9/3/2015 – Why The Fight For Dyett High School Is A Fight For Democracy

THIS WEEK: Common Core Isn’t Common … Success Of Long Beach Schools … Teachers Work Without Pay … Black Students Expelled At Higher Rates … Court: Choice Not A Right


Why The Fight For Dyett High School Is A Fight For Democracy

By Jeff Bryant

“Twelve members of a coalition to save a local, public school in Chicago, Dyett High School, are in the 17th day of a hunger strike. Here’s why their local grievances deserve national concern …”
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Initial Common Core Goals Unfulfilled As Results Trickle In

Associated Press via ABC News

“Results for some of the states that participated in Common Core-aligned testing for the first time this spring are out … Even when all the results are available, it will not be possible to compare student performance across a majority of states, one of Common Core’s fundamental goals. What began as an effort to increase transparency and allow parents and school leaders to assess performance nationwide has largely unraveled, chiefly because states are dropping out of the two testing groups and creating their own exams … The exams have also experienced technical glitches and an opt-out movement that surfaced this spring. Most states have not been able to release test scores before the start of classes, a delay that was expected in the exam’s first year, but nonetheless frustrating for some teachers and parents.”
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Back To School In Long Beach, Where The Superintendent Has Lasted Longer Than Your K-12 Career

Los Angeles Times

“As Long Beach’s 79,000 students head back to school, [Superintendent Chris] Steinhauser is … at the helm of a district that began seeing major improvements two decades ago … and led improvement in areas like AP enrollment and college preparation … The story of Long Beach’s long-term improvement has inspired busloads of educators hoping to learn how the district acquired its sterling reputation … Steinhauser maintains that parent involvement is key to kids’ success … He focuses on making neighborhood schools attractive to parents … Unlike other much-touted districts, though, Long Beach has only two charter schools.”
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Is This Any Way To Run A School District?

The Washington Post

“Back in 2012, the long-beleaguered Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania ran out of money – literally – and the unionized teachers and staff agreed to work without pay… It’s happened again … Pennsylvania lawmakers failed for years to adequately fund Chester Upland … Making matters worse is the funding controversy involving the district’s charter schools, which were encouraged and supported by Pennsylvania lawmakers and the former Republican Governor Tom Corbett … Chester Upland pays local charter schools about $64 million in tuition payments ever year – more than the district receives in state school aid … Lawmakers set up a funding formula in which Chester Upland’s charter schools get far more in public funds to educate special education students than traditional public schools receive.”
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Analysis Finds Higher Expulsion Rates For Black Students

The New York Times

“New analysis of federal data identifies districts in 13 Southern states where black students are suspended or expelled at rates overwhelmingly higher than white children … In some districts, the gaps were even more striking: in 132 Southern school districts, for example, black students were suspended at rates five times their representation in the student population, or higher … In 181 school districts where blacks represented just under 60% percent of enrollment on average, all of the students expelled during 2011-12 were black. Within the 13 states, Louisiana and Mississippi expelled the highest proportion of blacks … The disparities existed in high-achieving as well as low-achieving schools.”
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Children Don’t Have Constitutional Right to Switch Schools, Appeals Court Rules

The Wall Street Journal

“The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected claims by a group of Arkansas parents that they had a right to transfer their kids out of a struggling school district in northeast Arkansas to neighboring districts where they thought the children could be better educated … The opinion, written by Judge Lavenski R. Smith, said there was no precedent that supported the position that ‘a parent’s ability to choose where his or her child is educated within the public school system is a fundamental right or liberty’ … The plaintiffs’ children are enrolled in the Blytheville School District in Blytheville, Ark., an impoverished small city in northeast Arkansas. The state has classified the district’s high school and middle school as ‘academic distressed’ based on student performance on standardized tests, and the parents sought to move their kids to two nearby, wealthier districts.”
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