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The Education Thread
#1
2018 has been a big year for education-related news in the United States, and we've talked about that in various threads, but I figured an all-encompassing thread where we talked about it in all forms throughout the world could lead to some great discussions.  I also think it'll make it easier for certain stories to not get lost in the shuffle in an ocean of Trump news.

So, you think one country has a great model for education, or find yourself reading a book filled with ideas on how to better a system?  Let's talk!


I'll start with Seth Frotman stepping down from a CFPB position overseeing the $15 trillion student loan market a few days ago because of the Trump administration's hostility towards people affected.  Naturally, it was brought up in the Trump thread, but major news spreads so fast there that some stories just don't gain the traction they deserve.  

First, the needed backstory and new information regarding what for-profit colleges (others too) do during the three-year window where the U.S. government actually pays attention to borrowers:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/201...trump.html

Quote:In the United States today, 44 million people carry $1.4 trillion in student debt. That giant pile of financial obligations isn’t just a burden on individual borrowers, but on the nation’s entire economy. The concomitant rise in the cost of college tuition — and stagnation of entry-level wages for college graduates — has depressed the purchasing power of a broad, and growing, part of the labor force. Many of these workers are struggling to keep their heads above water; recent research suggests that 11 percent of aggregate student-loan debt is more than 90 days past due or delinquent. Other borrowers are unable to invest in a home, vehicle, or start a family (and engage in all the myriad acts of consumption that go with that).

The full scale of this disaster is still coming into view. Just this week, the Center for American Progress (CAP) revealed that official government statistics have been hiding the depths of our student-debt problem. Federal law requires colleges that participate in student-loan programs to keep their borrowers’ default rates under 30 percent for three years after they begin repayment. But once those three years are up, federal tracking ends. Using a Freedom of Information Act request, CAP’s Ben Miller secured never-before-released data on what happens to default rates after Uncle Sam stops watching.

He found that many colleges (especially for-profit ones) have been artificially depressing their default rates during the three-year window by showering their borrowers in deferments — essentially, special allowances that empower debtors to temporarily stop making debt payments without going into delinquency. After the three years are up, the deferments disappear — and the default rates skyrocket.

Just about all of America’s institutions of higher learning are complicit in this sorry state of affairs. But for-profit colleges have been far and away the most malevolent actors. The entrepreneurs behind such schools looked at the masses of Americans struggling to claw their way up the socioeconomic ladder — and then at the giant stack of federal student loans available to such strivers — and hatched a plan for “disrupting” the higher-education market: Whereas many traditional universities had inefficiently concentrated their capital on research centers, student services, and faculty, for-profit colleges recognized that an ounce of marketing was worth a pound of quality instruction. Providing students with a good education and competitive job opportunities is a difficult, time-consuming, capital-intensive endeavor — but leading students to believe that you can provide them such things could be done with a few targeted investments in video and graphic design.

Through this innovative strategy — and a boom in the supply of desperate, underemployed Americans following the Great Recession — for-profit colleges quickly claimed an outsize share of federal student dollars. In 2014, 13 of the 25 colleges and universities where students held the most education debt were for-profit institutions. Collectively, students who attended such schools held $229 billion in debt.

The Obama administration tried to fight this practice post-recession, which you likely already know:

Quote:In light of these facts, the Obama administration concluded that it was actually a bad idea for the federal government to subsidize an industry that specializes in the production of useless diplomas and debt-burdened Americans. So, in 2014, the Education Department established new rules that denied taxpayer-backed loans and grants to colleges whose graduates routinely failed to meet a minimum debt-to-income ratio. In other words, if your school excelled at using sleek advertisements to get students through the door — but failed to place your graduates in jobs that pay enough to make their student debts sustainable — you wouldn’t get to live off taxpayers’ money anymore.

Now, we get to the Trump administration (with Betsy DeVos and the forefront) and Seth Frotman's reasons for resigning:

Quote:The Trump White House took exception to this policy. In its view, denying government subsidies to businesses that engage in massive fraud is a tyrannical violation of “free market” principles. Thus, Education secretary Betsy DeVos launched a plan to throw out the gainful-employment rules earlier this month. In making the case for her rollback, DeVos suggested that the Obama administration had unfairly targeted for-profit institutions for scrutiny — a claim ostensibly substantiated by the fact that dozens of for-profit colleges have opted to close (rather than submit themselves to accountability) since the rule went into effect. According to the Education Department’s own estimates, ending Obama’s lending restrictions to for-profit colleges will cost the federal government $5.3 billion over the next decade (as the number of student-loan borrowers who are forced into default will skyrocket).

As DeVos works to funnel more taxpayer money to low-performing, for-profit colleges, she’s cracking down on federal-student-loan forgiveness. The secretary believes that the Obama administration’s standards for forgiving a students debts (on account of financial hardship or false advertising) were far too generous — explaining, under “the previous rules, all one had to do was raise his or her hands to be entitled to so-called free money.”

Meanwhile, Devos is diligently working to ensure that banks and loan servicers remain entitled to every penny that they can squeeze out of student debtors through fraud and abuse. (In a bizarre coincidence, Devos has close financial ties to a debt collection agency that does business with the Education Department.)

In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued Navient, America’s largest servicer of federal and private student loans. The watchdog agency found that Navient had worked to keep debtors’ from repaying their loans too quickly (so as to maximize the interest payments they could skim) by “providing bad information, processing payments incorrectly, and failing to act when borrowers complained.” The loan servicer had also (allegedly) “illegally cheated many struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower repayments.”

DeVos has done everything in her power to undermine that lawsuit. Last September, her department announced that it would no longer share its student-loan data with the CFPB, arguing that the regulator had grown “overreaching and unaccountable.” In reality, the move rendered America’s largest student-loan companies unaccountable by making it impossible for the CFPB to conduct routine oversight of their businesses. DeVos proceeded to prevent Navient from giving the consumer bureau access to the documents that the latter would need to determine whether the loan-service provider’s practices had been above board.

To reiterate:

1. Ending Obama's lending restrictions could cost the federal government $5.3 billion over the next decade.

2. DeVos is cracking down on student loan forgiveness, calling it "free money," while making sure banks and loan servicers get "what's theirs."  That last quote is my own emphasis.

3. Devos has close financial ties to a debt collection agency that does business with the Education Department.

4. A lawsuit against Navient, America’s largest servicer of federal and private student loans, is being stalled by DeVos in every way.  That included a decision to stop sharing student-loan data with the CFPB in its pursuit of truth.

So, what have we learned?

Quote:The Trump administration looked out on a student-debt crisis that was financially ruining millions of young people, sapping economic growth, and allowing scam artists to grow rich off taxpayer funds — and concluded that the core problem with Obama’s college-affordability agenda was that it had failed to hold students and federal regulators accountable for their abuses of loan servicers and for-profit colleges.

Students might still find a way to be our nation’s future – but kleptocracy is its present.
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#2
Success Academy's first charter high school in New York City has been having massive turnover problems regarding its faculty.  It's so bad this year that the son of the founder is teaching an AP Economics class.  He doesn't have a college degree yet:

http://gothamist.com/2018/08/28/success_...kowitz.php

Quote:New York City charter network Success Academy has barely been open a week this school year, but some students are already learning valuable lessons about nepotism and organizational dysfunction. 

According to multiple reports, enrollees of a Manhattan branch of the city's controversial charter network were surprised to find their AP Economics class taught by the son of Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz, Culver Grannis Moskowitz. 

The younger Moskowitz does not have a college degree, and recently transferred to Columbia University, after two semesters at Haverford College and a gap year. He is the only of Eva Moskowitz's three children who did not go to a Success Academy high school, instead attending the posh Avenues World School in Chelsea, where he apparently ran for class president and recorded some educational raps:

He likely did not take A.P. Economics, as the private high school does not appear to offer it as part of their upper level curriculum (A spokesperson for Avenues did not immediately respond to a request for comment). 

“Isn’t AP supposed to be college-level material?” one frustrated parent asked Chalkbeat, which first reported the news. “If he hasn’t graduated college, how is he teaching college-level material?”

Ann Powell, a spokesperson for Success Academy, said that the CEO's son worked as an intern for Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts-Manhattan over the summer, and "ended up filling in for an economics teacher who quit, and whose replacement is due to start [next] Tuesday." Of the 67 teachers who worked at the Manhattan charter school last year, only 18 are returning this year, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The controversial charter network has earned a reputation in recent years for its exacting work environment and high turnover among employees. At some schools, annual teacher turnover rates frequently exceed 50 percent—nearly three times the average at district schools. Earlier this year, both the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer quietly left the company, fueling uncertainty among staff. 

"Generally, there's been low morale lately because of how much turnover there's been," one employee told Gothamist. "A lot of things are being put on hold. A lot of teams are short staffed."
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#3
One of our best remembered Prime Ministers in Australia was Gough Whitlam. He wasn't in office very long (unfortunately due to some appalling upheavals in our political system that still live on infamy) but he's still remembered today because he dared to be bold. He's certainly better remembered than the people who came after him even when they were in office longer - to a lot longer than him.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/...1977w.html

That includes education. Sure, his political opponents argue that it didn't change much in a number of tangible metrics but even his detractors agree it sent a message that education is and should be for everyone.

So, it terms of the US, it really should be seen less as a commodity (an increasingly out of reach one) and more as the building blocks of a great nation wanting to become greater. Same with healthcare. The right building blocks laid now will really pay off in future.

I do get at least some of the problems, including people more interested in the short term payoffs instead of investing in the future and then even more malignantly, the vested interests of those which it actually suits to perpetuate and even exacerbate the destruction of education in the US and beyond.
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#4
The Arizona Supreme Court removed a tax initiative from this year's ballot that would've raised $690 million for schools by raising taxes on the wealthy:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/us/ar...tined.html
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#5
In a historic first, charter school teachers for the Acero network are striking in Chicago:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/04/us/ch...trike.html

Quote:Over 500 educators in Chicago began the nation’s first strike at a charter school network on Tuesday, shutting down 15 schools serving more than 7,000 children. Teachers for the Acero Schools network rallied at local schools to call for higher pay and smaller class sizes, among other demands.

The action is the latest mass teacher protest in a year when educators have closed ranks in places where organized labor has historically been weak — first in six conservative or swing states where teachers walked out of classrooms, and now in the charter school sector, where unionization is sparse.

All of the picket lines have formed out of a dispute over public dollars — whether education funding is adequate, and what percentage of the money should go toward educator pay and classroom resources versus other costs.

“Everyone is feeding off each other and hearing this rallying cry,” said Martha Baumgarten, a fifth-grade teacher at Carlos Fuentes Elementary School in the Acero network and a member of her union’s bargaining committee. “A lot of this comes down to lack of funding. But teachers across the country are seeing each other stand up and say that’s not O.K. We’re not going to support budgets and politics as usual.”
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#6
Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to eliminate a specialized high school admissions test and instead guarantee a spot to the top 7% of students at each middle school would significantly increase the proportion of black and Hispanic students.

There was a lot of backlash in Manhattan this week:

https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2018/...-proposal/

Quote:Manhattan parents expressed outrage Monday night over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial plan to overhaul admissions at some of the most sought-after high schools in New York City.

At least 300 people attended District 2’s Community Education Council meeting, where Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack formally presented the city’s plan to get rid of the test that middle school students can take to gain admission to eight of the city’s specialized high schools. 

In June, De Blasio announced his plan to phase out the test and instead guarantee a spot to the top 7 percent of students at every city middle school, using multiple measures including their GPAs and performance on state tests. Because the city’s middle schools are starkly segregated by race, the proposal would significantly increase the proportion of black and Hispanic students who are admitted. For the proposal to go through, it would require a change in state law.

Black or Hispanic students make up 10 percent of the enrollment at the city’s specialized high schools but represent almost 70 percent of students citywide. Critics have said basing admission on a single test advantages students who can afford test prep or are keenly aware of how important the exam is.

But many parents pushed back, including Asian families who have lobbied to keep the test (though one group supports getting rid of the exam). Asian students represent about 62 percent of students at the specialized high schools and just 16 percent citywide. 

In District 2, the plan has sparked hot debate. The Manhattan district, which stretches from the Upper East Side and through Soho to Tribeca, enrolls just 8 percent of the city’s eighth graders but accounts for almost 13 percent of admissions to specialized high schools.
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#7
I feel like this keeps happening because when white families think of "good schools," they don't think of schools with minorities, or even think that diversity matters.

Social justice is only okay when it doesn't get in the way of their comfort. I think they are decent reasons why families might be hesitant towards a program, but it belies the truth that white resentment occurs when white families believe that something is being taken from them as a result of social justice reforms.

And when you're using "Oh they might not fit in in an advance environment" as a reason to be against diversity, that's some bullshit.
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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#8
That "they might not fit in" argument holds even less water after that big expose from the Times last week about that Louisiana charter school that (in addition to beating kids) lied about their students on applications to the Ivy League...and the students that got in wound up doing fine in an "advanced environment."
home taping is killing music
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#9
Pfft. What a shitshow. My kids, 12 and 8, both got to public schools in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. The neighborhood is predominantly African American (but gentrifying) and they are the extreme minorities in thier respective classes, grades, and schools. Since pre-K, neither one ever seemed to have a serious issues about being the “other”. And they’re both getting good educations (at least as good as common core allows).

Their doing fine, and are learning the extremely valuable fact the world is abig place, and not everyone looks like you. Let the entitled Manhattanites have panic attacks over their precious princes and princesses. As close to a merit-based system as we can have, the better.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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#10
I'm pretty sure Sean Hannity will never weasel his way into this thread again.  

Anyways, a teacher told students there was no Santa Claus recently, so Hannity's done a few segments about it, including this one where a philosophy professor argued that parents shouldn't lie to kids about Santa Claus:

https://www.mediaite.com/tv/hannity-clas...loosen-up/

Quote:Earlier this week, Hannity did a segment on a teacher who caused controversy by telling kids that Santa Claus isn’t real, expressing outrage at how any educator could do such a thing.

King’s College philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson wrote a piece for Psychology Today titled “Sorry Sean Hannity, the Truth About Santa Isn’t ‘Fake News.'” He offered this take on the controversy:

First of all, it’s not clear that the teacher stepped out of bounds. The details of what happened are sketchy. If she took the initiative, unprompted, to set the kids straight about mythical creatures, that’s probably out of line. While I have argued profusely that parents should not lie to their kids about Santa, parents do have a right to make personal decisions about how their children are raised—and a teacher intentionally co-opting such a decision, unprompted, doesn’t seem right (especially if they are a substitute).

On the other hand, if the teacher was asked by the students if Santa and other mythical creatures were real—which, from the report, seems most likely—well, it’s not a teacher’s obligation to protect a child’s naiveté or to back up parental lies. Teachers have an obligation to give their students true and factual information; if a parent decides to lie to their children about something, it’s not a teacher’s fault when that child comes to them as their student and asks for the truth—even if it is about Santa.

The King's College philosophy professor came to the wrong show if he was looking for nuance, but he tried:

Quote:Hannity kicked things off by telling him, “You seem really uptight and you seem like you need to loosen up a little bit and you might want to look through the eyes of a child the anticipation and the fun that goes along with Christmas and the Christmas season instead of being so retentive about it.”

Johnson said he’s mischaracterizing his argument, saying the issue is what “the best parenting practices are and that parents need to be more cognizant about the risks of lying to their children pose.”

Rachel Campos-Duffy expressed her dismay about how people like Johnson “are calling for tolerance and open-mindedness and respect for so many things and yet they can’t seem to find that for Christian traditions and beliefs.”

Johnson said that’s not his point either, saying parents are free to do whatever they want but “I’m perfectly free to point out the kind of risks that a parent should be aware of when they are lying to their children about Santa Claus.”

Campos-Duffy said he’s just overthinking this and Hannity concluded by telling Johnson, “You seem very angry. I just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas.”

An amused Johnson said, “I’m not angry at all, Sean.”

I don't really have a stance on any of this.  I just think it's hilarious what constitutes "news" over at Fox when there's so much real shit going down.  I'm also fascinated that someone would go on this show and try to make a point on anything.
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#11
Governor-elect Tony Evers of Wisconsin is appointing the state's first black Schools Superintendent:

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/...oc-edit-tw

Quote:Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers announced Thursday that he will appoint current Assistant State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor to succeed him at the state Department of Public Instruction, making her Wisconsin's first black schools superintendent.

Evers has served as state superintendent since 2009. He'll have to give up the position when he's sworn in as governor on Jan. 7. The superintendent is an elected, officially nonpartisan constitutional officer, but when a vacancy occurs in the post the governor can appoint someone to serve out the remainder of the term. Stanford Taylor will have to stand for election in 2021.

"(Stanford Taylor) is known and respected throughout the education community for her commitment to equity and her work to help all students reach academic success," Evers said in a news release. "I have known Carolyn for the better part of three decades and know she will be an exceptional state superintendent."

Stanford Taylor currently oversees DPI's Special Education Team as well as its Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team, which focuses on student safety, and residential schools for the blind in Janesville and the deaf in Delavan.
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#12
The site issues kept me away for a bit, but I did want to finally post about the Los Angeles teachers strike, which is in its fifth day:

https://www.latimes.com/local/education/...story.html

Quote:Audra Feld, 36, picketed outside Gage Middle School on Friday morning before she made her way from Huntington Park to downtown.

The English and history teacher said this week had been “emotionally exhausting”— picketing in the rain, watching subs she’s never seen cross the picket line to supervise her students. Having to fight for herself, to stand on the sidewalk and say she deserves better working conditions.

Salary isn’t on the top of her list, she said: Her students need the district to pay for a nurse every day, and they need a lower student-to-counselor ratio.

“Both parties will lose my trust for a long time,” she said, if they come out of this marathon bargaining without those agreements.

“We’re not sure where the money is coming from,” she said, “but someone has got to find it.”

Watching the back-and-forth between Caputo-Pearl and LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner has been hard, she said. “I feel like my parents are getting a divorce.”

Talks had ceased after union leaders rejected a revised district offer a week ago.

Another positive sign Thursday was a meeting just before negotiations began between the two leaders. They were brought together by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was hosting the bargaining at City Hall. Beutner and Caputo-Pearl did not take part in the bargaining session itself.

Attendance at schools Thursday was the lowest yet during the strike, with about 17% of students showing up. L.A. Unified receives state funding — its largest source of revenue — based on attendance. Officials estimated the gross loss for the day at $28.1 million. Offsetting that somewhat is the fact that striking teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses are not being paid. Their pay adds up to about $10 million per day.

Schools are being kept open by skeleton staffs of administrators, substitutes and employees who are not members of the striking union. At some schools, employees of Local 99, which represents most non-teaching workers, have participated in sympathy strikes.

Juan Flecha, the head of the administrators union, said on Wednesday in a letter to Beutner that conditions at schools were “dire and unsafe.”

In a note to the media, he added: “The administrators have had enough and they are asking Beutner to stop threatening them, to stop forcing them to lie to the public and to even close down schools during the strike.”

Beutner responded on Thursday. In a letter to Flecha, he thanked principals for their efforts but added that “students and families are counting on our schools to stay open.”

There is still enthusiasm on the picket lines, especially with long days of heavy rains apparently coming to a close.
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#13
Looks like Denver is up next:

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/01/18/de...otiations/

Quote:The Denver Classroom Teachers Association rejected Denver Public Schools’ final proposal on a new contract laying out educators’ pay structure late Friday, hours before members of the teachers union were scheduled to begin voting on whether to strike in the name of fair wages.

“We anticipate a strike,” said Henry Roman, president of the Denver teachers union, after a marathon back-and-forth bargaining session that lasted more than 12 hours Friday and has stretched out over 14 months.

Representatives from DPS and the union representing the district’s 5,600 educators faced around an $8 million gap between their two compensation proposals as bargaining came to an abrupt end, foreshadowing what could be the first walkout in the state’s largest school district since 1994.

Teachers who packed the room for the intense session ran the gamut of emotion once the meeting ended in disagreement, not sure whether to cry, clap, cheer or do all three.
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#14
A superintendent is facing criminal charges for lying to get help for a sick student:

https://abc7ny.com/superintendent-accuse...t/5104416/

Quote:A superintendent in Indiana returned to school after she was arrested for helping a sick student. She now faces three charges, including insurance fraud.

Casey Smitherman says she checked on a student at home after the child missed school.

He reportedly showed signs of strep throat, so she took him to a clinic where he was refused treatment.

Smitherman took the student to another clinic, where she admits she lied and said he was her son so he could be treated.

"I'm not saying it was right, I'm really sorry," she said. "I just was scared for him. I would love to go back to that moment and redo it."

Smitherman says the school board has been very supportive through all of this.

She made a deal with the DA's office. If she has no more arrests for a year, the charges will be dropped.
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#15
How crazy is that Indiana story? I am assuming Indiana doesn't have some Medicare for children?
"Wilford Brimley can't be bothered to accept praise. He doesn't act because he thinks people will enjoy his work. He acts because it's his goddamned job." --Will Harris, AV Club
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#16
The Los Angeles teachers' strike was considered a big setback for charter schools in California, but they're expected to fight a possible cap on them:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/us/ch...geles.html

Quote:Carrying protest signs, thousands of teachers and their allies converged last month on the shimmering contemporary art museum in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Clad in red, they denounced “billionaire privatizers” and the museum’s patron, Eli Broad. The march was a preview of the attacks the union would unleash during the teachers’ strike, which ended last week.

As one of the biggest backers of charter schools, Mr. Broad helped make them a fashionable and potent cause in Los Angeles, drawing support from business leaders like Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix; Hollywood executives; and lawmakers to create a wide network of more than 220 schools.

Mr. Broad was so bullish about the future of charter schools just a few years ago that he even floated a plan to move roughly half of Los Angeles schoolchildren — more than 250,000 students — into such schools. In 2017, he funneled millions of dollars to successfully elect candidates for the Board of Education who would back charters, an alternative to traditional public schools that are publicly funded but privately run.

His prominence has also turned him into a villain in the eyes of the teachers’ union. Now Mr. Broad and supporters like him are back on their heels in Los Angeles and across the country. The strike is the latest setback for the charter school movement, which once drew the endorsement of prominent Democrats and Republicans alike. But partly in reaction to the Trump administration, vocal Democratic support for charters has waned as the party has shifted further to the left and is more likely to deplore such schools as a drain on traditional public schools.

When the Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced a deal between the teachers’ union and the school district after the weeklong strike, it became immediately clear that the fate of charter schools was part of the bargain: The union extracted a promise that the pro-charter school Board of Education would vote on a call for the state to cap the number of charters.

It was the latest in a string of defeats for a movement that for over a decade has pointed to Los Angeles and California as showcases for the large-scale growth of the charter school sector.

Backers of charter schools argue that they provide a much-needed choice for parents in poor neighborhoods, where low-performing schools are often the norm. Many supporters expressed frustration that student achievement had not been a focus of the debate around the Los Angeles strike. Overall, the city’s public school students tend to perform worse in reading and math than their counterparts in many other large urban school districts across the country, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The low performance of district schools, charter supporters say, has led to about a fifth of the district’s students being enrolled in charter schools.

“Why would they dive in to make this political statement?” said Myrna Castrejón, the president of the California Charter Schools Association. Addressing the teachers’ union, she said: “Do you hate us that much that you would bargain away the future of poor children and Latino children for this?”

Charter schools, which are generally not unionized, were not officially on the bargaining table in the protracted negotiations between the union and the district. It is the state, not the school district, that crafts the laws governing charter schools and their growth. But it was always a central message of the union during the strike: Charter schools, they argued, were taking students and money away from traditional public schools.

Still, charter schools have proven popular among many parents in Los Angeles. Some schools have long waiting lists and the district already has more students enrolled in charters than any other public school system in the country.

It is still unclear how much practical impact the deal will have on charters. Charter school supporters are lobbying the school board, which has steadfastly supported charters for more than a decade, to vote down the resolution for a charter school cap this week. Even if it passes, advocates are certain to take the fight to Sacramento, where a bill calling for a moratorium seems likely. They will argue that charters have given poor students and students of color essential options for better schools.

But the defeat in the court of public opinion is clear: After years of support from powerful local and national allies — including many Democrats — charter schools are now facing a backlash and severe skepticism.
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#17
Here's an interview with some of the union leaders in the California strike  (content warning: Socialism,  also Chapo, which people don't like apparently.  I dunno, I'm just a recent acolyte)

https://youtu.be/UjKWrowSpnM?t=869


For largely historical reasons Australian schools are partly private religious schools.  That sort of entrenched situation has meant that government ends up supporting private schools somewhat, to varying degrees over time, even while establishing fully public schooling along the way.  This causes a similar situation to California once the neo-liberal present tense arrives.  You've got this quasi private education source which followers of the church of privatisation have a hard time resisting and they say to themselves "Instead of dealing with a huge education system with all its bureaucracy and so forth, we can just give the money to these guys and not have to worry about it so much".  These schools are already fee based so they can make their own money.  You just give them a hand to take more of the student intake.

Inevitably this starts to impact the attention given to the public system as the love of keeping that ledger nice and simple takes over.  The private schools, on paper, produce better outcomes (although a lot of this time this is by simply removing less succesful students to the public system to keep their score average up).  So obviously they should have even more money!  The public purse should be abe to show money is going to successful institutions after all.  Thus you have this creep to a two tiered system (or a widening gap between the bottom tier and the other tiers above) and whispers start to appear about general privatisation of primary and secondary education.

There's a lot of local differences but the California situation has some interesting similarities.
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#18
Here's a good summary of the current Denver teachers strike:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/us/de...e=Homepage

Quote:The strike is the first by Denver’s teachers in 25 years, and many students joined in as well, leaving their classrooms with their backpacks and marching in the street alongside their teachers.

Over the last year, in red states and blue states, in big liberal cities and in tiny Appalachian towns, teachers have fought back against core tenets of education reform in the last two decades: that schools can be made better without increasing funding and that competition for resources among teachers and institutions, through school choice, is good for students.

Now another one of those tenets, performance-based compensation, is under attack.

Denver’s pay system, called ProComp, went into effect in 2006 and became a national model. It was developed in partnership with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, the local union, which is now fighting it and upending the routines of more than 72,000 students with a districtwide strike.

The foundational principle of ProComp — evaluating teachers according to how well their students perform — was later enshrined in Colorado law and then in Race to the Top, President Barack Obama’s signature education initiative.

But such evaluation models typically required more testing of students in order to gather evidence of teacher impact — a change that was unpopular with parents, students and educators alike.

Since 2016, federal and state laws have shifted districts away from using student performance to judge teachers. In many ways, ProComp is now seen as a relic of an earlier era of school reform.

Denver teachers and their union leaders argue that it is more important to raise teachers’ base pay than to offer them modest and unpredictable bonuses. In a city surging with new money from the technology, aerospace and marijuana industries, teachers say they are struggling to pay off student loans and cannot afford rent, much less buy a home.

“I’m striking so I can feed my kids without using a food bank,” said Rebecca Lovvorn, a single mother of three children who is an English teacher inside a juvenile detention center. “I have kids that are doing very illegal activities that I know for sure make better money than I do. They are 15 years old. And that is a hard rationale to confront.”

Ms. Lovvorn will make about $44,000 this year, she said, with a bonus of about $2,000 for working in a school deemed difficult to serve. But she expects to take home just $31,200 after taxes and health insurance payments. (The federal poverty rate for a family of four is $25,100.)

Denver teachers, on average, earn $63,400 per year, including ProComp bonuses. The union wants more money to go to base salaries, in part by reducing a proposed $2,500 bonus for teachers in high-poverty schools and eliminating a proposed $3,000 incentive for teachers in the district’s 30 highest-priority schools.

The union and the district are also battling over the types of teacher education courses that would lead to higher pay.
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#19
A parent recorded some really nasty audio from a teacher and two aides talking to her child and other students in a special education program in West Virginia.

The video at the link doesn't show everything.  I had seen another video where audio could be heard where one of the three threatened to beat up the kids.  Maybe I can find it later.

https://wjla.com/features/7-on-your-side...by-teacher

Quote:t’s the first time ABC7 is hearing from the Berkeley County School District on camera about a secret recording made by a child's mother. The audio recording captured disturbing comments made by a teacher and two aides in a first grade class with special education students.

On Monday, Kasey Murphy testified at the State Capitol in Charleston in front of the House Finance Committee. Her son, Owen, and other special education first graders were subjected to disturbing comments made by instructors captured on a secret recording at Berkeley Heights Elementary School.

Instructor No. 3: "Don't throw it. Don't throw. You animal you."

Instructor No. 2: "Yep. You wench."

Instructor No. 2: "You're like a pygmy. You're like a pygmy thing."

While Murphy was asking delegates to push through new laws for cameras in the classroom and making it a crime in West Virginia if someone verbally abuses a child. Seven On Your Side was walking in the front doors of the Berkeley County School District demanding answers after the District declined our multiple requests for an on-camera interview.

"This isn't about getting our act together," said Berkeley County School District Superintendent Manny Arvon when asked why it's taken so long. "Our act is together, and it's dealing with very strict procedures and collecting all the evidence that we can. In situations like this you always want to be 100 percent."

The Berkeley County Prosecutor's Office wrapped up its investigation on Jan. 7 and said it found no criminal charges but acknowledged the verbal treatment of the students was shocking and disturbing.

When asked if he's talked to the parents, Arvon said he "can't answer that" before relenting that he has only spoke to one parent of a child in the classroom, Amber Pack, and no one else.

The teacher on the recording has resigned and the two aides who are also heard on the recording according to what ABC7 News has been told by the school district are both on administrative unpaid leave.

The Civil Rights Office with the U.S. Department of Education has started its own investigation into the secret recording.
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#20
Oakland teachers are up next:

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/arti...622490.php

Quote:Oakland teachers will strike Thursday in a call for higher wages and more investment in city schools, union officials announced Saturday.

Teachers have been working without a contract for two years and can’t afford to live in the city, said Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, which represents 3,000 educators. High housing costs have led to more than 18 percent of teachers leaving each year, according to a fact-finding report released Friday.

“Our students do not have adequate support,” Brown said at a news conference Saturday.

The Oakland Unified School District “is failing our schools,” he said, and it is failing Oakland students.

A starting teacher makes around $46 per hour and a veteran teacher makes more than $80 per hour, Brown said.
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#21
11 year-old arrested for refusing to recite Pledge of Allegiance

https://www.theroot.com/11-year-old-boy-...1832685230
...don't do it
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#22
(02-17-2019, 06:08 PM)graham Wrote: 11 year-old arrested for refusing to recite Pledge of Allegiance

https://www.theroot.com/11-year-old-boy-...1832685230

Putting police in schools after Columbine has disproportionately led to minorities getting arrested for things the schools should handle.  More social workers, please.
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#23
The Oakland teacher strike ends with a tentative agreement for an 11 % raise. Before they went on strike, the school district said its final offer was a 5 percent raise:

https://www.sfgate.com/news/education/ar...um=twitter

Quote:Striking teachers in Oakland, California, celebrated after reaching a contract deal Friday with school administrators to end a seven-day walkout.

To cheers and applause, union leaders from the Oakland Education Association announced that teachers had won everything they demanded — higher pay, smaller classes and more school resources — in a week of marathon negotiating sessions with the district.

"This is a historic contract with a win in every major proposal we made," the Oakland Education Association said in a statement.

"We have achieved so much in the seven days of our historic strike in Oakland," union President Keith Brown told a news conference. "Our power in the streets prevailed."

The deal includes an 11 percent salary increase and a one-time 3 percent bonus, once the deal is ratified, Brown said.

Teachers were expected to vote Saturday, and if the deal is approved, return to classrooms next week.
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#24
I would really like to know what empirical, peer reviewed evidence is out there as to the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the Common Core curriculum.

Cause thus far this seems like a batshit crazy excuse to justify the sale of new textbooks and educational material under the guise of improving the results of our educational system.
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#25
A study found that one in five students with significant ADHD gets no school-based help:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/20...p=RSS-FEED

Quote:A substantial percentage of students with ADHD symptoms severe enough to affect them both academically and socially are not getting any support in school for the disorder, says a new study based on the experiences of nearly 2,500 children and youth. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a little over 9 percent of children and youths ages 2 to 17—about 6 million—have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at some point in their lives. According to the CDC, children with the chronic condition, which often lasts through adolescence and adulthood, may have trouble paying attention, be overly active, or have a hard time controlling impulsive behaviors. The CDC also notes that the rate of ADHD diagnosis has been on the rise.

In the study, parents of children who had been diagnosed with ADHD by a physician were asked to describe their childrens' symptoms and what kind of interventions, if any, they were receiving. The parents were participants in the National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD and Tourette Syndrome. The survey was conducted in 2014.

Many of the children in the sample had a rocky school experience, their parents reported. About 51 percent reported problems overall with school, and 30 percent reported problems with peer relationships. Fifteen percent had received a D or F on their report card, nearly a quarter had repeated a grade, and almost 16 percent had been expelled from school or from child care.

About 69 percent of parents said their children were receiving one or more school services related to their ADHD, which might include enrollment in special education, tutoring, extra help from a teacher, preferential seating, or extra time to complete work. 

About a third of parents reported their children received "classroom management" interventions, such as a reward system, behavioral modification, or a daily report card. 

But that left a notable percentage of students who exhibited impairing symptoms getting no interventions at all, said George DuPaul, a professor of school psychology and the associate dean for research in the College of Education at Lehigh University. DuPaul was the lead author on the study, "Predictors of Receipt of School Services in a National Sample of Youth With ADHD."

The gap between symptoms and services was particularly wide for adolescents and for students from low-income backgrounds or who were English-language learners, DuPaul said in an interview. 

"School mental health professionals need to be advocates within our school districts for more proactive screening at the secondary level," DuPaul said. "We also need to be funding mental helath supports at the secondary level."
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#26
Big win for school librarians in a Texas bill to raise teacher pay:

https://www.statesman.com/news/20190304/...librarians

Quote:The Texas Senate on Monday unanimously passed a bill giving all classroom teachers and school librarians a $5,000 annual pay raise, advancing it to the House.

The bill — priority legislation for senators as well as Gov. Greg Abbott, who made boosting teacher pay an emergency item for lawmakers this session — is aimed at recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers.

“Before we do anything, can we please show our teachers that we value them?” said the bill’s author, Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.

Although school librarians had not originally been included, Nelson extended the raise to them by adding a last-minute amendment Monday.

The American-Statesman reported last month that about 4,600 school librarians would be excluded from the bill even though they are required to have taught in the classroom for two years to qualify for the position.

“I didn’t know that,” Nelson said of the teaching requirement. “They are teachers.”

At a cost of $3.9 billion over the next two years, the bill would create an allotment in the school funding formula that is intended to reassure school districts that the state, not local revenue, would fund the pay raises.

Average teacher pay in Texas for 2017-18 was $53,167, compared with the national average of $60,483, according to the National Education Association. There are about 350,000 classroom teachers and librarians across the state.

The bill still excludes other school employees, including teacher’s aides, counselors, bus drivers and custodians.

“I still think that counselors are being given so many duties,” said Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio. “If we really want to talk about school safety, then they need to have the capacity to talk to the students. Maybe we need more of them, maybe we can attract more through a little more pay.”

Nelson responded that the bill doesn’t prevent school districts from independently giving raises to other school employees.
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#27
Regarding the college scandal, there's a good conversation going on over at Twitter about white classmates assuming people of color would easily make it into college because of skin color.

This story stood out as insane and gross:

https://twitter.com/losangelista/status/...9751631873

Quote:Liz Dwyer Retweeted wikipedia brown, chiberian tiger

One of my teachers HELD A CLASS DISCUSSION about why I got into Northwestern & some of my white classmates didn't. They decided it was because I was black — never mind that I had a 3.8 GPA & took all honors/AP/crushed the SAT. And that teacher told those kids I stole their spot.
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#28
Brave teacher calls out criminal, what a hero
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#29
And that's why whites, both liberal and conservative get really antsy when it comes to actual social progress. Because if it meant that "everyone" gets treated the same, then some of those white kids who'd normally get in to those school would lose out to someone else.

Affirmative Action is a fake bogey monster so white people can hide from the fact of how mediocre they are.
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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#30
The Huffman/Loughlin scandal ...

HAHHAAHAHAHAH (just imagine I continue laughing for a good ten minutes).

The fact that they're probably not even going to kick most of these kids out of school is even funnier. I mean, some hard-working soul who didn't have 500k to bribe the school with was denied a spot and they're not even going to expel the cheaters? Okay ....

Enrollment at prestigious universities is a zero sum game is the lesson to take from this.
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#31
Pretty much. They're literally getting fucked because "they weren't rich enough."


Only in America.
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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#32
Wayne Messam is running for president.  His chances aren't the best.  One of his biggest ideas is to cancel all student debt:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/student-d...20955.html

Quote:The $1.5 trillion student loan debt crisis has been building over decades, and one presidential hopeful has a simple and radical solution: to cancel all student debt.

“Americans are not going to have the same opportunity to achieve the American dream,” Wayne Messam, mayor of Florida’s Miramar City (population:140,000) and a longshot 2020 candidate, told Yahoo Finance. He noted that in addition to rising healthcare costs, “this crippling student loan debt that 44 million Americans are dealing with [is] slowing down our economy.”

Messam’s plan would involve all loans that are either U.S. Treasury-backed or private and taken out for higher education at any point of time would be forgiven, giving borrowers a clean slate.

“The U.S. Department of Education owns about 95 percent of America’s student loan debt,” the plan states, “making the mechanics of complete debt cancellation for the majority of the loans relatively straightforward.”

The massive debt pile is “a balloon is really getting ready to burst,” Messam told Yahoo Finance. “And we need to do something about that.”

Messam announced his candidacy on March 28, joining Pete Buttigieg as the second mayor in the 2020 race.
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#33
A teacher suffering from cancer and on sick leave is having to pay a San Francisco school district for her substitute.  Outraged parents started a GoFundMe page:

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/parent-outrage...01037.html

Quote:According to California state law, it is not unusual for a sick teacher to have to pay for their substitute

Parents at an elementary school in San Francisco have expressed outrage after learning that a teacher suffering from cancer and on sick leave is having to pay the school district for her substitute.

The second-grade teacher at Glen Park Elementary is off sick with breast cancer for the rest of the year and has been paying nearly $200 a day for her replacement, in accordance with state law, local news reports said.

"Parents were outraged and incredulous —- like, this can't be," Amanda Fried, who has a daughter in kindergarten and another in third grade, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "There must be some mistake."

A school district spokeswoman, however, told AFP that the payment was not unusual and was in line with state law.

"This is not unique to San Francisco," Laura Dudnick said in a statement. "This is not a district-only rule."

Dudnick explained that teachers in the district get 10 days of sick leave a year and can carry over those sick days year after year if they don't use them.

Once those sick days are exhausted, teachers are then eligible for 100 days of extended sick leave, during which they are entitled to their full pay, minus the cost of a substitute.

On learning about the little-known provision in the state's education code, horrified parents last month began raising money for the popular teacher, who has asked that her name not be disclosed.

A GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $14,000 and some of the children are planning bake sales to raise more funds.
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#34
Protests in Brazil today over budgets cuts in education:

https://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/r...education/

Quote:In São Paulo, according to Sinpro-SP (the union of private school teachers), at least 25 schools will have their activities altered or interrupted by the demonstrations organized by student and educator associations.

Among those who had the support of some of the groups are traditional schools in the capital, such as Santa Cruz, Vera Cruz, Oswald de Andrade, Equipe, São Domingos, and the School of Vila and Gracinha.

The strike was called after the announcement by the Education Ministry of the blockage of 30 percent of the budget for federal universities on basic education and cutting of research scholarships.

It is also against the attacks that were made by Minister Abraham Weintraub against universities and humanities courses. He is also against projects such as Unaffiliated School.

Parents, students, and professors of dozens of private schools across the country decided to support the strike this Wednesday, May 15th, in defense of education.
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#35
Chicago schools move to lessen discipline for drugs or alcohol, better define bullying, better define the differences between consensual and non-consensual sex acts among students and create a new student bill of rights:

https://chalkbeat.org/posts/chicago/2019...n-schools/

Quote:As Illinois moves to legalize recreational marijuana, Chicago schools have downgraded their categorization of students’ use of alcohol and drugs in schools from the most serious type of misconduct to a lesser infraction with milder penalties.

That means that those caught smoking weed, for example, will no longer face the possibility of expulsion.

The reforms are among changes to the Chicago Public Schools student code of conduct approved by the new school board at its first meeting Wednesday.

The code of conduct also for the first time lays out penalties for students using vaporizers in school, more clearly defines bullying, and spells out differences between consensual and non-consensual sex acts among students. It also includes a new student bill of rights that covers the right of students to fully understand any punishment meted out to them, and the right to free public education and safety in school. 

The district developed the code in partnership with youth groups.
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