Wednesday, May 22, 2019

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Red for Ed. Education Rally at State Capitol

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Red for Ed. Education Rally at State Capitol

 Red for Ed. Education Rally at State Capitol


Together, we will join educators, parents, students, and community members to demand the full funding of our public schools, common-sense charter school accountability, and social & racial justice.

Shoulder to shoulder with thousands of educators, students, and community members, we'll take over the rotunda of the state capitol. That building belongs to all of us — it's about time that the lawmakers who make decisions that impact our daily lives remembered that.

Sacramento DSA will welcome DSA members from all over California on May 22 for a statewide day of action to demand the public education California students deserve!


We'll meet at 4:30 PM for a group photo with DSA members all over the state!

Date: Wednesday, May 22nd, 9:00am-5:30pm
Location: California State Capitol (Exact meeting location TBA)





SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Red for Ed. Education Rally at State Capitol

Bernie Sanders’s Education Plan Laments Rise of Charter Schools - The New York Times

Bernie Sanders’s Education Plan Laments Rise of Charter Schools - The New York Times

Bernie Sanders’s Education Plan Laments Rise of Charter Schools

Senator Bernie Sanders took aim at charter schools on Saturday, calling for a moratorium on federal funding for the schools in a declaration of his education policy priorities ahead of the 2020 election.
In a 10-point plan, Mr. Sanders, one of nearly two dozen candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, said that, if elected, he would “desegregate schools” in part by forbidding federal spending on new charter schools as well as by banning for-profit charter schools — which account for a small proportion of existing charters.
“The proliferation of charter schools has disproportionately affected communities of color,” Mr. Sanders wrote, adding, “We do not need two schools systems; we need to invest in our public schools system.”
Mr. Sanders of Vermont would also require that charter schools be subject to the same oversight as public schools, and that teachers and parents account for at least half the representation on all charter school boards. Additionally, his plan would demand that charter schools disclose student attrition rates, nonpublic sources of funding and financial interests.

Charter schools were supported by the Obama administration and, in general, have had the support of Democrats.
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is also running for president, has been a strong supporter of charter schools. Last year, Mr. Booker said in an interview that “my loyalty is to a free public school, high-quality public school education,” allowing that charter and magnet schools could be part of the mix.
Other Democratic candidates have unveiled education plans in recent weeks. A proposal by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts focused on higher education, with the goals of canceling most student loan debt and eliminating tuition at public colleges. Juli├ín Castro, the former housing secretary, announced similar goals, as well as proposals to increase teacher pay and create a national, federally funded prekindergarten program.
Mr. Sanders revealed his plan one day after the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision that legally desegregated United States public schools. Its name, A Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education, invokes the lawyer who argued the case for the N.A.A.C.P. before he became a Supreme Court justice.
“Many U.S. schools remain unacceptably segregated,” Mr. Sanders wrote in the plan.
Mr. Sanders’s plan also explains that black students are nearly four times as likely to be suspended as white students — a disparity he attributes to “implicit racial bias” that also puts black youth at greater risk of becoming entangled in the criminal justice system.

“When a child is pushed out of school they lose instructional time and are more likely to become involved with the juvenile and adult justice systems,” the plan said. “We must end the school-to-prison pipeline.”
Parts of the plan focused on educators, declaring Mr. Sanders’s support for a $60,000 baseline for teachers’ starting salaries as well as unionization efforts by charter schoolteachers.
Bernie Sanders’s Education Plan Laments Rise of Charter Schools - The New York Times

The Condition of Education 2019

The Condition of Education 2019

The Condition of Education 2019

Title: The Condition of Education 2019
Description:The Condition of Education is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2019 Condition of Education report presents 48 indicators on topics ranging from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. Also included in the report are 2 Spotlight indicators that provide more in-depth analyses on selected topics.
Online Availability:
Cover Date:May 2019
Web Release:May 22, 2019
Publication #:NCES 2019144
Center/Program:NCES
Authors:
Type of Product:Compendium
Survey/Program Areas:Annual Reports Program (Annual)
Common Core of Data (CCD)
Current Population Survey, October (CPS)
Crime and Safety Surveys (CSS)
High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09)
International Activities Program (IAP)
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
National Household Education Survey (NHES)
National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS)
National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS)
Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)
Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
Private School Survey (PSS)
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
Questions:For questions about the content of this Compendium, please contact:
Joel McFarland.


The Condition of Education 2019

Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools - Los Angeles Times

Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools - Los Angeles Times

Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools

Image result for Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board
Jackie Goldberg took a seat on the Los Angeles school board Tuesday and immediately signaled change to come, shifting the discussion to whether charter schools were getting unfair advantages over district-run public schools.


Not long ago, the seven-member Board of Education — with one different member — was easing restrictions on charters.
The 74-year-old political veteran last week won a special election to fill a board seat that has been vacant since last July, when former board President Ref Rodriguez resigned after pleading guilty to violating campaign finance laws.
She rejoined a body that she had served on more than 25 years ago, taking the oath of office twice: once in the morning so she could take part in an early meeting; the second time at midday, to accommodate more than 200 cheering well-wishers.
Rodriguez, the co-founder of a charter school organization, was elected with millions of dollars in support from wealthy backers of charters. Goldberg won with funding and volunteers anchored by the teachers union, which built on momentum from a six-day teachers strike in January.
Union leaders have called for a moratorium and tighter controls on charters, which are privately operated and mostly nonunion.
Charters compete with district-run schools for students, and critics say they undermine traditional schools by pulling away higher performing students and funding. Supporters say that charters offer high-quality options for parents and helpful competition.
Under state law, the district must offer charters available space. A classroom without a regularly assigned teacher, for example, is typically counted as available.
Goldberg’s concerns arose minutes after the board began moving through its agenda. The item was $16 million to prepare space for charters operating on up to 79 district campuses. In all, about 11% of campuses host charters, according to the California Charter Schools Assn. Charters enroll nearly one in five district students.
Goldberg noticed that some of the money would pay for computers and wanted to know if the host school would have comparable technology.
“I have a school that lost its computer lab and the charter school went in there and put in a computer lab,” which it used to recruit students, Goldberg said during the meeting. “That’s CONTINUE READING:  Goldberg joins L.A. Unified school board, immediately challenges aid to charter schools - Los Angeles Times

Watch My Interview with Lauren Steiner, Taped Yesterday | Diane Ravitch's blog

Watch My Interview with Lauren Steiner, Taped Yesterday | Diane Ravitch's blog

Watch My Interview with Lauren Steiner, Taped Yesterday


Lauren Steiner is an activist who is actively engaged in fighting privatization in California. She has a regular program on Facebook, where she interviews people like me.
She interviewed me yesterday about charters, billionaires, neoliberalism, and other issues. The California Legislature is deciding right now about bills to regulate charters and make them accountable.
I reactivated my FB account for this interview. You don’t have to be on FB to watch as it is posted on YouTube and easily available. 

“High-Quality” Charter Schools Versus “Low-Quality” Charter Schools | Dissident Voice

“High-Quality” Charter Schools Versus “Low-Quality” Charter Schools | Dissident Voice

“High-Quality” Charter Schools Versus “Low-Quality” Charter Schools
Another False Dichotomy Distorting Consciousness and Undermining the Human Factor

Charter school promoters want the public, especially poor, low-income, and vulnerable minority families who have long been exploited by the rich and their state, to believe that when it comes to nonprofit and for-profit charter schools the issue is really “high-quality” charter schools versus “low-quality” charter schools. We are told that we need more of the former and fewer of the latter.
Charter school advocates do not want anyone to believe that both the concept and the practice of charter schools are flawed and harm education, society, the economy, and the national interest. They do not want anyone asking why we have charter schools in the first place. Nor do they want people defending public schools. That bothers them. Charter schools are simply “here to stay.” Presumably, we are stuck with them and there is little we can do about them. We are to largely remain hapless victims of charter schools that increase each year.
Charter boosters want people to think that even though charter schools are plagued by endless problems and scandals, somehow their existence is legitimate, valid, and positive, and all that we have to do is make sure we are replicating “high-quality” charter schools while letting the so-called “free market” eliminate thousands of “low quality” charter schools. This will supposedly give rise to the “best of all worlds” for everyone. The fact that there are so many “low-quality” charter schools year after year is often casually glossed over or conveniently trivialized.
Both the rate and amount of failure in the charter school sector have been high for decades. There are thousands of low-quality charter schools out there. News reports on a broad range of unscrupulous and shocking activities in the CONTINUE READING: “High-Quality” Charter Schools Versus “Low-Quality” Charter Schools | Dissident Voice

Anand Giridharadas on Kara Swisher podcast Recode Decode - Vox

Anand Giridharadas on Kara Swisher podcast Recode Decode - Vox

Tech billionaires who donate millions are just “bribing society at large,” Anand Giridharadas says
Zuckerberg, Bezos, and Gates shouldn’t have an outsize say in how we run our country, Giridharadas says on the latest episode of Recode Decode.


Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and other billionaires have figured out a pretty sweet deal, Anand Giridharadas says: They make gigantic piles of money, and have tricked politicians and the media into giving them an exceptionally loud voice in policy discussions. What’s their secret? Just give away a little bit of that money through philanthropic organizations that they control.
“This is a refeudalization,” Giridharadas said. “If you watch Downton Abbey, you understand the idea. There’s a guy in a castle, and then no one else owns land in the show.
“[Zuckerberg is] trying to get rid of all the world’s diseases, as if public education wasn’t a hard enough problem,” he added. “We have doctors. We have an entire public health infrastructure. We have the Centers for Disease Control. We have the NIH. But no, Mark is going to get rid of all the diseases, even though his own company is a plague, by any stretch of the imagination.”
On the new podcast, Giridharadas characterized the power of Zuckerberg and his peers in policy discussions as the result of a “40-year war on the idea of government.” It’s fine for billionaires to have opinions on things like medicine and education — but, he asked, why should they be treated as sagacious experts when they come from a completely different arena?
“Why do we actually bother, fuss so much about voting rights?” he asked. “Why is it so important that a relatively small number of people not get turned away at the polls, right? Why was it important to fight for women’s suffrage? If we create this entire system where the choices about our biggest shared problems are made by us, but then we create this other door to the nightclub of democracy where only people with a billion dollars can come in, they can just also sort of overrule us on a bunch of things.”
You can listen to Recode Decode wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsPocket Casts, and Overcast.
Below, we’ve shared a lightly edited full transcript of Kara’s conversation with Anand. CONTINUE READING: Anand Giridharadas on Kara Swisher podcast Recode Decode - Vox

Betsy DeVos wants to resurrect an old — and failed — model of public education - The Washington Post

Betsy DeVos wants to resurrect an old — and failed — model of public education - The Washington Post

Betsy DeVos wants to resurrect an old — and failed — model of public education

Government-funded and -run schools evolved from a broader system of public education that could not provide what students needed.

Image result for JIM CROW SCHOOLS
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently proposed a “new definition” of public education. Speaking at the annual meeting of the Education Writers Association, DeVos challenged reporters to “rethink the definition of public education.”
“Today, it’s often defined as one type of school, funded by taxpayers, controlled by government,” she said. “But if every student is part of ‘the public,’ then every way and every place a student learns is ultimately of benefit to ‘the public.’ That should be the new definition of public education.”
While this sounds reasonable, even enlightened, on its face, those familiar with the history of American education know all too well that DeVos’s new idea is actually a very old one — one Americans rejected two centuries ago for a simple reason: It didn’t work.
Viewed through that lens, DeVos’s plan is not an innovation, but rather a step backward into the dysfunctional ideas out of which our current public-school system evolved.
DeVos’s “new definition” is exactly how American elites thought about public education in the first half of the 19th century. Cities such as Philadelphia and New York cobbled together funding from a range of sources to make schools available for every child, no matter how much money the child’s family had. In northern cities, reformers created schools for white children and separate “African” schools for black people. They welcomed boys and girls, and though their schools were heavily flavored by Protestantism, they welcomed children of all faiths, at least in theory. They did not rely only on taxpayers to fund these schools, nor did they insist on government control.
Instead, the first generation of education leaders begged and borrowed from governments and private philanthropists to create schools for all, believing their project was of benefit to the American public. Back then, a public school was simply one that served the public; the funding usually came from a blend of public and private sources, and the schools themselves were usually run by churches and private charitable organizations, not government agencies. Nevertheless, as one involved New Yorker wrote in 1825, these public/private schools were decidedly “a scheme for the public good.”
The problem was that the funding was never enough. As that same New York reformer concluded in 1825, too CONTINUE READING: Betsy DeVos wants to resurrect an old — and failed — model of public education - The Washington Post

Badass Teachers Association Blog: Musings On test Taking by Grumpy Old Teacher

Badass Teachers Association Blog: Musings On test Taking by Grumpy Old Teacher

Musings On test Taking by Grumpy Old Teacher

Originally posted at Grumpy Old Teacher

It’s that time of year: testing. For GOT, it’s the most boring time as he must watch students work without actually seeing that work, maintain a hawk-like scrutiny of computer screens to make sure students are not exiting the test to look up answers without actually observing what is on the screen (strictly forbidden for a proctor to actually read a test question), and otherwise spend hours doing absolutely nothing except reading a sentence out of the test manual at the prescribed times.
GOT has some observations to share:
  • Based on the number of students GOT has to wake up, there is something soporific about sitting in a hard plastic chair staring at a screen. If tests are ever eliminated, the manufacturers will find a new market in the sleep aid category.
  • Teachers can fix their low salary problem by selling pencils to students. The number who show up unprepared! And it’s not only for tests, it’s every day that children arrive in class without the supplies needed: pens, paper, and the like. In the moment, it’s a seller’s market.
  • Deafness will mark this new generation. After listening to ear-pounding music every second they are awake, they won’t reach 40 with their hearing intact.
  • States make many graduation requirements. Most of them are unnecessary, but GOT would like to add one. No student may graduate without going into the CONTINUE READING: Badass Teachers Association Blog: Musings On test Taking by Grumpy Old Teacher

CURMUDGUCATION: The Writer Who Couldn't Answer Standardized Test Questions About Her Own Work (Again)!

CURMUDGUCATION: The Writer Who Couldn't Answer Standardized Test Questions About Her Own Work (Again)!

The Writer Who Couldn't Answer Standardized Test Questions About Her Own Work (Again)!

We are in standardized test season, and all across the country, students are taking the Big Standardized Test by which they, their schools, and their teachers will be judged. How absurd are these tests? Meet Sara Holbrook, the writer who couldn't answer test questions about her own work.
Back in 2017, Holbrook wrote an essay for Huffington Post entitled, "I Can't Answer These Texas Standardized Test Questions About My Own Poems." The writer had discovered that two of her poems were part of the Texas STAAR state assessment tests, and she was a bit startled to discover that she was unable to answer some of the questions.
She certainly looks smart enough
One reason was simple inaccuracy. One question asked why the poet had inserted a stanza break in a particular spot-- and then didn't insert a stanza break in the testing materials. But there was a second issue. Holbrook is a performance poet, and she had inserted the break at the point where, in live readings, she pauses. That choice was not one of the choices available on the test.
In fact, much of Holbrook's issue with the questions was a sort of existential dilemma. Several questions asked, directly or indirectly, for the test taker to judge the author's intentions. The author knew some of her intentions, sort of remembered others, and had others that were layered and complex. But the manufacturers of the test--who had never asked her about any of this--provided only four choices that did not allow her to choose the answer that she knew to be correct.
Now, it's possible that Holbrook is such an angsty, tortured soul of a poet that she simply does not know her own mind as well as the test manufacturers. But Holbrook does not fit the stereotypical CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: The Writer Who Couldn't Answer Standardized Test Questions About Her Own Work (Again)!

Charter Schools Undermine the Public Good—in Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania | janresseger

Charter Schools Undermine the Public Good—in Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania | janresseger

Charter Schools Undermine the Public Good—in Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania

This week’s news has brought additional evidence for growing public condemnation of the charter school sector—the abysmal record in Louisiana of the federal Charter Schools Program, along with the operation of charters in two states where the sector has rapidly grown: Michigan and Pennsylvania.  These investigations by the press explore financial waste along with disappointment for families whose charter schools promised more than they could deliver.
In Louisiana
This week Jeff Bryant explores the role of the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) in  Louisiana, and most particularly, post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, where federal money helped underwrite the Shock Doctrine eradication of a public school district as it was turned over to a mass of privately operated charter schools. The Network for Public Education (NPE) has been tracking alarming lack of oversight over two decades in the federal CSP, which since its inception has awarded $4 billion to underwrite the startup and expansion of charter schools across the states.  NPE’s report earlier this spring explored the CSP’s overall record: a third of the schools it has funded never opened or eventually shut down.  Since the report was published, NPE has been releasing the state-by-state record of the CSP grants.  Here’s what happened in Louisiana.
Bryant examines some of the now-closed charter schools opened in 2006 with a $24 million Charter Schools Program grant from Margaret Spelling’s U.S. Department of Education, followed in 2009 with a grant by Arne Duncan’s U.S. Department of Education for $25,576,222.  In Louisiana, 110 charter schools opened with federal CSP funding between 2006 and 2014. Fifty-one of those schools (46 percent) are now closed.  In Louisiana alone, $23,819,839 of in federal CSP money has been spent on schools that either never opened or have  shut down.
In biennial investigations dating back to at least 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s own Office of Inspector General (OIG) has condemned oversight of the the federal Charter Schools Program.  Bryant describes the OIG’s 2018 investigation of CSP grants to Louisiana: “This time Louisiana was included in the audit because it was the state with the highest ratio of closed charter schools to total charter schools. The audit found charter schools in Louisiana that received federal money and then closed likely had widespread violations of federal laws and CONTINUE READING: Charter Schools Undermine the Public Good—in Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania | janresseger



Mike Klonsky's Blog: Mayor Lightfoot is sticking with schools CEO Janice Jackson for now. That's a good thing.

Mike Klonsky's Blog: Mayor Lightfoot is sticking with schools CEO Janice Jackson for now. That's a good thing.

Mayor Lightfoot is sticking with schools CEO Janice Jackson for now. That's a good thing.

There's hope that CEO Jackson, once liberated from Rahm's self-serving, autocratic rule, will become a real change leader. 
Even though I've had my issues with CEO Janice Jackson's role as Rahm Emanuel's front person on school closings and charter expansion and her opposition to an elected school board, I think the mayor made the right move here. To replace her now, especially in the middle of contract negotiations with the CTU, would only further destabilize a system already in a state of chaos.

Jackson was Rahm's 5th CEO in six years.

Remember how Rahm changed school chiefs like he changed wardrobes, including dumping J.C. Brizard in 2012, the middle of contract talks and replacing him with Barbara Byrd-Bennett. The result was the first teachers strike in 25 years followed by a regime so corrupt that BBB wound up in prison and scandal-ridden Forrest Claypool had to flee or risk following her.

There's the hope that Jackson, now liberated from Rahm's autocratic and self-serving brand of ed politics, can rediscover her educator roots and become a real change leader. I hope so.

Next on Mayor Lightfoot's agenda will be choosing a new school board and here is where wholesale change (draining the swamp) is necessary and I am told, coming.

What a shame that we still have to wait years before there's finally an elected school board in Chicago. Rep. Martwick'ESB bill, was badly written. Even if passed as is, (without considering questions about the board's unwieldy size, raised by the new mayor) it wouldn't take effect for four more years and then have to be reauthorized. The whole setup would be CONTINUE READING: Mike Klonsky's Blog: Mayor Lightfoot is sticking with schools CEO Janice Jackson for now. That's a good thing.


Q: “Did you see the numbers?” A: Yes, I have. | Cloaking Inequity

Q: “Did you see the numbers?” A: Yes, I have. | Cloaking Inequity

Q: “DID YOU SEE THE NUMBERS?” A: YES, I HAVE.

Is there a revolt inside the NAACP? Are charters segregated? Do African American have appreciably higher achievement in charters?
Tomorrow is statewide strike and a day of action for public education in California. There will likely be more than 2,000 people at the capitol advocating pending legislation that will provide more funding for public education and greater transparency and accountability for charter schools (AB 1505 and AB 1506).
Proponents and opponents of privately-managed charters schools also typically agree on the problematic disparities that are readily apparent when comparing African American children to those from other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Where the proponents and opponents diverge is what should be done about the disparities.
For example, there has been some noise about a “revolt” inside the NAACP in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece[1]because of a leaked pro-charter resolution submitted to the national NAACP which was written by a California charter school lobbying association affiliate embedded in the San Diego NAACP branch. You should know that the resolution is dead and the national NAACP relayed in the WSJ that branches and individuals engaged in activities contrary to national policy can be disciplined.[2]
Additionally, charter school proponents have enlisted the Urban League and National Action Network (NAN) to publicly support charter schools in California— which of course is not news if you have been following the public debate. In a recent Black Voice article, a question was asked “Did you see the numbers?” which intimated that charter are desirable due to the data.[3]How about we take a look at the segregation, achievement, and financial impact of charters schools in California. Let’s see the numbers and research.
Achievement
What is notable about African American student achievement in California in the CREDO’s Urban Charter School Study[4], is that both charter school students and sending neighborhood school students show negative growth for African American students across California in both math and reading. Please note that CREDO compares students instead of schools and also only compares charter students to sending school students— not all neighborhood public schools.
Table 2. Comparing Public and Charter School Students Achievement by California City
NPS Aver. Academic Growth for StudentsCS Aver. Academic Growth for StudentsComparing CS Academic Performance to NPS
CityMathReadMathReadMathRead
Bay Area CA-0.29-0.30-0.14-0.18-0.15-0.12
Central CA-0.19-0.13-0.12-0.05-0.07-0.08
South Bay CA-0.11-0.11-0.21-0.070.10-0.04
Southern CA-0.30-0.21-0.26-0.19-0.04-0.02
Even with the limited (and selection biased?) sample of comparison neighborhood public schools, charter school students nearly perform statistically the same as neighborhood school students. The differences are in the hundredths of a standard deviation in Central California and Southern California and tenths of a standard deviation in Bay Area and South Bay. By comparison, other education policies such as class size reduction and high quality Pre-K show 400% more overall impact on student success than charter schools.[5]Considering the data, charter schools are not having the instant impact that proponents purport.
Segregation 
A new study entitled Choice without Inclusion?: Comparing the Intensity of Racial Segregation in Charters and Public Schools at the Local, State and National levels utilizes descriptive and inferential statistical analyses of publicly available Common Core of Data (CCD).[6] The new study finds higher segrega­tion levels in charters schools at the local level in California.
Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 11.06.54 PM
Most California cities have a negative charter-public difference when comparing student attending intensely segregated (more than 90%) non-White schools. San Francisco has the most highly segregated charters schools in the state— 73.3% of students attend intensely segregated charters. By comparison, about 50% of neighborhood public CONTINUE READING: Q: “Did you see the numbers?” A: Yes, I have. | Cloaking Inequity