Thursday, June 25, 2020

Schools Need $245 Billion From Federal Government to Reopen Safely | Education News | US News

Schools Need $245 Billion From Federal Government to Reopen Safely | Education News | US News

Schools Need $245 Billion to Reopen Safely, State Education Chiefs Estimate
The cost estimate is the biggest yet from a national education organization.



SCHOOLS WILL NEED AS much as $245 billion in additional federal support to safely reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a new estimate from the Council of Chief State School Officers shows.
The cost estimate – the biggest yet from a national education organization – represents a sobering recognition from red and blue states alike that a major federal bailout is needed in order to reopen for 55 million children whose schools shuttered in March
"While the amount of federal funding that is necessary to successfully and safely reopen schools and keep K-12 education budgets whole in the coming year is substantial, it is an essential investment in the nation's ongoing economic recovery and future competitiveness," Carissa Moffat Miller, CCSSO executive director, wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who requested the estimate earlier this month.
"As long as our K-12 school buildings remain closed, our country's economy cannot get back up and running and our economy will continue to suffer trillion-dollar losses," she wrote. "At the same time, we must address the significant academic and social-emotional impacts on students throughout this crisis and help them overcome the considerable learning loss and trauma they have experienced if we are ever to ensure a thriving economy in the years to come."
The estimate concludes that states need an additional $158 billion to $245 billion in federal assistance over the next two years. The financial analysis takes into account costs associated with operating remote and in-person instruction, addressing students' academic learning loss,CONTINUE READING: Schools Need $245 Billion From Federal Government to Reopen Safely | Education News | US News

Grassroots Partners are Making #PoliceFreeSchools a Reality. | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Grassroots Partners are Making #PoliceFreeSchools a Reality. | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Grassroots Partners are Making #PoliceFreeSchools a Reality.

Demonstrations across the U.S. over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others who have died at the hands of police brutality have further exposed our deeply racist and oppressive police system. The weight of this moment, created by a tidal wave of organizing and mobilization, has forced public school leaders to reevaluate the presence of police in public schools.
The issue around school policing has a disproportionate effect on students of color. Our students and young people cannot feel safe or effectively learn if they are forced to interact with a system of policing that views them as a threat. Black and Latino students are more likely to have police officers in their schools, increasing the likelihood of arrest. Students, organizers, advocates and community leaders across the Opportunity to Learn Network have a common message: Police do not belong in schools.
Schott grantee partner, the Alliance for Quality Education, has been at the frontlines of the fight for Police Free Schools for several years. Their organizing and advocacy efforts are aimed at ensuring a high quality public education for all students in New York State. AQE has most recently called on New York City Mayor de Blasio and New York State governor Cuomo to immediately remove police from New York City’s schools, as well as cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget to invest in education and youth services, as a first step in community reparation. As Maria Bautista, AQE’s described in an interview with Spectrum New York News, "We're talking about schools that are predominantly poor. So this conversation about police-free schools is happening in school districts that are being racially profiled."
Additionally, on June 16, the contract between the police and the Rochester City Schools district was ended, removing police CONTINUE READING: Grassroots Partners are Making #PoliceFreeSchools a Reality. | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Monuments of Honor, Monuments of Shame – radical eyes for equity

Monuments of Honor, Monuments of Shame – radical eyes for equity

Monuments of Honor, Monuments of Shame



Gun advocates often proclaim that guns don’t kill people, but that people kill people. Of course, this has a kernel of truth to it while also glossing over the inherent violent potential in those guns.
That sort of truth can also be applied to any published text.
The enslavement of Black people in the U.S. was supported by citing Biblical passages among, for example, Southern Baptists.
In other words, meaning tends to be less objectively in any object and more so in the intent of those imposing meaning on that thing.
With the election of Donald Trump as the U.S. president, many in the country became more ad more concerned about the possibility of fascism and totalitarianism coming to a free people grown lazy in their consumerism.
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s 1984 saw a surge in popularity among those troubled by Trump and his supporters.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the U.S. is now facing another CONTINUE READING: Monuments of Honor, Monuments of Shame – radical eyes for equity

What Teachers Are Worth - Teacher Habits

What Teachers Are Worth - Teacher Habits

What Teachers Are Worth



My childhood ended on the afternoon I tried to sell a Tony Fernandez rookie card. Dad had driven me to the next town over because I was hoping to complete a set of 1985 Topps baseball cards. I was six short, and in those pre-Internet days, the only way to get your hands on missing singles was to trade for them or buy them. I was going to buy mine and Dad, to his credit, had elected to not intervene. This was my ballgame.
I had a stack of cards to sell, the idea being I’d make five or six bucks unloading a pile of unwanted duplicates and then turn around and buy the ones I needed with the cash. I’d done the math. Any card collector of the era either had Beckett Baseball Card Monthly prices memorized or carried around the most recent volume. Beckett said my Tony Fernandez was worth 50 cents. So I started by offering him up.
The owner of the store, a gruff middle-aged fellow with a bushy mustache who stood opposite me behind a display case of Mantles, Koufaxes, and a Tom Brunanski I coveted, peered down at the rangy CONTINUE READING: What Teachers Are Worth - Teacher Habits

Oakland Schools Police Department abolished unanimously – Raw Story

Oakland Schools Police Department abolished unanimously – Raw Story

Oakland Schools Police Department abolished unanimously



The George Floyd Resolution to Eliminate the Oakland Schools Police Department passes the school board unanimously in a Wednesday vote.
Board president Jody London reportedly said that the district is conducting negotiations with police unions, which “will result in new roles to cultivate a positive culture and climate,” said reporter Ashley McBride.
“What’s about to go down in the safety plan is really safety around the mental health of students and racial and implicit bias,” said board director Roseann Torres, explaining it was just a first step to a new public safety plan.
Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell noted that having police in schools is ultimately part of a much larger issue.
“If we’re going to make progress, it’s not enough to merely remove the symptom. We have to transform the underlying conditions in the school system,” said Johnson-Trammell, according to McBride’s tweets.

Sacramento City Schools Consider Ending Police Contract For School Resource Officers - capradio.org

Sacramento City Schools Consider Ending Police Contract For School Resource Officers - capradio.org

Sacramento City Schools Consider Ending Police Contract For School Resource Officers



The Sacramento City Unified School District is considering fully divesting from the Sacramento Police Department. 
The district currently has a contract for a little over $500,000 with the police department, set to expire on June 30. But in light of recent nationwide discussions and the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, advocates and some board members are now calling for the district to not renew this contract. 
“For the entire district, Black students only represent 15% of the student population, but they represent 35% of all arrests,” Carl Pinkston, executive director of the Black Parallel School Board, said. “So once you have one arrest, one traumatized student experience, any interaction with the police, that is your first touch with the school to prison pipeline.” 
The Black Parallel School Board, in conjunction with the Sacramento City Teachers Association, Brown Issues, Sacramento ACT and Hmong Innovating Politics, have renewed efforts to push the district to fully divest from the police department. 
In the past, Sacramento City Unified has had as many as 20 Sacramento police officers on campus, also known as School Resource Officers, or SROs. Recent efforts from community groups have slashed that budget from $1.5 million two years ago to its current contract for $563,097, and taken the number from eight officers to three. But during a board meeting last November when a contract renewal was discussed, school board Vice President Christina Pritchett worried that taking officers out of the district entirely would have a negative impact. 
“SROs on campuses build relationships,” Pritchett said. “It’s not just a cop coming to a school CONTINUE READING: Sacramento City Schools Consider Ending Police Contract For School Resource Officers - capradio.org

Why Sacramento fails California — and itself – Orange County Register

Why Sacramento fails California — and itself – Orange County Register

Why Sacramento fails California — and itself



There may be no better symbol of Sacramento’s failure as California’s capital than the 18-foot -tall stainless-steel sculpture outside the city’s downtown sports arena. The work, by famed contemporary artist Jeff Koons, cost the city and the arena’s tenant, the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, $8 million. Its official name is “Coloring Book #4” but it’s really a representation of the character in Winnie the Pooh named Piglet.
It’s also a symbol of Sacramento’s porcine business model. As our state government hogs ever-greater authority for itself at the expense of California communities, our capital city and its most powerful people control more of our tax dollars, and more of our lives.
We are now living in the fifth decade of California’s great era of centralized power. Back in the 1970s, liberals seeking equality in local school funding and conservatives seeking local tax limits robbed California’s local governments of most of their fiscal and political power—and transferred that power to the state Capitol. In the 40 years since, the single greatest enterprise in Sacramento—pursued by governors, legislators and political interests of various stripes—has been the ever-greater expansion of state government power.
Downtown Sacramento is a living monument to our centralized era. In response to state government’s ever-expanding power, our local governments and other interest groups had to spend more money to influence and elect Sacramento’s power players. This spending built an army of lobbyists, consultants, organizers, party officials, and media mavens, who turned once-sleepy downtown Sacramento into their campus, with office towers, restaurants, snazzy entertainment venues like the arena, and expensive baubles, including Piglet.
This army of statewide influencers also became major powers in the political life of the city — as donors, officeholders, campaign consultants, and lobbyists. Darrell Steinberg, perhaps the most accomplished state legislator of this century, is now mayor.
Understandably, such ambitious people wanted to do big things that would get noticed around the state—hence all the high-profile construction downtown. But as they made Sacramento less sleepy, they too often neglected the less glamorous tasks of meeting neighborhood needs and managing fundamental departments.
That neglect has long left crucial institutions in Sacramento (pop. 509,000) in bad shape. The city government has struggled in bad times (Sacramento was hit especially hard during the Great Recession) and in good (Sacramento has been especially deficient in meeting local housing demands, especially with the arrival of Bay Area refugees). The once-vital daily newspaper, the Bee, self-destructed, and is now bankrupt. Even before COVID-19, the city’s largest school district CONTINUE READING: Why Sacramento fails California — and itself – Orange County Register

David Berliner: The Value of a College Education in the Humanities | Diane Ravitch's blog

David Berliner: The Value of a College Education in the Humanities | Diane Ravitch's blog

David Berliner: The Value of a College Education in the Humanities



David Berliner is one of the nation’s most eminent researchers of education. I am delighted that he sends original posts to me. I have informed him that “mi casa es su casa,” and he is always welcome here.
Why Universities Need Support, Need to Stay Open, and
Need to Have Their Students on Campus
David C. Berliner
Regents Professor Emeritus, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Over the last few years higher education enrollment in the USA has declined. The cost of colleges and universities has certainly been one factor in that small but steady drop in enrollment, particularly when return on investment is added to concerns about costs. The steep rise in tuition in recent years has an explanation: It is largely due to states’ disinvestment in their universities and colleges. From 2008, before the start of our last recession, to 2019, before the pandemic, my state of Arizona cut its contributions to higher education 54.9% (Mitchell, Leachman, & Saenz, 2019). When I first came to my wonderful university, I was impressed that tuition was relatively low, and it still is, but it is also 92.4% higher than it was in 2008! (Mitchell, Leachman, & Saenz, 2019)
So, for many, in the midst of this pandemic, the sacrifices that students and their families once made to obtain college degrees now appear to be less reasonable, perhaps even less possible. And families rightly worry that the rewards of a university degree are less tangible, compared to what they were in my generation. Incurring a CONTINUE READING: David Berliner: The Value of a College Education in the Humanities | Diane Ravitch's blog

Will Schools Reopen in the Fall? - The Atlantic

Will Schools Reopen in the Fall? - The Atlantic

The School Reopeners Think America Is Forgetting About Kids

Jennifer Nuzzo hopes to send her kids to camp this summer, but like many parents, she’s a little worried about it. The camp she selected for her son requires kids to wear masks, and she thinks he might get overheated. Other than that, though, she sees little problem with kids attending an outdoor camp this summer. And the same goes for schools—most districts haven’t yet announced when and how they’ll resume in-person classes, but she thinks they should open up in the fall.
Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University and a leading expert on the coronavirus, is one of a number of scientists vocally advocating for summer camps and schools to reopen, with some precautions, even if there’s no vaccine yet. “The idea of keeping kids at home, and having parents work at home, for however long, until we get a vaccine,” Nuzzo told me, “it seems to me that there are harms that kids are experiencing that we are not accounting for.”
Some public-health experts say that having in-person classes in a few months is still too risky, citing countries like Israel and China that have had to shut down schools after opening them up. The experts who disagree—call them the “reopeners”—aren’t blind to the dangers of the virus, but they believe the hazards should be weighed against the costs of changing children’s lives so dramatically.
This message likely has a friendly ear in many parents, especially those who have been Zooming into meetings while chasing after toddlers. Even parents who have been enjoying the extra family time might be ready for a break. I recently talked  CONTINUE READING: Will Schools Reopen in the Fall? - The Atlantic

CURMUDGUCATION: CA: San Diego Charter Versus The Evil Union

CURMUDGUCATION: CA: San Diego Charter Versus The Evil Union

CA: San Diego Charter Versus The Evil Union



This week you may have run across a piece entitled "How the Union Stopped Innovation at My School." The piece, which has turned up in numerous California outlets, was written by Jessica Chapman, a teacher at Gompers Preparatory Academy. Chapman's story has been steadily promoted by For Kids and Country, the organization run by Rebecca Friedrichs, a former teacher who loves Jesus and America and hates unions.


Chapman leans on an oft-repeated story about Gompers. The school was formerly a middle school in San Diego, and it was universally considered a miserable mess. The school became Gompers Preparatory Academy in 2005, a charter school that focused on college prep, including a partnership with UC San Diego. Chapman paints an inspiring picture of what "innovation" fueled. Soaring test scores, college acceptance, more rigor, and, that classic charter marketing point, 100% graduation rate. This, Chapman says, is what you get when you "remove the constraints of politics."

By that, she appears to mostly mean "getting rid of unions." Unions are why all schools aren't as wonderful as Gompers. Unions are a special interest, set up to grab all the money and deliver crappy educations to students they don't care about. The unions are out to get charters and have advanced a "deceptive" message creating "a campaign of divisiveness between traditional public schools and charter schools." And now they're "scheming to unionize charters" because....? This is CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: CA: San Diego Charter Versus The Evil Union


The Reality Check: "LET'S HAVE OUR VOICES COUNT!"

The Reality Check: "LET'S HAVE OUR VOICES COUNT!"

"LET'S HAVE OUR VOICES COUNT!"
Black education unionists call for an avalanche of protests for racial justice



Calling for justice in a huge demonstration in the Port of Oakland


For weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have filled the streets of 160 cities across the country, even during the coronavirus pandemic, expressing their outrage and grief at the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Two Black leaders of the CFT, with long histories of fighting for racial equity, say they could not help being profoundly moved by the murder itself, and the outpouring of rage in response.

"We have a basic expectation that we won't be murdered by the police, that we have due process," says Angelo Williams, who's taught sociology at Sacramento City College for 13 years. "But when it comes to Black and Brown people, that's not what we get. Every student knows this. We can't continue this way one more day."

Carl Williams (no relation to Angelo Williams), a Lawndale elementary school custodian and president of the CFT Council of Classified Employees, was so deeply moved that "I haven't watched the whole recording of George Floyd to the end. I can't do it. As a Black man, I'm shocked but not shocked. It's not something we should be used to, but we are. So when people say, 'Not one more time!' I say, 'Absolutely!'"

While deeply disturbed by Floyd's death in Minneapolis, in interviews both respond immediately that the deaths of Black men at the hands of the police are a fact of life much closer than Minnesota. "I lived in L.A. when we went into the streets after Rodney King was beaten," Carl Williams recalls. "I'm a lot wiser now than I was then, but some things don't change."

In the national avalanche of people into the streets, people hold signs remembering the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, Tony McDade and others in a plague of violence visited on Blacks, not just recently, but since CONTINUE READING: 
The Reality Check: "LET'S HAVE OUR VOICES COUNT!"


Budget cuts at NYC Department of Education may threaten student privacy | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

Budget cuts at NYC Department of Education may threaten student privacy | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

BUDGET CUTS AT NYC DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION MAY THREATEN STUDENT PRIVACY



The following was written by a concerned stakeholder who prefers to stay anonymous.  One wonders if the budget savings involved in DOE’s decision to cut the only part-time staff assistant vetting research proposals is worth risking student privacy.
NYC public school students are diverse demographically, culturally, linguistically, and academically and there are a wide variety of programs established to meet their needs. The NYC Department of Education Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews over 500 research proposals every year, many of which aim to evaluate these programs and test new curriculums.  A large portion of these proposals target the most vulnerable NYC DOE students and families.
An IRB is an administrative body that is formally designated to review human subject research proposals, to protect the rights of those individuals who are recruited to participate in research activities.  For most people, the mention of an IRB conjures images of drug trials or medical treatment research.  However, IRBs don’t solely exist for biomedical research. Social science research that collects personal information about participants is also subject to IRB review, and education research is no exception.
Historically, the NYC DOE IRB Board has been supported by only one full-time Director and only one part-time consultant who are tasked with initial review of all submitted proposals, communication with the research community, as well as oversight and compliance CONTINUE READING: Budget cuts at NYC Department of Education may threaten student privacy | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

Landmark Ruling Protects LGBTQ Workers, But the Work is Far From Over

Landmark Ruling Protects LGBTQ Workers, But the Work is Far From Over

Landmark Ruling Protects LGBTQ Workers, But the Work is Far From Over



Until recently, it was legal in more than half of the states to fire workers for being gay, bisexual, or transgender. A Florida educator, for example, married her wife on Saturday and was fired on Monday. In another case, an Oregon educator was named teacher of the year—in part because of his LGBTQ advocacy—and attended a White House ceremony in his honor on Friday, and was fired for his sexual orientation on Monday. These terminations and others like it, are now, under federal law, illegal.
It’s been a long time coming for members and allies of the LGBTQ community: On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Or, as the Court put it, “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.” Over 100 federal statutes prohibit sex discrimination, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Court’s ruling should apply to those statutes as well.
“This means that educators can no longer be fired at work for who they love or who they are,” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, adding that students are also protected under the federal law from discrimination at school.
While this is a momentous turning point for the LGBTQ community—particularly for “LGBTQ educators and students who endured discrimination yet continued to stand up to fight for themselves, their co-workers and their students—there is so much CONTINUE READING: Landmark Ruling Protects LGBTQ Workers, But the Work is Far From Over

Mayor threatens even more budget cuts; send your letters today! | Class Size Matters

Mayor threatens even more budget cuts; send your letters today! | Class Size Matters Mayor threatens even more budget cuts; send your letters today! | A clearinghouse for information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes

Mayor threatens even more budget cuts; send your letters today!


Friends–
Update: The NYC budget is due June 30, a week from today. This morning, Mayor de Blasio announced that he is considering another $1 billion in cuts, which would necessitate the layoff of an additional 22,000 municipal workers.  
PLEASE, send a letter to the Mayor and Chancellor todayif you haven’t already, urging him NOT to cut the education budget but to allocate more funding to schools as this will be necessary to ensure health, safety and sufficient teachers and counselors to allow for smaller classes, social distancing and the support NYC kids will badly need, given the losses they have suffered this year.
Also, send a letter to the NYC Council Speaker and Education/Finance chairs, with much the same message.
2.This morning, I spent three hours in a meeting of the Regents Advisory Task Force, discussing what programs and precautions should be in place if schools reopen next year. During our discussion it was clear that many of the ideas put forward by participants rely on more funding to be achieved. Spending was also a repeated concern of the parents, teachers and others who responded to our online survey; the word “budget” was mentioned 52 times by respondents, and “funds” or “funding” another 59 times.
Please do send your letters today and share this email with others who care,
Leonie

CURMUDGUCATION: CA: Charter Decides To Grab A Small Business Loan

CURMUDGUCATION: CA: Charter Decides To Grab A Small Business Loan

CA: Charter Decides To Grab A Small Business Loan



Palisades Charter High School has a lot of history. When launched in 1961, it was the most expensive high school in the LA City School system. The state grabbed the farm property through eminent domain; previous residents included the daughter if Francis X. Bushman, and Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Members of the Class of '65 were the basis for What Really Happened to the Class of '65?. By 1989, 20/20 aired an episode about the school, characterizing the school as both high academic performance and high drug and alcohol abuse.


By 1992, enrollment had dropped so far that the district was thinking about shutting them down entirely; instead, staff and parents argued for becoming a charter school, so in 1993, the high school and three of its feeders became the first charter school "cluster" in California. Enrollment bounced back; today there are about 3,000 students at PCHS. The campus, which is big and beautiful, has been used in movies and tv shows, and alumni include J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

PCHS is a charter school, and like many other such outfits, they have heard the siren song of the Paycheck Protection Program, the loan program designed to help small businesses stay afloat during the current pandemic mess (the second one, meant to clean up after the first one that ran out of money almost instantly). They are not alone--many charter schools are deciding that, for purposes of grabbing some money, they will go ahead and admit they are small private businesses and not public schools. Two thirds of the charter school businesses in New Orleans have put in for the loans.

What makes Palisades special is that we have video of their board discussing the issues of accepting CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: CA: Charter Decides To Grab A Small Business Loan

Unchartered Territory: County Charter Schools Take $15.8M in Federal Small Biz Loans – NBC 7 San Diego

Unchartered Territory: County Charter Schools Take $15.8M in Federal Small Biz Loans – NBC 7 San Diego

Unchartered Territory: County Charter Schools Take $15.8M in Federal Small Biz Loans





Publicly funded charter schools in San Diego County have received more than $15.8 million through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP,) a federal government fund aimed at helping small businesses from shutting down during the coronavirus pandemic. 
Some of the recipients include large charter school companies with campuses throughout California such as Learn4Life, and Magnolia Public Schools are among those that received millions in PPP loans. 
Charter schools have historically straddled a fine line when it comes to whether they are considered public schools or private businesses. However, that distinction, at least in terms of public funding during the coronavirus pandemic, appears to be more clearly defined.
According to the data obtained by NBC 7 Investigates, local charter schools including Gompers Preparatory, The School for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SET), E3 Civic High, and Magnolia Science Academy have received $3.1 million in CARES Act funding from the federal government which is meant for public schools. Of those, Gompers Prep secured the most CARES Act funding, receiving $408,364 in CARES Act funding while the school also raked in $2.25 million in PPP loans.
In addition to federal education funding under the CARES Act, more than a dozen charter schools in San Diego County have applied for PPP loans with nine schools so far already having received the funds.
Those loans range from $50,135 received by Kidinnu Academy in El Cajon, which has an enrollment of 115 students from TK through 5th Grade, to $5.6 million in loans that went to Magnolia Public Schools, which operates two charter schools in San Diego County and several other campuses statewide.
Graph of Schools That Received PPP LOans
CONTINUE READINGUnchartered Territory: County Charter Schools Take $15.8M in Federal Small Biz Loans – NBC 7 San Diego