Sunday, August 15, 2010

Community Organizing Group Compiles Studies on Charter Schools

A community organizing group based in Mississippi, the Southern Echo, has compiled a list of studies on the charter school movement on their website. The studies include those by the Rand Corporation, Stanford University, Teachers College, Columbia University, the Civil Rights Project at UCLA and others. For our readers who would like to check out the various studies in one place, we are providing the link to the research on their website.

The Southern Echo describes its mission as working to empower the African American community through an intergenerational model of effective community organizing. With the mainstream media always covering educational change from the top down model, our readers may be interested in examining this grassroots movement directed at change.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Latest News from Arizona’s Ban on Certain Ethnic Studies Classes

According to an Education Week article today, Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne is moving ahead in his threat to reduce the Tucson Unified School District’s budget by 10 percent for not conforming to the new state legislation banning ethnic studies courses that are geared toward one particular ethnic group. The law goes into effect on December 31st. As we mentioned in our earlier blog posts, the districts believe they are not violating the law. They argue that their ethnic studies courses are open to all students, and therefore, do not violate the new law, H.B. 2281.

In his disagreement with their characterization of their program, Horne requested in a letter to John Carroll, the Superintendent of Tucson Unified, that all the classes be videotaped in their entirety. Apparently, if the district refuses to videotape them, Horne “will offer that refusal as evidence to the administrative law judge that the school district has deliberately hidden facts that would show that the district is in noncompliance with H.B. 2281."

Below is the letter sent by Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne to John Carroll, the Superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District so our readers can read it for themselves.