March 17, 2016

Don’t Bring Your Child To Work Day, No Discipline In The Ed Debate, Where Are The Progressives? Finance In NOLA, Mudrooms Of Higher Ed, Kids And Clubhouses, Eval, SEAs, Horses In Tweed

By Bellwether

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New report on school discipline and charter schools from UCLA’s Civil Rights Project. The Times here, of course. Not so fast says CRPE.* They make some important points and raise some serious questions. Read it if you follow this issue.

In the end, this looks a lot like anti-charter advocacy masquerading as concern about discipline. Actually, seems like that’s exactly what it is. It’s 2004 again! There is a problem with school discipline – in all types of schools. But this is exactly the way to make sure people go to their bunkers instead of  getting anything done.

Elsewhere on this issue, Eva Moskowitz responds to her critics:

We are hardly perfect and are, like all institutions, a work in progress. Yet the expenditure of such a disproportionate amount of investigative resources on one network of schools that educates just 1% of New York City’s students is curious, given the dire failures of the district schools. In Central Harlem’s district schools, for example, just 15% of students scored proficient on the state’s math exams in 2015. The budget at one Harlem district school, P.S. 241, amounted to $2 million for each of its two students who tested proficient in math. By contrast, 90% of the students at Success’s Central Harlem schools scored proficient in math in 2015.

Many education professors are also critical of strict charter schools. But there is at least one group that strongly supports our schools: parents. For the current school year, Success Academies received 22,000 applications for 2,300 spots. Another network in New York City with a similar approach, Achievement First, received 21,000 applications for 1,000 spots. Meanwhile, most district schools with which we compete are massively under-enrolled.

This raises an important question: Why are the views of parents about discipline so different than those of Times reporters and education professors? The answer, I believe, is that parents know from personal experience that when schools have lax discipline, particularly in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, children are bullied, robbed of educational opportunities by unruly behavior and even subjected to violence.

Also in New York, the mayor and the teachers union president are getting along! Robert Bellafiore wonders where the progressives are?

And more fights on NYC charters – this time about equitably serving all students. This idea of making sure the charter sector serves students equitably once it reached a significant share of the student population in a city is vital. But doing it school by school makes no sense. Traditional public schools don’t serve every kind of student in every school. It’s a sector issue. Authorizers should be on top of this (D.C. is a leader here*) but clumsy regulations are aimed more at hamstringing charters than solving this problem.

Interesting finance fix in New Orleans. Significant. Big fight over expansion of for-profit online higher ed (bonus, features what looks like a picture of Bob Shireman’s mudroom). CAP looks at teacher evaluation in Massachusetts. Can SEA’s operate as portfolio managers?

Today in unschooling: 

“We’re not big on school,” Adam LaRoche said in 2013. “I told my wife, ‘He’s going to learn a lot more useful information in the clubhouse than he will in the classroom, as far as life lessons.’ ”

The Ethicist is all about school questions this week.

Kristin Soltis Anderson – who is a bit of an alum of the education world – gets a nice nod from Elle (and some cool clothes). NCLR’s Janet Murguia, whose work also touches education in a big way featured in new duds, too.

Tweed wearing horse.

*Relevant disclosures: I’m on the CRPE advisory board but wasn’t involved in this. My colleague Sara Mead is on the DC charter board. My daughters love horses, regular ones, not ones in three piece suits.

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