Monday, May 16, 2016
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Powerfully, Ris presents a discourse analysis of “grit” with a historical lens and argues that “the grit discourse allows privileged socioeconomic groups to preserve their position under the guise of creative pedagogy” (p. 2).
To its champions, the concept of grit offers a solution to the intractable low performance in these schools: help the kids get grittier, and they can claw their way out of poverty (Tough, 2011; Tough, 2012; Rock Center, 2012; Lipman, 2013). To its skeptics, grit is at best an empty buzzword, at worst a Social Darwinist explanation for why poor communities remain poor – one that blames the victims of entrenched poverty, racism, or inferior schooling for character flaws that caused their own disadvantage (Shapiro, 2013; Thomas, 2013; Anderson, 2014; Isquith, 2014; Noguera & Kundu, 2014; Ravitch, 2014a; Snyder, 2014; Ravitch, 2015). (p. 2)
So I would like to pose that Ris has not proven “both sides are wrong,” but has failed to recognize why we skeptics have been calling out “grit” policies and practices.
As Christopher Emdin explains in For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too, vulnerable populations of students are plenty “gritty,” but they remain the primary targets of “no excuses” schooling grounded in “grit” discourse and lessons.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
18th Annual Educational Law and Social Justice Forum: A 10 Year Anniversary Retrospective of Educational Controversies
Following the presentations, the audience will have opportunities to interact with the authors and share educational controversies that they would like to see as topics for future issues of the journal. The audience is invited to think about the links between the past and the present pursuit of social justice in both the k-12 system as well as in higher education. How can we articulate these issues in a way that brings greater depth to our understanding of the conflict of values and the complexity of ideas that characterize our pluralistic society, and that opens up new ways of imagining a more just, inclusive, and democratic educational environment for the future.
Topics and presenters for this year’s forum include:
Dr. Maria Timmons Flores’ paper helped school professionals understand the experiences and challenges students who are undocumented face, and offered tangible roles schools can play in rethinking policies and practices to counter everyday injustices. The paper was informed by a legal context, current political realities, and critical race theory.
Dr. Bill Lyne’s paper, “Beautiful Losers” addressed the theme of our 2008 issue that asked how are we to “fulfill the traditional moral imperative of our schools to create a public capable of sustaining the life of a democracy . . . .in an age of the Patriot Act and similar antiterrorism legislation . . . all likely to involve violations of civil rights and liberties” by problematizing the question against the historical realities of our nation’s history. Dr. Lyne is the co-editor of our upcoming issue on “Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex.”
Dr. Alice Ginsberg – “No Excuses Charter Schools” and a critique of the film Waiting for Superman
Dr. John Covaleskie – Religion and Public Schools
The forum is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
David Stovall to Speak at Western Washington University on “Justice Does Not Happen in a Vacuum: Race, Rights and the Possibility of Now”
His talk is entitled, “Justice Does Not Happen in a Vacuum: Race, Rights and the Possibility of Now.” He will be discussing state-sanctioned violence against Black communities (and other communities of color), situating contemporary youth movements within a context of community resistance to systems of racialized oppression and violence, ultimately urging educators and community leaders alike to move beyond tough talk.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
The secret story of the popular Western Washington University president forced out by a Communist-hating newspaper editor
"The secret story of the popular Western Washington University president forced out by a Communist-hating newspaper editor" by Ron Judd.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Creating Community-Whatcom Middle School Fall 2015 from Lauren McClanahan on Vimeo.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Monday, December 14, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL CONTROVERSY
Publication Date - 2016
Papers due - Fall, 2016
THEME: Is “Best Practices” Research in Education Insufficient or even Misdirected?
CONTROVERSY TO BE ADDRESSED BY AUTHORS:
For decades the research
agenda for identifying “best practices” for reforming education has been
structured around testing hypotheses of either effectiveness or prediction of
outcomes. Within the quantitative approach researchers have used a
variety of traditional causal and correlational designs to examine
relationships between specific measurable variables. Researchers have also used
qualitative approaches to examine implementation of such practices in more
depth through observations in the field, interviews with students and
educators, and content analysis of curriculum and student work.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
National Education Policy Center Continues its Critical Look at the Claims of Charter School Research
Charter Researchers Promoting“No Excuses” Schools Republish Inflated Claims
Review of No Excuses Charter Schools
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058; email@example.com
Jeanne M. Powers, (805) 893-7770, firstname.lastname@example.org
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/numtqep
BOULDER, CO (October 9, 2015) – In December 2014, the “Department of Education Reform” at the University of Arkansas published a meta-analysis of the effects of so-called No Excuses Charter Schools. The report was subsequently reviewed by Professor Jeanne Powers of Arizona State University, for the National Education Policy Center. Powers raised several serious questions, and she criticized the report for its overstated claims about the potential of these types of schools to close the achievement gap.
A new version of the report was recently released by the National Center for Studies of Privatization in Education (NCSPE), and Professor Powers has now provided a short follow-up review, published along with the initial review on the NEPC website. She finds that the NCSPE version has a revised introduction and conclusion, wherein the authors do note additional limitations to their study. However, the report’s major shortcomings remain. In the follow-up review, Powers explains, point-by-point, her remaining concerns with the study:
1. The primary (and repeated) claim of the report is that “No Excuses” charter schools can close the achievement gap. Powers explains that the underlying research that this report relies upon only supports the more limited and appropriate claim that the subset of No Excuses charter schools have done relatively well in raising the test scores of the students who participate in school lotteries and then attended the schools. The claim that these schools can close the achievement gap is supported by nothing other than an arithmetic extrapolation of evidence that comes with clear limitations.Find Powers’ original review and follow-up review of the “No Excuses” charter report here.
2. A common and well-recognized problem in charter school research is “selection effects.” That is, parents who choose “No Excuses” schools may be more educated, more engaged in the school-selection process, and differ in other significant ways from those parents who did not choose such a school. This would logically be a major concern for oversubscribed “No Excuses” schools, but the findings cannot be generalized to all parents.
3. Over-subscribed schools that conduct lotteries for student admission are, one would assume, different from less popular schools. Nevertheless, Cheng et al. imply that the findings can be generalized to all No Excuses charter schools.
4. The prominent and oversubscribed “No Excuses” schools are often supported by extensive outside resources. Offering an extended school day, for example, may not be financially feasible for other schools, and the scaling-up costs of doing so are not addressed. A charter that takes the No-Excuses approach yet lacks the additional resources should not be assumed to show the same results.
5. The sample of schools included in the studies Cheng et al. analyzed is largely drawn from major urban areas in the Northeast and is small, particularly at the high school level.
The original Arkansas report is currently available at the following url:
The republished version of the Arkansas report is currently available at the following url:
The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence. For more information on the NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/.
Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested. You can learn more about NEPC and sign up for publication updates by visiting http://nepc.colorado.edu/. To learn more about the Think Twice think tank review project, visit http://thinktankreview.org
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Amidst Accolades for her Life Lies the Realities of her Death – Why the Life and Work of Grace Lee Boggs Remains a Clarion Call
Below we reprint Grace Lee Boggs’ blog post along with links to the two reviews to which she is responding.
Their book reviews further help us to understand that people are finding inspiration from the book because they are connecting with a set of ideas whose time has come:
• Maybe it helps us envision ourselves as Revolutionaries, moving away from the wrong side of the world revolution where we have seemed stuck since the Vietnam War.
To link to the original book reviews, go to:
1. A Book Review by Victor Nolet
Grace Lee Boggs
Monday, September 28, 2015
Problems with CREDO’s Charter School Research: Understanding the Issues
Andrew Maul’s rejoinder to CREDO’s response
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, email@example.com
Andrew Maul, (805) 893-7770, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested. You can learn more about NEPC and sign up for publication updates by visiting http://nepc.colorado.edu/. To learn more about the Think Twice think tank review project, visit http://thinktankreview.org.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Chief Justice Madsen was joined in the ruling by Justices Charles Johnson, Charles Wiggins, Mary Yu, Debra Stevens and Susan Owens.
Appellants in the case were a coalition of groups including the League of Women Voters, the Washington Education Association, El Centro de la Raza, and the Washington Association of School Administrators and several individual plaintiffs.
Readers can read the full decision at: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/897140.pdf
The decision follows another one that we reported on in the post below. In that decision, the court had ruled that the Washington State legislature had failed to adequately fund public education in the state and imposed a $100000 daily sanction on the legislature. See our earlier post