Wednesday, July 8, 2020

YOU ARE INVITED: Trump to blow off CDC recommendations and issue his own guidelines for reopening schools: report – Raw Story

Trump to blow off CDC recommendations and issue his own guidelines for reopening schools: report – Raw Story

Trump to blow off CDC recommendations and issue his own guidelines for reopening schools: report



President Donald Trump plans to blow off the recommendations issued by his own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by releasing his own set of guidelines for reopening American schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NBC News’ Geoff Bennett reports that the Trump White House is issuing separate guidelines because it believes the CDC’s are “too restrictive,” which is what Trump himself claimed in a Wednesday morning tweet in which he attacked the CDC for purportedly hindering the reopening of schools.

“The WH guidelines will include some of those issued by the CDC and recommendations from the American Academy of Pesiatrics,” Bennett reports. “The White House is discussing ways to tie federal funding for schools to the pace of their reopening plans as part of a Phase 4 stimulus bill.”

But despite the president’s desire to project a return to normalcy, the novel coronavirus so far has not been cooperative. States such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona have had close down bars after they became hot spots for infections, which are now averaging well over 50,000 per day.

Trump to blow off CDC recommendations and issue his own guidelines for reopening schools: report – Raw Story


Trump disavows his own administration’s guidance for reopening schools - POLITICO

Trump disavows his own administration’s guidance for reopening schools - POLITICO

Trump disavows his own administration’s guidance for reopening schools
The president also threatened to slash federal funding to schools that do not physically reopen.


President Donald Trump on Wednesday publicly disavowed his own administration’s guidance for reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, arguing the federal recommendations were too burdensome as he ramped up his bid to have students return to classrooms in the fall.
“I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!” CONTINUE READING: Trump disavows his own administration’s guidance for reopening schools - POLITICO


Trump threatens to cut federal funds from schools that don't reopen

Education secretary slams "adults who are fear mongering and making excuses" for not reopening.


President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are threatening to cut federal funding if schools don't fully physically reopen, increasing pressure on education leaders as the Trump administration intensifies its drive to get kids back in classrooms.
Trump on Wednesday morning tweeted, "In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!"CONTINUE READING: Trump threatens to cut federal funds from schools that don't reopen - POLITICO - https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/08/trump-schools-reopening-federal-funding-352311

DeVos blasts school districts that hesitate at reopening

The Trump administration says local decisions closed schools, not federal health experts.


President Donald Trump in a ramped-up push to reopen schools vowed Tuesday to “put pressure” on reluctant governors, while Education Secretary Betsy DeVos blasted education leaders who won’t accept risk and “gave up and didn’t try” to launch summer instruction.
But the result was intensifying tensions with teachers unions and leading school groups, including the PTA, which charged that the Trump administration in a "vacuum of leadership" has "zero credibility in the minds of educators and parents when it comes to this major decision." The dispute leaves the White House deeply at odds with many involved in making major decisions in the next few weeks about reopening schools. CONTINUE READING: DeVos blasts school districts that hesitate at reopening - POLITICO - https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/07/white-house-cdc-pediatricians-reopening-schools-350655



Are Teachers Babysitters? Maybe. | Teacher in a strange land

Are Teachers Babysitters? Maybe. | Teacher in a strange land

Are Teachers Babysitters? Maybe.



People are uber-touchy, even panicky, about the questions around returning to school—it’s a life and death issue, all right, including potentially gambling with our most precious asset: our children.
Like any venture that is launched before all the facts and outcomes are available—marriage and childbirth spring to mind here—both in-person schooling in some fashion and staying home for distance learning have their vocal supporters and detractors.
There’s free-floating hostility, too—accusations of parents ‘dripping privilege’ who are urging public schools to reopen, knowing they have the resources to keep their children safe. There are politicians who just want ‘normal’ again, blaming the media, the left, and public institutions for pumping up panic.
And there are teachers—without whom, students will not go back to school—self-righteously proclaiming that they’re not babysitters.
This is not a new statement. A few years back, there was a meme that made the rounds—the teacher rounds, anyway—comparing the work of teaching to babysitting for 30 children for seven hours a day. Guess what? The babysitter made more money. Way more money. So there!
I was never sure what the moral of the story was. Proof that teachers are grossly underpaid for the important work they do by saying that even babysitters make more CONTINUE READING: Are Teachers Babysitters? Maybe. | Teacher in a strange land

Teachers Say Rush to Reopen Schools Without Covid-19 Safety Plan Shows Trump and DeVos 'Do Not Care About Students' | Common Dreams News

Teachers Say Rush to Reopen Schools Without Covid-19 Safety Plan Shows Trump and DeVos 'Do Not Care About Students' | Common Dreams News

Teachers Say Rush to Reopen Schools Without Covid-19 Safety Plan Shows Trump and DeVos 'Do Not Care About Students'
"America must listen to the health experts on when to reopen schools and to educators on how to return to in-person instruction."


A coalition representing millions of American teachers and parents slammed President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday over their push to reopen schools by the fall without first presenting a concrete plan to protect students and educators from Covid-19.
"The White House and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] have offered at best conflicting guidance for school reopening, and today offered little additional insight," the National Education Association (NEA), the National Parent Teacher Association, and four other groups said in a joint statement late Tuesday.
"No one should listen to Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos when it comes to what is best for students."
—Lily Eskelsen García, National Education Association
The groups warned that "without a comprehensive plan that includes federal resources to provide for the safety of our students and educators with funding for personal protective equipment, socially distanced instruction, and addressing racial inequity, we could be putting students, their families, and educators in danger."
The statement came hours after Trump said during a roundtable discussion at the White House that his administration is going to "put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open."
"We're going to be putting a lot of pressure on: Open your schools in the fall," Trump said after accusing local officials of keeping schools closed "for political reasons."

L.A. reopening of K-12 schools at risk from COVID-19 spike - Los Angeles Times

L.A. reopening of K-12 schools at risk from COVID-19 spike - Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus surge puts reopening of K-12 campuses at risk, says county’s top health official



The pending reopening of K-12 campuses is suddenly at risk because of the ongoing surge of coronavirus cases, and all public and private schools must prepare for students to continue learning entirely from home, Los Angeles County’s top public health official has told local education leaders.
This sobering message was delivered Tuesday by county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, in what she termed an “off the record” phone call with district superintendents and others that was not intended for the media or the public. The Times obtained a recording of the call.
“Every single school district at this point needs to have plans in place to continue distance learning for 100% of the time,” Ferrer said told officials from both public and private schools. “We would be irresponsible if we didn’t say to you that you have to have the back-up plan ready.”
Ferrer also said she remained hopeful that campuses could reopen as anticipated and said administrators should continue to develop those plans as well. There are 80 school districts in L.A. County serving about 1.5 million children. And even if campuses cannot reopen to start the school year, the delay might be for weeks rather than a longer period.
“I think it’s completely appropriate to move forward with our plans as we had anticipated before — hoping that there would be opportunity to allow for children and teachers and staff to get back into their buildings, to really have the enriched educational experience that everyone is so desperate for,” she said. “That also has huge implications for working parents.”
All the same, “it would be foolish, given where our numbers are, for school districts not to have that [distance learning] plan in their back pocket,” she said.
The county is planning to release more detailed guidelines for reopening campuses this week. They will include requiring all teachers and students older than 2 to wear face coverings at virtually all times. There will be rare exceptions for students at risk of a serious medical consequence. In those cases, however, others in contact with that student would be required to wear a medical-grade protective face covering.
Students also must be six feet apart in classes. In spaces where this is impossible, an alternate plan would be to set up partitions between desks.
The debate over how and when to reopen schools was amplified this week by President Trump, who said all campuses should reopen for students five days a week. Nothing like that is being seriously considered for most students in California, where CONTINUE READING: L.A. reopening of K-12 schools at risk from COVID-19 spike - Los Angeles Times

Trump and DeVos: Schools Must Reopen, Without Needed Resources | Diane Ravitch's blog

Trump and DeVos: Schools Must Reopen, Without Needed Resources | Diane Ravitch's blog

Trump and DeVos: Schools Must Reopen, Without Needed Resources


Trump demanded that schools reopen for in-person instruction in a few weeks, as the pandemic surges in more than half the states. He and his party have refused to pass the HEROES act to provide additional resources for schools.
DeVos blasted school districts that hesitate to open, fearing risk to students and staff. She said, patronizingly, that life has many risks: get over it.
THE ANSWER IS NO! TRUMP AND DEVOS ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE LIVES TO RESTART THE ECONOMY! NO!
Trump doesn’t care about the lives of students and staff. He cares only about his poll numbers. DeVos is arrogant and doesn’t care what might happen to students and teachers and other staff in public schools. She never has.
Opening schools without elaborate and carefully planned protocols for testing, daily screenings, masks, small classes, and social distancing is insane.
Opening schools in the middle of a raging and CONTINUE READING: Trump and DeVos: Schools Must Reopen, Without Needed Resources | Diane Ravitch's blog

Every Year We Hold Schools Accountable for Test Scores in Reading, but Recessionary Cuts Threaten Jobs of the Nation’s School Librarians | janresseger

Every Year We Hold Schools Accountable for Test Scores in Reading, but Recessionary Cuts Threaten Jobs of the Nation’s School Librarians | janresseger

Every Year We Hold Schools Accountable for Test Scores in Reading, but Recessionary Cuts Threaten Jobs of the Nation’s School Librarians



We think we’ve learned the important lessons, but how quickly we forget.
Americans spent 2018 and 2019 learning from teachers as, ten years after the Great Recession, they launched strikes from West Virginia to Oklahoma to Arizona to Kentucky to North Carolina to Virginia to California to Illinois. States had slashed funding for public schools as tax revenues collapsed during the 2008 recession, and after a decade, the majority of states were still spending less on public education than they did before the collapse. Teachers struck to protest the deplorable conditions in which their students were being expected to learn: outrageous class sizes of 35 and 40 student along with shortages of counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, certified librarians, and school nurses. In Los Angeles, Oakland, and Chicago, striking teachers exposed our society’s absence of political will to fund the urban school districts that serve our poorest children.
Here we are now, because of COVID-19, in the midst of another recession. And again today, states are cutting per-pupil basic aid for public schools as tax revenues collapse. But somehow all the medical challenges of the pandemic and the attendant broader economic problems have blinded too many of our leaders to the coming crisis for our schools as budget cuts will again mean the losses of teachers, counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, certified librarians, and school nurses. The meaning of these losses will, of course, become clearer once schools reopen without these essential professionals.
An Education Week article about the pending loss of school personnel caught my eye last week. The headline screams bad news, As COVID-19 Budget Cuts Loom, Relevance of School Librarians Put to the Test.  I suppose I noticed this article because it seems to contradict reality.  How could school librarians ever be considered irrelevant?
My own children are now adults, but when they were young, children’s librarians mattered very much to our family.  These were the librarians at our elementary and middle school and CONTINUE READING: Every Year We Hold Schools Accountable for Test Scores in Reading, but Recessionary Cuts Threaten Jobs of the Nation’s School Librarians | janresseger

NYC Educator: The Best Equity Money Can Buy

NYC Educator: The Best Equity Money Can Buy

The Best Equity Money Can Buy


I taught Zoom lessons for three months. I have ideas on how they can be better, but no one asks me what they are. They will never substitute for the face to face teaching I signed up for. That’s the very toughest work I do, but like the overwhelming majority of my colleagues, I love doing it. It doesn’t look like that’s what I’ll be doing in September, though.
This school year, the mayor says he's going to open the buildings. Depending upon whom you ask, that's his prerogative. Let's ignore the sandbox fight between Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo for now, and focus on what they're saying. They both say they have authority over city schools, and both are willing to argue it in public. It's undeniable, though, that this announcement is premature. If there’s one thing we know about Covid, it’s that we have no idea what its impact will be in September.
We do know some things, though. We know that the mayor’s preferred model of instruction is a hybrid. I'll have nine masked students sitting socially distanced from one another in my classroom. Where the other 25 will be, or what they'll be doing while I stand masked in front of the other nine and approach none of them, I have no idea. That's for principals and UFT chapters to negotiate, should they happen to be on speaking terms, over the summer. (To me, this sounds like something out of Black Mirror.)
However, not everyone has to utilize hybrid learning. The mayor has specifically stated that anyone who didn't wish their children to travel to school buildings would receive remote instruction at home. After all, which parents want their children to travel on public transportation, thus risking a potentially deadly infection? Which parents want to depend on children to respect masking and social distancing? Which parents want to depend on NYC school cleanliness? (And why didn’t the mayor ask those questions on his parent survey, which I’ll get to in a moment.)
The question, then, becomes this—Who will even be able to take the mayor up on his generous offer? Let's first look at who will not. Clearly, households that don't have access to daycare are out. While it's true that some CONTINUE READING: NYC Educator: The Best Equity Money Can Buy

NYC School Schedule Models – What was Wrong with the DoE’s First Try | JD2718

NYC School Schedule Models – What was Wrong with the DoE’s First Try | JD2718

NYC School Schedule Models – What was Wrong with the DoE’s First Try


New York City’s first attempt to make plans for September did not stand up to scrutiny. Is there a chance that today’s “Schedule Models” will contain better news? Should we be glad they were delayed a day – or should that worry us?
On June 9 the Department of Education released a planning document, “SCHOOL BUILDING RE-OPENING PRELIMINARY PLANNING OVERVIEW.” It was laughably bad, except laughing was the wrong reaction, since they were going to use it for September, with us, the teachers, and our students trying to survive it. Here’s the powerpoint. Here’s my take.
The key part to any plan is the school schedule. The powerpoint included a list of options: daily A/B, weekly A/B, or 2/3 A/B (with some remote). These options were followed by “Increase space among students during in-person instruction by moving some classes outside, re-arranging desks, diving classes into smaller groups, requiring students to remain seated during class; institute classroom stays where students stay in one classroom all day and teachers rotate; and/or close common areas and high-mix classes/activities.”
I would characterize these as hopeful suggestions rather than anything resembling as planning guide. And while hopeful, they were not good. Planning is hard work. It involves putting some flesh on ideas, and getting a feeling for whether the ideas would lead to something useful. Tossing out a handful of ideas, without doing any planning work, it’s not planning. It’s what friends do at a bar late at night. An CONTINUE READING: NYC School Schedule Models – What was Wrong with the DoE’s First Try | JD2718

Don’t Sacrifice Teachers and Students to a Neoliberal God | tultican

Don’t Sacrifice Teachers and Students to a Neoliberal God | tultican

Don’t Sacrifice Teachers and Students to a Neoliberal God


By Thomas Ultican 7/8/2020
The US is not ready to open schools. We blew it. Let’s face reality squarely and quit making outcomes in our country even worse.
New York’s Michael Flanagan Ed. D. wrote,
“The pressure to reopen schools, and return to work, will continue to intensify, no matter how many new cases of Covid-19 there are each day, and the numbers are growingBusinessespoliticians and even health professionals are in the process of trying to convince us that sending our kids back to school will be safe.”
As if to prove Flanagan’s claim, Harvard’s “Education Next” published a Frederick Hess interview with Jeb Bush where he repeatedly emphasized,
“First and foremost, schools have to open with the health and safety of our students and teachers being paramount. But they have to open, or we will have huge economic, health, and social challenges.”
Not to be outdone by “low energy Jeb”, the President of the United States employed his normal elegance when tweeting,
“Schools in our country should be opened ASAP. Much very good information now available.”
Republican Congressmen, Jim Banks of Indiana and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, CONTINUE READING: Don’t Sacrifice Teachers and Students to a Neoliberal God | tultican

NANCY BAILEY: 24 WRONG Reasons to Reopen Schools

24 WRONG Reasons to Reopen Schools

24 WRONG Reasons to Reopen Schools


The reasons for returning to school might sound good, but those reasons always bump up against the enemy, the coronavirus.
Here are concerns that deserve attention, but they are the wrong reasons for schools to reopen.
1. President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos say SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!
Neither the President or Betsy DeVos consider details of how the virus could affect children and their families in states and school districts across the country. The President has turned the virus into a political dispute. Until the President, Congress, and scientists get their act together, it is irresponsible to put the nation’s students in the crossfire.
2. We must get back to normal.
Reopening schools with plexiglass barriers, social distancing, nonstop cleaning, and masks is hardly normal. Nor do we know if such safety precautions will be funded, or if they’ll work. Also, if state and local leaders can’t reopen beaches and indoor seating in restaurants safely, why do they think schools will be safe?
3. Parents must work.
Parents who must work need assistance finding or creating small, safely controlled groups for children, where contact tracing can occur if students get sick. If schools do CONTINUE READING: 24 WRONG Reasons to Reopen Schools

CURMUDGUCATION: Teachers Face A Summer Of Soul Searching. What Do They Do In The Fall?

CURMUDGUCATION: Teachers Face A Summer Of Soul Searching. What Do They Do In The Fall?

Teachers Face A Summer Of Soul Searching. What Do They Do In The Fall?

This originally ran in early June. No signs that things are looking up at all.
We know a handful of things.
We know that virtually nobody wants to continue the pandemic shut-down crisis school model in the fall (with the possible exception of ed tech companies that hope to keep cashing in on it). Elected officials across the country are calling for schools to open again, a position that’s easy for them to take because A) everybody is suffering from full-on pandemic fatigue and B) none of those officials will have to deal with the actual issues of opening schools.
We know that nobody really knows how dangerous re-opening schools will be. Will students become super-spreaders, sharing it at school and bringing it home to vulnerable family members? How great a risk will teachers be running? 
We know that “official” guidance on how to open schools is in short supply, and that what is out there is, for teachers, mind-bogglingThe average teacher’s reaction to CDC guidelines is an eye roll powerful enough to shift the earth’s axis. Teachers have conjectured repeatedly that the members of the CDC must have never set foot inside a school, but that’s not the CDC’s job. Their job is to figure out what safety would require. Somebody else will have to figure out how, or if, that can be done.
Finally, we know that based on everything we think we know right now, the price tag for safely opening schools again is huge. Lots of folks are trying to run numbers, and everyone agrees that the figure will be in the billions—many of them. And simply throwing up our hands and going back to CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Teachers Face A Summer Of Soul Searching. What Do They Do In The Fall?

Letter to regents regarding reopening schools | Class Size Matters

Letter to regents regarding reopening schools | Class Size Matters Letter to regents regarding reopening schools | A clearinghouse for information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes

Letter to regents regarding reopening schools


Below is a letter we sent last week from Class Size Matters and NYC Kids PAC to Chancellor Rosa, the Board of Regents and the NY State Education Commissioner, with copies to Chancellor Carranza and other education decision makers, highlighting some of the most important concerns and ideas offered by parents, teachers and others who contributed to our online survey and our June 20 conference on the reopening of schools.


Letter to regents regarding reopening schools | Class Size Matters Letter to regents regarding reopening schools | A clearinghouse for information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes

NYC Public School Parents: Parent and educator concerns on the reopening of schools from our online survey and conference

NYC Public School Parents: Parent and educator concerns on the reopening of schools from our online survey and conference

Parent and educator concerns on the reopening of schools from our online survey and conference


Below is a letter we sent last week from Class Size Matters and NYC Kids PAC to Chancellor Rosa, the Board of Regents and the NY State Education Commissioner, with copies to Chancellor Carranza and other education decision makers, highlighting some of the most important concerns and ideas offered by parents, teachers and others who contributed to our online survey and our June 20 conference on the reopening of schools.  Below that is a more detailed summary of the views expressed in the form of a power point. 

The online survey garnered the detailed thoughts of nearly 400 parents and educators, CBO reps and concerned New Yorkers, while the conference featured ten break out groups with nearly one hundred participants.  What was clear from those who responded was that while most parents want to send their kids to school in the fall, given the highly deficient nature of remote learning, there is a strong minority who would prefer to keep them at home until there is a reliable vaccine.  This is both because some family have pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid, and because some kids do better with online learning than others.  We recommended to the Regents that families and teachers should have that choice.

A top concern of most everyone was whether the schools will have the funding to provide the health and safety protections, teachers and space necessary for social distancing and smaller classes.  These concerns are further reinforced by the severe budget cuts  and staffing freeze that will be imposed on  NYC schools next year, and the egregious lack of funding by the federal government and the state to deal with the COVID crisis.

This was made worse by the fact that Governor Cuomo hijacked the federal funds that were supposed to go to schools to deal with the pandemic to fill holes in the state budget, CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Public School Parents: Parent and educator concerns on the reopening of schools from our online survey and conference

National Report Highlights Root Cause of Pervasive Racism and Inequality in America's Most Populated Cities | Schott Foundation for Public Education

National Report Highlights Root Cause of Pervasive Racism and Inequality in America's Most Populated Cities | Schott Foundation for Public Education

National Report Highlights Root Cause of Pervasive Racism and Inequality in America's Most Populated Cities


The Schott Foundation for Public Education's Loving Cities Index, with a foreword written by Nikole Hannah-Jones, offers a framework to help cities transform systems to dismantle racism and institutionalize love.
(New York, NY) – On Wednesday, the Schott Foundation for Public Education released their 2020 Loving Cities Index, which provides a comprehensive look at the systemic racism prevalent across education, health, and economic opportunity in America’s largest cities. This national report comes on the heels of COVID-19 laying bare the inequities in our healthcare system, the police murder of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, and the weeks of sustained peaceful protest calling for racial equity. 
The Loving Cities Index is a multi-city report that spotlights the local policies and practices rooted in racism and bias that have created system inequities for children and families. Rather than focusing on myopic educational outcomes such as test scores, the Index instead focuses on indicators like healthy food, affordable housing, and public transportation, showing the underlying connection between these supports and student success. It also provides a framework for local leaders to dismantle and replace those systems with policies that create loving cities, supporting people from birth and provide an opportunity to learn and thrive. 
The 2020 Loving Cities Index profiles ten American cities serving large populations of low-income students and students of color, quantifying major gaps in the level of support being delivered to students. The cities include Albuquerque, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Hartford (CT), Jackson (MS), Miami, Oakland, St. Paul, and Providence (RI).  The report comes on the heels of Schott’s historic 2018 Index, which profiled an initial group of ten major cities using the same methodology.
The report highlights a large and growing body of research showing a clear connection between economic and racial inequality and opportunity gaps in areas like housing, healthcare, and community involvement. These issues lie outside of the traditional education realm but are intimately linked to student’s success at school and at home. By providing this new framework, the Loving Cities Index helps cities evaluate how well they are doing at providing all children – regardless of race, gender, or zip code – with the support and opportunities they need.
“After decades of education reform, parental income remains the top predictor of student outcomes. This report challenges the notion that school-based reforms alone can provide students a fair and substantive opportunity to learn,” said John H. Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. “If these lives matter, addressing these systemic gaps must matter. We must pivot to a comprehensive, cross-sector, collaborative approach that shows love and not disregard for our nation’s children.” 
In her foreword to the 2020 Loving Cities Index, Pulitzer Prize Winner and New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones said, "We, as a society, must not tolerate these immoral systems of structural and preventable disadvantage any longer. This moment of unprecedented protest and unprecedented national pain must lead to transformation of all the systems of inequities that we have too long tolerated. The racial and social economic inequality in this country was intentionally created. We put an inordinate amount of societal resources and money into creating it. That is disheartening but also reveals an important truth: That which has been created can be un-created. If you built it you can tear it down and build something new." 
Hannah-Jones continues, "in this moment of potential transformation, where the societal rifts have forced us to question that which we have too long accepted, this Schott Foundation for Public Education 2020 Loving Cities Index provides a roadmap for us to reconstruct cities based on opportunity, dignity and equality."
The Loving Cities Index measures access to supports like healthy food, sustainable wages, health insurance, and access to mental health care, highlighting the connection between local and county policies that can create healthy living environments and education policies that can create healthy learning environments. The Index measures access to 25 community and school-based supports in four areas of impact:
  1. CARE: Health resources and physical environment that foster physical and mental development.  
  2. STABILITY: Community infrastructure supports and policies that foster physical and financial security and civic participation 
  3. COMMITMENT: School policies and practices that foster the unique potential of each student.
  4. CAPACITY: Financial policies and practices that foster expertise and resources to meet the needs of all children
Overall, the report found major racial gaps in access to resources across all ten cities studied, reflecting systemic racism in local, state, and federal policies. When it comes to community resources, racism in labor and housing policy has left all major cities with extreme disparities in housing and sustainable household incomes. As urban sprawl and gentrification continue to grow in cities like Dallas, Atlanta, and Albuquerque, the ability to provide access to parks, public transit, grocery stores, and other community resources are particularly challenging, and generally those most cut off from those resources are communities of color.
This pervasive racism also affects schools. In particular, racism in school funding formulas has maintained significant levels of resource inequities for schools serving low income and students of color. These funding differences affect the experience level of teachers, access to extracurriculars, physical education, school support staff, psychologists and social workers, and much more. 
Racial gaps in access to pre-school start children off on an uneven playing field for long-term academic success. Since universal access to pre-school is not the policy in most districts, the likelihood of 3-4-year-olds attending school is mostly determined by family income, which is impacted by the effect of racism in employment.
Public schools also utilize the police system against students, with referrals to law enforcement and arrests at schools, all of which disproportionately impact students of color. These measures make steps toward curtailing the unacceptably high levels of out-of-school time being doled on Black students, but often these measures stop short of addressing the larger culture of policing Black children, removing them from classrooms, losing critically important classroom learning time. 
While there are bright spots for all 10 cities studied, the Loving Cities Index shows that the work to address racism and economic inequality is far from over, even among cities with relatively higher Index scores. The Loving Cities Index helps cities begin the kinds of conversations and collaborations needed to adopt a comprehensive system of support that provides all children with an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed. 
“America is at a crossroads. Our cities and counties have serious policy changes to make on the issues of education, housing, labor, access to healthcare, and community development. Undergirding that, our communities must take action to end the history of racist policies that have created setbacks for people of color, and have resulted in out of control policing in the streets of our major cities,” said Jackson.  "We developed the Loving Cities Index to align policymakers, philanthropy, and other community leaders with parents and students to address the real root cause of achievement gaps in education and post-secondary attainment: significant and growing racial and economic inequalities across all sectors. Rather than strictly analyzing standards, assessments, and accountability, the report calls cities to assess the level of care, stability, commitment, and capacity support they provide students – the components that create a loving system."
For more information, please visit https://lovingcities.schottfoundation.org. See below for highlights of ten cities’ profiles in the 2020 Loving Cities Index Report.
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The Schott Foundation for Public Education is a national public fund serving as a bridge between philanthropic partners and advocates to build movements to provide all students an opportunity to learn. Schott has an unwavering commitment to equity and justice that guides its mission to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to drive change in education systems, policies and practices to achieve fully resourced, high-quality Pre-K–12 public education for all children.

2020 Loving Cities Index – Highlights of 10 City Profiles

Albuquerque, NM
In Albuquerque, there are some bright spots in access to Care and Commitment, with 97% of youth accessing health insurance and nearly 90% of residents living within half a mile of public parkland. Still, when it comes to health equity, Albuquerque has far more infants born below birthweight compared to the national average, with large racial disparities between Hispanic and White infants, high rates of youth mortality, and limited access to fresh food among low-income residents (40%). 
When it comes to Stability, like most other cities, Albuquerque has major economic inequities in livable wages, with only 49% of Native families earning high enough wages for their labor to live above subsistence, compared to 84% of White families. At the same time, only half of all families in Albuquerque have access to affordable housing, and there does not seem to be a reliable public transit system. In schools, nearly 30% of Black students in the city have received at least one in-school or out-of-school suspension – more than three times the rate of White suspension, and there is no clear commitment or resources for restorative practices.
Albuquerque’s community school partnership (the Albuquerque/Bernalillo Community School Partnership) is a bright spot in progress towards transforming schools. Community schools are “public schools that partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities and supports for students’ school success.”1 Well-implemented Community Schools are an evidenced-based approach for supporting student and family empowerment and success in academics and beyond.2 Albuquerque has 34 community schools (24% of all schools) that serve 21% of the district’s students. The ABC Community School Partnership provides healthcare, legal, and basic needs services to thousands of students and families, as well as extended learning time and local civic engagement opportunities.3 New Mexico is also making exciting progress in reimagining Native education through the success of the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque and the NACA Inspired Schools Network. NACA, and other schools following their approach design rich learning opportunities across subject areas that are grounded in traditional wisdom and prioritize Native language preservation. 
Atlanta, GA
Overall, Atlanta has large gaps in access to resources and supports across each of the domains, and large racial inequities in access as well. When it comes to health equity, Latino children face large gaps in access to health insurance; and there is a dearth of supermarkets within walking distance of residents living in low-income census tracts, especially for Black low income-residents. Additionally, Atlanta has far more infants born below birthweight compared to the national average, with large racial disparities for Black and Asian infants compared to White infants, and youth mortality for Black children is more than double the rate of White children.
When it comes to Stability, like most other cities, Atlanta has major economic inequity in livable wages, with only 55% of Black families and 69% of Latino earning high enough wages for their labor to live above subsistence, compared to 95% of White families. At the same time, only half of all families in Atlanta have access to affordable housing, and the public transportation system is inadequate for most communities to rely on it to get to where they need to go. In schools, nearly 20% of Black students received at least one in-school or out-of-school suspension in the 2015-16 school year – almost 10 times the rate of White suspension, and there does not appear to be clear commitment or resources for restorative practices or anti-bullying to address this issue.

However, voter turnout is a bright spot in Atlanta, with 66% of voters casting votes in the 2018 midterm elections, compared to the national average of 50%. Even with the massive problems reported recently with primary voting for the 2020 election, several news outlets are reporting that three times as many voters cast ballots in the Georgia primary this year compared to 2016. While change is needed, this demonstrates that people are civically engaged – a key ingredient for demanding transformational systemic changes.
Dallas, TX
Overall, Dallas has large gaps in access to resources and supports across each of the domains, though major community-driven solutions and policy changes are already showing promise. Of the cities studied, Dallas has the lowest rate of insured youth (85%), and some of the lowest rates of access to healthy food for low-income residents. Dallas also reports that there were not any psychologists in the school system and only a few social workers for the entire district of 160,000 students, as of the latest national reporting data from the 2015-16 school year. When it comes to neighborhood living environments, Dallas had basically no access to high-frequency public transportation, and one of the lowest levels of access to financial services (checking and credit services).  Dallas does have the highest percentage of renters in affordable housing compared to other cities studied (55%), though inequity in living wages is pronounced. 45% of Latino households and 55% of Black households do not earn enough wages for their labor to live above subsistence, while nearly 90% of white households do earn above that threshold. 
Dallas and the surrounding suburbs are also confronting the need to address racism and racial violence within the Police Department, following two different high-profile cases where the police shot innocent Black people in their own homes. Botham Jean was shot and killed in his Dallas apartment by Officer Amber Guyger who reportedly entered his apartment mistaking it for her own, and Atatiana Jefferson was also shot and killed in her home in nearby Fort Worth by police responding to a non-emergency call from a neighbor who was concerned when they saw her front door standing open. This racist, over-policing of Black bodies is pervasive and goes much deeper than the stories that make national headlines. For example, Dallas public schools had the highest number of pre-school suspensions compared to other cities studied in the 2015-16 school year, all of which were Black or Latino children. House Bill 674 recently barred school districts in Texas from suspending students in pre-k through second grade under most circumstances, and in the past school year, out-of-school suspension for young students did drop significantly, though in-school-suspensions have generally remained high.4 Black students in grades 3-12 still experience disproportionate in- and out-of-school suspensions that remove students from the classroom and create a school-to-prison pipeline, instead of taking a youth development approach like using restorative practices.   
The Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Task Force is working to build relationships, narrative change, and policy change through deep community engagement across racial/ethnic groups and neighborhoods to create a radically inclusive city. “The TRHT approach examines how the hierarchy of human value became embedded in our society, both its culture and structures, and then works with communities to design and implement effective actions that will permanently uproot it.”5 Dallas TRHT hosted nearly a dozen community visioning sessions with Dallas-area residents and has developed a theory of change and cohort of community leaders to adopt a cross-sector approach to supporting youth and families. This comprehensive approach to changing systems led by Dallas TRHT is a best practice model for other cities seeking to end racism and a reminder that community-building work, in particular, cannot be left out of the equation and must be resourced to bring about sustainable, long-term transformational change.
Detroit, MI
Overall, Detroit has bright spots with improving Commitment to each young person’s success, though there are still major gaps in access to resources and supports, especially in community Stability and school Capacity. In the 2015-16 school year, 18% of all students had received at least one in- or out-of-school suspension, but recently Detroit school officials adopted new policies around restorative justice, and there’s strong anecdotal evidence that suspensions have been dropping significantly this school year.6 When it comes to health equity, Detroit had the highest rate of infants born below a healthy birth weight and the highest rate of youth mortality of cities studied. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has adopted an Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan and other steps to improve health equity, though the greatest issue in Detroit is the lack of public health centers, especially on the east side of the city. Private healthcare like Detroit Wellness Plan Medical Center has stepped in to expand Urgent Care and other services on the east-side, though many health experts in Detroit are calling for resources like access to transportation and healthy food, and addressing the living conditions of individuals living in poverty.7

The Loving Cities Index highlights these broader resources that impact health in the Stability category. Only about 40% of Black renters and around 50% of Hispanic and White renters have access to housing that is affordable for their income level. Much of this is impacted by living wages: 50% of Black households and 35% of Latino households with at least one full-time worker are not making enough wages for their labor to live above subsistence, compared to 64% of White households. The city also has very low rates of pre-school enrollment (36%), and with 73% of public-school students living in poverty, nearly all students are attending schools where the vast majority of students are living in poverty. Community organizing groups like 482Forward are working to build strong relationships and organize with residents and families to help build an education justice movement. 482Forward in particular has worked with other community organizations, community members, and families to fight school closures and introduced legislation for greater equity and accountability, among other initiatives that empower residents through education and resources for community-driven change.
Hartford, CT
Overall, Hartford has bright spots in access to Care, with the highest rates of grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods of the cities studied, 96% of youth covered by health insurance, access to parks, and a decent level of investment in social workers in schools. While overall Hartford has relatively low rates of exposure to air toxins compared to other cities, it also has one of the largest gaps in air quality in Black and Latino neighborhoods compared to White neighborhoods. Hartford also had among the lowest rate of youth mortality, with similarly low mortality rates when disaggregated by race.
There are opportunities to address neighborhood Stability, as well as Commitment and Capacity in schools. Hartford had one of the lowest levels of households with at least 1 full-time worker earning high enough wages to live above subsistence compared to the other cities studied. Only 52% of households earned livable wages, with only 41% of Latino households earning livable wages, compared to 58% of White households. In schools, Hartford had the highest overall suspension rate of all cities (19%), with over 25% of Black students and nearly 20% of Latino students receiving at least one in- or out-of-school suspension in the 2015-16 school year. This highlights a culture of over-policing Black and Latino bodies even from young ages that creates a racially oppressive school-to-prison pipeline, and there’s no evidence of major steps being taken to adopt restorative justice practices to replace this punitive, racialized discipline strategy with a more humanizing, youth development approach.

The Hartford Partnership for Student Success, one example of a bright spot for transforming schools, has collaborated for over a decade to implement Community Schools in the city. Community Schools are “public schools that partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities and supports for students’ school success.”8  Well-implemented Community Schools are an evidenced-based approach for supporting student success in academics and beyond.9 Currently, the district has seven Community Schools and has seen numerous positive impacts, with a goal of all schools being Community Schools by 2022.10  
Jackson, MS
Overall, Jackson has large gaps in access to resources and supports across each of the domains of Loving Cities. Compared to other cities studied, Jackson had the lowest percentage of healthy food access for low-income residents (only 28%), the lowest access to public parks (only 31%), and high exposure to air toxins, especially where communities of color live. One health equity bright spot was that nearly all children do have access to health insurance. However, there are high rates of infant and youth mortality for Black children and considerably higher rates of Black infants born at a low birth weight compared to White infants.
When it comes to neighborhood living environments, Jackson has major inequity in living wages for Black households (51%) compared to White households (91%), with similar gaps in housing affordability, no access to high-frequency public transportation, and one of the lowest levels of access to financial services (checking and credit services). 100% of Jackson Public School students live in poverty, so none of the schools are economically integrated. This points to the need for state-wide intervention to ensure inter-district policy that supports greater racial and economic integration in schools in the greater Jackson area. 
When Chokwe Lumumba won a historical election for the Mayor of Jackson in 2013, he started the work of bringing a comprehensive agenda for human rights and self-determination for Black people that aligns with the Loving Cities framework, and increased community participation in the political process, co-creating the People’s Platform. As his son and current Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba continues this legacy, including initiatives for local economic development initiatives that can address indicators in economic stability, and by extension education outcomes, there is great hope for transformational change in Jackson grounded in social justice.
Miami, FL
Overall, Miami has bright spots in their Commitment to every child’s success, with a relatively high pre-school enrollment (65%), low suspension rates, and no reported preschool suspensions or K-12 expulsions. Still, there were a high number of referrals of students to law enforcement (617 in the school year 2015-16), and those referrals were disproportionately made for Black (44%) and Hispanic students (47%). When it comes to health equity, Miami had the lowest rate of insured youth (93%), and racial gaps in infants born with low birth weight, an indicator of inequity in access to maternal healthcare, and discrimination of healthcare workers towards Black women. In schools, there appears to be a dearth of psychologists and social workers available to students.
There are also opportunities for policy and practice that strengthens neighborhood Stability. Like many other cities, Miami has considerable racial gaps in livable wages, with only about half of Black and Latino households working full-time and earning enough for their labor to live above subsistence, compared to 88% of White households. This, combined with rising housing costs, resulted in Miami having the lowest access to affordable housing of cities studied – only 37% of renters pay housing costs that less than 30% of their total income. Teachers are likely part of this population struggling with low wages and unaffordable housing – average teacher salaries are $35k, which is only 61% of the minimum living wage needed to live above subsistence. 
There is also considerable economic and racial segregation in Miami public schools, with the vast majority of Black and Latino students attending schools where more than 75% of the student body are living in poverty, compared to only 20% of White students attending “high poverty” schools. Similarly, there are major racial gaps in student enrollment in advanced placement courses that prepare students for college and career readiness.
Oakland, CA
Overall, Oakland has some bright spots across several of the domains, as well as many significant racial gaps that must be addressed for all children to learn and all families to thrive. When it comes to neighborhood stability, Oakland had the highest public transit access of the cities studied, with 76% of residents living near high-frequency transit, and equitable access to transit by race. There are relatively high levels of adults using traditional financial institutions (74%), just above the national average, and voter turnout in the last midterm election was also above average (53%). 
Still, Oakland, like many cities across the country, is facing income inequality and racial gaps in access to affordable education: Only 59% of Black households, 41% of Latino households, and 66% of Asian households earn enough from their labor to live above subsistence, compared to 90% of White households; and less than half of renters of color in the city have access to housing that is reasonably priced relative to their income. Neighborhood stability is also negatively impacted by the troubling level of youth mortalities among Black children.
In schools, Oakland’s students had less access to gifted and talented and advanced placement classes compared to other cities, and “tracking” of students into those advanced classes based on race is likely leading to much lower representation of Black and Latino students in those advanced courses. Oakland teacher salaries on average are well below the minimum cost of living (74% of cost livable wages), and the teaching force is less experienced than other cities studied (only 75% of teachers have more than 2 years of experience). The policing of Black bodies appears to be prevalent in the culture of the school system, with 15% of Black children receiving at least one in- or out-of-school suspension in the 2015-16 school year.

In 2011, Oakland started it’s Oakland Community Schools Initiative,11 and today operates 25 full-service community schools. Community schools are “public schools that partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities and supports for students’ school success.”12 Well-implemented community schools are an evidenced-based approach for supporting student success in academics and beyond, and offer a promising approach to addressing in- and out-of-school needs of children and families.13
Providence, RI
Overall, Providence has bright spots across each of the domains. When it comes to Care, Providence had the highest rate of insured youth (99%), and one of the highest rates of park access (97%) compared to other cities studied. Providence had the lowest exposure to air toxins overall (29%), though there is a nearly 20 points difference between White neighborhoods and Latino and Black neighborhoods, reflecting historical and ongoing policies of segregation and establishing industrial development and contamination near communities of color and away from White neighborhoods. Neighborhood stability is also impacted by economic inequity – with White households about twice as likely to earn living wages compared to Black and Latino households. Yet, there remains a great deal of work to do within the Providence School District. 
In schools, only 38% of 3-4-year-olds were enrolled in preschool, with white youth more than two times as likely to be enrolled. The district appears to have a culture of over-policing in schools, which especially impacts Native and Black youth. 16% of all Black students and 15% of all Native students received at least one in- or out-of-school suspension in the 2015-16 school year. The district also had a high number of police referrals relative to other cities – with 15% of all Native students being referred to law enforcement and 5% of Black students. While schools do appear to offer relatively high teacher salaries and in-school support staff, there are large racial gaps in access to advanced curriculum.

Providence has one community school, established through the Rhode Island Partnership for Community Schools, a statewide alliance to mobilize resources for the community school model.14 Community schools are “public schools that partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities and supports for students’ school success.”15 Well-implemented community schools are an evidenced-based approach for supporting student success in academics and beyond, and there’s an opportunity to build on this model to improve learning environments for students in Providence, especially with the state takeover of the public school system, to ensure transformation system change is driven by the community of students and parents.16
St. Paul, MN
Overall, St. Paul has bright spots across each of the domains. When it comes to Care, 98% of youth have health insurance coverage, though Latino children have lower coverage than other racial groups (91%). Nearly all residents live near public parks (98%), yet the city also has incredibly high exposure to air toxins (index score of 91 out of 100). For Stability, St. Paul had the highest percentage of adults using traditional financial institutions (87%), and one of the highest rates of voter turn-out (64%) compared to other cities studied. However, there are wide income disparities, with only 31% of Black households earning enough to live above subsistence, compared to 86% of White households; as well as racial gaps in access to affordable housing, with Native families facing the largest obstacles to affordable rent.  
St. Paul had the lowest percentage of 3-4 year-olds enrolled in preschool (only 32%), with a 20% difference in enrollment between Black and Latino students compared to White students. There seems to be a strong culture of over-policing students of color, with shockingly, one-third of all Black and Native students receiving at least one in- or out-of-school suspension in the 2015-16 school year. Similarly, there are extremely high rates of referrals to law enforcement in the district, with 8% of Native students and 4% of Black students being referred. There are also major racial discrepancies in students enrolled in gifted and advanced curriculum, with white students twice as likely to be enrolled in gifted courses and around three times as likely to be enrolled in advanced placement classes in high school, compared to students of color. 
Still, there are bright spots, with a more experienced teaching force than many other cities (95% of teachers have more than two years of experience), and a high ratio of in-school support staff to students (including guidance counselors, instructional aides, and student support services). However, community leaders like Bo Thao-Urabe with CAALM, highlight the need for a more diverse teaching force that represents the diversity of the community, and more culturally relevant curriculum that is grounded in the culture and history of Native, Black, Asian, and Latinx community who make up a majority of the student body.

St. Paul has seven full-service community schools through the Achievement Plus partnership with the Wilder Foundation.17 Community schools are “public schools that partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities and supports for students’ school success.”18 Well-implemented community schools are an evidenced-based approach for supporting student success in academics and beyond, and building on this model can ensure the school system continues to transform to center love and equity, in a way that is driven by the community of students and parents.19
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1 Partnership for the Future of Learning. (2018). Community Schools Playbook, p. 3. Retrieved From: https://
communityschools.futureforlearning.org/assets/downloads/community-schools-playbook.pdf
2 Maier, A., Daniel, J., & Oakes, J. (2017). Community schools as an effective school improvement strategy: A review of the evidence. Leaning Policy Institute and National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from: https:// learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Community_Schools_Effective_BRIEF.pdf
3 Bernalillo County. (n.d.) Facts about the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Community School Partnership. Retrieved from: https://www.bernco.gov/community-services/news.aspx?f50e29bf166542cbb6963e258ca152b- 9blogPostId=987197d8affc4d48b2bcbc9f857f7009#/BlogContent
4 Allen, S. (2019, August 29). Texas Schools Suspended Youngest Students After Ban on Practice Took Effect, Report Suggests. Retrieved from: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/texas-schools-continued-suspending-pre-k-students-after-hb-674-took-effect-11743492
6 Allen, S. (2019, August 29). Texas Schools Suspended Youngest Students After Ban on Practice Took Effect, Report Suggests. Retrieved from: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/texas-schools-continued-suspending-pre-k-students-after-hb-674-took-effect-11743492
8 Partnership for the Future of Learning. (2018). Community Schools Playbook, p. 3. Retrieved From: https://communityschools.futureforlearning.org/assets/downloads/community-schools-playbook.pdf
9 Maier, A., Daniel, J., & Oakes, J. (2017). Community schools as an effective school improvement strategy: A review of the evidence. Leaning Policy Institute and National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Community_Schools_Effective_BRIEF.pdf
10 Hartford Community Schools. (n.d.) Hartford Public Schools. Retrieved from: https://www.hartfordschools.org/community-schools/
11 Oakland Unified School District. Community Schools and Student Services. Retrieved on December 19, 2019, from: https://www.ousd.org/CommunitySchools
12 Partnership for the Future of Learning. (2018). Community Schools Playbook, p. 3. Retrieved From: https://communityschools.futureforlearning.org/assets/downloads/community-schools-playbook.pdf
13 Maier, A., Daniel, J., & Oakes, J. (2017). Community schools as an effective school improvement strategy: A review of the evidence. Leaning Policy Institute and National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Community_Schools_Effective_BRIEF.pdf
14 Rhode Island Partnership for Community Schools and Child Opportunity Zone. (2018). RI community schools. Retrieved from: http://www.ripcs.org/ri-community-schools.html
15 Partnership for the Future of Learning. (2018). Community Schools Playbook, p. 3. Retrieved From: https://communityschools.futureforlearning.org/assets/downloads/community-schools-playbook.pdf
16 Maier, A., Daniel, J., & Oakes, J. (2017). Community schools as an effective school improvement strategy: A review of the evidence. Leaning Policy Institute and National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Community_Schools_Effective_BRIEF.pdf
17 Wilder Foundation. (2020). Achievement Plus: A Partnership for full-service community schools in St. Paul. Retrieved from: https://www.wilder.org/community-impact/achievement-plus
18  Partnership for the Future of Learning. (2018). Community Schools Playbook, p. 3. Retrieved From: https://communityschools.futureforlearning.org/assets/downloads/community-schools-playbook.pdf
19 Maier, A., Daniel, J., & Oakes, J. (2017). Community schools as an effective school improvement strategy: A review of the evidence. Leaning Policy Institute and National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Community_Schools_Effective_BRIEF.pdf
National Report Highlights Root Cause of Pervasive Racism and Inequality in America's Most Populated Cities | Schott Foundation for Public Education