One of the keys to building quality charter schools: finding ways to tap into teachers’ expertise by giving them a voice in school governance. Guest writer Talmadge Nardi, a charter school teacher in Massachusetts, has the full story.READ MORE
Rhode Island may be small, but we can learn a lot from its experiment with diverse charter schools. TCF fellow Halley Potter profiles Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy in the latest entry in TCF’s smarter charter series.READ MORE
A new charter school opened up in Nashville, TN earlier this month. TCF education intern Mercedes Gonzales writes that Valor’s innovative new model “incorporates an impressive mix of racial and socioeconomic diversity—as well as ambitious academic goals—at the heart of its strategic plan.”READ MORE
Published by Teacher's College Press, August 7, 2014
Moving beyond the debate over whether or not charter schools should exist, A Smarter Charter wrestles with the question of what kind of charter schools we should encourage.Continue Reading
Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education was decided, the issue of school integration is once again back on the agenda for Montgomery County public schools.
In April, the County Council’s Office of Legislative Oversight issued a disturbing report showing that racial and economic achievement gaps are growing and segregation is rising. But tucked into the report was the hopeful finding that low-income students in lower-poverty schools perform better than low-income students stuck in high-poverty schools.
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As we mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we are glad to see renewed interest in the issue of segregation, but discouraged about our societal failure to tackle it. Indeed, we have both recently written about the persistence of racial segregation in our public schools, and about the pernicious effects of associated concentrated poverty. BBA and EPI document the segregation of black and Hispanic children in high-poverty kindergarten classrooms. And Kahlenberg has written about new efforts to reinvigorate Brown by emphasizing socioeconomic integration through public school choice.
Perhaps the saddest aspect of this segregation is the waste of a precious American resource, one that could offer our children an important advantage over their peers in many other countries: diversity. We continue, for the most part, to treat the multiple languages spoken in schools from Los Angeles to Minneapolis as only a challenge for teachers, rather than the learning opportunity it could represent for classmates. We see only deficits for children who grow up in very challenging circumstances, rather than finding creative ways to help them share with their peers the resilience and creativity gained through those experiences.
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Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.
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