Duval Schools Under Civil Rights Investigation

duvalSchool choice is supposed to close the achievement gap, but it does not.  According to the U.S. Department of Education, it does result in increased segregation.  Racial and economic segregation in urban schools is nothing new.  The investigation in Duval County is compiling data on teacher salaries, qualifications, principal assignments and principal evaluations.  The complaint will review differences in resources and staff associated with low income schools in Duval’s north and west side areas.


The basic question is whether students who live in locales with concentrated poverty have equal access to a high quality education.  At least there are serious questions being asked about improving equity.  These are concerns in most districts.




Who are the Winners and Losers in School Choice?

Feature of the Week

Feature of the Week

Parents care not only about the quality of education offered but also the mix of children in a school.  How does the premise that “More choice should produce a better educational fit between what parents want for their children and ultimately lead to better educational outcomes” work out over time?

This study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looks at data from North Carolina.  We all need to understand the consequences of choice.

Continue reading

“Togetherness”, the Anti-Community’s Community?

Divided Community

Divided Community

Now television is in the charter fray.  In this review of the series “Togetherness”, Joshua Leibner in Salon magazine describes its charter school subplot.  Are neighborhood schools the “bogeyman for all of society’s ills?, he asks.  He wonders if for white people of their education and class,  all the education reform nonsense might feel right for minority kids–but just not for their children?  The setting for the series is in Eagle Rock in Los Angeles.  This is a real place where both Leibner and the show’s producers actually live.  Is the show fact or fiction? Continue reading


We have posted a  summary of the new Alachua County, Florida’s Superintendent of Schools 100 Day Report on the FEATURE OF THE WEEK banner of the blog.


Dr. Owen Roberts was appointed to the superintendent position 3 months ago and has spent the time in an intensive review of the district.  How his vision for the county will be implemented is likely to be another one of those fascinating stories.


He addresses testing, funding, school equity, curriculum, early education, brain development, as well as parent and community involvement.  Click on the banner at the top of the Home Page of our blog to track this very bold initiative.  It has  those pieces of colored chalk.   We will update the post as new information becomes available.  Who says public schools cannot be innovative?

Alternative assessments for Students with Disabilities Abolished

In June, 2014 the U.S.DOE increased reporting requirements for students with disabilities programs.  Both program procedures such as meeting evaluation timelines and student outcome data are now required for federal funding. The U.S.DOE estimates that only 18 states and territories will meet the new standards; 41 states and territories met previous standards. California, Texas and Delaware are in the lowest compliance level.


A change in assessment policy can have a big impact. Title I Part A regulations have been amended.  Alternative ESEA standards and assessments that are based on disabilities with be phased out. Data such as graduation and suspension rates as well as state assessment scores will be used for Individuals with Disability Act (IDEA) grants.

The acting Assistant Secretary of Special Education stated that less than 10% of 8th graders with IEPs were proficient in reading.  In his announcement of the new requirements, Secretary Arne Duncan said “We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the support and services they need to succeed”.  Federal programs provide $11.5 billion in grants to states that in 2010 served 6,614,000 children.