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New York City Wins 2007 Broad Prize in Education

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, September 18, 2007

By ELIZABETH GREEN
Staff Reporter of the Sun
September 18, 2007 updated 10:25 am EDT

New York City has won the nation’s most prestigious prize for urban education, known as the Broad Prize.

The announcement by the Broad Foundation is expected at noon today in Washington, D.C. Mayor Bloomberg, the city schools chancellor, Joel Klein, and the president of the city teachers union, Randi Weingarten, are scheduled to attend the announcement, spokesmen for the leaders said.

The prize was established in 2002 by the Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad to honor urban school systems that narrow gaps between racial groups and boost the performance of poor students. It relies heavily on test score data to determine which school systems are named finalists.

A member of the prize’s jury told The New York Sun that he favored the city above the four other finalists because of its sheer size — with 1.1 million students and 1,450 schools, the public school system here is the largest in the nation — and its progress in closing the racial achievement gap.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Broad Foundation, Broad Prize, Education, Education Policy, Education Reform, Eli Broad, High-Stakes Testing, Mayoral Takeovers In Education, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Race, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

A Conversation About Education

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Conversation About Education

Posted in African American Education, Black Education, Dallas Education, Dallas ISD, Desegregation, DISD, Dr. James Davis, Education, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, J. L. Turner Legal Association, Judge Sam Lindsay, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, State Senator Royce West, Supt. Michael Hinojosa, U.S. Supreme Court, Urban Education, Yvonne Ewell Townview Center | Leave a Comment »

Race Cannot Be Ignored In Closing The Achievement Gap In Public Education

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, September 16, 2007

Narrowing the achievement gap in schools requires acknowledging race, not ignoring it.

September 16, 2007

The achievement gap between African American and Latino students and their white peers is stark and persistent. It has existed for decades, and it’s growing more pronounced. The data refute what would be reassuring explanations. The gaps in reading and math test scores are not due to income disparities, nor are they attributable to parents’ educational levels. The simple fact is that most black and brown children do not do as well in school as most whites.

The data also show, however, that African American and Latino children are excelling in schools scattered throughout California and the nation, suggesting that the achievement gap is not intractable. Rather, there is a profound disconnect between what we say are high expectations for children of color and the quality of education delivered to them in the classroom.

All of which leads to an uncomfortable but important conclusion: If a less-stratified society is desirable, we must be prepared to design educational programs that explicitly take race into account, that address African American and Latino students specifically and that openly recognize that we are not a single society when it comes to the needs of our children.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Colleges, Black Education, Black Investors, Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education, Education Policy, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, Hispanic, Legal, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Racism, Supreme Court, Urban Education, War | Leave a Comment »

No Child Left Behind Designed For Failure

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Thursday, September 13, 2007

Federal standards doomed, association president says

Doug Carroll
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 13, 2007 11:53 AM

Teachers from three Gilbert Unified School District high schools that failed to make “adequate yearly progress” in 2006-07 say federal standards are more about accounting than accountability.

 

“The way the rules are set up, it’s designed for failure,” said Mike Weaver, president of the Gilbert Education Association and a vocational education teacher at Gilbert High.

“This is bean counting. It’s not accountability. We take our responsibility seriously as teachers, and we want the support to fulfill that.”

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Posted in Adequate Yearly Progress, Education, Education Myths, Education Policy, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Merit Pay For Teachers Goes To Affluent Schools

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

SENTINEL SPECIAL REPORT

September 9, 2007

At Palm Lake Elementary, two out of three teachers earned a bonus through Orange County Public Schools’ merit-pay plan.

At Richmond Heights Elementary, the number was zero.

Palm Lake is a predominantly white school in the affluent Dr. Phillips area.

Richmond Heights is a predominantly black school in a poverty-stricken pocket of Orlando.

The two schools illustrate a marked disparity in the distribution of merit bonuses to 3,911 Orange County teachers and administrators uncovered in an Orlando Sentinel analysis of the program.

The Sentinel’s review showed that teachers at predominantly white and affluent schools were twice as likely to get a bonus as teachers from schools that are predominantly black and poor.

It wasn’t supposed to work that way.

Florida education officials promised that imbalances along racial or income lines would not happen under the state’s beleaguered and now-defunct merit-pay program known as Special Teachers Are Rewarded, or STAR. Officials said the best teachers could win a bonus no matter where they worked or what they taught.

“It certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence in the system,” said Mark Pudlow, a spokesman with the Florida Education Association, a teachers union.

Among the Sentinel’s findings:

At Orange County’s 39 predominantly white schools, an average of 27 teachers per school won bonuses. Only two of those schools had a majority of students getting free or reduced-price lunches, an indicator of low-income.

At the 38 predominately black schools, an average of 13 teachers per school won. All of those schools had a majority of students receiving subsidized lunches.

At the 31 schools with a mostly Hispanic population, an average of 20 teachers per school got bonuses. Only three were low-income schools.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Dallas Achieves, Dallas ISD, Democracy, DISD, Education, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, Merit Pay, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Race, Teacher Bonuses, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Diane Ravitch on Reconsidering Education Views

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch have found themselves at odds on policy over the years, but they share a passion for improving schools. Bridging Differences will offer their insights on what matters most in education.


 

Reconsidering My Views

 

Dear Deb,

I hope we are not disappointing our readers by agreeing more than we disagree. I think I am letting down my part of the bargain by agreeing with you so often, but our areas of convergence became clear from the first time that we sat together almost a year ago to talk about our views about No Child Left Behind. The fact is that you are writing and saying the same things you have believed for a long time, and I am in the process of reconsidering and revising my views on many counts.

I have been doing quite a lot of soul-searching these past couple of years. I don’t think it is because of age, although one can never be too sure about that. I think I am reconsidering first principles because of the very topics that you hit so hard in your latest letter. Living in NYC, I see what happens when businessmen and lawyers take over a school system, attempt to demolish everything that existed before they got there, and mount a dazzling PR blitz to prove that they are successful.

Lest anyone think that what you described is purely a NYC story, consider this: I hear from various people who participated in the judging for the Broad Prize that NYC will win it this year. This is not much of a surprise. When Joel Klein was first named chancellor, Eli Broad held his annual prize event in NYC and handed Klein a huge dummy check and predicted that one day soon this would be his. The $1 million hardly matters to NYC, which has an annual budget that approaches $20 billion, but the prestige is what the city is after. It desperately wants the confirmation from Broad that its new regime has succeeded.

About 18 months ago, I was invited to meet Eli Broad in his gorgeous penthouse in NYC, overlooking Central Park. I hear that he made his billions in the insurance and real estate businesses. I am not sure when he became an education expert. We talked about school reform for an hour or more, and he told me that what was needed to fix the schools was not all that complicated: A tough manager surrounded by smart graduates of business schools and law schools. Accountability. Tight controls. Results. In fact, NYC is the perfect model of school reform from his point of view. Indeed, this version of school reform deserves the Broad Prize, a prize conferred by one billionaire on another.

Thanks for your recommendation about the James Scott book, “Seeing Like a State.” I happen to own it, as it had been highly recommended to me by Morton Keller, a historian at Brandeis University. It is a wonderful critique of reforms that seek to overturn the world, of the arrogance of reformers who do not understand the practical wisdom of those who must make decisions every day that respond to unique situations.

As I read “Seeing Like a State,” especially its concluding chapters, I kept thinking about the wholesale gutting of the NYC school system by Messrs. Bloomberg and Klein, who are now hailed in the media as our nation’s leading education reformers. Professor Scott, an anthropologist at Yale, would find in NYC a perfect exemplar of men who think they can “see like a state.”

Worse, Deb, they seem to have sought out even the cracks in the sidewalk and tried to pave them over. They seem to have succeeded.

Diane

 

Posted in Dallas Achieves, Dallas ISD, Deborah Meier, Diane Ravitch, DISD, Education, Education Policy, Education Reform, Eli Broad, High-Stakes Testing, Mayoral Takeovers In Education, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Secretary of Education Spellings Highlights No Child Left Behind Reauthorization in Remarks to Members of the Business Coalition for Student Achievement

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Saturday, September 8, 2007

“It’s the euphemisms that kill you in this business.”
–Congressman George Miller, who cloaks all his remarks about NCLB in euphemism.

FOR RELEASE:
September 5, 2007

Contact: Samara Yudof
Casey Ruberg
(202) 401-1576

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today delivered remarks on No Child Left Behind to members of the Business Coalition for Student Achievement in Washington, D.C. In No Child Left Behind: Moving Forward, Spellings highlighted how the No Child Left Behind Act is working to raise student achievement and accountability in America’s public schools and discussed the need for Congress to strengthen and reauthorize it this year. Following are her prepared remarks.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Business Coalition for Student Achievement, Education, Education Policy, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Race, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

The Unprinted Letter About Changes in U.S. Education

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Saturday, September 8, 2007

A letter from Richard Pring that the New York Times did not print:

Editor
New York Times Dear Editor,

I have read with interest the report of Sir Michael Barber’s address to New York Principals on the lessons to be learned from Britain on how to improve schools. (NYT 15 Aug. 07) However, may I along with so many in England who have seen the consequences of the innovations led by Sir Michael, urge caution. Not everyone agrees with his analysis, and indeed the £1 million Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training in for England and Wales, which I lead, is not, in the light of evidence, presenting such a rosy picture.

It is not surprising that Sir Michael, having been Director of Standards and Effectiveness at the Department of Education and Skills and then head of delivery in the Prime Minister’s Office at No. 10, should have finally moved to McKinsey’s, which believes that what is real can be measured and what can be measured can be controlled. In the last few years, England has created the most tested school population in the world from age 5 to age 18. School improvement lies in scoring even higher in the national tests, irrespective of whether these tests bear any relation to the quality of learning, and schools which see the poverty of the testing regimesuffer the penalty of going down the very public league tables.

The results of the ‘high stakes testing’ are that teachers increasingly teach to the test, young people are disillusioned and disengaged, higher education complains that those matriculating (despite higher scores) are ill prepared for university studies, and intelligent and creative teachers increasingly feel dissatisfied with their professional work. I believe it is no coincidence that, according to the recent UNICEF Report, children in England are at the bottom of the league of rich countries in terms of happiness and feelings of well-being, or that England now criminalises 230,000 children between 11 and 17 each year (the highest in absolute and relative terms in the whole of Europe), or that nearly 10% of 16-18 year olds belong to the Not in Education, Training and Employment group, despite the massive investment in that group over the last ten years. And why should one expect anything else as most of their day light hours consists of preparing for tests, totally disconnected from their interests and concerns, present or future?

The Nuffield Review is starting from the basic question, never asked by Government during Sir Michael’s turn in high office, namely, ‘What counts as an educated 19 year old in this day and age?’. The answers which we are receiving from teachers, universities, employers and the community would point to a system very different from the one which Sir Michael nurtured and is now selling to the United States.

Yours sincerely

Professor Richard Pring Lead Director, Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training for England and Wales Former Director: Oxford University Department of Education Studies

— Diane Ravitch
Huffington Post
2007-09-04

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Posted in Education, Education Policy, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, TAKS, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Blacks in Suburbs Failing Md. Exams

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Saturday, September 8, 2007

Poor results at some high schools called surprising

New Town High School students

Students work during an American government class at New Town High in Owings Mills, which has reported poor assessment results. (Sun photo by Chiaki Kawajiri / September 5, 2007)

September 6, 2007

When Maryland’s top school officer proposed that the state back away from its tough high school testing program last week, one reason might have been the troubling performance of some suburban schools.An alarming pattern of failure is surfacing: Minority students, especially African-Americans, are struggling to pass the exams in the suburban classrooms their families had hoped would provide a better education.

“It is a wake-up call to African-Americans in Maryland,” said Dunbar Brooks, president of the state school board and former president of the Baltimore County school board. “For many African-Americans, the mere fact that your child attends a suburban school district does not make academic achievement automatic.”

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Dallas Business, Education, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Race, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Million Father March – A Push To Bring Dads Into Kids’ School Lives

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, September 2, 2007

Raleigh: Melvin McNeill, speaks with Shani Galloway, a teacher at Sparc Academy as his daughters look for their desks. McNeill walked his daughters to school as part of the Million Father March.
Jeffery A. Camarati/Special to The Christian Science Monitor


Raleigh, N.C. – It’s Monday morning, and Bryan Harris is walking his three daughters down a path he hasn’t traveled before. This year, he’s broken free of his long hours as a furniture deliveryman to be here on the first day of school, following his three daughters up the cement steps and grass-lined walkway to their classrooms at SPARC Academy, a K-8 charter school here. His two youngest, second-grader Shirley and third-grader Jessica, glance back at him with smiles. His fifth-grader, Ceosa, walks with her head held high.

“I wanted them to know I support what they’re doing,” he says.

Around the country, many African-American men are doing the same. They’re part of a national movement called the Million Father March that encourages people of all races, but particularly black men, to be active in children’s educational lives.

Created four years ago, the Million Father March is sponsored by The Black Star Project, a Chicago group working to build strong students, encourage parental involvement, and improve life in African-American and Latino communities. The goal is to eliminate the racial academic achievement gap, says Black Star Project founder and director Phillip Jackson. One key, he believes, is the commitment of dads.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, The Black Star Project, Trinity River Vote, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »