Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Educational Redlining - Student Borrower Protection Center

Educational Redlining - Student Borrower Protection Center

Educational Redlining Report

The SBPC’s analysis of fintech and banking products uncovered cases where a prospective borrower may be hit with thousands of dollars in additional credit costs if he or she attended a community college, an Historically Black College or University (HBCU), or an Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).  (Download report here)

Educational Redlining - Student Borrower Protection Center

The Black Teachers in Our City Dropped From 40% to 24%. We Can Change That, If We Want To - Philly's 7th Ward

The Black Teachers in Our City Dropped From 40% to 24%. We Can Change That, If We Want To - Philly's 7th Ward


I will never forget the time I attended a teaching job expo in Valley Forge, PA.  Districts from around the state had laid out the welcome mat, eager to attract the newest and brightest teachers into their ranks.
I stood among the crowds, these hundreds of people ready to join this most important and dearest of professions, and several realities struck me at once.
The first was how long the lines were for some districts, and the lack of lines at others.
Affluent, predominantly white school districts had lines that curved through the auditorium, eager faces adorned with anxiety as they saw the physical representation of how slim their chances were of getting their sought after placement.
How long was the line for the School District of Philadelphia – a district brimming with talented Black and Brown children? 
The second thing I noticed was the demographics of the folks eager to CONTINUE READING: The Black Teachers in Our City Dropped From 40% to 24%. We Can Change That, If We Want To - Philly's 7th Ward

I Love Teaching, Even When It Doesn't Love Me Back | The Jose Vilson

I Love Teaching, Even When It Doesn't Love Me Back | The Jose Vilson
I Love Teaching, Even When It Doesn't Love Me Back

At 2:45 pm, the students have already left the classroom. The door is slightly ajar, just open enough to let the teenage energy dissipate from this great green room. A whiteboard displays equations, diagrams, and words in different color markers. Desks once rigidly paired are slightly misaligned with untucked chairs and random doodles on them. The random handout, pencil shaving, and returned assignment lay on the floor. This teacher sits at his desk, still decompressing from another day of more than a hundred students over the course of eight periods. Two large stacks of ungraded papers and lesson plans hide his hands from the casual passerby.
He’ll need a few more minutes. He’ll shake it off. He’ll do this again tomorrow. He’s passionate. He’s tired. Millions of other teachers get it.
I get it, too. It’s February. There’s a whole litany of reasons for why children and the adults charged with caring for them are tired. After 100 days of having to with and for one another, we all need a cool-off from one another. Kids won’t sit down and pay attention to a 25-minute lecture? Adults won’t do it, either, and we’re paid to do that (kinda). Kids don’t want to wait for the bathroom? Teachers have to either wait until their schedule says they can use the potty or beg a colleague in the hallway with one foot in the door to hold down the fort.
Kids aren’t prepared for class? How’s that lesson plan from two years working out for us?
But I can’t shake the feeling of the cumulative exhaustion so many of us have in this work. No school CONTINUE READING: I Love Teaching, Even When It Doesn't Love Me Back | The Jose Vilson

Why School Counselors Are More Essential Than Ever - Teacher Habits

Why School Counselors Are More Essential Than Ever - Teacher Habits

Why School Counselors Are More Essential Than Ever
By Frankie Wallace

When you think about some of the most influential people in the lives of children, there are a few that probably immediately come to mind. Parents, of course. Maybe grandparents or other involved members of the family. Perhaps a close family friend or godparent. Definitely school teachers. But what about school counselors?
Many of us fail to recognize the very valuable role that school counselors play in shaping the lives of our children and pushing them towards success. Often times, counselors work in the background, taking care of things that fall outside of the realms of both teachers and the administration. They are there for the kids through thick and thin. 
Given this, it is tragic that counselors are almost always one of the first positions to be discarded during budget cuts and one of the last to experience increases in support in good budget years. Counselors are anything but “non-essential” to the schools they work for. Like the majority of positions within the education system, they are understaffed, underappreciated, and overworked. 
Image result for wearing many hats
All the Hats of a Counselor
What exactly do counselors do day to day? Honestly, the better question to ask is: what don’t counselors do as part of their job? Job CONTINUE READING: Why School Counselors Are More Essential Than Ever - Teacher Habits

Mitchell Robinson: A Betsy DeVos-approved accreditation group authorized a "visa mill" college with no students or faculty | Eclectablog

A Betsy DeVos-approved accreditation group authorized a "visa mill" college with no students or faculty | Eclectablog

A Betsy DeVos-approved accreditation group authorized a “visa mill” college with no students or faculty

According to a breaking story in USA Today, a Betsy DeVos-sanctioned accreditation agency gave approval to operate for Reagan National University in South Dakota, a “university” with no students, faculty, administration, or facilities–things which one might think an “accreditation agency” might notice.

President Donald Trump poses for a photo with students of Saint Andrew Catholic School on Friday, March 3, 2017, during a tour of the school in Orlando, Florida. Also shown is U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

DeVos’ Department of Education saved this accreditor from being removed from the DoE’s list of approved accreditation agencies, even though the agency, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS), had engaged in shady practices in the past, including accrediting predatory for-profit colleges such as ITT Tech, Corinthian Colleges and Brightwood College–all of which closed last decade, leaving “thousands of students without degrees and undermin(ing) the value of the education of those who did graduate. Those closures led President Barack Obama’s Education Department to strip ACICS’ powers in 2016.”
Not to fear: Betsy DeVos was all too happy to ignore these problems with ACICS’ judgement, and restored the agency’s authorization to accredit the mostly for-profit colleges that formed the core of its customer base.
Even more ironic than a university without students and faculty is that Reagan National University CONTINUE READING: A Betsy DeVos-approved accreditation group authorized a "visa mill" college with no students or faculty | Eclectablog

School Reforms That Are Persistent And Admired But Marginal (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

School Reforms That Are Persistent And Admired But Marginal (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

School Reforms That Are Persistent And Admired But Marginal (Part 3)

Who am I quoting here? Hint: Quotes come from person born in the 19th century.
If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?
The ancient superficial idea of the uniform and progressive growth of the human personality has remained unaltered, and the erroneous belief has persisted that it is the duty of the adult to fashion the child according to the pattern required by society.
If you guessed John Dewey, you were wrong. The quotes come from Maria Montessori (1870-1952).
Born in Italy, Montessori became a physician –one of few women to do so at the time. In 1906, she was appointed as head of the Casa Dei Bambini where she developed ideas, materials, and teaching practices for poor children in Rome that have since become known as the Montessori Method.

Montessori schools spread throughout Europe before and after World I, the Great Depression, and after World War II. Dr. Montessori came to the U.S. in 1913 and 1915 and 
schools –all private–sprung up throughout the U.S.

Beginning in the 1970s, the private sector of Montessori schools slowly CONTINUE READING: School Reforms That Are Persistent And Admired But Marginal (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Discount Chocolate Edition (2/16)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Discount Chocolate Edition (2/16)

Discount Chocolate Edition (2/16)

Well, sure-- what else does one do after Valentines Day except shop for deep discounts on chocolate! While you're eating irresponsibly, here's some reading from the week. Remember to share.

School choice detrimental to public schools
A guest op-ed from a state senator in the Sun Prairie Star suggesting that choice is bad for Wisconsin.

Privatizing Oakland Schools
The Black Agenda Report takes a look back at Eli Broad's plan to privatize Oakland schools. It's  not pretty.

Coaching and Parent Politics
From a blog called Friday Night Wives, a look at the problems parents are causing in the world of school sports coaching.

Crumbling Schools, Dismal Outcomes 
Alexander v. Holmes was supposed to change everything for Southern black children; this article looks at how that isn't happen.

Ed department calls charter backers "desperate"  
Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat outlines the blowback from charter boosters who, it turns out, can be just as ugly to their former allies as they are to the rest of us. They are not taking the new budget proposal well, and the ed department is not saying "sorry."

Male teachers of color make a difference at Memphis schools  
USA today looks at how-- well, the headline tells it. A good look at how the isue is playing out in one city.

"If we don't learn from this one, shame on us"
The story of a Detroit charter that was set up to aio. A good explanation of why charter advocates ought to want regulation, and how DeVos-backed policies hurt students in Michigan.

The neoliberal misrepresentation of Indianapolis K-12 history
At Cloaking Inequity, a rebuttal to the recent reformy tale of Indianapolis ed history.

The temptation of training teachers
Adam Laats has another history lesson, looking at the history of the notion that we can train teachers in one effective teaching system and all will be well.

NJ Charters can't have it both ways
Charter history includes a lot of time spent in courtrooms arguing that charters are whatever it's most expedient for them to be. (Public? Private? Which one lets us kep our money?) Jersey Jazzman looks at the most recent version of the Both Ways argument, currently being put forward by New Jersey charters

Redefining reading achievement creates problems
Nancy Bailey looks at the odd assertion that, these days, children need to be taught to read sooner. For some reason.

The effective classroom. Do you know it when you see it?
Nancy Flanagan looks at the notion that just looking at a classroom will tell you everything you need to know about it.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Discount Chocolate Edition (2/16)


FL: BEST Standards To Roll Back The Calendar

Somewhere Jeb! Bush is drowning his tears in his sarsparilla. His beloved Florida, the state that launched a thousand bad ed reform ideas, has tried to roll back one-- the Common Core./ Governor Ron Desantis dispatched a task force to drive a stake through the heart of the unbeloved standards and replaced them with B.E.S.T.-- Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking . No, it's not a name whose na
NC: Can Fed Money Get Charters To Accept Poor Students

North Carolina's charter schools have some issues, such as draining resources from public schools and increasing segregation in a state that has not exactly set a high standard for de-segregation . White flight segregation academies are turning into charters , and they're also looking at district secession (white flight via redrawing school district boundaries). But the federal government has awar

FEB 11

Trump and DeVos Abandon Charter Schools

Surprise! Never mind Sanders or Warren. Just like that, the charter supporters have found themselves abandoned by the Trump administration. The Trump budget axes federal support for charter schools , rolling the federal money for charters into a big fat all-purpose block grant, a big chunk of money retrieved from various programs that have been deemed redundant and ineffective. States will now get

FEB 10

Looks Like 2020 Is Going To Be A Big Betsy DeVos Year

Betsy DeVos may not be the most effective or qualified secretary of education ever, but she sure has managed to become the most famous (go ahead-- name five other education secretaries). And that fame is so very two-edged that she appears poised to be a major fixture on all sides of this year's election cycle. On the one hand, she has been tapped to be a card-carrying Trump surrogate , and is appa

FEB 09

ICYMI: Ice Edition (2/9)

It's the weekend of our b ig ice carving festival here in town, and the weather is perfect. There are cool sculptures to see, and it's the perfect festival for people who don't like crowds because nobody wants to stand around in the cold. And the Board of Directors has a lovely time. In the meantime, here is some reading from the week. Nashville Art School Will Purge Non-Christian Faculty A religi

FEB 08

What Charter Advocates Want From States

What exactly would charter proponents like to see in state charter regulations? As it turns out, we don't have to guess, because the National Alliance of Public [sic] Charter Schools regularly publishes a ranking of the states based on the "strength" of their charter laws. This year's edition is the 11th, and it's available right now ! Woot! If you are concerned about the rankings, I can give you

FEB 06

PA: DeVos Stumps For Trump, Masters Lying

So this is apparently the school choice lie that Trumpists are going to lean on: “They want government control of everything — your health care, your wallet, your child’s education,” DeVos said. Democrats “want complete control over where, how, and what American students learn,” she said. “ They want to close every charter school , take away every educational option from low-income families, limit
NY: Police State High School Is On Line

A while back, I wrote about Lockport, NY, where for some damn reason, school officials had decided that what the district really needed was facial recognition software watching the students . As with most expansions of the surveillance state, the excuse was the ol d "This is for your own good." Facial recognition and tracking software will add an unprecedented level of security at the schools. Dis

FEB 05

Eli Broad Goes To Yale

This ran over at Forbes back in early December, and in the Christmas rush I just forgot to port it over here to the mother ship for those of you who don't read me at Forbes. So it's not fresh, shiny news-- but it still matters. Billionaire Eli Broad has long worked to impose business solutions on U.S. education, believing that education has a management problem, not an education problem. As one B

FEB 03

USED Pitches Privatization To Wyoming

Mitchell Zais , Deputy Secretary of Education, last week visited Wyoming to stump for school choice . He wrote for the Wyoming Parent his version of the department's sales pitch for Betsy DeVos's Education Freedom vouchery program. Wyoming parents (and taxpayers), this is a bit of a snow job. Let me explain. He opens by recognizing that humans are individuals, so that he can say this: So why does
I Shot An Arrow Into The Air

I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; -- " The Arrow and the Song " Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Rick Hess recently wrote an EdWeek post offering f our insights about education policymaking , and as if often the case with Hess, I started to write a reply in the comments section and then it got too long and so here I am. Here's a quick recap of his four ideas-- This might

FEB 02

ICYMI: Sportsball Sunday Edition (2/2)

Human beings are funny creatures. Today we'll celebrate the prognostication of a giant rodent, invest a gazillion dollars in a sportsball contest, and get all excited because our date-labeling system will cough up a palindrome today