Monday, March 22, 2010

Inexcusable: Empty promises to a D.C. school

This is the very important story about Bruce-Monroe at Park View ES that was not explained in the print edition story (Three closed D.C. schools won't reopen soon) in the POST this morning. It appeared later in the Online Washington Post in Valerie Strauss' Blog today. Providing the perspective that was missing from this morning's story, Strauss calls it "inexcusable" to promise a successful school, with solid enrollment and making AYP, that they'd be quickly renovated, temporarily relocated to another building (where they would be consolidated with another school), only to have that renovation plan go awry. Is there a pattern: Hardy, Ellington, Bruce Monroe -- successful schools disrupted, communities ignored? The print article focused primarily on Rhee and Graham’s statements. That was not the whole story.

Link to: Inexcusable --
Empty Promises to a D.C. School

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reacting to the "Low Performing School" Label at T.C. Williams HS.

Patrick Welsh, who teaches English at T.C.Williams HS in Alexandria, VA, writes today in the Washington Post, describing the reaction among teachers at his school when they found it was on the US Department of Education list of the nation's lowest performing schools. T.C. Williams has been celebrated as a school with great teachers who add tremendos value to it's low income students' accomplishments. The label is all about the socio-economic background of the students. Welsh's piece manages to capture both the inaccuracy of the battering ram approach of the Deaprtment's labeling and the germ of truth that will cause educators to implement some long overdue reforms.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Two New Books Recommended by Valarie Strauss

Washington Post columnist Valarie Strauss in her column today applauds the advice and the research from Linda Darling-Hammond and Diane Ravitch in their respective new books. It seems that there finally are some voices emerging -- even in the Washington Post -- with an alternative to the consensus that has dominated Washington for far too long. If only it was as simple as Obama and Duncan reading these books and seeing the light as Strauss suggests.
For those of you without the time to read books or who tried to order it from Amazon and found that Diane Ravitch's new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, is sold out in its 5th printing in 16 days after its release, here is a nifty summary of the book from Slate magazine.