March 8, 2018

Gender And Pensions, What’s Next After West Virginia? DeVos And Education’s Reactionaries, Discipline, Aspen SEL, State Funding, Interventions That Work, Boomtown Rats, More!

By Bellwether

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In The 74 I talk with Teacher of the Year Nate Bowling about guns.

Two important analyses from Bellwether – gender and teacher pensions. Our analysts, Kirsten Schmitz and Max Marchitello, look at data in Illinois and Nevada and what they find may surprise you.

Also, Max Marchitello with some hard truths on Illinois teacher pensions. Katrina Boone and Allison Davis on Biggie, Tupac, and evaluation.

And you could have bet on this – Chad Aldeman with some data-informed nuance on the West Virginia teacher compensation situation. More on that here via 74.

The strike in West Virginia is ending – for real this time. The teachers unions are in an interesting spot: One the one hand their backs are against the wall with the Janus case that is going to disrupt their financial model, moderately or severely depending how the case comes down and how they respond. On the other, these mass strikes, Chicago a few years ago and now West Virginia are breathing some new life into their efforts. Small strikes don’t work, big ones seem to. That’s not lost on anyone. At a minimum Randi Weingarten will have to get arrested with more frequency to keep up with the theater – but this seems likely to affect union politics and education politics more generally.

From the to and through college desk.

Whose lawyers are smarter? A continuing series…

Bruno Manno goes deep on school segregation questions.

Toppo seems skeptical that video games contribute to our youth violence problems. I get the general frustration that people want to talk about everything except guns in the gun debate – but that doesn’t axiomatically mean that the adjacent issues are not legitimate. The military, for instance, has long had an interest in video games. And the idea that a marketplace flooded with games that celebrate and habituate violence – especially first person shooter games – would have no effect at all on our culture is a curious one. Maybe not a definite link, but definitely something worth looking at and discussing.

Speaking of reflexive reactions – there was general agreement in Washington that state ESSA plans were not very good. Then earlier this week Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said state ESSA plans were not very good. So now…

For years the ed field has said teachers are disempowered, then a few months ago DeVos said it and suddenly it was a taboo thing to say…if she really wanted to advance school choice DeVos should probably just give a speech saying that school districts are the only way to do schools. Someone would launch “Teachers for Vouchers” that afternoon.

Notwithstanding all the noise, bigger picture it’s her brother, former SEAL Erik Prince, who is in the news again though that seemed not to penetrate education twitter. He’s lived at the intersection of government contracting, spooky work of various sorts, and politics for a long while and now he’s in Mueller’s sights as a result of some Trump work. That’s a bigger game than the latest DeVos outrage. It won’t help his political ambitions either.

On ESSA, every version of ESEA has its little land mines or the water that gets in the cracks, freezes, and causes some trouble. Clever provisions put in by clever policymakers that move the field forward in ways that don’t immediately grab headlines. In NCLB it was the data genie that was let out of the bottle and isn’t going back in. In ESSA it might be the provisions around fiscal transparency. Here’s a look at that.

Something works! It’s weird. If you focus on execution and quality kids learn more.

Here’s a debate on school discipline.

How does your state fund schools? EdBuild has your answers with a cool microsite.

This Aspen event on SEL looks interesting. You can RSVP here.

Patti Smith revisits a gem. And here’s one with some school violence history behind it.

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