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Chicago’s Noble Network: Teachers Call “No-Excuses” Discipline “Dehumanizing”

It is my belief that high teacher turnover rate is always a smoke signal, so to speak. In this case, it sounds as if cultural competency training is in order. Culturally insensitive teachers can potentially inflict long term damage on students’ educational goals.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Teachers who worked at Chicago’s leading charter chain spoke out to NPR and described their discomfort with the strict disciplinary code. Some called it “dehumanizing.” 

“The trend toward school choice has educators across the country looking at Chicago’s Noble Charter Schools — an award-winning network of mostly high schools that specializes in helping inner-city kids achieve the kind of SAT scores that propel them into four-year universities. But despite its prestigious reputation, Noble has a peculiarly high teacher turnover rate.

“And some of those teachers are speaking up about policies they describe as “dehumanizing.”

“Noble’s handbook lists more than 20 behaviors that can elicit demerits. The dress code, for example, requires students to wear light khakis, plain black leather belts,

“Kerease Epps, who taught at Noble’s Hansberry College Prep, made sure to arrive by seven o’clock every day to help students with curved lines in their hair avoid punishment.

”“Every…

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Yes, Betsy: Spending Does Matter

PREACH!!!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Imagine billionaire Betsy DeVos telling the nation that spending doesn’t make a difference in terms of education outcomes. But she did and she is wrong, as Chalkbeat explained.

For starters, correlation is not the same as causation.

But let’s talk common sense, inasmuch as Betsy already said she is not a “numbers person.”

When parents have the means to do so, they move to high-spending suburban districts. It’s not just for the grass and the trees, Betsy. In high-spending districts, their children have beautiful, well-maintained buildings. They have small classes. They have experienced teachers who are paid well. They have up-to-date science laboratories. They have the best technology. They have classes in history, civics, and government. They have programs in the arts. Their schools have a band, a chorus, dance, film, an orchestra, a string quartet, and more. They have a robotics team, a chess club, a debate team. They…

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diversity · Education · politics · social activism

Two Steps Back: Circumventing the Progress Made by the Civil Rights Movement

Kris Nordstrom of the North Carolina documents the return of segregation in North Carolina and explains how integration can transform the schools and the lives of students. In the past, North Carolina was an exemplary state in integrating its schools but it has been retreating in recent years. It doesn’t have to be this […]

via North Carolina: The Return of Segregation Will Hurt the Children and the State — Diane Ravitch’s blog

diversity · Education · politics

Puerto Rico: Legislators Moving to Adopt Charters and Vouchers

Unfortunately, those who make government based decisions about education usually have only a myopic view of the ways in which education policy affects students.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Another victory for the Trump-DeVos agenda of school choice, this one in Puerto Rico, which is still struggling to recover from massive hurricane damage.

Politico Morning Education reports:

SCHOOL CHOICE PROPOSAL MOVES AHEAD IN PUERTO RICO: One of the island’s legislative chambers approved this week an education reform plan that would usher in charter schools to the territory and roll out a program of school vouchers in 2019. The plan was pitched by Gov. Ricardo Rossello as the island’s education system grappled with a tough recovery and mass migration to the states following Hurricane Maria. It has been criticized by teachers unions, which fear that turning over education to private entities will disrupt public schools there.

– The legislation allows for the creation of charter schools, or for the conversion of existing public schools into charters. Schools must be run by non-profit operators, and must be non-sectarian. Students from across…

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African Author wins Prestigious Literary Prize

African Heritage

Jennifer Makumbi Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

A Ugandan author based in Great Britain whose debut novel was initially rejected by British publishers for being ‘too African‘, has won one of the world’s richest literary prizes.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, the winner of the 2014 Commonwealth short fiction prize from Uganda but now living in the UK, has won one of the Windham Campbell Prizes from Yale University in the US.

Jennifer Makumbi_Kintu1 ‘Kintu’ by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

She will receive $165,000 (£119,000). The prize money is more than double the amount that the Booker Prize winner gets, and organizers say it’s the richest award dedicated to literature after the Nobel Prize. Makumbi’s debut novel Kintu was first published in Kenya four years ago after British publishers rejected it for being “too African”. It was finally released in the UK this January. In Ugandan culture, Kintu is a mythological figure who appears…

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Hunting “Rhinoceros”

Alternet’s Steven Rosenfeld interviews Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who is a specialist in the study of fascism and totalitarianism. Professor Snyder finished a boon “ON TYRANNY: Twenty Lessons from the Twentith Century,” a week after the election. The subversion of Dem racy moves fast, Snyder warns: “Nazi Germany took about a year. Hungary took about […]

via Yale Historian: “Post-Truth” is Pre-Fascism — Diane Ravitch’s blog