Owen Davis

Trump Draws Huge Ratings On 'Saturday Night Live' As Protestors Bemoan His Appearance

The impact of Donald Trump's appearance on the show "Saturday Night Live" this weekend could be measured in several ways: the numerous condemnations it drew from Latino civil rights groups, the hundreds of protestors who demonstrated in front of NBC's studios against Trump's appearance -- or the episode's blockbuster ratings, the highest the show has received all year. Entertainment Week reported the GOP presidential candidate's guest host appearance pulled down a 6.6 household rating, reflecting a viewership nearly 50 percent greater than that of an episode earlier in the season featuring Hillary Clinton and Miley Cyrus. (The Clinton appearance was not advertised in advance.)

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7 Big Public Education Stories of 2014

This year marked the 60th anniversary of the most famous legal case in modern educational history, Brown v. Board of Education. But in the decades since the landmark decision, schools have resegregated dramatically. As education scholar Richard Rothstein writes, “black children are more racially and socioeconomically isolated today than at any time since data have been available.”

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Opt Out Everywhere: Why the Standardized Testing Movement Is Expecting a 'Full-On Revolt'

Gainesville kindergarten teacher Susan Bowles doesn't quite fit the mold of a rabble-rouser. "I’m such a rule-following, non-activist type,” she tells me. “I hate speaking to anyone above the age of seven.”

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Why New York State's Common Core Test Scores Should Be Ignored

Late last week, New York schools learned how they performed on Common Core-aligned state tests in reading and math. Results show an incremental improvement over last year’s scores, when passing rates plummeted to below 30 percent. The black-white achievement gap remains unchanged.

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What This Recent Court Decision Means for the Future of Teacher Tenure

A California trial court last week levelled a blow at laws that ensure teacher tenure and due process. Following a pitched battle between major education-reform interests and teachers unions, Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled that five statutes dealing with teachers’ job protections in the state discriminate against poor and minority children.

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School Reformers Gain Momentum Fighting Corporate Influence

When Brian Jones took the microphone at the Taking Back Our Schools rally this weekend at New York City Hall, he told the crowd of hundreds an unfamiliar story with a familiar ending.

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The Big Lie Reformers Are Telling About 'Social Promotion' in NYC's Schools

No one was taken aback when New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced this month that she’d no longer rely on high-stakes tests to determine whether students can move to the next grade. Mayor de Blasio, who appointed Fariña, campaigned on reducing the burden of testing.

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Education Advocates Balk at New York’s Common Core Tweaks

Glancing at headlines last week, one could reasonably conclude that New York had leveled a mighty blow against the Common Core standards. The New York Post screamed, “Cuomo rips Regents for watering down Common Core.” The Daily News declared, “New York teachers get five years to fully enact Common Core.” The Board of Regents, which determines state educational policy, boasted of “significant and timely changes.”

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NYC Mayor Strikes a Major Blow to Charter Schools, Cuts $210 Million from Their Budgets

The image is surreal. Newly elected New York mayor Bill de Blasio, wearing a broad and slightly goofy smile, dwarfs the infinitely vilified outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg, who seems somewhat bemused himself.

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5 Big Education Stories to Watch in 2014

For people looking to "disrupt” public education, it’s become requisite to bemoan the “educational status quo” — a phrase meant to evoke images of poor kids striving against the impediments of failing schools and incompetent teachers. Those who question these disruptors’ methodologies are cast aside as hidebound intransigents who likely have some vested interest in an ossified order.

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10 Big Wins For Public Education in 2013

If what’s past is truly prologue, there’s a good chance 2013 will be remembered as the year the free-market education reform movement crested and began to subside. After a decade of gathering momentum, reform politics began to founder in the face of communities fighting for equitable and progressive public education. Within the year’s first weeks, a historic test boycott was underway, civil rights advocates confronted Arne Duncan on school closings, and thousands were marching in Texas to roll back reforms.

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Despite Common Sense Proposals by NY Mayoral Candidate DeBlasio, Charter School Corporation Organizes Protest Demonstration

Late last month, parents at some New York City schools received an alarming letter:

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6 Ways Neoliberal Education Reform May Be Destroying a College Near You

This past August at the State University of New York, Buffalo, President Obama made a familiar offer: “major new reforms,” this time in higher education, “that will shake up the current system.” The New York Times described it as a plan “to shame universities into holding down prices.”

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