Monday, December 28, 2015

Pennsylvania is failing Philly's schools — so, close the schools? — NewsWorks

Pennsylvania is failing Philly's schools — so, close the schools? — NewsWorks:

Pennsylvania is failing Philly's schools — so, close the schools?

File image: Students walk the halls at De Burgos Elementary School. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
File image: Students walk the halls at De Burgos Elementary School. (Emma Lee/WHYY)


 The Pennsylvania Senate's effort to amend the PA School Code (H.B. 530), is part of the backroom wrangling over our state budget.

Senate amendments to the bill require the state to directly take over or close five individual schools every year. This Senate incursion into education is a textbook example of aggression and obstruction with no advance intelligence, no input, from "frontline ground troops." So politicians with uninformed philosophies push more and more state bureaucracy into sectors where the state is ignorant and, in fact, failing.
It is impossible to continue silently enduring simplistic views of learning and teaching practice (by non-practitioners) and simplistic "solution pills" to "fix" or increase learning, which instead continue generating more and more collateral damage: academic damage, systemic damage, financial damage, social damage, personal damage, and more.
Newsflash: There is no simplistic, quick fix, or someone would have done it long ago! In fact, Pennsylvania took over the School District of Philadelphia 15 years ago already! The state's record of academic decline, and their consistent record of precise underfunding of Philadelphia in particular, is a prime cause of our condition, a contrived disaster.
Ask yourself: After 15 years of state management, is the School District of Philadelphia better off today or worse off?
Now politicians want to go even further? The Senate proposes a required micro-management (or closure) from the state level of the five "worst" schools in Philadelphia. All for the sake of negotiating a state budget?
I ask, "What secret solution does the state have?"
There are no capital programs, no curriculum programs, no books, no supplies, no teacher incentives or punishments, no longer hours, no charter business plans, and no "common core" or "standardized" testing program nor even school closings that start at the center of the learning process. Instead they all focus on the periphery.
The learners, children, are the center. Children are people. It takes highly trained, Pennsylvania is failing Philly's schools — so, close the schools? — NewsWorks:

A List of Things I've Learned in 2015 | The Jose Vilson

A List of Things I've Learned in 2015 | The Jose Vilson:

A List of Things I’ve Learned in 2015

educolorme


For one, don’t make lists because it makes people reach for things that aren’t there.
2015 is the year people forgot some of my titles. I am a full-time teacher at a middle school with a predominantly Dominican-American student body. I am a father to a toddler, a partner to a wonderful woman, a writer for some prominent outlets, and the founder of an activist collective. I don’t get much sleep, and don’t eat as well as I should. I am invested in making my thoughts into reality. I am overweight, but that hasn’t slowed me down much. I contain multitudes, and some take priorities over others. I am a proud Black Latino man, working hard to understand what that means in the context of today.
This post is dedicated to a whole list of folks I’ve had to leave behind in 2015, including some of your favorites, folks writing indirect posts at me until I had to call them out on it, folks jacking my style and using it in unethical ways (I see you), and supposed allies who created parody social justice accounts with my name involved thinking I didn’t peep that. (We did, though.) I walked into many a lion’s den and still came out roaring. I angered and vexed a few folks who once endorsed my bookThis Is Not A Test. Even some family and friends tested my mettle, and that provided plenty of learning experiences as well. With more speaking engagements came more opportunities for well-meaning white educators to walk out on me when I said the words “Black lives matter.” I haven’t stuttered all year on that principle, though.
Wouldn’t you know? We been hurt, been down before. When our pride was low, looking at the world like “Where do we go?”
I’m also dedicating this to the folks who stuck by me in solidarity and empathy, helped me become a A List of Things I've Learned in 2015 | The Jose Vilson:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/28/15



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