April 11, 2016

Happy Birthday Spelman! Massachusetts Charters Tell Us Something, Survey Data, Restorative Justice, Credit Recovery, Feminist Sororities, Rural Teachers, Rescue Wolverines & Hockey Playing Dogs

By Bellwether

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It’s April 11. Two impactful education anniversaries to note. On this date in 1881 Spelman was founded in Atlanta, initially as a seminary.  The Apple I computer was released on this date forty years ago. Today is also the Red Sox’s home opener in Boston.

Speaking of Massachusetts, the next time you hear someone say they just ‘follow the evidence’ or ‘it’s all about the kids,’ ask them about charter schools in the Bay State. The sector gets strong results, there is strong parental demand, and yet the very same political opposition remains.  You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of the ethos that holds this sector back.

Online credit recovery evaluated. Trigger warning if you love online credit recovery.

Backdrop to the Success Academy/charter debate:

More than 20,000 students have applied for the 3,228 available spots, according to data from the network of charter schools.

In various ways, that are inconvenient for all sides in the charter debate, the issues play out on the ground differently than they do on Twitter.

New survey data from The Leadership Conference Fund on African American and Latino parents and education (pdf). Beth Hawkins iUSN on Restorative justice.

Different strategies for enticing teachers to rural areas. Loan forgiveness is fine, but other initiatives around housing might help as well?

Interesting Motoko Rich take on the portrayal of teachers in the media: great or goat. But is that really surprising? No one is making a musical about William Crawford…it’s human nature. The real complaint seems to be that shows about teachers don’t actually portray teachers teaching. Yes, but that seems true across the board for television? And who would watch teaching anyway? After all, do you really watch Deadliest Catch to see pot after pot of crab get unloaded or do you tune-in for the human drama, the weather, arguments, and all the other things that happen on a commercial fishing boat? Or a show like Road to the Winter Classic profiling teams getting ready for the NHL’s marquee New Year’s Day match-up. You’re more likely to learn how a team’s Sweedish players celebrate the holidays than to see set plays or drills during practice. I might misremember but I don’t think George Clooney did a whole lot of surgery on ER?  The point is that even reality shows, never mind other shows, don’t show a lot of reality. Besides, unless you’re into the craft of it actually watching teaching (or crab catching, hockey practice, or surgery) isn’t a path to ratings.

Feminists flocking to sororities?

Avalanche rescue wolverines. Dachshunds playing hockey.

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