Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New NEPC Report: Reviews Claims on Benefits of Mayoral Governance

From the National Education Policy Center:

"Claims on Mayoral Governance Don't Stand up to Scrutiny"


William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Katrina E. Bulkley, (973) 655-5189, bulkleyk@mail.montclair.edu

URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/bwyrk3h

BOULDER, CO (April 23, 2013) – A recent Center for American Progress report purports to find that school districts led by city mayors are raising student achievement while improving the districts’ fiscal health. A new review finds some useful information in the report, but says it is too flawed to rely on for policy guidance.

The report, Mayoral Governance and Student Achievement: How Mayor-Led Districts are Improving School and Student Performance, by Kenneth K. Wong and Francis X. Shen, was reviewed for the Think Twice think tank review project by Katrina E. Bulkley, Professor of Educational Leadership at Montclair State University. Her review is published today by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education....
READ MORE AT: http://tinyurl.com/bwyrk3h

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Washington University - Siegle Hall Room L006
The St Louis Schools Project, with the support of the Washington University Department of Anthropology, the Department of Education, and the Center on Urban Research and Public Policy, is proud to host a book presentation and lecture by Peter Downs, author of Schoolhouse Shams: Myths and Misinformation in School Reform, published 2012 by Rowman-Littlefield.   

The book explores the recent history of school reform politics in St. Louis, written through the first-hand experience of Peter Downs, who was President of the Elected School Board of the St. Louis Public Schools and a direct participant in many of these debates.  
Dr. Diane Ravitch, internationally recognized scholar of American education and research professor in education at New York University writes that the book is a "provocative, informative, and timely book about school reform in St. Louis. Its lessons apply to many cities undergoing similar reforms today."  This is sure to be a lively discussion.
"Schoolhouse Shams and Current Issues in Education Reform"  
Peter Downs, author, former president, St. Louis Public School Board: 

Donna Jones, member, St. Louis Public School Board.
Katie Wessling, president, St. Louis Public School Board.

The lecture and commentary will be followed by time for public questions.  Peter Downs' book will be available for purchase and signing.

The event will take place on the campus of Washington University, in Siegle Hall, room L006 (lower level) on Tuesday April 16th at 7PM.   All are welcome.  The event will be video-taped for archiving and re-broadcast.

Check back here for more information.

For a campus map, see: http://wustl.edu/community/visitors/maps/danforthmap.pdf.

Siegle Hall is on the west end of campus. (Building 97 on the map).  Best parking would be in the garage (enter off Forsyth), or in the lots to the south and east of Siegle Hall (near building 105 on the map).  There are also metered spaces along Forsyth.

For more information, write: Bret Gustafson (gustafson@wustl.edu) or visit:  http://stlouisschoolsproject.blogspot.com/.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Shocking Rahm's Shock Doctrine | The Nation

Shocking Rahm's Shock Doctrine | The Nation

Coming soon to (or already at) a city near you.  Mayor Slay (recently re-elected) announced in one campaign flyer a plan for "sustainability" that includes 20 new charter schools, even as public schools are being closed.

The Guardian on Chicago/STL Style School Reform

Chicago is ground zero for disastrous 'free market' reforms of education

Chicago has turned public schools into privately run charters. The results aren't stellar and other cities should beware
Micah Uetricht - - The Guardian

"If you want a glimpse of what slash-and-burn free market education reform does in cities throughout the US, look no further than Chicago. Last week, Chicago Public Schools announced its plan to close 54 public elementary schools in the city by next year – about 8% of all public schools in the city. Almost all are located on the city's south and west sides in predominantly black neighborhoods.
In a city where the majority of black children live in poverty, in communities long plagued by hyper-segregationunemploymentyouth violence, and disinvestment, these neighborhoods will likely be thrown into further chaos, as students (91% of whom are students of color) are forced to cross into rival gang territories. Public schools, which served as one of the few remaining community anchors, will be shuttered.
Not all teachers unions have had the willingness or wherewithal to resist that agenda; many have capitulated, or at least been complicit. But the Chicago Teachers Union has fought back."