Friday, June 28, 2019

School District Prepares for Second Round of School Closures | Post News Group

School District Prepares for Second Round of School Closures | Post News Group

School District Prepares for Second Round of School Closures

The district also is beginning the process of selling or leasing school properties.
The Board of Education is moving ahead with a second set of school closures, mergers and consolidations,  called “Cohort 2,”which is scheduled to be approved in August.
The plan,  called the “Blueprint for Quality Schools Update,” was presented to the community at the June 19 school board meeting by Supt. Kyla Johnson Trammell and Yvette Renteria, Deputy Chief of Innovation, who promoted the district’s decision to reduce the number of Oakland schools as a way to save money and improve the quality of the remaining schools.
Opposing the administrators’ approach were Oakland Education Association (OEA) members who participated  in the district’s Ad Hoc Committee on school closure, which was established to provide community involvement in the process.
OEA members on the committee criticized the district for lack of transparency and engagement with the community, saying that except for the teacher union representatives on the committee, all of the 15-20 participants in the closed-door meetings were selected by the district.
The OEA teachers’ counter report,  presented at the board meeting by OEA member and Reach Academy teacher Megan Bumpus, said there is no evidence or research from the CONTINUE READING: School District Prepares for Second Round of School Closures | Post News Group

How School Choice Undermines Democratic Processes

How School Choice Undermines Democratic Processes

How School Choice Undermines Democratic Processes
Opponents of school choice in its many forms often talk about processes and institutions and policies, but one way to grasp the problems that choice is old fashioned and non wonky. Just look at who is holding the purse strings.
In the public school system, the money is controlled by some combination of taxpayer-elected local school board members and taxpayer-elected state legislators (the nature of the combination varies by state). Every person who pays into the system gets a vote on how the system uses their money.
In a voucher or charter system, the money is controlled by the families of students. If you are a taxpayer without any children in the system, you have no say in how and where the money is spent. If, for instance, you are a taxpayer in Indiana, you may watch in horror as Catholic schools bow to Archdiocese demands to fire gay teachers, and you may be further alarmed to know that your own tax dollars help fund those schools. But if you have no children, you get no vote. You will be taxed to support education in your state, but you will have no avenue for expressing your ideas about what form that spending should take.

In fact, in some cases, you may not even be able to find out how the money is spent. In a voucher or charter system, your tax dollars are passed on to the school at the family's direction. With an education CONTINUE READING: How School Choice Undermines Democratic Processes

School Board Member Strikes Out in Attempt to Change Board Rules

School Board Member Strikes Out in Attempt to Change Board Rules

School Board Member Strikes Out in Attempt to Change Board Rules

I’d love to suspend all the board rules for one year
– LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia
Despite the fact that Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Member Nick Melvoin has still not held a single public meeting for his secret rules committee, another vote was scheduled Tuesday for the full board to ratify its work product. Like on the two other occasions that these proposed changes came before the board, action on them was postponed to a future meeting. However, brand new board member Jackie Goldberg was able to persuade a majority of the board to approve a subsection of these rules. In protest of his entire package being pushed aside, Melvoin voted against the very rules that he had helped to craft.
Without input from the public that Melvoin has been elected to represent, it is not surprising that his proposed rules changes would not do anything to make meetings more accessible to the public. While most other neighboring schools districts hold their meetings when school is not in session, the LAUSD will continue to hold theirs during times when teachers, students and a majority of working parents cannot attend. After public complaints, the attempt to reduce the speaking time for members of the public continues to be abandoned. However, the rule that allows board members to ask CONTINUE READING: School Board Member Strikes Out in Attempt to Change Board Rules

Help NPE Action Help the Resistance in Every State! | Diane Ravitch's blog

Help NPE Action Help the Resistance in Every State! | Diane Ravitch's blog

Help NPE Action Help the Resistance in Every State!

Join the Battle to Save Our Public Schools! 

The Tide is Turning But We Need Your Help

The narrative is shifting.
As candidates jockey for position, public education issues are no longer relegated to soundbites. Major media outlets are reaching out to NPE Action to better understand why candidates are backing away from charters schools. Our NPE Action articles about the role of education policy in the 2020 election have run in The New York Daily News and The Progressive.
We need your support to continue to change the conversation and move our issues forward.
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A donation of $250 or more will help us bring advocates from coast to coast together in Philadelphia for our 6th National Conference. We hope you’ll join us for that conference and that you’ll consider submitting a panel to share the work you are doing in yourcommunity to keep your public schools alive.
And a recurring monthly donation of any amount becomes the income we can depend on to issue Action Alerts when we need to let our legislators know where we stand.
In her new book, Slaying Goliath, Diane has called us “the Resisters,” the volunteer army “fighting back to successfully keep alive their public schools.” 

We simply can’t continue this work without contributions from “resisters” like you. Please give what you can today.
Help NPE Action Help the Resistance in Every State! | Diane Ravitch's blog

John Thompson: Did We Ever Disagree? He Says We Did. | Diane Ravitch's blog

John Thompson: Did We Ever Disagree? He Says We Did. | Diane Ravitch's blog

John Thompson: Did We Ever Disagree? He Says We Did.


John Thompson says we used to disagree, but he has come around. My memory is not what it used to be, but I recall that he took issue with my use of the term “corporate reformers.” He used to think that the “reformers” were trying to help and just needed the hand of friendship extended to them. Now he thinks otherwise.
He knows that I tried to meet Bill Gates when I visited Seattle. My requests were always rebuffed. There are just so many times you can try without getting a message that the meeting will happen never.
He ponders in this post whether I hurt reformers’ feelings and whether I should care.
Ravitch acknowledged that “reformers say I am ‘mean’ or ‘harsh’ when I say that some ‘reformers’ have a profit motive or that their grand plans actually hurt poor minority children instead of helping them.” She had been told, “Bill Gates was very hurt by my comments about his effort to remake American education. He frankly could not understand how anyone could question his good intentions.” But Ravitch had never questioned his intentions, even though she “certainly question[s] his judgment and his certainty that he can ‘fix’ education by creating metrics to judge teachers.”
Ravitch confessed to being less worried about the CONTINUE READING: John Thompson: Did We Ever Disagree? He Says We Did. | Diane Ravitch's blog

Shawgi Tell: David Osborne, Neoliberal Privatizer | Diane Ravitch's blog

Shawgi Tell: David Osborne, Neoliberal Privatizer | Diane Ravitch's blog

Shawgi Tell: David Osborne, Neoliberal Privatizer

Shawgi Tell is a professor at Nazareth College in upstate New York who writes frequently about education.
David Osborne’s Twisted Logic
David Osborne is one of America’s foremost neoliberal demagogues. He is a major representative of the so-called “Third Way,” a clever label for destructive neoliberal aims, policies, and arrangements. His constant attacks on public right can be found at the website of the Progressive Policy Institute, which is not progressive at all, as well as in a number of books emphasizing the theme of “reinventing” (read: further privatizing) government.
Osborne has spent much of his life attacking the public sector and pushing for its privatization (“reinvention”) as fast as possible. He has long been heavily funded by wealthy private interests that support neoliberal policies in every sector and sphere of society.
In the sphere of education, Osborne has been a relentless supporter of privately-operated low-transparency charter schools, which are notorious for being unaccountable, segregated, deunionized, and corrupt.
Osborne receives ample space and time on many platforms around the country to promote neoliberal disinformation masquerading as “interesting and needed discussion.” Recently, he was in Rochester, New York promoting the “benefits” of unaccountable privately-operated charter schools. His visit “coincided” with a big push by local newspapers, the Mayor, local elite, and state education officials to impose the failed state takeover model on the heavily-demonized Rochester City School District (RCSD). Naturally, thousands of people in Rochester oppose charter schools, privatization, and a state takeover of the RCSD.
On June 19, 2019, the Washington Post carried a lengthy article by Osborne with the twisted title, “‘Privatization’ doesn’t make charter schools bad. It makes them like Obamacare and Medicare.”
The entire article is straightforward disinformation designed to fool the gullible.
Comfortable with casually ignoring: (1) a large body of evidence against charter schools, (2) the fact that CONTINUE READING: Shawgi Tell: David Osborne, Neoliberal Privatizer | Diane Ravitch's blog

Politicians Are Discovering They Can No Longer Ignore Charter School Outrages | janresseger

Politicians Are Discovering They Can No Longer Ignore Charter School Outrages | janresseger

Politicians Are Discovering They Can No Longer Ignore Charter School Outrages

In Wednesday’s Washington Post‘s Laura Meckler traces fading support for charter schools among Democrats who are running for President:
“Democrats have long backed charter schools as a politically safe way to give kids at low-performing schools more options… The presidential contest is proof that’s no longer the case. If the candidates say anything about charter schools, it’s negative… Instead, the Democratic candidates are pitching billions of dollars in new federal spending for schools and higher pay for teachers, with few of the strings attached that marked the Obama-era approach to education. It adds up to a sea change in Democratic thinking, back to a more traditional Democratic approach emphasizing funding for education and support for teachers and local schools.”
Except that major political change is excruciatingly slow and difficult.  And, in education, the policy that most directly affects schools happens in state legislatures, where the American Legislative Exchange Council wields the power.
Just this week in West Virginia, for example, the state legislature passed an omnibus bill which combines added state investment in public schools with the launch of charter schools.
Nearby in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a scathing critique of the state legislature’s ongoing debate of bills that would supposedly regulate charter schools: “Last week, the Pennsylvania House passed a set of bills proffered to ‘fix’ Pennsylvania’s charter school law. Yet the bills fail to address necessary charter school funding reform, and two of the bills… specifically allow charters to expand without adequate oversight… Statewide, in 2016, state school districts paid $1.5 billion… in charter school tuition payments.  Charter schools receive this funding regardless of whether their students are making the grade. Worse yet, in 2012-13 they were paid over $200 million more for special education services than they spent on these services for our students.”
Jeff Bryant explores in more detail just how Pennsylvania charter school funding is destroying CONTINUE READING: Politicians Are Discovering They Can No Longer Ignore Charter School Outrages | janresseger


Consequence of NOLA High School Grade-fix: All New Orleans HS Student Records to be Audited | deutsch29

Consequence of NOLA High School Grade-fix: All New Orleans HS Student Records to be Audited | deutsch29

Consequence of NOLA High School Grade-fix: All New Orleans HS Student Records to be Audited

This is a long time coming.
As a result of the grade-fixing scandal at a New Orleans charter high school– a scandal that resulted in 49 percent of the school’s Class of 2019 being found to lack credits and/or exit exam scores– Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) superintendent, Henderson Lewis, vows a criminal investigation of that school, Kennedy High School (operated by New Beginnings Schools Foundation) as well as an audit of student records for students attending New Orleans high schools.
Orleans Parish schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. on Thursday blasted John F. Kennedy High School and the New Beginnings Schools Foundation, the nonprofit that runs Kennedy, amid a grade-fixing scandal and investigations that have rocked students at the Gentilly high school. Lewis called for a criminal investigation into the school and said that the district will conduct a student record audit of every Orleans Parish school district high school. …
Lewis’ remarks came a week after it was revealed that nearly half of the students in the school’s 2019 graduating class were not eligible for graduation due in part to staff “malfeasance,” New Beginnings board president Raphael Gang told The Lens last week. The announcement came more than a month after the school’s May 17 graduation ceremony. …
Lewis also announced he had sent a letter to State Inspector General CONTINUE READING: Consequence of NOLA High School Grade-fix: All New Orleans HS Student Records to be Audited | deutsch29



Chalkbeat Tennessee Publishes TFA/Charter Propaganda Interview | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Chalkbeat Tennessee Publishes TFA/Charter Propaganda Interview | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Chalkbeat Tennessee Publishes TFA/Charter Propaganda Interview

Among the education news outlets funded by Gates and others who try to push the slowly dying education reform agenda Chalkbeat is one of the better ones.  Unlike The74 or Education Post, Chalkbeat does often try to be balanced and they have Matt Barnum on staff who is one of the smartest education writers out there.
So I was annoyed when I saw this interview recently published called “This teacher had a student tell her she wasn’t ‘fun.’ Here’s what that taught her about inequity.”
If you are up for it, you should read the entire interview yourself — it speaks for itself.  But I’ll summarize it here with analysis.
The basic premise is that Angelique Hines a first year TFA teacher placed in a brand new charter school in Tennessee is featured in a series of interviews by Chalkbeat called “How I Teach.”  The premise of the interview series, according to Chalkbeat is “Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask educators who’ve been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs.”  So already there’s an issue of whether Hines is really an educator who has been recognized for her work.  She has been teaching for 9 months in a brand new charter school that has no track record at all.
One thing we do know is that her students can sit with their hands folded in front of them in a very obedient way.
So the article explains its title.  Hines speaks about how a student said he misses his old CONTINUE READING: Chalkbeat Tennessee Publishes TFA/Charter Propaganda Interview | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Grassroots Education Network- June 2019 Newsletter - Network For Public Education

Grassroots Education Network- June 2019 Newsletter - Network For Public Education

Grassroots Education Network- June 2019 Newsletter

The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 130 grassroots organizations nationwide that have joined together to preserve, promote, improve, and strengthen our public schools. If you know of a group that would like to join this powerful network, please send them this link to sign up.
If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison at marlakilfoyle@networkforpubliceducation.org
National Organizing
NPE Grassroots Education Network national organizations are on the move for public education
Defending the Early Years board member Dr. Denisha Jones published a series of blogs on Anji play. To read her material head over to the DEY Blog. Also, don’t forget that DEY will be holding their Early Childhood Summer Organizing Leadership Institute from July 7-10 at the Eaton Hotel, Washington, DC. Register NOW as there are only a few open spots left! In the Public Interest is a national think tank that studies public goods and services. They produce a weekly privatization report, which is a scan of privatization-related news clips organized by sector (Education, Criminal Justice/Immigration, Infrastructure, etc.) that they send out every Monday morning. They also have a weekly newsletter which is an analysis of privatization issues (like private prisons, public-private partnerships, charter schools, etc.) and stories that lift up the value and importance of the common good. You’ll learn something every time. Finally, they produce Cashing in on Kids which is a twice-a-month scan of news clips and analysis tracking the movement to privatize public education. If you would like to receive these items please sign up here.
The Journey for Justice Alliance National Director Jitu Brown was chosen as an AFRE (Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equality) Fellow for 2019. Read about this honor here. Congratulations, Jitu!! Jitu was also featured on Fox News 32 as well as The Damage ReportFairtest offers two freshly updated resources for activists to use in their local campaigns and journalists to reference for their reporting- a chronology of computer testing problems and a history of test design, administration, and scoring failures by Pearson, the world’s largest testing company. Rethinking Schools attended NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education) last month and CONTINUE READING: Grassroots Education Network- June 2019 Newsletter - Network For Public Education

School Overcrowding & the New five-year Capital Plan Presentation to CPAC | Class Size Matters

School Overcrowding & the New five-year Capital Plan Presentation to CPAC | Class Size Matters School Overcrowding & the New five-year Capital Plan Presentation to CPAC | A clearinghouse for information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes

School Overcrowding & the New five-year Capital Plan Presentation to CPAC

A presentation for CPAC regarding school overcrowding & the new five-year Capital Plan.




Shanker Blog: Charter Schools and Teacher Diversity | National Education Policy Center

Shanker Blog: Charter Schools and Teacher Diversity | National Education Policy Center

Shanker Blog: Charter Schools and Teacher Diversity

new study of North Carolina public schools finds that black students in charter schools are more likely to have black teachers than their regular public school counterparts, and that the positive effect of “teacher/student racial match” on the test scores of black students is more pronounced in charter than in regular public schools.
Like most good analyses of charter and regular public schools, this report, written by economist Seth Gershenson and published by the Fordham Institute, is an opportunity to learn from the comparison between the charter and regular public school sectors. For instance, the fact that the “match effect,” which is fairly well-established in the literature (e.g., Dee 2005), is stronger in charter schools is fascinating, though a well-informed discussion of the reasons why this may be the case is well outside of my rather modest wheelhouse (there are some possibilities mentioned in the paper’s conclusion). 
I’d actually like to focus briefly on the first finding – that teacher/student racial match is more common for black charter school students. This is the descriptive and arguably less interesting part of the analysis, but it struck me because, like the paper's main finding about the magnitude of the "match effect," it too raises policy-relevant questions, in this case about why teacher diversity might vary between sectors.
Specifically, Gershenson reports that 35 percent of black charter school students had at least one black teacher between 2007 and 2012, compared with 22 percent of regular public school students. 
This may be due in part to within-school assignments (i.e., charter schools may be more likely to assign black students to black teachers). It may also arise if black charter school teachers teach in schools with larger shares of black students than black regular public school teachers (though North Carolina charters overall, unlike those in most states, serve larger proportions of white and non-FRL-eligible students than do regular public schools in the state). 
But the primary reason why racial match for black students is more common in charter schools is most likely the simple fact that charter schools employ more black teachers (as a proportion) than regular CONTINUE READING: Shanker Blog: Charter Schools and Teacher Diversity | National Education Policy Center



THE “BETTER ANGELS” OF OUR NATURE | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing

THE “BETTER ANGELS” OF OUR NATURE | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing

THE “BETTER ANGELS” OF OUR NATURE

The odd couple sat on the stage next to the nervous moderator. Ray Warrick,a stocky, white, tough linebacker type from Cincinnati sat on the left. Hawk Newsome, a 6’5 black, tough defensive end type from the Bronx sat in the middle. Neither looked the Kumbaya type.
Ray Warrick, once an ordinary guy who raged against the machine of politicians he could no longer trust, now finds himself the head of the Tea Party in Cincinnati.
Hawk Newsome, who as a youth, dropped out of high school yet pushed forward and earned a GED, Bachelor of Science, and law degree, now is the President of the NYC chapter of Black Lives Matters.
But this was not what you might predict, an “Ebony and Ivory” yellathon. They are both activists unhappy with the status quo.  They are quite angry with government officials and police who forget their responsibility to us, the citizens.  While they both rage against the machine as they each see fit, they do not rage at each other. They are Better Angels.
How many times did you hear, when you were younger and dragged to some holiday gathering, never to discuss money, religion and politics with other people, then sit at the holiday meal table like a good little boy or girl and watch the adults in the room start to raise their voices, yell, curse, and threaten violence CONTINUE READING: THE “BETTER ANGELS” OF OUR NATURE | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing