Wednesday, October 14, 2020

WHO IS FUNDING SACRAMENTO BEE'S ATTACKS ON TEACHERS - EDUCATION LAB

McClatchy tries nonprofit funding for education coverage - Digiday

McClatchy tries nonprofit funding for education coverage




In a bid to keep subscriber growth going, McClatchy is turning to issues-based reporting, aided by community nonprofits.
In late September, the local news publisher announced the launch of the Education Lab, a four-person team that will cover education in the San Joaquin Valley out of the bureau of The Fresno Bee. The Lab, which McClatchy developed after soliciting input from dozens of local community members and multiple local nonprofits, will be supported for its first year by a collection of nonprofits including the Central Valley Community Foundation, with discussions underway for funding a second. The Central Valley Community Foundation will not have any say or control over what the Lab’s reporters publish. The stories produced by the Education Lab will be shared with local groups as well as local news organizations, in Spanish as well as in English.
The Central Valley Community Foundation will be watching the kinds of outcomes that the Education Lab’s reporting is able to drive. But the larger strategic goal for McClatchy is to drive digital subscriptionsIn its most recent quarterly earnings, McClatchy reported having over 185,000 digital-only subscribers, up more than 51% year over year. The news publisher reported a net loss of $17.5 million over that same period, against revenues of $178.7 million.
“By delivering focused reporting and community engagement, we feel like the value we’re bringing will lead to an increase in digital subscription support,” said Lauren Gustus, the regional editor of McClatchy’s California, Idaho and Washington news operations. While some of the Lab’s reporting will be behind the Bee’s paywall, not all of it will; much of it will be shared with community and news organizations, who do not operate paywalls. “We think more people are going to want to support The Bee because the Education Lab reporting will matter to them,” Gustus said.
While the Education Lab is still coming together — its reporting team is still being hired — McClatchy believes the model, originally pioneered by The Seattle Times in 2013, is replicable. The news publisher is engaged in conversations with local community groups and organizations in more than eight different markets around the country, with an eye toward launching more labs by year’s end and more next year.
“It’s no secret that most legacy news organizations have been challenged,” Gustus said. “If fact-based journalism is in peril, which I believe it is, we have to think pretty radically about how we serve our communities.”
“We know digital-only subscription growth is key, and we know if we do more of the work local communities want, in theory we should find more of that support in the digital subscription space,” Gustus said. “This is meant to be a bridge to sustainability and not necessarily the establishment of a nonprofit news operation.”
As declining print advertising has battered local news publishers, there has been a substantial increase in institutional support for local journalism over the past decade; Gustus said that institutional giving to local news has quadrupled over the past 10 years.
At the other end of the spectrum, a number of news publishers have found success getting their readers to pay for specific reporting projects. The Guardian, for example, discovered that its American audience was willing to pay for investigative series focused on topics such as the environment.
As that money’s pooled in, there has been some scholarship around the effects that nonprofit donations or involvement have had on reporting. Though many see the opportunities for conflict as not too different from the challenges that publishers face with advertisers.
“It’s very rare that you’d see a philanthropist come in and fund something like what McClatchy is doing and say, ‘Here are the stories you need to write,’” said Matt Skibinski, a reader revenue analyst at the Lenfest Institute. “With philanthropies, you have the same kind of implicit concerns [as advertising]. But as long as the independence is maintained, publishers remain interested.”



Sacramento CA Area Education News | The Sacramento Bee - https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/
About Education Lab | The Seattle Times - https://www.seattletimes.com/?p=9830232 on @seattletimes
Journalism
Grantmaking
New Funding, Models and Partnerships



Fresno Bee launches Education Lab to cover school issues, news | The Fresno Bee - https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/education-lab/article235201142.html on FresnoBee
McClatchy's Sac Bee launching donor-supported reporter team - Sacramento Business Journal - https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2019/11/14/sacramento-bee-to-launch-donor-supported-reporting.html on @Sacbiz


DO WE HAVE THE CORRECT PRIORITIES? – Dad Gone Wild

DO WE HAVE THE CORRECT PRIORITIES? – Dad Gone Wild

DO WE HAVE THE CORRECT PRIORITIES?




“Every story has at least a little truth in it. Every story comes from somewhere.”― J.J. Abrams
This morning I drove to Wal-mart around 7:45 to get coffee. There is a rapid COVID-19 testing site in a building at the front of the Wal-mart parking lot. At its door was a line that stretched around the building. I’m guessing it was roughly 60 people.
60 people that had shown up before 8 AM to be tested for a virus that many are acting as if it is in remission.
60 people during a week that has already delivered too much devastating news.
On Monday, MNPS school board member Dr. Nabaa-McKinney lost her sister-in-law to COVID. On Tuesday, JT Moore’s principal Gary Hughes lost his mother and Nashville lost one of its most colorful long-time citizens in Jimmy Lweis to COVID-19. Those are numbers that I’m not comfortable with.
I’ve known Jimmy Lewis for about 30 years, and he was representative of a Nashville that is quickly disappearing. Some may think Nashville is better for the passing of these old white men that played by their own rules and bent the world to their will, and maybe they are right, but that won’t stop me from mourning their departure.
Jimmy may not have always been on the right side of the law, but he unfailingly kind to me and many others. He and those of his generation lived by a code that included taking care of your fellow man, and they adhered to it religiously. In the days when my drinking was at its most chronic, that CONTINUE READING: DO WE HAVE THE CORRECT PRIORITIES? – Dad Gone Wild

“Welcome Back, Teach” (Jessyca Mathews) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

“Welcome Back, Teach” (Jessyca Mathews) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

“Welcome Back, Teach” (Jessyca Mathews)




Mathews is an English Teacher at Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint, Michigan. Her story appeared in the Washington Post’s online article, October 6, 2020. She is one of nine teachers the newspaper asked to report on their experiences in returning to remote and in-person instruction during the pandemic.
The massive rumbles of thunder surprise me from my sleep. With heart racing, I turn over to look at the time. It’s only 4:30 a.m. I could try to sleep for another hour and a half, but my mind has other plans. As I sit up and look out the window, I gaze at the dark, mysterious sky.
I am exhausted, but I must start my day because it is time for the inevitable. I must report to the Factory today.
I begin a ritual that would soon be my daily routine. I take a hot shower. Brush my teeth. Put on ChapStick. Find clothing with many pockets. Display makeup just on my eyes. The mask will cover the rest of my face.
I investigate my survival bag to make sure I have the required items: hand CONTINUE READING: “Welcome Back, Teach” (Jessyca Mathews) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Selling Charter School Class Size as “Innovative Medical Experimentation” During Covid-19

Selling Charter School Class Size as “Innovative Medical Experimentation” During Covid-19

Selling Charter School Class Size as “Innovative Medical Experimentation” During Covid-19




Efforts to destroy public schooling in America have not disappeared during the pandemic. While Education Secretary Betsy DeVos displays her hatred for public education, especially with Fairfax County public school teachers, DC Charter Schools are advertising innovations during the pandemic.  They’re promoting smaller class sizes as innovative medical experimentation. Their innovations, however, are not ingenious.
While most of Washington’s 52,000 public school kids are dealing with computer screens and Zoom rooms in a remote learning environment, about a dozen charter schools have essentially chosen to become medical-educational experiments, offering in-person instruction for select groups of students.
Smaller and more nimble than the D.C. Public Schools system, the charters have been able to adapt and modify practices on the fly, trading information and pushing the limits of pandemic-era education.
“This is our attempt to redesign school. Our size is our best asset.”
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, a public school teacher interviewed in a CNN report mentions that she’s teaching 42 third-graders remotely.  She’s uncomplaining, smiling, and forging forward positively.
It’s wrong to showcase charter schools as innovative due to class size when public CONTINUE READING: Selling Charter School Class Size as “Innovative Medical Experimentation” During Covid-19

Teacher Tom: Everybody Helping Everybody

Teacher Tom: Everybody Helping Everybody

Everybody Helping Everybody



We were playing with our classroom "catapults," crude ping pong ball shooting devices that are not really catapults at all, but act like them with the help of rubber bands, which I built in my garage one summer. They are always extremely popular play items and because I'd only made six of them, they are always short in supply with occasional conflicts erupting as the kids figure out how to share them. At the beginning of the morning, I'd supplied a couple dozen balls, but the available supply had now dwindled to a handful, the rest having been "lost" under the classroom furniture.

"Teacher Tom, all the balls are gone," announced on boy who was carrying a catapult possessively not wanting to give it up.

"Not all of them," I answered, "But there were a lot more earlier."

"They're all under there," he said, pointing at the gap between some cabinetry and the floor.

I nodded.

"We have to get them out."

I agreed.

"I tried to reach them, but they're too far. You try it, Teacher CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Everybody Helping Everybody

Board sets termination hearing on Epic authorization

Board sets termination hearing on Epic authorization

Board sets termination hearing on Epic authorization




The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board approved a motion today to enter the process for terminating their charter authorization contract with Epic One-on-One Charter Schools owing to alleged violations.
“As a society, it is essential that we provide a healthy mix of    educational opportunities to support all types of students and all types of life circumstances. Online charter schools must continue to be one of those choices,” SVCSB Chairman John Harrington said during the meeting. “That is why it’s important that we work hard to safeguard our online schools and educational resources. One way to protect them is to insist that schools respect their obligations and conduct themselves with integrity. This responsibility starts with a commitment from a school’s board of directors and extends to it’s superintendent, staff and third-party vendors. This standard applies to every Oklahoma public school, including our six online public charter schools.”
While Rose State College is the authorizers for the Epic Blended school, Epic One-on-One has been under the oversight of SVCSB since April 2014. The charter was last renewed on July 2018. Charter authorizers are allowed to retain up to 5 percent of state aid received from the State Department of Education, with a remainder of the funds being transferred to the charter schools.
According to the Epic audit released by the State Auditor & Inspector’s Office on Oct. 1, SCVSB also has the responsibility of maintaining oversight and evaluation of the charter CONTINUE READING: Board sets termination hearing on Epic authorization

Ohio: Who Pays for Vouchers? | Diane Ravitch's blog

Ohio: Who Pays for Vouchers? | Diane Ravitch's blog

Ohio: Who Pays for Vouchers?



Bill Phillis, founder of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding explains here where the funding comes from for vouchers: public schools pay from their budgets. The cost this year is nearly $350 million, deducted from the public schools that enroll nearly 90% of the state’s children. A study funded by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute showed that vouchers are ineffective and that children who use them fall behind their peers in public schools. Yet the Legislature wants to increase the funding for vouchers. Why invest in failure?
Deductions from school districts to voucher schools increased from $42,355,792 in FY 2008 to $349,304,605 in FY 2021
In 13 years, voucher deductions have increased each year except for FY 2011 to FY 2012 wherein there was a decrease of 9%. The percentage increase during the period from FY 2008 to FY 2020 has fluctuated between 7.2% and 86%. See the table below: CONTINUE READING: Ohio: Who Pays for Vouchers? | Diane Ravitch's blog

Gifted education in America has a race problem. Can it be fixed?

Gifted education in America has a race problem. Can it be fixed?

Why decades of trying to end racial segregation in gifted education haven’t worked
Is it even possible to make a concept that has racist origins more equitable?


Replacing gifted education with SEM schools and other models - https://hechingerreport.org/?p=61640 via @hechingerreport




BUFFALO, N.Y. — On a crisp day in early March, two elementary school gifted and talented classes worked on activities in two schools, three miles and a world apart.
In airy PS 64 Frederick Law Olmsted, in affluent, white north Buffalo, 22 would-be Arctic explorers wrestled with how to build a shelter if their team leader had frostbite and snow blindness. Unusually for Buffalo’s public schools — where 20 percent of students are white and 46 percent are Black — about half of the fourth grade class was white.
In PS 61 Arthur O. Eve, on the city’s majority-Black East Side, 13 first graders, all of them Black, Latino or Asian American, folded paper airplanes in their basement classroom as part of an aerodynamics and problem-solving lesson. Unlike at Olmsted, the highest-scoring elementary school in the city, students at Eve scored around the dismal city average in math and English in 2019, when fewer than a quarter of students passed state tests.
The gifted program at Eve opened two years ago as a way to increase access to Buffalo’s disproportionately white, in-demand gifted and talented programs. Buffalo educators hoped Eve’s new program would give more children — particularly children of color — a chance at enrichment and advanced learning.
Yet two years in, Eve’s gifted classes are under-enrolled, while Olmsted always runs out of room — last year, more than 400 children applied for 65 gifted spots. And even though the district made it easier to apply for gifted classes, Olmsted gifted classrooms still don’t look like the rest of the CONTINUE READING: Gifted education in America has a race problem. Can it be fixed?

Should we screen kids’ genes for classroom success?

Should we screen kids’ genes for classroom success?

Should we screen kids’ genes to ‘predict’ how successful they’ll be in school?
Scientists feel we’re still far from that possibility, but new research could make it possible to spot the genetic patterns associated with educational performance




Many factors boost a child’s chance of success in school — like having wealthy parents who can afford tutors. But recent research has raised another possibility — one that is discomforting to many — the idea that scientists might someday be able to spot the genetic markers associated with academic performance.


To do this, researchers are turning to a relatively new genetic approach called the polygenic score, which assesses a person’s likelihood for a specific future based on a combination of genetic variables. It’s a research technique that some scientists are using to assess obesity or cancer risk, for instance. Now, researchers are exploring this approach in non-medical contexts, like academic or athletic success.
The scientists studying genetic markers in education are trying to untangle how nature and nurture together explain school performance. In principle, genetic screening might enable teachers to tailor their approach to groups of students. Educators might then more effectively instruct kids together in one classroom, rather than separating students into accelerated and low-level courses, which can deprive Black and brown children and children from low-income families of academic opportunities.
But some researchers fear this gene screening work could be misapplied and used to further racist or eugenic thinking, even though race is a social, not a genetic, classification.  There’s an ugly history of proponents of eugenics, who believe in reshaping humanity by breeding “superior traits” and removing “inferior traits,” justifying their thinking with genetics. And there are debunked racist theories that have endeavored to falsely connect race and intelligence. CONTINUE READING: Should we screen kids’ genes for classroom success?

This School Year Has Been Unlike Any Other - The New York Times

This School Year Has Been Unlike Any Other - The New York Times

This School Year Has Been Unlike Any Other
Some examples of how the world of education has responded to the pandemic.



This article is part of our latest Learning special report, which focuses on ways that remote learning will shape the future.
A fall semester unlike any ever known is underway in America.
The coronavirus is lurking around every corner like a ghoul in a Halloween cornfield, waiting to leap out and frighten — if not sicken or kill — anyone who dares pass by.
It has created chaos in the world of education, as some schools refuse to open while others do, only to close again as cases rise. Some are online, while some are in person — or both. The pressure on students, teachers, administrators and parents is immense and has aggravated educational inequalities. Schools, after all, do more than deliver an education: they are a source of food, socialization and internet connections to the rest of the world — along with child care providers for working parents.
The instability for so many who depend on all that is grim.
But wait. In every dark time across history some people rise up and cope — more than cope really. They demonstrate resilience, creativity and an ability to innovate.

Some experts look at these efforts and hope that many will change — for the better — how students are taught and learn in the future.
Chris Cerf, who started his career as a high school teacher, served as the New Jersey education commissioner, deputy chancellor for New York City’s Department of Education, and is a founder of a nonprofit called Cadence Learning, is one of the optimists.
“I absolutely believe that we are going to come out of this pandemic having learned a great deal about how to deliver quality instruction to students,” he said.
You’ll find a handful of examples — snapshots, if you will — here and throughout our Learning section of creativity in a time of crisis.
It developed, as many things do these days, on Twitter.
In March, Anne Fausto-Sterling, an emerita professor of biology at Brown University, tweeted that professors should “teach the virus” whatever their discipline. CONTINUE READING: This School Year Has Been Unlike Any Other - The New York Times

Public Schools: Our Democracy’s Essential Institution | janresseger

Public Schools: Our Democracy’s Essential Institution | janresseger

Public Schools: Our Democracy’s Essential Institution




This blog recently discussed (here and here) Derek Black’s new book, Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on America Democracyabout the long battles to protect the right to public education under the principles embodied in the nation’s founding documents and the 50 state constitutions. Black believes that public schools are our nation’s essential public institution; he also argues that protecting public education and protecting democracy both require constant attention: “The question today is whether constitutions are enough, whether courts can, in effect, protect and save that right for the rest of us. Might it be, as it has always been, that constitutions are just ideas, the force of which ultimately depends on how deeply they penetrate our cultural psyches and how faithfully we pass those ideas along?”  (Schoolhouse Burning, p. 224)
Reading Black’s new book sent me back to some books on my shelf in which a political philosopher and a philosopher of education explore the role of our nation’s public schools for informing and preserving our democracy.
What about the threats today to the social contract—the idea that along with expecting government to protect our individual rights, we must all take responsibility for ensuring that our institutions and laws protect our collective wellbeing? What about a period like the one we are living through, when the President of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of Education insist that we turn away from “government” schools and instead divert our tax dollars to privatized (but publicly funded) charter schools and publicly funded tuition vouchers to pay tuition at private and religious schools?
In a 2007 book, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, the late political theorist Benjamin Barber describes precisely how today’s CONTINUE READING: Public Schools: Our Democracy’s Essential Institution | janresseger

Quarantined and Disrupted | JD2718

Quarantined and Disrupted | JD2718

Quarantined and Disrupted




Glanced down at my phone to see who was texting. Today. Middle of the day. It was a former student. Now a teacher herself. Middle school. Why was she texting from work? She’s teaching in person. The text cleared things up.

Quarantined

She was unceremoniously sent home, to quarantine. One of her students is positive.

Disrupted

So she’s already been tested, and with some luck will be negative. But the teacher is home. Class moves to fully remote. They are disrupted. But is this a surprise? They were already doing some weird “in one day, out the next” kind of thing. Maybe every third day? I should ask. And there was weird recorded lessons, or live stream… I don’t know the details. But the class was already disrupted.
Every class in the city has already been disrupted. At best – at best – classes are 50% in person. Every third day is more common than every other day, and there are schools on less frequent rotations than that. Each school is different.
Little side note: this does not mean that each school chose what it thought was best. The DoE’s insistence on a full rotation with daily instruction outside of as well as inside of school, and the UFT’s insistence on “blended learning” straight-jacketed most schools. Some were able to go through the necessary hoops to get “exceptions” accepted – but remember how the first schools that decided they wanted to go remote were shot down? The schools chose, unless the Chancellor wanted them to choose something else.
As September passed, a new disruption developed: many schools offer in building instruction – via the internet. Students, mostly in some high schools, come to school, open a lap top, and zoom into their CONTINUE READING: Quarantined and Disrupted | JD2718