Monday, June 24, 2019

Once Racist: More on My Redneck Past | radical eyes for equity

Once Racist: More on My Redneck Past | radical eyes for equity

Once Racist: More on My Redneck Past

There is so much about the U.S. in the story of Kyle Kashuv.
Kashuv as a teenager has had thrust upon him a complex and accidental fame. First, he gained recognition by being among the high school student survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooing.
Next, Kashuv filled a partisan political niche by being the face of conservative activist students after that school shooting—an event that spawned a rise in what has been characterized in the U.S. as left-wing political activism by a number of his classmates.
And now, Kashuv is the face of consequences: He was first accepted in Harvard and then that acceptance was rescinded.
Conservatives across the country have rushed to expressed outrage, focusing on arguments that his actions (documented and repeated racist language) occurred while he was still young; these defenses of Kashuv have often been absent the fact that colleges, and Harvard, have rescinded acceptances for similar reasons in the past (with little media fanfare) and that the nature of all college admission is judging applicants for their behavior while only in their teens.
By the logic of apologists for Kashuv, Harvard—and all colleges—are irresponsible for admitting or rejecting students for the grades they earned and the accomplishments they achieved while teenagers.
But the larger problem with how conservatives have rushed to defend Kashuv is that it is grounded in a plea for license, not freedom.
Kashuv has not been denied his freedom to express racist language and bigoted ideology; Kashuv has not been denied the opportunity to rise above these deplorable displays of calloused youthful indiscretion (if that CONTINUE READING: Once Racist: More on My Redneck Past | radical eyes for equity

Dehesa School District profited by cultivating charter schools - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Dehesa School District profited by cultivating charter schools - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Dehesa School District profited by cultivating charter schools 
The 138-student school district is in charge of watchdogging nine charter schools with 11,500 students.

The duty to watchdog multiple charter schools involved in a recent alleged charter school scam lay on the shoulders of Dehesa School District, a tiny district that consists of a single elementary school with 138 students in the hills of east San Diego County.
In May 11 people were indicted in connection with a statewide charter school scheme that prosecutors said funneled $50 million into the pockets of two executives of A3 Education. Three of the A3 charter schools were authorized and overseen by Dehesa.
In a statement, the district defended its authorization of its several charter schools.
“The Dehesa School District approved the charter schools believing we were making educational options available to students who could benefit from instruction in non-traditional settings,” the district said in a statement. “We recognize that several charter school reforms have been initiated at the state level, and our District is committed to ensuring legal compliance with all applicable laws and regulations concerning charter schools.”
Neither Dehesa Superintendent Nancy Hauer, who has been placed on paid leave and was one of the 11 people indicted, nor board members responded to requests for comment.
How could such alleged charter school fraud be allowed to happen? Some have argued that California’s charter school laws are too lax in what they require of charter authorizers. Others say that argument gives charter authorizers like Dehesa too much benefit of the doubt.
“You know, the [district attorney] made a statement about A3 and how they prey on small, naive districts, and there is no such thing as naive anymore,” said Terri CONTINUE READING:  Dehesa School District profited by cultivating charter schools - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Sacramento City School District Passes Budget Plan, Eliminating Nearly 400 Jobs - capradio.org

Sacramento City School District Passes Budget Plan, Eliminating Nearly 400 Jobs - capradio.org

Sacramento City School District Passes Budget Plan, Eliminating Nearly 400 Jobs

Sacramento City school board members were up late Thursday night passing a budget plan for next year, but the district still has major financial hurdles ahead of it.
The good news? The new fiscal plan avoids a state takeover for now. The bad news? The district cut nearly 400 teachers and school positions, and teachers and administrators are still deadlocked over labor negotiations.
“This budget is tolerable for now, but we really need to move forward so that we’re not having this fight every year, and we can start investing in the kids,” said Tara Thronson, founder of the group Parents United to Restore our Schools.
The school district still faces a state takeover in a couple of years if it doesn’t realize more long-term structural savings.
Thursday’s meeting ran late as parents pleaded that teachers and the district do anything they can to fix the district’s long term budget deficit.
“Everywhere where we have reduced costs or made cuts has been on the employee side of the equation, not on the student side,” said district spokesperson Alex Barrios. “And that has been 100% intentional. We want to say loud and clear to the community, our programs are staying in place.”
The district faces many more months of financial problem-solving. The county is expected to reject the city schools funding plan.
Sacramento City School District Passes Budget Plan, Eliminating Nearly 400 Jobs - capradio.org

Will Mississippi Supreme Court Allow Privately-Operated Charter Schools to Keep Seizing Public Funds from Public Schools? | Dissident Voice

Will Mississippi Supreme Court Allow Privately-Operated Charter Schools to Keep Seizing Public Funds from Public Schools? | Dissident Voice

Will Mississippi Supreme Court Allow Privately-Operated Charter Schools to Keep Seizing Public Funds from Public Schools?

A high-level court case is currently underway in Mississippi to decide if privately-operated charter schools can keep siphoning local property taxes from public schools.
Presently, Mississippi’s charter school law unconstitutionally diverts millions of dollars in local property tax money (ad valorem taxes) away from local public school districts to privately-operated charter schools.
Defenders of public schools and the public interest rightly note that privately-operated charter schools are harming public schools by draining money away from them and that opening more charter schools will only make things worse. They say that if privately-run charter schools are going to operate in Mississippi, they should find another source of funding.
Charter schools are not public schools in the proper sense of the word, therefore they have no valid or legitimate claim to public funds. Privately-operated charter schools differ legally, philosophically, organizationally, and operationally from public schools. To treat both types of schools as public and entitled to public funds is erroneous, misleading, and dishonest.
In Mississippi and other states, only public schools under local control by CONTINUE READING: Will Mississippi Supreme Court Allow Privately-Operated Charter Schools to Keep Seizing Public Funds from Public Schools? | Dissident Voice



See Where Teachers Got Pay Raises This Year - Education Week

See Where Teachers Got Pay Raises This Year - Education Week

See Where Teachers Got Pay Raises This Year
Protests across the country swayed governors to push for salary bumps

More than a year after teachers across the country began walking out of their classrooms en masse to demand higher salaries, at least 15 states have given their teachers a raise.
And lawmakers in several more states are putting the final touches on plans to raise teacher salaries, according to an Education Week analysis.
Earlier this year, Education Week counted 22 governors who proposed raising teacher pay in their State of the State addresses. The proposals ranged from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s ambitious plan to give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 to Delaware Gov. John Carney’s proposal of a 2 percent raise. Other governors, such as in Idaho and Pennsylvania, have proposed increasing their state’s minimum pay for teachers.
Now that the legislative sessions are largely over, most governors have seen their plans fully or partially realized. But there have been some snafus: For instance, because of a computer glitch, Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law a budget that didn’t include enough money for the $1,500 raises the state promised its teachers this fall.
And the new money approved by governors in many cases now is negotiable with local unions. Already, teachers in Fargo, N.D., and Brevard, Fla., are at an impasse with their administrators over who will get raises this year and how much those raises will be.
For their part, teachers have mostly welcomed the raises, but some have said the increases don’t go far enough, especially after what they see as years of legislative inaction.
“It’s a great start, but they’re going to have to continue to come up with more in the next several years,” Lisa Ellis, a high school journalism teacher in Blythewood, S.C., and the founder of the grassroots teachers’ group, SCforED, said of the state’s plan to raise teacher pay. “Teachers are now awake and watching.”
Here’s what you need to know about each state’s plan (as of June 17) to raise teacher pay. (The average teacher salary for each state reflects the National Education Association’s estimate for the 2018-19 school year, which would not include these raises.)
Click a state in the dropdown to jump to that section:  



John Thompson: Challenges to watch as OKCPS 'pathway' is implemented

Challenges to watch as OKCPS 'pathway' is implemented

Challenges to watch as OKCPS ‘pathway’ is implemented

The battle over Classen SAS High School and Northeast Academy grabbed most of the attention during the June 10 Oklahoma City Public Schools board meeting, but new, complex challenges were also revealed. The Board heard a Planning Department report on the number of OKCPS graduates who require remediation in college.
These sad outcomes, as well as new disclosures on the need for the district to take over Seeworth Academy, an alternative school, should prompt an open, evidence-based discussion of complex education policy dilemmas. If we needed more proof, the reorganization of the OKCPS administration was announced only a week later.
OKCPS has plenty on its plate, but I believe the district won’t improve without engaging in transparent, research-based discussions on what it will actually take to provide our kids with the education they deserve. Below is my advice.

Good news, bad news

First, the good news is that the OKCPS dropout rate has fallen, down to less than 2 percent in 2017. (See the PDF embedded below.) The bad news is that the use of “credit recovery” programs, across the nation, means we can’t tell how much of the decline is due to real improvements and how much is due to “passing kids on,” regardless of what they haven’t learned. The worst news in the recent OKCPS report is that nearly two-thirds of OKCPS graduates who attend college need remediation.
Since 2002-03, the college-going rates, with or without remediation, have improved for CONTINUE READING: Challenges to watch as OKCPS 'pathway' is implemented

EdSource: Why California Charter Schools Have Little or No Oversight | Diane Ravitch's blog

EdSource: Why California Charter Schools Have Little or No Oversight | Diane Ravitch's blog

EdSource: Why California Charter Schools Have Little or No Oversight

Louis Freedberg of EdSource explains here why California charter schools are largely unsupervised, leading to a drumbeat of scandals like the recent indictment of 11 people charged with a theft of $80 million.
He writes:
As charter school conflicts intensify in California, increasing attention is being focused not only on the schools themselves but on the school boards and other entities that grant them permission to operate in the first place.
They’re called charter authorizers, and unlike many states, California has hundreds of them: 294 local school districts, 41 county offices of education, along with the State Board of Education.
In fact, California, with over 1300 charters schools, has more authorizers than any other state. That’s not only because of California’s size but also because it has an extremely decentralized approach to charter school authorization.
Someone wishing to start a charter school, or to renew a charter, must apply to a local school district to get the CONTINUE READING: EdSource: Why California Charter Schools Have Little or No Oversight | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jersey Jazzman: Things Education "Reformers" Still Don't Understand About Testing

Jersey Jazzman: Things Education "Reformers" Still Don't Understand About Testing

Things Education "Reformers" Still Don't Understand About Testing

There was a new report out last week from the education "reform" group JerseyCAN, the local affiliate of 50CAN. In an op-ed at NJ Spotlight, Executive Director Patricia Morgan makes an ambitious claim:

New Jersey students have shown significant improvements in English Language Arts (ELA) and math across the grade levels since we adopted higher expectations for student learning and implemented a more challenging exam. And these figures are more than just percentages. The numbers represent tens of thousands more students reading and doing math on grade level in just four years.
None of this has happened by accident. For several decades, our education and business community leaders have come together with teachers and administrators, parents and students, and other stakeholders to collaborate on a shared vision for the future. Together, we’ve agreed that our students and educators are among the best in the nation and are capable of achieving to the highest expectations. We’ve made some positive changes to the standards and tests in recent years in response to feedback from educators, students, and families, but we’ve kept the bar high and our commitment strong to measuring student progress toward meeting that bar.
A New Jersey high school diploma is indeed becoming more meaningful, as evidenced by the academic gains we’ve see year over year and the increase in students meeting proficiency in subjects like ELA 10 and Algebra I. Our state is leading the nation in closing ELA achievement gaps for African American and Hispanic students since 2015. [emphasis mine]
This is a causal claim: according to Morgan, academic achievement in New Jersey is rising because the state implemented a tougher test based on tougher standards. If there's any doubt that this is JerseyCAN's contention, look at the report itself:

The name of the new exam, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and CONTINUE READING: Jersey Jazzman: Things Education "Reformers" Still Don't Understand About Testing

Skepticism Grows About High-Stakes, Test Based School Accountability and Privatization | janresseger

Skepticism Grows About High-Stakes, Test Based School Accountability and Privatization | janresseger

Skepticism Grows About High-Stakes, Test Based School Accountability and Privatization

Nick Hanauer’s confession that neoliberal, “corporate accountability” school reform doesn’t work is not entirely surprising to me.  After all, No Child Left Behind was left behind several years ago.
And Daniel Koretz, the Harvard University expert on our 25 year experiment with high stakes, test-based accountability, says: “It’s no exaggeration to say that the costs of test-based accountability have been huge. Instruction has been corrupted on a broad scale. Large amounts of instructional time are now siphoned off into test-prep activities that at best waste time and at worst defraud students and their parents… The primary benefit we received in return for all of this was substantial gains in elementary school math that don’t persist until graduation.”(The Testing Charade, p 191)
Nick Hanauer is a smart venture capitalist who has been paying attention, so it isn’t so surprising he has noticed that we still have enormous gaps in school achievement between the children raised in pockets of extreme privilege and the children raised in the nation’s very poorest and most segregated communities. Because he is an influential guy, however, I am delighted that Hanauer published his confession in The Atlantic:
“Long ago, I was captivated by a seductively intuitive idea, one many of my wealthy friends still subscribe to: that both poverty and rising inequality are largely consequences of America’s failing education system… This belief system, which I have come to think of as ‘educationism,’ is grounded in a familiar story about cause and effect: Once upon a time, America created a public-education system that was the envy of the modern world…  But then, sometime around the 1970s, America lost its way.  We allowed our schools to crumble, and our test scores and graduation rates to fall.  School systems that once churned out well-paid factory workers failed to keep pace with the rising educational demands of the new knowledge economy.  As America’s public-school systems foundered, so did the earning power of the American middle class… Taken with this story line, I embraced education as both a CONTINUE READING: Skepticism Grows About High-Stakes, Test Based School Accountability and Privatization | janresseger

How Pennies Trickling Down To School Sites Get Amplified – redqueeninla

How Pennies Trickling Down To School Sites Get Amplified – redqueeninla

How Pennies Trickling Down To School Sites Get Amplified

Among the misconceptions that persist in the wake of Proposition 13’s ruinous toll on our public school system, is the notion that a school’s stakeholders will just personally make-up, or supplement the state’s funding liability.
The fallacy belies the fantasy that really, there is sufficient money available, it’s just (pick one) {improperly distributed/siphoned/spent/budgeted}. This is the caricature conveyed at a recent West Hollywood City Council meeting discussing a pernicious district maneuver that would flatten socioeconomic diversity by displacing Laurel’s regular K8 school with a specialized magnet school, gratuitously restrictive in both enrollment age and curricular focus. A city councilmember (@4:49.10) suggested then that “more affluent” parents could “do an event and … raise several hundred thousand dollars” while less affluent schools “might be able to raise $70-$80K.”
Indeed there is a disparity in fundraising capacity between schools, but as it happens neither of these extremes accurately reflects modern fundraising or backfilling of missing services. A few schools raise funds prodigiously and exclusively for their pupils to be sure, but most schools raise nothing at all. The entire practice is tremendously inequitable and inefficient; the expectation is socially and perhaps academically destructive.
To better understand the actual extent and capacity of “extracurricular” fundraising at schools, each of the 615 elementary schools, 182 middle schools and 168 high schools in LAUSD’s footprint – including regular district and charters whether managed independently from or “affiliated” with their chartering agency – was randomized. This data set is described here. SPAN schools including grades from one or more school type {elementary-middle-high}, are defined by the CONTINUE READING: How Pennies Trickling Down To School Sites Get Amplified – redqueeninla