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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mother Crusader: NJ Charter Expansion Once Again On The Rise

Mother Crusader: NJ Charter Expansion Once Again On The Rise:

NJ Charter Expansion Once Again On The Rise
It would appear that Chris Christie's NJDOE is up to their old tricks again. 

NJCSA's Nicole Cole with Christie at 
Bergen Arts and Science Charter School

Governor Christie has been prancing around the state, meeting with charter parents (see hereherehere andhere), and New Jersey Charter Schools Association staff (see photo), boldly proclaiming that before he leaves office he will all but completely deregulate charter schools. He even delivered the keynote address at the New Jersey Charter Schools Association conference where he took more than a couple of predictable swipes at the NJEA.

In a speech Thursday at the New Jersey Charter School's Conference in Atlantic City, Christie said teachers unions are stealing from children and taxpayers while charter schools are doing "God's work." 
"Their philosophy is that every one of their jobs, every one of their perks is more important than changing the system that they know is failing," Christie said of teachers unions.
Charter schools, where teachers are not unionized and last-in-first-out policies do not apply, are more focused on students, Christie told a crowd of hundreds of charter school teacher (sic) and administrators. 
As Christie travels the state cozying up to the charter sector, and bashing traditional public schools, I've noticed that the charter application process has once again become a three ring circus.  

Yesterday it was announced that nine out of twenty four charter applications were advanced to Phase 2 of the state's March 2016 charter application round. That announcement came over 
Mother Crusader: NJ Charter Expansion Once Again On The Rise:

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Definitions

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Definitions:


Jane Addams, American radical

From Merriam Webster
adjective rad·i·cal \ˈra-di-kəl\
of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as
a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers> (2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radical leaves>
b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
c : of or relating to a mathematical root
d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue <radical surgery> <radical mastectomy>

From the Guardian... "FBI and Obama confirm Omar Mateen was radicalized on the internet."
I still don't see anything radical about a homophobic psychopath with an AR-15. Seems pretty retrograde to me. It's certainly not in the tradition of American radicalism, ie. Radical Republicans who opposed slavery and the Confederacy, socialists like Eugene Debs, Jane Addams, labor organizers like I.W.W. and civil rights heroes in S.N.C.C.

From Merriam Webster
noun ren·di·tion \ren-ˈdi-shən\
: a performance of something

From the Daily Mail..."Under the rendition program, terror suspects were kidnapped on foreign soil and transferred to centers also outside the U.S., where they were interrogated and tortured." 
In CIA-speak, using U.S. embassies abroad to kidnap and torture people is now called "extraordinary rendition".

From CPS website:
Wanted: Executive Director of PerMike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Definitions:

MUST READ! Call for Manuscripts: Strangers in Academia: Teaching and Scholarship at the Margins – the becoming radical

Call for Manuscripts: Strangers in Academia: Teaching and Scholarship at the Margins – the becoming radical:

Call for Manuscripts: Strangers in Academia: Teaching and Scholarship at the Margins

Call for Manuscripts
Strangers in Academia: Teaching and Scholarship at the Margins
Christian Z. GoeringUniversity of ArkansasAngela Dye, PBS Development, LLC; and P.L. Thomas, Furman University, editors
This volume seeks to collect contributions from authors across the spectrum of academe who, for one reason or another, feel as if they are strangers at their own universities and/or in K-12 education.
In the background of this project, we are confronting the mainstream idea that formal education is somehow revolutionary, for both individuals and the larger society. Therefore, this volume is a testament to how all levels of academia are too often reflect and perpetuate the society the schools/universities serve.
Specifically, we are seeking to include the experience, thinking, and scholarly perspective of those who feel othered, ostracized, pushed out, relegated, or marginalized because of your status (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) or your professional and/or ideological stances through experiences working in higher education or K-12. While it’s the ideal of the academy to consider all warranted perspectives perhaps there are elements of your status, practice, or philosophy that is being undermined by your administrators and/or colleagues. Insidious attacks, comments in the hall, or cultural norms have left you and/or your work feeling less than welcome.
Contributions should range between 3000 and 4000 words and explore the complex nature of working in K-12 or higher education and feeling less-than-welcome. What was the experience like? How did you address it? What were the consequences? Two-page chapter proposals are due on September 30, 2016, with complete chapters due December 1, 2016.
Submit all proposals as Word attachments to
The blog post below serves as an invitation to begin considering contributing to this volume.
No, there was no way out, and no one can imagine what nights in prison are like.
Meursault, The Stranger, Albert Camus
I left public education after an 18-year career as a high school English teacher and coach. The exit had its symbolism because at that time I was wearing a wrist brace on my right hand from overuse after almost two decades of responding to about 4000 essays and 6000 journal entries per year; in other words, I left public education broken.
A former student of mine on the cusp of becoming a first-year English teacher asked me recently what my first years were like, and I had to confess that from day one, my career as an educator has always been at the margins, a stranger at all levels of formal schooling and academia.
Yes, my hand was exhausted from marking essays, but I was broken as a public school teacher by administrators and in a bit of not so hyperbolic science fiction, The System.
Every single day of my life as a public school teacher, I worked against the system—but I did so with my door open because I believed (and still believe) my defiance was for The Cause.

Reject Terror. Accept Love - Lily's Blackboard

Reject Terror. Accept Love - Lily's Blackboard:

Reject Terror. Accept Love 

Rhonda Rodeffer, left, and her daughter Kennedy, 4, visit a makeshift memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Rhonda Rodeffer, left, and her daughter Kennedy, 4, visit a makeshift memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

My son is gay.  Happily gay.  Confidently gay with a sweet sense of humor; a strength in his kindness and an exasperating need to argue his point (whatever point) until you give up yours from pure exhaustion.
I called him Sunday after the shootings.  We cried.  I saw his face in that club the same way I saw his face in Matthew Shepherd.  These were not random acts of violence.  They were acts of hatred against people like my son.  I told him what I wanted to write on my blog.  He told me what he wanted to write on his Facebook.  By the next day, he was telling me how upset he was to see friends and family members blaming Muslims in general for the Orlando attack.   
He wrote to them, “Do not spread more hate.  Many in the Muslim community mourn with us.  There are fringe branches of many faiths that approve of the shootings in Orlando, but they are few and shrinking.  We are many and we are growing.  Let’s band together and resolve to love more.  Let us never group people together and hate them because of who they are; where they were born; or where they find God.  Change comes when we reject the terror and continue to love.”
I was thinking of my boy when I sat down this morning to write this.  He is a strong man who learned long ago to stand up for himself with prideand even to have compassion for those who did not accept him.  But he and other LGBTQ adults will tell you the fears they faced in high school.  It’s children I want to write about today.
Acts of hatred affect children in many ways. Parents and educators must be aware of what’s happeningemotionally with their little ones, whether they’re preschoolers or teenagers.  
in their little ones, whether or not they’re preschoolers or teenagers.  This act of massive hatred will cause fear in some children while others may feel emboldened to act as bullies.
There is a reason that there are laws that designate some violent attacks as hate crimes.  It’s because the victim is not only the person who was physically attacked.  The victim was meant to be the entire group that is hated: Latinos, African Americans, LGBTQ, Muslims, immigrants, the homeless… the list has no end.  And so for our children, a hate crime like Orlando’s may have varying impacts, depending on whether or not that child belongs to the group that was targeted.
If a child is an LGBTQ adolescent, he or she may fear for their immediate safety; they may question whether they can trust others.  As the names of the victims in Orlando are released, one can’t help but notice that so many of them have Hispanic surnames: Almodovar, Martínez, Fernández, Flores.  The attack came on “Latino Flavor” night. Latino children, may fear that they and their families are in danger, especially as they hear a heated debate about building walls to keep out Mexicans who have been casually characterized as drug dealers and rapists.
But it’s also likely that Muslim children will fear that they will be targets.  They are hearing news reports that the shooter was a Muslim with sympathies to terrorist organizations.  They will fear that wearing a hijab or their Muslim name may make people who are angry about the attack, angry with them by connection. 
There is fear on so many levels.  But some children who are neither gay nor Muslim nor black nor Latino may be receiving a different type of message – that anyone who belongs to one of those groups is the enemy.  Some of my colleagues have already told me that this year, they’ve witnessed bullying events involving very young students who have threatened Latino or Muslim students for being Latino or Muslim. 
Transgender students are now in the news and the focus can bring out new allies but also new bullies.  This is extremely dangerous.  What children hear from adults has a profound impact on them.  When they hear adults targeting groups, saying hateful things, they believe it’s acceptable for them to do the same.
It’s not, of course. But we can’t assume that our children will know that.  It’s up to the adults to speak directly to the children in their care.  It’s up to us to explain that belonging to a religious or racial group doesn’t make you good or bad.  Your sexual orientation or gender identity doesn’t make you good or bad.  We need to explain that humanity is made up of many people with different cultures and beliefs – that even within groups there are huge differences.  We need to explain that diversity is not something to be feared.  It’s something that’s simply human.  And we are all part of that human family.
But we need to explain that there is bad in the world.  Hate is bad.  Violence is bad.  Bigotry is bad.  Bullying is bad. 
Parents, educators, religious leaders, political leaders, Scout leaders, adult leaders… if you have influence on a child, you have a responsibility. 
Talk to them about the bad in the world that brings fear and violence; but talk about the good in us. 
Talk about the good we do when we refuse to group people together and hate them because of who they are; where they were born; or where they find God. 
Tell them that it is good to reject terror.  Tell them to continue to love.
NEA has posted resources to help students, educators, and families have meaningful conversations about the mass shooting in Orlando and other national tragedies at “United Orlando.” Reject Terror. Accept Love - Lily's Blackboard:
 Mourners attend a candlelight vigil in front of the Dr. P. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando, Fla., on Monday, June 13, 2016, the day after an attack on a gay nightclub left dozens dead. (Loren Elliott/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)
Mourners attend a candlelight vigil in front of the Dr. P. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando, Fla., on Monday, June 13, 2016, the day after an attack on a gay nightclub left dozens dead. (Loren Elliott/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Is the nation’s third-largest school district in danger of collapse? - The Washington Post

Is the nation’s third-largest school district in danger of collapse? - The Washington Post:

Is the nation’s third-largest school district in danger of collapse?

In September 2015, the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial that wondered whether the Chicago Public School District would collapse under the weight of its mind-numbing financial problems. It hasn’t yet, but money mismanagement, inadequate funding and failed education policy are combining with a host of other factors to raise the issue of whether the nation’s third-largest school district is in existential danger.
The governor of Illinois is fighting with the mayor of Chicago over funding; the mayor is in a long-term fight with teachers over a controversial pension system, charter schools and other issues, and many parents remain furious with the mayor for closing dozens of traditional public schools three years ago while promoting the expansion of charter schools. Teachers are working under an expired contract and may soon stage their second strike since 2012, when their week-long walkout had public support.
Dozens of principals, including some from the district’s best schools, have decided to leave, but those who are staying were warned recently that they could see 39 percent cuts in funding. That goes for teachers, after-school programs and enrichment programs. Chicago public schools, long in dire financial straits, face a budget deficit of more than $1 billion and must contribute $676 million to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund by June 30, which, the Chicago Sun Times says, would leave only $24 million in the district’s coffers.
Long accustomed to borrowing its way out of financial ruin, the district has seen its credit ratings drop to “junk.” Earlier this year, the district cut the size of one of its bond offers and, asReuters said, agreed “to pay interest costs rivaling Puerto Rico’s in order to lure investors into the deal.”
Everyone agrees the state’s funding formula needs to be updated, especially since a 2015 reportby the nonprofit advocacy group the Education Trust, found that Illinois’s funding gap between poor and wealthy districts “stands out for its unfairness,” with the highest-poverty districts receiving nearly 20 percent less in state funds than the lowest-poverty districts.
Meanwhile, there is a budget impasse in the state capital between Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, and the Democratic-controlled legislature. District officials — who say that the Chicago district has 20 percent of the state’s students but only gets 15 percent of its funding — just warned that the public schools won’t open in the fall if the budget for the next fiscal year isn’t passed soon. While several hundred students skipped class — risking detention — last Friday to protest the budget fiasco, Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel keep exchanging insults. WGN.TV reported recently:
Governor Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were back at it, trading nasty barbs. The war of words escalated when the governor said this:
“When you look objectively at the status of Chicago Public Schools, many of them are inadequate. Many of them are woeful and some are just tragic. Many of them are basically just crumbling prisons.”
Not long after Governor Rauner spoke, Mayor Emanuel hit back.
“Now it sounds like he’s auditioning to be Donald Trump’s running mate.”
 Outraged CPS parents chimed in, tweeting images of children with the hashtag,“#Notaprison.”
Cuts are being made at schools and in the central office during the school year, and even the Is the nation’s third-largest school district in danger of collapse? - The Washington Post:

Far too many teachers aren’t fully qualified | The Sacramento Bee

Far too many teachers aren’t fully qualified | The Sacramento Bee:

Far too many teachers aren’t fully qualified 

Teacher Larry Ferlazzo works with a student in January at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, which pairs student teachers with veteran teachers.
Teacher Larry Ferlazzo works with a student in January at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, which pairs student teachers with veteran teachers. Randall Benton

Read more here:

My friend was amazed at her son’s new teaching job. Me, too, unfortunately.
This 25-year-old man was offered a spot at an Arizona charter school as an elementary-school music teacher and director of the school’s string ensemble. He majored in music and certainly knows it inside out, though he doesn’t play strings. He’s been a working musician for the past four years.
But he has no teaching credential, no experience teaching, no experience with kids, period. He was interviewed and hired over the phone. Maybe he’ll do fine. But teacher shortage or not, this isn’t how schools should be hiring educators.
OK, that’s Arizona, where rules to make sure charters provide a quality education are considered a quaint notion. Unlike in California, they can hire teachers without any credentials. It’s one of several reasons why studies find that charter schools in our neighboring state perform worse than traditional public schools.
California doesn’t stoop that low – but it doesn’t stretch all that high, either.
Our public schools, charter and traditional, are hiring less-than-fully-qualified teachers in increasing numbers.
A recent report by the Learning Policy Institute examined the situation in the 2014-15 school year and compared it to two years earlier. The results make it clear that the teaching shortage isn’t a demographic forecast. It’s very real and promising to worsen. Schools have to compete with better-paying careers – and certainly ones that get more respect from our society.
The number of short-term and provisional teaching permits has tripled – permits that, the report says, are allowed only when schools can’t find enough fully credentialed teachers. In fact, it said, a third of all hires were teachers holding sub-standard credentials.
The supply of new teachers is at a 12-year low. Last year, according to the Bakersfield Californian, the Bakersfield City School District hired more teachers with emergency credentials than those with full qualifications.
The best of the proposals to do something about this is Senate Bill 933, which would create a three-year residency program for students in graduate school to get a teaching credential.
The first year, they would get $30,000 to help defray expenses; they would work in the classroom of a mentor teacher, who would get a stipend of a few thousand dollars for the extra work.
The next two years, the student would teach in a classroom, receiving wages from the school district, but be closely monitored by the mentor. That kind of training has been found to keep new teachers in the profession longer. It’s a waste of a lot of education when new instructors leave after a couple of years.
There are other, potentially useful ideas: a loan forgiveness program, and a smart but underfunded proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown encouraging colleges to provide teaching credentials as part of a bachelor’s degree instead of requiring graduate school.
California is the only state where an undergraduate teaching credential is nearly unheard of, and the fifth year of required college could be enough to turn some people away from teaching.
But at $10 million – $250,000 for each college that sets up a program – the tight-fisted governor is barely providing enough for start-up. Four-year credential programs aren’t cheap to run; how would colleges afford to keep them?
Of course, none of this will fix the problem if California doesn’t invest in improving working conditions for teachers by shrinking class sizes, fixing buildings and providing adequateFar too many teachers aren’t fully qualified | The Sacramento Bee:




While student homelessness is on the rise, with more than 1.3 million homeless students identified during the 2013-14 school year,  student homelessness remains an invisible and extremely disruptive problem, compounded by the lack of awareness of the issue in many communities.

Students experiencing homelessness struggle to stay in school, to perform well, and to form meaningful connections with peers and adults. Ultimately, they are much more likely to fall off track and eventually drop out of school than their non-homeless peers. Until this year, states and schools were not even accountable for tracking and making progress on their rates of graduation for homeless students.

Schools are a central touch point for students and their families, with deep roots and connections to the communities they serve. These institutions can function as a hub for quickly identifying homeless students, and connecting them and their families to the organizations and agencies that have the capacity and resources to provide housing, transportation, mental health care, and other tangible and emotional supports that will help students persist in school during these difficult times. Students spend a significant portion of their day in school – and as a result, schools can offer these students a safe and consistent place to study and access to caring adults who can help them navigate some of the challenges they face. In an otherwise chaotic time of homelessness, schools can be pillars of stability.

This study:
  • provides an overview of existing research on homeless students,
  • sheds light on the challenges homeless students face and the supports they say they need to succeed,
  • reports on the challenges adults – local liaisons and state coordinators – face in trying to help homeless students, and
  • recommends changes in policy and practice at the school, community, state and national level to help homeless students get on a path to adult success.

The Trauma and Disruption of Student Homelessness

Youth interviewed and surveyed for this report overwhelmingly report that homelessness is taking or has taken a significant toll on their lives, their health, their relationships, and their education. 
  • Greater than 8 in 10 (82 percent) of formerly homeless youth say that being homeless had a big impact on their life overall. Majorities of homeless youth cite specific impacts, such as:
  • ||72 percent on their ability to feel safe and secure;
    ||71 percent on their mental and emotional health and 62
  • percent on their physical health; and ||69 percent on their self-confidence.
  • n More than two-thirds (68 percent) cite how homelessness made it difficult to maintain relationships with their own families, and 57 percent cite the same challenge with friends.
  • Sixty-seven percent say homelessness had a big impact on their education, with:
  • ||Six in 10 formerly homeless youth saying it was hard to stay in school while they were homelessand
  • ||68 percent saying it was hard to succeed and do well in school during their homelessness.
  • n Reflecting the impacts of homelessness on a student’s education, 42 percent of youth surveyed told us they had at one or more points dropped out of school.
These findings bolster existing research showing homeless students are more likely to be held back from grade to grade, be chronically absent, fail courses, have more disciplinary issues, and Education Research Report: HOMELESS STUDENTS IN AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Report: Gates reforms brought mixed success, slow improvement to Hillsborough schools | Tampa Bay Times

Report: Gates reforms brought mixed success, slow improvement to Hillsborough schools | Tampa Bay Times:
Report: Gates reforms brought mixed success, slow improvement to Hillsborough schools

TAMPA — Bill Gates wanted poor and minority students to have a fair shot at getting the best teachers public schools had to offer. That's a key reason his foundation plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into teaching reform efforts across the nation, including Hillsborough County.

Did it work? Yes and no.
Early results of a study by the Rand Corp. and the American Institutes for Research show top teachers are being steered to schools that serve low-income minority students. But once they arrive, those teachers are likely to teach whiter, wealthier students.
Results were similarly muddled when it came to improved student achievement, another of Gates' goals.
And, while principals saw value in a new way of evaluating teachers, the study indicates Hillsborough teachers had little confidence in the process.
While Hillsborough officials dispute that last point, they are eliminating a key component of the system — structured evaluations by a cadre of classroom observers from outside the school.
The researchers say their work — which is also funded by Gates — is ongoing. Regardless of the final results, they say school leaders can learn lessons about the challenges of placing good teachers where they are needed most.
"The findings so far confirm for us that changing systems to improve teaching quality is very complex work and requires persistence and patience," said Mary Beth Lambert, senior communications officer for the Gates group.
"We are hopeful that the recent uptick in student outcomes and other progress will continue and is an encouraging trend that we hope will be reflected in the final report due out next year."
• • •
Back in 2009, when Gates invited school districts to take part in his initiative, the Microsoft billionaire had ambitious goals that included getting more students into college and improving the United States' position in the global economy.
Hillsborough leaders were eager to join, knowing Florida was gearing up for its own reforms. The thinking among union leaders, administrators and School Board members was that the Gates money and expertise would give Hillsborough a leg up on other districts.
But, as in the other communities that signed on — Memphis, Pittsburgh and several charter school groups in California — change was difficult and costly.
The school districts were supposed to match the Gates grants with local philanthropic gifts. But, Report: Gates reforms brought mixed success, slow improvement to Hillsborough schools | Tampa Bay Times:

Coalition says L.A. Unified underfunds neediest students - LA Times

Coalition says L.A. Unified underfunds neediest students - LA Times:

Coalition says L.A. Unified underfunds neediest students

e Los Angeles school system is improperly diverting money from programs for the students who need it most, including those from low-income families, according to a coalition of local groups. The use of hundreds of millions of dollars is at stake.
The dispute centers on increased state funding that is supposed to benefit students who are among the most challenging to educate and who have persistently lagged academically: the low-income students, those who are learning English and students in the foster-care system. Providing extra resources for these students is a centerpiece of funding reforms pushed through by Gov. Jerry Brown.
These students are not getting the full benefit of the money that they are generating for L.A. Unified under the new state formulas, according to the coalition.
“We have seen slight progress” since last year, according to a “report card” from the participating organizations. Even so, “schools in South L.A., East L.A., Sylmar and Pico-Union are often severely underfunded, and gaps in [academic] achievement persist due to lack of sufficient investment.”
The critics include United Way of Greater Los Angeles and allied groups coming together as Communities for Los Angeles Student Success, or CLASS. These organizations include Community Coalition, Los Angeles Urban League and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). 
They base their conclusions on an analysis from researchers headed by Bruce Fuller, a UC Berkeley professor of education and public policy.
All parties acknowledge that the nation’s second-largest school system faces long-term financial problems, but CLASS challenges the district’s spending priorities. 
According to Fuller, district officials have insisted that the priority is to rebuild staffing to the levels it had prior to the last major economic recession. Yet, he added, spending per student is already 30% higher than before the recession.
“Much of this increase is not going to the classroom but instead to cover pension and healthcare costs,” Fuller said. “Also, the superintendent's attorneys now argue that other students would be hurt if the district properly directed the $4 billion in new funding to the kids who generate the fresh revenue from the state…. But the district has elected to move Coalition says L.A. Unified underfunds neediest students - LA Times:

Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education | The Patiently Impatient Teacher

Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:

Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education


Here is a lesson in public education and politics in North Carolina. Late last week, a news report from one part of the state started being noticed elsewhere. It would appear that buried in the 187 pages of the NC Senate’s version of the budget (a bill that was whisked through committee and floor votes in a matter of days) was a definition that would eliminate year-round schools that operate on a single track as opposed to a multiple tracks effective for the 2016-17 school year. For schools that start in mid-July, that provides families and schools less than a month’s notice to rearrange work and childcare arrangements, change bus routes, rearrange staffing, etc. There are dozens of single-track, year-round schools in the state. In my district at least, year-round is a choice option for families and they enter a lottery to be placed in those schools. Many families prefer the year round option and some research suggest that all students can benefit academically from the schedule; specifically economically disadvantaged students and some students with disabilities show the most benefit.
Strangely, the same GOP lawmakers who espouse school choice, less government, and more local control have snuck in language that will eliminate these school choice options for families and override the decisions of local elected school boards. Those of us in single-track, year-round schools in the state were left puzzled. Where did this language come from? What is going on?
The first clue was the use of the terms multi-track and single-track. Wake County is the primary district that uses a multi-track system to reduce overcrowding in their schools. The new story also included this quote: “According to Senator Michael Lee, the language in the budget was not intended to impact New Hanover County Schools, but address another issue in another part of the state.” Hmm…so the language in the bill was clearly intended to target only one school district. Well, a quick Google search provides us with this news report. I am no Sherlock Holmes, but those dots seem to connect.
Apparently Wake County Public Schools wanted to explore the option of moving some low performing elementary schools with large percentages of disadvantaged students Déjà Vu All Over Again: NC, Politics, and Education | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:

Newark’s school chief Cerf to consolidate power–local control is still far away |

Newark’s school chief Cerf to consolidate power–local control is still far away |:

Newark’s school chief Cerf to consolidate power–local control is still far away

Christopher Cerf, the state bureaucrat, private business entrepreneur, and charter school advocate who was supposed to bring local autonomy to the Newark public schools, isn’t acting like someone about to give up state control of New Jersey’s largest school district. In fact, he is about to announce a sweeping reorganization of the system that only entrenches his–and the state’s– power.

Gone or demoted will be all of the assistant superintendents, including Roger Leon, for a long time the anti-state activist community’s superintendent-in-waiting once state control was eliminated. While Leon will keep an administrative position under Cerf, he will not longer be an assistant superintendent, according to sources close to officials at school headquarters.
The only exception to the top-level purge will be Brad Haggerty who will become the second-in-command under Cerf. Haggerty was for years the enforcer for Cami Anderson, the former state-appointed superintendent and Cerf protégé.
“He’s the new bright star in the state administration,” said one source at school headquarters.
This is what I wrote about Haggerty in April, 2014–when he got a fat raise from his friend Anderson:
Then there is Brad Haggerty, who was a charter school leader in New York for “New Visions,” one of the endless number of private, non-governmental organizations that Cami surrounds herself with. His raise was $35,000, from $140,000 to $175,000. He has served as Cami’s hatchet man for negotiations.

Gone–apparently without much remorse from anyone–will be Peter Turnamian, a less than popular assistant superintendent who founded what he called the best charter school in Newark. The best charter school in Newark failed. Turnamian also was the less-than-genius behindefforts of the school district to take away special services from special needs children by developing a new “pathway” that meant intimidating teachers into talking parents out of the services their children needed. He helped to write a literal script for the money-saving assault on special education.
Also out of a job is assistant superintendent Mitchell Center, another long-time Newark’s school chief Cerf to consolidate power–local control is still far away |:

On Latinos in Education and America | The Jose Vilson

On Latinos in Education and America | The Jose Vilson:

On Latinos in Education and America

I Am Latino In America with Soledad O'Brien
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of attending Soledad O’Brien’s I Am Latino in America event, a tour featuring some of the most prominent Latino leaders in entertainment, politics, and yes, education. None of O’Brien’s features, from the seminal Black in America to the series of other CNN programming aimed at specific groups, present anything new per se, but they do feature different facets of what it means to be [insert given identity]. So, as a Black Latino (Afro-Latino, if you must), I was struck by hearing the younger folks like poet Denice Frohman and comedian Vladimir Caamaño to the established figures like actor Rosie Perez and musician Willie Colon giving their honest visions for the work they’re doing.
Of course, NYC schools chancellor Carmen Fariña and National Education Association (NEA) president Lily Eskelsen Garcia were there, too, thus my interest in this event.
As Ms. O’Brien highlighted, education is the #1 issue among those who identify as Latino, not immigration, according to a recent poll. Yet, the only issue most major news networks have hung like a carrot on a stick for Latinos is immigration. Shorter version of this election with respect to Latinos:
Trump: “We’ll kick you out of here and build a wall behind you.”
The Democrats: “We’ll keep you and … we’re still trying to figure out the rest.”
The back and forth between Sanders supporter Rosario Dawson and Hillary Clinton endorserDolores Huerta stands to accentuate a generational divide. But, even though both exclude Donald trump from their framework for Latino empowerment, it also illustrates the majority of Latinos who have disparate views on every major political issue. If one listens to the talk out there, you don’t get the richness of the conversations happening online, at dinner tables, and, yes, in our schools.
We’ve seen the uproar when the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the NEA backed Clinton early, and we’ve seen conservative edu-think tanks groan about their pitiful selection on the On Latinos in Education and America | The Jose Vilson:

This Ed-reform Trend Is Supposed To Motivate Students; Instead, It Shames Them (Launa Hall) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

This Ed-reform Trend Is Supposed To Motivate Students; Instead, It Shames Them (Launa Hall) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

This Ed-reform Trend Is Supposed To Motivate Students; Instead, It Shames Them (Launa Hall)

Nearly all reform policies have consequences, intended and unintended, regardless of how well-meaning, empathic, and mindful policymakers may be. The following essay of a former elementary school teacher illustrates the unintended consequence of a familiar reform-driven policy. A former teacher, Launa Hall lives in Northern Virginia and is working on a book of essays about teaching. This essay appeared in the Washington Post, May 19, 2016 
My third-graders tumbled into the classroom, and one child I’d especially been watching for — I need to protect her privacy, so I’ll call her Janie — immediately noticed the two poster-size charts I’d hung low on the wall. Still wearing her jacket, she let her backpack drop to the floor and raised one finger to touch her name on the math achievement chart. Slowly, she traced the row of dots representing her scores for each state standard on the latest practice test. Red, red, yellow, red, green, red, red. Janie is a child capable of much drama, but that morning she just lowered her gaze to the floor and shuffled to her chair.
In our test-mired public schools, those charts are known as data walls, and before I caved in and made some for my Northern Virginia classroom last spring, they’d been proliferating in schools across the country — an outgrowth of “data-driven instruction” and the scramble for test scores at all costs. Making data public, say advocates such as Boston Plan for Excellence, instills a “healthy competitive culture.” But that’s not what I saw in my classroom.
The data walls concept originated with University of Chicago education researcher David Kerbow, who in the late 1990s promoted visual displays to chart students’ progress in reading. Kerbow called these displays “assessment walls,” and he meant them to be for faculty eyes only, as tools for discussion and planning. But when that fundamentally sound idea met constant anxiety over test scores in K-12 schools across the United States, data walls leaked out of staff-room doors and down the halls. Today, a quick search on Pinterest yields hundreds of versions of children’s test scores hung in public view.
Diving Into Data,” a 2014 paper published jointly by the nonprofit Jobs for the Future and the U.S. Education Department, offers step-by-step instructions for data walls that “encourage student engagement” and “ensure students know the classroom or school improvement goals and provide a path for students to reach those goals.” The assumption is that students will want to take that path — that This Ed-reform Trend Is Supposed To Motivate Students; Instead, It Shames Them (Launa Hall) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice: