University of Detroit Jesuit, Detroit, Michigan
Orchard Lake St. Mary's Preparatory, Orchard Lake, Michigan
Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Novi, Michigan
Brother Rice High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Birmingham Public Schools, Birmingham, Michigan
Westwood Community School District, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Michigan
The Roeper School, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Mercy High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan
Notre Dame Preparatory, Pontiac, Michigan
Regina High School, Warren, Michigan
Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Grosse Pointe Public School System, Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Oakland Accelerated College Experience, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Opportunity Academy, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Schools Technical Campuses, Oakland County, Michigan
Virtual Learning Academy Consortium, Michigan
Bloomfield Hills Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Comprehensive education at its finest.
Everest Collegiate High School and Academy. Clarkston, Michigan. An Authentic Catholic School of Distinction.
Oakland Christian School, Auburn Hills, Michigan. Oakland Christian School engages students in a rigorous and relevant education
Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Academic foundation for success.
Utica Community Schools, Image the Potential.
Lake Orion Community Schools, Lake Orion, Michigan. Providing an exemplary education for all learners
Shrine Catholic Schools, Royal Oak, Michigan. Faith. Family. Future.
Berkley School District, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Michigan. Engage. Inspire. Achieve.
AIM High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Aim High is a 6th-12th grade, tuition-based private school that provides an educational alternative
Parkway Christian School, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Challenging Minds. Capturing Hearts. Cultivating Gifts.
Franklin Road Christian School, Novi, Michigan. a K-12, coeducational, college-preparatory school with a nondenominational Christian philosophy.
Southfield Christian, Southfield, Michigan. Pursuing Excellence for the Glory of God.
Plymouth Christian, Canton, Michigan. A non-denominational, college preparatory Christian school

Betsy DeVos to Oklahoma teachers: ‘Serve the students’

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Oklahoma teachers who walked out of their classrooms to protest school funding cuts should “keep adult disagreements and disputes in a separate place.” “I think about the kids,” DeVos said Thursday, according to the Dallas Morning News. She had been touring a middle school and meeting with leaders of an anti-violence initiative in Dallas. “I think we need to stay focused on what’s right for kids. And I hope that adults would keep adult disagreements and disputes in a separate place, and serve the students that are there to be served.” Her spokeswoman did not return a request for additional comment. (Washington Post)

Related story:

> Washington Post: What Betsy DeVos seems to be missing about the Oklahoma teachers’ strike

 

DeVos Praises Charter, Private Schools As US Student Progress Ratings Flatline

The results of the latest Nation’s Report Card are in and the news isn’t good. Fourth-graders made no improvements in math or reading, while eighth-graders’ scores were flat in math and only slightly improved in reading, according to results released Tuesday on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Overall, only roughly a third of American eighth-graders are proficient in reading and math along with about 40 percent of fourth-graders. (Talking Points Memo)

Related story:

> Washington Post: Military groups to DeVos: Drop plan for private school vouchers. We don’t want them.

 

Puerto Rico to Close Nearly 300 Schools, But Ed. Secretary Pledges No Layoffs

Puerto Rico's Education Department announced Thursday that it would close 283 public schools this summer in the face of plummeting student enrollment after Hurricane Maria. The move would leave Puerto Rico with 828 public schools in a system that currently serves about 320,000 students, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Secretary of Education Julia Keleher said the closures were necessary to better serve the students who are in schools with relatively large enrollments, telling the AP that, "We know it's a difficult and painful process. (Education Week)

 

N.C. teacher takes on critic who said teachers have it easy and should stop complaining

Angie Scioli is an award-winning veteran high school social studies teacher and education activist at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, N.C. She was the subject of the well-received 2017 documentary, “Teacher of the Year,” an effort to show the authentic life of an educator — not the Hollywood version. It following her through the 2013-14 school year as an educator and also in her roles as a mother, wife, protester and education advocate. (Washington Post)

 

The Striking Teachers’ Biggest Supporters Are Their Own Students

OKLAHOMA CITY ― When Oklahoma schools closed Monday due to a massive teacher walkout, high school senior Gabrielle Davis created a Facebook group for students who support the teachers. Within 36 hours, it had attracted hundreds of middle school and high school students eager to rally at the state capitol. “It just blew up overnight,” said Davis, an 18-year-old at Edmond Memorial High School. “Then I made a post that said, ‘If you want to speak, send me your name and your district.’” That’s how a dozen students ― one of them a sixth-grader ― came to give speeches to a crowd of thousands outside the state capitol on Wednesday. One by one, glancing at notes on their phones, they spoke of crowded classrooms, crumbling textbooks and, most of all, overworked and underpaid teachers whom they adore.

Related story:

> Washington Post: Oklahoma governor compares striking teachers to a ‘a teenage kid that wants a better car’

 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asked whether leakers could be prosecuted, internal report shows

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asked her department’s Office of Inspector General whether grounds existed to prosecute employees who leaked budget data to The Washington Post and unclassified information to Politico, according to an internal department report. The response: It would be challenging, because the department has “little” written policy or guidance on how employees are supposed to handle information. “While evaluating the . . . incidents of alleged unauthorized releases of non-public information, we identified challenges to criminal prosecution or taking significant administrative actions against individuals responsible for the release of this type of information,” the report said.

 

Implicit racial bias causes black boys to be disciplined at school more than whites, federal report finds

Starting in prekindergarten, black boys and girls were disciplined at school far more than their white peers in 2013-2014, according to a government analysis of data that said implicit racial bias was the likely cause of these continuing disparities. The analysis, issued Wednesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, said students with disabilities and all boys also experienced disproportionate levels of discipline. But black students were particularly overrepresented: While they constituted 15.5 percent of public school students, they accounted for 39 percent of students suspended from school. (Washington Post)

Related story:

> Huffington Post: In Both Rich And Poor Schools, Black Students Face Harsher Punishments

 

Oklahoma Schools Closed Again as Teacher Strikes Continue for Second Day

Many schools will remain closed for a second day in Oklahoma Tuesday as teachers rally for higher pay and education funding in a rebellion that has hit several Republican-led states across the country. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week granting 15 to 18 percent higher salaries to teachers. But some educators — who haven’t seen a pay increase in 10 years — say that isn’t good enough and walked out. “If I didn’t have a second job, I’d be on food stamps,” said Rae Lovelace, a single mom and a third-grade teacher at Leedey Public Schools in northwest Oklahoma who works 30 to 40 hours a week at a second job teaching online courses for a charter school. (Time)

Related stories:

> Time: Here’s Why Oklahoma Teachers Are Striking, Even After Getting a $6,100 Pay Raise

> Education Week: Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky Rally at State Capitols Over Funding, Pensions

> Education Week: Despite Pay Raise, Many Okla. Teachers Will Walk Out. But for How Long?

> Washington Post: Teachers have had it. Why they’re revolting against low pay and inadequate school funding.

> Washington Post: Kentucky teachers shut down multiple school systems, in uproar over pension bill

 

The Larger Concerns Behind the Teachers' Strikes

One demand of the striking Oklahoma teachers has gotten a lot of attention: They want higher salaries. Superficially that demand may seem like a somewhat selfish concern—a question of their own bank accounts, not students’ needs. But the teachers’ complaints go far beyond compensation, and when viewed in the context of their other demands, it’s clear that the strike gets at the heart of some of the biggest issues facing America’s children: access to effective teachers, high-quality learning materials, and modern facilities. (Atlantic)

 

The Push for Harsher School Discipline After Parkland

The February 14 Parkland shooting that killed 17 people has led to a slew of policy proposals, including the headline-grabbing call from President Trump and others for laws that would arm educators with guns. There have also been appeals for schools to increase the number of armed law-enforcement officers on campus and to fortify their buildings. Trump says he wants schools to be as secure as airports. One of the questions on the table: school discipline. Do schools need to punish unruly children earlier on and more harshly, in the hopes that doing so prevents larger, more violent transgressions later? In 2014, the Obama administration released guidance that encouraged schools to emphasize “constructive interventions”—victim-offender mediation, for example, or preventative classroom-management strategies—rather than more punitive approaches. (Atlantic)

 

'You Have to Redefine Normal': Leading Schools in the Aftermath of a Shooting

They share an unfortunate bond—the principals and superintendents of schools and districts where unexpected gunfire shattered their peace and where the names of their schools and communities came to symbolize tragedy. Columbine. Sandy Hook. And now Parkland. For schools and district leaders in charge when the unthinkable happens, there is no playbook on how to pick up after the crime scene has been sanitized. How do you balance attending funerals and consoling students, staff, and parents with trying to reopen a school building? (Education Week)

 

Congress rejects much of Betsy DeVos’s agenda in spending bill

Congress dealt a blow to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s school choice agenda in a tentative spending bill released late Wednesday, rejecting her attempt to spend more than $1 billion promoting choice-friendly policies and private school vouchers. The House on Thursday approved the $1.3 trillion federal spending package, which includes a $3.9 billion boost for the Education Department. It heads to the Senate for a vote. (Washington Post)

 

Pa. school district stocks classrooms with rocks to combat school shooters

A Pennsylvania school district has armed its students with rocks to defend themselves in the event of a school shooting. David Helsel, the superintendent of Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, said at a state House Education Committee hearing on school safety this week that his district's classrooms are equipped with 5-gallon buckets of river rocks. "If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance to any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks," he said. "And they will be stoned." (The Hill)

 

How Much Had Schools Really Been Desegregated by 1964?

The Supreme Court declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional in its May 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Ten years later, King issued a statement decrying how little had changed in the nation’s classrooms. The report mixed statistics with moral assessments—and a persistent optimism—to build an argument that was hard to refute. Any assessment of the extent of progress made in the last 10 years since the Supreme Court’s decision of May 17, 1954, must be done under careful analysis of the real and the imagined. The naive might believe that great strides have been made in school desegregation over the past decade, but this is not at all true. (Atlantic)

 

Arming Teachers

It was a blistering day in June 2015, and the sun beat down relentlessly. The only shelter was a small makeshift shed, hidden behind an overgrown embankment next to an almost inaccessible stretch of railroad tracks in a remote area of central Ohio. It was the kind of place that you’d never find without a detailed map, one I typically wouldn’t, as a woman, visit alone. But there were more than 20 women and men there when I arrived, all of them heavily armed. (New York Times)

 

Students With Emotional Disabilities: Facts About This Vulnerable Population

The academic past of Nikolas Cruz, the accused mass shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was littered with red flags suggesting serious emotional problems. News outlets that have reviewed Cruz's disciplinary records and interviewed his teachers paint a picture of a young man prone to violent outbursts and fascinated with weapons. In high school, he spent time in a Broward County public school that specializes in serving students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. (Education Week)

 

Why DeVos’s plan to delay Obama-era rule on minority special-education students is a mistake

President Trump’s Education Department is on its way to delaying by two years the implementation of an Obama-era rule that is intended to address the disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities. The rule amended regulations that are part of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). John King, the U.S. education secretary in December 2016, said then: “Children with disabilities are often disproportionately and unfairly suspended and expelled from school and educated in classrooms separate from their peers. Children of color with disabilities are overrepresented within the special education population, and the contrast in how frequently they are disciplined is even starker.” (Washington Post)

 

Students Are Walking Out. Are Schools Ready for When They Walk Back In?

Opinion: This moment is one of tumult for our nation. In the past year, multiple mass shootings have left hundreds dead. Wide exposure of workplace sexual assault has prompted challenging reflections, conversations, and reckonings. Kneeling athletes and protests in the streets have launched a national dialogue about the experiences of communities of color and the meaning of patriotism.  Unprecedented political divisiveness has contributed to a national discourse simmering with anger and suspicion. For students and educators, it can be terrifying, it can be overwhelming, it can be uneasy. It can also be incredibly powerful. (Education Week)

Related stories:

> CNN: 'A sea of people everywhere': Students walk out to demand change

> Time: Thousands of Students Just Walked Out of School Today in Nationwide Protests. Here’s Why

> BuzzFeed: Students Around The Nation Walk Out To Honor The Parkland Shooting Victims

> Slate: Students Walk Out of Thousands of Schools to Honor Parkland Victims, Protest Gun Violence

> USA Today: Students from nearly 3,000 schools walk out to protest gun violence

> Huffington Post: These Photos Show The Strength Of Students As They Protest Gun Violence

> Washington Post: ‘Students have just had enough:’ Walkouts across the nation mark one month after Florida shooting

> New York Times: We Stand With the Students

 

How Public Schools Became a Battleground in the Trump Era

Education, Betsy DeVos once said, is an “industry.” “It’s a battle of Industrial Age versus the Digital Age. It’s the Model T versus the Tesla. It’s old factory model versus the new internet model. It’s the Luddites versus the future,” she told a SXSWEdu audience in 2015. Three years later, she’s the secretary of education, and the so-called industry she presides over is undergoing a period of mass activism. Teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona are threatening to emulate their West Virginia peers, who staged a historic strike earlier in March. Students, too, have grievances: On March 14, students in over 2,500 high schools and colleges, most of them public, will walk out of class to call for gun regulation. (New Republic)

 

Why America's Teachers Haven't Been Getting Raises

Larry Cagle is angry. At 54 years of age, he makes $34,500 a year teaching critical-reading skills to public high-school students in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “I do construction and lawn maintenance in the summer” to make ends meet, he said. “I moved here from Florida five years ago, and in Florida I made $25,000 a year more.” He talked about the number of public-school teachers he knew working second jobs on nights and weekends, flipping burgers or hauling luggage at the airport. Teachers digging into their own pockets to pay for students’ basic needs and classroom supplies. (Atlantic)

 

Teachers, Tell Your Students To Walk Out On Wednesday

Opinion: Wednesday is walkout day. The school protest marches planned are the first in a series of student-led actions, part of a massive student-planned response to the mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen people, 14 of them students, were killed in that massacre last month. Over half of the 97 mass public shootings to occur in the United States over the past 30 years have happened in schools or workplaces. The students of America have had enough. (Huffington Post)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Mich. schools try to ensure safety during walkouts

 

Forget Tax Breaks. Education Is the Key to Attracting Businesses.

Not long ago, North Carolina was considered a standout when it came to education. It owed that reputation to Terry Sanford, a visionary governor who, starting in the early 1960s, worked with the legislature to expand the state’s main research park, double public school funding, consolidate the University of North Carolina system, and create a community college system that became a national model. For decades, North Carolina was the exception to the Southern rule; with cheap labor and good education, it was a bargain for corporations in need of a talented workforce—one that paid off for the state. But that all changed when Republicans took over both houses of the General Assembly in 2011, for the first time in over a century. (New Republic)

 

A Teacher Explains the Battles Those Going Back to Work in West Virginia Still Face

For nine school days, starting on Feb. 22, roughly 20,000 West Virginia teachers went on strike to demand better salaries—teachers in the state ranked 48th in the country in terms of pay—and greater funding for their state employee health insurance. On Tuesday, bowing to the pressure, state legislators passed a 5 percent pay raise for all state employees, ending the strike. Slate spoke to one of the teachers, Jessica Salfia, a high school English teacher from Spring Mills High School in Martinsburg on her first day back in the classroom. She spoke about the strike, the problems teachers face today, and what she feels she owes her students and herself as an educator in Appalachia. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. (Slate)

 

West Virginia's teachers ended their historic walkout in a deal with the state's Republican governor. But at what cost?

West Virginia teachers have a deal. On Tuesday, a compromise reached by a conference committee composed of Democratic and Republican members of the state House and Senate raised public worker pay by 5 percent. Teachers and union representatives said the deal, once signed, is enough to get teachers back in classrooms. “We do believe this is what we were looking for, based on the announcement,” Kym Randolph, a spokesperson for the West Virginia Education Association, said on Tuesday morning. “All three parties—the House, the Senate and the governor—have agreed to the changes that will need to be made to the budget to get to 5 percent.” (New Republic)

Related story:

> Washington Post: ‘We will move forward’: With deal on pay in place, West Virginia’s teachers eye return to the classroom

 

Teaching—and Reaching—Students Behind Bars

There are no guardhouses or concertina-topped fences around the Wyoming Girls School. There's no need; the correctional facility nestles on a rural road off Interstate 90, almost dead-center of the state at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains, and no student has tried to run away in the last seven years. But the school's openness also highlights its deeper push to help its students consider themselves students again, and think of their educational future after prison. In the past five years, the Girls School has become part of a thin but spreading network of correctional education groups working to make their facilities truly a part of K-12 education. (Education Week)

 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Visited Parkland. It Didn't Go Over Well With Students

As Betsy DeVos made her way around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a gunman killed 17 students and teachers last month, a small group of student journalists grew increasingly frustrated at each question they say the controversial U.S. Secretary of Education seemed to dodge. For about an hour on Wednesday morning, at least three student journalists from the school’s newspaper, TV production and yearbook staff followed DeVos around campus, where they say she pet comfort dogs, shook hands with the school’s faculty and offered “generic” answers to their specific questions about how concrete changes can be made. (Time)

Related story:

> Daily Mail: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos angers students and WALKS OUT during press conference at Florida school devastated by shooting massacre

 

What If America Didn't Have Public Schools?

On a crisp fall morning, parents lined the school’s circular driveway in Audis, BMWs and Land Rovers, among other luxury SUVs, to drop their high-schoolers off at Detroit Country Day School. Dressed in uniforms—boys in button-down shirts, blazers with the school crest, khaki or navy dress pants, and ties; girls in largely the same garb, though without the ties and the option of wearing a skirt—the students entered a lobby adorned with green tiles from the nearby Pewabic Pottery, a legendary Detroit ceramic studio. The school’s facilities rival those of the most exclusive country clubs. Plush green carpet covers the floor of the pristine, naturally lit cafeteria, which serves students many organic, locally grown options provided by the food-service division of a nearby gourmet market. (Atlantic)

 

Can the Parkland Survivors Inspire a New Focus on Civics Education?

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas students-turned-activists are fast becoming a powerful model of civic engagement for educators across the country. Survivors of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., have taken to social media and TV, arguing eloquently for gun-control policies—and citing skills garnered from their Advanced Placement U.S. Government courses. They have successfully pressured major companies to drop their affiliations with the National Rifle Association and spurred thousands of students nationwide to draft petitions, plan walkouts, and start grassroots groups of their own. (Education Week)

 

Florida Senate Passes Measure To Arm School Staff, Not Teachers

The Florida Senate passed an amendment, 20-18, to a school safety bill on Monday that would allow school staff members to carry firearms on campuses. The amendment, proposed by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Miami), would create a program for school personnel to carry guns, the Tampa Bay Times reported. State legislators rejected an amendment to the bill Saturday that would have banned assault weapons, such as the AR-15 used in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting last month. (Huffington Post)

 

WV Teachers Won’t Return To Class Until Senate Approves Deal Struck With Gov

CHARLESTON (AP) — Unions representing West Virginia teachers and service personnel say they will stay out on strike after the state Senate voted to cut the 5 percent pay raise they had negotiated with the governor. A joint legislative committee has been formed to address differences in the pay raise bills of the state Senate and House. In a joint statement Saturday, the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia, West Virginia Education Association and the School Service Personnel Association said Senate President Mitch Carmichael and his leadership team had left them with no choice after they voted to reduce the raise to 4 percent. (TPM)

 

Teachers are now being asked to punch time clocks. What does that mean for their profession?

School reformers in recent years have talked a lot about ensuring that all students have “high-quality” teachers — though they have both fudged the definition of what “quality” actually means and, in many cases, taken steps that many teachers feel are assaults on their profession. Those actions include scapegoating teachers for problems that are beyond their control, implementing evaluation systems that are unreliable and unfair, and emphasizing the importance of standardized tests to the point where classroom time is dominated by teaching to the test. (Washington Post)

 

The End Is Near for School Desegregation

Judge William Pryor is likely not accustomed to being praised by civil-rights advocates. The judge is not a liberal lion. A Bush appointee currently sitting on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which serves much of the deep South, Judge Pryor’s writings have been critical of gay rights and abortion protections. His conservative bona fides have, reputedly, helped earn him a spot on President Trump’s shortlist for Supreme Court nominations. But earlier this month, as part of a twisting, turning school-desegregation saga in Alabama’s Jefferson County, Judge Pryor struck a strange blow on behalf of integrated schools. In an appellate decision, he forbade a heavily white city from breaking away from a diverse district and running its own separate school system. (Atlantic)

 

What Are Active-Shooter Drills Doing to Kids?

There’s always at least one kid in tears, as they huddle under their desks in the dark. Still Beth Manias, an early-elementary literacy teacher outside of Seattle, tries to act upbeat and relaxed. “I have them whisper about their favorite candy, dinner, books, movies—whatever, as a distraction,” Manias told me. She tells the kids they’re practicing to stay safe in case there’s ever a bear on campus. Though, she admits, “They always see through this. The older they get, the more savvy they become, probably because they are exposed to more of the news.” At schools across the country, more children are taking part in mandatory “active-shooter drills.” Forgoing any pretense of a bear, sometimes a faculty member plays the role of a shooter, jiggling doorknobs as children practice keeping perfectly silent. Many parents, teachers, and students say that the experience is somewhere between upsetting and traumatizing. (Atlantic)

 

Trump suggests arming teachers as a solution to increase school safety

President Donald Trump, after listening to a series of emotional stories and pleas to enhance school safety at the White House Wednesday, floated the idea of arming teachers and school staff, an idea that was met with support from many of the attendees. "If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly," he said, stating that schools could arm up to 20% of their teachers to stop "maniacs" who may try and attack them. (CNN)

Related stories:

> Washington Post: The economics of arming America’s schools

> Daily Mail: NRA chief Wayne LaPierre blames 'family, school security and the FBI' for Florida massacre - then ramps up calls for armed guards saying we need to 'harden' our schools

> Daily Mail: Trump denies saying he'd 'give teachers guns' - before arguing in the same tweet that concealed carry permits for 20 per cent of educators would be a 'GREAT DETERRENT' against a 'sicko'

> Mother Jones: Trump Doubles Down on Plan to Arm 20 Percent of Teachers

> USA Today: Trump plan at odds with teacher #ArmMeWith movement

> TPM: Trump Proposes Arming School Staff: ‘It Could Very Well Solve Your Problem’

> Daily Beast: Trump Says Armed Teachers Must Go on the ‘Offensive’ Against School Shooters

> Education Week: Trump: Nation Should Consider Arming Teachers to Prevent School Shootings

> Washington Post: Trump’s solution for school shootings: Arm teachers

> Chronicle of Higher Education: After a Mass Shooting, Education Programs Confront a Question: ‘Am I Obligated to Take a Bullet for My Students?’

> Detroit News: Could armed teachers stop shootings?

> Detroit Free Press: Why can't we keep classrooms as safe as courtrooms?

> MLive: School debates whether students are better off 'charging' at shooters

> Washington Post: Why I will never carry a gun in my classroom

 

The teenagers from Stoneman Douglas are fearlessly reimagining how to effect change in the Trump era.

In one short week, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have modeled power, eloquence, truth-telling, and hope. Because America seethes with dead-eyed monsters, they are being decried by lunatics as “crisis actors,” the tools of George Soros, and FBI plants. Despite the fact that these young people are now quite literally contending with death threats and mockery, as well as slammed doors, they are organized and organizing and we should all be taking notes. (Slate)

Related stories:

> Slate: For decades, we’ve been replaying the same absurd partisan debate over whether to take high school activism seriously.

> Education Week: 'Let the Youth Lead': Student Activists Nationwide Demand Change After Parkland Shooting

> Washington Post: ‘It could have been our school:’ One week after Florida shooting, students across the nation take action

> Dearborn Press & Guide: Dearborn high school students, Democratic club host Florida shooting vigil

 

Teacher: Trump helps us teach respect and empathy by modeling what those things are not

How is President Trump and his administration affecting the work teachers and students do in classrooms around the country? We’ve heard about science teachers who have to address statements by administration officials that essentially deny human-created climate change, and about history teachers who find it necessary to clarify facts about the past when some official says something that distorts it. There was the time, for instance, when Trump said that had President Andrew Jackson “been a little bit later,” he would have stopped the Civil War — even though there is no evidence to suggest that. Or when Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon who is now secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said blacks captured in Africa, brought to America shackled in slave ships and sold to whites as property might have had the same aspirations as other immigrants to pursue “prosperity and happiness in this land.” (Washington Post)

 

D.C. Schools Chancellor Resigns Amid Outcry Over Daughter’s School Transfer

The District of Columbia schools chancellor resigned on Tuesday after support for him, including from the mayor, collapsed in recent days over the disclosure that he had arranged to have his daughter transferred to a coveted high school. For nearly a week, the chancellor, Antwan Wilson, batted away calls for his resignation and instead vowed to stay on and work to rebuild the public’s confidence. But Mayor Muriel E. Bowser told him on Tuesday that the damage was irreversible and that he needed to step down. (New York Times)

 

A New Idea About How to Stop School Shootings

Opinion: On Wednesday, as the nation grieved one of the worst school shootings in American history, journalists republished old articles that had been written about previous mass shootings in American history. Elected officials, too, recycled the same threadbare thoughts and prayers that were left over from the last tragedy, although they have at least stopped saying “thoughts and prayers.” I did, though, encounter one new idea—a proposal made by educational psychologist David C. Berliner that was posted on Diane Ravitch’s education blog: It is way past time. Between now and May 1st teachers have to agree on the gun legislation they want. They can consult with [Gabby] Giffords and [Mark] Kelly, and others who have suffered, such as the parents who have already lost children to this horrible characteristic of our culture. (Slate)

 

For Parkland Students and Teachers, Wrenching Questions Surround Return to School

Holly Van Tassel-Schuster has not been back to her classroom at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since she left it after the mass school shooting there last week, changing her life and her town in an instant. But she knows it remains largely untouched. Students’ backpacks are piled up where they left them, inaccessible as the Parkland, Fla., campus turned into a massive crime scene cordoned off by police tape. The 36-inch television Van Tassel-Schuster wheeled in front of the classroom door—planning to push it onto the gunman if he tried to enter—is likely still in the spot where it was moved aside as SWAT team members arrived to help escort students out of the building. (Education Week)

 

Parkland Students Want to Know: Will the Shooting at Their School Change Gun Laws?

Students and community members grieving the largest mass shooting at an American high school express a common sentiment that’s as much a challenge as it is a prediction: Nothing will change. The prediction: Politicians who right now express sympathy and call for safer schools will follow a familiar pattern after school shootings by letting what happened in the South Florida community fade from the headlines without making meaningful changes to gun laws. The challenge: Don’t let that happen this time. Police say Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old student who’d been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took an Uber there Wednesday, carrying a powerful AR-15 rifle and extra rounds of ammunition. (Education Week)

Related stories:

> Education Week: Why Security Measures Won't Stop School Shootings

> Washington Post: Teachers say Florida suspect’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him

> Washington Post: After Fla. shooting, schools tighten security, field threats and reassure parents

> USA Today: Security, training 'not enough' to stop tragedy of Florida school shooting

> Bridge: Did a Michigan campus narrowly avert a massacre like the Florida shooting?

> Detroit Free Press: What's the point in writing about another school shooting?

> Detroit Free Press: Florida shooting: How Mich. schools boost security to prevent tragedy

 

Does Trump’s Education Budget Even Matter?

President Trump’s proposed federal budget, unveiled Monday, calls for major cuts to existing education programs and a huge increase for school-choice initiatives. The first question stemming from his blueprint is this: How seriously will Congress take his administration’s plan, even with Republicans controlling both chambers? If history is any indicator, the answer could well be “not very,” as presidential budgets and what Congress ultimately approves can be farther apart than Norway and Tonga in the Winter Olympics medal count. Lawmakers already have their own budget deal (albeit one that still needs to secure a final vote) setting general parameters for spending, including on both K-12 and higher education. (Atlantic)

Related story:

> Washington Post: Trump and DeVos call for massive cuts to college student aid programs

 

One Year In, Betsy DeVos Has Supercharged Teacher Activism

NEW YORK ― When Betsy DeVos was named education secretary last February, she become public education’s No. 1 enemy. After all, the billionaire is notorious for her desire to expand private school choice programs (which include many religious private schools that teach Christian fundamentalist doctrine). One year into her tenure, educators have turned this opposition into action. As in so many industries and among Democrats at large, there has been a wave of activism in response to President Donald Trump in the past year. In education, this activism has manifested as a renewed rallying around traditional public schools. (Huffington Post)

 

Why NYC parents keep sending their sick kids to school

They may not get into the city’s best public schools, but they’re gonna die trying. Parents are so desperate to get their children into coveted public middle and high schools that they are sending them in sick — even with dangerous flu symptoms — because absences count when it comes to admissions, an advocacy group said Monday. While city education officials publicly tell parents to keep their kids home, they allow many of the schools to set their own admissions policies — which can put much more weight on attendance than actual school performance, according to Community Education Council 2 in Manhattan. (New York Post)

 

BAN 'best friends'! Schools are told to stop kids using the term which makes classmates feel left out

Schools around the world are banning the term 'best friends,' stopping children from naming their favorite buddy in a bid to ensure classmates don't feel left out. A New York psychologist says the trend that started in London is now spreading across the US.   'The idea of banning the phrase "best friends" is a very intriguing social experiment,' clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg tells CBS in New York. (Daily Mail)

 

Staffing Schools in No-Stoplight Towns

Rangely is one of Colorado's most isolated school districts. It's 90 miles from the nearest big city, and the closest major grocery store is an hour's drive away, across the border in Vernal, Utah. (Bring a few coolers.) There's a stark beauty to the high desert surrounding Rangely, which is also home to some of the best fishing, hunting, and outdoor sporting in the state. But there's no doubt that the town of about 2,300 is also small and remote. (Education Week)

 

DeVos seeks cuts from Education Department to support school choice

More than $1 billion would be spent on private school vouchers and other school choice plans under the budget proposal released Monday by President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The proposal also calls for slashing the Education Department’s budget and devoting more resources to career training, at the expense of four-year colleges and universities. (Washington Post)

 

Florida bill would let bullied students go to private school

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — From third to fifth grade, Alyson Hochstedler says bullies slammed her son into lockers and punched him. One threatened to stab him. The public school's administration did little to stop his tormentors, she says, so the mother of five transferred her son to private school, using a state grant for low- and middle-income families to pay his tuition. The Florida Legislature is considering a proposal that would give parents like Hochstedler a second, more controversial option, especially if they aren't eligible for an income-based grant. That option is a state-funded private school voucher averaging $6,800 a year expressly for children who say they have been bullied, regardless of income. (AP)

 

D.C.'s Scandal and the Nationwide Problem of Fudging Graduation Numbers

The headlines made a big splash, and yet they were strangely familiar: Another school system was reporting a higher graduation rate than it deserved. The most recent scandal—in the District of Columbia—is just the latest example in a growing case file of school systems where investigators have uncovered bogus graduation-rate practices.  Those revelations have unleashed a wave of questions about the pressures and incentives built into U.S. high schools, and fueled nagging doubts that states’ rising high school graduation rates—and the country’s current all-time-high rate of 84 percent—aren’t what they seem. (Education Week)

 

As online schools expand, so do questions about their performance

After years of steady growth, virtual schools are experiencing a blip as some states attempt to claw back public funds, citing student inactivity online, or force schools to close due to habitual poor performance. Virtual schools, where all classes are online and old-fashioned classrooms don’t exist, had full-time student enrollment of about 300,000 last school year, or less than 1% of the nation’s nearly 51 million public-school students, according to a Wall Street Journal review of enrollment data. That is up from about 199,000 in the 2011-12 school year, under a tally by the National Education Policy Center. (Wall Street Journal)

 

The New Tax Law’s Subtle Subversion of Public Schools

American public schools have long been, and remain, deeply unequal. At the most dilapidated and underperforming schools, teachers are blamed for stagnant graduation rates, students are derided for low tests scores, and parents are chastised for not being involved. Too often, however, scrutiny of these schools’ performance doesn’t take into account the structural factors that have contributed to their outcomes. One of the most significant factors contributing to the chasm of educational opportunity is the way that schools are funded. (Atlantic)

 

The Bureau of Indian Education Is Broken

Opinion: The Bureau of Indian Education recently wrapped up its tribal consultation process on its latest proposed strategic plan "to guide its work and service delivery to [Native] students, schools, and tribes." While the BIE creates plan after plan intended to restructure, realign, reform, redesign, revise, and redo their education system, in actuality these plans are rarely carried out. The necessary changes to schooling simply remain words written on paper. Meanwhile, tribes, schools, educators, parents, and students continue to wait for the federal government to meet its legal trust responsibility to provide a quality education to American Indian students. (Education Week)

 

When Students Assault Teachers, Effects Can Be Lasting

When Michelle Andrews leaned over to talk to a disruptive 6th grader in her class, she says the student struck her in the face, causing Andrews’ neck to snap backwards. The 2015 incident was scary, and it also caused permanent nerve damage, said Andrews, who had been teaching for six years before the attack. The student was suspended for a week for disrespect toward a teacher—not for assault—and then returned to Andrews’ classroom in Bridgeton, N.J. When Andrews asked her principal to permanently remove the student from her classroom … (Education Week)

 

Tinkering Toward Better Schools

It's been said time and again, there's no silver bullet in education. But the urge to find one often leaves districts with a constant churn of new leaders, new initiatives, and new short-lived training that results in equally short-lived gains. That's why, for the 4,000-student Menomonee Falls district, northwest of Milwaukee, real improvement means slowing way down and making sure everyone carries a piece of the load. "We're not about chasing random attempts to improve a particular thing," said Patricia Greco, the Menomonee Falls superintendent. "We are building a culture where everyone is thinking of how they can improve." (Education Week)

 

A year after ascending, DeVos hails shrinking of the Education Department

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proclaimed Wednesday that her proudest accomplishments in her first year in office were shrinking the role of the agency, rolling back Obama-era initiatives and erasing outdated regulations. The secretary reflected on her tenure exactly a year after she was installed in the post, following a trial-by-fire confirmation. Last year, the Senate confirmed her by the narrowest margin possible — with Vice President Pence casting a tiebreaking vote to make her education secretary. It was the first time a vice president had to vote to confirm a Cabinet member. (Washington Post)

 

Hidden Labels Hold Students Back

Schools used to blatantly track students. Beginning in the early 20th century, many schools funneled students into high, medium, or low groups of expected academic achievement and educational attainment, regardless of their potential. Once labeled, students most likely remained in those groups throughout most or all of their schooling, which undermined their future workforce opportunities. However, dating back to Howard Becker's development of the "labeling theory" in the 1960s, sociology research has long suggested that students' images of themselves may become intertwined with the label. Regrettably, most schools and districts still have ... (Education Week)

 

Latino Male Teachers: Building the Pipeline

By all accounts, Angel Magana is a natural-born teacher. Growing up, he spent hours teaching his two younger siblings what he learned in school. But in northeast Denver, every single one of his teachers in elementary and middle school was a white woman. The only adults who looked like him were the ones serving lunch in the cafeteria or emptying the trash cans in the hallway. Magana, a Mexican-American 19-year-old, knows he doesn't look like the average teacher. (Education Week)

 

Report calls into question validity of hundreds of diplomas

One of every three graduates from the District’s public schools last year missed too many classes or improperly took make-up classes, undermining the validity of hundreds of diplomas, according to a report released Monday. The study, commissioned by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, takes the district’s central office to task and is the latest bolt of bad news for a school system reeling from a graduation scandal. The analysis concluded the District’s schools are plagued by a culture that encourages educators to hand out diplomas to meet lofty graduation goals, even if that means giving a high school degree to a student who missed half of the academic year. (Washington Post)

 

Investigation finds D.C. schools fostered a culture of passing students

Each year, students would enter Rob Barnett’s 12th-grade math class at Eastern High School struggling with fractions and basic division. The students worked hard and improved, but mastering probability and statistics in a single year when they started grade levels behind proved grueling — and not always possible. So at the end of the course, Barnett said, a crushing dilemma confronted him: Should he pass these students even if they hadn’t earned it or flunk them senior year, leaving them without a diploma? (Washington Post)

 

The Outdated Study That Education Reformers Keep Citing

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, made a bold statement in a recent essay: By giving students individual help, average students can be turned into exceptional ones. “If a student is at the 50th percentile in their class and they receive effective one-on-one tutoring, they jump on average to the 98th percentile,” Zuckerberg wrote. It’s a remarkable claim, one that strains the limits of belief. And for good reason: The results from the 1984 study underlying it have essentially never been seen in modern research on public schools.

Still, the results have become a popular talking point among those promoting the “personalized learning” (Atlantic)

 

Milwaukee proves that private school vouchers don’t make much of a difference: report

Private school voucher programs have been a controversial topic for years, and the concept is traditionally most popular amongst conservatives. President Donald Trump's administration plans to overhaul the nation's education system to push school-choice programs. But a recent analysis shows that "vouchers worked best when enrollment from voucher students was kept low." Milwaukee is home to the nation's pioneer school vouchers program, which began nearly 30 years ago. The Wall Street Journal looked at the successes and failures of the programs. The WSJ analysis showed that the differences in performance of students from public and private schools is far more marginal than one may have thought and what's often been advertised by Republicans. (Salon)