Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Oakland Parent Jane Nylund Writes a Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom | Diane Ravitch's blog

Oakland Parent Jane Nylund Writes a Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom | Diane Ravitch's blog

Oakland Parent Jane Nylund Writes a Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom

Dear Governor Newsom:
It is with profound disappointment that I heard that your office was responsible for essentially gutting the main features of these charter reform bills. While I can only speculate on the reasoning for essentially caving to the charter industry (besides Ann O’Leary and the task force espousing all kinds of charter-friendly platitudes), I can say that as a California native, public school graduate (1983), advocate, and 16-year parent/volunteer (two sons in Oakland Unified), and now employee of Oakland Unified, I am well familiar with the education landscape in this state,  particularly the damage being done to schools in Oakland. I’m also familiar with what happens when districts don’t have local control over the schools for which they are responsible. You and I have something in common-we both attended well-resourced public high schools. You went to Redwood High School in Marin, and I attended Miramonte High School in Orinda, located in what is now one of the wealthiest suburbs in the East Bay. Lucky us. 
The irony regarding your potential alliance with privatization groups like CCSA is that, because of your severe dyslexia, you would have been rejected by the same schools that are now being touted as “high quality seats”, aggressively marketed as superior to real public schools because of test scores. According to the bio I read, you were rejected from a private prep school and enrolled in your local public high school instead. So you have first-hand experience with the idea that real public schools enroll CONTINUE READING: Oakland Parent Jane Nylund Writes a Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom | Diane Ravitch's blog

NYSAPE Calls for a Commissioner Who Puts the Needs of Students First | Diane Ravitch's blog

NYSAPE Calls for a Commissioner Who Puts the Needs of Students First | Diane Ravitch's blog

NYSAPE Calls for a Commissioner Who Puts the Needs of Students First

NYSAPE-New York State Allies for Public Education-is the leading voice for parents and educators who want a forward-looking education agenda, not one that slavishly promotes No Child Left Behind-style policies of test-and-punish. It has led the state’s successful opt-out movement. NYSAPE consists of 70 groups of parents and educators from every part of the state.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2019
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190nys.allies@gmail.com
Jeanette Deutermann (516) 902-9228nys.allies@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education – NYSAPE
As New York Closes the Door on Commissioner Elia’s Corporate Reform Agenda, NYSAPE Urges the Board of Regents to Include All Stakeholders When Choosing Our Next Commissioner
MaryEllen Elia was the wrong choice for NY in 2015 when she was appointed as Commissioner by the Board of Regents and former Regent Chancellor Merryl Tisch. The Commissioner continued to demonstrate throughout her tenure an unwillingness to move beyond her corporate reform agenda, resulting in NYSAPE’s repeated call for her resignation. The children of NY deserve a state education leader who will put their well-being at the forefront of all education policies.
“In 2015, NYSAPE sounded the alarms when Commissioner Elia was recruited by national and local CONTINUE READING: NYSAPE Calls for a Commissioner Who Puts the Needs of Students First | Diane Ravitch's blog

Trump Picked the Perfect Education Secretary in Betsy DeVos - Bloomberg

Trump Picked the Perfect Education Secretary in Betsy DeVos - Bloomberg

Trump Picked His Perfect Education Secretary in Betsy DeVos

For all the years since Jimmy Carter picked Shirley Hufstedler in 1979 to be the first holder of the title, it’s been a tradition for the U.S. education secretary to address the annual gathering of the hundreds of journalists covering their department. Two years ago, Betsy DeVos, who’d recently been confirmed as President Donald Trump’s education secretary, turned down an invitation from the Education Writers Association. The next year she did so again, raising the possibility that she might be the first person with the job to snub the organization altogether in almost 40 years.

So the association’s members were excited when DeVos agreed to appear this year. What would their reluctant keynote speaker say? The tables in the ballroom on Baltimore’s inner harbor quickly filled with journalists eager to find out. The slim 61-year-old walked onstage wearing a light blue pantsuit, sparkling gold heels, and a forced smile. “The simple truth is,” DeVos said, sighing, “I never imagined I’d be a focus of your coverage. I don’t enjoy the publicity that comes with my position. I don’t love being up on stage or any kind of platform.” She gave her audience a plaintive look. “I am an introvert,” she said, placing her hand on her heart. Then she became defiant: “And as much as many in the media use my name as clickbait or try to make it all about me, it’s not.”

Once she was finished, DeVos took a seat onstage, leaning back in her chair as if she wished she could disappear rather than take questions from Erica Green, an education reporter for the New York Times. However, Green was gracious, as were most of the audience members who asked questions. Contrary to her reputation as someone who can be befuddled in public, DeVos fielded them all. An underperforming voucher program in Louisiana? She didn’t think much of it either. A proposal in a Tennessee education bill targeting undocumented students? She was pretty sure it didn’t wind up in the final version, so what was there to say?

There’s something mildly disingenuous about DeVos’s contention that she’s been the subject of undue scrutiny. She came to Washington in 2017 to serve Trump, who had agreed to pay $25 million the previous winter to settle claims that his namesake for-profit university bilked students. For decades, DeVos has promoted what she refers to as “school choice,” arguing that parents should be able to decide which school CONTINUE READING: Trump Picked the Perfect Education Secretary in Betsy DeVos - Bloomberg



Moneyball For Government: Poverty Mining in Philadelphia – Wrench in the Gears

Moneyball For Government: Poverty Mining in Philadelphia – Wrench in the Gears

Moneyball For Government: Poverty Mining in Philadelphia

We finally got a new computer with enough memory for me to be able to edit the talk I gave at Wooden Shoe Books on May 9, 2019. It’s two hours long and covers quite a bit of ground. We had a couple dozen folks attend in person and many wanted to stay after and continue talking; so I count that a win.
Below is the talk. Click here for the slide share if you want to look at it separately.
For context, the week before this event hundreds of impact investors arrived in Philadelphia to discuss how to best capitalize on (read profit from) our city’s deep poverty. A couple of us affiliated with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) staged an informational picket outside the Duane Morris Building where the “Total Impact 2019 Conference” was held. We leafleted, let passersby know what was happening inside, and even engaged a number of speakers. They are not willing to see horrific techno-dystopic machine they are building for what it truly is. Below is a video from that action.
A sidewalk display featuring many of the speakers was made with help from comrades with #OccupyPHA (PHA = Philadelphia Housing Authority). PHA is one of the leading gentrifiers in the city, particularly North Philadelphia, where they’ve built a new $45 million headquarters. The week after the CONTINUE READING: Moneyball For Government: Poverty Mining in Philadelphia – Wrench in the Gears

OSBI warrant: 'Ghost students' at Epic

OSBI warrant: 'Ghost students' at Epic

OSBI warrant: 'Ghost students' at Epic

A state investigation alleges Epic Charter Schools, the state’s largest virtual charter school system, embezzled millions in state funds by illegally inflating enrollment counts with “ghost students.”

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation alleged Epic co-founders David Chaney and Ben Harris “devised a scheme to use their positions as public officers to unlawfully derive profits from state appropriated funds.”




An OSBI agent made the allegations in a search warrant that sought evidence of embezzlement, obtaining money by false pretenses and racketeering.

Investigators reported Chaney and Harris “created a system of financial gain at Epic” when they founded the virtual charter school in 2010. The two co-founders have managed the virtual charter school through a for-profit company, Epic Youth Services, which receives a portion of Epic’s state funds.

Epic, which enrolled just under 20,000 students last year, is a public charter school that receives state education funding for each student enrolled. There is no cost to students to attend.

In a statement emailed to The Oklahoman, Epic referred to the allegations as a "coordinated CONTINUE READING:OSBI warrant: 'Ghost students' at Epic


The AFT: Betsy DeVos Is Shortchanging Teachers - The Atlantic

The AFT: Betsy DeVos Is Shortchanging Teachers - The Atlantic

The Financial Calamity That Is the Teaching Profession
Teachers are suing the government over debt relief that never came—but their financial problems go much deeper than student loans.

America needs teachers: A majority of the country’s most experienced K–12 educators are expected to retire in the next few years, while research suggeststhat thousands of others will likely leave the profession prematurely, citing job dissatisfaction. How to get more people to join the profession? A little more than a decade ago, policy makers came up with one idea they thought would help: Give teachers some extra support in paying off their student loans. So, in 2007, Congress tasked the U.S. Department of Education, which administers federal financial aid, with offering student-debt relief to recent graduates in public-service career: Essentially, make your minimum monthly payments for 10 years and your loans will be erased.
Thousands of public-service workers—including teachers, nurses, and firefighters—have applied for forgiveness since 2017, when the relief went into effect, to no avail. Just 1 percent of applicants who say they meet the program’s ostensibly basic criteria have actually been approved, according to federal data, with the rest blaming misleading bureaucratic requirements that enable the Education Department’s contracted loan servicers to deny them the benefits. Now, teachers across the United States are suing the Education Department, alleging that its failure to make good on the loan forgiveness violates both their constitutional right to due process and administrative-procedure laws. (Liz Hill, CONTINUE READING: The AFT: Betsy DeVos Is Shortchanging Teachers - The Atlantic

Jake Jacobs: Democratic Candidates Speak Double-talk about Charters | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jake Jacobs: Democratic Candidates Speak Double-talk about Charters | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jake Jacobs: Democratic Candidates Speak Double-talk about Charters

Jake Jacobs, a teacher in New York and BAT activist, writes in the Progressive about the pathetic evasions of Democratic Candidates when asked directly about their stance on charter schools.
Public school educators and advocates have been working for years for this to become a major campaign issue, but so far, most candidate statements have been conflicted, incomplete, clumsy, and/or vague, while media coverage has been equally as incomplete, inaccurate, and in many cases baldly biased in favor of charters. 
Read the article to see how they bob and weave to avoid taking issue with privatization of public schools.
Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat so far who has come out in support of the NAACP proposal for a CONTINUE READING: Jake Jacobs: Democratic Candidates Speak Double-talk about Charters | Diane Ravitch's blog

Myths and Hype Fueled Charter School Expansion: Here Are 8 Essential Facts | janresseger

Myths and Hype Fueled Charter School Expansion: Here Are 8 Essential Facts | janresseger

Myths and Hype Fueled Charter School Expansion: Here Are 8 Essential Facts

If you value the role of public schools—locally governed, publicly owned and operated—whose mission is to serve the needs and protect the rights of every child, you can be more supportive if you know the facts about charter schools. The public schools across the United States enroll 50 million students, 90 percent.  Charter schools suck money out of state budgets and public school districts while they enroll only 6 percent of American students. We all need to be actively refuting the myths and calling politicians on their errors when they betray their ignorance about the problems posed by the privatization of public education.
Here are eight facts to keep in mind:
  1. While their promoters try to brand them as “public charter schools,” charter schools are a form of school privatization. Charter schools are private contractors whose expenses are paid with tax dollars. Their boards operate privately—very often without transparency.
  2. For-profit charter schools are permitted in only two states—Arizona and Wisconsin. In the 43 other states whose laws permit charter schools, the schools must be nonprofits.
  3. Nonprofit charter schools are increasingly operated—and often highly controlled—by for-profit Charter Management Organizations (CMOs).  Sometimes, in something called a sweeps contract, a nonprofit turns over 90 percent or more of its operating dollars to the for-profit management company it has hired to run the school—meaning that the for-profit essentially runs the school.  But that school is technically a nonprofit. Eighty percent of Michigan’s charter schools are operated by for-profit CMOs.
  4. Charter schools are established in state law in 45 states and the District of Columbia. (West Virginia, the 45th state, just passed charter school enabling legislation in June, 2019.)  There are no federal laws that set up or regulate charter schools.
  5. Across the states, charter school fraud and corruption has CONTINUE READING:  Myths and Hype Fueled Charter School Expansion: Here Are 8 Essential Facts | janresseger

Mike Klonsky's Blog: The power in a word

Mike Klonsky's Blog: The power in a word

The power in a word

Response to the R-word, from the right was violent and swift. Trump's former ICE director threatened our congressman, Chuy Garcia with a "beating" after Chuy aggressively questioned him about the horrid conditions in the detention centers. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got in trouble Tuesday for calling President Donald Trump’s racist tweets “racist.” It turns out there’s a congressional rule that lawmakers can’t accuse a sitting president—or any member of the House or Senate—of racism on the floor. Pelosi was even briefly prohibited from speaking at all from the floor after the parliamentarian ruled her remarks criticizing Trump’s tweets were out of order.
 -- Slate
I guess I wasn't the only one demanding that Pelosi and the Democrats call out the President and his men for racism. Yesterday, the tide turned, at least on that score, Dems actually began using the R-word to push back on Trump's invitation to The Squad (and to all those who "don't love America") to leave it.

Speaker Pelosi even felt it safe enough, despite the so-called, congressional rule, to use the word in a House Resolution condemning Trump's "xenophobic tweets". Only four House Republicansdared vote for the resolution which by 240-187 over near-solid GOP opposition.

The rule, as you might have guessed, was handed down from slave-owning English and CONTINUE READING: 
Mike Klonsky's Blog: The power in a word


Charters and Dalios: What Do You Have To Hide? | Real Learning CT

Charters and Dalios: What Do You Have To Hide? | Real Learning CT

Charters and Dalios: What Do You Have To Hide?

True enough:
A Hartford Courant editorial (Sunday, July 14, 2019) strongly criticized the stipulation that the Dalio Foundation put on its offer to Connecticut public schools. The Dalio Foundation has committed 100 million dollars to Connecticut public education if we taxpayers also contribute 100 million ANDagree to not being given any information about how the decisions will be made about how our 100 million will be spent. That is not a deal that we, as taxpayers, should take. It is giving our blank check to the billionaire Dalios. The Hartford Courant rightly points out that we, as taxpayers, have the right to know how 100 million of our tax dollars is being spent or we should not give the 100 million.  Our money can be misspent and do damage to our children. We have an obligation to our children to demand information about how decisions will be made about how the money is to be spent.
We have to wonder why the deal rests on exempting the Dalio and state partnership from Freedom of Information regulations and agreeing to no transparency and no accountability. As appealing as money always is, Governor Lamont should say NO to such a deal.  We don’t want Connecticut CONTINUE READING: Charters and Dalios: What Do You Have To Hide? | Real Learning CT

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

NYC Public School Parents: Commissioner Elia resigns; let's hope for a better one next time!

NYC Public School Parents: Commissioner Elia resigns; let's hope for a better one next time!

Commissioner Elia resigns; let's hope for a better one next time!

The serious concerns we expressed yesterday and shared with the Board of Regents about NYSED's new proposed privacy regs were overwhelmed in news of CommissionerElia's sudden resignation.  What wasn't reported on in the media crush, at least as far as I've noticed, is that the Regents were set to discuss whether to fire her during their annual retreat that started yesterday afternoon.  Clearly, Elia jumped the gun with her announcement and as a result, she was able to control the narrative, with many of the news stories featured overly positive review of her regime.

Last year, the final RAND report on the teacher evaluation project was released, showing that the initiative she led in Hillsborough County before she was fired by that school board and came to NY had no positive results and in fact, resulted in less access to effective teachers for high-needs kids.  In addition, the initiative left the district in severe fiscal disarray.

I recall when NYSAPE members and I met with her after she was first appointed in 2015.  We detailed the issues with the invalid, overly long and developmentally inappropriate state tests and Common Core standards, as well as many other problems ranging from the state's refusal to oversee the increases in NYC class sizes to their laggardly pace in enforcing the 2014 student privacy law.  She said very little, but ended by claiming that somehow, all the problems with the tests would be solved by putting them online. Never did I suspect it would take four more years for them to issue regulations to enact the 2014 student privacy law, and when they did they would attempt to eliminate the ban against selling student data or using it for marketing purposes.


During her time in NY, she never seemed to grasp just how awful the tests were, and compounded their abusive nature by administering them untimed, which led to some CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Public School Parents: Commissioner Elia resigns; let's hope for a better one next time!


CURMUDGUCATION: Eight Weeks Of Summer: Getting It Done

CURMUDGUCATION: Eight Weeks Of Summer: Getting It Done

Eight Weeks Of Summer: Getting It Done

This post is week 6 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators.

I've been doing this challenge because why not. I answer the prompts as my pre-tirement self. Here's this week's question:

How are you planning to implement change next school year?

This often depended on the change. For lots of changes, I just did it. Changing how I approached vocabulary? Just did it. Changing the reading list for Honors English? Just did it. Experimenting with my room lay out (like the year I got rid of desks)-- get help from the custodial staff, and then just did it.


My school was generally supportive of teacher autonomy in many areas (whether this was a matter of trust or indifference was always a topic of discussion), and so I was free to do a lot of implementing on my own. However, there was one element that was supremely important--

Communication.

I worked with a wide variety of principals over my career, and I can't say that any of them were that concerned with the nuts and bolts of English classroom instruction. Nevertheless, I still told them what was going on. In particular, my rule at all times with administrators is that anything that might result in a phone call had to be communicated to them first.

Everybody wants a supportive boss, but you make being supportive hard when you set your boss up to be blindsided. If she's getting a call asking, "What the hell does Mr. Greene think he's doing with CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Eight Weeks Of Summer: Getting It Done





As Hate Incidents Rise, States Require Teaching the Holocaust | The Pew Charitable Trusts

As Hate Incidents Rise, States Require Teaching the Holocaust | The Pew Charitable Trusts

As Hate Incidents Rise, States Require Teaching the Holocaust



The Pew Charitable Trusts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Claire Sarnowski of Lake Oswego, Oregon, met Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener at a school event five years ago when she was 9 years old.
Because her aunt had arranged the talk by the Holocaust survivor, and served as his escort to the school and back, Sarnowski got to ride along when Wiener was driven home. The two started talking and formed an immediate bond. They kept in touch, with Sarnowski often persuading someone to drive her to see Wiener at his home in Hillsboro, Oregon, about an hour away from where he spoke. They shared meals and stories. Sarnowski became increasingly interested in Wiener’s tales of living under Hitler during World War II and his life since then.
She thought other kids should learn about them too and began a campaign to get a state law requiring Holocaust education in Oregon schools. Last month, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed that law, with Sarnowski, now age 14, looking on. Even though Wiener died late last year at 92, Oregon students will continue to learn the lessons he shared.
Oregon is the 12th state to enact such a law, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Most of the states have acted in the past few years, and bills are pending in another dozen states.


In a telephone interview, Sarnowski said it’s very hard for young people to relate to the Holocaust, particularly in that there are fewer survivors around for them to talk to. It was the personal talks with Wiener, she said, that made it real for her. Surveys show that Sarnowski’s instinct is on target regarding young people.
Ignorance about the Holocaust is growing, particularly among young people. A survey last year showed that two-thirds of U.S. millennials were not familiar with Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp complex, located near Krakow, Poland. More than 1.1 million people were gassed, shot or starved at Auschwitz, including nearly a million Jews. Overall, the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, plus millions of Roma, homosexuals and others.
The Holocaust was the largest genocide in history, but not the last one. More recent examples include the Khmer Rouge’s killing of about 2 million Cambodian dissidents CONTINUE READING: As Hate Incidents Rise, States Require Teaching the Holocaust | The Pew Charitable Trusts

DeVos' use of personal email as secretary probed by House Democrats - POLITICO

DeVos' use of personal email as secretary probed by House Democrats - POLITICO

DeVos' use of personal email as secretary probed by House Democrats

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said Monday that he is expanding an investigation into the use of personal email by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Cummings told DeVos in a letter that his move came after "disturbing new revelations" released by the Education Department's inspector general in May about how DeVos had used personal email while on the job.

“New information has now come to light indicating that you and other Department officials violated the Department’s prohibition on using personal email accounts to conduct official business, violated the requirement in the Federal Records Act to forward these emails to your official account within 20 days, and violated the requirement in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to produce relevant records in response to public requests,” wrote Cummings (D-Md.).

Cummings told DeVos the new information indicates that she "withheld from the Committee information it has been seeking on a bipartisan basis over the past two years.” He also sought new related documents by July 29.

In response, Liz Hill, a department spokesperson, said the letter was "nothing more than political grandstanding."

"The IG has already done a thorough report on this issue. There is nothing to see here," Hill said in an email. CONTINUE READING: DeVos' use of personal email as secretary probed by House Democrats - POLITICO



Are Phones Distracting Teachers Too? - Teacher Habits

Are Phones Distracting Teachers Too? - Teacher Habits

Are Phones Distracting Teachers Too?

Guest Writer: Frankie Wallace
It’s hard to find anyone without a smartphone nowadays. Adults and kids alike seem to be glued to these handheld devices around the clock. While smartphones are meant to keep us connected and help us access useful information and tools, they can also end up causing a lot of problems — especially in the classroom. 
In 2015, Apple sold 300 million devices, which equates to just under 1 million devices being sold each day. The smartphone trend hasn’t stopped from there. In 2019, the number of smartphone users is expected to increase to 2.5 billion. It’s not just adults using these devices, either; about 56% of kids ages 8-12 in the U.S. have a smartphone, and that number increases when it comes to teenagers. It’s no surprise that smartphones in the classroom have become a problem in recent years. 
Cell phones can obviously be a distraction to students in school with so many apps, social media, and the ability to text friends. They’ve become such a problem, in fact, that some schools have pushed to ban them from the classroom. But is it just students who are distracted by smartphones, or are teachers struggling too? 

What Are the Risks of Too Much Smartphone Use?

Smartphone addiction is real, and the risk of it affecting adults is dangerously high. Don’t think you have a problem? Consider this: On average, smartphone users look at their device 80 times a day. This CONTINUE READING: Are Phones Distracting Teachers Too? - Teacher Habits

AFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN: PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR RICARDO ROSSELLO IS “REPREHENSIBLE” MUST RESIGN “IMMEDIATELY” | Black Star News

AFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN: PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR RICARDO ROSSELLO IS “REPREHENSIBLE” MUST RESIGN “IMMEDIATELY” | Black Star News

AFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN: PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR RICARDO ROSSELLO IS “REPREHENSIBLE” MUST RESIGN “IMMEDIATELY”

[Puerto Rico News]
AFT's Weingarten: says to Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello "it’s time to uphold your promise to lead by example and quit.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
AFT President Weingarten demands Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello resign because of "vile, hateful and criminal statements."
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement calling on Puerto Rico’s governor to resign immediately:
“When Gov. Rossello took the oath of office, he stated that he would lead by example and set high expectations for his government. We see now that the example he has set is one of corruption, cronyism and contempt for the people of Puerto Rico.
“In the last few days, evidence has surfaced showing the governor, his top aides, consultants and cabinet members engaging in online conversations over many months that are full of vile, hateful and criminal statements.
“It’s not simply what the governor or former chief financial officer Christian Sobrino have said about people in the diaspora who have tried to help the island, like entertainer Ricky Martin or Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former speaker of the New York City Council; that is disgusting enough. What the governor and his administration have said and done to the workers, the teachers of Puerto Rico, rises to a different level of outrage.
“In a dispute over teacher pay with Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico president Aida Díaz Rivera, Sobrino wrote, “I’m salivating to shoot her.” The governor answered that this would be “a favor” to him. In another conversation, he called the teachers union a group of “terrorists” and stated that he would not negotiate with them.
“Julia Keleher, former secretary of the island’s Department of Education, was arrested last week by the FBI for an alleged corruption scheme that CONTINUE READING: AFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN: PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR RICARDO ROSSELLO IS “REPREHENSIBLE” MUST RESIGN “IMMEDIATELY” | Black Star News



With A Brooklyn Accent: The Faces of Deported Children in the French Holocaust Museum #NEVERAGAIN!

With A Brooklyn Accent: The Faces of Deported Children in the French Holocaust Museum

The Faces of Deported Children in the French Holocaust Museum
Along with the literally scores of positive memories that I will treasure from our 10 day trip to France, there is one image that will haunt me for all my days
. It comes from the Shoah ( Holocaust) Museum in Paris and it was inspired by a small room, with chairs in the middle, that contains 4,000 photographs, mounted floor to ceiling, of Jewish children deported from France to death camps during World War 2. For twenty minutes, Liz and I started at the faces. Some were baby pictures, some school pictures, some candid shots of teenagers enjoying one another or photos of children at play. That these innocent youngsters saw their promising lives erased because of hatred so great that it saw them as a danger reminds us how destructive, irrational and truly evil racism is.

This is not just history and it is not just France. The devaluation of children's lives, as my friend Stacy Patton has written eloquently, has been an integral part of how African Americans have been treated in the US, and it has resurfaced  in the deportation and detention policies of this Administration.
Deportations and Detention camps for children, are sad to say, integral parts of our current political reality in the USA.
After viewing the pictures of deported and dead children in the Paris Shoah Museum, I will resist those policies with every ounce of energy at my disposal
With A Brooklyn Accent: The Faces of Deported Children in the French Holocaust Museum

The MetWest High School Story (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

The MetWest High School Story (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

The MetWest High School Story (Part 1)


Readers who have followed this blog know that I am writing a book about success and failure in American schools. Over the past year I have posted sections including descriptions of teachers I observed in two California high schools: Social Justice Humanitas Academy in Los Angeles Unified School District and MetWest High School in Oakland Unified School District. I have already posted the history and operation of SJHA and in a multi-part series, I now describe MetWest High School.
Oakland Unified School District: MetWest High School
MetWest High School is neither a magnet nor charter. Founded in 2002 as a Big Picture Learning school (more below), it is part of OUSD’s decades-long effort to create small innovative, academically strong, and caring schools for children of color in a district that is largely minority and poor, and low-performing on state metrics of “success.” That small schools strategy begun in the early 1990s yielded many new schools yet strained a district budget subject to school board overspending, accounting errors and poor projections. Oakland Unified’s history of financial crises was well known in the Bay area including a state takeover for fiscal mismanagement. [i]
OUSD has an average daily attendance of over 34,000 students distributed across 121 elementary, middle, and high schools (2018). Of the 121 schools, nearly one out of four is a charter (2018). In addition to charter schools, OUSD has alternative schools, magnets, and thematic schools. The district has 87 of those schools with an average size of 412 students (2018), prompting repeated public calls amid annual budget deficits to close the smallest of these schools.[ii]
In 2019, it faced a fiscal deficit requiring substantial budget cuts, identifying CONTINUE READING: The MetWest High School Story (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice



Schooling in the Ownership Society: K12 Inc. Data Breach Puts thousands of students at risk

Schooling in the Ownership Society: K12 Inc. Data Breach Puts thousands of students at risk

K12 Inc. Data Breach Puts thousands of students at risk

It's hard to believe school districts are still contracting with this horrible company.

K12 Inc. is the largest for-profit online alternative to actual public schooling. Trump's Ed Secretary Betsy DeVos touts the company and other for-profit cyber charter schools as a viable alternative to public schools. But her support for K12 Inc. and other private companies that run them, may have more to do with her and her husband's investment portfolio than with any positive results for students.

The company has been rocked with scandal and has long been under investigation for its shady business dealings. Here's the latest...


A K12 Inc. company database that included information for 19,000 students was available for anyone with an internet connection to see for at least a week, according to a report from Comparitech, which describes itself as a pro-consumer organization that offers security services.
It's not clear that anyone with ill intentions accessed the information during the data exposure, which lasted from June 23 until July 1.
The data came from the for-profit virtual education provider's A+nyWhere Learning System, a software package used by more than CONTINUE READING: Schooling in the Ownership Society: K12 Inc. Data Breach Puts thousands of students at risk