Wednesday, July 31, 2019

In Wake Of Successful Teachers’ Strike, Reclaim Our Schools LA Releases Case Study Of Parent And Student Organizing | UTLA

In Wake Of Successful Teachers’ Strike, Reclaim Our Schools LA Releases Case Study Of Parent And Student Organizing | UTLA

In Wake Of Successful Teachers’ Strike, Reclaim Our Schools LA Releases Case Study Of Parent And Student Organizing

“Building the Power to Reclaim Our Schools” will serve as a blueprint for bringing together students, parents, teachers, and community for the common good.


LOS ANGELES ⁠— The 2019 Los Angeles teachers’ strike was nothing short of a paradigm shift in the local narrative about public education. The first “Red for Ed” strike to occur in a deeply blue state, it mobilized tens of thousands of Angelenos into rainy morning picket lines and onto the streets of Downtown LA. The strike resulted in a stunning array of substantive victories well beyond the scope of a typical labor agreement. Now, Reclaim Our Schools LA is sharing its strategy in the form of a new case study.

"The six-day strike brought the Red for Ed movement to a new level,” said Alex Caputo- Pearl, President of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). “By collaborating with community, we were able to win smaller class sizes, a nurse in every school every day, and a commitment to reduce testing by 50 percent. This case study tells the story that was actually years in the making, and it can serve as a blueprint for bringing together students, parents, teachers, and community for the common good." 

Years of work went into building the historic labor/community alliance that emboldened the teachers and helped shape their bargaining platform. Bolstered by parent and student involvement, the teachers held firm on the Common Good demands that mattered most to the communities they serve. This resulted in unprecedented wins: more nurses, counselors, and librarians in schools, smaller class sizes, nearly $12 million in funding for the development of Community Schools, reductions in standardized testing, and an end to random searches of students, among others.

“I was proud to be a parent volunteer during the teacher’s strike,” said Alicia Baltazar, a parent at Fries Avenue Elementary School. “I sat-in at politicians’ offices and I knocked on their doors. I talked to other parents and let them know what we were fighting for. Some parents didn’t realize there wasn’t a nurse in school every day, or what the process was to get counseling for their children. We were strong because we had a common goal: our kids’ futures. That’s why we won. That’s why we will continue to win.” 

“Building the Power to Reclaim Our Schools” examines the way UTLA and Reclaim Our Schools LA built and carried out a two-year campaign that lifted a vision of “the schools all our students deserve” into the public consciousness. It also shows how parent, student, and teacher leaders were trained and supported as they took their fight to some of LA’s most powerful political players—and won. Reclaim Our Schools LA’s strategic effort to organize parents and students and bring their ideas to the table can offer insight, vision, and hope at a time when they are much needed. 

“Reclaim Our Schools LA combined deep relationship building, systematic organizing, and sophisticated strategy to produce real change at LAUSD,” said Leigh Dingerson, who authored the case study. “The voices of the parents, teachers, students, and organizers of the campaign speak for themselves. This was a culmination of years of work that transformed individual lives and brought real change to the classrooms of Los Angeles.”

School spankings are banned just about everywhere around the world — but not in the United States – Raw Story

School spankings are banned just about everywhere around the world — but not in the United States – Raw Story

School spankings are banned just about everywhere around the world — but not in the United States


In 1970, only three countries – ItalyJapan and Mauritius – banned corporal punishment in schools. By 2016, more than 100 countriesbanned the practice, which allows teachers to legally hit, paddle or spank students for misbehavior.
The dramatic increase in bans on corporal punishment in schools is documented in an analysis that we conducted recently to learn more about the forces behind the trend. The analysis is available as a working paper.
In order to figure out what circumstances led to bans, we looked at a variety of political, legal, demographic, religious and economic factors. Two factors stood out from the rest.

First, countries with English legal origin – that is, the United Kingdom as well as its former colonies that implemented British common law – were less likely to ban corporal punishment in schools across this time period.
Second, countries with higher levels of female political empowerment, as measured by things such as women’s political participation or property rights – that is, women having the right to sell, buy and own property – were more likely to ban corporal punishment. School spankings are banned just about everywhere around the world — but not in the United States – Raw Story

 

Andrea Gabor: What to Do When the Testing Madness Ends | Diane Ravitch's blog

Andrea Gabor: What to Do When the Testing Madness Ends | Diane Ravitch's blog

Andrea Gabor: What to Do When the Testing Madness Ends

Andrea Gabor, The Bloomberg Professor of business journalism at Baruch College of the City University of New York, is one of the nation’s worthy and thoughtful education writers. Her book about W. Edwards Deming has the best refutation of merit pay that I have read (chapter 9, The Man Who Invented Quality). Her latest book book, Education After The Culture Wars, gathers stories of districts where collaboration, not competition, creates a healthy environment for education.
In this post, she argues that America’s infatuation with standardized testing is waning, and it’s time to find a better way to assess how students are progressing.
America’s decades-long infatuation with standardized testing is finally waning, and for good reasons. Despite years of training students to do better on tests, the performance of 17-year-olds on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s report card, has flatlined. At the same time, the focus on testing produced unintended consequences, including inattention to important educational priorities and growing teacher shortages.
That’s in part because test performance became a goal in many districts instead of a means to an end and, thus, a prime example of Campbell’s Law, which points to the corrupting influence of using a single measurement as a target, thus ensuring that “it ceases to be a good measure.
Gabor says there is a better way. She describes the work CONTINUE READING: Andrea Gabor: What to Do When the Testing Madness Ends | Diane Ravitch's blog

The Miseducation of the American Voter | Live Long and Prosper

The Miseducation of the American Voter | Live Long and Prosper

The Miseducation of the American Voter

John Merrow, the retired education journalist for PBS, recently wrote,
…public education is an efficient sorting machine that is undemocratic to its core. Schools sort young children in two basic groups: A minority is designated as ‘winners’ who are placed on a track leading to elite colleges, prominence and financial success. While the rest aren’t labeled ‘losers’ per se, they are largely left to struggle on their own. That experience leaves many angry, frustrated and resentful, not to mention largely unprepared for life in a complex, rapidly changing society…
The “losers” who aren’t really labeled “losers,” Merrow said, are the ones who find no reason to vote, and Merrow placed at least part of the blame on public education.
This practice [focusing on test scores] went into high gear with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. “Regurgitation education” became the order of the day. This approach rewards parroting back answers, while devaluing intellectual curiosity, cooperative learning, projects, field trips, the arts, physical education, and citizenship.
Education which focuses on test scores devalues critical thinking. Citizens who do not think critically cannot fully participate in our democracy…
…the end result is millions of graduates who were rewarded with diplomas CONTINUE READING: 
The Miseducation of the American Voter | Live Long and Prosper

World Studies: Technology Integration at Mountain View High School | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

World Studies: Technology Integration at Mountain View High School | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

World Studies: Technology Integration at Mountain View High School

Three years ago on the recommendation of district coordinators of technology, I observed classrooms of teachers in Silicon Valley districts. I described what I saw without making any evaluative comments on the teachers or lessons they taught. Here is one example of a social studies teacher who had integrated the classroom use of technology so that it was in the background, not the foreground.
Carson Rietveld has been teaching for four years at Mountain View High School.*  The class is furnished with four rows of desks facing the front whiteboard; the teacher’s desk is in the far corner. Music is playing as students enter the room.  Student work, historical posters, and sayings dot the walls above the white boards (e.g., “I want to live in a society where people are judged by what they do for others).
carson-room.jpg
carsons-classroom.jpg
Rietveld, wearing a long flowered dress that reaches her ankles, welcomes the 14- and 15 year old students by name as they come in. Students put their backpacks on the floor near a side whiteboard and bring their tablet or laptop to their desk. The high school policy is Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD).**  I ask a student why do all backpacks go on the floor and he tells me that students rooting through CONTINUE READING: World Studies: Technology Integration at Mountain View High School | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

NYC Public School Parents: With little fanfare and some disappointment, yesterday's second and final meeting of the School Siting Task Force was held

NYC Public School Parents: With little fanfare and some disappointment, yesterday's second and final meeting of the School Siting Task Force was held

With little fanfare and some disappointment, yesterday's second and final meeting of the School Siting Task Force was held

Yesterday the second, and it turned out, the final meeting of the School Siting Task Force was held. Reports of this disappointing meeting were published in the Daily News and the Wall Street Journal today.

To recap: In their Planning to Learn report, released in March 2018, the City Council made several proposals to speed up the process of school planning and siting, whose generally slow pace has contributed to over 500,000 NYC students being consigned to overcrowded schools.



In some neighborhoods where the schools are overcrowded, twenty years or more have lapsed without a new one being built, because of the apparent inability of the School Construction Authority (SCA) and the DOE to identify locations, even when these schools have been funded in the capital plan.

The SCA has only four real estate brokers citywide on retainer to help them to find suitable sites, and these brokers never "cold call" or reach out to owners to see if they might sell their properties to the city before they are put on the open market.  Cold calling is considered a "must" in the hot real estate market that is NYC.

The Council’s Planning to Learn report suggested that a process be created to "Improve the school site identification process … that would review City real estate transactions to identify opportunities for SCA. Additionally, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) should alert the Department of Education (DOE) and SCA if a property of appropriate size for a school becomes available."

As a result, the City Council passed Local Law No. 168 in Sept. 2018 to create an “interagency task force to review relevant city real estate transactions to identify opportunities for potential school sites,” including “city-owned buildings, city-owned property and vacant land within the city to evaluate potential opportunities for new school construction or leasing for school use.” The law also said that this task force should provide a report to the City Council no later than July 31, 2019 on their findings.

The first meeting of this task force was held privately on Feb. 26, 2019. After I heard about it, I asked the City Council and the DOE if subsequent meetings would be open to the CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Public School Parents: With little fanfare and some disappointment, yesterday's second and final meeting of the School Siting Task Force was held


The Missed Opportunity Myth | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

The Missed Opportunity Myth | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

The Missed Opportunity Myth


Before Michelle Rhee was a board member for Miracle-Gro she was the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst.  Before that, she was Chancellor of Washington D.C. schools from 2007 to 2010.  Before that, she was the CEO of The New Teacher Project.
And even though Rhee is not a public figure anymore in education, she continues to influence education policy through The New Teacher Project which has since changed its name to TNTP.  TNTP puts out slick papers that it calls research but is really propaganda disguised as research.  Their first one was called ‘The Widget Effect’ which laid out the case for replacing salary schedules with a system based on merit pay based on statistically inappropriate analysis of standardized test scores.
And over the years they have put out other papers with clever titles like ‘The Irreplaceables’, ‘Rebalancing Teacher Tenure’, and ‘Teacher Evaluation 2.0.’  These papers are often quoted by ed reform propaganda sites like The74 and Education Post.
One of their most recent papers is called ‘The Opportunity Myth.’  Its central thesis is something that reformers love to use in their teacher bashing arguments, which is that too many teachers shortchange their students by having low expectations for them.  The work they assign is not challenging enough and since students always rise to the challenge of CONTINUE READING: The Missed Opportunity Myth | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Louisiana Educator: The LDOE claims steady growth in student LEAP scores

Louisiana Educator: 2019 LEAP and EOC Conversion Tables

The LDOE claims steady growth in student LEAP scores

The Louisiana Department of Education recently announced the results of the Spring 2019 LEAP tests. The results statewide and by school district and school are available on the LDOE web site at links given at the bottom of the press release, here. These tables represent the LDOE's decisions on how many and what percentage of students achieved each level of achievement designated by the following categories: Unsatisfactory, Approaching Basic, Basic, Mastery, and Advanced.

The Department, in its press release, reports that Louisiana students are making steady improvement over last year on LEAP scores. This conclusion is based on the slight improvement in scale scores over last year, but since the LDOE has the authority to change the raw scores equivalent to scale scores, this conclusion is highly questionable.

The cut scores for each level of achievement may be manipulated
Each year the cut scores for each category of achievement remain the same, with the lowest passing score on LEAP tests (Basic) for grades 3-8 set at 725 points. However, the Department (LDOE) in consultation with its testing company sets the real raw scores equivalent to each level of achievement after the raw test results are in. Those raw cut scores change by a small amount each year. Some independent researchers, including myself, believe that this process allows the LDOE to manage or manipulate the reported performance of our students. Maybe that's why Louisiana's NAEP scores have dropped compared to our LEAP scores.

Scale scores are not really proportionate to the raw scores
Scale scores for each subject and grade tested run from a minimum of 650 to a maximum score of 850. If a student gets none of the answers right on a particular test she/he still gets the minimum score of 650. (This scale score seems to imply such students have actually achieved something even though they got nothing right) If the student gets all the points possible on a particular test he/she gets a score of 850. Other than those two end points, the scale score system does not tell us much about how many answers or points a student actually got right on a particular test. The actual points a student earns compared to the total possible points is called the "raw score". If we know the raw score and the total possible points on a particular test, we can calculate a raw percentage score by dividing the raw points earned by the total possible. The raw percentage score tells us how much of the material on the test a student actually got right. Unfortunately most parents never get to see their child's real raw percentage scores on state tests.

Using the "secret" conversion tables CONTINUE READING: 
Louisiana Educator: 2019 LEAP and EOC Conversion Tables

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Top 7 Ways Technology Stifles Student Learning in My Classroom | gadflyonthewallblog

Top 7 Ways Technology Stifles Student Learning in My Classroom | gadflyonthewallblog

Top 7 Ways Technology Stifles Student Learning in My Classroom
As a middle school teacher, I have real concerns about the ways technology is used in the classroom and the effects it’s having on students.
The fact that you are reading this article on a blog – a regularly updated Website containing personal writings or a weBLOG) should prove that point.
I use technology in my everyday life and in many ways find it indispensable.
However, that does not mean I embrace all uses of technology just as criticizing some forms does not mean I think we should get rid of them all.
But after 17 years of teaching, I have legitimate concerns about what all this technology is doing to our students and our schools.
Others have fallen by the wayside, been discontinued or proven a waste of time or even worse – they’ve become impediments rather than assistants to student learning.
In general, I think we have become too reliant on technology in schools. We’ve welcomed and incorporated it without testing it, or even reflecting upon whether it CONTINUE READING: Top 7 Ways Technology Stifles Student Learning in My Classroom | gadflyonthewallblog

Jon Schnur and His Nonprofit Accelerator, America Achieves: A Deep Dig | deutsch29

Jon Schnur and His Nonprofit Accelerator, America Achieves: A Deep Dig | deutsch29

Jon Schnur and His Nonprofit Accelerator, America Achieves: A Deep Dig

Sometimes the ed-reform deep dig is really deep.
On July 22, 2019, I wrote a post about a nonprofit, Results for America, that was incubated by another nonprofit, America Achieves.
I had planned to follow up with a post about America Achieves, which received its nonprofit status in November 2010 and which was co-founded by its chair, Jonathan Schnur, and co-chair, Rod Washington. (Washington is no longer listed on the America Achieves site, but his bio can be access using this archived America Achieves bio link from January 2013.)
What I noticed on America Achieves’ 2011 tax form is that in 2010, revenue for this brand-new nonprofit was already $4M, and in its second year (2011), revenue jumped to $13.5M. Contributions and grants accounted for most of the revenue ($2.9M in 2010 and $13.4M in 2011), which indicates that its founders were really connected.
It is in researching Schnur that the ed-reform dive became deep.
IMG_1553
Jon Schnur
Princeton University is a hub of education reform. Schnur graduated from Princeton University in 1989 with a degree in politics, the same year that Teach for America (TFA) founder, Wendy Kopp, graduated with a degree in public policy. Whereas Kopp pitched her TFA idea as her senior thesis, Schnur’s idea for a principal training nonprofit, New Leaders for New Schools (name later reduced to New Leaders), happened circa 2000 during his time at Harvard when he took graduate coursework. (Schnur appears not to have graduated; there is CONTINUE READING: Jon Schnur and His Nonprofit Accelerator, America Achieves: A Deep Dig | deutsch29

The pervasiveness of poverty in schools demands real solutions

The pervasiveness of poverty in schools demands real solutions

A school administrator tries to shame poverty away
The pervasiveness of poverty in schools demands real solutions
Last time I checked, being poor was not a crime. But earlier this month, school officials in Kingston, Pennsylvania, treated it as one.
On July 9, Wyoming Valley West School District officials mailed a letter to approximately 40 parents, warning that if they did not pay their child’s debt for school meals, “the result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care.”
The backlash to the letter was immediate and understandable. There were those who criticized the decision to collect a meal debt in this way because it missed the larger point: Parents may not be able to afford reduced-price lunches. Shaking down parents would amount to punishing them for being poor. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) tweeted, “No child should have to imagine the horror of being ripped away from their parents because their family is struggling economically.” Sympathetic responses also sought to solve the real budget hole created by parents not paying.
NPR reported that at least five individuals each offered to pay the accumulated debt of $22,000, representing dozens of students who hadn’t paid for meals. However, the school district’s president, Joseph Mazur, who leads one of the poorest districts in the state, rejected their offers, reportedly because it was owed by parents who could pay. Mazur’s refusal laid bare the real motivations of the letter: He sought to shame parents and their children with an absurd lesson on responsibility. His warning that an educational system is willing CONTINUE READING: The pervasiveness of poverty in schools demands real solutions

LA Unified’s spending plan should be rejected and rewritten, says advocates’ complaint | EdSource

LA Unified’s spending plan should be rejected and rewritten, says advocates’ complaint | EdSource

LA Unified’s spending plan should be rejected and rewritten, says advocates’ complaint
LCAP doesn’t fully document how $1.2 billion will help high-needs students

A public interest law firm that has bird-dogged Los Angeles Unified’s spending has filed a formal complaint demanding that the state’s largest school district redo its 2019-20 school accountability plan.
The complaint argues that the district wrote a vague and deficient Local Control and Accountability Plan — or LCAP – that fails to meet the state’s transparency requirements on how it will spend $1.2 billion in state funding dedicated to high-needs students. The district’s board of education approved the plan last month, although several board members acknowledged at the hearing that they found the LCAP and the budget to be confusing.
In what could eventually could become a lawsuit, Public Advocates, together with the Los Angeles law firm Covington & Burling, expedited their complaint by sending it directly to the California Department of Education instead of first filing it with the district and, if needed, with the Los Angeles County Office of Education.
Public Advocates wrote that going through the channels would be “futile” given the district’s unresponsiveness to past complaints and the county office’s “consistent rubber stamping” of previous LCAPs. Delays in ruling on the complaint would “irreparably” harm children relying on the funding to improve their education, the complaint said.
But Jeff Breshears, an administrator who oversees LCAP complaints for the state, rejected that argument as premature and forwarded the complaint to the district and the county office of education. The county office hadn’t completed its evaluation of the 2019-20 LCAP when the complaint was filed, Breshears’ letter noted. Breshears ordered the district to rule on the complaint within 60 days.
Spokespeople for both the district and the county office declined to comment on the complaint, saying it was under review.
State law requires that districts and charter schools, in consultation with parents and the community, write an LCAP every three years, with annual updates, to account for CONTINUE READING: LA Unified’s spending plan should be rejected and rewritten, says advocates’ complaint | EdSource
Big Education Ape: Growing Scandal at Sacramento School District: Additional Email Reveals More Deception - Sacramento City Teachers Association - https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/07/growing-scandal-at-sacramento-school.html


Study: California schools earn low grades compared to nation

Study: California schools earn low grades compared to nation

Study: California schools earn low grades compared to nation

(KGTV) - As parents and children prepare for a new school year, a study shows California schools do not earn top grades compared to other states.
California ranked 38th among the 50 states and District of Columbia in 29 categories, according to the Wallet Hub study.
Data considered to measure quality included graduation rate, dropout rate, math and reading test scores, Advanced Placement exam scores, student-teacher ratio, and SAT and ACT results.
Safety was measured by number of school shootings, share of high school students who were armed, participating in violence, or access to illegal drugs, school safety plans, youth incarceration rates, and safety grades of roads around schools.
California was 4th best for the percentage of threatened or injured high school students. The state came in last for its student-teacher ratio.
Other key rankings: 
  • 44th – Math Test Scores
  • 38th – Reading Test Scores
  • 32nd – Median SAT Score
  • 16th – Median ACT Score
  • 22nd – % of Licensed/Certified Public K–12 Teachers
  • 34th – Dropout Rate
  • 7th – Bullying Incidence Rate
Top states for education included Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, and Vermont. The worst states were West Virginia, Mississippi, Arizona, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
Study: California schools earn low grades compared to nation

Fake Play and Its Dangerous Alignment to Standards and Data

Fake Play and Its Dangerous Alignment to Standards and Data

Fake Play and Its Dangerous Alignment to Standards and Data

Where does pretending come in? It relates to what philosophers call “counterfactual” thinking, like Einstein wondering what would happen if a train went at the speed of light.
~Alison Gopnik, “Let the Children Play, It’s Good for Them” Smithsonian Magazine. July 2012.
There’s a troubling phenomenon happening in early childhood education. It involves aligning standards to fake play.
Children own real play.
In Educating Young Children, Mary Hohmann and David P. Weikart discuss the HighScope preschool program and the welcome backseat adults often take to allow children to freely play. They say: When children are playing or starting to play, and are receptive to other players, adults can sometimes join them in a nondisruptive manner. This is real play.
Real play involves children using their imaginations to plan and work things out on CONTINUE READING: Fake Play and Its Dangerous Alignment to Standards and Data

Teacher Preparation and the Kafkan Nightmare of Accreditation | radical eyes for equity

Teacher Preparation and the Kafkan Nightmare of Accreditation | radical eyes for equity

Teacher Preparation and the Kafkan Nightmare of Accreditation

Over three-plus decades of teaching, I have found that students are far less likely to laugh while reading Franz Kafka than, say, while reading Kurt Vonnegut. But Kafka and Vonnegut are essentially satirists, though both traffic mainly in dark humor.
Black-and-white photograph of Kafka as a young man with dark hair in a formal suit
Franz Kafka 1923 (public domain)
The Metamorphosis is the work most people associate with Kafka, but it isn’t readily recognized, I have found, that the work is filled with slapstick humor—the scene when Gregor is revealed as a bug to his family—while also making a damning commentary on the consequences of the bureaucratic life.
You see, Gregor Samsa’s metamorphosis into a bug is merely a physical manifestation of his life as a salesman, which, Kafka illustrates, is nothing more than a bug’s life.
This, of course, was Kafka’s impression of early twentieth century Prussia as well as the corrosive nature of materialism. As I enter my eighteenth year as as a teacher educator, after eighteen years as a public school English teacher, I can attest that Kafka has pretty much nailed my career on the head as well.
So when I saw Teacher-Preparation Programs Again Have a Choice of Accreditors. But Should They? in Education Week, I immediately recognized that this was the wrong question—or at least incomplete.
Accountability, standards, and assessment have been pervasive my entire career in education, which began in 1984. Over that career, I have heard a CONTINUE READING: Teacher Preparation and the Kafkan Nightmare of Accreditation | radical eyes for equity

The Case for Making College Free – Have You Heard

The Case for Making College Free – Have You Heard

The Case for Making College Free


In the latest episode of Have You Heard, economist Marshall Steinbaum talks free college, human capital theory, educationism and why it’s time to disrupt the individualized logic of higher education. If that sounds like a lot, well, it is! You may need to take notes—or lie down for a while, but we guarantee that listening to this episode will add to your stockpile of human capital. Complete transcript available here. And if you enjoy this high-quality content, please consider supporting us on Patreon. You’ll get access to our subscriber-only In the Weeds segment, reading lists, and the satisfaction of knowing that you’re keeping the best little education podcast out there afloat.


CURMUDGUCATION: Why Charter Schools Must Waste Money

CURMUDGUCATION: Why Charter Schools Must Waste Money

Why Charter Schools Must Waste Money
Back in March, the Network for Public Education, a public education advocacy group, released a study showing that the Department of Education has spent over a billion dollars on charter school waste and fraud. Education Next, a publication that advocates for charter schools, offered a reply to that report. The rebuttal to the rebuttal just appeared in the Washington Post, but there is one portion of the Education Next piece that deserves a closer look.
Charter schools should be held accountable for performance, which requires closing them when they don’t meet standards. Even with the best plans and under the ideal circumstances, opening a charter school is difficult. Charter Schools Program funding is intended to serve as seed capital to encourage innovation, and some experiments will fail. That is expected.
This is part of the premise of corporate education reform--that schools should open and close and rise and fall just like a car dealership or a food truck. For these fans of choice, having schools closed down is a sign that the system is working, not a sign of failure.
There are several problems with this feature.
One is the disruption for students. Being booted out of your school (especially if it happenssuddenly, unexpectedly, and in the middle of the school year) is not like discovering that your favorite taco truck isn't at the corner today. Families have to find a new school. Students are wrenched out of familiar surroundings with familiar teachers and school friends. Being the new kid in school is socially isolating. Learning to live by a whole new set of rules is troubling. For a  CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Why Charter Schools Must Waste Money