Surprise from a reader (and I agree) - a figure from a Danny Westneat column.
Did this surprise anyone else? 2370 kids, about 5% of all of the students in Seattle Public Schools, are homeless? I had no idea it was that many.
From the Week in Geek: The physics of the Winter Olympics. Good piece to show to the kids as you watch some amazing athletes in action. (Those kids on the snowboards give me a heart attack.)
Heads up on a coming trend in politics - more "school choice" meaning more charters and now the push for vouchers. This from Non-Profit Quarterly.
Most candidates for major local or state positions, particularly
governor, scurry to charter schools to be seen as supportive of these
vanguards of the school choice movement.
Among Republican candidates for office, the message of charter school
advocacy seems to be designed to resonate with voters frustrated with
the purported inadequate performance of traditional public schools, even
if the candidates have little or nothing to propose for the vast
majority of pupils, like the 96 percent of public school pupils in
Texas, who do not attend charter schools.
In Maine, Republican Governor Paul LePage talks about charter schools as
though they, along with private schools, were completely separate from
the public schools, even though charters operate under public school
“Talking about helping poor minority children softens the GOP’s image
and lets candidates offer a positive vision instead of forever going on
the attack,” explains Politico’s Stephanie Simon. “And unlike
immigration reform, school choice is politically safe; there’s no chance
of blowback from the Tea Party.” Republicans particularly see this as a
strategy to appeal to Latinos, where they think they can make inroads.
Good article from Publicola on the city government discussion around pre-K and city funding. There are about 12,000 3 and 4 year olds with about two-thirds in preschool (that last number seemed high to me so good to hear).
In terrible news, a Florida child with massive disabilities that I previously reported on who was being forced to take state tests, has died. Ethan Rediske was 11 and had brain damage and cerebral palsy. Up until his death early this week, his mother had to fill out forms to the school to state that "he was not in any condition to take a state-mandated test. Another child, with only a brain stem, was also being asked to take state tests despite being blind (and the test had pictures as answer choices). Disgusting.
And a story from PoliticoPro on Mr. Gates Goes to Washington.
Gates and his staff at the foundation “have assembled an agenda and a
mechanism to achieve their objectives, plain and simple,” said Scott
Thomas, dean of the education school at Claremont Graduate University.
They’ve shown, Thomas said, that “you can leverage foundation
resources to really affect federal and state policy — and the funding
that comes along with that.”
In K-12 education, Gates gets substantial credit — or in some quarters,
blame — for the explosion in charter schools, which are publicly funded
but privately managed. He’s transformed the way educators are evaluated,
putting much more emphasis on student test scores as a measure of
effective teaching. And he’s a driving force behind the Common Core
academic standards, which push students to read more non-fiction and
spend more time on fewer topics in math.