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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

LAUSD’s Nick Melvoin: Betrayal of Trust

LAUSD’s Nick Melvoin: Betrayal of Trust

LAUSD’s Nick Melvoin: Betrayal of Trust
INSIDE THE LAUSD BOARD-“Thanks for your participation in yesterday evening’s meeting with Nick Melvoin. For reference, I attached my notes and next steps from our discussion. Please do not share these notes outside of this group.”  -- Jason J. Rudolph, CCSA 
It appears that this school board member was a mole in the boardroom as the LAUSD defended itself against a lawsuit from the charter school industry.
As the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board pretended last May to accept public comment on the proposed candidates for the vacant Superintendent position, they had already made a decision. However, in violation of the Brown Act, the Board had neglected to “publicly report any action taken in closed session and the vote or abstention on that action of every member present.” The public only found out about this deception because Board Member Scott Schmerelson released a statement revealing that “On April 20, by the slimmest majority possible, four members of the LAUSD Board of Education (Garcia, Melvoin, Vladovic, Rodriguez) voted to authorize negotiations for an employment contract with Mr. Austin Beutner as the General Superintendent of the District.” In an appearance before the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, Schmerelson further divulged that every time he asked Beutner “a question about education, [Beutner] couldn’t answer because he really didn’t know.” 
Schmerelson was rewarded for his transparency with an investigation by the District Attorney. His fellow board member Nick Melvoin denied that he filed the complaint, but told Speak Up, (an organization created to promote his candidacy), that Schmerelson was “revealing closed-session stuff [and talking] about Austin’s answers.” Melvoin maintained that information about “who wanted Austin, who didn’t, what Austin said, is confidential” and should not have been revealed. So much “for a new era of transparency and accountability” that the Board District 4 CONTINUE READING: LAUSD’s Nick Melvoin: Betrayal of Trust

Inside The NAACP's Civil War Over Charter Schools | HuffPost

Inside The NAACP's Civil War Over Charter Schools | HuffPost

Inside The NAACP’s Civil War Over Charter Schools

Leaders of the nation’s oldest civil rights group say that members are being paid by right-wing groups to infiltrate the organization and sow chaos.

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When three local NAACP branches in California passed April resolutions opposing the national group’s call for a charter school moratorium, school choice advocates greeted the news with glee. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos voiced her support in an interview. The Wall Street Journal published a flattering editorial about the move, describing it as a welcome “revolt.”
But leaders at the California state NAACP say this so-called “revolt” is fake news. They say the main member who pushed these actions ― a woman named Christina Laster ― is being paid by a right-wing group connected to the Koch brothers to infiltrate the organization and sow chaos. They also note that, despite the media attention, these resolutions were dead on arrival at the national organization for failure to follow proper submission protocol or rejection by higher committees.
In July, California leadership asked the national NAACP to initiate an investigation into the three branches ― Southwest Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino ― and their leaders’ motivations.
“It’s definitely a funded and deliberate effort to try and do a hostile takeover,” said Rick Callender, the second vice president for the California Hawaii NAACP.
Laster, on the other hand, denies the accusations and says she has been bullied by organizational leaders for simply expressing her opinion and representing the voice of local members.
They felt I was creating division to make it seem like we were breaking away as an organization. But it wasn’t that at all,” Laster, education chair of the Southwest Riverside branch, told HuffPost. “It was my desire to bring to the forefront what works and what doesn’t work.”
The NAACP ― the nation’s oldest civil rights organization ― passed a national resolution in October 2016 calling for a moratorium on the expansion of charter schools. The resolution came out of the San Jose branch and made its way through multiple CONTINUE READING: Inside The NAACP's Civil War Over Charter Schools | HuffPost

What Can We Expect Schools to Do about White Nationalism? | Teacher in a strange land

What Can We Expect Schools to Do about White Nationalism? | Teacher in a strange land

What Can We Expect Schools to Do about White Nationalism?

As the news stories about back-to-back (to-back) shootings emerged, I waited for what was surely coming.
Listening to talk radio while driving for an hour on Sunday morning, the stories from CNN, NPR, MSNBC and Bloomberg were similar: Shock and horror. Informed speculation about root causes. Serious conversation about domestic terrorism and white nationalism. Comments from Democratic presidential candidates (many of whom were moved by anger and frustration to expletives), calling for immediate Congressional action. Thoughtful remarks about gun control.
Then I turned to Fox. They were talking about… video games. And the role of the media (other media, evidently—not Fox, of course). How public schools had taken God out of the equation, leading to moral collapse and failed school policies. How the Internet and digital tools had fomented this crisis, so we all needed to put down our phones. The talk on Fox was all about mental health (another thing that public schools were lax in reporting or fixing). Thoughts and prayers a-plenty, laced with blame for public institutions.
The only thing in common: high praise for first responders.
Two distinct worldviews. Where does public education fit into this picture? If you’re patient, you’ll almost always get to hear what Joe Sixpack thinks ‘the schools’ have done wrong in shaping the next generation and how to fix these errors.
Is it fair for folks on the right to suggest that schools have absconded from their moral duty to imbue students with ethical principles? Should our first impulse be to ‘harden’ schools—or to be anti-racist role models for young children? What part can public CONTINUE READING: What Can We Expect Schools to Do about White Nationalism? | Teacher in a strange land

Walton Family Backs Bond-Market Experiment for Charter Schools

Walton Family Backs Bond-Market Experiment for Charter Schools

Walton Family Backs Bond-Market Experiment for Charter Schools

(Bloomberg) -- Anand Kesavan spent more than a decade as a public finance banker working with state loan funds for clean water projects before a two-year stint as chief financial officer at KIPP Austin, a network of 10 charter schools in Texas’s capital. Now, he’s heading a non-profit backed by the family of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton that’s experimenting with a novel way to cut the cost of 

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Today's Education Research Report

Education Research Report

Today's Education Research Report

Student Mobility, Backfill, and Charter Schools

By Neil Campbell and Abby Quirk Changing schools—especially midyear moves within the same community—is a challenge for students, families, and schools. Making new friends, connecting with new teachers, filling in gaps when curricula aren't perfectly aligned, and being assessed to receive necessary interventions and supports can all contribute to the challenges students face when switching schools
Splitting sleep (naps) improve long-term memory in chronically sleep deprived adolescents

Sleep aids the encoding and consolidation of declarative memories, but many adolescents do not obtain the recommended amount of sleep each night. After a normal night of sleep, there is abundant evidence that a daytime nap enhances the consolidation of material learned before sleep and also improves the encoding of new information upon waking. However, it remains unclear how learning is affected
2019 Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

Frustrated by poor pay and underfunded schools, half of public school teachers nationally have seriously considered leaving the profession in the past few years — and majorities in the 2019 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools say that given the opportunity, they’d vote to strike. Were it to happen, large majorities of parents and the general public say they’d lend support
The Liberal Arts in Decline? Not When You Count Community Colleges

What’s More, Grades in Humanities and Liberal Arts Are Strong Indicator of Transfer Success for Community College Students Despite fears that the liberal arts are on the ropes, humanities and liberal arts education is not in decline in public colleges in the United States, according to a new analysis from the Community College Research Center. Overall, the number of undergraduate liberal arts deg
Early Momentum Metrics: Leading Indicators for Community College Improvement

As community colleges across the country implement large-scale reforms to improve student success, they need timely and actionable metrics to determine if the changes they are making in a given year or term will likely improve student outcomes in the long run. In this brief, the authors examine how well nine measures of students’ progress in their first year predict student completion in subseque
Education Institutions Use of Technology in Developmental Education Programming

As postsecondary institutions increasingly integrate technology into developmental education, it becomes important to understand how technology is used in these programs, what challenges institutions have encountered relating to the technology, and what considerations institutional leaders take into account when deciding whether and how to integrate technology in developmental education. This wor
Gates initiative: no discernible positive effects on students’ academic performance

Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support colleges seeking to incorporate technology into their advising and student services. In iPASS, such technology is intended to increase advising’s emphasis on a student’s entire college experience, enabling advisors to more easily: intervene when students show earl
50-State Comparison: K-12 Funding

Across all 50 states, there are different ways in which states allocate K-12 funding to districts. Education Commission of the States has collected information on general funding model structure, base per pupil, special education, English language learner, at-risk, gifted and talented, and small school funding. In addition to identifying which states include mechanisms for base funding and specia


Discouraging news about Tennessee’s largest school turnaround efforts

A new Vanderbilt University report finds less than encouraging news about Tennessee’s largest school turnaround efforts. The research evaluates outcomes for the state-run Achievement School District and district-led iZone schools after six years of implementation across five different cohorts of schools from 2012–13 to 2017–18. A new brief released by the Tennessee Education Research Alliance at
College Remediation Goes Back to High School: Evidence from a Statewide Program in Tennessee

Many U.S. students arrive on college campus lacking the skills expected for college-level work. As state leaders seek to increase postsecondary enrollment and completion, public colleges have sought to lessen the delays created by remedial course requirements. Tennessee has taken a novel approach by allowing students to complete their remediation requirements in high school. This study evaluates
Does Healthcare Education Respond to Short-Run Local Demand?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased demand for healthcare across the U.S., but it is unclear if or how the supply side has responded to meet this demand. This paper examines the healthcare education 

Education Research Report

Mike Klonsky's Blog: A Dystopian Vision Of American Education

Mike Klonsky's Blog: A Dystopian Vision Of American Education

A Dystopian Vision Of American Education

In the wake of the latest wave of politically-driven, mostly white supremacist terrorism that left at least 31 dead in El Paso and Dayton, Trump and the Republicans are scrambling to create a narrative that acquits them and their leadership of culpability and collusion in the bloody affair.

In the past few days, the GOP line has shifted blame away from Trump's demagogic violent appeals to his racist supporters, on to the mentally ill, video games, and "fake news".

That was exactly the imagery laid out in the El Paso shooter's "manifesto".

Their narrative portrays America as a holy battlefield in a war in defense of white, christian values and a future of Republican political power.

It now includes a dystopian vision of schools as armed camps with gun-toting teachers, cops and militia surrounding school buildings and waiting for the invading enemy of infidels to make their next move.

This represents a giant-step past their previous neoliberal vision of school "choice".

Their current line was best articulated by Trump adviser Sean Hannity yesterday. The Fox News host is calling for a volunteer army of armed ex-cops and soldiers that would be CONTINUE READING: 
Mike Klonsky's Blog: A Dystopian Vision Of American Education

Shawgi Tell: Charter School Apologia | Dissident Voice

Charter School Apologia | Dissident Voice

Charter School Apologia

The frenzied promotion of illusions about charter schools by the rich reflects their growing fear of losing the power to impose their narrow interests on the public.
Mounting internal and external criticism of privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools rightly has charter school advocates and their wealthy supporters anxious. In this fractured context, it is not an accident that the discourse and agenda of charter school advocates is becoming more irrational, brazen, and destructive.
On July 26, 2019, the charter school–friendly New York Times carried another piece attempting to apologize for scandal-ridden charter schools: “How Did Charter Schools Lose Their Luster? Our Reporter Explains.”1
The short article, which explains little, introduces a conversation around the troubled charter school sector between Eliza Shapiro, New York City education reporter now working at the New York Times, and Dodai Stewart, deputy editor of the Metro desk at the New York Times. A link to a 45-minute podcast featuring the entire conversation, with questions from Times readers, is provided at the end of the article.
Throughout the article and podcast Shapiro focuses mainly on the growing backlash against charter schools, especially against punitive “no-excuses” charter schools which siphon money from public schools and implement authoritarian student discipline practices to control low-income minority students. KIPP charter schools and Success Academy charter schools are just two of the most notorious for implementing harsh and punitive control methods over student behavior, thoughts, and appearance. Numerous disturbing reports of their Skinnerian practices are available online.
Shapiro’s main goal is to find a way to co-opt criticism of privately-operated CONTINUE READING: Charter School Apologia | Dissident Voice