Teaching, Writing as Activism?

#EdBlogNet @idraedu

academic freedom isn't free

To the extent that I become clearer about my choices and my dreams, which are substantively political and attributively pedagogical, and to the extent that I recognize that though an educator I am also a political agent, I can better understand why I fear and realize how far we still have to go to improve our democracy. I also understand that as we put into practice an education that critically provokes the learner’s consciousness, we are necessarily working against the myths that deform us. As we confront such myths, we also face the dominant power because those myths are nothing but the expression of this power, of its ideology.

Paulo Freire, Teachers as Cultural Workers

Thus, proponents of critical pedagogy understand that every dimension of schooling and every form of educational practice are politically contested spaces. Shaped by history and challenged by a wide range of interest groups, educational practice…

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How KIPP charter school handles special ed/IEP students

Seattle Education

kipp girls

Leonie Haimson posted this in 2012 and I have linked to it several times over the last few years.

Because I seem to be on a roll about KIPP charter schools, I decided this is an appropriate time to post this on Seattle Ed.

“At KIPP, I would wake up sick, every single day”

At KIPP, I would wake up sick, every single day. Except on Sunday, ’cause that day I didn’t have to go to school.  All the students called KIPP the “Kids in Prison Program.”

A few months ago, Class Size Matters met with a former KIPP student who lives in the Bronx and her mother to hear about their experiences at the celebrated charter school. What follows are excerpts from this interview.  The girl’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Mom: Students who are accepted to KIPP and who have IEP’s [individualized education plans] do…

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Both House and Senate ESEA Bills Allow for Opt-out Without Penalty

Opting out

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

Both the House and Senate have passed proposed authorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, and both House and Senate versions have opt-out provisions that allow for states to avoid being penalized for students whose parents opt them out of federally-mandated testing.

That’s right: Both House and Senate versions of the ESEA reauthorization provide a means for students who opt out to not be counted against the “95 percent” that the state is supposed to test as a condition for receiving Title I funding.

They just go about it differently.

I realize all of this can be difficult to follow. In this post, I hope to make the issue clear.

Opt-out and ECAA

Here’s how the parental opt-out provision works in the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) of 2015:

Paragraph (2) of Title I, entitled, “Academic Assessments,” (page 36 of the ECAA draft linked…

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High Student Mobility, Exacerbated by School Choice, Overwhelms Neighborhood Schools



It is easy to lose sight of what matters in the huge debate about how to support students who are not succeeding at school.

We blame the so called “failing” schools identified by the No Child Left Behind Act, and we blame the schools our states have taken to ranking “F” according to the plan promoted by Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, and we blame the teachers we now evaluate by their students’ standardized test scores.  Sometimes we even fire teachers en masse as part of the school “turnaround” plans prescribed by the federal government for schools whose overall test scores are in the bottom 5 percent nationally.

But only rarely do we look at deeper, hidden factors that are harder to document and far harder to do something about.  In a recent piece in the Washington Post, Michael Alison Chandler documents and examines the impact on children…

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Milwaukee Democratic Legislators Unified in Opposition to MPS Takeover Plan

Educate All Students, Support Public Education

Attached and below is a press release from the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Delegation regarding their continued unified opposition to the “MPS Takeover Plan” and the delegation letter distributed today to Assembly and Senate Republican members. Please consider for publication and/or distribution. Thank you and all the best.

July 2, 2015

Milwaukee – Today the members of the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Delegation distributed a letter to their Republican colleagues asking that they join them in opposing the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) takeover plan and removing the proposal from the 2015-2017 state budget.
The proposal currently in the state budget would create a separate school district outside of MPS under the management of a Commissioner selected and supervised by the Milwaukee County Executive. The Commissioner would have the power to transfer the lowest rated public schools out of MPS control and place its operation and management under the authority…

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