A Toxic Brew of Poverty, Race, and Preschool Suspension

Helen Ladd is not a bold-faced name in early childhood, but she should be. A Harvard-trained economist, and professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, she’s been a meticulous investigator of the relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement.

Several years ago, in her presidential speech to the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Ladd hit it out of the park with a data-packed critique of current education policy, which reflects a deep disregard for the impact of poverty on student outcomes, leaving educators and poorly resourced schools to pick up the slack. As she . . . Read full article →

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Gimme Shelter for NYC's Babies

Not too long ago, I read a piece at the Huffington Post with this title: “Cost of Military Jet Could House Every Homeless Person in U.S. with $600,000 Home.” Author Robbie Couch was reporting on a project, seven years behind schedule due to chronic incompetence, to create a fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. The $400 billion committed to the military, he revealed, was enough to fund the National School Lunch Program, now serving about 31 million students annually, for nearly a quarter of a century.

We shouldn’t have to say this, but I will: It’s hard . . . Read full article →

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Father Knows Best about the DIBELS and the GRADE

Steven Singer weighs in on teaching, learning, and the trying process of education reform at his blog, GADFLYONTHEWALL (capitalization and jumbling together, his), which sports the tagline “To sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth.” Be forewarned.

A nationally certified public school teacher, Singer is also the father of a daughter whom he calls “kindergarten tot,” whose adventures, along with his own, he’s been chronicling. Last month, at the L.A. Progressive, he gave a blow-by-blow account of the first parent-teacher night noting his daughter’s great affection for her teacher, how . . . Read full article →

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Bilingualism Boosts the Brain/Bilinguismo Estimula El Cerebro

I didn’t learn a second language until the advanced age of 12, as was the practice in the dark days of linguistic exceptionalism. By that time, my status as sponge had altered. Still, I plowed on, determined to earn my dual-language bonafides. I studied and lived in a Spanish-speaking country. I read One Hundred Years of Solitude and the classics of the Siglo de Oro in the native tongue of Cervantes. But I couldn’t get past the first sentence today. And I can barely manage an intelligent conversation in the language I had grown to love.

So I was . . . Read full article →

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