Back from vacation to crowdsource a problem with school enrollment

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:


My elementary school in a low-income part of Washington, DC needs its community to enroll its children in school. Otherwise, we’re going to have a problem.

In previous weeks, and in weeks to come, myself and others are canvassing surrounding neighborhoods to ensure that students are enrolled in school. Previously, I’ve called this “predatory enrollment.” In the competitive market that is inner city schooling, charters and publics alike are competing for students, hoofing it house to house with duplicitous motives: one, to ensure kids are in school and two, to secure those precious per-pupil dollars.

Our school is currently at 50% enrollment. We need parents to fill out the paperwork. We know they’re coming.

Readers, anyone out there, how do we get parents and caregivers, those that rarely answer the door when we knock, or who are unlikely to be home when we arrive, who seem to forget time…

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Cartoons of Kids in School

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Yep, here’s another edition of monthly cartoons. The following cartoons of kids in school (and at home) have tickled me and I wanted to share them with readers. Enjoy!











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A July 21, 2014, Update on Common Core, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

On Sunday, July 20, 2014, I took the day off from writing. No book editing; no blogging.

I think I have done so only for one other day since May.

Instead, I read a book for the sheer enjoyment of reading. I chose my all-time favorite, a work of fiction by C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.

In the preface, Lewis makes the following statement:

A wrong sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.

And so it is with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). CCSS was a train wreck waiting to occur from inception (see here, as well). Thus, to borrow Lewis’ math analogy, the CCSS error occurred in the planning stages. To try to “correct” CCSS at any subsequent point is an utter waste.

When 46…

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Quick announcement from @ the Chalk Face radio show

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Nevada Teacher to Senator Harry Reid: We Need Your Help!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Angie Sullivan is a teacher-warrior who never gives up the fight for quality education in Nevada. She wants qualified teachers and adequate funding. She won’t back down. She wrote this letter to Senator Harry Reid:

“@TeachForAmerica: “You’ve done so much to help our country.” – @SenatorReid via video to our alumni at #ECVegas14

I have a HUGE HUGE problem with this! BIG Gigantic!

Senator Reid thanks scab labor by video at their big rally?

Teach for America that routinely union busts and funds campaigns against democrats with its war chests?

Their primary purpose is to fundraise and control the education privatizing conversation – developing reforming educational leadership with a few years of classroom experience. How do they do this? Install new graduates without teaching skill in at-risk schools and replace real teachers as fast as possible with “stars” who never intended to make the classroom a career.

Nevada has a…

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Jeff Bryant: The Media Doesn’t Understand Why Teachers and Parents Are Angry

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jeff Bryant notes that many in the national media were stunned when the NEA called for Secretary Duncan’s resignation. For years, they believed the Secretary’s press releases instead of investigating the festering discontent against his ill-informed policies. Many journalists are oblivious to the protests by teachers–like the one at Garfield High school in Seattle– against the use of student test scores to judge their quality. Many journalists never noticed growing protests by students against obsessive testing in cities like Providence. Many never heard about parent groups objecting to profiteering by test publishers or dismissed them as publicity stunts. Many have been oblivious to the devastating effects of budget cuts by state legislatures that at the same time that they open unsupervised charter schools that impoverish community public schools. With some notable exceptions, like the Detroit Free Press and the Akron Beacon Journal, the mainstream media has simply ignored a widespread…

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Courtney Bowie: Vouchers and Privatization Undermine Educational Equity

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Courtney Bowie is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Racial Justice Program. In this article, she describes the ACLU’s efforts to stop discrimination against students with disabilities in Wisconsin’s voucher program. Privatization, she says, is promoting segregation and rolling back decades of legal advances for students of color and students with disabilities.

In Wisconsin and elsewhere, voucher supporters have fought efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee their voucher programs.

Bowie writes:

There are now over 20 states and the District of Columbia that use public funds to subsidize private school enrollment, whether it’s a tax credit for parents of students attending private schools or voucher programs, like the one in Wisconsin, that give a student a taxpayer-funded voucher worth a certain amount to pay private school tuition. These programs are touted as giving poor students, often in so-called “failing districts,” the same “choice” that wealthy students…

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