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Archive for the ‘Public Education’ Category

Marching For Jena 6 Justice in Louisiana

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Thursday, September 20, 2007

10:21 AM CDT, September 20, 2007

JENA, La. – In a mile-long procession, tens of thousands of civil rights demonstrators from around the nation marched this morning from the courthouse of this racially embattled town to the schoolyard where nooses were hung from a tree last year as a warning to black students.

Chanting “No justice, no peace,” the black-clad demonstrators walked down quiet residential streets as homeowners somberly watched from their front steps, their arms crossed in front of them.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Civil Rights, Education, Jena, Jena 6, Jena Six, Legal, Louisiana, Public Education, Race, Racism, Sherri Brokaw Dallas ISD, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Scapegoat: How Supt. Michael Hinojosa Escaped Blame in the Dallas ISD Credit Card Scandal

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Thursday, September 20, 2007

By Jim Schutze Dallas Observer

Published: September 20, 2007

  • Michael Hinojosa had two years to clean up the credit-card mess.

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Posted in Dallas Achieves, Dallas Education, Dallas ISD, Dallas ISD P-Card, DISD, DISD Credit Card Scandal, DISD P-Card, DISD Trustees, Education, Education Reform, Public Education, Sherri Brokaw Dallas ISD, Supt. Michael Hinojosa, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Dallas ISD Board Meeting Today Behind Closed Doors Might Violate Texas Open Meetings Act

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A scheduled Dallas ISD meeting of Trustees today raises several questions about the legality of the meeting under the Texas Open Meetings Act.

The Texas Open Meetings Act was passed to protect the right of the public to observe and be fully informed about public business conducted by public bodies.

A discussion of Trustee differences clearly falls within the concept of public business since the discussion relates to the differences of elected Trustees acting in their official role as Trustees.

Any such discussion should be open and public – not secret and hidden.

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Posted in African American Politics, Black Politics, Dallas Achieves, Dallas Education, Dallas Elected Officials, Dallas ISD, DISD, DISD Trustees, Education, Jack Lowe, Politics, Public Education, Texas Open Meetings Act, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute Hosts Panel On Racial Integration In Public Schools

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, September 16, 2007

September 7, 2007

king

Lawyers George Hayes,
Thurgood Marshall,
and James M. Nabrit
join hands outside
the U.S. Supreme Court
to celebrate Brown vs. Education.

The Supreme Court’s recent rulings overturning desegregation plans by school districts in Seattle and Louisville were the focus of a special panel discussion sponsored by Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice on September 6.

In June, a sharply divided Court restricted the ability of public school districts to use race to determine which schools students can attend, a decision that could severely limit integration programs nationwide. The justices split along ideological grounds, with five justices ruling that the school placement schemes under review violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

Like most of the analysis since the decision, the panel discussion focused on the concurring opinion filed by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy ’61, who cast the deciding vote with the court’s conservatives to strike down the school plans but specifically declined to follow key parts of the plurality opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. ’79.

Kennedy wrote: “Parts of the opinion by the Chief Justice imply an all-too-unyielding insistence that race cannot be a factor in instances when, in my view, it may be taken into account. The plurality opinion is too dismissive of the legitimate interest government has in ensuring all people have equal opportunity regardless of their race.

Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion has become a source of hope for those who support racial integration efforts, said panelist Nadine Cohen, staff counsel on the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association. “The idea that we can be color-blind in our education policies really ignores the reality of life and race in America today,” she said. “I think Justice Kennedy has left a window open for us, and we need to climb through that window, but not by contorting desegregation programs we know have worked.”

Another panelist, Anurima Bhargava, director of the education group in the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, said Kennedy’s opinion served as a “stop-gap” against the majority opinion, which would have otherwise gone a lot further towards outlawing desegregation efforts in public schools.

Cynthia Valenzuela, director of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, admitted that the Court’s decision has already made it more difficult for public school districts in Arizona and California to implement desegregation policies. Latinos in particular have already faced more public school segregation since the ruling, she said.

Other panelists included: Dennis Parker from the American Civil Liberties Union, Khin Mai Aung from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and john a. powell from the Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity.

The panel event also commemorated Charles Hamilton Houston’s 112th Birthday. Professor Charles Ogletree, the Houston Institute’s executive director, and Charles Hamilton Houston, Jr. were on hand to unveil a portrait of the Institute’s namesake. It will hang at Harvard Law School.

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Posted in African American, African American Lawyers, American Civil Liberties Union, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black, Black Lawyers, Brown v. Board of Education, Charles Hamilton Houston, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Civil Rights, Desegregation, Education, Harvard Law School, Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Professor Charles Ogletree, Public Education, Race, Racism, Thurgood Marshall, Urban Education | 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 »