Latest News and Comment from Education

Monday, December 30, 2019

Every Incident of Mishandled Guns in Schools - Giffords

Every Incident of Mishandled Guns in Schools - Giffords
Every Incident of Mishandled Guns in Schools

Editor’s Note: This list is comprehensive as of December 10, 2019. We will make periodic updates to keep it up to date.
Armed adults frequently mishandle their guns in schools. Arming teachers wouldn’t decrease risk to students—it would increase their risk.
Our comprehensive analysis finds there have been more than 85 publicly-reported incidents of mishandled guns at schools in the last five years, including:
Until very recently, educators and policymakers across the country have rejected the idea of arming teachers. But last summer, President Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the administration is considering allowing states to use federal funding to arm teachers in schools.
Arming teachers is an incredibly unpopular proposition, opposed by seven out of ten teenagers, eight out of ten teachers, and seven out of ten parents. And for good reason.

study published in March 2019 found “no evidence that the presence of resource officers in schools lessened the severity of school shooting incidents.” And there is no evidence that armed teachers would be any more effective. In fact, a robust body of public health research strongly CONTINUE READING: Every Incident of Mishandled Guns in Schools - Giffords

Mike Rose: Why Teaching “Grit” Is Not Necessarily a Good Thing | Diane Ravitch's blog

Mike Rose: Why Teaching “Grit” Is Not Necessarily a Good Thing | Diane Ravitch's blog

Why Teaching “Grit” Is Not Necessarily a Good Thing

This is one of those articles that is never dated.
Rose, one of my favorite authors, writes:
In a nutshell, I worry about the limited success of past attempts at character education and the danger in our pendulum-swing society that we will shift our attention from improving subject matter instruction. I also question the easy distinctions made between “cognitive” and “non-cognitive” skills. And I fear that we will sacrifice policies aimed at reducing poverty for interventions to change the way poor people see the world.
In this post, I would like to further explore these concerns—and a few new ones—by focusing on “grit,” for it has so captured the fancy of our policy makers, administrators, and opinion-makers….
Let me repeat here what I’ve written in every other commentary on grit. Of course, perseverance is an important characteristic. I cherish it in my friends and my students.
But at certain ages and certain times in our lives, exploration and testing new waters can also contribute to CONTINUE READING: Mike Rose: Why Teaching “Grit” Is Not Necessarily a Good Thing | Diane Ravitch's blog

Expunging injustice – Fred Klonsky

Expunging injustice. – Fred Klonsky


As a teenager and and young man in L.A. in the Sixties I smoked a lot of pot.
Everybody did.
It was cheap and widely available.
And illegal.
Although I wasn’t aware of it – even before The War on Drugs – there were already lots of people in jail for marijuana possession.
In June 1971, Richard Nixon officially declared his “War on Drugs,” claiming that drug abuse was “public enemy number one.”
The rise in recreational drug use in the 1960s led to President Nixon’s focus on targeting marijuana and LSD.   For Nixon, and his generation, pot use was an integral part of the counter culture and the radical political movements of the time.
And, of course, it was.
As part of the War on Drugs Nixon increased federal funding for drug-control agencies and proposed strict measures, such as mandatory prison sentencing, for drug crimes.
Nixon went on to create the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1973. This agency is a special police force committed to targeting illegal drug use and smuggling in the United States.
At the start, the DEA was given 1,470 special agents and a budget of less than $75 million. By 2017 the agency has nearly 5,000 agents and a budget of $2.03 billion.
By the mid-Seventies I no longer smoked at all and have smoked rarely since then.
On a 2015 trip to Amsterdam I bought a joint in what they call a coffee shop. I asked for CONTINUE READING: Expunging injustice. – Fred Klonsky

Most popular education research stories from 2019

Most popular education research stories from 2019

10 of the most popular stories about education research in 2019
Debunking critical thinking, 'grit' and what goes on in gifted classes

For my year-end post, I’m highlighting 10 of the most well-read Proof Points stories of 2019. They are listed in the order of popularity — by the number of times readers viewed them on our website, The Hechinger Report. What stands out for me is how popular education trends, from social-emotional learning to school discipline, aren’t standing up to scientific scrutiny. The research evidence for education technology continues to be weak.

Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my weekly stories about education data and research. I look forward to continuing this conversation with you next year. If you would like to receive an email newsletter and notification when the column comes out each week, please click here and fill out the form. Happy New Year  and I’ll be back again on Jan. 6, 2020.
Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, makes the case that one of the biggest education trends — critical thinking — isn’t taught properly in schools. An extensive review of the research on how to teach critical thinking argues for teaching students old-fashioned content knowledge instead of CONTINUE READING: Most popular education research stories from 2019

UJAMAA – Parenting for Liberation #P4LKWANZAA

UJAMAA – Parenting for Liberation

Habari Gani?  Ujamaa!

Today is the fourth day of Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration that honors African heritage of the Black Diaspora. We will be highlighting the importance of the seven core principles of Kwanzaa, how you can practice in your families and communities, and share how Parenting for Liberation work embodies the tenets of each principle. 
Today, on the fourth day of Kwanzaa, we celebrate Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) which is to build & maintain our own stores, shops, & other businesses & to profit from them together.
One way that Parenting for Liberation practices Cooperative Economics is that we support Black businesses for our gatherings and events from the food, photography, and artists. Below are some vendors for our Kwanzaa event. Join us in patronizing them! CONTINUE READING: UJAMAA – Parenting for Liberation

Ten Education Stories We'll Be Reading in 2020 - Rick Hess Straight Up - Education Week

Ten Education Stories We'll Be Reading in 2020 - Rick Hess Straight Up - Education Week

Ten Education Stories We'll Be Reading in 2020

As we bid adieu to 2019 and look forward to another year of tranquil good cheer, it's time for my annual prognostications. Now, while some of you have uncharitably observed that I've an uneven record on this count, I shall soldier on, undaunted by the naysaying. Thus, without further ado, here's my best guess at 10 big education stories we'll be reading in the year ahead:
  1. As his impeachment trial looms, President Donald Trump's legal team tries a new tactic. In a surprising bid to solidify his position for the Senate trial, Trump's defense team explains that he can't have violated the responsibilities of the office . . . because he never learned what they are. One adviser tells The Washington Post, "I don't think the president ever heard the phrase 'enumerated powers' until the impeachment hearings began." As the White House release puts it, "The president cannot reasonably be expected to comply with niceties of constitutional doctrine that he was never taught." For his part, the president tweets, "DEEP-STATE teachers hid the truth from me in their sh#%hole schools!!!" He adds, "I have the best people. The best! Unlike my LOSER teachers, THEY finally told me about the Constitution and 'emuneraty powers.' Starting now, I will be the most enumerated president ever!!!"
  2. Struggling to regain her footing in a tough primary season, Sen. Elizabeth Warren announces that she's upsizing her higher education plan. In a carefully choreographed event at a Massachusetts community college, the candidate with a "plan for everything" unveils her new and improved higher ed plan. "My first plan just wasn't quite free enough," Warren says. "Now, free college will really mean free." Federal funding would cover tuition, fees, books, room and board, Wi-Fi access, travel, professional wardrobe, dorm fridges, boutique coffee drinks, yoga, Spotify Premium, fabric softener, and concert tickets. In a new campaign ad, Warren caresses a ridiculously soft-looking towel and says, "My plan? It's not just free college. It's free fabric softener, too!! How soft, you ask?" She winks, "Soft enough to absorb even a billionaire's dewy, delicious tears." The spot is a huge hit, winning the coveted ad of the year award from the influential Socialist Marketing Alliance of America.
  3. Shortly after his Senate acquittal, Trump embarks on a "You're Fired Tour," visiting schools across America to fire teachers (whom he continues to blame for his travails). CONTINUE READING: Ten Education Stories We'll Be Reading in 2020 - Rick Hess Straight Up - Education Week

Kentucky: First Charter School | Diane Ravitch's blog

Kentucky: First Charter School | Diane Ravitch's blog

Kentucky: First Charter School

Kentucky passed a law authorizing charters but never provided funding for them. The new governor of Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshears, was elected in part because of his strong support by teachers and his commitment to public schools.
First charter school application in Kentucky rejected
NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — The first charter school application filed in Kentucky has been unanimously denied. News outlets report Newport Independent CONTINUE READING: Kentucky: First Charter School | Diane Ravitch's blog

Education Research Report TODAY

Education Research Report

Education Research Report TODAY

A large negative fiscal impact of charter schools on both urban and nonurban school districts

Complete report A significant criticism of the charter school movement is that funding for charter schools diverts money away from traditional public schools. The magnitude of such adverse fiscal externalities depends in part on the nature of state and local funding policies. This paper examines the fiscal effects of charter schools on both urban and nonurban school districts in North Carolina. T
Does Broad-Based Merit Aid Improve College Completion? Yes and No

This study uses the natural experiment of a state lottery scholarship to measure the effect of generous financial aid on graduation rates at New Mexico's flagship public university. During the study period, the scholarship program paid full tuition for eight semesters for any state resident earning a 2.5 grade point average in their first semester at any public two-year or four-year college. The
Positive effects on student achievement driven by the length of the school day, not the length of the school year

Schools often have to decide between extending the length of the school year or the school day. This paper examines the effects of changes in the distribution of instructional time on eighth-grade student achievement through a methodological framework that disaggregates total yearly instructional time into separate inputs for days per year and hours per day. This study's dataset brings together n
The Effects of School Reform under NCLB Waivers: Evidence from Focus Schools in Kentucky

Under waivers to the No Child Left Behind Act, the federal government required states to identify schools where targeted subgroups of students have the lowest achievement and to implement reforms in these “Focus Schools.” This study examines the Focus School reforms in the state of Kentucky. The reforms in this state are uniquely interesting for several reasons. One is that the state developed un
Does an Accountability Program that Targets Achievement Gaps Affect Student Performance?

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education granted states the opportunity to apply for waivers from the core requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. In exchange, many states implemented systems of differentiated accountability that included a focus on schools with the largest achievement gaps between subgroups of students. This study uses administrative data from Michigan in a series of regr
 Vocational and Career Tech Education in American High Schools: The Value of Depth Over Breadth

Education Finance and Policy, Vol. 15, No. 1: 11-44. Vocational education is a large part of the high school curriculum, yet we have little understanding of what drives vocational enrollment or whether these courses help or harm early careers. To address this deficiency, the authors develop a framework for curriculum choice, taking into account ability and preferences for academic and vocational
College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A National Perspective

In a nationally representative sample , first-year U.S. college students “somewhat agree,” on average, that they feel like they belong at their school. However, belonging varies by key institutional and student characteristics; of note, racial-ethnic minority and first-generation students report lower belonging than peers at 4-year schools, while the opposite is true at 2-year schools. Further, a

Improving Teaching Effectiveness in New York City Middle Schools

Ten years ago, the reform of teacher evaluation was touted as a mechanism to improve teacher effectiveness. In response, virtually every state redesigned its teacher evaluation system. Recently, a growing narrative suggests these 
Education Research Report