September 17, 2015

Sorry WA, The Never Was Common School Is Changing With Or Without You, Teacher Pensions, Kathleen Porter-Magee And Francis, Camino Nuevo And The White House, KIPP Eval, Missing Shanker, Suspending Confederates In VA, And Suspending Common Sense In TX…

By Bellwether

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At The 74 Richard Whitmire and I take a look at the broader issues surrounding the charter school ruling in Washington State. It is disruptive for the students, educators, and families involved, sure, but in the big scheme of things it’s a speed bump because how we think about the “common school” is evolving:

Whether or not the Washington court decision survives (Washington’s attorney general wants it changed because the precedent jeopardizes a host of public initiatives that do not strictly adhere to the old common school definition), the legal victory is illusory for charter opponents. There is no endgame where parents, especially poor parents, decide that, actually, they don’t want more options.

Meanwhile, as it has throughout our history, the definition of the common school is evolving once again. That’s why regardless of the outcome in Washington, the question with charter schools is not if or whether but rather when, how, and how fast.

Atlantic on the new Bellwether/Urban Institute teacher pension analysis. Bonus, not boring. Good article!

The Pope and Kathleen Porter-Magee.

Press releases like this remind you just how far the AFT has moved from its Al Shaker roots. Sandy Kress on a Texas ed policy two-step. Nice recognition for Camino Nuevo from The White House. This new KIPP evaluation from Mathematica is interesting. Middle school is such a weak link in the educational chain and KIPP seems to have figured some things out. Evidence speaks! But does anyone listen?

Take a break from work and all the cynicism and watch this video. Harlem Village Academies back to school.

Instructional platforms still exciting investors.  U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants better schools. Reformers, there is a party that RiShawn Biddle wants you to attend. This law student in Iowa is excited to welcome a corporate executive as a college president. Big point of debate but it might all turn on the particular exec rather than execs as a class? Too boring, I know. “What 10 puppies think about nontraditional college presidents…”

The story of Ahmed Mohamed, the high schooler who got clocked blocked at school earlier this week, seemed too buttoned up. You figured there had to be something more. Apparently turns out, no, just a sweet inquisitive kid and a clip for the ‘great moments in school management’ file. Still, when school officials drop the ball on things like this – and it happens, they fail to act, – they get clobbered as well. The administrators and police involved handled this poorly, to be sure, and it escalated way out of control. That’s on them. But we’ve also created something of a no-win environment for school administrators around things like this.

Along those lines, I remain surprised this has not received more attention.

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