This week on “The Learning Curve” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist. They discuss the unique moment presented by COVID-19, and how it has reinforced the value of classroom teachers, but has also increased uncertainty about the future of testing and accountability. They also talk about Jay’s widely acclaimed biography of Jaime Escalante, the great East Los Angeles high school calculus teacher, who became nationally renowned for dramatically raising the academic bar for urban students and delivering amazing results. Jay shares the five key ingredients for success that he learned from Escalante and excellent charter schools across the country.

Stories of the Week: As millions of parents struggle with homeschooling, one mom shared her son’s hilarious reaction in a Facebook post that went viral. Are we all learning some hard lessons through this pandemic about the value of teachers? In Milwaukee, the 30,000 underprivileged children enrolled in private schools through the parental choice program are continuing to attend class each day through distance learning, while their public school counterparts are being offered free meals and some enrichment material that won’t be graded. How can we overcome the digital divide to ensure rigorous instruction for all students?

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It’s all crazy news on Tuesday’s Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they catalogue the irrelevant and expensive Democratic Party wish list that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted to promote while holding up vital coronavirus relief for families and businesses and how Pelosi wrongly assumed the media would cover for her. They also roll their eyes as multiple media outlets try to blame President Trump for the death of one man and the illness of the man’s wife after they consumed fish tank cleaner because it contained chloroquine. And they react to Liberty University welcoming students and faculty back to campus while the rest of Virginia and the nation increasingly shut down.

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And the dog that didn’t bark. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day, March 21: A Sign of the Times…Job Posting

 

The Department of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of assistant professor in queer migrations. Research may focus on trans/queer geographies, racialization, decoloniality, and flows of people, ideas, and objects across borders. Of special interest to us are innovative methodological approaches to gender and sexual citizenship, discourses of belonging, and human rights in the context of state and social violence against LGBTQ communities in historical or contemporary national and transnational frames.

Residents of California, may I present your tax dollars at work.

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Here on Ricochet, we have several home-schooling parents. Given that many schools are closed and kids have to get their schooling at home for the rest of the year, perhaps our experienced home-schoolers could offer a weekly column on tips and tricks for home-schooling your kids. If there’s already a Ricochet Group for home-schoolers, perhaps […]

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This week on “The Learning Curve” (St. Patrick’s Day edition), Cara and Gerard discuss COVID-19’s ongoing toll on families and K-12 education. They interview Raymond Flynn, former Ambassador to the Vatican and three-term Mayor of Boston. Ambassador Flynn shares thoughts on the world-historical moment presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, how public leaders are responding, and how it compares to past crises. He recalls his background as an Irish-Catholic product of religious schools, who rose to service on behalf of a sainted Pope, to remind us of the benefits uniquely offered by Catholic schools, especially for urban poor and minority communities. He also calls on clergy members, elected officials, and policymakers to strengthen their advocacy efforts on behalf of faith-based education, so that we can finally end the bigoted legacy of 19th-century Blaine Amendments that block access to opportunity for all children.

Stories of the Week: In Philadelphia, the school district is refusing to provide remote instruction during the Coronavirus shutdown, claiming concerns about inequity on behalf of those who lack computers or high-speed internet at home. Is this a genuine recognition of the digital divide, or an excuse to deny 200,000 schoolchildren a quality education? The U.S. Department of Education issued guidelines specifically for America’s 7 million students with special needs, who are especially vulnerable as a result of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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We have two good martinis for you today as America continues to go through the COVID-19 challenge. Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news of two different drugs that that seem to be effective in treating and even preventing coronavirus. They also wave goodbye to Republican William Weld and Democrat Tulsi Gabbard as they exit the 2020 presidential race with a whopping three delegates between them. And they have some choice words for the college kids on Spring Break showing little regard for their fellow citizens.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Child Abuse Cannot Be Tolerated in Public Schools

 

At a school in Illinois, employees locked children in what they called “the office.”

Last year, the state’s Department of Children and Family Services opened investigations into 21 allegations of child abuse at Gages Lake School, which enrolls children with behavioral and emotional special needs. Its subsequent report, based on a review of video recordings as well as interviews, describes employee conduct that included “grabbing children by the wrists, shoving them into walls and throwing them to the ground.”

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The physical bars and restaurants and being ordered to close in many places but the Three Martini Lunch remains open. Come in and join us! Today, Jim and Greg react to the CDC urging Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks and mayor and governors forcing bars and restaurants to close. They also discuss the awkwardness of the Biden-Sanders debate in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and highlight how Bernie Sanders and other Democrats have pushed Biden into extreme liberal positions on energy, immigration, guns, abortion and more. And they discuss the stunning political fall of Andrew Gillum, who came less than a percentage point from becoming Florida’s governor in 2018.

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard talk with Dr. Anna Egalite, Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University. They discuss Anna’s experiences as a student growing up in Ireland and teaching at Catholic schools there and in Florida. She was inspired to pursue education policy after observing the differences between the two countries’ views of “public” and “private” education, and was surprised to find that families here didn’t have the same range of school options available to them as those in Europe. She also shares her research on the benefits of school voucher programs in India, which allowed students to attend private schools with longer days and lower rates of multi-grade teaching, with positive impacts on English language skills, especially for females. Lastly, they explore the role of family background on students’ long-term outcomes and intergenerational economic mobility.

Story of the Week: As the nation deals with COVID-19, Cara and Gerard discuss the implications for K-12 and higher education. Students across the country are shifting from campuses and classrooms to virtual learning; how prepared is our education system to deliver quality, online instruction? Are we doing enough to maintain community ties and minimize the disruption for low-income students and families, who have fewer supports?

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Gromrus daughter#1, a senior in college , just let us know she will be returning home for the rest of the semester because, in light of the corona virus pandemic, the university decided to move all classes online. The students will all be sent home and halls of residence will close for the year. As […]

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Join us for some end of the week fun on the Friday Three Martini Lunch. Today, Jim and Greg cheer a really strong February jobs report and are hopeful the strong economy can ward off any coronavirus-related slump. Speaking of which, they also vent about the media’s inability to cover the coronavirus story in a non-hysterical manner, which may be helping to fuel the Wall Street volatility. And they get a lot of laughs from MSNBC anchor Brian Williams and New York Times Editorial Board member Mara Gay concluding that Mike Bloomberg spent enough money in his failed campaign to give each person in America a million dollars.

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Kevin Chavous, President of Academics, Policy, and Schools of K12, Inc. They talk with Kevin about how his background and experiences visiting local state prisons and schools as a D.C. City Councilor led him to become one of the first Democrats to support charter schools. Kevin describes his work with other education reformers on behalf of the Opportunity Scholarship Program for D.C.’s low-income children and the “three-sector” system of combined federal support for public, charter, and private school scholarships that has resulted in 90-percent graduation and college attendance rates. Kevin calls for reframing public education from a robotic, factory approach to a model that is more responsive to the diverse needs of kids and parents. He discusses his current work in digital learning, promoting an innovative, state-of-the-art online learning curriculum now used in 100 schools, in over 30 states, to engage students unable to thrive in a traditional setting.

Stories of the Week: In Tennessee, the ACLU and other organizations have filed suit against the state over an Education Savings Account program that expands school choice for families in Memphis and Nashville, claiming public schools will be “irreparably harmed” by so-called “illegal spending.” In New Hampshire, some lawmakers are again pushing the state to accept $46 million in federal grant funding that was rejected by Democratic legislators because it was designated for charter school expansion. Are politics getting in the way of what’s best for the Granite State’s 1,300 children on charter school waiting lists?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Having been forced to spend half a year in meetings of an American university’s graduate-student government — populated exclusively by the kind of hyper-earnest and uber-bureaucratic people who produce platitudes the way we mortals produce digestive waste, the kind of people who think that solving the world’s problems is as simple as creating an “inclusive […]

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No need to thank me. Consider it a public service because Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself. More

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The ICAA is honored to present Robert A.M. Stern: Always a Student, the first installment of Design in Mind, a series of original, mini documentary films produced by the ICAA. More

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard engage in a candid conversation about education policymaking with Chris Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Brightbeam, known to many by his popular Twitter & blog feeds as “Citizen Stewart.” Chris shares his background as a student, parent, school board member, and longtime activist, and how those experiences have shaped his outlook on the challenges facing school reform. They delve into the obvious and lesser known barriers to changing the status quo, including the lack of involvement among rank-and-file parents in policy decision making and the disproportionate influence of labor unions in politics and the media. Chris voices concerns about the Democratic political candidates’ growing hostility toward ensuring African-American schoolchildren have access to better learning opportunities, and how the focus on class warfare has misdirected attention from the reality of our public schools graduating individuals who cannot participate in the economy. They also discuss the relationship between education and other issues such as criminal justice reform.

Stories of the Week: This week, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, the inspirational icon featured in the 2016 film, “Hidden Figures,” passed away at 101. All schoolchildren should know her story, unacknowledged for so long, of struggle and triumph in the face of race- and gender-based segregation and discrimination. In Ohio, a new plan from the state superintendent would reduce the minimum scores on the graduation assessment so that students could qualify for a diploma if they demonstrate basic competency, rather than proficiency, in math and ELA. What impact will the lower bar have on graduates’ preparedness for options in higher education and employment?

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This week, Cara and Gerard talk with Margaret “Macke” Raymond, President of Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO). Macke describes CREDO’s unique role and methodology in analyzing a wealth of data from state education departments to quantify the effect of charter schools on the amount of learning a student receives in a year’s time. They discuss charter performance on average, as well as in pockets of excellence; the performance of urban charters, including Boston; the types of charters that are succeeding consistently and replicating; and the formula for quality both in instruction and policymaking. They also delve into the waning policy support for charters despite favorable public opinion; what the data show about whether charters select or “counsel out” students; “diverse-by-design” charter schools; and the federal role in the charter movement.

Stories of the WeekThe New York Times highlights renewed interest in teaching phonics, a long-debated approach, especially in the wake of recent NAEP results showing only a third of American students are reading at proficiency. In Maryland, to address students’ declining academic performance and teacher retention issues, a state commission is proposing sweeping reforms – but the billion-dollar price tag is raising concerns about accountability for results.

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My 14 year old daughter has been dancing ballet since she was 5. Recently, she began teaching her own classes to little girls during homeschool P.E. at our local YMCA here in Alabama. The director of the Y took notice and approached my wife to ask whether it would be possible for my daughter to […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

No further commentary needed, I don’t think. More

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