Friday, May 17, 2019

Jackie Goldberg Explains the Coming War to Save Public Education | Capital & Main

Jackie Goldberg Explains the Coming War to Save Public Education | Capital & Main

Jackie Goldberg Explains the Coming War to Save Public Education
After winning a Los Angeles school board seat, Goldberg speaks about charter schools, money and what it means to fight the good fight.


Jackie Goldberg has spent her life fighting for students. From 1983 to 1991, she served on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s board of education, including a term as president. She later became an L.A. City Councilmember and then served three terms in the California State Assembly, where she also served as chairperson of the Assembly Education Committee. Now, nearly 30 years later, Goldberg returns to the board, having been elected to fill the District 5 seat vacated with last year’s resignation of Ref Rodriguez, the former board president who was convicted of campaign money laundering. (Goldberg will now complete a term expiring in December 2020.)
At 74, Goldberg still seems as energetic and passionate as ever. Shortly after winning the board seat, she spoke to Capital & Main about charter schools, money and what it means to fight the good fight.  The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.


Capital & Main: You’ve been an outspoken critic of charter schools. Now that you’ve won the election, are you prepared to battle school board members like Nick Melvoin, who have strongly supported their growth?
Jackie Goldberg: I’m ready to go to battle but it isn’t what I’d prefer to do. What I want to do is to pass Measure EE, and then we can fight about how to spend that money. I do want to have a more close fiscal control of charter schools in the district.

“Public education is dying. It is dying because it’s being financially killed.”


There are things that I want to do right away about charters, but most of the work is in Sacramento. I’ve already been up to Sacramento once on this issue, and have talked to a number of people. I do think that we need to get some reforms on charters, such as a back- CONTINUE READING: Jackie Goldberg Explains the Coming War to Save Public Education | Capital & Main

CURMUDGUCATION: Diane Ravitch's New Book: Scholarship, Activism and History

CURMUDGUCATION: Diane Ravitch's New Book: Scholarship, Activism and History

Diane Ravitch's New Book: Scholarship, Activism and History

Diane Ravitch was the first major voice of the resistance to the modern corporate "reform" of education, in part because of her newsworthy turn from the reform ideas and peers she had previously embraced. An education historian, she has laid out the problems with the recent assaults on public education in several solid and well-built books (with another one on the way).

But Ravitch is a tireless voice beyond the books, with numerous appearances, interviews, and writings. Her social media presence has been unrelenting, and her writing output is prodigious-- Huffington Post, New York Review of Books, newspapers and periodicals around the country, and her own blog. Ravitch's blog is like the Rick's of public education advocacy. Ravitch has been a generous amplifier of other voices (mine included), but the blog is animated by her own sensibility-- sharp, knowledgeable, witty, and intensely focused on preserving what is valuable in US public education and exposing the workings of privatizers and profiteers who seek to dismantle it.

To read all of Ravitch's articles and blog posts would have been a challenge, up until the publishing by Garn Press of The Wisdom and Wit of Diane Ravitch, a volume that collects many of her best short pieces from a wide variety of sources.

Because it's a large collection of short pieces, the book lends itself being read any number of ways, including simply skipping around and looking for the topics that you're interested in. But its chronological organization also makes it effective as an on-the-spot history. The very first piece takes us back to March of 2010 and the Wall Street Journal; "Why I Changed My Mind About School Reform" puts at the beginning of Ravitch's journey from conservative ed reform player and foot soldier to her new role as a leading voice against those same reforms.

From there, it's interesting to watch some of the web of ed reform be spun out-- particularly CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Diane Ravitch's New Book: Scholarship, Activism and History


Report: Many Schools Lack Funds to Protect LGBTQ Students | Capital & Main

Report: Many Schools Lack Funds to Protect LGBTQ Students | Capital & Main

Report: Many Schools Lack Funds to Protect LGBTQ Students
The most discouraging finding of a report on LGBTQ students may be that only 130 of California’s 343 unified school districts responded to the survey.


“Learning Curves” is a weekly roundup of news items, profiles and dish about the intersection of education and inequality. Send tips, feedback and announcements of upcoming events to  braden@capitalandmain.com, @BillRaden.

(Bill Raden is on vacation.)
California public school districts have been graded on how well they serve LGBTQ students – with mixed results. The “Safe and Supportive Schools Report Card,” issued this week by the Los Angeles-based advocacy organization Equality California Institute, gave schools high marks for anti-bullying and suicide-prevention policies, but noted that there was considerable room for improvement in school curricula, staff diversity training and policies involving transgender and gender-nonconforming students. The report noted that while some schools may be in direct violation of state laws passed to protect LGBTQ students, “many school districts lack the resources to implement these laws, face hostile local social climates that impede implementation or lack awareness regarding the laws’ requirements and the best ways to meet them.”
The findings are based on a survey distributed in 2017 to all 343 California unified school districts. Perhaps the report’s most discouraging finding is that so few districts had been even willing to participate, despite a letter of support from then-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and an extensive yearlong outreach campaign. In total, only 130 school districts opted to respond to the inaugural survey.
Los Angeles school board candidate Jackie Goldberg’s runoff election win proved an even bigger rout than her March 5 primary blowout. On Tuesday night Goldberg enjoyed a lopsided 72-28 percent victory margin over Heather Repenning. The L.A. Unified School District race had been somewhat cast as a public schools vs. charters contest, but the state’s charter school lobby, perhaps still suffering from PTSD after its losses in the gubernatorial and schools chief races, sat this one out. Instead, the campaign partly became a union vs. union tussle, with United Teachers LA backing Goldberg and the union that represents non-instructional school workers, SEIU Local 99, supporting Repenning. (These weren’t the only labor groups involved, though, as each candidate claimed support from a slew of other organized labor groups.)
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Jackie Goldberg photo by Bill Raden
One thing’s certain about Goldberg’s win — charter schools are definitely in a more defensive position than they were when pro-privatization board member Ref Rodriguez occupied the CONTINUE READING: Report: Many Schools Lack Funds to Protect LGBTQ Students | Capital & Main

Larry Ferlazzo's VERY BUSY Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's VERY BUSY Websites of the Day...
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

BiljaST / Pixabay Five years ago I began this regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention. You might also be interested in The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2018 – So Far and THE BEST RESOURCES, ARTICLES & BLOG POSTS FOR TEACHERS OF ELLS IN 2018 – PART TWO . A
“Author Interview: ‘Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources’ Lost to Poverty and Racism”

Author Interview: ‘Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources’ Lost to Poverty and Racism is the headline of my latest column in Education Week Teacher. In it, Cia Verschelden agreed to answer a few questions about her book, “Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism and Social Marginalization.” Here are some excerpts:
Ed Tech Digest

Six years ago, in another somewhat futile attempt to reduce the backlog of resources I want to share, I began this occasional “Ed Tech Digest” post where I share three or four links I think are particularly useful and related to…ed tech, including some Web 2.0 apps. You might also be interested in The Best Ed Tech Resources Of 2018 – So Far , as well as checking out all my edtech resources . You
Pins Of The Week

I’m fairly active on Pinterest and, in fact, have curated 17,000 resources there that I haven’t shared on this blog. I thought readers might find it useful if I began sharing a handful of my most recent “pins” each week (I’m not sure if you can see them through an RSS Reader – you might have to click through to the original post). You might also be interested in My Seven Most Popular Pins In 2018
The NY Times Wants To Know How Teachers Are Talking About Race With Their Students

Gilbert Mercier via Compfight Dana Goldstein, education reporter for The NY Times, is soliciting feedback from teachers about how they are dealing with race issue in the classroom. The Times has a form for teachers to complete here . She writes: How do you and your students discuss subjects like segregation, immigration, racial inequality, slavery, the Civil War or Native American history? How of
TIME Highlights Young People From Around The World As “Next Generation Leaders”

geralt / Pixabay TIME Magazine just named ten young people from around the world as “Next Generation Leaders.” Each person is featured in a short video and an accessible article. Apparently, it’s an annual event, and links to previous “leaders” can be found on the same page. I’ve embedded an example – a video about the teenage fighting against climate change, Greta Thunberg. You might also be int
New NPR Video: “Cookie Monster Practices Self-Regulation”

InspiredImages / Pixabay “It’s Hard To Delay Gratification. Just Ask Cookie Monster” is a new fun video, accompanied by a useful short article , from NPR. I’m adding it to Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control .
Study: Books Around The House Help Kids, Even If They Don’t Read Them

Scientific American has just posted about a study that suggests Unread Books at Home Still Spark Literacy Habits . How? “So if we grow up in a house, in a home where parents enjoy books, where books are given as birthday presents and cherished and valued, this is something that becomes a part of our identity and gives us this lifelong incentives to be literacy oriented, to always kind of steer to
FlexClip Looks Like A Great Video-Editing Tool For ELLs, English-Proficient Students & Everybody Else

Mediamodifier / Pixabay FlexClip is a free video-editing tool that is super-simple to use. You can use content they already have on their site and add text and your own audio narration, along with music. Or, you can use your own videos or photos. Once you create the video, you then export it. I’m not sure if there is an easier video-editing tool out there – certainly not for free. My creation, th


“What Is Trauma-Informed Teaching?”

What Is Trauma-Informed Teaching? is the new question-of-the-week at my Education Week Teacher column. Feel free to leave responses in the comments sections there or here…

Survey by Charter School Supporters Shows Broad Public Opposition to Charter Schools | Dissident Voice

Survey by Charter School Supporters Shows Broad Public Opposition to Charter Schools | Dissident Voice

Survey by Charter School Supporters Shows Broad Public Opposition to Charter Schools


A May 2019 report of a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 Presidential voters conducted late spring of last year shows that broad public opposition to charter schools persists.1 About half of all those polled are Democratic primary voters.
The survey was commissioned by Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), an astroturf group2 created by Wall Street in 2007 to privatize public schools to further enrich millionaires.
DFER wanted the survey to show that charter schools are great, popular, have no problems, and should keep multiplying. The survey did not mention anything about widespread fraud and racketeering in the test-obsessed charter school sector, or how nonprofit and for-profit charter schools increase segregation, are run by non-elected officials, often perform poorly, oppose teacher unions, selectively enroll students, and have high student, teacher, and principal turnover rates.
The survey distorts reality and results in other ways as well, including by: (1) pitting minorities and white people against each other and dividing the polity in unprincipled ways, (2) reducing matters of broad public interest to a matter of voting and “voters,” and (3) failing to understand the identity of education in a modern society while putting forward a rendering of charter schools that favors the outlook and narrow agenda of neoliberals and privatizers. For example, the DFER erroneously and repeatedly refers to privately-operated charter schools that fail and close regularly as “public charter schools.” It also uses oxymorons like “progressive charter advocates” and cynically confounds “choice” with “school choice” to create the illusion that there is broader support for charter schools than there really is. While all surveys have some CONTINUE READING: Survey by Charter School Supporters Shows Broad Public Opposition to Charter Schools | Dissident Voice

Gov. Newsom proposes tighter rules on charter school enrollment | EdSource

Gov. Newsom proposes tighter rules on charter school enrollment | EdSource

Gov. Newsom proposes tighter rules on charter school enrollment
California charter schools must be open to all students, with no exceptions.

State law already requires that a charter school admit any student who applies. In his May budget revision, Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to tighten the language banning discrimination in charter school enrollment, particularly to protect students with disabilities and students with poor grades who want to attend charter schools.
“The Administration is committed to a system where traditional and charter schools work together to serve the best interests of all students in a community,” reads Newsom’s budget summary, adding the law change would “level the playing field for both traditional and charter schools.”
A charter school advocate argues, however, his proposal would do the opposite by imposing new restrictions on charter schools’ enrollment policies that would not apply to magnet schools in traditional districts that concentrate on specific areas, like science and math or performing arts. Many of those impose “selective (sometimes elite), complex and burdensome admissions requirements” that charter schools would not be allowed to adopt, said Eric Premack, executive director and founder of the Sacramento-based Charter Schools Development Center, which advises founders of charter schools. “It would be very interesting to see how districts would respond if the governor had proposed to subject districts to the same CONTINUE READING: Gov. Newsom proposes tighter rules on charter school enrollment | EdSource