manassas, the number of students in poverty has more than doubled in the last decade and many of them, like those who recently immigrated from Central America, need special instruction that puts strains on school resources.
I think that the same way that our current school system is disengaging to our students of color, it's disengaging to our teachers of color as well. There are many teachers or potential teachers that take issue with the current system of micromanagement or the lack of respect for teacher expertise.
-- Pamela Lewis, author of Teaching While Black, in HuffPost (What It's Like To Teach While Black)
"At least 39 states are working to reduce testing time," according to CCSSO's Chris Minnich in a Nichole Dobo tweet from #ewaLA. To see which states, click on the image and try to make them out. I'll see if I can get a better image.
"On February 13th, StudentsFirstNY teamed up with Assemblymember Michael Blake to host a panel discussion at the The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Caucus weekend." (How New York’s School System Can Best Serve Communities of Color)
*Correction: DC should not have been included.
Very Few Teachers Receive Poor Job Ratings, And New evaluations Haven’t Changed That Washington Post: Are the new evaluations — many of which incorporate test scores or other measures of student learning — any better at identifying poor teaching? Not really, according to a new working paper by Matthew Kraft of Brown University and Allison Gilmour of Vanderbilt.
Despite Teacher-Evaluation Changes, the 'Widget Effect' Is Alive and Well Teacher Beat: Despite widespread efforts to make evaluation systems more truthful, most teachers continue to receive good teacher-evaluation ratings—including a handful who probably don't deserve them, according to a recently released working paper.
On the Upper West Side, a radical plan to desegregate schools faces an uphill climb Chalkbeat: On Tuesday, the district’s Community Education Council will host the first of two information sessions about that style of admissions, known as “controlled choice.” Another Manhattan district and one in Brooklyn are also exploring such systems, and education department officials watching closely to see what they come up with. But the prospect of District 3 adopting a controlled choice system anytime soon appears slim.
Obama Encouraging Young People To Learn Math, Science AP: More than 50 national labs in 20 states are opening their doors this week to approximately 5,000 elementary, middle and high school students to help spark interest by exposing them to the scientists, engineers and lab employees who carry out important work and research at facilities in their communities.
Teach For America Marks 25th Anniversary With A Commitment To Recruit More Teachers Of Color NewsOne: At the top of TFA’s agenda going forward is recruiting teachers of color to meet the needs of the nation’s exploding Latino student population and African-American pupils who are struggling to close the academic achievement gap.
Testing for Joy and Grit? Schools Nationwide Push to Measure Students’ Emotional Skills NYT: Starting this year, their school and schools in eight other California districts will test students on how well they have learned the kind of skills like self-control and conscientiousness. A recent update to federal education law requires states to include at least one nonacademic measure in judging school performance. But the race to test for so-called social-emotional skills has raised alarms even among the biggest proponents of teaching them, who warn that the definitions are unclear and the tests faulty.
How this Bay Area charter school network is reinventing education Hechinger Report/LA Times: Where many would see signs of success, Tavenner saw failure. "I taught those kids," Tavenner said of that moment in 2011. "I was their principal,... Diane Tavenner scanned the list of names a staffer at Summit Preparatory Charter High School had just handed her. She began to cry. They weren't happy tears.
L.A. Unified plans a Common Core makeover for its elementary school report cards KPCC: Right now, students get two marks for each subject: an academic grade and an effort grade. The report card changes are being proposed as part of a plan to better help parents track how well students are mastering the expectations spelled out in new sets of academic standards.
*Correction: DC should not have been included.
"Stephanie Schmit, senior policy analyst at CLASP and co-author of the report, says that researchers aren’t yet sure why access to these programs is so low but believes that inadequate funding and state-by-state policy differences might be to blame... In the meantime, however, tens of thousands of low-income children are missing a vital opportunity for getting ahead." (Washington Monthly: Head Start Is Missing the Population It’s Designed to Serve)
Of all the hours I was at graduate school, I don’t think there was all together an hour devoted to classroom management... We were developing beautifully crafted lesson plans that no one could use. I was learning esoteric phrases about test design. I spent two semesters doing a research project. I just wish somebody told me how to get a cellphone out of a kid’s hand. I just wish, when that girl stood on top of that desk, I knew what to do.
- Former rookie teacher Ed Boland in the NYT (The Myth of the Hero Teacher)
"The commercial has a "paper" student show up to school to face a group of mean-mugging "scissors" to find even the fellow "papers" have turned on him. It eventually takes a "scissors" and a "paper" — both sworn enemies according to the rules of the game — to befriend the lonely rock and break away from the schoolyard cruelty." via Mashable.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Faces Criticism for Reversals WSJ: In the interview, Mr. Cuomo said he supported a change of course because the large number of parents who allowed their children to skip statewide tests last year was “a totally new fact to take into consideration.”
Fear of Deportation Is Driving Migrant Kids to Stay Home from School VICE: Attendance dropped by one-third in several classes at Riverside High School the day after Acosta's arrest, according to Bryan Proffitt, the president of the Durham Educators Association. Since then, he told me attendance both at Riverside and neighboring schools has remained "inconsistent."
Super Tuesday: 15 Votes, 15 Big Education Stories The Seventy Four: From Alaska to Texas, from Vermont to American Samoa, 15 states and territories vote in Super Tuesday. Here's a quick survey of the top education issues affecting voters in the Super Tuesday states. See also Politico: Bernie’s Revolution Hits a Wall.
With Fewer Members, a Diminished Political Role for Wisconsin Unions NYT: In Superior, in the state’s far north, 241 members remain in a union for which 361 public school teachers are eligible. Andrea Moreau, an instructional coach for other teachers, stopped paying monthly dues in November, saying higher pension and health care contributions were insurmountable obstacles for her, especially with two young children in day care and student loans to pay off.
Judge Dismisses DPS Sick-Out Lawsuit Against Union Detroit Free Press: A judge has dismissed a controversial lawsuit Detroit Public Schools filed against the Detroit Federation of Teachers and its interim president in an effort to stop teacher sick-outs.
Success Academy Loses in Pre-K Battle With de Blasio Administration NYT: Success Academy suffered a defeat in a high-profile skirmish with New York City on Friday, when the state education commissioner ruled that the city could require the charter school network to sign a contract to receive funding for its prekindergarten program.
Poor Scores Leave an Afrocentric School in Chicago Vulnerable NYT: An African-centered charter school is praised by supporters as instilling confidence in students, even as their subpar national test scores have led to a recommendation to close the academy.
Discipline in school shifts from harsh punishment to ‘progressive’ model LA Daily News: The new system, known as PBIS — Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports — emphasizes a different way.
Moskowitz offers rare apology in private memo to staff Politico NY: Saying she felt Success tried to help Miranda before the Times story was published, Moskowitz wrote, "we are deeply sorry she feels otherwise." Moskowitz then launches into a recounting of the logistics surrounding the video's release and attempts to apologize to Miranda. The details quickly become convoluted.
Audio: In an impoverished Silicon Valley neighborhood, a bold approach to preschool KPCC: In Santee there are only enough licensed childcare seats for 20 percent of children under 5. It's one of many childcare deserts in California. Then last September, Lujan hit the jackpot for her youngest child, 4-year-old Angela: a preschool slot in a brand new center called Educare
#OscarsSoWhite? Not At This School NPR: Ahead of the Oscars, school kids on Milwaukee's west side decided to pay tribute to African-American cultural icons in their own awards ceremony.
For children like Dasani, school is not just a place to cultivate a hungry mind. It is a refuge. The right school can provide routine, nourishment and the guiding hand of responsible adults. But school also had its perils.
- Andrea Elliott in the NYT (Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life)
USA Today's massive look at the inadequate national and state tracking system for teachers who have abused kids continues to make the rounds (and has already generated some renewed interest in closing the existing loopholes.
The main story package is here: Broken discipline tracking systems let teachers flee troubled pasts. There have been several updates and add-ons, including this one from Wisconsin: Educators do little time for sex crimes.
If you're interested, here are some other education-related examples of what's called "digital storytelling" that I can find, riffing off a recent piece about what makes some of these multimedia presentations work better than others:
From the Miami Herald: Higher-Ed Hustle
From the Tampa Bay Times: Failure Factories
From EdWeek: Rural Schools Still Struggle to Get Connected
There are a couple of examples that have education elements but are about other things (homelessness, gentrification):
From the New York Times: Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life
From NY Magazine: One Block
Some others that have been pointed out to me as great examples aren't about education but may still be worth looking at for the way they use maps, animations, videos, and text:
From The Guardian: NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations explained
From AP: 22 Years a Slave
From AP: Faded Grace
From the Washington Post: The perils at Great Falls
From the NYT: A Portrait of the Sandtown Neighborhood in Baltimore
If you're curious about what makes these examples work (and make some other examples seem like a giant waste of time), take a look at my attempt to dissect the USA Today story with the help of a few experts here.
In the lab, Boston Dynamics subjects its robot teacher prototype to a typical day of abuse. (Pictured here is the Hallway Hockey Stick Confrontation test.) Read more about it here.
In 'Vergara' arguments, unions say courts should stay away from teacher tenure debate KPCC: Much of Thursday morning's oral arguments in the California Court of Appeals was spent wrangling over whether it was appropriate for a court to weigh in — or whether teacher job protection laws were a matter of policy best left to the state legislature. See also NYT, LA Times, EdSource Today, LA School Report.
Obama's Pick For Education Says Teachers Saved His Life AP: President Barack Obama's choice to serve as Education Secretary says he rose to his current position because New York City public school teachers "literally saved my life.” At his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, John B. King Jr., told the story of his mother's death when he was eight and his father's passing four years later. See also New York Times and Education Week.
Chicago Teachers Union Rallies Over Expected Layoffs, TIF Funds Tribune: A small group of Chicago Teachers Union members and supporters rallied Thursday outside City Hall to protest expected layoffs and repeat a long-standing call for using surplus tax-increment financing funds to help Chicago Public Schools. The district is expected to announce the number of employees being laid off next week. See also Sun Times.
In an impoverished Silicon Valley neighborhood, a bold approach to preschool: This new preschool has a bold vision: bring the kind of early education that affluent kids get to an impoverished neighborhood. No number and letter drills here. It's play-based and the curriculum is driven by children's interests and explorations. It's paid for largely by public preschool funds. And Educare also caters to the children not lucky enough to get a preschool seat through free community play spaces.
Activists Will Discuss Future of Opt-Out Movement at Sold-Out Conference EdWeek: Activists at United Opt Out's upcoming conference will work on ways to keep momentum going in their push against standardized tests, and to broaden their basket of issues.
Dallas ISD teachers plan appeal after losing fight against new pay-for-performance system Dallas Morning News: The National Education Association-Dallas is representing 91 teachers who contend the Teacher Excellence Initiative is flawed. The evaluation system bases a teacher’s pay on performance, student surveys and test scores.
Here's a recent panel titled "Learning Lessons from Successful Social Change Movements" that might be of interest to education advocates, whatever point of view they may be espousing.
Ruling Raises Objections to Release of Personal Student Data AP: A recent federal court ruling ordering the release of personal data on more than 10 million California students highlights the growing amount of information schools now collect — and the loopholes that allow it to be released.
School system reassures immigrant families fearful of being deported Washington Post: "Children in our care will be safe," says schools chief in Arlington County, Va.
John King Quizzed on Charters, Teachers, Spending at House Budget Hearing PK12: Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. highlighted efforts to improve school diversity and elevate the teaching profession in the Education Department's fiscal 2016 budget request.
Officer uses stun gun to break up fight at Florida school AP: A resource officer at Florida middle school used a stun gun to break up a fight between students....
Mother of Girl Berated in Video Assails Success Academy’s Response NYT: Nadya Miranda said officials of the charter school focused on defending the teacher and its public image, with little concern for her daughter’s welfare.
Vergara case appeal puts spotlight on debate over rights of students and teachers LA Times: The sides squaring off in a Los Angeles appeals courtroom on Thursday in the landmark case of Vergara vs. California agree on this: Teachers are key to whether students founder or thrive, and far too many students are failing or falling behind. See also EdWeek.
Should Teacher Union Officials Sit on Local School Finance Panels? Teacher Beat: A New Jersey teacher union official's appointment to such a board was a potential conflict of interest, a court ruled.
The future of learning, via Sam Chaltain, also featuring Google education head Jaime Casap.
"Public schools in Los Angeles have experienced rapid change in the last decade, and graduation rates for the city’s 80,000 special needs students have nearly doubled since 2003. But greater transitions lie ahead: the district plans to transfer these students from special education centers to neighborhood schools." PBS NewsHour (Los Angeles’ bold move to reform special education)
Accountability Grabs the Spotlight at Senate ESSA Oversight Hearing PK12: Tuesday's congressional hearing was second so far on oversight of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Why LAUSD's projected graduation rate shot up nine points in one month KPCC: What looked like a sudden shift in the numbers is the result of what district officials described Tuesday as part of a year-long, district-wide effort to ensure off-track high school seniors earn the credits they need to get their diplomas. See also LA Times.
Landmark teacher tenure fight resumes in California court LA Times: One of the highest-stakes battles in education is about to resume Thursday in a Los Angeles courtroom as teacher unions and their allies try to win back job protections that were tossed out in a landmark 2014 ruling.
Opt-out movement unlikely to provoke sanctions from state, this time around ChalkbeatNY: Though a federal mandate that 95 percent of students take state assessments still applies to New York, members of the Board of Regents indicated this week they are not inclined to impose sanctions on schools or districts with a low participation rates. They are, however, looking to craft a long-term plan.
Far higher share of students are passing at least one AP test during high school Washington Post: Maryland leads the nation in the portion of its graduates from the Class of 2015 who earned a 3 or better on at least one Advanced Placement exam. Virginia was 6th in the country.
De Blasio's First School Closures Up for a Vote WNYC: As a matter of policy, de Blasio has shied away from closing schools in favor of giving troubled schools extra resources through school "Renewal" or community schools programs. Two of the schools up for closure, Peace Academy and Foundations, were part of the Renewal program.
State teachers union exec can't oversee local school budget, judge rules NJ.com: Judge Thomas Moore agreed with Montclair Kids First, a coalition of local parents, that Sean Spiller's seat on the Board of School Estimate represented a conflict of interest with his job as the New Jersey Education Association's secretary-treasurer.
The Latest: Md. school aide faces child-pornography charges AP: The latest on a child pornography scandal at a Maryland elementary school (all times local):...
Amazon’s Kindle to sponsor national spelling bee Seattle Times: The move should give Amazon’s line of e-readers a lot of visibility: more than 11 million students participate in the spelling contest every year.
Early in our stay, we would ask what was the most distinctive school to visit at the K–12 level. If four or five answers came quickly to mind, that was a good sign. The examples people suggested ranged widely... The common theme was intensity of experimentation.
-- James Fallows (Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed)
Yep, that's Laurene Powell Jobs in the latest issue of Vogue, talking about how 10,000 proposal teams are trying to make it to the finalist list of about 400 and then 5 actual XQ awardees. Click the link if the Facebook embed doesn't render properly. #typepadsocreaky
Bill and Melinda Gates Ask Teens to Work on Global Clean Energy, Women’s LiberationWSJ: In annual letter, philanthropists look to tomorrow’s scientists to help fix development problems. Bill and Melinda Gates regularly challenge global leaders and policy makers to help them solve the world’s biggest development problems.
Bridging a Digital Divide That Leaves Schoolchildren Behind NYT: The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote soon on a plan that could add subsidies for broadband Internet services in low-income homes.
Success Academy Plans Another Harlem Elementary School WSJ: The network is starting a program that lets parents rank their preferences among its 11 middle school sites in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, and fifth-graders expecting to attend the Harlem Central site next fall are being redirected to Harlem North West nearby.
Louisiana voucher students did worse at new schools, study says NOLA: Louisiana's private school voucher program was billed as an exit hatch for students from bad public schools. But it was more like a trap door, according to a study released Monday (Feb. 22) by the University of Arkansas and the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University.
Teaching Laquan McDonald WBEZ Chicago: In the wake of the several released videos of Chicago police-involved shooting deaths of African Americans after the Laquan McDonald video, some educators have been tasked with altering their daily lesson plans for frank discussions about police brutality. Walter Taylor, a professional development facilitator for the Chicago Teachers Union’s Quest Center, talks about “Teaching About Laquan McDonald.”
Reality Check: Graduation Numbers Inflated At Nearly All CPS High Schools WBEZ Chicago: Indeed, the analysis done by WBEZ and the Better Government Association shows that compared to 2010, many schools graduation rates are up. Even after the revisions, 27 high schools saw double digit increases in their graduation rates between 2010 and 2015.
Study In Your PJs? What A High School 'Work From Home Day' Looks Like NPR: No alarm. No school bus. No problem. Thanks to a school's laptop program, everyone takes a virtual lesson.
Desegregation Proposal Depends on Parents' Choices WNYC: The vast majority of students in the district are Latino and black; at East Village Community School, more than half the students are white, about 20 percent are Hispanic and fewer than 10 percent are black. The school also has fewer low-income children than the district overall, just about 25 percent compared to almost 80 percent.
Books: Review: In ‘The End of Average,’ Cheers for Individual Complexity NYT: The author Todd Rose warns against conclusions drawn from large populations, arguing that they rarely account for important personal variations.
The best teachers don’t just say, ‘I have a good way of communicating or connecting with the students.’ They also change what they’re communicating. They think of a new curriculum that they know the student will be excited about.
-- BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti in Fast Company (Building A 100-Year Media Company) via Chalkbeat.
"Boston is one of the first 10 cities to launch the initiative, along with Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Miami; New York City; Philadelphia; Providence, Rhode Island; San Antonio; and Seattle." (White House Sets Out to Fight Chronic Absenteeism - US News). See also Washington Post.
Tomorrow morning in DC is the scheduled relaunch of Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, which was for a brief time a few years ago a sort of counterbalance to now-defunct organizations like EEP.
Panelists at the event are said to be Elaine Weiss, National Coordinator, BBA Paul Reville, BBA Co-chair and Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration, Harvard Graduate School of Education Joshua Starr, BBA Co-chair and CEO, Phi Delta Kappa International Helen Ladd, BBA Co-chair and Professor of Public Policy, Duke University Miriam Calderon, BBA Advisory Board member and Director of Special Projects, BUILD Initiative Warren Simmons, BBA Advisory Board member and Executive Director, Annenberg Institute for School Reform Lauren Wells, Chief Education Officer, Newark, NJ Ted Fiske, Founder, Fiske Guide to Colleges and Board Member, East Durham Children’s Initiative David Sovine, Superintendent, Frederick County, VA Public Schools (a Bright Futures affiliate).
The relaunch of BBA is accompanied by the creation of a new education policy think tank (The Learning Policy Institute) headed by Linda Darling-Hammond and the establishment of a new nonprofit led by Christopher Edley, among others (The Opportunity Institute).
Click the link to register and attend (if there's still room). Since it's at the Capitol, allow extra time for security screening.
This video trailer from Chicago's Kartemquin documentary filmmakers comes from a "documentary project in progress" connecting the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott to today's education struggles.
In 1963, roughly 200,000 Chicagoans marched to protest the policies of then-CPS superintendent Benjamin Willis. (A year later, there was a 500,000-person protest against school segregation in New York City.)
So far, nobody's identified footage of a young Bernie Sanders at the event, but who knows... it could happen.
The State That Pulled The Plug On Computer Testing NPR: Nearly two-dozen states have moved to online exams, many with the PARCC and Smarter Balanced consortiums. And Scherich says many have run into trouble. Florida's rollout was particularly rough. But Tennessee is unusual for abandoning computer-based testing for the year.
In the age of Common Core, states are still defining ‘proficient’ differently Washington Post: A new study says that PARCC tests are scored much more rigorously than Smarter Balanced.
How Chicago Teachers Union spends its money Sun-Times: With more than $25 million a year in dues coming from 28,000 teachers and other school employees, CTU president Karen Lewis and her 77-member staff are a well-funded adversary for the mayor and his schools chief, Forrest Claypool, a Chicago Sun-Times examination of the union’s financial filings shows.
California court to rule on suit to scrap K-12 funding system KPCC: Creating a funding system around what it costs to prepare each student for college or a career would ensure “every student can succeed in the work force and succeed as an engaged citizen in our democracy,” Affeldt said. But the county court dismissed that claim, saying that the state legislature can fund schools how it chooses and the constitution does not demand that schools meet any bar for excellence. And beyond the constitutional issues, the case also raises questions about what it means for schools to prepare students for college and to participate fully in civic life, and how much that costs.
Young Students Call for More School Diversity WNYC: The goal would be to distribute students more evenly among the schools by setting aside seats for low-income students. It's a topic of great interest for adults but one that most profoundly affects children which is why WNYC convened a small group of third graders from East Village Community School.
Why Science Teachers are Struggling with Climate Change NPR: Roughly 3 in 4 say they talk about global warming in class, though typically only for an hour or two. But the study's lead author, Eric Plutzer of Penn State, says barely a majority are getting the science right.
Got an A in Algebra? That’s Worth $120 NYT: Raise.me, a three-year-old start-up, allows students to accrue incremental scholarship credits by entering their high school achievements on a website.
Teaching Bronx Students the Language of Computers NYT: A growing movement in the borough seeks to equip young people with the knowledge and the skills to write code so that they can navigate an increasingly digital world.
City data shows number in Absent Teacher Reserve remains steady Chalkbeat: The latest numbers show that 1,083 teachers were collecting salaries and benefits without holding full-time positions in schools last month, compared to 1,102 in January 2015. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city teachers union have pledged to reduce the size of the pool, which swelled under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and costs the city millions of dollars each year.
Despite new requirements, L.A. Unified's projected graduation rate soars LA Times: For years, Los Angeles school officials have suggested that miracle academic turnarounds would be unsustainable and even suspect, and that real and lasting gains for the academically lagging school system would be a step-by-step journey. On Friday, that gospel changed.
Seattle Public Schools sends test results to wrong families Seattle Times: School district officials blame a database error and ask those who mistakenly received the 348 confidential letters to please return them unopened.
School Safety Incidents Vary, Depending on Who CountsWNYC: The department suggested that the state's reporting system included a wider range of incidents, not all of which are violent. It said schools input incidents into the city's system, and then staff compile them for the state's system. But the city's own annual numbers are reported by the NYPD and only track incidents involving police. See also Chalkbeat.
Glitches continue to haunt controversial Common Core exam WINK News: A number of glitches with state exams still remain as testing dates approach, Lee County School District information technology experts said Thursday.
A 4-4 Supreme Court Could Be Good For Unions And Voting Rights Advocates Five Thirty Eight: Seven cases currently before the court were predicted by one or both of those sources to result in 5-to-4 reversal votes in which Scalia would’ve been in the majority. In other words, there are seven cases in which Scalia was predicted to be a pivotal voter but are now seen as likely to result in a tie.
State board rules against Chicago Teachers Union effort to get back pay for teachers Tribune: CPS said it told the union this summer that it would not distribute the step and lane payments while negotiations over a new contract were ongoing, and that it would not pay those increases through at least the first year of any ensuing contract.
A tale of two schools on protest day Medill Reports: At Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy, about 30 people gathered outside the school. Teachers, parents and students gave speeches about how the budget cuts could affect them in adverse ways. At Walter Payton College Prep, about 40 parents, students and teachers staged a walk-in. Payton hasn’t been as affected by the budget cuts.
Look, Mom, I’m Writing a Term Paper on My Smartphone WSJ: After years of cellphone bans, many teachers now invite teens to use smartphones for homework and during class.