Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Community schools are the schools we need now

Community schools are the schools we need now
To the rescue — The schools we need now are community schools
When the coronavirus struck, the community-school model showed how quickly families and schools needing extra resources could be helped




When America’s schools shut down in mid-March as a result of Covid-19 and transitioned to some form of remote learning, the nation’s community schools responded rapidly.  That’s because these schools already had strong existing relationships with providers of community resources, both public and private.

At least 8,000 American public schools identify as community schools, meaning that they work in well-planned partnerships with local organizations that offer resources like medical, dental and mental health services; before- and after-school programs; and housing and employment assistance to parents. These partners are integrated into the life of the school, both through formal mechanisms and through informal day-to-day contact, which means they can get the right services to the right students at the right time.

City Connects, an organization that integrates student support services in more than 150 urban schools, saw the coronavirus pandemic highlight its value.  

“Having a systemic and systematic strategy for supporting every student made a huge difference when Covid closed the curtain,” said Mary Walsh, executive director of City Connects, an organization based at Boston College. “We were able to avoid ‘random acts of student support’ and to ensure that every student had their needs met and their strengths supported.” CONTINUE READING: Community schools are the schools we need now

Growing Consensus that Young Children Can Safely Return to School | Diane Ravitch's blog

Growing Consensus that Young Children Can Safely Return to School | Diane Ravitch's blog
Growing Consensus that Young Children Can Safely Return to School




The New York Times reports that scientists are converging on a consensus that it is safe for young children to return to school.

After a summer of uncertainty and fear about how schools across the globe would operate in a pandemic, a consensus has emerged in recent months that is becoming policy in more and more districts: In-person teaching with young children is safer than with older ones, and particularly crucial for their development.

On Sunday, New York City, home to the country’s largest school system, became the most high-profile example of that trend, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that only elementary schools and some schools for children with complex disabilities would reopen after all city classrooms were briefly shuttered in November. There is no plan yet to bring middle and high school students back into city school buildings.

It was an abrupt about-face for the mayor, who had for months promised to welcome all of the city’s 1.1 million children — from 3-year-olds to high school seniors — back into classrooms this fall.

But the decision put New York in line with other cities around America and across the world, which have CONTINUE READING: Growing Consensus that Young Children Can Safely Return to School | Diane Ravitch's blog

The “insidious” Betsy DeVos. But what will the Democrats do about student loan debt? – Fred Klonsky

The “insidious” Betsy DeVos. But what will the Democrats do about student loan debt? – Fred Klonsky
THE “INSIDIOUS” BETSY DEVOS. BUT WHAT WILL THE DEMOCRATS DO ABOUT STUDENT LOAN DEBT?


The insidious Betsy and Dick DeVos.

Departing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos blasted student debt forgiveness in what was likely her last major policy speech, calling proposals like free college and the cancellation of student loan debt “truly insidious.”

“We’ve heard shrill calls to cancel, to forgive, to make it all free. Any innocuous label out there can’t obfuscate what it really is: wrong.”

DeVos called it, “The truly insidious notion of government gift giving.”

Well, she would know something about government gift giving.

CNBC reported:

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her family are among the groups that have seen an income boon of millions through their own investments since Trump’s tax reform plan was signed, CONTINUE READING: 

The “insidious” Betsy DeVos. But what will the Democrats do about student loan debt? – Fred Klonsky

CURMUDGUCATION: Back On The No-Longer-Trailing Pandemic Education Edge: Digging A Ditch

CURMUDGUCATION: Back On The No-Longer-Trailing Pandemic Education Edge: Digging A Ditch
Back On The No-Longer-Trailing Pandemic Education Edge: Digging A Ditch



I've been offering updates from my own small town/rural corner of the universe for just one more data point about how various school districts are dealing with pandemic education. We don't all need to write about New York City schools.

My region had a decent shot. In a county of 50,000 people, we had a total of 70 cases at the beginning of September. All schools opened for face-to-face instruction, with various precautions and protocols in place.

Things have gone south pretty rapidly. We just passed 1,000 cases. 

School districts had moved from face to face to hybrid elementary and distance high school. That lasted a few weeks, but there have been repeated multiple out breaks in schools. One district is still toggling between hybrid and distance--basically every time there's a confirmed case in the school, they go back to distance for a couple of weeks. Everyone else was in distance mode.

Last night several local boards (there are four districts in the county) met to decide what to do with the rest of December. The discussions were spirited but nuanced. Because we are so rural, there are some major issues with getting a wifi signal to some folks; there are a few hot spots set up, but (and this seems to escape some folks) a hot spot is basically a relay station, and you can't relay a signal you can't get. So folks who want to use the hot spots have to drive to them. Not everyone has vehicle access, and winter's moving in.

The local boards really struggling. Nobody thinks virtual school is best. Nobody. But now, really for the first time, people now people who have suffered or died from covid. Reliably Trumpy Facebook CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Back On The No-Longer-Trailing Pandemic Education Edge: Digging A Ditch

Teacher Tom: This is What Real Learning Looks Like

Teacher Tom: This is What Real Learning Looks Like
This is What Real Learning Looks Like



This is the problem with letting dilettantes, even well-intended dilettantes, lead when it comes to education policy. They don't have the experience to recognize what real learning looks like, and since they tend to come from the world of business, they don't trust mere "employees" (teachers), especially if they belong to a union, so they come up with arbitrary data points that carry with them a hint of education-ness, then subject children to their amateur hour. I don't think that most of them want to be cruel to children and their parents, but in their ignorance they believe they know better because they've managed to make money off selling software or hardware or something, so they conjure up education-ish sounding ideas and, because they can, they impose them, despite the objections of those of us who do have the experience to know what real learning looks like.

Anyone who has spent any time in a classroom knows that real learning does not look like children slumped in chairs staring at iPads. Real learning looks like stepping in a puddle you've made with your friends, then sinking in until the water tops your boots.


Real learning looks like pouring water through systems of CONTINUE READING:  Teacher Tom: This is What Real Learning Looks Like

Will the Biden Administration Provide Leadership to Address Long School Funding Crisis? | janresseger

Will the Biden Administration Provide Leadership to Address Long School Funding Crisis? | janresseger
Will the Biden Administration Provide Leadership to Address Long School Funding Crisis?




Here in Ohio, during the current lame duck session, legislators are considering a new school funding formula. The Cupp-Patterson Fair School Funding Plan has been in the making for almost two years (See here and here.),  but even now as the plan comes to a vote before December 31, the end of the current legislative session, it has been difficult to build a wave of political will for justice for Ohio’s children.

The Ohio Legislature appears split. There is support in the Ohio House for fairer and more generous school funding, but key members of the Ohio Senate want to protect private school voucher programs and delay help for the state’s students in public schools. Even if the Fair School Funding Plan passes, a solution may be illusory.  How will it ever be funded? After a series of state tax cuts early in the current decade and in the midst of a COVID-19 recession, even if the new plan is set in place, making it operational will require a six-year phase in while legislators look for the necessary funds to pay for it.

The mere release of the proposal for the Fair School Funding Plan helped call the public’s attention to the state’s utter failure in recent years to distribute constitutionally mandated state funding fairly across Ohio’s public schools. Eighteen months ago, when the plan was released, we learned that 503 of the state’s 610 school districts had been either capped or on hold-harmless guarantee. These categories mean that despite changes in the number of students they serve or the special needs of their student populations, 503 school districts had, for years in many cases, been receiving the same amount of state funds they got last year and the year before that. Then, because of a shortage of state funds, the biennial state budget for FY 20-21, froze formula state school aid for every one of Ohio’s school districts at the FY 2019 CONTINUE READING: Will the Biden Administration Provide Leadership to Address Long School Funding Crisis? | janresseger

Whatever Happened to the Winnetka Plan? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Whatever Happened to the Winnetka Plan? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice
Whatever Happened to the Winnetka Plan?




When and how did the Winnetka Plan begin and grow to become a nationally known lighthouse for Progressivism?

A small wealthy suburb of Chicago in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, Winnteka leaders embraced the ideas of John Dewey and the “New Education,” an off-shoot of the then spreading Progressive movement. As the authors of a history of the Winnetka schools put it:.

In May, 1919, they hired Carleton W. Washburne as the superintendent of schools. It was this 29-year old educator who would bring their ambitious dreams for their schools to a reality. As the architect of “The Winnetka Plan,” Washburne’s innovations – individualized instruction, hands-on learning, attention to the development of the whole child, a focus on research and development of curriculum materials, and a thoughtful and comprehensive program of staff development – were the pillars of his philosophy of progressive education and continue to be cornerstones of today’s Winnetka Public Schools.

Variations of the Winnetka plan spread to other districts in the state and the nation eager to be viewed as Progressive. Washburne wrote in journals and authored books on the Plan. He spoke often about Winnetka schools at CONTINUE READING: Whatever Happened to the Winnetka Plan? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Book Launch Event on 12/2 at 5:00 pm ET for “Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice”–Register NOW! – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Book Launch Event on 12/2 at 5:00 pm ET for “Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice”–Register Today! – I AM AN EDUCATOR
Book Launch Event on 12/2 at 5:00 pm ET for “Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice”–Register NOW!


Dear readers,

I am writing to invite you to the book launch event for the new book I co-edited with Denisha Jones, Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice

I could hardly be any more excited to join Denisha Jones and Brian Jones, the Associate Director of Education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, for our book event on Wednesday, December 2nd at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. You can Register for the event here. There will be time for Q and A, so bring your questions.


This book was the product of a lot of amazing educators, students, and parents in the Black Lives Matter at School movement around the country and we will be holding future book events with these other authors! I’m especially grateful to the educators in Philadelphia who helped launch the BLM at School movement on a national level and tell their story beautifully in the book.

Opal Tometi (co-founder of Black Lives Matter) wrote a powerful foreword, telling the story of her own experiences in school as a student and as a teacher, linking the broader BLM movement to education, and generalizing the lessons from the Black Lives Matter at School movement. 

I’m truly humbled by the great feedback initial feedback we are getting for the book. The Washington Post just ran a great review of the book, including excerpts from two chapters of the book. Ibram X. Kendi (National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author) said of our book, “’Black Lives Matter at School’ is an essential resource for all those seeking to build an antiracist school system.” You can check out the new video trailer for the book to learn more.

See you at the book launch!

-Jesse Hagopian




Third-Grade Punishment Laws – Revisited | Live Long and Prosper

Third-Grade Punishment Laws – Revisited | Live Long and Prosper
Third-Grade Punishment Laws – Revisited




ONE SIZE FITS SOME

A post on Diane Ravitch’s blog has raised the topic of grade retention.

Laura Chapman: Who Is Behind the “Read by Third Grade or Be Retained” Campaign?

There is a national read-by-grade three campaign. The practice of holding students back a grade is not new, but in the olden days it was never based on test scores alone and certainly not based on scores from national tests. I am no expert in reading, but I have learned to question how questionable policies proliferate.

Right now, The Annie E, Casey Foundation is a source of the national “Read by Grade 3” campaign. It is financed by about thirty other foundations and corporations. You can read about the investors here: http://gradelevelreading.net/about-us/campaign-investors

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is also the source of widely cited and dubious research about reading. For example, the Foundation sponsored “Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation (2010, updated 2012)” by Dr. Donald J. Hernandez, sociologist at Hunter College (more recently at the University of Albany, CONTINUE READING: Third-Grade Punishment Laws – Revisited | Live Long and Prosper

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007


Latest Federal Stimulus Proposal Has Billions For Education
jaydeep_ / Pixabay Senate Majority Leader McConnell began circulating a draft plan yesterday for a new stimulus package and, depending on who you listen to, it either has $82 billion or $105 billion for education. Both of those amounts are less than the $150 billion the White House offered in the last negotiations they did with Speaker Pelosi but, nevertheless, it’s still not chump change. At thi
A Look Back: Learning From Our Students
I thought that new – and veteran – readers might find it interesting if I began sharing my best posts from over the years. You can see the entire collection here . Some people make fun of teachers who say they learn a lot from their students (see The Onion’s Teacher Who Learns More From Her Students Than She Teaches Them Fired ). I believe there is no question that we educators teach a lot more c
New Video From PBS NewsHour: “Author Elizabeth Acevedo on writing a coming-of-age novel”
This is a great interview with Elizabeth Acevedo. I’m adding it to The Best World Poetry Day Resources – Help Me Find More .
Here’s An Example Of What I Want To See In A U.S. History Book For Newcomers (& Here’s What Is Out There Now)
GDJ / Pixabay I have used America’s Story for years in my U.S. History classes for Intermediate English Language Learners, and like it a lot. However, even those books are too advanced for Newcomers. The second portion of this post shares a tweet I put out looking for suggestions of U.S. History books accessible to Newcomers. The many responses I received are also included, though I’m not sure an
New Data Suggests That Most Students Weren’t Hurt Badly By Spring School Closures
The media is awash today with reports on test results from millions of students that suggest that so-called “learning loss” wasn’t that bad because of school closes last spring. The best article of the bunch to read about it is clearly from Chalkbeat: Did students fall behind this spring? Yes, but not as much as feared, new data shows. As annoying as I find people who say “I told you so,” I will
Rosa Parks Was Arrested On This Day 65 Years Ago – Here Are Teaching & Learning Resources
Rosa Parks was arrested 65 years ago. You might be interested in Best Resources For Teaching About Rosa Parks & 60th Anniversary Of The Montgomery Bus Boycott . Police complaint against Rosa Parks 65 years ago today—“Did refuse to take a seat assigned to her race”—Montgomery, Alabama: pic.twitter.com/l3KQyaW0p9 — Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) December 1, 2020
Tuesday’s Must-Read Articles & Must-Watch Videos About School Reopenings
geralt / Pixabay Here are new additions to THE BEST POSTS PREDICTING WHAT SCHOOLS WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FALL : Why School Districts Are Bringing Back Younger Children First is from The NY Times. On Pandemic