Is The Trump EO A Big Nothing? Or A Stalking Horse? School Transportation, Drucker And Foreman, Kress Will Fight All Comers On NCLB, Kane On Intrastate Work, School Integration, Innovation, Grit, More!

This event on school transportation next week will be interesting and fun! Join us and we’ll drive you back to your office on a yellow school bus! Really.

U.S. News high school rankings are out.

Romy Drucker talks with James Foreman Jr. about his new book. 

I haven’t seen the text of this EO today. It may well be a political stunt and a fake solution to a fake problem. That’s the CW on it. But it could also be a backdoor way/groundwork laying to do things like change the Office of Civil Rights. And sometimes these things take on a life of their own, think Nation at Risk. So I’d keep an eye on it.

When he’s not being outraged about Texas, Sandy Kress is offering to fight all comers on NCLB accountability. He’s not wrong. There was a lot more flexibility in the NCLB accountability structure than the chattering class appreciates, although because the 2001 law was so long in being overhauled it became awfully shopworn and that created real issues for states. But here’s the basic problem: State’s didn’t take advantage of NCLB flexibility mostly because they didn’t want to. (I say mostly because there are exceptions here).  And it was easy to blame inaction on NCLB. Now, we have a new law, that has loads of flexibility (too much people with a civil rights orientation would argue). And yet, at least so far, states aren’t really taking advantage of that either. So not a lot will happen and we’ll blame Trump, or DeVos, or funding, or something, and we’ll have a big argument about that and lots of pixels will be spilled. But underneath all that is an ongoing political and capacity problem no one has figured out how to solve.

Also in federal policy, with more school choice support from Washington a possibility, fault lines breaking out even among those who support it.

Tom Kane on intrastate collaboration.

Here’s a long and interesting article in The Atlantic that asks, “When given the chance, will wealthy parents ever choose to desegregate schools?” Worth reading, but if you’re in a rush I’ll save you some time.  If you’re asking, sometimes, for various reasons and under the right circumstances, then yes. If you’re asking systemically at scale and absent real changes in how we deliver public education (specifically a lot more good schools to choose from), then no.  Here’s one way to think about it: People choosing school for their kids are humans. Humans generally act of out of self-interest. So in education if we make it in people’s self-interest to choose schools that are more integrated, by providing more quality options like that, then they will. Right now we’re (the public education establishment writ large) not doing that and, just for good measure, we’re antagonizing people politically about it, too. Not surprisingly it’s not going very well.

Addressing under-matching and college completion for Hispanic students. Evidence from an intervention. Frank Bruni on a different effort on the West Coast.

They keep telling us education should be more like law and medicine. May want to update that talking point to just medicine?

When people talk about grit, this is the kind of thing they’re talking about.  We worry about the schools, but America’s lead in innovation is seemingly insurmountable.

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