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.)
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
No one was taken aback when New York City schools Chancellor Carmen FariÃ±a 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 FariÃ±a, campaigned on reducing the burden of testing.
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.”
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.
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.