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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

'Everyone's Job to Help': Addressing Student Poverty Beyond the Schoolhouse

'Everyone's Job to Help': Addressing Student Poverty Beyond the Schoolhouse:

‘Everyone’s Job to Help’: Addressing Student Poverty Beyond the Schoolhouse

student poverty

Conversations around student poverty took center stage last week in Washington, D.C. when leading experts gathered at a symposium, hosted by the National Education Association, to examine poverty’s effects on child development, promising practices, and policy recommendations beyond the schoolhouse.
The statistics on child poverty are alarming: 15.5 million U.S. children live in poverty, one in five children receive food stamp assistance, and more than 50 percent of public school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.
“Poverty is a tragedy,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garc√≠a during her keynote, “…and their only hope is what they find in that public school,” referring to schools that integrate academics with community services, such as health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement.
“Why aren’t we making every public school like our best public school?” Why aren’t we improving the community as we improve our public schools? Make the case that every public school should look like the best public school,” Eskelsen Garc√≠a said.

Policies Working Together

Three different panels led the day’s conversation, which ranged from poverty’s effect on brain development and how some early returns have found structural differences in the brains of children to dispelling the myths and negative perceptions of poor people. The narrative of “black and brown kids don’t care about their education” must change, said Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director of the New York State Alliance for Quality Education. “It’s a narrative we’re pushing back on.”
While educators were on hand to discuss the disconnect between policy and 'Everyone's Job to Help': Addressing Student Poverty Beyond the Schoolhouse:





(Mensaje se repite en Espa√Īol)

If you sat down and tried to think of the worst possible system for funding public education, I don't think you could come up with anything worse or more problematic than Average Daily Attendance (ADA), which is a public school funding model exclusively based on how many warm butts there are in public school seats on any given day. So why is this system of public school funding so bad? Let me count some of the ways:

For starters, ADA is based on the false assumption that the now old school K-12 grade-level model of public schools is still a fair representation of the abilities of the students in these respective grades. This is clearly not only no longer the case, it hasn't been so for generations, since the majority of Whites with the social capital necessary to hold public school administration accountable abandon inner city public schools to its present inferior and de facto segregated status. What now has existed for a long time is a reality where predominantly minority students without grade-level mastery or competence are socially promoted with their age group grade after grade, whether or not they have mastered prior grade-level standards, which most students have not.

When a school's financial well-being is solely dependant on an ADA model of how many students are in class on any given day, it sets off a predictable sequence of too often illegal events that could be avoided, if the school was not so AVERAGE DAILY ATTENDANCE (ADA)- THE ENGINE DRIVING FAILURE AND FRAUD AT 

How California's Charter Schools Are Failing The Test

How California's Charter Schools Are Failing The Test:
How California’s Charter Schools Are Failing The Test
Charter schools’ overall report cards have not been so stellar.

This story originally appeared in Capital & Main.

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When the Great Public Schools Now Initiative, the $490 million blueprint to turn half of Los Angeles’ public school system into charter schools, was first leaked to Los Angeles Times reporter Howard Blume, it triggered an uproar among the city’s education community. The Los Angeles Unified School District already has more charter seats than any school system in the country, though at a lower percentage (about 16 percent) of total enrollment than Oakland’s — which, at roughly 25 percent, is proportionally the state leader. And like Oakland, and many other urban school systems in the U.S., LAUSD is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

See More Stories in Capital & Main’s Charter School Series

This comes at a time when charter-supporting philanthropists, led by the Broad, Walton Family and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundations, have been aggressively pushing charter schools across the country under the banner of “parent choice.” The initiative, which originally surfaced with a cover letter signed by Eli Broad and is often referred to as the Broad Plan, argues its case by charging that the country’s “urban school districts are not serving students. This failure is particularly acute for low-income and minority students who are in the greatest need of a quality education.” But contrary to the plan’s claims, the charters’ overall report card has not been so stellar.
According to University of Colorado, Boulder professor Kevin G. Welner and others, charters have been shown to offer no tangible academic advantages over traditional public schools. Welner, who is director of the National Education Policy Center, told Capital & Main, “If we’re talking about test scores, we’re not seeing any real meaningful differences between charter schools as a whole and noncharter public schools.”
Today there are about 1,230 charter schools statewide (or seven percent of the state’s K-12 enrollment), with 80 new schools opening in the 2015-16 school year alone, 21 of which were in Northern California. The 27 that opened in Los Angeles put it first in the state for growth. The Great Public Schools Now Initiative calls for 260 more charters to be created in the city by 2023. Capital & Main has since How California's Charter Schools Are Failing The Test:

Native Voices Rising: Critical Leadership in Institutional Philanthropy | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Native Voices Rising: Critical Leadership in Institutional Philanthropy | Schott Foundation for Public Education:

Native Voices Rising: Critical Leadership in Institutional Philanthropy

Edgar Villanueva
Earlier this year, I received news that Valorie Johnson, a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, was planning to retire. As one of the few Native Americans working at a foundation, I celebrated her many accomplishments in the philanthropic sector. But I also grieved the impending loss of one the few Native influencers in philanthropy.

Why are there so few of us working in philanthropy? Who's addressing the issue? And, most importantly, why is the inclusion of Native voices so critical to effective philanthropic leadership?
A recent article in the Nonprofit Quarterly described philanthropy's disappointing attempts at diversity: "[N]either the numbers in terms of diversity of staffing and governance nor the dynamics of this landscape has changed much since 2008. The pipeline is still not working to move people of color into philanthropy, or to move women and people of color up in hierarchies, as quickly as white men…."
Philanthropy has invested millions of dollars in various initiatives to increase diversity in the field, including the D5 Coalition, a five-year effort to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the philanthropic sector. Eighteen affinity groups and organizations, including Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP), founded the coalition in 2010, and while there has been progress in tracking much-needed data and advocating for increased Native representation in philanthropy, a significant amount of work remains to be done.
It's true that the small number of Native Americans working at foundations is related to the broader barriers to diversity in the field. But I would like to offer a few additional insights for your consideration:
  • When foundations seek to diversify their staffs, they often look to hire talent from the populations that benefit from their funding. Very few foundations focus their giving on Native American populations, so hiring Native staff may not be seen as a priority.
  • Native Americans are still dogged by stereotypes and myths. For example, some of you might be thinking: "Wow! I didn't know Edgar was Native American. Does he live on a reservation?" A foundation leader even confessed to me her fear of hiring Natives because she believed Natives were incapable of getting along with members of other minority groups.
  • Philanthropy is hardly a new concept for Native communities, many of which embrace a culture of reciprocity (as opposed to professionalized giving). As a result, Natives may not seek out foundation jobs. And many Natives prioritize working within our own tribes or communities instead of large, mainstream, and mostly white-led organizations.
  • Institutional philanthropy for the most part is the product of affluent white men, some of whom earned their wealth through business practices and/or policies that were harmful to Native populations. The lasting impact of colonization has resulted in the majority of Native families in the United States living in dire poverty far from the ivory towers of philanthropy.
The ugly cycle of philanthropic divestment has been compounded by the lack of Native representation in the field, which only Native Voices Rising: Critical Leadership in Institutional Philanthropy | Schott Foundation for Public Education:

Ashby vs. Steinberg - Sacramento Magazine - June 2016 - Sacramento, California

Ashby vs. Steinberg - Sacramento Magazine - June 2016 - Sacramento, California:

Ashby vs. Steinberg

Illustrations by Charlie Powell

Darrell Steinberg, with his back to the window, hunched over a latte at Caf√© a C√īte on K Street, is tearing a yellow sweetener packet into tiny squares. His fingers move lazily, without obvious intent. Maybe he’s bored. Maybe he’s nervous. Bored is the best guess, because Steinberg is talking about something that should be very familiar to him. He’s talking about himself, about why he wants to become the next mayor of Sacramento, about why people should vote for him.

 “It’s my reach,” he says. “I can connect the dots across a very wide spectrum, statewide, to benefit the city.”

Five blocks away on the fifth floor at City Hall on I Street, Angelique Ashby is preparing for another city council meeting. She studies the agenda and perhaps wonders how she can top her performance from a previous week, when she publicly tore apart a superficially righteous proposal by fellow council member Jay Schenirer—a proposal to let voters fund children’s services by taxing medical marijuana cultivators and manufacturers. With skepticism giving way to sarcasm, Ashby described why the cannabis tax would be a bad deal for children, bad for parents, homeless people, police, taxpayers and the city. One point she didn’t mention is that she, like Steinberg, wants to become Sacramento’s next mayor.
“I fear this will be misconstrued at the ballot box,” she says of the cultivation tax. “It’s pretty easy to say, ‘Do you want to tax marijuana and help kids?’ The answer is easy. It’s simple. ‘Yes.’ But there are a lot of layers to this dialogue that are not being considered, including what else can we use that money for? And who is going to use that money?” She calls the tax “disingenuous.”
Steinberg and Ashby are two professional politicians with histories of public service in Sacramento. But it would be difficult to imagine two more different people in pursuit of the city’s highest office. Sacramento has become accustomed to starkly unique choices for mayor. Eight years ago, Kevin Johnson ran as an outsider. He was a former basketball star who enjoyed celebrity status. And he had a business-friendly background as a real estate investor and charter school organizer. In a runoff election, he trounced Heather Fargo, a two-term incumbent who worked her way up through local Democratic Party ranks as a neighborhood activist.
This year, there is no incumbent. But there are immense distinctions between the two leading candidates. Start with their ages. Steinberg is 56, Ashby 41. Consider their experience. Steinberg held Ashby’s current job as a city council member 24 years ago. He won his first city council election in 1992, when Ashby was a student at Sacramento High School. And consider their personalities, the ethos that will deliver new leadership or squander the opportunities that await Sacramento’s 56th mayor.
Steinberg, endorsed by seven city council members, promises to work in unison with his fellow elected officials. He is patient and methodical and relies on relationships built across three decades of public life. His best moves 

CURMUDGUCATION: Is There a Civil War in Education

CURMUDGUCATION: Is There a Civil War in Education:

Is There a Civil War in Education

I've been following tweets from the big Third Way confabulation in Massachusetts today, and apparently one of the recurring themes is a certain amount pearl clutching over the Civil War between charter and public school advocates. And I had some thoughts...

First, kudos to whatever PR flack came up with that rhetoric, because it's kind of genius. 

Once upon a time, charter operators portrayed themselves as scrappy trendsetters, rebels who were going to Fight The Power and disrupt the hell out of that stodgy old education sector. They were going to fight the status quo.

Well, there comes a time in the life of every rugged scrappy entrepreneur when you put on a suit and instead of settling for scraps, grab yourself a seat at the gown-up table and start enjoying the perks of being rather status quo-y yourself. (This is also a handy perch from which to keep your eye on any other scrappy trendsetters who show up to queer your pitch, because once you are the status quo, protecting the status quo starts to make so much more sense.)

The "Civil War" construct is elegant because it assumes all sorts of things that charter folks would like to assume without actually having to discuss. A Civil War occurs between equals, brothers who have been torn apart by a foolish disagreement and who should really be learning to live in harmony, as equals, with equal claim to all the bounty the status quo provides.

If you can't quite see what I'm getting at, imagine how it would change the conversation is, say, we characterized public education as a beautiful home that had become infested with charter termites. Or public education as a big expansive oak tree, with some branches withering from charter school blight. Or public education a robust, vigorous group of athletic young men and women, some of whom had to be benched because they were combating a charter school tapeworm. Or public 
CURMUDGUCATION: Is There a Civil War in Education:

California: Unbridled Charter Expansion Threatens Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

California: Unbridled Charter Expansion Threatens Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog:

California: Unbridled Charter Expansion Threatens Public Schools

Thomas Ultican, teacher of physics and mathematics in San Diego, California, writes about the disastrous impact of charter schools on public schools. According to a study commissioned by the United Teachers of Los Angeles, the district loses $500 million annually to charters.
The charter lobby in the state–led by the California Charter School Association– is wealthy and politically powerful.
Ultican points to Prop 39, passed into law in 2000, as the mechanism that allows privately managed, lightly regulated charters to expand into public space and gobble up resources and the students they want.
“The MGT study illustrates how charter school law in California is fashioned to favor privately operated charter schools over public schools. If a local community passed a bond measure in the 1980’s to build a new public school, it is the law in California that the members of that local community – who still might be paying for that public school – will have no choice but to allow a private operator move into the facility. In addition, the charter school law requires the local school district to incur many direct and indirect costs to support charter schools.
“In California, since its statehood, a super-majority (67%) was required to pass a school bond measure. In 2000, after losing an effort that March to mitigate the super-majority rules and the infamous proposition 13 limitations, supporters brought forward proposition 39 that would reduce school-bond super-majorities to 55% and did not seriously threaten proposition 13 protections enacted in 1978. It passed 53% to 47% in November.
“In the official ballot summary for proposition 39 in the November 7, 2000 election the support message was signed by Lavonne Mcbroom, President California State PTA; Jacqueline N. Antee, AARP State President; and Allan Zaremerg, President California Chamber of Commerce. The statement against the proposition was signed by Jon Coupal, Chairman Save Our Homes Committee, Vote No on Proposition 39, a Project of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association; Dean Andal, Chairman Board of Equalization, State of California; and Felicia Elkinson, Past President Council of Sacramento Senior Organizations.
“This proposition was a battle royal with every media source and elected official bloviating endlessly about the righteousness of their side. However, like in the official ballot measure statements, there was no California: Unbridled Charter Expansion Threatens Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jersey Jazzman: Charter Schools and the De-Professionalization of Teaching

Jersey Jazzman: Charter Schools and the De-Professionalization of Teaching:

Charter Schools and the De-Professionalization of Teaching

Hey, New Jersey -- and especially all of you "conservatives": Did you know Chris Christie is using your tax dollars to make what essentially are commercials for charter schools that are linked to a Turkish, Muslim cleric? 

Bergen Arts & Science Charter School and Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School, lauded by Christie in this taxpayer-financed video, have both been linked by the Gulen Charter Schools website to the Gulenist movement.

No, this isn't a conspiracy theory: the Gulenist charter school phenomenon has been reported by CBS NewsThe AtlanticThe New York Times, and The Wall St. Journal. These schools, all linked to Fethullah Gulen, have been popping up all over the country and are the subject of concerns expressed by the federal State Department due to their use of H1B visas to admit Turkish nationals into the US.

You'd think that someone in the NJ press would find it notable that Chris Christie, now Donald Trump's transition chair, was using taxpayer funds to promote charter schools tied to a Muslim cleric. But no, that's not news for them -- and neither, apparently, is what I'm going to document below:

Last week, I told the story of Thomas Edison EnergySmart, a school that enrolls far fewer special education and economically disadvantaged students than Franklin Township, its host public school district. Christie sings the charter's praises, even as it drains funds from Franklin's public schools, which educate the kids the Gulen-linked charter does not take in.

Let me quickly show that Bergen A&S is following the same playbook before I get to the heart of the matter. This charter gets most of its students from Garfield, but Hackensack and Lodi are also sending districts. How do these districts compare to the charters in - See more at:

New Education Law: Bipartisan No More | US News

New Education Law: Bipartisan No More | US News:

New Education Law: Bipartisan No More
Republicans are fuming over what they perceive as complete disregard for the intent of the reform law.

Republicans on Capitol Hill and conservative education policymakers are accusing the Obama administration of breaking its promises on education reform, saying recently released federal guidelines for how states and school districts should implement the bipartisan law are overreaching and encroach on local authority.
“The administration has decided that rather than try to find a middle ground or to work in a spirit of cooperation that they are going to push their own policy preferences to the max,” says Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education think tank. “Many administrations have done the same, but to do this on the heels of a bipartisan compromise, it’s left a bitter taste in a lot of people’s mouths.”
The White House was quick to push back on that assessment.
“This bill is a result of consensus that this law needed to be reformed and refined,” said Cecilia Munoz, assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council, to a group of reporters Thursday. “We needed to get away from the one-size-fits-all approach, and I’m quite confident that that coalition is not going to break up.”
She continued: “The details matter a lot, but the consensus around what we needed to accomplish, what we in fact accomplished by passing the law and what we believe we are accomplishing with these regulations is quite strong.”
The Education Department released on Thursday a series of proposed regulations to the new education law aimed at providing more specificity for how states and school districts should design their accountability systems. The proposals were met with criticism from GOP lawmakers, who were quick to warn that they were not in line with the foundation of the law – namely to provide more flexibility to states and school districts.
“I am disappointed that the draft regulation seems to include provisions that the Congress considered – and expressly rejected,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a key architect of the law. “If the final regulation does not implement the law the way Congress wrote it, I will introduce a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to overturn it.”
While Alexander’s staff is still going through the 192-page package of regulations, one of the major proposals conservative policymakers have complained about is a tightening of the indicators states and districts are allowed to use – in addition to test scores – to show student success and school quality.New Education Law: Bipartisan No More | US News:

Success Academy Charter Schools Plans to Share Curriculum Online - WSJ

Success Academy Charter Schools Plans to Share Curriculum Online - WSJ:
Success Academy Charter Schools Plans to Share Curriculum Online
Push to present the charter school network as a national model comes after months of increased scrutiny

 Success Academy Charter Schools intends to start posting its lesson plans online this summer, going so far as to specify what type of snail is the best for kindergartners’ science experiments.

Eva Moskowitz, founder of the growing charter network, said she hopes sharing her curriculum and teacher training resources at no charge will help shift the focus of debates on education from politics to the nitty-gritty of what children need to know, how they learn best and how to pace instruction.
“These are all really important questions if America is going to find its way out of the educational quagmire it’s in,” she said in an interview. “It’s not only our disadvantaged students who are suffering terribly. Even our affluent students are not doing so well internationally.”
This push to present Success Academy as a national model comes after months of increased scrutiny of the network, which consistently racks up high scores on state exams, far outpacing city and state averages. Most of its students are poor children of color.
Critics say the organization systemically nudges out the hardest-to-serve students, an accusation Ms. Moskowitz denies. It was sued this year by several families who said their struggling children were harassed into leaving through harsh discipline, excessive suspensions and other means. The network’s oversight body at the State University of New York is also investigating the allegations.
Amid the criticism, the network has garnered support as well, including a $25 million grant in April from the Robertson Foundation to expand its influence. Success Academy was named one of three finalists for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, a national award for charter-management organizations.
Ms. Moskowitz said she has long planned an online trove of literacy lessons, science experiments and math problems that her staff has developed.
Educators around the U.S. often ask for Success Academy’s materials and workshops for teachers and principals, she said. “It made sense, given the volume of requests, to just share it all as soon as we can.”
With 34 schools in New York City, Success Academy aims to have 50 sites in two years and 100 in a decade in the city. Charters are publicly funded and independently operated, and usually aren’t unionized. Opponents say they drain precious money and space from traditional public schools.
Other networks have also sought to fulfill one of the original missions of charters, to innovate and share what works. Uncommon Schools, for example, has released eight books on its methods. The national nonprofit has held free training sessions with host districts, and sells videos and workshops as well.
A frequent critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s teachers union, Ms. Moskowitz often presents her network as a refuge for students escaping low-performing public schools and their bureaucracy. The mayor campaigned promising to curb charter schools’ growth and has clashed with Ms. Moskowitz over the city’s obligation toSuccess Academy Charter Schools Plans to Share Curriculum Online - WSJ:

ESSA Regulations: Disappointment or Denial? Guest post by Peggy Robertson | BustED Pencils

ESSA Regulations: Disappointment or Denial? Guest post by Peggy Robertson | BustED Pencils:

ESSA Regulations: Disappointment or Denial? Guest post by Peggy Robertson


 Back in Denver after 29 days MIA and finally back in the saddle. So it appears during my hiatus they finally released the 192 pages of ESSA regulations.

Damn that ESSA opportunity that just keeps on giving. And the same old players are quoted saying the same old crap while ESSA takes the lead in privatizing public schools and destroying our profession.
Randi Weingarten is supposedly concerned about the proposed regulations. And Fairtest continues to be the “go to” for commentary regarding ESSA. What we need to understand is that the unfortunate result will be the maintaining of the status quo.  They want the public to continue to think something is happening that favors the public—the common good. There ain’t nothing happening!
I was on the War Report radio show during my hiatus in MO and more or less unleashed my wrath on this BS about the opt out glory days, ESSA, and the unions. Hey, I was cooped up in MO for 29 days so it’s probably a good thing I had a minute to explode versus implode. But this is the deal. Opt Out is child’s play – pure child’s play compared to what ESSA has unleashed – not sure you can remember what child’s play looks like these days, but I can assure you it was much easier and carefree compared to where we are headed with the wrath of ESSA .
Now all of a sudden everybody and their mother loves opt out. They f$%&ing love it— for good reason—because they know that opt out alone will be the perfect ploy to distract everyone from the venom ESSA is just dying to spew very very soon. If you put your cards in opt out alone expect to lose and lose fast – ESSA has the royal flush.
So once again, when someone says ESSA is an  “opportunity” know that this person is brainwashed or somehow benefiting from ESSA. Also, when someone is quoted in an article about ESSA and they spew a lot of words that say absolutely nothing. You can come to the same conclusion.
There’s money to be made off of commiserating around ESSA while pretending to support it, not support it, understand it, reason with it, while spitting weak words that pretend to have some sort of fake influence in shaping it to meet the needs of children and our society—there’s a helluva lot of status, money, and ego stroking to be made off of parading those ESSA Regulations: Disappointment or Denial? Guest post by Peggy Robertson | BustED Pencils:

Feminism-in-Schools Featured at First International Girls’ Studies Association Conference « Feminist Teacher

Feminism-in-Schools Featured at First International Girls’ Studies Association Conference « Feminist Teacher:

Feminism-in-Schools Featured at First International Girls’ Studies Association Conference

Feminism-in-schools movement leaders, Ileana Jim√©nez, Hanna Retallack, Marnina Gonick, and Jessica Ringrose, at the first International Girls’ Studies Association Conference, UK (photo courtesy, Ileana Jim√©nez)

Leaders in the feminism-in-schools movement recently made history at the inauguralInternational Girls’ Studies Association (IGSA) conference when we were featured in the event’s opening plenary at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK from April 7-9. It was the first time that a global girls’ studies conference featured teachers and researchers sharing our work together on #HSfeminism, a hashtag I created in the last few years to bring visibility to our movement.
As we each presented our papers individually followed by a panel discussion, ProfessorMarnina Gonick of Mount Saint Vincent University in Canada; Professor Jessica Ringroseand doctoral researcher, Hanna Retallack, both of the Institute of Education, University College, London; and I made a bold statement that our intersectional feminist pedagogies and practices are transforming the landscape of classroom curricula, student activism, and professional development for educators.
We were particularly honored that our plenary took place at the same time as the Black Girl Movement Conference, where activists and scholars gathered at Columbia University for three days in New York City to focus on Black girls, cisgender, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. We feel strongly that as girls’, women’s, and gender studies scholars, we must all work together collectively to support girls of color in our activism and teaching.
Now that we are post-conference and closing out our school year, I brought together my colleagues via email to reflect on what the IGSA plenary meant for us.
Ileana Jim√©nez: I remain ecstatic that my #HSfeminism talk on “Black Girls Blog #BlackLivesMatter” received such a wonderful response at the conference; I was thrilled that delegates from such a wide range of regions around the world, from Australia to South Africa, responded so powerfully, especially to the video that I shared about my student Jessica, and the blog post she wrote about how #BlackGirlsMatter, in which she links the ways in which both the erasure and visibility of Black girls in our culture leads to violence against women and girls of color in the media, at school, and at the hands of police brutality.
As an educator of color, it was especially important to me to share Jessica’s work while the Black Girl Movement Conference in New York and our IGSA conference in Norwich was happening. The Girls’ Studies community was literally convening simultaneously in Feminism-in-Schools Featured at First International Girls’ Studies Association Conference « Feminist Teacher:

CURMUDGUCATION: TheThird Way (To Make a Bundle in Education)

CURMUDGUCATION: TheThird Way (To Make a Bundle in Education):

TheThird Way (To Make a Bundle in Education)

What is the Third Way? Well, whatever it is, it launches tomorrow (May 31) in Boston with featured guest appearances by Secretary of Education John King and Massachusetts Secretary of EducationJames Peyser (formerly honcho of New Schools Venture Fund). So maybe we'd better dig a little and see if we can figure out exactly what we're talking about.

The event is touted as The Emerging Third Way: Blazing an Optimistic Path Ahead in K-12 Education, and the blurb on the registration site starts with this little history lesson:

Since 1635, Massachusetts has been known for its district public schools- the “first way”. Since 1993, Massachusetts’ charter schools have led the nation in pioneering a “second way”. It is time to recognize a Third Way – an emerging set of strategies that combine school-level autonomies and energetic innovation with a commitment to universal service and local voice. The Third Way does not obviate the need and demand for either of the other ways but it does hold out a promising path for cooperative change that could raise student success, especially among disadvantaged students, on a large scale.

I'm just going to skip over the first part of the history lesson because arguing about whether or not Massachusett's charter schools have been nation-leading pioneers since 1993 is like getting in argument about whether or not a trio of alopeciac yeti infiltrated the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes during the eighties. It makes a damn good story, but not a very good evidence-based paper. So there goes our Common Core based writing score.

But can we close read a path to understanding the Third Way? Well, "emerging set of strategies" means roughly "we're still working on punching up the rough draft." Next, "autonomies and energetic innovation" are supposed to be the virtues of charter schools, while "universal service and local voice" are concerns of the public ed 
CURMUDGUCATION: TheThird Way (To Make a Bundle in Education):

Big Education Ape: CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Goodbye, May! -


The Washington Teacher: DC Teacher Contract 4% Percent Offer Revealed- WTU Prez Davis Finally Comes Clean!

The Washington Teacher: DC Teacher Contract 4% Percent Offer Revealed- WTU Prez Davis Finally Comes Clean!:

DC Teacher Contract 4% Percent Offer Revealed- WTU Prez Davis Finally Comes Clean!

WTU Prez Liz Davis reveals 4% Teacher contract offer

This article recounts information shared by Cardozo Education Campus teachers with Malcolm Lewis Barnes, independent journalist shortly after attending a recent meeting with WTU President Liz Davis. Disclaimer: Mr. Barnes is also the campaign manager for the Candi Peterson WTU slate 2016.

By Malcolm Lewis Barnes

According to several confirmed sources who attended a May 25th school wide meeting at Cardozo Education Campus, when pressed for answers WashingtonTeachers' Union President Liz Davis admitted that she turned down a 4 percent (4%) offer that was on the table during last year's teacher contract negotiations.

An impatient group of over 40 Cardozo teachers were present last Wednesday who had just attended an afternoon monthly faculty meeting and were later joined by WTU President Davis. Davis declared during the meeting that the 1% raise that Chancellor Kaya Henderson offered was ‘unacceptable.’ Davis revealed at the meeting that late in 2013, there was a four percent offer on the table that she turned down because the chancellor was just beginning to press her initiative on the extended school year.

“Four percent is better than no percent,” said Grace Cooke-Thomas, a special education teacher at Cardozo Education Campus as she expressed her exasperation about the fact that the Chancellor was able to push through the extended school year with nearly a dozen schools, mainly east of the river in wards 7 and 8.

Davis indicated that she didn’t bring the four percent offer to anyone’s attention because she didn’t think it was worth discussing because the WTU  didn’t accept it in light of the extended school year issues being discussed across the board rather than at selected low performing schools.

During the meeting, Cardozo teachers demanded to know, “Where was the transparency? Why were only certain schools being targeted for rallies to bring attention to the 1% offer? And most important, why wasn’t Davis playing a more effective role as a union leader instead of expecting teachers to take to the streets in support of her failed effort to get a contract?’

The Cardozo teachers’ group just got tired of President Davis beating around the bush about contract negotiations and they asked her directly to disclose what’s actually in the contract that she claims she is negotiating.

“I’m a bit frustrated and I’ve seen teachers lose their jobs. I hear a lot of talk but nothing is being done. Teachers don’t want to march and hold rallies because they are being bullied by principals and are afraid of reprisal”, said Ms. Cooke-Thomas.

When Davis suggested that a survey be conducted, the Cardozo staff lost their patience and the group asked to 
The Washington Teacher: DC Teacher Contract 4% Percent Offer Revealed- WTU Prez Davis Finally Comes Clean!: