Wednesday, March 6, 2019

“I Was Just Following Orders” | The Merrow Report

“I Was Just Following Orders” | The Merrow Report

“I Was Just Following Orders”


Three questions: Who makes the rules for classroom behavior?  How much should 5-, 6-, 7-, and 8-year-olds get to decide, or should the teacher just lay down the rules? And does it make any difference in the long run?
In my 41 years of reporting, I must have visited thousands of elementary school classrooms, and I would be willing to bet that virtually every one of them displayed–usually near the door–a poster listing the rules for student behavior.
Often the posters were store-bought, glossy and laminated, and perhaps distributed by the school district.  No editing possible, and no thought required. Just follow orders!  Here’s an example: CONTINUE READING: “I Was Just Following Orders” | The Merrow Report


Why Does Oklahoma Lead the World in Incarceration? - Living in Dialogue

Why Does Oklahoma Lead the World in Incarceration? - Living in Dialogue

Why Does Oklahoma Lead the World in Incarceration? 

Image result for Why Does Oklahoma Lead the World in Incarceration?
By John Thompson.
Former President Barack Obama recently recommended his short 2019 Black History Month reading list: It included classics by and about James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, and Frederick Douglass; and Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.  The overflow crowd at Oklahoma Christian University’s Complex Dialogues with Bryan Stevenson would wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation. The bipartisan crowd left in awe, wrestling both with the reasons why Oklahoma is #1 in the world in locking up our fellow citizens, and what that says about us.
This first post will focus on what Stevenson said on February 18 at Oklahoma Christian University about our criminal justice system. A second post will discuss the role of the forum’s local advocates, liberals and conservatives from secular and religious backgrounds, who are committed to undoing the damage of mass incarceration.
Oklahoma and America have always had plenty of problems, with poverty being the origin of many of the most intransigent ones. Moreover, as late as 2010, the incarceration rate for black Oklahomans was nearly five times higher than for white Oklahomans. But Stevenson notes, “The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.” And he warns us, “Until we reckon with the trauma our society has caused to people of color and people in poverty, we cannot embrace the truth and heal.”
Our state and nation have long had a political and economic system which proves the maxim that “power corrupts” and our district attorney system shows how “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Across the U.S., Stevenson said, “We have a system of justice that treats you much better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent.” And the prison pipeline vividly illustrates the truth that, “Wealth, not culpability, shapes outcomes.”
Years of litigation and research have taught Stevenson that “the closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, the more I believe it’s necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and – perhaps – we all need some measure of unmerited grace.”
It is hard for this Oklahoman to acknowledge that we are a case study of how “fear and anger can make us vindictive and abusive, unjust and unfair, until we all suffer from the absence of mercy and we condemn CONTINUE READING: Why Does Oklahoma Lead the World in Incarceration? - Living in Dialogue

The Voters Have Spoken. Is the LAUSD Listening? – Carl J. Petersen – Medium

The Voters Have Spoken. Is the LAUSD Listening? – Carl J. Petersen – Medium

The Voters Have Spoken. Is the LAUSD Listening?

I believe there should be an election. I’ve been consistent for 12 years.
- LAUSD Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic
 
Jackie Goldberg faces the felon she seeks to succeed

The students in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Board District 5 have been unrepresented since Ref Rodriguez was forced from office on July 23, 2018. Considering the fact that the charter school founder pleaded guilty to crimes related to his election, these constituents have not been represented fairly since the day he took office. Board Member Scott Schmerelson offered a resolution that would have given them representation by appointing Jackie Goldberg to the seat until an election could be held. However, after a meeting poisoned by bigotry, the Charter Industry supported Board Members sided with Dr. Vladovic to leave one-seventh of the District’s stakeholders unrepresented.
While Goldberg had promised not to run in the special election if she had been appointed at the August Board Meeting, the Board’s “No” vote meant she was free to declare her candidacy. In the primary that was held yesterday, the former LAUSD Board Member, LA City Councilperson and State Assemblymember won 48.26%of the vote in preliminary results. Her closest competitor, Graciela “Grace” Ortiz, was far behind with a vote totaling 13.3%. Since no candidate took over 50% of the vote, a run-off will have to be held on May 14. The students of Board District 5 should not have to wait that long to be represented.


In order to win in May, Ortiz would have to secure the near-unanimous support of those who voted for all of the other candidates in order to win. This unlikely scenario is made even more improbable by the fact that Rocio Rivas released a statement before the election urging her supporters to vote for Goldberg. With the two opponents coming from different sides of the CONTINUE READING: The Voters Have Spoken. Is the LAUSD Listening? – Carl J. Petersen – Medium



California law requires charter schools to end secrecy about how they operate - The Washington Post

California law requires charter schools to end secrecy about how they operate - The Washington Post

California law requires charter schools to end secrecy about how they operate


California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) did something on Tuesday that his Democratic predecessor, Jerry Brown, had refused to do: sign into law a bill that requires charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated, to be as transparent to the public about how they operate as are traditional public school districts.
The change has long been sought by critics of the charter school movement in California, which has more charter schools and charter school students than any other state. California has allowed charters to expand with little oversight amid growing controversy over financial scandals and other issues.
The law follows a nonbinding December opinion by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who said charter school governing boards should be required to comply with the same transparency laws as public school districts.

The move marks a shift in the state government’s attitude about charter schools — and more change may be coming. Last week, Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D), chairman of the Education Committee in the Assembly, along with some colleagues, introduced legislation that would significantly restrict the growth of charter schools in the state in several important ways. There are more than 1,300 charters in California.
While it is not clear what will happen with the four new bills — Newsom has not taken a position — a charter moratorium has new support in unlikely places.
The Los Angeles Board of Education passed a resolution urging the legislature to place a moratorium on new charters in the Los Angeles Unified School District as one concession to end a teachers’ strike in the largest school district in California. That was a big shift for the pro-charter board. The same thing just happened in Oakland, where a pro-charter school board agreed to support a halt on new charters to end a teachers’ strike CONTINUE READING: California law requires charter schools to end secrecy about how they operate - The Washington Post

Denver Rising: A Loving School System agenda aims to reverse racial inequity | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Denver Rising: A Loving School System agenda aims to reverse racial inequity | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Denver Rising: A Loving School System agenda aims to reverse racial inequity

This weekend, Our Voices Our Schools coalition is gathering a group of community practitioners and activists to come together at Denver University and align around a comprehensive agenda for education justice in Denver. The goal of the event: to move from talk to action by creating a comprehensive Loving School System agenda that highlights the systemic changes and investments needed to truly provide Black children in Denver their right to free, high-quality public education.
Many working in the education field in Denver acknowledge that there has been a great deal of talk about racial equity in Denver over the past several years, but not a lot of action and public investment. The facts are indisputable: even after years of “improvement plans” to address inequitable academic outcomes, Black students in Denver do not have the same opportunity to succeed on state math and literacy tests and graduate on time, and they are being suspended at higher rates than their White peers.
The Bailey Report produced by former school board member Sharon Bailey nearly three years ago highlighted the cultural racism experienced by Black teachers and students in Denver Public Schools. The report led to the formation of a task force that proposed 11 recommendations for ways to improve culture and conditions, including offering signing bonuses to help attract more black teachers, making student discipline data count toward school ratings, and requiring each school to create a plan “designed to strengthen relationships between African-Americans and schools.” While school board and Denver Public School district officials continue to create space to talk about racial equity, little has been done to implement these recommendations or make other investments in schools serving predominantly Black populations.
Beyond the cultural and inter-personal racism that the Bailey Report highlights, other recent reports put data points to the broader structural racism and inequity in public school systems across Colorado and the nation.
According to an edbuild report23 billion less public dollars go to nonwhite schools districts compared to districts serving predominantly White students. In Colorado, predominantly White school districts, whether they are serving low-poverty or high-poverty populations, have on average 16% more funding than nonwhite districts. This is because White school districts tend to close themselves off, and draw lines around them in ways that keep them very small and very wealthy, and in a way that closes wealth off from communities of color.
The Loving School Systems agenda that will begin to take shape through this convening will include a focus on inequity in public and private funding and strategies to “decolonize wealth”, with Edgar Villanueva from the Schott Foundation speaking to the group about strategies to address the massive gaps in funding for education justice work. The convening will be grounded in the Loving Cities Index framework created by the Schott Foundation to highlight how inequitable access to resources and supports across education, workforce development, health, housing, and other related sectors impact education justice and as a result student academic success. The convening will be capped off with a community gathering in the evening, to learn about "Decolonizing Wealth" and screen and discuss the documentary Backpack Full of Cash
The Loving School Systems convening will lift up public education justice and the fight for a high-quality public education as the human rights and civil rights issue of our time. This will be a chance for practitioners to align around the systems changes, policies, and programs that are needed and the resources that must be mobilized for the survival of poor Black, Brown, marginalized White communities by meeting the promise of high-quality public education for all.
Big Education Ape: Local Leaders Play Critical Role to Drive U.S. Toward More Loving and Just Society | Schott Foundation for Public Education - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/03/local-leaders-play-critical-role-to.html

CURMUDGUCATION: Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea

CURMUDGUCATION: Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea

Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea

Florida's governor is planning to boost the state bonus program for teachers, even as Denver teachers walked off the job over their district's version of an incentive program. So it's worth taking a moment to step back and remember why teacher merit pay and bonus systems are just a bad idea.
First, they can't work like a private sector bonus system. In the business world, bonuses and incentives are based on a clear idea of success. Whether the definition of success at Widgetcorps this year is "We made a bunch more money" or "We increased the value of Widgetcorps stock this year" or even "We managed to strip a pile of dollars out of Widgetcorps this year," the end result is a pile of "extra" money (the end result, depending on the definition of success, may be a less healthy company, but let's set that aside for now). The bonus deal between Widgetcorps and its bonus-eligible employees is simple--if there's a pile of extra money here at the end of the year, you get to have some of it.
Public schools, on the other hand, don't make money, and school district success is hugely hard to define. More high school graduates? The football team won a championship? The school musical was really good this year? More students really got into Shakespeare? Larger number of students earned welding certification? The school's culture and atmosphere was so healthy that students really love attending? All of these might count as success, but none of them result in a school district ending the year with "extra" money to be split up for bonuses.
Instead, the pile of bonus money has to be pre-budgeted, and then teachers get to compete with each other for a share of a fixed pie. This may not establish the kind of in-house atmosphere you want for your school ("No, colleague, you may not see my materials for how I teach fractions--my CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea

Jackie Goldberg Wins School Board Election, Again ~ Will Face Runoff ~ L.A. TACO

Jackie Goldberg Wins School Board Election, Again ~ Will Face Runoff ~ L.A. TACO

JACKIE GOLDBERG WINS SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION, AGAIN ~ WILL FACE RUNOFF



With 100 percent of of precincts reporting, Jackie Goldberg was the big winner of Tuesday’s special election to represent L.A. Unified’s 5th District on the Board of Education.
With 48.26 percent of the votes, she fell less than two percent shy of the threshold to avoid a runoff in May with the second place finisher. That appears to be Graciela “Grace” Ortiz (13.3 percent) who is narrowly ahead of Heather Repenning (13.09 percent).
That election is scheduled for May 14. Goldberg’s showing in Tuesday’s elections puts her on the path for her second tenure as a member of the school board.


Goldberg is a former teacher, L.A.City Council member, and California State Representative. She was an LAUSD member and president in the 1980s, when she spearheaded district wide bilingual education initiatives. Goldberg has been a powerful force in local left and progressive politics, especially in the northeastern part of the city, where half of LAUSD’s 5th district lies.
Goldberg is a champion of afterschool programs, authoring state bonds to increase funding for public education, and striking a tone of undaunting support for public education and the UTLA teachers union. She has also signaled a flexibility to work with both local charter school administrators and LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner.  She racked up support from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Dolores Huerta from the United Farm Workers, the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, and United Teachers Los Angeles.
“Our local charter school administrators, they do believe they are doing a good job, my problem isn’t with them.” Goldberg told L.A. Taco, “The problem is legislation in Sacramento that means that charter and public schools can’t co-exist. The system unintentionally economically undermines schools with parents who keep kids in public schools” by tying public dollars to enrollment, meaning policy at the state level takes money out of public schools when parents enroll their kids in charter schools.  
Goldberg reiterated to L.A. Taco that she didn’t want to close charters. She does want them to be more regulated by the district and the state. She also wants charter schools to submit budgets to the district, a stop to co-location of charter schools inside of LAUSD buildings, and a moratorium on the building of new charter schools until a district wide study is done to assess their impact on public education in the city. CONTINUE READING: Jackie Goldberg Wins School Board Election, Again ~ Will Face Runoff ~ L.A. TACO

Let’s Stop Ignoring the Truths of Puberty. We’re Making It Even More Awkward. - The New York Times

Let’s Stop Ignoring the Truths of Puberty. We’re Making It Even More Awkward. - The New York Times

Let’s Stop Ignoring the Truths of Puberty. We’re Making It Even More Awkward.
Sex education in U.S. schools is lacking, but new efforts to broaden its scope are bubbling up.


It’s Women’s History Month! You’re reading In Her Words, where women rule the headlines. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox. Let me know what you think at dearmaya@nytimes.com.

“I’d rather they just don’t teach anything if they can’t be honest.”
— Susan Lontine, a Colorado state representative who introduced a bill that would mandate teachings about safe sex, consent and sexual orientation in the state’s public schools

By the time I was 15, most of my knowledge about puberty was gleaned from one-dimensional tales on TV and in movies. I learned what it meant when a pubescent boy carried a book in front of his body (cue laugh track) and that when girls develop breasts, boys (and men) “can’t help but” ogle them. That’s about it.
In the last year or so, TV and film have made strides in representing pubescent girls as complex and awkward beings who also happen to be sex-obsessed (a trait normally reserved for adolescent boys), my colleague Amanda Hess pointed out in a recent piece about the shows “PEN15” and “Big Mouth” and the movie “Eighth Grade.”





“The lustful adolescent girl is having her moment,” wrote Hess, a Times culture critic. “It is not, to be clear, an altogether glorious time,” she said, adding that “girls’ feelings matter, too. And these girls feel so much.”
Such nuances and acknowledgments of female sexuality are largely missing from sex education in U.S. schools, where curriculum is lacking over all.
The majority of states don’t mandate sex ed at all, and just 13 require that the material be medically accurate. Abstinence education remainsa pillar of most programs. And that is saying nothing of more complex issues like consent, sexual orientation and gender identity. (In seven states, laws prohibit educators from portraying same-sex relationships positively.)
Simultaneously, the influence of pornography is growing. “Easy-to-access online porn fills the vacuum, making porn the de facto sex CONTINUE READING: Let’s Stop Ignoring the Truths of Puberty. We’re Making It Even More Awkward. - The New York Times

Stand for Children and the Democratic Party regulars. Some history. – Fred Klonsky

Stand for Children and the Democratic Party regulars. Some history. – Fred Klonsky

Stand for Children and the Democratic Party regulars. Some history.


Stand for Children would oppose a puppy if the puppy was supported by the Chicago Teachers Union.
Since Stand for Children first came to Illinois it has had a close relationship with the leaders of the Democratic Party.
A poll showing Lori Lightfoot with an overwhelming lead over Toni Preckwinkle has put Stand for Children back in the news. SFC paid for the poll.
TeamToni has trashed the poll results because of what it shows, convinced that it is irrefutable evidence that Stand for Children, a viciously anti-teachers union group, backs Lightfoot.
However, Lightfoot is running a pro-union, pro-public education, anti-charter  campaign.
There is nothing to suggest that Stand for Children has anything to do with Lightfoot’s campaign or has anything in common with Lightfoot when it comes to education policy.
There is plenty to suggest that Stand For Children is trying to stir things up because the Chicago Teachers Union decided early on to back Toni Preckwinkle, current Cook County Board President and Chair of the Cook County Democratic Party.
Stand for Children hates the Chicago Teachers Union.
SFC has had a long friendly relationship with the state and Cook County Democratic Party that Preckwinkle heads. It has thrown tons of money at key members of CONTINUE READING: Stand for Children and the Democratic Party regulars. Some history. – Fred Klonsky

Louisiana Educator: A National Study Confirms Our Worst Fears About Our School Standards and Tests

Louisiana Educator: A National Study Confirms Our Worst Fears About Our School Standards and Tests

A National Study Confirms Our Worst Fears About Our School Standards and Tests

In my opinion, the Common Core based tests such as the Louisiana LEAP tests and our high school end of course tests (EOC) are just not valid for any purpose, and I now have data to back that up. Right now the LEAP and EOC test are used for measuring the achievement levels of our students, the effectiveness of our teachers and the ratings of our schools. The evidence is building that our tests are not good for any of those purposes.

My most recent post on this blog describes how the State Department of Education has lowered the standard for passing LEAP and EOC to appallingly low levels. This was done primarily to show false progress in improving student achievement in ELA and math. My post showed that this so called progress is contradicted by the NAEP tests. But it was also done because the tests are much too difficult for our students. Now a study just released by NEPE (The National Education Policy Center) provides more than adequate cause why these tests should be trashed before they do more damage.

The NEPE study titled "A Consumer’s Guide to Testing under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): What Can the Common Core and Other ESSA Assessments Tell Us?" is a long technical report that would be extremely difficult for any lay person to comprehend. In addition, it was obviously written in such a way as to avoid offending the powers that keep our school systems chained to the Common Core standards. But buried in the report are some shocking findings, if you look hard enough to find them.

The most shocking finding of the NEPE report is not to be found in the summary of the findings even though it should have been included as one of the most significant concerns. This finding is about the validity of the PARCC tests upon which at least 90% of our Louisiana tests are based and it is just casually mentioned on page 44 of the 60 page report. It reads as follows:



2. Currently, PARCC’s Items are Prohibitively Difficult
Item analysis results from the first operational testing of PARCC  CONTINUE READING: 
Louisiana Educator: A National Study Confirms Our Worst Fears About Our School Standards and Tests

Education Research Report: Trends in Education Philanthropy

Education Research Report: Trends in Education Philanthropy

Trends in Education Philanthropy



Grantmakers for Education’s Trendsin Education Philanthropy: Benchmarking 2018-19 report offers insights on the current and evolving priorities of the education funding community. It can help funders to understand their role in supporting education innovation and identify future priorities that hold the greatest promise for benefiting America’s learners.

This latest report in Grantmakers for Education’s series of benchmarking studies identifies what’s now and what’s next for education philanthropy. Findings are drawn from the survey responses of Grantmakers for Education members and other education funders and presented in the context of the 10-year anniversary of the bench-marking report.

Big Picture: Trends in Education Philanthropy

This new benchmarking study comes at a time of seemingly rapid evolution in the priorities of education funders. Three trends stand out based on the speed with which they have come to the fore, their crosscutting focus and the scale of their current or potential impact on education philanthropy. Based on survey responses:

•Education funders have markedly increased their focus on the learning stages before and after K-12 education.While elementary and secondary education has long dominated U.S. education funding priorities and continues to do so, some of the largest gains in shares of funders and biggest anticipated increases in support reported by respondents were for early learning, postsecondary education and preparation for career and workforce. Among factors driving the growth for early learning are a growing understanding of the critical importance of preparing young learners for success prior to beginning kindergarten, as well as increased public interest and investment in early learning. For postsec- ondary education and workforce and career readiness, a central factor has been a belief in the critical importance of postsecondary education in preparing learners for a rapidly changing labor market.
•Education funders have ramped up support for strategies embracing the whole learner, while moving away from the academic areas of focus that characterized the prior decade of education reform.A growing body of research on the impact of social and emotional intelligence and family and community supports on learners’ academic and life success has fueled funder interest in advancing strategies that support learners’ holistic development. Respondents cited social and emotional learning as the factor or trend they think has the greatest potential for a positive impact on education over the next five years.
•Education funders have lost confidence in federal government leadership on and funding for education reform. Survey findings suggest that many funders have stepped away from direct engagement in the large-scale, academic-focused, national efforts to reform the education system and have migrated back to focusing on local communities. In fact, when asked to identify the factors they think will have the greatest potential negative impact on education in coming years, the single largest share of respondents cited current federal education leadership.

Education Research Report: Trends in Education Philanthropy


Ohio Charter Schools Ruin District Finances: Steal State and Local Taxes, Leave Behind Stranded Costs | janresseger

Ohio Charter Schools Ruin District Finances: Steal State and Local Taxes, Leave Behind Stranded Costs | janresseger

Ohio Charter Schools Ruin District Finances: Steal State and Local Taxes, Leave Behind Stranded Costs


When we evaluate charter schools, I wonder why we rarely consider their fiscal impact on the public schools among which they are nested? I have never heard anybody in Ohio consider the overall impact of charter school expansion on access to education for the entire population of students across a particular community or across the state. Today in Ohio, people are talking about the value of charter schools because charter operators and sponsors—claiming the schools are broke—are asking for an extra $2,000 per pupil.
Usually arguments about the quality of public investment in charters are about whether charters do a good job as measured by test scores.  Proponents of charter schools typically want the public to evaluate charter schools and traditional public schools by comparing their test scores—despite considerable research over the years demonstrating that the results are, at best, relatively comparable.  Steve Dyer uses the test score yardstick in a recent blog post: “Not only have Ohio charter schools not gotten appreciably better on the report card since… 2015, but since the 2012-2013 school year, charter schools overall have received more Fs than all other grades combined on state report cards.” Dyer doesn’t think these schools are performing well enough to deserve additional tax support.
Then there are the arguments about about whether charters mismanage the tax dollars they receive.  In a recent article about Ohio charter schools, three prominent professors of education policy and law examine self-dealing by charter management companies which lease buildings owned by the very same companies back to the Ohio charter schools they are hired to manage—at exorbitant, above-market rents.  The authors of this critique report that, “just a few weeks ago, the National Alliance for Charter Schools was back in Ohio asking the state to increase funding for charter school facilities.”
Here is an example—this time from Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer—of how reporting on charter school accountability and funding often goes.   As he describes the request for more money from the legislature, reporter Patrick O’Donnell considers the academic record of Ohio  CONTINUE READING: Ohio Charter Schools Ruin District Finances: Steal State and Local Taxes, Leave Behind Stranded Costs | janresseger

Report: Most 2018 teacher protests led to big boosts in school funding — but not enough to make up for earlier cuts - The Washington Post

Report: Most 2018 teacher protests led to big boosts in school funding — but not enough to make up for earlier cuts - The Washington Post

Report: Most 2018 teacher protests led to big boosts in school funding — but not enough to make up for earlier cuts



Teacher protests in 2018 helped lead to a big boost in education funding in four states, but a new report says it wasn’t enough to make up for earlier cuts. In those states and more than dozen others, state spending on general education is still less than before the 2008 Great Recession.
And the report, issued Wednesday by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says most of the places that increased general education funding did it in ways that are not sustainable.
The study found that when education spending has grown relative to pre-recession levels, that growth has come at the local level. And that’s a problem for poor districts because local funding is dependent on property taxes. Wealthier areas have more to spend, and funding from the state and the federal government can’t make up the difference between affluent and poor districts.
“These trends are very concerning for the country’s future prospects,” said Michael Leachman, senior director of state fiscal research at the center and co-author of the report with senior policy analyst Eric Figueroa.
The report focuses on general education funding over the last decade in the 12 states that made the deepest cuts during the recession: Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
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Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and state budgets, the authors said state general education funding in those 12 states “remains well below 2008 levels.”
States distribute most of their education funding through a formula that allocates money to school districts to support general educational activities, including teacher salaries, supplies and textbooks (but usually does not include transportation or pension contributions). Each state has its own formula. Most target some extra money to poorer districts, which disproportionately educate children of color. But those districts can’t raise as much in local money as wealthier ones. CONTINUE READING: Report: Most 2018 teacher protests led to big boosts in school funding — but not enough to make up for earlier cuts - The Washington Post

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We need to be disruptors of institutional racism in our schools - Lily's Blackboard

We need to be disruptors of institutional racism in our schools - Lily's Blackboard

We need to be disruptors of institutional racism in our schools


This is a long post, but we can’t talk about race in sound bytes. These are the remarks I delivered at the South by SouthWest conference in Austin, Texas. March 5th, 2019.
Gracias a todos! Gracias por venir a esta conversación acerca de la justicia.
Thanks for coming to a conversation about justice. Specifically, racial justice – because that’s always easy to talk about. And even more specific than that – racial justice in education.
I feel perfectly qualified to talk about racial justice in education because I am a 6th grade teacher from Utah (where diversity means you found a Presbyterian). Which is not true, but it’s what people think.
I’m also the president of the National Education Association, the largest union in the United States of America. We represent over 3 million teachers, support professionals like school custodians and secretaries, college professors, retired educators and student teachers.
But more than that, I think you should know that I am a fabulous teacher. You would want to be in my 6th grade. I’ve taught suburban kids who’ve never missed a meal. I’ve taught kids with disabilities. I’ve taught homeless kids and foster kids waiting for families. I’ve taught kids who don’t speak English. I’ve taught kids who are gifted and talented.
And I’ve taught more than one Gifted and Talented homeless kid with a disability who was learning English and teaching me Spanish. (Thank you, Julio)
I’ve taught white Mormon kids and black Muslim kids and brown Catholic kids and I’ve taught Sunday school at the Unitarian Church where we pray ‘To Whom it May Concern.”
I think it’s important to have a teacher like me talk to social justice Rabble Rousers like you – about Racial Justice in Education. Because you may not think racial justice and education are necessarily connected, but I want to make the case that it’s where you begin.
First, as a teacher let me say I have done my homework. Our history is clear: We have never in this country from the Mayflower to this very moment EVER achieved Racial Justice in Education. Never.
Half our Founding Fathers were slave holders in states where you could go to prison for teaching a black child how to read. Please let that sink in: Teaching a black person the ABC’s was a criminal offense.

Racial – Justice – Education… Not everyone gets that link. RACIAL – JUSTICE – EDUCATION. These concepts are interconnected. And we have to talk about them together.
That is harder than you might think. I know how hard it is to talk about Race – that our education system was designed CONTINUE READING:We need to be disruptors of institutional racism in our schools - Lily's Blackboard