Virtual School Meanderings

July 30, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

Exposure to Same-Race Teachers and Student Disciplinary Outcomes for Black Students in North Carolina

Posted: 25 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Constance Lindsay and Cassandra Hart explore the impact of same-race teachers on Black students regarding exclusionary discipline. “We find consistent evidence that exposure to same-race teachers is associated with reduced rates of exclusionary discipline for Black students. This relationship holds for elementary, middle, and high school grade ranges for male and female students, and for students who do and do not use free and reduced-price lunch.”

These 6 themes emerged when we asked Michigan teachers about their pay

Posted: 24 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jennifer Guerra writes about a survey of Michigan Public Radio listeners that asked teachers how they have seen their pay change in recent years; the survey revealed six dominant themes.

Teachers of color departing Cambridge, citing hostile workplace, failed intentions: Workforce doesn’t match student body in progressive district

Posted: 24 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jean Cummings writes about racial disparities in schools and the departure of three teachers of color from several schools in Cambridge, MA. “While 78 percent of Cambridge Public School teachers are white, just around 40 percent of the student body is. At the high school, where 30 percent of this year’s 2,000 high school students are African-American, Allen reported that as of October there were 48 teachers of color at CRLS – 22 percent of the more than 200 full-time equivalent teachers in the school. There are no black men teaching the core academic courses at the school and just two or three black male teachers in the whole school, depending on how ‘teacher’ is defined: Non-permanent staff are not counted by the administration.”

Michigan dumps its school ranking system in favor of ‘dashboard’

Posted: 22 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jennifer Guerra looks at how Michigan’s school accountability system will be changed. “Michigan will no longer rank schools based on test scores. The state is working on a new accountability system as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the new federal education law that goes into effect this coming school year.”

Florida’s education system – the one Betsy DeVos cites as a model – is in chaos

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Valerie Strauss writes about school reforms in Florida. “Traditional public school districts are trying to absorb the loss of millions of dollars for the new school year that starts within weeks. That money, which comes from local property taxes, is used for capital funding, but now must be shared with charter schools as a result of a widely criticized $419 million K-12 public education bill crafted by Republican legislative leaders in secret and recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott — at a Catholic school.”

When ‘Miracle’ Charter Schools Shed Students

Posted: 19 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Mark Weber reacts to an NBC story about a “successful” charter school in Philadelphia. He writes: “… you really can’t make a comparison between two schools and call one ‘successful’ without taking into account the differences in resources available to both. Philadelphia’s public school district has been chronically underfunded for years. It’s hardly fair for Boys Latin to collect millions in extra revenue, then brag about their college persistence rate compared to schools that don’t have enough funding to provide an adequate education.”

Teacher Tests Test Teachers: The practice of evaluating teachers by their students’ performance on standardized tests is coming under serious challenge.

Posted: 17 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Rachel Cohen writes about value-added modeling (VAM), a controversial statistical method aimed at isolating a teacher’s effectiveness based on their students’ standardized test scores. “While the future of using value-added measures in teacher evaluations is unclear, some researchers have been advocating alternative ideas. One would be to use the statistical growth measures as a diagnostic tool, a preliminary screening test to help identify which districts, schools, and classrooms warrant closer attention.”

Ohio’s Online Charter Scandal Is a Warning to the Nation

Posted: 13 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jan Ressenger writes about Ohio’s Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), which has been at the center of a school funding scandal. “Telling the truth about Ohio’s charter school corruption is only a start. As lawmakers sort out ways to effectively address the political cronyism behind these schools, what should be abundantly clear to the state and the nation is that continuing to expand charters will only worsen the problem.”

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