August Comments

8/6/2017

Building Better Schools: What Our Best Districts and States Do

Jeff  Bryant describes how the Long Beach Unified Schools District avoided the “reform” platform, concentrated on building the teaching profession and capacity to improve and became one of the highest performing districts in the country. http://progressive.org/magazine/a-southern-california-district-resists-bad-education-policy/

John Hattie finds four educational strategies with super-size positive effects. The highest is collective teacher efficacy (building effective school teams which continually improve instruction) which produces a huge 1.6 SD gain or 16 times the effect of charter schools at .1 SD) https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/07/24/teachers-supersize-hattie-effects/?ps=billhonig@comcast.net-001a000001PNtzI-003a000001rID20

Nine elements of effective leadership development programs. http://ncee.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/9-blocksv011217.pdf; National Institute of School Leadership’s strategic plan http://www.nisl.org/what-we-do/ and their “wheel” approach. http://www.nisl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/NISL-Wheel-v110716.pdf

New Jersey’s effort to develop physics teachers. https://www.csmonitor.com/EqualEd/2017/0712/Looking-for-leaders-in-physics-education-Try-New-Jersey

One school’s quest for deeper learning. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning_deeply/2017/07/the_radical_act_of_leading_for_deeper_learning.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=learningdeeply

 

Charter School and Voucher Foibles

Scientific American magazine reports that vouchers don’t work so why is the current administration pushing them. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-advances-school-vouchers-despite-scant-evidence/?wt.mc=SA_Twitter-Share

The NAACP issued a July report reiterating its opposition to charter school expansion until effective accountability measures are adopted, its opposition public education funds diverted to for-profit schools, and its support of giving more power to local communities to choose what type of schools they desire. http://progressive.org/public-school-shakedown/naacp-seeks-to-ban-for-profit-charter-schools-and-increase-l/

Jersey Jazzman critique of studies which show “days of learning” increases for some charters which they characterize as “significant”. The actual effects are trivial and are several multiples below what other strategies produce and “days of learning increases” are a highly misleading metric without research support. http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2017/08/credo-charter-school-studies-x-days-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FCqnJA+%28Jersey+Jazzman%29 The lack of research on days of learning http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2017/08/credo-charter-school-studies-x-days-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FCqnJA+%28Jersey+Jazzman%29

Fraud in Nashville https://www.facebook.com/AmyFroggeTN/posts/1650175358340055?notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic&notif_id=1499688411795230

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer exposes fraud in Cleveland and Florida. http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/08/operators_of_new_west_park_cha.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Charter schools stifle innovation according to Mark Nelson. https://dianeravitch.net/2017/07/12/mark-naison-how-charter-schools-stifle-innovation/

A destructive teaching environment in many charter schools causes huge teacher churn. http://www.alternet.org/education/charter-schools-churn-through-teachers

New Orleans charter schools are punishing students for being poor. http://www.alternet.org/new-orleans-charters-punish-students

The Miami-Herald exposes state legislators who personally benefit from diverting funds from public schools to charters. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fabiola-santiago/article151418277.html

 

Questions about Current Panaceas

Rand has an extensive report on the pros and cons of personalized learning. Including teachers in the mix is a must. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2042.html

Two articles raise problems of implementing personalized learning. http://hechingerreport.org/hyped-school-model-proves-difficult-replicate/; http://hechingerreport.org/tipping-point-can-summit-put-personalized-learning-top/

Requiring Intermediate Algebra for all college bound students is not warranted. https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/07/20/does-algebra-do-more-harm-than-good-community-colleges-rethink-requirements/?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20170723Mindshift&mc_key=00Qi000001WzO2NEAV

Larry Cuban has some cautionary words about “coding for all”. https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/coding-the-new-vocationalism-part-1/; https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/coding-the-new-vocationalism-part-2/

Teacher evaluation using scores on standardized tests is becoming increasingly discredited. http://prospect.org/article/teacher-tests-test-teachers

Some tech companies find value in hiring liberal arts major. https://www.fastcompany.com/40440952/why-this-tech-ceo-keeps-hiring-humanities-majors

The false choice between academic and vocational education. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/top_performers/2017/07/the_false_choice_between_vocational_and_academic_education.html

Want to cause a medical disaster for patients: privatize emergency care. https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/upshot/the-company-behind-many-surprise-emergency-room-bills.amp.html

Does digital reading work? http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2017/08/what_we_dont_know_digital_reading_literacy.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=curriculummatters

Morgan Polikoff suggests that we publicize examples of programs and strategies which harm not help. https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/the-dont-do-it-depository-morgan-polikoff/

 

The Fight for Our Public Schools

A state legislator discovers the details of the ALEC plot to kill public education. http://progressive.org/dispatches/alec’s-attack-on-public-education-a-report-from-the-frontlin/#.WYHxRiBFHJk.facebook Betsy DeVos is a major sponsor of ALEC and has patterned her anti-public school agenda on its proposals.

Jim Hightower blasts Betsy DeVos’s plans to damage public schools. http://www.salon.com/2017/07/15/betsy-devos-plan-to-sell-out-public-schools-is-a-koch-brothers-dream-come-true/

A Florida editorial criticizing the latest attempt by a Republican legislature and governor to harm public education in that state. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/fl-op-editorial-public-education-assault-20170713-story.html

A St.Louis politician treats public school parents and criminals as equals in “costing” public dollars. http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/how-budget-austerity-puts-public-school-parents-on-par-with-criminals/

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