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.


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Yes, Betsy: Spending Does Matter


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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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


Burning Woman Touching Base

If you have never taken the time to read Burning Woman, you should! Sha’Tara has a wonderfully interesting voice!

Hello to all, and to all a hello! Some of you may have noticed less comments from me, and less posts… well there are a couple of simple explanations. The most obvious, which I can make public without fear of being investigated is that I’m suddenly very busy in the other real world, working on […]

via Touching Base — ~Burning Woman~