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robertogreco : privateschools   34

White parents are enabling school segregation — if it doesn't hurt their own kids
"America has largely given up trying to desegregate its schools. Politicians have capitulated to reactionary white parents and activists who have successfully fought for decades against the government's hesitant efforts to provide equal resources and opportunities for students of color. The result has been a disaster for non-white students, for public education and for the U.S. as a whole.

In the 1950s and 1960s, educational segregation, along with voting rights, was the iconic issue of the civil rights movement. Today, criminal justice and mass incarceration have largely overtaken school segregation in high-profile discussions about racism.

Obviously, not everyone has moved on: Black Lives Matter has managed to raise public awareness of systemic racism and local activists have continued to fight against segregation. For example, black Chicago students have repeatedly protested the way the city robs them of resources and closes schools in their neighborhoods. But focused, national attention, much less change, has proved elusive.

The fact that we've moved on from discussions of segregation could be seen as a victory of sorts. Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 made it unconstitutional to pass laws mandating separate education for black students and white students. Brown is broadly celebrated; everyone agrees that legal segregation was wrong. And thus, the civil rights movement won.

But did it? The truth is that segregation today is, in many cases, worse now than when the Brown v. Board of Education case was decided.

A 2017 analysis by the UCLA Civil Rights Project found that 75 percent of black students attend majority minority schools, while 38 percent go to schools that are less than 10 percent white. The numbers are even more striking for Latinx students, 80 percent of whom attend majority minority schools. Latinx and black students are also much more likely to be in school districts with high poverty rates, and to have less access to high-quality course offerings. A 2012 study found that more than half of public schools with low black and Latinx populations offered calculus, as compared to a third with high Latinx and black enrollment.

This segregation of students of color isn't an accident. For more than 50 years, white parents and white activists have fought against integrating schools, as Noliwe Rooks chronicles in her 2017 book “Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the Rise of Public Education.”

Following Brown, many Southern school systems shut down public education for up to five years rather than integrate, Rooks writes. She also notes that public money was used to support all-white private schools all the way up to 1978. In the north, meanwhile, racist activism led to anti-busing provisions, blocking federal funds from being used to transport students for the purposes of desegregation. Local busing efforts were opposed with violence: Around 200 white people attacked school buses with black children in South Carolina, and the Ku Klux Klan bombed empty school buses in Michigan in 1971.

Desegregation can still prompt angry, violent, white backlash. Today, Rooks reports, affluent white districts will sue and prosecute poor people of color who try to access the resources in better districts. In 2014, for example, Tanya McDowell, who was homeless, was sentenced to multiple years in prison for using the address of her babysitter to send her kindergartner to school in the affluent district of Norwalk, Connecticut.

When I wrote an article earlier this year arguing that white parents need to do more to promote desegregation, my social media mentions filled up with outraged protests, many of them openly anti-Semitic. Rod Dreher at the American Conservative said that by pointing out that white parents are complicit in segregation, I had contributed to the "demonization of “whiteness.” He also suggested that if my son went to a majority minority school he would likely be bullied by black students. Dreher's concerns were echoed on the Nazi podcast “The Daily Shoah,” which also argued that when I advocate for desegregation, I am actually working to destroy white parents and white children.

The virulence of this reaction feels out of proportion. But that's only because white resistance over the last few decades has been so successful that there is little pressure now to desegregate schools. Instead, policy makers argue for "school choice." Poor students of color, the argument goes, can use vouchers from the state to attend private school, or can take courses online, or can enter a lottery to attend charter schools. Advocates like T. Willard Fair believe that many studies "point to increased success for students of color because their families were empowered to find schools that better met the needs of their children."

Data on charter schools is far from clear that they actually raise test scores, however critics are concerned that some schools may simply force out students who do poorly, raising school test averages. And in any case, the many students left behind in the public system face the same problems their predecessors did. U.S. public schools are funded by local property taxes, which means that wealthier neighborhoods have highly trained teachers with up-to-date technology and poor neighborhoods have out-of-date textbooks and crumbling buildings. High-poverty districts spend 15.6 percent less per student than low-poverty districts. Critics argue that vouchers make the situation worse by draining funds from already strapped school systems. Separate remains unequal in districts across the country.

Since most politicians no longer even pretend to tackle desegregation, white people don't need to make a violent fuss to protect the system. "There's still a lot of pushback [against desegregation], but the pushback isn't people out in the streets organizing against busing," says Amanda Lewis, author of “Race in the Schoolyard.”

"Instead we talk about opportunity hoarding. Instead of trying to block other people, I'm trying to make sure my kid gets the best. And in doing that, a lot of people participating in that kind of behavior, you produce unequal outcomes," Lewis said.

Affluent white parents can pay for test prep to get their kids into better charter schools. They can move to the suburbs to get into wealthier districts. They can advocate to get their kids into honors classes. You don't have to stand at the schoolyard door or attack buses anymore. You can just quietly use your money and education to leverage structural inequality in your favor.

This inequality gives affluent white children real advantages. But it also stunts them. My son currently goes to a majority minority public high school in Chicago. Contrary to Rod Dreher's racist fantasies, being at a school where most people aren't white hasn't put him in danger. Instead, he's had opportunities I never had in my all-white high school in northeastern Pennsylvania. He can practice his Spanish by speaking with bilingual classmates. He works with extremely talented young black and Latinx Shakespearean actors. He knows people who don't look like him. That's valuable.

White Americans have largely stopped seeing anti-racism as a major goal of educational policy. Instead, they have chosen to focus on maximizing their own choices and the success of their own children. It's natural for people to want their kids to do well. But how well are you really doing when you are collaborating in a society built on injustice and inequality? Despite the best efforts of activists and scholars, the dream of desegregation in America is dying. Our children are worse off as a result."
race  racism  schools  segregation  resegregation  inequality  education  whiteness  2019  noahberlatsky  history  desegregation  publicschools  privateschools  activism 
10 weeks ago by robertogreco
White progressive parents and the conundrum of privilege - Los Angeles Times
"Greg and Sarah live in a predominantly white neighborhood and send their children to a predominantly white private school. “I don’t want to believe we are hypocrites,” Greg tells me. “But if we say diversity is important to us, but then we didn’t stick around in the place that was diverse, maybe we are?” He looks at Sarah. “I dunno,” he continues, “I guess we made decisions based on other things that were more important. But what does that say about us then?”

For two years I conducted research with 30 affluent white parents and their kids in a Midwestern metropolitan area. Over and over I heard comments like Greg’s reflecting a deep ambivalence: As progressive parents, is their primary responsibility to advance societal values ­— fairness, equal opportunity and social justice — or to give their children all the advantages in life that their resources can provide?

More often than not, values lost out.

Parents I interviewed felt conflicted about using their social status to advocate for their kids to have the “best” math teacher, because they knew other kids would be stuck with the “bad” math teacher. They registered the unfairness in leveraging their exclusive social networks to get their teenagers coveted summer internships when they knew disadvantaged kids were the ones who truly needed such opportunities. They felt guilty when they protectively removed their children from explicitly racist and contentious situations because they understood that kids of color cannot escape racism whenever they please. Still, those were the choices they made.

Parents felt caught in a conundrum of privilege — that there was an unavoidable conflict between being a good parent and being a good citizen. These two principles don’t have to be in tension, of course. Many parents, in fact, expressed a desire to have their ideals and parenting choices align. In spite of that sentiment, when it came to their own children, the common refrain I heard was, “I care about social justice, but — I don’t want my kid to be a guinea pig.”

In other words, things have been working out pretty well for affluent white kids, so why rock the boat? And so parents continue to make decisions — about where to buy a house, which school seems best, or whether robotics club or piano lessons is a better after-school activity — that extend the advantages of wealth. Those choices, however, have other consequences: They shape what children think about race, racism, inequality and privilege far more than anything parents say (or do not say).

Children reach their own conclusions about how society works, or should work, based on their observations of their social environment and interactions with others — a process that African American studies scholar Erin Winkler calls “comprehensive racial learning.” So how their parents set up kids’ lives matters deeply.

Some children in my study, for instance, came to the conclusion that “racism is over” and that “talking about race makes you racist” — the kind of sentiments that sociologists identify as key features of colorblind racism. These were kids who were growing up in an almost exclusively white, suburban social environment outside the city.

The kids who lived in the city but attended predominantly white private schools told me that they were smarter and better than their public schools peers. They also thought they were more likely to be leaders in the future. One boy said proudly, “My school is not for everyone” — a statement that reflected how thoroughly he’d absorbed his position in the world in relation to others.

And yet, other white kids living in the city concluded that racism “is a way bigger problem than people realize. … White people don’t realize it… because they are scared to talk about it.” These young people spoke passionately about topics like the racial wealth gap and discrimination. They observed how authority figures such as teachers and police officers treated kids of color differently. They more easily formed interracial friendships and on occasion worked with their peers to challenge racism in their community. These were children who were put in racially integrated schools and extracurricular activities purposefully by their parents.

Still, even some of those parents’ actions reproduced the very forms of inequality they told me they intellectually rejected. They used connections to get their children into selective summer enrichment programs or threatened to leave the public school system if their children were not placed in honors or AP courses that they knew contributed to patterns of segregation. So even as parents promoted to their kids the importance of valuing equality, they modeled how to use privilege to get what you want. White kids absorbed this too; they expected to be able to move easily through the world and developed strategies for making it so.

If affluent, white parents hope to raise children who reject racial inequality, simply explaining that fairness and social justice are important values won’t do the trick. Instead, parents need to confront how their own decisions and behaviors reproduce patterns of privilege. They must actually advocate for the well-being, education and happiness of all children, not just their own.

Being a good parent should not come at the expense of being — or raising — a good citizen. If progressive white parents are truly committed to the values they profess, they ought to consider how helping one’s own child get ahead in society may not be as big a gift as helping create a more just society for them to live in in the future."
education  parenting  politics  progressive  2018  margarethagerman  schools  schooling  socialjustice  race  racism  privilege  cv  affluence  inequality  privateschools  segregation  civics  society  canon 
10 weeks ago by robertogreco
Inequality - how wealth becomes power (1/2) | (Poverty Richness Documentary) DW Documentary - YouTube
"Germany is one of the world’s richest countries, but inequality is on the rise. The wealthy are pulling ahead, while the poor are falling behind.

For the middle classes, work is no longer a means of advancement. Instead, they are struggling to maintain their position and status. Young people today have less disposable income than previous generations. This documentary explores the question of inequality in Germany, providing both background analysis and statistics. The filmmakers interview leading researchers and experts on the topic. And they accompany Christoph Gröner, one of Germany’s biggest real estate developers, as he goes about his work. "If you have great wealth, you can’t fritter it away through consumption. If you throw money out the window, it comes back in through the front door,” Gröner says. The real estate developer builds multi-family residential units in cities across Germany, sells condominium apartments, and is involved in planning projects that span entire districts. "Entrepreneurs are more powerful than politicians, because we’re more independent,” Gröner concludes. Leading researchers and experts on the topic of inequality also weigh in, including Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, economist Thomas Piketty, and Brooke Harrington, who carried out extensive field research among investors from the ranks of the international financial elite. Branko Milanović, a former lead economist at the World Bank, says that globalization is playing a role in rising inequality. The losers of globalization are the lower-middle class of affluent countries like Germany. "These people are earning the same today as 20 years ago," Milanović notes. "Just like a century ago, humankind is standing at a crossroads. Will affluent countries allow rising equality to tear apart the fabric of society? Or will they resist this trend?”"

[Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYP_wMJsgyg

"Christoph Gröner is one of the richest people in Germany. The son of two teachers, he has worked his way to the top. He believes that many children in Germany grow up without a fair chance and wants to step in. But can this really ease inequality?

Christoph Gröner does everything he can to drum up donations and convince the wealthy auction guests to raise their bids. The more the luxury watch for sale fetches, the more money there will be to pay for a new football field, or some extra tutoring, at a children's home. Christoph Gröner is one of the richest people in Germany - his company is now worth one billion euros, he tells us. For seven months, he let our cameras follow him - into board meetings, onto construction sites, through his daily life, and in his charity work. He knows that someone like him is an absolute exception in Germany. His parents were both teachers, and he still worked his way to the top. He believes that many children in Germany grow up without a fair chance. "What we see here is total failure across the board,” he says. "It starts with parents who just don’t get it and can’t do anything right. And then there’s an education policy that has opened the gates wide to the chaos we are experiencing today." Chistoph Gröner wants to step in where state institutions have failed. But can that really ease inequality?

In Germany, getting ahead depends more on where you come from than in most other industrialized countries, and social mobility is normally quite restricted. Those on top stay on top. The same goes for those at the bottom. A new study shows that Germany’s rich and poor both increasingly stay amongst themselves, without ever intermingling with other social strata. Even the middle class is buckling under the mounting pressure of an unsecure future. "Land of Inequality" searches for answers as to why. We talk to families, an underpaid nurse, as well as leading researchers and analysts such as economic Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, sociologist Jutta Allmendinger or the economist Raj Chetty, who conducted a Stanford investigation into how the middle class is now arming itself to improve their children’s outlooks."]
documentary  germany  capitalism  economics  society  poverty  inequality  christophgröner  thomaspiketty  brookehrrington  josephstiglitz  neoliberalism  latecapitalism  brankomilanović  worldbank  power  influence  policy  politics  education  class  globalization  affluence  schools  schooling  juttaallmendinger  rajchetty  middleclass  parenting  children  access  funding  charity  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  status  work  labor  welfare  2018  geography  cities  urban  urbanism  berlin  immigration  migration  race  racism  essen  socialsegregation  segregation  success  democracy  housing  speculation  paulpiff  achievement  oligarchy  dynasticwealth  ownership  capitalhoarding  injustice  inheritance  charlottebartels  history  myth  prosperity  wageslavery  polarization  insecurity  precarity  socialcontract  revolution  sociology  finance  financialcapitalism  wealthmanagement  assets  financialization  local  markets  privateschools  publicschools  privatization 
january 2019 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Interview: Nikole Hannah-Jones - The Atlantic
"A conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones about race, education, and hypocrisy."



"Goldberg: What do you call “curated diversity.”

Hannah-Jones: I never talk about school inequality in terms of “diversity” because I think it’s a useless word. I think it’s a word that white people love. When I say “curated diversity,” it means white parents like a type of diversity so they’ll still be the majority and there won’t be too many black kids.

White Americans, in general, are willing to accept about the ratio of black Americans at large: 10 to 15 percent.

Goldberg: But you get into the 20s...

Hannah-Jones: When you get into the 20s, white folks start to exaggerate how large the percentage is. So in New York City, one of the most segregated school systems in the country, if you’re a white parent in the public schools, you don’t want all-white schools.

Goldberg: Because you’re a liberal?

Hannah-Jones: Yeah. But what you want is a majority-white school with a small number of black kids and a good number of Latino, a good number of Asian. That makes you feel very good about yourself because you feel like your child is getting this beautiful integrated experience. The problem is that the public schools in New York City are 70 percent black and Latino. So, for you to have your beautiful diversity, that means that most black and Latino kids get absolutely none.

The tolerance for increasing particularly the percentage of black kids is very low, and even lower if those black kids are poor. No white parents in New York City mind having my kid in their school because they feel like I’m on their level. But if you get too many of kids like mine who are black but poor, there’s very little tolerance.

Goldberg: Do most white parents in New York City achieve curated diversity for their children?

Hannah-Jones: Yes.

Goldberg: They’re winning that?

Hannah-Jones: Oh, definitely.

Goldberg: And it’s the black and Latino kids who are not winning because there’s not enough whites in that sense to go around?

Hannah-Jones: There would be. I hear this all the time: “You can’t integrate schools in York City because there’s not enough white kids.” But that's only based on the premise that you can’t expect white kids to be in the minority. The demographics of the New York City public schools are about 40 percent Latino, almost 30 percent black, 15 percent Asian, 15 percent white. If you picture a classroom like that, that's a beautiful school. That’s a beautifully diverse, integrated school. You could have that if you chose. We just don’t choose it, because we automatically say, “You can’t expect that a white parent will put their kid in school with all those black kids.”

Goldberg: If you were the dictator of America, would you outlaw private schools? Would you force all the white kids, and all the upper-middle class and upper-class African-American kids, into the public-school system? You’d have a deep level of parental involvement, right? Are private schools immoral in this context?

Hannah-Jones: Interestingly, right after Brown there was consideration of whether or not Brown had to apply to private schools, or whether we should get rid of private schools in the United States altogether, understanding that the way to subvert Brown is to simply withdraw from public schools. Which is what happened all across the South—rather than share a public good with black folks, state legislatures decided to shut down public schools altogether and pay vouchers for white students to go to private segregation academies. We think it sounds absolutely crazy to consider ending private schools, but that was a consideration.

The answer to your question is yes, you would have to. If you truly wanted to equalize and integrate schools, you would have to. But you can go a step shorter than that.

New York City public schools are majority black and Latino. But you can go to any of the suburbs around, and they’re very heavily white. So in New York and all across the North, you could simply move into an all-white community and go to all-white public schools. And that’s how you avoided desegregation. In the South, most school districts were countywide. So you either paid for private school or you dealt with desegregation. In the North, you didn’t have to do that.

The key difference between the North and the South is for the vast majority of the history of this country, 90 percent of all black people lived in the South. The South responds with Jim Crow, by passing laws that restrict the movement of black people. The North doesn’t have to do that. It has a very tiny black population. It’s only once black people start migrating out of the South in the 1900s that the North shows its true ugly racist head."



"
Hannah-Jones: I am only writing and speaking to liberals at this point. I'm trying to get people who say they believe in equality and integration but act in ways that maintain inequality and segregation to live their own values. The most segregated parts of the country are all in the progressive North. If you could just get white liberals to live their values, you could have a significant amount of integration.

Goldberg: You know what group of people who would be really uncomfortable listening to you talk? The heads of progressive private schools in New York City, Boston, Washington.

Hannah-Jones: But here’s the thing. We’re in a capitalist country and if you can pay for something, then so be it. What I’m dealing with are public schools which are publicly funded for the public good. Every child should walk into a public school and get the same education. Those are the parents that I’m speaking to. What we are finding are parents who say they believe in a common good but they want a public school that operates like a private school—you can screen out the kids you don’t want, you can hoard resources in the school, you can hoard all the best teachers, you can determine what curriculum you’re going to get. And if that means that two miles down the road, another publicly-funded school doesn’t get any of that, then so be it. That, to me, is the height of hypocrisy."
education  nikolehannah-jones  2017  schools  publicschools  policy  integration  desegregation  segregation  resegregation  children  parenting  privateschools  learning  hypocrisy  us  race  racism  diversity 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Why I Begged My Mother to Take Me Out of the Gifted Program | Tue Night
"I understand what they were trying to do. When my teacher nominated me to be sent to a different classroom for part of each day, a class with older and more advanced learners, it was her way of keeping me interested in the learning process. Our school system was 90 percent black and, according to standardized tests, most of us were performing below grade level.

Not me.

At nine years old, my reading aptitude test scores were at the college level. My mother was so happy that she took out an ad in the local paper congratulating me for my grade-school accomplishment. She was proud. I was bored.

For weeks after the test results came in, my teacher would create separate spelling tests and reading lists just for me to try to keep me engaged and challenged. I understand that was probably an extra burden on her. If I was a third grade teacher and one of my students was reading Romeo & Juliet during silent reading time, I might suggest she needed to join a class at a higher grade level for part of the day, too. Unfortunately, even a good idea can take a negative turn.

In the beginning, I was excited about leaving my classroom for an hour a day. I thought it made me special or, at the very least, proved that I was smart. (Truthfully, most of my classmates were as smart as I was—I was just really good at memorization and taking tests.) It also helped that adults I loved and trusted had always told me I was smart. We were a school full of black children, and it wasn’t uncommon to hear our white teachers refer to us as “they,” “them,” “those kids,” or whisper to one another about our many shortcomings. I remember a time in class when a teacher told a black boy he’d never learn to read well if he insisted on speaking like a “thug.” Then she smiled toward me and said, “Don’t you want to sound smart like Ashley?”

I was taken aback. Not only did I hate being compared to the other kids (it didn’t exactly make me popular with them), but I also hadn’t realized I spoke differently from my classmates. From that day forward, they never let me forget it. Who could blame them?

By the time I got to fourth grade, I was no longer being sent to a different classroom for part of the day. No, my teachers felt that I was so brilliant I needed to be bused to an entirely different school two full days every week. The new school could not have been more different. The facilities were nicer, the test scores were higher, and my little brown face was one of a handful—maybe less.

At my “home” school, 75 percent of students received a free or reduced-rate lunch. We would laugh about our poverty, calling it “Government Lunch” and swapping dishes. The lunch ladies swiftly checked off our names on their list without a second glance and kept the line moving. At the new school, I explained that I didn’t pay for lunch and the cafeteria worker had to talk to three different people to figure out what the procedure was for such a thing. When I finally got my tray and sat with the rest of the kids from my class, I joked, “I guess you guys never had a poor kid here before.” They stared at each other, then at me, then back at each other. The silence nearly swallowed me up.

The days I spent at my “home” school varied greatly. Some days I was picked on mercilessly (usually because a teacher pointed me out as what everyone else should try to become). Other days, I felt so deeply understood by my peers, the thought of going back to the other school where they didn’t know anything about my culture was unbearable. And it wasn’t just about differences in the music we liked. I loved Matchbox 20 too! It was deeper than that. It was spending all night coloring a project with stubby crayons and nearly dry markers, just to have another kid bring in pages of pictures his dad printed out for him on a color printer. It was feigning sick the day of the Halloween party because I knew the other kids would show up in purchased costumes, something I’d never been able to do in my entire life. It was the mean lunch lady and the damn red binder she hauled out every time I said, “Free lunch.” At my “other” school , I was always the other. Always the black one. Always the poor one. The challenge in this new learning arena wasn’t academic but social. We could talk about Egypt all day long, but when I asked if Cleopatra was black, my new teacher pretended she didn’t hear me.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wanted out of my new school, but getting out was harder than I thought. All of my teachers were convinced that I was just intimidated by the work, not weary of the environment. So I played into their narrative and did something I’d never done before: I flunked. I bombed every test and failed to turn in every homework assignment until they sent me back to my home school full-time. Suddenly, my grades improved. Everything improved. I was happier, I was learning, and I was free to be where I wanted to be. I worked with my teachers to come up with a curriculum that challenged me, and I made it easy for them. My worst fear was that I would get bused again to a “better” school.

Right before I started middle school, an elite private school in town called my mother to see if I’d be interested in taking a test to see if I qualified for a full scholarship. I knew about this school. All grades, all facilities, and all white. After the call, my mother asked me what I thought. “It could be a great opportunity, Ash. Everybody graduates, and almost 100 percent of them go to college.”

I thought about the teachers at my original school who worked so hard to keep my brain challenged, my friends who were as smart (or smarter) than I was, and the lunch ladies who never made me feel like I was less worthy of food than anybody else. I thought about the time I’d spent at the other school, and how it felt like every moment there had been time stolen from me. In separating me from my classmates, I was being separated from my culture. And why? Because I could read big words? I could read big words anywhere, including right beside people who looked and lived just like me.

I looked at my mom, smiled and said, “I’m happy where I am.”"
ashleyford  education  schools  race  class  gifted  2015  freedom  belonging  identity  inclusion  inclusivity  comparison  howweteach  independentschools  privateschools  segregation  teaching  children  comfort  environment  inlcusivity 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Teen Culture Is the Culture of Oppression and It Is the Best
"Hello. This is a Think Piece (™ ) on the phenomenology of teens.

Teen culture is the only culture that matters because it is the culture of meaningless oppression. Teens cannot go to bathroom without a hall pass. Their bodies and bladders are controlled by adults.

Teens live under the tyranny of early-ass first period classes, parents, homework, and not knowing if they will ever need geometry in the “real world.” The anger and bewilderment that comes from from this tyranny is the most pure of all human feelings.

Teens love to dry hump and choke themselves. Teens can get high off any household object.

Teens are the only true nihilists left.

Teens can use guns and have sex but their brains aren’t even fully formed. This is an amazing fact.

Teens only learned how to use their crotches like three weeks ago. That makes them dangerous and sexy.

Teens only think about fingerbanging. They re-claim public spaces, like rollercoasters, food courts, and parking lots, so they can fingerbang each other. Whenever a teen enters a new space they think: “Could I fingerbang someone here?”

Fingerbanging is the most intimate act of love between teens.

Teens don’t listen to podcasts or watch Breaking Bad because they are too busy planning their fingerbang flash mob.

Teen pregnancy pacts, teen ISIS, teen truthers are proof of teens radical nihilistic impulses.

The brands try to talk like the teens. The brands fail.

Teens only care about the immediate culture. They are not stuck in dead-time nostalgia. They have never heard of Missy Elliot. They do not care. That is OK. Teens plow their carts over the bones of the dead.

Teens who smoke are cool. There is simply no denying this fact.

Private schools teens are not cool because they are not oppressed. If you went to a school with couches, or free-time, or where you were allowed to call your teacher by their first name, you are not a real teen. You are not cool.

The only time private school teens are cool is when they are insanely rich and are militant about self-destruction.

Exception is made for teens who go to religious schools: you teens are fucked up because of Jesus and that is cool.

One time I was invited by a teen into her bedroom. She lived in Tennessee. The teen told me that her best friend wanted to be a stripper. I asked her if it was hard being popular at her school. She tossed her hair and said, “You can’t even.” This response was cryptic but rang with primitive truth that I can only understand in my sleep. Later, the Teen asked me if I would like to “meet up with some guys from Memphis and smoke weed by the creek.”

Teens do not know that nobody will ask them for their SAT score after they graduate but they SUSPECT.

Teen sex is the most pure because 1) it is filled with terror 2) teens aren’t kinky because they aren’t old enough to be neurotic 3) everyone already has HPV. Teen crotches are weaponized.

Teen headlines are the best headlines:

[images]

Teens live in existentialist turmoil because they can’t readily get abortions, rent cars, or be allowed to go to bathroom without raising their hands.

Teen life is an emotional kitsch porno-melodrama. The stakes are always high for a teen.

Teens create secret languages so they plan their fingerbang dates. That is cool.

I’m afraid of having children because I am afraid of the power my teen will have over me.

TEENS DON’T GIVE A MAD FUCK ABOUT JONATHAN FRANZEN!!!!!!!!!

Before you were a foodie, a Democrat, a sellout—you were a teen."
teens  teenculture  youth  adolescence  humor  natashavargas-cooper  2015  sexuality  behavior  oppression  headlines  privateschools  coolness 
june 2015 by robertogreco
School For Tomorrow
"To effectively and efficiently prepare every student to thrive in college, the workplace, and life in the decades ahead."



"Research and educa­tional philos­ophy over the last half-​​century inform our under­standing of psychology, neural devel­op­ment, and the learning process. We use the most up-​​to-​​date research and best prac­tices from the field of educa­tion and beyond to ensure that our students master every­thing they need to succeed throughout their lives.

How we do it
Our Curriculum is:

• Integrated
We intertwine content, academic skills, and socio-emotional skills into each course, unit and lesson.

• Transdisciplinary
We integrate the natural and social sciences with the humanities to create a fuller, deeper understanding of the world.

• Targeted
We ensure that our course material and assessment methods are clearly linked to the academic and socio-emotional benchmarks of our SFT Outcome Curriculum Guide.

Our Classrooms are filled with:

Role Model Faculty

• Teachers model our core academic and soci0-emotional skills in their interactions with students, colleagues, and parents.

• Customization
Students co-create plans that include goals and pacing that makes sense for them and allows for meaningful tracking of accomplishments.

• Innovative ways to teach and learn
Classes use projects connected to real world problems to engage students in critical and creative thinking and innovative problem solving.

• Mentoring
Each student is assigned a faculty member who serves as his or her advisor and advocate. The teacher is the main conduit of information between the school and the parent and is the “expert” on the student’s growth.

All of this takes place within the context of:

• A Respectful and Caring School Community
We foster a culture that reflects the values and the skills we desire to impart to our students. We value each of our faculty members, parents, and students as human beings, and while we may not always agree, we treat each other with respect.

• Interaction with the Surrounding Community
We do not want to engender an “SFT bubble,” instead we want to share our knowledge, gifts, and talents with the world around us. As such, we incorporate community service and outreach into our learning and into our daily lives.

This yields a school that develops:

• Academic Skills and Abilities
Problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, conceptual linkages, writing, speaking, organization, numerical literacy

• Socio-emotional Skills and Abilities
Compassion, Confidence, Empathy, Growth mindset, Openmindedness, Kindness, Resilience, Respect for self and others, Social conscience

And, ultimately, allows us to fulfill our mission:

To efficiently and effectively prepare every student to thrive in college, the workplace, and life in the decades ahead."



"Inno­v­a­tive educa­tors concerned with improving student learning and achieve­ment are seeking ways to create rigorous, rele­vant, and engaging curriculum. One highly successful method is inte­grated curriculum. In its simplest concep­tion, inte­grated curriculum is about making connec­tions. SFT uses the trans­dis­ci­pli­nary approach of inte­grated curriculum.

The trans­dis­ci­pli­nary approach has many bene­fits and advan­tages over single-​​discipline learning. Among other things, it:

• Increases students’ moti­va­tion and engage­ment by providing impor­tant context, meaning, and value to their learning;
• Advances crit­ical thinking and cogni­tive development;
• Helps students to uncover precon­cep­tions or recog­nize bias;
• Helps students tolerate and embrace ambiguity;
• Teaches students to apply knowl­edge or skills learned in one context to other contexts in and out of school; and
• Makes the learning process more efficient.

All SFT students take TDP, a discussion-based transdisciplinary seminar with a focus on writing and presentational skills. This two hour course is the cornerstone of our curriculum. While each TDP is loosely focused on a particular topic, all TDPs integrate essential skills and content from, first, English Literature and Language and Social Sciences, and second, from Mathematics, Arts, and Natural Sciences.

Students round out their schedule with our rigorous, lab-based three-year Integrated Science (combination of chemistry, biology, physics, and earth/space science) sequence, individualized instruction in math to include Algebra II and Statistics (with encouragement to continue), foreign language, in-depth academic electives from any discipline, arts electives, and movement electives."
schools  education  schoolfortomorrow  reston  virginia  rockville  maryland  dc  washingtondc  privateschools  curriculum  mentoring  lcproject  openstudioproject  socialemotional  community  socialemotionallearning 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Leon Botstein for Democracy Journal: Are We Still Making Citizens?
[via: http://willrichardson.com/post/115896934920/on-secret-keeping-and-forgetting ]

"Democracy requires a commitment to the public good. But for a long time now, our citizens have been taught to see themselves as only private actors."



"What the European émigrés discovered was a reality that partially resembled these principles. They saw from the outside, as it were, how vital the connection is between how we structure our schools and our capacity to maintain a functioning pluralist democracy. John Dewey, America’s greatest thinker on education since Mann, guided the ideology of public education. For Dewey, the justification for the proper pedagogy was not primarily political; his conception of teaching and learning derived largely from an epistemological conceit within Pragmatism. But for the European émigrés, the contrast between the school systems from which they came and the school system in the country in which they arrived—the virtue and attraction of American educational practice—was significant in terms of its political consequences.

In those years, the defining factor in the American system was the idea of a single, unitary public school system in which everybody enrolled. All citizens went to the same sort of schools through to the end of secondary school. Private schools were an elite phenomenon and relatively insignificant. Most European public systems, by contrast, were intentionally segregated by ability, creating distinct groups beginning at age 11. The state, using examinations, divided the school population into varying categories, each of which maintained a different track. The majority of citizens never completed school beyond elementary school. Some percentage went on to vocational schooling. A very small segment of the population went, as adolescents, either to a humanistic academic high school (Gymnasium) or to a less prestigious practical and science-oriented high school (Realschule) and received a secondary-school diploma. A Matura or Abitur, the diploma from these two types of secondary schools, permitted an elite student to enroll in the university.

Consequently, the unitary public school system that kept all children together until college and that built citizens of character, devoted to democratic values, was viewed by the émigré generation as a marvel. American education appeared to fit the idea that the nation and democracy were tied to a homogeneity of rights, and that diverse constituencies could not only obtain equal legal status but through education achieve the means to realize it in economic and social terms. Citizenship via a nominally nondiscriminatory and standard process accessible to all irrespective of birth, religion, ethnicity, or even language was unheard of in Europe, but it—and the concrete advantages education added—seemed possible in America.

Higher education was no less eye-opening. Undergraduates delayed specialization and studied more than one subject. They were, from the start, asked to do far more writing that called for the expression of their own arguments and judgments. What was equally shocking to a European was the way in which the American university system seemed immensely flexible and open to new ideas. There was not a rigid hierarchy with one professor running each “faculty.” Young scholars did not have to wait for their elders to retire or die. The university was able to create new fields and new positions. Not only was there less hierarchy and formality, but in graduate education there was even less deference to authority than in the public school system. The dissenter, rebel, and ambitious entrepreneur were prized more than in Europe. In terms of graduate education and academic career advancement, American university practice still stands in contrast to that of Europe.

That was the good news. The bad news was that the academic standards by which the American common school system operated seemed horrifically low. The price paid by the democratic culture of the American school system, the émigré observers concluded, was the low level of shared culture achieved at the end of secondary public education. Freshmen could not read or write properly, and they possessed little understanding of literature, art, philosophy, or history. The thinly veiled (at best) snobbery of the mid-century émigré scholars simply exploded when their members (such as Werner Jaeger, Leo Strauss, and Kurt Wolff) came to teach American college students."



"I distrust private languages and the tendency to rely on one’s personal narrative as the basis for talking about politics and, in particular, education, understood as a political good. The personal narrative is always contingent on those outside of it. What a child has to learn in school is not only to formulate a personal narrative but also to set it aside; children need to listen, to observe others, and thereby to distinguish their personal narrative from those of others as each individual constructs a role as a citizen. However, the two imperatives—personal growth and citizenship—don’t appear naturally to overlap. A child needs to learn things that allow him or her to function in a democratic context, to learn to consciously ignore personal self-interest and contemplate the public good. What a common public school ought to teach, therefore, is the capacity for disagreement, contest, and compromise. But if I think public goods are irrelevant, that we can do without government, I automatically subscribe to a kind of illusion of individualism against which criticism is hard, since the point of having a discussion or debate—the creation of the public space of a shared participatory politics—is rejected."



"The project of public education is fundamental to the notion of public goods in America. The restoration of public education seems a precondition for making the public sphere operate properly. Education must be about something more than personal happiness and benefit, economically defined; it has to map out the idea that there is more to the public good than the belief that through some free-market-style calculus of aggregate self-interests, the greatest good for the greatest number will emerge. In other words, public education is about educating the future citizen to consider a common ground in politics that can and will secure a more rewarding notion of personal security and tranquility for all.

But in the context of today’s disenchantment with the public sphere, what can a school-trained citizen do? Merely compete in the marketplace? Work for Google? What actually defines the public sphere today is not the government and Congress, but Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Conspiracy theorists when I was young pointed to the presence of socialists and communists who were said to undermine our system of values. Fear seemed reasonable in the Cold War and under the threat of nuclear war. The line between fear and paranoia was thin indeed. Fear was plausible.

But the people who frighten me and undermine the public sphere today are not terrorists and ideologues interested in overthrowing the government; they are not even those who work for the U.S. government within the NSA or the CIA. Rather, I’m afraid of the very large corporate giants that control our access to information, regulate our private lives by providing social networks—a platform for deceptive intimacy—and monitor every move we make in life and preserve a record of every message, thereby rendering secret-keeping and forgetting—two essential human experiences—impossible."



"So where does this bring us with regard to education? As a practitioner of education, I still hold to the idea that the most difficult and yet most vital thing to do is to construct and sustain a language of public conversation. And that language of public conversation will inevitably be different from our several private languages. We cannot expect it to be the same. The conversation on matters that affect us all has to take place in real space and time. School is one source of that essential opportunity.

One of the depressing aspects of our politics today is the extent to which our candidates think it is enough to be a personality and to rely on a private language in order to get elected. We are more interested in the personalities of our politicians, as if they were our neighbors or private friends, than we are in what they think. Today’s politicians cannot speak a comprehensible language of ideas in public conversation about public goods, the matters at stake in politics. We have lost the taste for a sustained debate about ideas.

To confront this lack of public discourse based on ideas—ideas bolstered by claims and evidence subject to open scrutiny—public education needs to work. It needs to create a community of very diverse citizens who are able to occupy a public space in which they can negotiate matters of shared concern, from foreign affairs to domestic policy, using a shared language. The Internet does not offer such a platform, nor does the virtual space or Facebook or any other social media.

I therefore think that we need to redouble the defense of a single system of public education to which our citizens have free access. We need to resist the privatization of schooling. That does not mean that every school should look alike. But since we will continue to be (I hope) an immigrant nation, we will have to champion a public school system if we are to reconcile increasing differences, inequalities of wealth, and class distinctions into a functioning, dynamic democracy made up of citizens.

I share the émigré generation’s quite romantic optimism for the potential of a democratic school system, one marked by excellence and equity. I think such a system is worth fighting for. There are lots of reasons to be optimistic. There is evidence that we can improve schools. A welcome first step would be to instill in the best of our current college students and future … [more]
leonbostein  democracy  publicschools  civics  citizenship  2015  individualism  collectivism  publicgood  education  society  us  privatization  government  disagreement  debate  participation  capitalism  hannaharendt  hansweil  christianmackauer  progressive  progressivism  freedom  interdependence  independence  politics  learning  johndewey  egalitarianism  americandream  equality  inequality  generalists  specialization  hierarchy  informality  formality  horizontality  standards  standardization  competition  universities  colleges  highered  highereducation  criticalthinking  accessibility  europe  history  leostrauss  kurtwolff  wernerjaeger  jacobklein  robertmaynardhutchins  stringfellowbarr  heinrichblücher  elitism  privateschools  content  process  methodology  pedagogy  howweteach  howwelearn  purpose  sputnik  truth  canon  discourse  isolation  technology  internet  schooling  schooliness  science  wikipedia  communication  language  eliascanetti  teaching  information  research 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Tax private schools.
"My colleague Allison Benedikt has a worthy rant attempting to use moral suasion to persuade people not to send their children to private school. She's absolutely right. She also very reasonably says that private school should not be made illegal. Freedom, after all, counts for something.

That said for the public policy literalist in your life, I would say that the relevant issue here is taxes. Private elementary and high schools are, like many other classes of nonprofit institution in the United States, subject to some very favorable tax treatment. One part of this is that donations to private schools can be deducted from your income tax bill. For normal people, the charitable tax deduction isn't a particularly large subsidy. But for the kind of people who send their children to private schools and who pay very high marginal income tax rates, this can be extremely valuable. Second, non-profit institutions are generally exempted from property taxes which, again, can be a big deal in expensive cities.

I'm a little bit skeptical about both of these practices in general. But as applied to private schools it seems totally and obviously outrageous. A private high school may be a non-profit organization, but it's certainly not a charity. It's a private club for the benefit of the families involved. At best private school is a private consumption good like buying your kids expensive clothes or fancy toys. There's no reason municipal tax codes should encourage land to be used for private schools rather than houses or regular businesses and there's no reason the income tax code should encourage rich parents to spend money on private school tuition rather than anything else. John Cook's view that private school should be illegal goes too far, but I'm skeptical that hectoring alone is enough to solve this problem. Make prep schools start paying property taxes, and deny their donors lavish tax subsidies for their donations and I think we'll start to see some real change."

[See also: “There's a Simple Solution to the Public Schools Crisis”
http://gawker.com/5943005/theres-a-simple-solution-to-the-public-schools-crisis
privateschools  education  schools  charitableindustrialcomplex  allisonbenedikt  matthewyglesias  economics  taxes  nonprofit  policy  johncook  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Guardian view on private schools: time for them to give back in return for their tax breaks | Editorial | Comment is free | The Guardian
"Tristram Hunt is right to ask private schools to share their expertise with the state sector"



"Mr Hunt’s recognition of the social injustice embodied by educational privilege is welcome, and he clearly intends his proposals to reflect differences in resources within the private sector – between, say, a public school such as Eton and a small Christian primary. Not every independent school could run an inner-city academy. Some already do. But more of them could certainly do more than, say, invite local schools to the A-level art exhibition. Fee-paying parents who protest that that’s not what they’re paying for face paying a bit more to make up for the loss of business rate relief. Labour should brush aside claims that it’s anti-aspiration, or launching a new class war. Tackling entrenched privilege is nothing to do with the politics of envy. This move could be a small step towards a fairer society."
uk  education  privateschools  taxes  inequality  policy  publicschools  socialjustice  privilege 
january 2015 by robertogreco
We should tax private schools as businesses, not beg to borrow their cricket pitches | Ian Jack | Comment is free | The Guardian
"Should state-school teachers and students feel gratitude to the rich for having to share their resources under Tristram Hunt’s plans? It will only reinforce our inequalities"



"And what would it make you feel as a state-school pupil or teacher? Gratitude, that the rich should have let you borrow a cricket pitch, or sent their Classics assistant to instruct the most academically gifted on the pitfalls of the Cambridge interview? This is surely an insidious way of reinforcing inferiority – of telling the pupil and the teacher that they do things much better in the Victorian gothic building that you glimpse through the parkland on the outskirts of town, where parental black-glassed Range Rovers gather every prize-giving; and that this institution has graciously stretched down in your direction with its helping hand.

Seventy or 80 years ago, a writer such as Priestley or Rattigan might have made a play out of it – “Bob Entwhistle, you may be the son of a mill-hand but here at St Blog’s we can develop your gift for Virgil” – but by the time I went to a state secondary in the 1950s and 60s, such social condescension was risible. True, this was in Scotland and, true, the school was selective – a grammar school, in England’s terminology. But the same held true for the rest of Britain then. We would have laughed at the idea that private schools were in any way superior – in teaching, in school life outside the classroom or in their skill in winning places at university. In fact, we thought the opposite: that private schools, with a few exceptions such as Glasgow Academy, were where parents with money tried to save their children from the academic failure that would otherwise be coming their way. How forlorn those short-trousered little sons of the doctor looked as they trod towards the Edinburgh train, cut off from the rest of us by their schooling. They were an anachronism.

The reputation of state education has declined since, of course, though (before anyone blames it on comprehensives) much more in England than Scotland, where private schools are proportionately fewer and have much less social and political influence. In England, Hunt’s measures are intended to diminish that influence, but look just as likely to increase it by promoting private schools as exemplars of educational practice without giving state schools the funds that would decrease their class sizes to private-school level.

Labour has always been nervous about private schools. The outright abolition demanded by a section of its support has never been feasible – legally, morally, and because it would expose too many of its leaders to the charge of hypocrisy. The easier route to a little more educational equality was to deprive them of their charitable status by arguing that they didn’t provide enough public benefit; they are, after all, run as businesses – they charge cash for a service. Properly taxed as businesses, they would have to raise their fees, which might make them less desirable to the cash-strapped middle classes, who would therefore be more supportive of the state sector. However, in 2011 a court case brought by the Independent Schools Council found against Labour’s argument under the existing law."
education  politics  tax  schools  privateschools  2014  inequality  publicschools 
january 2015 by robertogreco
School Head’s Brilliant, Sarcastic Insights on Voucher Policies and Independent Schools | Private Schooling & the Public Interest
"I’ve been struck lately by what appears to be a general unawareness regarding public education policy issues among private independent school faculty and leaders (not all, but certainly many). I wrote recently about John Chubb of NAIS and his convening of public education policy scholars (& “thinkers?”) to provide insights for private independent school leaders.

Notably, the vast majority of like-minded scholars convened by Chubb are ardent supports of publicly financed vouchers and are more than willing to project their research inferences on vouchers used largely for urban catholic schools, onto all private schools – as willing as they are to rely on Catholic school tuition rates from the late 1990s to characterize private school per pupil costs for eternity."



"There exists a common bait and switch involved in voucher rhetoric, where the idea of the voucher, or tuition tax credit is presented as providing the option for the kid from the tough urban neighborhood to attend a “better” option,… like Exeter or Choate, or even Calhoun for example. Then the voucher is actually allocated at a level ranging from about $3,500 to a maximum around $8,000. Further, the voucher is provided in a marketplace that includes few or no elite private independent schools, or at least few or not private independent schools willing to take any substantial number of kids for the specified voucher rate.

But for all the technocratic geeky explanations on this point I’ve provided over the years – many of which have fallen on deaf ears – this recent Huffpo piece by the Head of School of the Calhoun School in NYC nails many of the same points and in much more entertaining fashion. Here are a few excerpts from Steven Nelson’s look ahead at 2014 in Education Reform:

February….
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that several hundred voucher-bearing children from the Katrina-devastated Lower Ninth District express confusion when applying to a prestigious private school and discovering that the voucher covers only 20 percent of the tuition. They also learn that the kindergarten class has only 25 places, 24 of which will be filled by siblings of current students or children of alumnae parents. Five-year-old Ruby Jindal is accepted into the elite school’s class of 2026, filling the one available slot.

March…
Having been rebuffed at every other independent school, several hundred voucher students from New Orleans Lower Ninth District enroll at “Billy Bob’s Bible Barn,” a new K-5 school promising each student a new tablet with all 10 Commandments pre-loaded. New York’s prestigious Collegiate School announces that all 185 seniors are headed to Yale in the fall.

And there’s much more on a range of education reform topics addressed in Nelson’s post. It’s a good read.

My point in sharing Nelson’s comments is to reveal that reasonably informed persons who have spent some (really, any) time pondering the role of elite private independent schools in the broader debate over education policy understand what these schools try to provide to their affluent consumers and why these schools are largely immune to the pressures of “education reform.”But immunity need not mean obliviousness.

They don’t need to play in that sandbox. And thus many don’t and likely never will. But I would hope that more of those involved would become aware of what’s going on in that sandbox, and be more willing to explain where they stand when it comes to choices for their own schools and the children they serve.

If private schools are so fond (as am I) of their Harkness tables to encourage active discussions among classes of 12 to 14 students, why isn’t that good for kids in Newark, Chicago or Philadelphia? Can low income “urban” kids not handle this as well as the affluent? Are they not as worthy? That seems a stretch.

If, as I’ve noticed, many private independent schools continue to shift toward physics first (which, as a former science teacher, I really appreciate) high school science curriculum, including migrating away from AP courses and adopting a rich array of upper level electives (small, lab courses), isn’t this good for kids in Newark, Chicago or Philly too? Or are common core standards, computerized assessments, classes of 30+ and high school exit exams simply better for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds?

Can only affluent kids play squash, compete in fencing, wrestling and ice hockey or play string instruments?

Private school leaders know that a few thousand bucks worth of voucher isn’t going to coerce them to take on large numbers of low income kids. It’s just not financially feasible. They know that there will be schools providing much lower quality of service which may try to fill this niche, and they know that providing any decent education on 20 to 30% of their own operating costs would be pretty darn difficult, especially for needy children, and especially for more than a few.

I suspect that even though NAIS schools spend on average nearly double public districts in their metro area, they still feel financially pinched – that even they can’t do all they want to do.

These are well understood realities among those involved in elite private independent schools. Realities regarding which the general public has been misled for years and in my view, by those leading the public education policy debate.

In my view, it is incumbent on private school leaders to provide the very sort of clarity that Steve Nelson has provided in his Huffpo piece.

Well done Steve."

[References: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-nelson/a-look-ahead_b_4527969.html ]
nais  privateschools  elitism  publicschools  policy  education  schools  couchers  2014  stevenelson  brucebaker  funding  money  harkness  harknessmethod  harknesstables 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Public to Private: Could "Conversion" Become a Trend in Vermont Schools? | Seven Days
"An estimated $34.6 million in public funds went to independent academic institutions last year. When North Bennington opted to close its school, it became one of 91 towns in Vermont that let families decide where to send their children to school — and financed their choices with taxpayer dollars. Roughly 11 percent of Vermont’s K-12 students attend independent schools; that number, provided by VISA, includes children whose parents elect to pay tuition as well as those whose tuition bills are covered by towns that don’t operate schools.

Most funded students attending independent schools are in middle or high school; few towns “tuition out” elementary school kids. Around 2,500 students attend Vermont’s four town academies, which are private institutions that act like the de facto public schools in their communities. Some date back more than 100 years, and none turn away students who hail from the towns they serve. State officials are quick to say that their concerns about the North Bennington scenario don’t extend to these academic institutions."
education  schools  privatization  vermont  privateschools  publicschools  2014  independentschools  funding 
january 2014 by robertogreco
When Minority Students Attend Elite Private Schools - Judith Ohikuare - The Atlantic
"Many parents of color send their children to exclusive, predominantly-white schools in an attempt to give their kids a "ticket to upward mobility." But these well-resourced institutions can fall short at nurturing minority students emotionally and intellectually."
judithohikuare  education  schools  independentschools  nais  dalton  packercollegiate  chapinschool  2013  film  documentary  americanpromise  idrisbrewster  seunsummers  michèlestephenson  joebrewster  diversity  race  parenting  privateschools 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Is significant school reform needed or not?: an open letter to Diane Ravitch (and like-minded educators) | Granted, and...
"A perhaps unseen lesson as to why SES correlates so well with achievement. Diane, these problems are of long standing (and you know this as a historian of education). Indeed, these weaknesses also exist in private and charter schools. Some of the most boring and fear-inducing teaching I have ever seen is in prep schools where only innate ability, student willingness to delay gratification and trust adults keeps it going. So, our problems cannot be caused solely by poverty and nasty manipulators of public schooling for personal gain or politics.

Indeed, in my view the only way to make sense of the long-established connection between student SES and school achievement scores is to conclude that most schools are not very effective. That explains much of the data in education, to my eye.

I love teaching, and I greatly admire teachers. I have spent the last 30+ years with them and in schools. Yet, we must face the truth, the “brutal facts,” as Collins termed it: many teachers are just not currently capable of engaging and deeply educating the kids in front of them, especially in the upper grades. Why can’t we admit this? I can admit it happily, because I think good teachers are tired of being brought down by weak teachers and policies that support them. And I’m in this for the kids, not the adults. Kids simply deserve better and no one lobbies primarily for their interests."
grantwiggins  dianeravitch  education  charterschools  criticism  2013  policy  provety  teacherquality  privateschools  teaching  learning  highschool  middleschool  johnhattie  schoolreform  reform  publicschools 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Are Private Schools Worth It? - Julia Ryan - The Atlantic
[A bit problematic (the part quoted below and reliance on test scores to distinguish good from bad), but worth noting]

"Most of the schools in your study are religious schools. What about private schools that serve purely academic purposes? Are they also underperforming?

STL: Actually, that was not a category in any of the data that we worked with. There’s this category of “other private” that doesn’t fit into Lutheran, Catholic, conservative Christian, et cetera, but that’s really a catch all-category. A very small sample. So we weren’t able to study that.

CAL: And from a policy perspective, that’s less useful because when you look at for example, voucher programs. The largest sector of schools that are accepting vouchers are Catholic, even though Catholic schools have declined a bit in terms of their market share. They are still the biggest player in the private-school sector."
privateschools  education  schools  juliaryan  2013  autonomy  religion  christopheralubienski  sarahtheulelubienski 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Why Private Schools Are Dying Out - Chester E. Finn Jr. - The Atlantic
"A few elite institutions at both the grade-school and college levels are doing better than ever. But their health conceals the collapse of private-sector options in the U.S."



"Three factors keep all these changes from being more visible and talked about.

First, of course, they're gradual, and thus (proverbially) difficult to perceive. Second, it's not in the interest of private schools or colleges to acknowledge that they have a problem -- lest it create the educational equivalent of a run on the bank, with clients fleeing for fear of being abandoned after a sudden collapse. Much of the allure of private schools, after all, is based on their reputations, which they work hard to sustain. Hence they maintain a brave front while quietly shrinking, discounting -- and recruiting full-pay students from wealthy families in other lands, particularly in Asia.

Third, elite private institutions are doing just fine, many besieged by more applicants than ever before. The wealthiest Americans can easily afford them and are ever more determined to secure for their children the advantages that come with attending them. And at the K-12 level, a disproportionate fraction of those wealthy people live in major cities where the public school options are unappealing. So we're not going to see an enrollment crisis anytime soon at Brown, Amherst, or Duke, nor at Andover, Sidwell Friends, or Trinity. Indeed, New York's new Avenues School is able to fill its classes with families willing and able to pay its staggering $43,000 per annum.

Because these elite schools and colleges are also highly visible -- and where the "chattering classes" want (and can afford) to enroll their own daughters and sons -- they create a façade of private-sector vitality. Behind it, however, like the Wizard of Oz's curtain and Potemkin's building facades, there is much weakness, a weakness that probably afflicts the vast majority of today's private schools and colleges."
privateschools  education  demographics  valueadded  trends  children  schools  schooling  charterschools 
may 2013 by robertogreco
What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - Anu Partanen - National - The Atlantic
"Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. "Oh," he mentioned at one point, "and there are no private schools in Finland."

This notion may seem difficult for an American to digest, but it's true. Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D.

The irony of Sahlberg's making this comment during a talk at the Dwight School seemed obvious. Like many of America's best schools, Dwight is a private institution that costs high-school students upward of $35,000 a year to attend -- not to mention that Dwight, in particular, is run for profit, an increasing trend in the U.S. Yet no one in the room commented on Sahlberg's statement. I found this surprising. Sahlberg himself did not."
innovation  norway  homogeneity  policy  politics  equity  society  inequality  diversity  equality  democracy  learning  pisa  standardizedtesting  2011  schooling  schools  privatization  pasisahlberg  privateschools  us  education  finland  anupartanen 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Educación en deuda | Blog - Paula
"Crecimos escuchando que si estudiábamos más, tendríamos asegurado un mejor futuro: más ingresos, más prestigias, más satisfacción. Y nunca antes en la historia tantos chilenos habían alcanzado los niveles educacionales de hoy. Pero los jóvenes que constituyen la primera generación de sus familias en la Educación Superior se enfrentan, con frecuencia, a una realidad amargamente decepcionante: su título no les asegura un alto nivel de ingresos y la deuda que han contraído para pagar sus estudios contrapesa cualquier margen de movilidad social como lo haría una roca amarrada a los pies de un hombre tratando infructuosamente de nadar. Este es un reportaje para entender el descontento."
chile  education  class  2011  debt  loans  socialmobility  classmobility  highereducation  highered  society  privateschools 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Bill Williams' Blog: The Mailmen
"In the past few years I’ve seen the high end & low end of education in NYC. I’ve taught in private school…& public school…

What the schools share in common is their steadfast adherence to the status quo. Kids at both schools are like the mail…already pre-sorted & classed…teacher’s job…is to ensure the mail gets to its proper destination. The First Class/Special Delivery to be sped to destinations in Cambridge, MA, New Haven, CT, or Palo Alto, CA. Kids from public school are bulk mail, delivered to every doorstep in their neighborhood…

Great teaching gets done in places where people make or are given the room to be remarkable. Schools or classrooms that seek not to define who students are & what they should know, but ask who they can be and what they might create. A few teachers risk being poets who write beautiful letters. The rest, alas, keep heads safely attached and deliver the mail. Going home promptly at end of the school day to lock in a deep embrace w/ mediocrity."
teaching  education  statusquo  cv  organizations  bureaucracy  class  society  socialmobility  socialimmobility  nyc  billwilliams  self  self-awareness  privateschools  publicschools  tcsnmy  mediocrity  compliance  hierarchy  stoprockingtheboat  rockingtheboat  passivecompliance  passivity  success  cynicism  grades  grading  sorting  people  us  2011 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Evangelische Schule Berlin Zentrum [Evangelical School Berlin Center]
"The Evangelical School Berlin Center was founded with the goal of a reform school with a radical change in the culture of learning. As an evangelical school is the Christian faith standard for learning and action . As a private school, we wish to be crucial in view of sustainable development. We hope you find our site, what do you want our school know about and look forward to your comments."

[Basti knows head of school Margret Rasfeld:  http://www.ev-schule-zentrum.de/683.0.html ]
margretrasfeld  via:cervus  teaching  learning  schools  berlin  germany  education  progressive  alternative  privateschools 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Reading at Some Private Schools Is Delayed - NYTimes.com
"When Drake Roth was 18 months old, he would read the names of characters in “Thomas the Tank Engine” videos from his playpen as they flashed across the screen. At 2, he was onto cereal box labels; at 3, his preschool’s director told his mother to watch what reading material was within his reach on the kitchen table.

But in kindergarten at Ethical Culture School, a private institution on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Drake seemed to be losing ground, with assignments like learning a letter of the week. The Roths did what parents lucky enough to gain a toehold in an elite school might consider unthinkable: They pulled him out, anxious that despite Ethical Culture’s top reputation, the philosophy that the school shares with a number of its peers — that kindergarten is more of a social year, not an academic one — was not letting Drake bloom."
learning  reading  education  teaching  schools  curriculum  privateschools  racetonowhere  competition  literacy  kindergarten  elementary  2011  tcsnmy 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Design and Reach - Innovating for Affordable Private Schools
"One of the most exciting movements I’ve seen recently in the social enterprise world is the development of Affordable Private Schools. Approximately 100 million children in the developing world are attending ultra low-cost private schools (generally less than $10/month in school fees). Their parents (typically low or working class, living at the base of the pyramid) choose to invest their limited income in their children's education and realize that the affordable private schools tend to offer a far superior education to the local public schools."
development  education  future  ideo  private  schools  privateschools  innovation 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Private School Screening Test Loses Some Clout - NYTimes.com
"At least two schools in Manhattan have dropped the exam as a requirement for admission starting this fall, bucking a trend of more widespread use of such tests. More broadly, a powerful coalition of New York schools is contending that pretest preparation, which many believe skews the results, has become so widespread as to cast doubt on the value of the test."
admissions  kindergarten  psychology  testing  standardizedtesting  intelligence  privateschools  erb  tcsnmy 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Bridging Differences: What Does the Best and Wisest Parent Want?
"We both recall that John Dewey wrote that what the best and wisest parent wants for his own child is what the community should want for all its children. That's a good starting point. What does the best and wisest parent want for his or her own child? Certainly, that parent would want a school with small classes, which guarantees that her child would get personal attention. Class size is a pretty good indicator of what most people mean by quality. If you visit the most elite private schools, you can bet that they don't have 32 students in a class. On the Web sites of such schools, one learns that classes are typically 12 to 15 students to a teacher. Such luxury is unheard of in most public schools, with the possible exception of schools in tony suburbs. Many of those who pronounce that class size doesn't matter send their own children to schools with small classes."

[via: http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2009/10/i-like-being-on-same-side-of-argument.html ]
dianeravitch  johndewey  education  privateschools  tcsnmy  classsize  teaching  learning  parenting  arts  policy  privatization  vouchers  money  barackobama  schools  publicschools  society  disparity  community 
october 2009 by robertogreco
National Journal Online -- Education Experts -- Should Private Money Fund Public Schools?
Diane Ratvich: "I would like to see public education improve, and I would like to see Catholic and other religious schools survive. So I have a simple principle to propose: Public money for public schools, private money for private schools. That way, entrepreneurs would stop picking the public's pocket for their enrichment, and philanthropists would be encouraged to support effective and worthy religious schools, especially those (like Catholic schools) that have helped poor and working-class families and children. The survival of inner-city Catholic education now hangs in the balance, and only private money can save it. And should."

[via: http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2009/10/i-like-being-on-same-side-of-argument.html ]
education  schools  funding  private  privateschools  catholicschools  policy  publicschools  us  philanthropy  money  vouchers  dianeravitch  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  capitalism  power  control 
october 2009 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » Steve Barr: Outlaw private school!
"fastest way to change education in the US? We could make private schools illegal. (He’s joking. Sort of.) “What would happen if Bill Gates had to send his kids to public school? He’d go to McKinsey & demand that they turn this stuff around!” Barr visited big public schools in LA & observed that they looked like prisons...“You’d never send your kid to a school with 1000+ kids if you were paying $25K – they’d fall through cracks.” You’d have high expectations for every kid & bring kids up to speed so they could learn together & so every kid would be focused on college prep. You’d call the school if they didn’t assign your kids homework & they’d answer phone. & you’d participate in school’s culture – bake sales & teacher conferences...“You’d never spend 25K if half the money didn’t go to the classroom but to another building where folks walk around in suits.” 60% of employees in LA educational system aren’t teachers...building the best bureacracy that money can buy."
education  schools  privateschools  publicschools  policy  change  greendot  stevebarr  reform  politics  california  us  charterschools 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Desegregation busing in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In 1970 a federal court ordered desegregation of public schools in Pasadena. At that time, the proportion of white students in those schools reflected proportion of whites in community, 54% & 53%, respectively. After the desegregation process began, large numbers of whites in the upper & middle classes who could afford it pulled their children from the integrated public school system & placed them into private schools instead. As a result, by 2004 Pasadena became home to 63 private schools, which educated 1/3 of all school-aged children in the city & the proportion of white students in the public schools had fallen to 16%. (In the mean time, proportion of whites in community has declined somewhat as well, to 37% in 2006) The superintendent of Pasadena's public schools characterized them as being to whites "like the bogey-man," and mounted policy changes, including a curtailment of busing, & a publicity drive to induce affluent whites to put their children back into public schools."
pasadena  history  california  1970  privateschools  publicschools  busing  desegregation 
july 2009 by robertogreco
eduwonkette: Wish #1: Taking Kids' Out of School Time Seriously
"Even if all kids attended schools of identical quality, we would still see inequality in educational outcomes by socioeconomic status because of the 87% conundrum. Home learning environments, it turns out, are much more unequal than school environments. Below, this figure in a terrific paper by Doug Downey and colleagues makes this very clear. To be sure, schools offer unequal learning opportunities, but there is even more inequality in learning opportunities between families."
schools  education  policy  learning  homeschool  parenting  privateschools  private  public  children  society  equity  us  opportunity 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Conversations over incinerating meat ...
"Perhaps the correlation between independent (private) schools and high test scores is more to do with what these schools are in terms of their student population, than what the schools can do for the students they have enrolled." [Bingo!]
freakonomics  schools  education  parenting  learning  families  children  assessment  testing  privateschools  outcomes  artichokeblog  pamhook 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Thousands join exodus from state education - Times Online
"Nearly 40,000 more children are now being educated privately than when Tony Blair came to power, new figures reveal today."
demographics  education  schools  trends  uk  learning  private  privateschools  independentschools 
june 2007 by robertogreco

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