Miller-McCune usually produces smart and often offbeat looks at education issues so people, including this reader, were surprised by a remarkably slanted piece a few weeks ago looking at the integration issue and charter schools. Nelson Smith responds in M2 here. Smith points out the rampant misuse of comparison points in this debate. One issue Smith alludes to, but doesn’t get into, is the changing demographics of public schools in many communities. That also impacts the numbers in a way that the segregation mythmakers generally ignore. That said, I’m less sanguine on the special education question than Nelson is – although he’s exactly right that one must look below the overall numbers to see what’s happening there. Lost in all this, however, is the question of how much charter school special education problems are or are not distinct from larger capacity and fiscal challenges facing special education overall. Of course, you can ask the same thing about the “segregation” issue, too…
Also, in Minneapolis tongues have been wagging and a few tempers flaring about the appropriateness of four incoming school board members who sent a letter to the current board on Minneapolis Federation of Teachers letterhead. Although it’s arguably an efficiency reform – cut out the middleman in these lean times – it certainly is eyebrow raising. For a look at the issues you can’t do much better than this letter from an incoming member, Hussein Samatar, who declined to sign.
If you’re following the spending debate in the final days of Congress here’s the latest, including the Pell fix, via Politico.
And some great internship opportunities through the Southern Education Foundation at a host of non-profits.