The Stink of Segregation Needs to End in Steel Valley Schools – Education Article

 I am a teacher at Steel Valley Schools.   I am also an education blogger.   In order to belong to both worlds, I’ve had to abide by one ironclad rule that I’m about to break:   Never write about my home district.   Oh, I write about issues affecting my district. I write about charter schools, standardized testing, child poverty, etc. But I rarely mention how these things directly impact my school, my classroom, or my students.   I…

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Eight Things I Love About Elizabeth Warren’s Education Plan – And One I Don’t – Education Article

 My daughter had bad news for me yesterday at dinner.   She turned to me with all the seriousness her 10-year-old self could muster and said, “Daddy, I know you love Bernie but I’m voting for Elizabeth.”  “Elizabeth Warren?” I said choking back a laugh.   Her pronouncement had come out of nowhere. We had just been discussing how disgusting the pierogies were in the cafeteria for lunch.  And she nodded with the kind of earnestness you can only have…

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Charter Schools Cherry Pick Students & Call it Choice – PART 1: The “I Didn’t Do It!” Excuse – Education Article

  It takes a certain kind of hypocrite to be a charter school champion.   You have to deny any wrongdoing one minute. And then admit you’re guilty but explain it away with the excuse “Everyone’s doing it!” the next.  Take cherry picking – one of the most common admonishments leveled against the school privatization industry.  Detractors claim that charter schools keep enrollment low and then out of those who apply, they pick and choose which students to accept.  Charters…

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Racial Disparity in Student Discipline Isn’t All About Race – Education Article

In 2016, the poorest 50% of American adults had an average net worth (home and financial assets minus debt) of just $7,500. To make matters worse, only a year previously it was $9,000. The difference all went to the top 1% who gained an average of $1.5 million during that same year.   These facts have real world consequences for every level of society – especially how our children behave in school.   CONSEQUENCES   It seems clear then that…

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Greater Test Scores Often Mean Less Authentic Learning – Education Article

 The main goal of schooling is no longer learning.   It is test scores.   Raising them. Measuring growth. Determining what each score means in terms of future instruction, opportunities, class placement, special education services, funding incentives and punishments, and judging the effectiveness of individual teachers, administrators, buildings and districts.   We’ve become so obsessed with these scores – a set of discrete numbers – that we’ve lost sight of what they always were supposed to be about in the…

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Charter Schools Were Never a Good Idea. They Were a Corporate Plot All Along – Education Article

    America has been fooled by the charter school industry for too long.   The popular myth that charter schools were invented by unions to empower teachers and communities so that students would have better options is as phony as a three dollar bill.   The concept always was about privatizing schools to make money.   It has always been about stealing control of public education, enacting corporate welfare, engaging in union busting, and an abiding belief that the…

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Charter School’s Two Dads – How a Hatred for Public School Gave Us School Privatization – Education Article

Nathan saw in this an opportunity and invited Shanker to speak at the Itasca Seminar. His goal was to hide his side’s privatization aims under the shadow of progressive unionism.     And it worked. In fact, if you look up the history of charter schools, you’ll STILL find people who insist they were invented by Shanker.     With this cover, the Citizen’s League, which was underwritten by the Minneapolis Foundation, was able to pass a bill requiring mandatory…

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Busing and School Segregation Used for Politics not Policy – Education Article

 If children of all races went to the same schools with each other, it would be harder to treat them unequally.   Moreover, it would be harder for them to grow up prejudiced because they would have learned what it’s like to have classmates who are different from them.   And though most people agree with these premises in principle, our laws still refuse to make them a reality in fact.   Perhaps that’s why it was so astounding when…

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Top 10 Reasons Bernie Sanders’ Education Policies Are Light Years Ahead of Everyone Else’s – Education Article

    For most of my life, the United States has been neglecting its public school children – especially the black and brown ones.   Since the mid 1970s, instead of integrating our schools, we’ve been slowly resegregating them on the basis of race and social class.   Since the 1980s, instead of measuring academic success by the satisfaction of an individuals curiosity and authentic learning, we’ve been slowly redefining it to mean nothing but achievement on standardized tests.  …

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Standardized Tests Are Not Objective Measures of Anything – Education Article

 When it comes to standardized tests, most people are blinded by science.   Or at least the appearance of science.   Because there is little about these assessments that is scientific, factual or unbiased.   And that has real world implications when it comes to education policy.   First of all, the federal government requires that all public school children take these assessments in 3-8th grade and once in high school. Second, many states require teachers be evaluated by their…

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It’s Up to You, New York – Dropout Nation – Education Article

For those of us who live in a rational, data-based world, it can no longer be argued that school discipline disparities can be attributed to the fictitious oddities of “the Black family,” socio-economic conditions, cultural differences and the like. Since the publication of the unchallenged, and unquestionable, report from the Justice Center of the Council of State Governments, Breaking Schools’ Rules in 2011, we have known that after having accounted “for the factors most often associated with poor school performance…

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School Field Trip Turns Into a Tour of Our Nation’s Unhealed Scars – Education Article

 You’ve got to be a little crazy to take a bunch of teenagers on a field trip – especially overnight and out of town.   But that’s what I did, and – yeah – guilty as charged.   For the second time in my more than 15-year career as a public school teacher, I volunteered along with a group of parents and other teachers to escort my classes of 8th graders to Washington, DC, and surrounding sights. And I never regretted…

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SAT Adversity Score is an Antidote to Poison None of Us Need Take – Education Article

  Let’s say someone gave you a vial of poison.   Would you drink it? Of course not.   What if he gave you the antidote, too. Would you take the poison then?   Heck no!   Why would anyone knowingly ingest poison even if they knew they could counteract its effects?   But that’s pretty much the situation high school students across the country are in today with the SAT test.   The College Board has admitted that the…

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Standardized Testing is a Tool of White Supremacy – Education Article

Let’s say you punched me in the face.   I wouldn’t like it. I’d protest. I’d complain.   And then you might apologize and say it was just an accident.  Maybe I’d believe you.   Until the next time when we met and you punched me again.   That’s the problem we, as a society, have with standardized tests.   We keep using them to justify treating students of color as inferior and/or subordinate to white children. And we never…

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‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Has Never Been More Important Than It is Today – Education Article

It’s not.     Anne Frank is not dead.     Not in 1945. Not in 2019.     Anne was a Dutch Jew hiding from the Nazis with her family and four others in a loft above her father’s former factory in Amsterdam.     The teenager is the most famous victim of the Holocaust, but her story doesn’t end when she succumbed to typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the closing days of WWII.     Because…

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Creating Identity-Safe Classrooms | TeacherToolkit – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes Is your classroom identity safe? Identity-safe classrooms are warm ecosystems in which teachers endeavour to ensure that all children feel that their social identity is an asset rather than a barrier to success. Children feel welcomed, supported and valued whoever they are and whatever their background. Teachers want the best for pupils and seek to be fair and aim to create strong culturally competent classroom communities. We might all think that we respectfully acknowledge each and every individual. We might also…

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