This Week in Education - 8.4.19 to 8.10.19

YOUR WEEKLY EDUCATION NEWS - 8.4.19 to 8.10.19


Parents Support #RedforEd

As you all know, and have known for a while, inadequate school funding has been a deeply consequential problem within our educational system, impacting all students and teachers. It’s lead to teacher burnout, decrepit school facilities, lack of support staff, and much, much more.

In the wake of teacher strikes and walkouts throughout the past 18 months - from Oakland to Oklahoma, Denver to LA, West Virginia to Seattle - the #RedforEd movement is gaining more and more traction, and not just with teachers. Parents are in on the movement, too.

The 2019 Phi Delta Kappan (PDK) Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools found that 74 percent of parents and 71 percent of all adults say they would support a strike by teachers in their community for higher pay.

Speak up, teachers. We’re not alone out there in our fight.


California School District Segregation

It’s 2019, and yes - 65 years after Brown v. Board of Education, school segregation still exists, even in “liberal” states like California.

This past week, the Sausalito Marin City School District agreed to desegregate their schools - the result of a two-year state investigation. The state had found that the district knowingly established and created segregated schools - the first, a charter school called Willow Creek Academy situated in the scenic and touristy Sausalito community, and the second, Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, which the district moved into the more diverse Marin City.

The district had knowingly under-resourced Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, leaving them without a qualified math teacher, only a part-time school counselor and harsher discipline for students of color.

Kurt Weisenheimer, the president of the charter school board, insisted that “district mismanagement, not racial antagonism, had led to the segregation problem.”

School segregation itself is rooted within racial antagonism. These two cannot exist in isolation.

There have been an increasing amount of cases in educational equity courts regarding school segregation, and there is an ongoing debate within policy about whether or not charter schools may be contributing to this problem.


Schools Scramble in the Aftermath of ICE Raids

This past Wednesday, ICE officials raided seven food processing plants in the Jackson, Mississippi area, arresting around 680 mostly Latino workers. Affected school districts scrambled, unsure of what policies and procedures existed for students who would be going home to an empty home on their first day of school.

According to the humanitarian guidelines that the Bush administration created in 2007, if a worksite raid targeted the arrest of more than 150 persons, ICE should have developed am“comprehensive plan to identify…any individuals who may be sole care givers or who have other humanitarian concerns”. Of course, the irony of these guidelines is that the raids inherently are inhumane. Regardless, these guidelines were entirely ignored during the Mississippi raids.

Hundreds of students were missing from school districts the next day, and affected schools and communities have been coming together to provide mental health support and shelters for these affected children. As of now, Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education, unsurprisingly yet still disappointingly, have yet to issue any guidance or comment on this.