Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

Bradford: A Free Education System Bought and Sold on the Housing Market, as It Was Intended to Be
When you think about education, it’s worth asking two questions over and over again: Why is this thing the way it is? And does it have to stay this way? One thing you hear often in education is that your ZIP code shouldn’t determine your educational destiny. This is something even folks who say they oppose “education reform” ostensibly believe. So if that’s true, why is your house the overwhelming predictor of the sort of education you will receive? (The 74)

How stakes affect the accuracy and efficacy of teacher ratings
The summer edition of the first-rate Education Finance and Policy Journal examines whether principals really think that all teachers are effective, especially since we know from prior studies that upwards of 98 percent receive positive evaluations. Supplementing 2012 administrative data from Miami-Dade, the fourth largest district in the U.S., Jason Grissom and Susanna Loeb ask roughly one hundred principals to rate a random handful of their teachers on different dimensions of practice. Importantly, they let the principals know that these are low-stakes ratings, in that only researchers would know the scores that they gave. The hypothesis was that without any stakes attached they might give more candid appraisals. (Fordham)

The Pay Leaders Deserve
Last week, The Boston Globe ran a front-page story on the pay of Boston’s 16 charter-school leaders. Headlined “Charter School Leaders Making Big Money,” it reported that most of the charter leaders earned total compensation of $150,000 to $200,000 in 2016, with three topping $200,000. The Globe pointedly noted that Boston’s superintendent, Tommy Chang, earned $272,000 last year for leading a 55,000 student district—while most of these charter schools enroll something closer to 500 or 600. (U.S. News & World Report)

This school has kids pay tuition through real work. It’s coming to Miami
When Samara Quinones of Hollywood was growing up in the Bronx, her single mother worked two jobs to afford the family’s tiny apartment and her children’s education, insisting they attend private schools to get what she considered the best education possible. Then her mother read in the newspaper about a new private school in Harlem called Cristo Rey, a school for low-income students with a unique approach to funding: a required professional internship program that allows students to earn wages toward their own high school tuition. Quinones applied, was accepted, then enrolled. (Miami Herald)

Pizza, planning and education awareness
For two hours on July 25, the Pizza Hut located at 5985 Flat Shoals Road became a haven for education awareness and advocacy. As part of In School Spirit’s Education Advocacy Awareness Month, founder Danielle Stewart made Pizza Hut’s dining area her base for education advocacy in DeKalb County. On July 11, 18 and 25, residents joined Stewart and other education professionals to gather resources to prepare for the upcoming school year. “I was born and raised in south DeKalb and it’s amazing to give back,” Stewart said. “It’s the best form of gratification.” (The Champion)

New York
Charter sector to de Blasio: If you want to play nice, prove it by giving us space
In an early test of the tenuous detente between Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City’s charter sector, charter advocates are challenging the city to find space for 27 new or expanding schools. De Blasio’s difficult relationship with the city’s charter sector looked like it might turn a corner last month. As part of a deal to extend mayoral control for two years, the mayor agreed to a series of concessions to charter schools, including some that seemed to ease the path for the schools to secure rent or space in city buildings. (Chalkbeat)

South Carolina
South Carolina’s charter school authorizer standards raise concerns among charter advocates, scholars
Weaknesses in South Carolina’s public charter school authorization law could make the state a breeding ground for failing schools, according to charter scholars and advocates. Almost any college or university in South Carolina has the authority to approve public funds for charter schools, serving as a conduit for money from the state — and taking a 2 percent cut off the top of the payouts. (The Post & Courier)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


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