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Friday, March 22, 2019

California's public school chief says education no place for competition | CALmatters

California's public school chief says education no place for competition | CALmatters

California’s public school chief says education no place for competition

The state’s public schools superintendent didn’t hold back in a wide-ranging discussion Thursday night: He raised doubts about the value of charter schools, criticized school districts for the state’s wave of teacher strikes, questioned the severity of public pension debt and insisted the state must spend more to educate its students.
Two months into the new job, Tony Thurmond seems to be exactly the man that his most loyal backers hoped (and his opponents feared) he would be.
In a conversation with CALmatters’ education reporter Ricardo Cano at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, Thurmond talked about how his mother, an immigrant from Panama, died when he was 6, leaving him to be raised by a cousin he never met. He says his family benefited from many government programs to get by, but that “a great public education” was the most vital.
“If it were not for the education, my cousin who took me in, countless mentors, I would easily have ended up in California state prison instead of serving as California’s superintendent of public instruction,” he said. “We owe this to all the students in our state.”
That philosophy, he said, informs his fairly dim view of charter schools, which he characterized as benefiting certain students as the possible expense of others.
“I think there’s a role for all schools,” Thurmond said, including charters—publicly funded but privately managed schools that supporters say offer valuable educational alternatives to children, but which critics say undermine traditional public education. “But I do not believe that the state should ever open new schools without providing CONTINUE READING: California's public school chief says education no place for competition | CALmatters

Opinion: Teachers shouldn’t have to beg in über-rich California – East Bay Times #Unite4SACKids #WeAreSCTA #WeAreCTA #strikeready #REDFORED #SCTA #CTA #UTLA

Opinion: Teachers shouldn’t have to beg in über-rich California – East Bay Times

Opinion: Teachers shouldn’t have to beg in über-rich California
Educators are striking because the state starves schools and 6 million children of resources needed to succeed

John Affeldt 

Teachers in Sacramento, west Fresno County and Dublin may soon go on strike over the same bread and butter issues that were fought over in Oakland: low teacher pay, large class sizes, and few counselors and nurses.
If you didn’t know better, you might mistake California for a declining Rust Belt state. But it’s not. California is über-rich. The shameful truth behind all this discord is that California is fabulously wealthy; yet for decades, it has starved its public schools and 6 million children of the resources necessary to succeed.
With a GDP of $2.7 trillion, California is the world’s 5th largest economy—surpassed only by behemoths like China, Japan, Germany and the United States itself. Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Netflix, and Google are synonymous with California. So are Fortune 500 companies like Chevron, Wells Fargo, Disney, Gap and Visa. Home to Hollywood, Napa Valley, Palm Springs, Disneyland and Lake Tahoe, tourists pump almost $132 billion into the economy every year. It’s the largest manufacturing state in the country, and this year, the Golden State will be home to thousands of new millionaires as tech companies rush to go public.
Yet, as Gov. Gavin Newsom has noted, California ranks 41st in per pupil spending nationwide. As a consequence, in our high-cost state, we have fewer adults—teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians, administrators—per student than all but two states and struggle to pay a living wage to those who serve.
In a state with such vast wealth, we actually can afford to meet the school funding shortfall—which one recent study concluded to be some $25 billion annually. Without that investment, we are doomed to repeat the same battles over paying teachers a fair wage vs. providing basic resources vs. supporting high-need students—battles that end with short-term unsustainable bargains and underperforming students.
We’re already seeing cash-strapped districts tap into money set aside for English learners, foster youth and low-income students to pay for across-the-board raises and class-size reductions. In the case of the Los Angeles district, financial reserves are covering the CONTINUE READING: Opinion: Teachers shouldn’t have to beg in über-rich California – East Bay Times

John Affeldt is a managing attorney at Public Advocates in San Francisco, where he focuses on educational equity issues through litigation, policy advocacy and partnerships with grassroots organizations.

New York City public schools like Stuyvesant show why standardized testing is broken - Vox

New York City public schools like Stuyvesant show why standardized testing is broken - Vox

The New York City school controversy shows why standardized testing is broken
New York City’s Specialized High School Admission Test is a tool of structural racism.

When news broke this week that only seven black students were accepted into New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, an elite public school that supposedly only takes the most advanced students in the city, I wasn’t surprised. In my 14-year career as a middle school math teacher in Manhattan with majority black or Latinx students, I’ve had thousands of kids who were rejected from magnet public schools like Stuyvesant. It breaks my heart every time.
Every year, sometime in March, thousands of New York City adolescents receive a letter that tells them which high school selected them. That school day is always a tough one. Some students run up and down the halls, excitedly telling their friends about where they will be spending the next four years. Others, disappointed in their placement, sit solemnly or find a comforting shoulder to lean on.

I’ve had to console far too many brilliant students who didn’t get chosen for the high school they wanted to go to. They checked off all the proverbial boxes: great attendance, high grades, strong work ethic, and had positive relationships with adults and peers. They studied hard for the Specialized High School Admission Test — an assessment given to eighth or ninth graders for entry into eight of the elite magnet public schools in New York City — for months. Because a student’s score on that test is the only criterion for high school admissions, the stressful three hours spent taking this exam could determine a student’s future.
As a teacher, I try to assure my students that they will be fine regardless of which school they attend. But I often wonder if we educators are doing a disservice — and perpetuating the lie of meritocracy — by continuing to tell kids that if they work hard and excel then they can get what they want in life.

School segregation in New York City is reaching emergency levels

Make no mistake: New York City is burning. But unlike the literal and metaphorical burning of the Bronx in the 1970s, the latest fire is happening in our education system as schools continue to segregate at alarming rates. Only 190 of the 4,798 slots, or 3 percent, in the eight major CONTINUE READING: New York City public schools like Stuyvesant show why standardized testing is broken - Vox

New Yorkers Protest Millions Proposed for School Safety Budget, Saying Money Fuels School-to-Prison Pipeline

New Yorkers Protest Millions Proposed for School Safety Budget, Saying Money Fuels School-to-Prison Pipeline

Counselors, Not Cops: New Yorkers Protest Millions Proposed for School Safety Budget, Saying Money Fuels School-to-Prison Pipeline

Guided by a coalition of 40 New York City social justice organizations, dozens of students, parents and advocates converged on New York’s City Hall Wednesday to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed increase to the NYPD’s School Safety Division budget, saying those millions would be better used on student social supports and services.

In an attempt to stem the tide of the school-to-prison pipeline, the Dignity in Schools Campaign-NY brought together a team outfitted in bright green “Counselors Not Cops” T-shirts in opposition to de Blasio’s 2020 fiscal year preliminary budget, which increases the NYPD’s School Safety Division by more than $27 million, bringing its total budget to at least $314 million and perhaps as high as $431 million—the largest proposed budget for the division in its history.
Additionally, the School Construction Authority is proposing to double school security spending to reach $200 million for policing instruments such as video surveillance and metal detection equipment, which, for many, is simply more fuel for the school to prison pipeline.
“Time and time again, our young people talk about whenever they walk into school, it feels like walking into a prison … they’re going through metal detectors, they’re being hand wanded, there are school safety agents roaming the halls,” Kate McDonough, Director of the Dignity in Schools Campaign told The Root. “That already makes them feel as if they’re in jail. Young people who are just being young people are having interaction with law enforcement when they shouldn’t be.”
What these advocates and their supporters want instead are funds CONTINUE READING: New Yorkers Protest Millions Proposed for School Safety Budget, Saying Money Fuels School-to-Prison Pipeline

Emboldened House Dems to question DeVos on Trump education cuts ⋆ Michigan Advance

Emboldened House Dems to question DeVos on Trump education cuts ⋆ Michigan Advance

Emboldened House Dems to question DeVos on Trump education cuts

WASHINGTON — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is slated to testify in the U.S. House next week for the first time since Democrats took control of the chamber earlier this year.

DeVos — a West Michigan billionaire and one of the most polarizing President Donald Trump administration officials — is scheduled to testify Tuesday before a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees education spending.
Her visit is certain to be dramatic.
She’s been called to Capitol Hill to defend Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget, which again seeks to boost voucher programs.
Vouchers have long been an issue close to DeVos’ heart. In 2000, the DeVoses pushed a constitutional amendment in Michigan creating a voucher program. That failed, despite a $13 million investment from the family, which routinely spends the most of any clan on elections in Michigan.
House Democrats will seize the opportunity to deride the administration’s controversial education policies.
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), one of DeVos’ most outspoken critics on Capitol Hill, now holds the gavel of the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal education spending.

Rosa DeLauro

DeLauro and DeVos have gotten into heated exchangesbefore — including a fight during a hearing last year in which an exasperated DeLauro shouted at a clearly flustered DeVos about the Trump administration’s student loan policies.
DeLauro said earlier this year that she would use her subcommittee post to “hold Secretary DeVos accountable for her agency’s failure to uphold federal protections for our students.”
The Connecticut Democrat pointed specifically to DeVos’ CONTINUE READING: Emboldened House Dems to question DeVos on Trump education cuts ⋆ Michigan Advance

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog 
A site to discuss better education for all

Karen Francisco: Portait of a Lifelong Teacher

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, wrote a moving tribute to our dear friend Phyllis Bush. She called Phyllis “a lifelong teacher.” She taught for 32 years. When she retired, however, she never stopped teaching. Francisco quotes some of Phyllis’s former students, who describe how Phyllis Bush changed their lives. The editorial includes a photograph that catc
Arizona: Acclaimed BASIS Charter Schools Are $44 Million in Red, Audit Shows

US News & World Report and Newsweek ranked BASIS charter schools in Arizona as the best high schools in the nation, without noting their dramatic attrition rates and demographics that heavily favor whites and Asians. But a new audit shows that BASIS is in deep financial trouble. “The globally renowned BASIS charter school system is nearly $44 million in the red, according to a recent report from
Fred Smith Explains That AOC was Right, and I Was Wrong, About the Test She Took

At the meeting of Jackson Heights Parents for Public Schools on March 16, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes said that she took a high-stakes standardized test, and her teacher told her she was in the 99th percentile. I thought she must have taken an Iowa Test of Basic Skills since NCLB test scores are not reported as percentiles but as 1-4 or “below basic, basic, proficient, advanced.” That sent the far-r
Mercedes Schneider On Campbell Brown’s Short But Rewarding Life as an Education Reformer

Ah, Campbell Brown, we hardly knew ye! Brown blazed across the Deform firmament like a shooting star, fighting sexual predators in the classroom, unions, tenure, and all other things that crossed her fevered brow. She raised millions, and now she’s off to a new life at Facebook. Gone and forgotten. Mercedes Schneider tells the story here.


Right-Wing Blogs Spread Lies about AOC Appearance in Jackson Heights Public Education Forum

I wrote a post about my very pleasant experience meeting the wonderful, charming, brilliant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Jackson Heights, and I described her as “warm, comfortable in her skin, somewhat taken aback by her sudden fame, and unpretentious.” I said that she paid attention, and that she came to listen and learn. Everyone at the meeting was thrilled to meet her, and she took the time to
Rhode Island: New Commissioner Pledges Dramatic Improvements

Governor Gina Raimondo selected the deputy commissioner from New York to lead Rhode Island. She is a Reformer, already chosen by Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change as a future member of their group. “PROVIDENCE, R.I. — When Gov. Gina M. Raimondo began her search for the state’s next Education Commissioner, her conversations with experts, teachers, and other leaders in the field of education kept coming
California: Parent Opposes Berkeley’s Choice of Wendy Kopp as Commencement Speaker

Jane Nylund is a Parent Activist in Oakland who has fought the privatization machine. She wrote an open public letter opposing Berkeley’s selection of Wendy Kopp as its commencement speaker. UC Berkeley should not support and condone school privatization : Rescind your offer to TFA Wendy Kopp as commencement speaker As a public school advocate, and a product of California public schools (father a
Do You Want an Out-of-State Billionaire to Put Money into Your Local School Board Election?

Three political scientists have written a book about billionaires putting money into local school board elections. Typically, the wealthy are not writing checks for their own school board elections, but even if they were, they are able to swamp the spending of others. The book is titled Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politic s. It was published by Harvar
Julian Vasquez Heilig: The Real Scandal Over Buying an Education

Julian Vasquez Heilig writes in The Progressive about a scandal bigger than buying seats in college. What we read about in the headlines was illegal. What we don’t see in the headlines is education that is legally purchased. He writes: “Research is catching up to what is not exactly a well-kept secret: the nicer house an American family can buy, the better public school that family will have acce
Leonie Haimson: Why Is NYC Chancellor Carranza Sending Struggling Schools into a Death Spiral?

Leonie Haimson questions why NYC Chancellor Carranza sent a letter to every parent in schools rated CSI (Comprehensive Support & Improvement) by the state to let them know that they could transfer to another school. Although he claimed otherwise, he was not required to do so. Some schools are on the list because of opt outs. Carranza is destroying schools instead of supporting them. No school eve

MAR 20

New Zealand Bans Military Assault Weapons

The latest news: New Zealand will ban military style semi-automatics and assault rifles and establish a nationwide buyback of the weapons in the wake of a terrorist attack on two mosques that left 50 people dead. The ban takes immediate effect to prevent the stockpiling of weapons while the legislation is being drafted, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters Thursday. “I strongly believe th
Shawgi Tell: The Issue Is Not Standardized Test Scores But the Theft of Public Property

Shawgi Tell is a professor of education at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. In this post , Shawgi Tell describes the massive misuse of standardized tests created by mega-corporations. He writes: Charter school supporters and promoters have long been severely obsessed with comparing charter school and public school students’ scores on expensive curriculum-narrowing high-stakes standardized
AOC Did Not Disappoint

Last Saturday, I attended a forum on public schools organized by Jackson Heights Parents for Public Schools. Thanks to the appearance of superstar Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, the event drew some of the city’s leading education stars, such as State Senator Robert Jackson, who has been leading the fight for increased state funding for the city’s public schools for many years. There were
Edward Johnson: Does the Atlanta School Board Know Who Dr. Alonzo A. Crim Was?

Ed Johnson fights day after day to try to budge the Atlanta School Board, which is following the disastrous path of corporate reform, which has failed everywhere. The Atlanta School Board is controlled by individuals who formerly were part of Teach for America, and it is their dream to turn Atlanta in a portfolio district with many privately managed schools. He writes: Does pursuing “Excellent Sc
Education Law Center Criticizes Equity Practices in Philadelphia Charter Sector

The Education Law Center is one of the nation’s leading legal organizations defending the civil rights of students. In this important new report, it presents a critical analysis of Philadelphia’s charter sector and its indifference to the civil rights of students. I urge you to read the report in full. When charters take the students who are least challenging to educate, the traditional public sc

MAR 19

Phyllis Bush, Hero of Public Education, Rememered

We lost our dear friend, Phyllis Bush, today after a valiant struggle with cancer. Her beloved life partner and wife, Donna Roof, was by Phyllis’s side at every moment. Phyllis was truly a hero of public education, founder of the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education and founding board member of the Network for Public Education. It is with profound sadness that the Network for Public Educ
Bob Shepherd’s Laws of Quotation and Attribution in the Age of the Internet

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bob Shepherd. Bob is a professional writer, editor, graphics designer, and teacher. He has also worked in the design of assessments and curriculum. You have surely seen his many comments on this blog. He is a polymath. A few months ago, I received a note from Bob offering to edit my new book as a gesture of appreciation for my work. I have never met a Bob except
New Hampshire: Democrats Want to Eliminate Voucher Plan

In the last election, Democrats won the legislature in New Hampshire. They hope to eliminate vouchers. An obstacle: the Governor, Chris Sununu, is a rockribbed Republican.
Gary Rubinstein: TFA CEO Still Spouting Same Tired Cliches

Gary Rubinstein has taken upon himself the thankless task of watching what Teach for America is up to. Recently he has listened to the banal speeches of its CEO, who is spouting the same tired cliches about how terrible the status quo is. “Zip code,” “status quo,” “great teachers,” blah blah blah. Hey, it’s a living. TFA has about $400 million in the bank, and they continue to get fat “finder’s f
Campbell Brown’s Attack on Teacher Tenure and Unions Fails in Minnesota

Remember the Vergara case in California? A stray Silicon Valley billionaire (or multimillionaire) named David Welch on behalf of a newly minted group called “Students Matter” filed a lawsuit against teacher tenure and seniority, claiming that these practices caused low-income children of color to fail, thus depriving them of their civil rights. At the lowest trial Level, a judge named Rolf Treu a
Arkansas: Please Help the Resistance Fight the Corporate Takeover!

I have recently been in touch with residents of Arkansas who are fighting the Waltons effort to destroy public schools in poor black communities. It is an uphill battle, to be sure, and they need our help. Minister Anika Whitfield has been working with parents, teachers, and fellow clergy to forge grassroots opposition to resist the onslaught of the Wal-Mart empire. Pastors are forming their own

MAR 18

The New Yorker Defends AOC

This is a great article by New Yorker editor David Remnick about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is almost funny how she has rattled the GOP. They hate, hate, hate her. Is it her youth, her idealism, her beauty, her brains? Is it because she has a heart and they don’t? Is it because she has a soul and they don’t? She frightens them. I worry for her safety. David Remnick writes: By David Remnick
Arthur Camins: Don’t Beat the Odds in Education. Eliminate Them.

In this excellent post, Arthur Camins makes an important point. Education is not a race or the stock market. Every student should be a winner. “Education is not like chess or dice or the stock market. It is not about outsmarting an opponent. So, enough with all the talk about students and schools who excel by beating the odds. “We don’t need a few more opportunities for students to beat the odds.
Tom Ultican: IReady: Is This the Worst Education Program Ever Marketed? Maybe, Maybe Not.

Tom Ultican discovered a program called iReady that has magnificent marketing, but he says it is awful. If he spoke Yiddish, he would say it is “schlock” or “dreck.” Worse than the program is that stuff like this is pushed by the federal government. They like to waste your money. Ultican posted this entry a year ago but it has taken on a life of its own. One mother who reviewed it called it not i
This Is a Book You Should Read: Noliwe Rooks’ “Cutting School”

I just finished reading Noliwe Rooks’ superb book, Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education ( The New Press ) . Please buy a copy and read it. It is a powerful analysis of racism, segregation, poverty, the history of Black education (and miseducation), and their relationship to the current movement to privatize public education. She dissects the profitable busin

MAR 17

Sarasota Superintendent: Give Teachers Bonuses!

The Superintendent of Sarasota County in Florida notes that the state is offering bonuses of $9,000 to “highly effective” teachers, and two-thirds of teachers in his county are “highly effective.” The actual number, he says, might be even higher. The ratings are based mainly on test scores, although most teachers don’t teach the subjects tested annually. Bonuses do not count towards pensions. Sur
Florida: Invite Your Faith Leaders to Defend Public Schools!

If you are a parent or educator in Florida, please let your faith leader know about a new organization that is forming to stop the privatization of public schools. The initiative is led by Charles Foster Johnson, who has brought together similar groups in other states. The first meeting is March 26. Rev. Johnson is a great friend of public schools who believes in separation of church and state. H
Valerie Jablow: Watch D.C. Give Away Public School Space to Charters

Valerie Jablow, parent activist in D.C., seems to know the District’s laws better than the members of the City Council. She knows that the city can’t just give away or lease property to charter schools without following the law. Apparently the City Council doesn’t know that. Read this account. Apparently the City Council is ready and willing to hand off public schools without going through legall
Nancy Bailey: Why the Hysteria about Reading Instruction?

Nancy Bailey reflects on the sudden upsurge in concern about reading instruction and what might be behind it. I share her reaction to the latest “crisis in reading” because I wrote a book in 2000 (“Left Back”) that traced controversies over reading instruction back to the 19th century, to Horace Mann’s day. The big “CRISIS” was in the 1950s when Rudolph Flesch wrote “Why Johnny Can’t Read” (not e
Matthew Gardner Kelly: Why Charters Are Losing Momentum

In this post, Matthew Gardner Kelly of Pennsylvania State University explains why demands for charter moratoriums are growing. The root of the problem is money. Public schools in most states were hurt by the recession of 2008 and funding never recovered. Adding competition with charters made the financial situation worse. “In Pennsylvania, the local district makes a tuition payment to the charter

MAR 16

Laura Chapman: Who Sponsors the Education Writers Association?

Our reader, Laura Chapman, was interested in the sponsorship of the Education Writers Association, whose annual meeting will feature Betsy DeVos. No matter how odious her views, journalists should hear her and question her. She wrote: You have to pay $125 to attend this Education Writers Association event and do some writing on education. It is not surprising that the Education Writers Associatio
White House Lays Out Fiscal 2020 Priorities

The graphic below shows clearly where Trump’s priorities are and where they are not. A big boost to the military and border security. Deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, Labor, Interior, Agriculture, Justice, Housing, Energy, Education, Transportation, and everything else that has to do with social/human/non-milit
Mercedes Schneider: The College Admissions Scam Used a Nonprofit

Mercedes Schneider tracked down the tax filings of the “charity” at the heart of the college admissions scam. You will be interested to learn that the cover for the heist was a nonprofit dedicated to helping the “underpriviled.” Well, you can’t open a charity for the “privileged,” now, can you?
A Disappointment for Bill Gates and Betsy DeVos

I don’t know what this means, but I’ll take it. I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems, by Edna St. Vincent Millay. First Fig My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light.
Arkansas: Legislators Seek Return of Local Control in Little Rock

Little Rock is a poor and impoverished district with 48 schools. Six of its schools were low-performing so the state seized control of the entire district. The Walton family owns Arkansas, and they want to make it easier to open charter schools. Local elected boards tend to stand in the way of privatization. Six legislators introduced a bill to restore local control. Max Brantley of the Arkansas
Education Writers Association Invites Betsy Devos to Speak at Its National Seminar

The Education Writers Association has invited Betsy DeVos to speak every year since she became Secretary of Education, and this year she accepted its invitation. I wonder what they will learn from Betsy DeVos. Probably that public schools are dreadful and that the public should pay to send children to religious schools where the teacher is neither a college graduate nor certified. That’s the way
Great News! Two Civil Rights Legal Teams Join to Fight Theft of Public Schools!

This is great news! The Education Law Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center have joined to fight privatization. AMICUS BRIEF SUPPORTS APPEAL CHALLENGING MICHIGAN’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL DIVERSION OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS), a new unitiative of Education Law Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center, has filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) bri

MAR 15

Arizona: State Senate Passes Phony Charter Reform Bill

Arizona’s charter industry is riddled with fraud and corrruption, meticulously documented by a year-long investigation in the Arizona Republic and by Curtis Cardine of the Grand Canyon Institute. The Republican-dominated felt that it needed to pass a “Reform” bill, even though it was full of loopholes that would protect charter fraudsters and grifters. And so it did. The fake reform bill passed o
California: Why the State Board Did Not Renew San Diego-Based Thrive Charter Schools

A lot was riding on the State Board of Education’s decision about whether to renew the Thrive Charter Schools of San Diego. The schools have a terrible record, which the district documented. The charter lobby was pushing hard for renewal, showing how little it cares about results or accountability or children’s welfare. It was Linda Darling-Hammond’s first meeting as chair of the State Board. The
Texas: Owner of Migrant Shelters Cashes in on Charters

The New York Times published a searing account of the charter schools operated by Southwest Key. “At East Austin College Prep in Texas, raccoons and rats invade offices and classrooms. When it rains, the roof of the main building leaks. Room 106 was so rickety a chair leg fell through the floor. Yet for all this, the secondary school pays almost $900,000 in annual rent. “It has little choice: Its
John Merrow: “I Was Just Following Orders”

John Merrow asks, who makes the rules? Who decides? He describes the many elementary classrooms he has visited over the course of his four decade career. Usually there is a posted set of rules for behavior. Not at all complicated. Some classrooms, however, have rules that the children devise, which end up looking very similar to the rules posted in other classrooms. It seems everyone wants an atm
Toledo Blade Calls for an End to HB 70, the “State Takeover Bill”

The Toledo Blade wrote a commonsense editorial calling for repeal of HB 70, which allows the Ohio State Department of Education to take over and privatize the management of low-scoring school districts. Takeover has been tried and failed in Lorain and Youngstown. Now Toledo and other impoverished districts are threatened. Frankly, it is shocking to see such sound logic and reasoning, but it is al

Peter Greene: Do Teachers Need a Bug in Their Ear to Coach Them?

When I read this story in Education Week, I found it incredibly condescending. The thesis was that teachers really do well by having a little microphone in their ear, in which a coach whispers advice as they are teaching. I am not a teacher,