New Century Foundation report on charter schools and integration – don’t agree with all of it but it’s an important issue. Charter schools – especially urban charter schools – serve a lot of poor kids and that’s a good thing given education quality in this country. And urban charters get pretty good results. Here’s data on both demographics and performance. But, economically integrated schools have benefits, too. The problem is that parents – of all races/ethnicities – prioritize school diversity differently relative to other features and in practice there is something of a Maslow’s hierarchy in play. One of the elegant features of a choice system is that parents can articulate these preferences. Given today’s education inequities we should be careful about any policy that could lead to the gentrification of charter schools that are committed to and effective at serving the most underserved students. But it would be helpful if there were also more explicit support for schools trying to serve an intentionally diverse student body. Seems like a better “and” play than an “or” play in federal policy though. And as with many things in the charter sector the and versus or approach is a tell about whether an idea is about expanding choice and empowerment or expanding a particular view on what schooling should look like.
The Caster Semenya story is getting a lot of attention today. Even if you don’t follow sports it’s worth paying attention to because some adjacent issues are emerging in the U.S. around youth athletics where hard won gains for women are coming into conflict with efforts to ensure civil rights protections for transgender youth (and other transgender Americans). Martina Navratilova made waves with remarks about that a few months ago. I’d like to see the next President convene a commission with a variety of stakeholders to sort through these issues in a thoughtful way.
When charter school founder Ben Chavis was charged with a bunch of financial crimes it was a big deal, and now the charges have been quietly dropped and I didn’t realize that because there has been zippo in the way of coverage. I learned of it from a WSJ column that caught my eye.
Also, elsewhere in Ben Chavis news, here’s Benjamin Chavis Jr. on race and Title IX and a take you hear a lot talking with people but rarely see on Twitter.
Don’t report loads of business news around here but this is a big and significant merger.
Ellen Tauscher passed yesterday, very committed public servant, impressive person, and the real deal. When in Congress she was willing to think outside the box on school infrastructure, perhaps given her financial background, and championed infrastructure banks as a way to help schools with facilities – an idea we could still use today.
“I’m sorry, I’m not interested in coloring a map,” she told her mother. “Coloring is pointless.”