Thursday, November 12, 2020

Watch LIVE: Breonna Taylor’s America | Cloaking Inequity

Watch LIVE: Breonna Taylor’s America | Cloaking Inequity
WATCH LIVE: BREONNA TAYLOR’S AMERICA




The University of Kentucky College of Education is hosting an online discussion, “Navigating Your Teens in Breonna Taylor’s America,” beginning 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.

Focused on empowering students and educators, the discussion will be streamed live on the College of Education YouTube channel. Participants are encouraged to submit questions via email at CollegeofEdQA@gmail.com.

The discussion is designed to offer guidance to youth as they search for justice while balancing school, work, friendships, family and their personal well-being. Panelists will answer questions, such as:

  • What is the “arc of justice” and why does it take so long to get there? Will we ever?
  • How do I focus on school while trying to process racial traumas?
  • Why does it feel like some people don’t see my pain and stress?
  • How do I find my voice and where does it fit in?
  • How can teachers and school leaders embrace students during painful events, such as the Breonna Taylor decision?

The discussion will be moderated by Gregory Vincent, executive director of the college’s Education and Civil Rights Initiative in collaboration with the NAACP. The initiative is based in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, where Vincent is a professor. Panelists for this program will include:

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for” three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Employers.” We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.



NPE Action Congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris - NPE Action

NPE Action Congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris - NPE Action
NPE Action Congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
The Network for Public Education Action congratulates President-elect, Joe Biden, and Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, on their historic victory. We look forward to working with them as they fulfill their promised commitment to our nation’s public schools.


The promises made during the campaign drew support from public education advocates across the nation. With those promises in mind, we hope they keep the following five K-12 priorities at the forefront as they govern.

Rebuild our nation’s public schools, which have battered by the pandemic, two decades of failed federal policy, and years of financial neglect.

With state revenues declining, the federal government will have to provide the needed funds to protect the health of students and staff to safely re-open schools. That means funding to enable educators to catch students up academically and meet the social and emotional needs of students, many of whom will be traumatized by their experiences during the pandemic. The financial support dedicated to these efforts must provide flexibility for schools to decide how that money is best spent. 

That is where we begin, but it should not be where we end. The new Administration must keep its promise to dramatically increase funding to eliminate the funding gaps between white and non-white districts and well-funded and poor districts. And it must meet its pledge to fully fund IDEA during the next decade.

Reject efforts to privatize public schools, whether those efforts be via vouchers or charter schools.

Neighborhood public schools governed by their communities are essential to the health of our democracy and the well-being of children. We need a public education champion in the Department of Education who rejects efforts to privatize public schools, whether those efforts be via vouchers or charter schools. Retreads like Arne Duncan and John King are not acceptable.

With so to be done to rebuild our public schools when COVID subsides, our country cannot afford to subsidize private school tuition. The Biden Administration must oppose any Congressional attempts to institute tax credit programs designed to subsidize private and religious school tuition.

The Administration must keep its promise to make charter schools subject to the same transparency, accountability, and equity policies as public schools. It must fulfill its campaign promise of no federal assistance to charters that operate for profit or are managed by for-profit entities. The new Secretary, we hope, will institute a moratorium on new grants from the federal Charter Schools Program at least until those promised reforms are enacted.  

End the era of high-stakes standardized testing–in both the immediate future and beyond. 

After two decades of school accountability measures based on high-stakes testing, it is clear that these policies are ineffective levers for improving schools. The use of test results to evaluate teachers and put sanctions on schools has correlated with a decline in student performance on NAEP tests, which are independent audits of student performance. The rapid and ill-advised implementation of the Common Core and its tests furthered that decline. This Administration must focus on opportunity gaps, not test score gaps. 

Promote diversity, desegregation (both among and within schools), and commit to eliminating institutional racism in school policy and practices.

It is imperative that the new Administration promote diversity, desegregation (both among and within schools) and commit to eliminating institutional racism in school policy and practices. Diverse public schools break down social barriers, improve academic performance, and increase tolerance. As promised, President Biden must reinstate the Department of Education guidance in legally pursuing desegregation strategies and provide the promised grants to districts to diversify their schools. The new Administration must continue the Obama Administration’s work in identifying and reducing racial disparities in school suspensions and expulsions.  

Promote educational practices that are child-centered, inquiry-based, intellectually challenging, culturally responsive, and respectful of all students’ innate capacities and potential to thrive.

The Secretary must reject the overemphasis on basic skills coupled with teach-to-the test pedagogy. As important as literacy and numeracy are, there must be space for the arts, civics, history, second languages, and science–all of which have been sorely neglected since NCLB. Children, especially our youngest learners, deserve active learning experiences that enhance their social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development. It is not enough to simply expand pre-school. The President must ensure that all pre-schools follow the research practices that benefit the whole child. 

We stand ready, willing and able to support and heal public education. Let us now join together for a better future for our nation’s public schools and the children they serve. 

With hope, Carol Burris 

Executive Director of the Network for Public Education Action. 

Donations to NPE Action (a 501(c)(4)) are not tax deductible, but they are needed to lobby and educate the public about the issues and candidates we support.
Please make a donation today.


Parent and educators' questions on reopening schools... - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM

Parent and educators' questions on reopening schools... - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM
Parent and educators’ questions on reopening schools…




Last night the Superintendent shared more detailed plans about staff efforts on reopening schools. It was very helpful to see movement in key areas, like testing, and also hear more details and timelines for bringing various groups of students back to schools.

This presentation outlines key phases the district staff has proposed to take in reopening schools. Click the image above to view or click here.

Additionally, I am also deeply appreciative of my colleague’s efforts to expand this conversation and make this process more transparent. Commissioner Jenny Lam, Stevon Cook, and Gabriela Lopez have introduced a resolution to expand on the Superintendent’s work which delineates clear timelines and additionally calls on the Superintendent to partner with City agencies like the SF Department of Public Health and health experts at UCSF. You can read the proposed resolution here in English and Spanish. We plan to vote to approve it next Tuesday, during a special meeting on November 17, 2020.

While this progress is reassuring, I still hear frustration from staff and families that the decision-making process still doesn’t feel inclusive. Even as a Board Commissioner, I often feel like an audience member at our meetings. One specific example is that district staff made a decision to reduce the number of students it proposes to initially bring back, eliminating second graders who were originally included in discussions this summer. When asked about it at last night’s meeting, I was told the change was made this fall, yet for some reason information was neither shared with the public nor Board members. When changes that impact large groups of students are made without input, it decreases trust with families who rely on us to keep them informed.

For these reasons, I am pushing for more transparency and accountability in the coordination and decision-making process. I am working with Commissioner Jenny Lam to introduce an amendment to Commissioner Lam, Lopez and Cook’s resolution and will share details later this week. Public feedback has been wide-ranging and it is unlikely we will be able to create a plan that meets every family’s needs. Nonetheless, I believe it is important to ensure we are transparent about who, how, and why we make decisions in this process. Additionally, I’d like to see Board Commissioners take a CONTINUE READING: Parent and educators' questions on reopening schools... - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM

Confronting the Tension between Being a Student and a Writer – radical eyes for equity

Confronting the Tension between Being a Student and a Writer – radical eyes for equity
Confronting the Tension between Being a Student and a Writer




Titian: Sisyphus
Titian: Sisyphus
Sisyphus, oil on canvas by Titian, 1548–49; in the Prado Museum, Madrid.
Heritage Image Partnership Ltd./Alamy

I worry about my students.

I worry, I think, well past the line of being too demanding in the same way being a parent can (will?) become overbearing.

Good intentions and so-called tough love are not valid justifications, I recognize, but there is a powerful paradox to being the sort of kind and attentive teacher I want to be and the inherent flaws in believing that learning comes directly from my purposeful teaching and high demands.

After 37 years of teaching—and primarily focusing throughout my career on teaching students to write—I have witnessed that one of the greatest tensions of formal education is the contradiction of being a student versus being a writer.

That recognition is grounded in my own experiences; I entered K-12 teaching, my doctoral program, and my current career in higher education all as a writer first.

My primary adult Self has always been Writer, but being a writer has remained CONTINUE READING: Confronting the Tension between Being a Student and a Writer – radical eyes for equity

Mitchell Robinson: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Teaching in a Pandemic | Eclectablog

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Teaching in a Pandemic | Eclectablog
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Teaching in a Pandemic




It’s been 8 months now that many of us have been teaching and learning virtually, and I thought it might be time for a little reflection on what has worked out better than we may have expected, what is still a disaster, and everything in between. So, without further ado, I present The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of teaching in a pandemic.

Many thanks to my teacher friends on social media who helped to crowd source the following items. Hang in there, teachers…this too shall pass.

And if you have other suggestions for the list, please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments below!

The Good

  • The commute is really short
  • Real lunches are a thing
  • All day coffee
  • The Chat window is like a parallel class session
  • “Permission” to teach and do things differently without the need/expectation to perform
  • Wearing shorts to class
  • The mute button
  • The experience has heightened my sense of my students’ overall well-being — I find myself making more focused efforts to check in with students more often, and that’s one thing I hope CONTINUE READING: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Teaching in a Pandemic | Eclectablog

Choosing Democracy: Funding of Public Schools

Choosing Democracy: Funding of Public Schools
Funding of Public Schools




Public Advocates’ Statement on Proposition 15 Outcome

The defeat of Proposition 15 by wealthy corporations shows just how far we have to go to truly advance equity in California. But rest assured that the fight for adequate funding for our schools and communities is far from over. Poll after poll showed widespread public support for the measure, and the total vote, with more than 7.5 million in favor, is cause for optimism. Californians know that there is an unacceptable gap between the haves and have-nots in our state. Now, the fight for progressive sources of new revenue turns to the Legislature where we can build on this momentum.

The measure’s narrow defeat is nevertheless a tragic setback at a time when our state grapples with multiple crises: a pandemic, wildfires, record unemployment, surging homelessness, and chronically underfunded public schools that are struggling to educate over 6 million school children under unprecedented conditions. An influx of Proposition 15 tax dollars would have provided much-needed relief to school districts and local governments.

Today, our fight for progressive revenue sources continues. Alongside our community partners, we will advocate for every new or existing dollar needed to provide all students with a quality education, to protect families from eviction, and to establish a robust safety net for all Californians.

We call on Governor Newsom to take three immediate steps: (1) close a loophole allowing school district to misallocate billions of dollars intended to benefit high-need students, (2) pass an eviction moratorium to keep families home during the pandemic, and (3) work with the Legislature to secure new and equitable sources of funding. Now is also the time to pass a California Green New Deal which envisions an abundantly-funded public sector that can meet the needs of all our communities.

Public Advocates is proud to have served as a member of the Proposition 15 steering committee and we thank all our partners who worked tirelessly to build the growing movement behind the campaign. 


Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part Two | Blue Cereal Education

Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part Two | Blue Cereal Education
Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part Two




I’m discovering as I continue to draft a follow-up to “Have To” History: Landmark Supreme Court Cases that it’s more and more difficult to keep things succinct as subject matter nears the 21st century. I’m sharing a few rough drafts along the way partly in hopes a few of you, my Eleven Faithful Followers, might find them interesting, and partly because nothing highlights the problems in a text like posting it live for all the world to see.

Some version of this Talmudic Tale will likely be in the upcoming book. Chances are good, however, that the final results will be considerably more succinct – which is both necessary and a tiny bit sad.

Recap of Part One:  Kiryas Joel was (and is) a community of particularly insular Hasidic Jews (the Satmars) in New York. Most of their children attended private religious schools, but they asked the state for assistance providing care and education for their special needs children. Initial efforts to serve these particular children ran into conflict with recent Supreme Court rulings which struck down several public school efforts to serve high needs kids in religious institutions. New York responded by allowing the Satmars to create their own neighborhood and later a publicly funded neighborhood school tailored to their precise boundaries.  

As a practical matter, it certainly solved the problem. Constitutionally, on the other hand...

Kiryas Joel Students

Larkin v. Grendel’s Den (1982)

Just a decade before, the Supreme Court had ruled on a case having absolutely nothing to do with religious enclaves or public education, but which would nevertheless complicate the lives of the Satmars just as things were looking up for their special- CONTINUE READING: Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part Two | Blue Cereal Education

#101 Merchants of Doubt: What’s Behind the Claim that School Funding Doesn’t Matter? – Have You Heard

#101 Merchants of Doubt: What’s Behind the Claim that School Funding Doesn’t Matter? – Have You Heard
#101 Merchants of Doubt: What’s Behind the Claim that School Funding Doesn’t Matter?




Long before the Hoover Institution was casting doubt on masks, its ‘experts’ were undermining the case for investing in public education. Special guest Bruce Baker joins Have You Heard to shed light on what’s behind the claim that school funding doesn’t matter.

Complete transcript of the episode is hereThe financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

Want a free, signed copy of Jack and Jennifer’s forthcoming book, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse DoorSign up to host a virtual book group with 10 or more of your friends and colleagues and we’ll send you one!



Big Education Ape: 100th Episode: A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door – Have You Heard - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2020/10/100th-episode-wolf-at-schoolhouse-door.html


glen brown: Teaching During a Pandemic, 4th Week by Vikki Reid

glen brown: Teaching During a Pandemic, 4th Week by Vikki Reid
Teaching During a Pandemic, 4th Week by Vikki Reid



*     ✏️WhAt I LeArNeD In ScHoOl THIS WEEK?✏️📚

I learned that when a social media post goes viral, you FINALLY receive the attention from administration you’ve been asking for (negative attention is STILL attention...) 😉

I learned that teachers were “never” promised more than one 16 oz refillable bottle of hand sanitizer, and that the 1-gallon jugs that were in our classrooms when we left in March were “stolen” over summer.

I learned that Costco has 1-gallon jugs of hand sanitizer for $7, and I personally purchased five for my classroom.

I learned that teachers were “never” promised that our classrooms would be arranged for us, and measured for appropriate social distancing at 6 feet apart; we were expected to measure and space our classrooms ourselves, and we are responsible for maintaining that spacing.

I learned that contact tracing is completed by our daily seating charts and by connecting students who are exposed to positive cases less than six feet apart. Teachers are STILL responsible for tracking students who remove their masks, who eat in the classroom, who leave their seats, who leave the classroom (and for how long) where they went, and how long they were gone. Did anyone sneeze? Did anyone cough? These are important details to note while trying to actually teach CONTINUE READING: glen brown: Teaching During a Pandemic, 4th Week by Vikki Reid



Teacher Tom: "What's Inside?"

Teacher Tom: "What's Inside?"
"What's Inside?"




It was born as a wicker picnic basket complete with plates, cups and cutlery, but was converted more than a decade ago into the container in which we stored a collection of dolls along with their wardrobe. They weren't particularly popular dolls as playthings go, but I continued to trot them out a couple times a year because there was occasionally a kid or two who would drop everything to engage in the challenge of dressing and undressing those dolls.


The basket is held closed by a pair of leather straps secured by metal clasps that operate in a manner that most preschoolers haven't before encountered. I had put the basket on a table with the straps fastened, which I intended as a sort of invitation, figuring that few kids would be able to walk past without wanting to solve the mystery of what was inside. And sure enough, as the kids began to arrive, my invitation was accepted as a cluster gathered around the table, asking, "What's in here?" their fingers prying at the edges of the lid, struggling to get it to open.

I was standing a distance away, watching, even a little CONTINUE READING: 
Teacher Tom: "What's Inside?"

School Board Elections 2020: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly | tultican

School Board Elections 2020: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly | tultican
School Board Elections 2020: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly




By Thomas Ultican 11/12/2020

Los Angeles, Oakland and Indianapolis are routinely targeted by pro-public school privatization billionaires. Local school board races that a decade ago required less than $10,000 in order to mount a credible campaign now require ten times that amount. Billionaires again spent lavishly to take control of school boards in these three cities.

The Good

For two decades Oakland has been California’s petri dish for school privatization. Eli Broad has placed four superintendents in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Mayor Jerry Brown between terms in the Governor mansion helped establish the first charter schools in Oakland. Reed Hastings and “Doowop” Don Shalvey created one of the first ever charter management organizations (Aspire Charter Schools) in Oakland. The billionaire funded and pro-school privatization organizations New Schools Venture Fund, Educate78 and GO Public education are all headquartered in Oakland.

The general election on November 3 had four odd numbered director positions on the ballot. The Oakland school board has seven seats. In an attempt to place school privatization friendly directors on the board, three out of town billionaires poured $625,000 into the Power2Families independent expenditure committee.

The former New York Mayor and Presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg, also sent $300,000 to the GO Public School’s independent expenditure CONTINUE READING: School Board Elections 2020: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly | tultican



Questions raised as to whether NYC DOE is protecting student privacy | Class Size Matters | A clearinghouse for information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes

Questions raised as to whether NYC DOE is protecting student privacy | Class Size Matters | A clearinghouse for information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes
Questions raised as to whether NYC DOE is protecting student privacy



Chalkbeat also reported on Sen. Hoylman’s letter today.

NY State Senator Brad Hoylman sent a letter yesterday to the Chancellor, asking questions about whether the personal student data that is being collected and processed by the many online programs acquired by the DOE is sufficiently protected from breach or abuse.

According to the UFT, “The DOE has informed schools that for SY 2020-21, they must have a shared, inclusive and digital curriculum in all core subject areas” in order to implement remote learning. We have now amassed a list of about one hundred of these digital programs, many of which were hurriedly acquired by DOE, along with links to their privacy grades from Commonsense Media, if available, along with some clarifying comments. These grades are based upon their publicly available privacy policies, some of which do not appear to comply with the state law because they use data for commercial or marketing purposes and/or have weak security  provisions.

We gathered the list from the DOE and UFT websites, as well as our parent/teacher survey.

Here’s a summary of what the NY State student privacy law and regulations require; more information is available on the NYSED website here. Though the law was originally passed in March of 2014, it took CONTINUE READING: Questions raised as to whether NYC DOE is protecting student privacy | Class Size Matters | A clearinghouse for information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes