New Bellwether report looks at personalized learning and rural schools. Potential, barriers, and context! For The Atlantic Tanya Paperny reports out what this looks like on the ground in Maine (bonus, includes lobsters!). While you’re at it check out Paperny in The Washington Post on being out as a student and a teacher.
Also from BW last few days: Sara Mead argues for starting early in elementary and for policymakers to pay attention to those early grades. Kirsten Schmitz breaks down the Kansas teacher pension system and what it means for teachers. Julie Squire looks at what charter boards matter and what we might learn from them in a Detroit News op-ed. Danielle Aguayo-Ceribo on gender identity.
Long Times article by Michael Pollan on the politics of food. Some education implications around school lunch and childhood nutrition issues but also more general parallels around coalitional politics and special interests. Powerful look at special education and autism via The 74.
Apparently Hillary Clinton said in a paid speech prior to her presidential run that Common Core was a bipartisan project negotiated by the governors/states with a wholly insufficient plan for dealing with the politics and communicating about it to parents. That about sums it up. Sounds like Hillary Clinton would make a pretty good education analyst.
Derrell Bradford on race and charter schools debate in 74:
The press’s new and sustained interest in the charter/reform divide among black people in America may provide a most teachable of moments on both reform and the educational preferences of people of color. Which is to say, if you want to know how a black person feels about charter schools, you should ask one. If you want to know how black people feel about charter schools, you should ask them all.
Here’s some interesting news from Chicago (no, not the tentative agreement though that, too). The district employed a new automated screening system for teaching applicants and it appears to have a disparate impact by race. The headline of the article about it is, “CPS Screening Process Discriminated Against Black Candidates.” The article didn’t provide enough details to know if it’s intentional or unintentional discrimination (Hispanic candidates were affected as well) and in any event the district has ceased using the tool. But, legally, that’s not the standard. It’s not OK in either case in terms of discrimination per se but employment law does distinguish between disparate impact claims based on whether the measure is integral to job performance. There is a lot of case law about this in education related to teacher tests and it’s a lively debate relative to those tests. I don’t know enough about this particular tool to have any sense of what it was measuring and why and whether they have any data correlating success or failure with other indicators, which would matter. But, automated tools can be employed as anti-bias measures to level out various biases. I also don’t know if that’s what CPS was trying to do or if they were just trying to save money. These automated screeners are surprisingly common, it’s not just Chicago. I do know that parents might be surprised to know how often in larger districts this is par for the course and everyone might wonder if this is the best way to hire professionals in the first place?
Here’s an interesting policy issue from Los Angeles that has pensions, charters, and teachers unions all at once!
Technology is driving a quiet revolution in how teachers communicate with parents – a variety of platforms are competing for market share in what is a pretty high-leverage space using various models. Now one of them, Class Dojo, is broadening its offerings into social and emotional learning and support.
Public Agenda has been looking at what the public thinks about various higher ed reform ideas, including the ones being debated on the campaign trail. Kay Hymowitz on confirmation bias and a recent study of pre-k teachers and race. Steve Glazerman gets his Stihl on and writes about value-add in practice. Sandy Kress on education and prosperity.
The Center for American Progress has a new report out on school schedules and family schedules that raises some important issues and has an obvious but great title.