LA Strike + Aldeman Context, Demographic Burden…More!

2019 issues to watch.

Looks like there will be a teacher strike in LA. A few things to keep in mind:

First, teachers are understandably frustrated and mad, their situation is not great. But, at the same time,  the district has substantial fiscal challenges, too, that are bad news for students. Yes…two things are true at once! And this sector generally doesn’t do those kinds of issues well.  What it will take to right the ship in LA is more than marginal changes. 

Chad Aldeman with an important look at some of the context about where money goes here.

Second, these strikes can be unpredictable. The 2012 Chicago strike, which like this one was preordained for larger political reasons than just the immediate financial issues, turned out to be a huge boon for the union there, its leader Karen Lewis, and changed the trajectory of teachers union and reform politics. The timing seems good for this one but who knows, these things can be unpredictable.

Elsewhere, Christine Rampell takes a look at birth rates and what that could mean. More immediately, in the next decade we will have more people over 65 than under 18 and that means all kinds of formal issues (various tax issues that impact school finance, health care and retirement costs) and informal ones (support for public schools) as the nation’s demographic burden continues to shift from young to old.

This seems like a problem…both with these schools and also our credentialing fetish.

Truancy and immigrant students:

Fifteen-year-old Joseph, whose mother is from Antigua and is standing beside him, has been skipping class and falling in with the wrong crowd. In June he was jumped at school as part of a gang initiation, which left him with a black eye and bruises. Joseph’s father was deported back to Saint Vincent and his older brother was arrested in connection with a shooting. So Joseph not showing up for class is the least of this family’s problems…

Do we need new ways to think about/talk about effect sizes in education? Mathew Kraft thinks so.

Teaching list.

Catfish John

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