Amy Wilkins Takes No Prisoners! Plus, ATR Debacle, Success For Success, Music Ed, ESSA Reviews, Laine & Lane, More!

Coming attractions: Working with the Collaborative For Student Success, Bellwether convened a crew of state and federal policy experts to evaluate state ESSA plans. Round 1 results here, on Tuesday the 34 round 2 states will be released.

Justin Trinidad on music education.

Amy Wilkins:

The problem is the mindset of revanchists who peddle stories like these — professional anti-reformers who go nuts when approaches other than those they sanction and control deliver results for the students whom they insist cannot learn at high levels.

There is no comparison — none — between the enforced segregation of the pre–Brown v. Board era and the choices black families make when they enroll their children in better schools. It’s ludicrous to suggest the two are in any way similar. In fact, it’s far closer to the spirit of Jim Crow to tell a black student that she has to go to her dismal neighborhood school because the better charter school up the street is not white enough to satisfy the defenders of the status quo.

Jon Chait on the same issue.

That this isn’t occasioning more outrage is an indictment of this sector. It’s what inequality looks like in practice but from the usual suspects…crickets:

…the department said that it had placed only 41 of the teachers, who were part of a pool known as the Absent Teacher Reserve. As critics of the plan had feared, they were disproportionately employed in schools that serve high-needs students.

Here’s Elizabeth Green with a bold (and stronger than I’d characterize it substantively) thing to say in the current climate:

Of all the reforms that have set out to free schools from this trap, to date I’ve seen only one that works: the implementation of charter-school networks. Large enough to provide shared resources for teachers, yet insulated from bureaucratic and political crosscurrents by their independent status, these networks are creating the closest thing our country has ever seen to a rational, high-functioning school system. They have strengthened public education by extracting it from democracy as we know it—and we shouldn’t be surprised, because democracy as we know it is the problem.

Also, I’m not big on revealing people’s school choices, but here’s one already revealed and there is more of this than you’d think listening to the usual suspects:

Their names, I learned, were Joel Greenblatt and John Petry, and they were the hedge-fund managers who, as founders and board members of Harlem Success Academy, had recruited Moskowitz as their CEO. They were, I also learned, very nice gazillionaires. Petry, who graduated from the same Maryland public-school district I did, helped throw me a book party in 2014. To this day, he and his wife send their own children to Success schools. In the decade after my Harlem visit, he always cheerfully took my calls, though “Ask Eva” was the refrain when it came to on-the-record comments.

Deep dive on the portfolio model.  And a look at how it’s playing in KC.

The fight over money.

Geography and Demography: You could write this Oklahoma article about a lot of states. The South. Changing racial make-up of the nation’s big city mayors.

Don’t agree with all of this but definitely worth reading.

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