Latest News and Comment from Education

Friday, November 15, 2019

Wendy Lecker: The fallout of school takeover laws - StamfordAdvocate

Wendy Lecker: The fallout of school takeover laws - StamfordAdvocate

Wendy Lecker: The fallout of school takeover laws

What does Colin Kaepernick have to do with public schools? By silently kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, Kaepernick displayed the kind of civic engagement that is the goal of public education. Kaepernick’s actions inspired other athletes, at the professional, college and high school levels, to join in the silent, respectful protest. His protest sparked many to think about the true meaning of patriotism, beyond mindlessly repeating the words of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
This season, the NFL decided to ban these silent protests, under penalty of stiff fines. It is sadly not surprising that when African-Americans start to exert some influence, whites in positions of power attempt to thwart them. As Michelle Alexander pointed out in her book, “The New Jim Crow,” throughout American history, white society has reacted to any progress African-Americans made toward equality with attempts to repress those gains.
Takeover, a new book by Rutgers professor Domingo Morel, demonstrates that this pattern of backlash against African-American political empowerment has guided major education reform policy as well.
State takeovers of school districts are a favorite tool for education reformers. States swoop into impoverished school districts, declare them failures, strip districts of decision-making authority and often appoint an outside “expert” to turnaround the district.
As detailed in an earlier column,state takeovers are also a proven failure. In Detroit, Tennessee, New Orleans, and elsewhere, takeovers cause a great deal of disruption for teachers, students and families, but almost never result in any real CONTINUE READING: Wendy Lecker: The fallout of school takeover laws - StamfordAdvocate

Follow These #EdJustice Superstars on Twitter AND Standing with Puerto Rico | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Follow These #EdJustice Superstars on Twitter | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Follow These #EdJustice Superstars on Twitter

It’s that time of the year again... the Schott Foundation’s second annual list of 10 Education Justice Superstars to follow on Twitter! Spice up your feed with knowledge and inspiration from these influential and energized advocates. They’re leading the way, pushing racial and gender equity, fair funding, community schools, grassroots organizing and other crucial issues to the fore. Be sure to give them a follow!

Zakiya Sankara-Jabar 

Zakiya is the National Field Organizer for Dignity in Schools Campaign and Co-Founder of Racial Justice NOW! She came to advocacy, organizing, and policy work as a parent pushing back on the pre-school to prison pipeline. 

Marianna Islam 

Marianna is the Director of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education. She has a passion for racial and gender equity and her twitter feed is a go-to spot for all things social and education justice. 

Carlos Rojas

Carlos is a Schott Foundation Board Member and Director of Special Projects at Youth on Board. Check out his Twitter feed for a bit of politics, social justice, and humor! 

Jasmine Gripper 

Jasmine has committed her life and career to dismantling systemic racism in education. She will soon be the new Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education and tweets about public education in New York State.

Dr. Anika Whitfield 

A Human Justice activist and jazz enthusiast, Anika tweets about all things Arkansas Public Education! She has served as a mentor, classroom volunteer, tutor, and PTA president and is currently a volunteer grassroots organizer for Save Our Schools and Grassroots Arkansas

Carol Burris 

Carol Burris is executive director of Network for Public Education (NPE). Her Twitter feed is filled with updates on the and social and education justice. A retired principal, she brings her career as an educator to her analysis and commentary.

Denisha Jones 

Denisha is an educator, future social movement lawyer, and activist. Her feed is awesome for updates on education policy and justice! She also writer for her own blog.

Dr. Monique Morris 

Monique is a scholar, author and advocate, whose book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools will soon be a feature-length documentary film! Also the founder and president of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, she tweets about education, racial and gender justice with a focus on the school-to-prison pipeline.

Joanne N. Smith 

Joanne is the founder and president of Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) and a lifelong advocate of women’s rights. She tweets about activism, social justice and politics.

Kate Terenzi 

Kate is the Education Justice Campaigns staff attorney at the Center for Popular Democracy. Kate’s feed is a great place for all things civil rights and education justice!

Follow These #EdJustice Superstars on Twitter | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Standing with Puerto Rico: Uniting Diverse Struggles for Education Justice

Like flowers blossoming after a storm, deep and widespread social movements in Puerto Rico have emerged to confront the brutal austerity regime imposed by Wall Street and Washington, DC and enforced by the island's own political and economic elites. The summer of 2019 saw over a million Puerto Ricans take to the streets and go on strike against Governor Ricardo Rosselló and all that he represented, culminating in his resignation on August 2nd.
But leading up to the fight against Rosselló were massive waves of education organizing and protest involving educators, students and parents against back-room deals that would have gutted educator benefits and privatization plans to shutter hundreds of public schools all across the island.
Despite a virtual media blackout in the mainland U.S., grassroots groups across the country have built links of mutual solidarity and support with education justice movements in Puerto Rico. Schott grantee partner Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J) has been at the forefront of this work, most recently inviting organizers from Puerto Rico to its conference in Chicago and sending a delegation to witness and support the struggle firsthand. You can listen to an interview with Mercedes Martinez and Lourdes Antebella on J4J's podcast.
This kind of movement cross-pollination is vital to not only seeing the commonality of all our struggles, but also to building CONTINUE READING: Standing with Puerto Rico: Uniting Diverse Struggles for Education Justice

Jeff Bryant: Striking Teachers Are Fighting For Much More Than Paychecks | by People's Action

Striking Teachers Are Fighting For Much More Than Paychecks | by People's Action

Striking Teachers Are Fighting For Much More Than Paychecks

While national news outlets hail the conclusion of a historic teacher strike in Chicago, another important story often overlooked by national reporters is the ongoing struggle to defend public education in the months that follow successful strikes. In Oakland, California, where teachers won important concessions from the district as a result of their strike earlier this year, the community is nevertheless still seeing their students’ education undermined by lack of resources and disrupted by school closures and further privatization from charter schools.
Recently, when Oakland teachers, joined by contingencies of parents and students, showed up at a school board meeting to voice their opposition to a decision to close a beloved elementary school, they were met with barricades and a phalanx of police officers who roughed up peaceful protesters.
The ongoing struggle that continues in Oakland after teachers held a successful strike illustrates why advocacy for public education can no longer settle for labor-friendly contracts that make life better for teachers and students, but has to challenge more widespread political and societal conditions that undermine schools, as Chicago teachers just did. Calling for these deeper structural changes means taking on an economic and political agenda and a hierarchy of policy leaders that choose to give public funds and tax breaks to an array of beneficiaries other than public schools.
Advocating for this more ambitious goal can result in real change not only in local communities, as teachers have been proving in CONTINUE READING: Striking Teachers Are Fighting For Much More Than Paychecks | by People's Action

New Charter Schools Division Director Named - Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

New Charter Schools Division Director Named - Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints Stephanie Farland as the New Director of the Charter Schools Division

Stephanie Farland, a consultant on charter school oversight in California, said she sees the benefits that students can receive when there is no labor agreement. But she also sees the price that young or new teachers pay because of high involvement, home visits and long hours.
“Charter schools often are successful because they have highly engaged and involved staff,” said Farland, executive director of Sacramento-based Collaborative Solutions for Charter Authorizers, which works with school districts and county education offices in California.
One of the reasons, she said, is that “most charters don’t have union rules they have to follow. They really work the teachers pretty hard.”
That translates into historically high turnover rates and burnout, she said. “While they are there, they are doing a great job,” Farland said. “But once they burn out, there are really no protections for them.”
She said she understands the need for teachers to be paid well and fairly. “But for the charters that are successful and have high expectations for teacher involvement, I think unionization is going to hurt that.” St. Hope schools founded by former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will unionize, labor group says | The Sacramento Bee -

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Stephanie Farland as the Director of the Charter Schools Division for the California Department of Education (CDE).

The Charter Schools Division oversees State Board of Education-approved charter schools throughout California and administers the Federal Public Charter Schools Grant Program.

Currently, Farland is the Executive Director and Founder of Collaborative Solutions for Charter Authorizers, a private consulting firm dedicated to assisting school districts and county offices of education in their work as charter school authorizers. In that position, she works on all aspects of charter authorizing and oversight to ensure that a fair process is being implemented in California.

“I am pleased to add a professional with Stephanie’s knowledge of charter school issues to the CDE leadership team,” said Thurmond. “She is highly regarded as an expert in the field and for over a decade, has been a valuable resource and advisor to educational agencies and legislators throughout the state. Stephanie is a dedicated advocate and will lead the Charter School Division as itnavigates new processes and changes, while continuing the ongoing support and guidance to charter schools on behalf of the students we serve.”
Previously, Farland spent 13 years at the California School Boards Association as a Senior Policy Consultant. In that position, she was the principal point person on charter schools, and trained local governing boards around the state on charter authorizing responsibilities.

Farland taught history and government at Hiram Johnson High School in the Sacramento City Unified School District for five years. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Arts in history and minor in Chicano/Latino Studies. She received her Preliminary Single Subject Credential from California State University, Sacramento.

Farland replaces former division director Lisa Constancio who now oversees the School Fiscal Services Division.  She will start in her new role on December 15.
# # # #
Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Seattle Schools Community Forum: PTA Fundraising and Spending; Let's Talk

Seattle Schools Community Forum: PTA Fundraising and Spending; Let's Talk

PTA Fundraising and Spending; Let's Talk

A really informative article from The Atlantic on PTA fundraising.  Wonder if the new Board make-up, what with a former president of the SCPTSA and a former SCPTSA Board member, might have the courage to tackle this one.  But there is not just an "opportunity gap" but this:

A 2017 report from the left-leaning Center for American Progress found that of the roughly $425 million that America’s PTAs collectively raise each year, about a tenth is spent at schools attended by just one-tenth of 1 percent of the country’s students.
I also note that the district loves the money that flows into the district from PTAs because it certainly helps their bottom line.  Does the state fund education so that each teacher is not going into their own pocket to have the supplies/resources they need? No and neither does the district in turn.

SPS may have done nothing about PTA spending because there is so much money flowing to the district that it would be noticeable at JSCEE if it were curtailed.

 For example, the district likes it when PTAs do landscaping maintenance.  Bless the hard work of parents out there toiling but it then allows the district to hire fewer landscaping crew members.  The district likes it when PTAs replace carpeting because that's more money for other purposes.  (I recall when my CONTINUE READING: 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: PTA Fundraising and Spending; Let's Talk

It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY 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

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

Twenty-Second School Shooting Of The Year – How Many More Have To Happen?
The New York Times article headlined California School Shooting Is Another Nightmare Made Real – and the videos below – tell the story of what happened yesterday. It was the twenty-second school shooting this year . Even though California has many of the toughest gun laws in the nation, we obviously have to do more legally and culturally. Unfortunately, I have had many reasons to curate resources
Free Resources From All My Books
Every few months, I reprint this post so that new subscribers learn about these resources. I have many free resources, including excerpts and student hand-outs, available from all my books. Clicking on the covers will lead you to them. Look for a fourth book in my student motivation series (out in 2022) and a second edition of The ESL/ELL Teachers Survival Guide (out in 2021), along with three bo
Depressing Statistic Of The Day: Hate Crimes Up In The U.S. – Again
Hate-Crime Violence Hits 16-Year High, F.B.I. Reports is the depressing headline of a recent New York Times article. If you’re interested in learning ways educators can respond to these kinds of attacks on our fellow and sister human beings (many who are our students and their families), you might want to explore: Teaching & Learning Resources For The Pittsburgh Massacre New & Revised: A Collecti
A Look Back: Wow! “” Has Developed Into An Amazing Multi-Purpose Tool!
I’m beginning to republish posts that made it onto my A LOOK BACK: 2019’S BEST POSTS FROM THIS BLOG – PART TWO list. made it on The Fifty Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2016 as a new tool for creating infographics. Now, as you can see from the image at the top of this post, the site – which is FREE to use – lets you create an amazing array of interactive tools, including gam


Seven Things To Look Forward To Seeing Over The Next Thirty Days
Prettysleepy2 / Pixabay In addition to posts here and at Ed Week , and regular episodes of my BAM! Radio Show , I’ve got seven new projects/articles appearing over the next thirty days: * A lengthy article I wrote about our school’s support effort for Long Term English Language Learners, including data from the experiment and control groups, will appear in ASCD Educational Leadership next week. I
Pins Of The Week
I’m fairly active on Pinterest and, in fact, have curated 19,000 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 MOST POPULAR PINS OF 2019 The f
Google Expands Its Indigenous Languages Project With Lesson Plan & More
Pixaline / Pixabay In August, I shared a very impressive Google resource highlighting fifty-five indigenous languages from around the world (see Google Creates Interactive On Indigenous Languages ). Today, they unveiled what looks to me to be an impressive lesson plan on indigenous languages: Exploring Indigenous Language Vitality. In addition, they are “exploring the option to expand the story w
On This Day In 1960, Ruby Bridges Was The First African-American Child To Attend A Southern All-White Elementary School – Here Are Teaching Resources
WikiImages / Pixabay Ruby Bridges made history on this day in 1960. You might be interested in THE BEST RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT RUBY BRIDGES . #OTD in 1960, Ruby Bridges became the first African American to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South, at William Frantz School in New Orleans, Louisiana. For the entire school year only one teacher taught Bridges, in a classroom by he
“What Is the Difference Between Treating Students ‘Fairly’ & ‘Equally’?”
What Is the Difference Between Treating Students ‘Fairly’ & ‘Equally’? is the new question-of-the-week at my Ed Week column. Feel free to leave responses in the comments sections there or here…
A Look Back: The Lessons Our ELL Students Taught Their Schoolmates – Downloadable Book Included!
(I’m beginning to republish posts that made it onto my A LOOK BACK: 2019’S BEST POSTS FROM THIS BLOG – PART TWO list. Mojpe / Pixabay Editor’s Note: Guest Post: What ELLs Taught Our School In A Week-Long Empathy 

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