Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Going Public" feature of PPSD graduates in June's East Side Monthly

Readers on the East Side of Providence may already have seen a paper copy of June's East Side Monthly featuring profiles that I wrote of six East Side public high school students soon to graduate The cover features Hope High School seniors Ashley Davega, Alex Ahlquist, and Mike Chibante, with Classical High School seniors Alex Schmeling, Sharon Weissburg, and Dana Heng in a full-page interior photo. You can see and read the whole feature online; flip to page 22. All photos are by Amy Amerantes.

I had a tremendously fun time meeting these students and writing their profiles. Many thanks to Hope High School principal Scott Sutherland and Classical High School principal Scott Barr, who responded to my query to meet students who had made the most of their opportunities inside and outside of school gracefully and efficiently.

The common threads among all six students' experiences through their educational experiences seem to be:
  • consistent support from family, teachers, and members of their communities
  • an understanding that learning happens inside and outside of the classroom, and that it's all connected
  • passions and interests that help organize their learning
All six students clearly benefited from educational experiences at school and in their communities that created ample opportunity for exploration, personalization, and high levels of achievement with the right kind of support for each kid. Of course, the profiles of these students are anecdotes, not necessarily indicators of the experiences of all young people in our public schools. I cannot say whether they represent what is typical. But I can say that they represent what is possible with the right kind of caring adults, high standards, the students' own commitment to hard work, and a strong sense of identity, of who they are as intellectuals and members of their communities.

Classical's Alex Schmeling, Sharon Weissburg, and Dana Heng will graduate on Friday, June 10; Hope's Mike Chibante, Alex Ahlquist, and Ashley Davega will graduate on Monday, June 13*. I wish all of them a wonderful end to the school year and all the best for a great summer and a strong start at each of their colleges** in the fall. Thank you for showing us examples of what's possible for yourselves and all of our young people.


* A link to a PDF of all Providence Public School high school graduation dates is here.

** Of course, college acceptance is not the only indicator of these students' successes. Still, not for nothing, it's an impressive list:
  • Alex Ahlquist (Hope) - U. Mass Amherst
  • Alex Schmeling (Classical) - Yale
  • Ashley Davega (Hope) - URI
  • Dana Heng (Classical) - University of Vermont
  • Mike Chibante (Hope) - New England Institute of Art
  • Sharon Weissburg (Classical) - Boston University or Brown

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Free Minds Free People conference - July 7-10, right here in Providence!

    Providence Schools and Beyond readers should check out the upcoming Free Minds Free People conference, which is happening in Providence, July 7-10. The conference is designed as a highly interactive way to bring together young people, educators, family and community members, and others to share ideas about how to create meaning and value in education.

    As a parent, I am really looking forward to learning ways to be involved with my kids' schools and school system in ways that help them and all kids in Providence develop habits of mind and heart, and solid academic skills, that will carry them through all of the learning they'll do in their lives. And I'm bringing them, because the conference offers sessions for kids and childcare (yay!).

    I'll also be there representing the Coalition of Essential Schools, making connections between what we're doing, especially our Fall Forum in November (also in Providence!) and the energy of the networks that Free Minds Free People is bringing together. I'm excited.

    Early Bird discounts for Free Minds Free People end on June 1 so register today!

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Achievement First Mayoral Academies updates

    I am doing little more here than saying "what he said" and pointing you to Tom Hoffman's Tuttle SVC blog for information about public meetings scheduled this week and next on the Achievement First Mayoral Academies charter proposal. The meetings are scheduled for on May 26 and May 31, 6pm each time at Cranston City Hall. For more info, read Tom's post here. Also worth reading are Tom's questions to RIDE about the application.

    For those who may not be following the issue, this affects Providence public schools because the new charter schools that would open as a result would accept students from Providence. These students--and their per-pupil funding--would leave the district. This may be great news if you believe that the Achievement First will provide a better education than PPSD could offer. I am not opposed to charter schools as a way to offer high-quality options, but I don't know enough yet about the ways these schools would serve our city's kids (and Cranston's kids) to determine their value.

    Given the possible impact (the schools will serve 2,000 kids!), we should be able to learn much more about these schools than the charter application indicates, and should be able to benefit from a process that allows the publicto comment on a full application rather than the current incomplete version.

    PPSD teacher match event delayed

    A follow up and update to last week's post that mentioned the teacher-school job match event scheduled for this week. It's been postponed, possibly to June 6-8. I wish I could point you to info on PPSD's web site or anywhere else to confirm this, but info about this this change hasn't yet been posted or published. I believe that the new dates have gone out to teachers and principals who will participate in the event, which is how I found out.

    Update! The ProJo ran a news item about the match event delay on its news blog today here. From the article:

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Providence School Department and the Providence Teachers Union have agreed to postpone a job fair for displaced teachers until the week of June 6.
    Here are the new dates:
    Monday, June 6, for high schools.
    Tuesday, June 7, for elementary schools.
    Wednesday, June 8, for middle schools.

    The so-called "match events" will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. each day at a location to be announced.

    The district said it is delaying the job events in order to make more openings available for teachers who have lost their jobs due to school closings. Four schools -- three elementary schools and a middle school -- will close this summer because the city is facing a $110-million budget deficit.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    College Unbound Open House, Monday May 23

    College Unbound @ Roger Williams University is holding an information session (with pizza!) for prospective students, particularly adult learners, on Monday, May 23 at the Met School, 325 Public Street in Providence. Though it’s outside the scope of the usual for this blog, I’m posting this here to help spread the word about this unique opportunity to be a part of the College Unbound program.

    College Unbound offers students an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree through a personalized interest-based learning in intensive internships and classroom settings. College Unbound @ Roger Williams is open to students with full- or part-time jobs, and students who want to change careers or are looking for a job. Until now, College Unbound has served traditionally aged college students and is expanding to serve adult learners.

    Please email or call Tara at tcorso@metmail.org or 401-752-2640 with any questions and to RSVP.

    I hope that any readers who know people who might benefit from the opportunity to earn a degree that ties together study with real-world learning will share this information. For that matter, if you know any recent or soon-to-be high school graduates for whom College Unbound would be a good option, please spread the word.

    I’m an active supporter of College Unbound because I believe in the power of personalized, experiential education for all learners. I’m currently working as a mentor for a current College Unbound student, Ms. Andrea Ridges. Andrea is collaborating with me in various ways in my professional work (the work that I’m paid for, rather than this and other labors of love) as Managing Director of the Coalition of Essential Schools and consultant to RhodeIsland After School Plus Alliance. Andrea is working with me to coordinate youth involvement at Fall Forum, the Coalition of Essential Schools’ annual conference that is happening this year in Providence on November 10-12! Mark your calendars, and I’ll be posting more about Fall Forum in the coming weeks and months.

    Andrea’s experience as a youth organizer, and of course as a very recent high school student, from her hometown of Detroit adds tremendous and valuable energy and experience to my work. She’s learning about her area of interest and passion, education policy, through her work with me, and getting very relevant work experience. Her learning is grounded in the experience of local communities and a national network of progressive schools, and she’s making a real contribution to the work that we’re doing.

    If you're interested in being a professional mentor too, feel free to contact me and I'll connect you to the people who can make that happen. If you're interested in being a professional mentor too, feel free to contact me and I'll connect you to the people who can make that happen. This seems to have turned into a pitch for College Unbound. Feel free to take it that way, and thanks for helping to spread the word, both about Monday's open house and the program itself.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Nathan Bishop Arts Night, May 19

    I'm happy to share this announcement about Nathan Bishop Middle School Arts Night, which is happening tomorrow, Thursday, May 19, 5-9pm. It sounds fantastic. I wish I could go; unfortunately, the monthly PPSD Parent Advisory Committee meeting is happening at the same time.

    - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Nathan Bishop Middle School’s Arts Night will showcase artwork created this school year by over 300 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. Featured are selections from Breathing as Drawing, Transforming Portraits, Typeface Design Posters, Word Portraits, Our Own Dinner Party, Design Challenges, Where I'm Going sculptures, Character Cards, Exercises in Perspective, Mythological Creature sculptures, Narrative Ceramic Tiles, ceramic Drinking Vessels, and wire exercises in Structure and Form, and Festival Ballet-inspired cut-out silhouettes.

    There will be intermittent performances throughout the night by students, including classical, hip-hop and break dance; violin, cello, drums, piano, vocals, and other instrumentals.  A special performance by Nathan Bishop's Build Up the Beat group is scheduled as well.

    Between 5-7pm, the NB Story Project student crew will be conducting interviews in the principal's conference room.  Project students interview our alumni and learn about the diverse neighborhoods and individual life stories that are vibrantly woven together through our school community. 

    Bishop's Arts Night is part of Providence’s Gallery Night, so you can take the free Art Bus from downtown! For information on parking and more, go to: http://www.gallerynight.info/galleries.html. If you are not going to other galleries that night, you can park at school (101 Sessions Street).

    Extreme myopia (beyond Providence) + process questions (in Providence)

    Written by a teacher-librarian and posted in part on Washington Post Answer Sheet blog, this first hand description of hearings for teachers that the Los Angeles Unified School District is attempting to lay off reveals a shortsighted and and heartbreaking process. It's worth a read, as is the original longer post. For more background, here and here are two opinion pieces (against) on issue of RIF-ing all LAUSD teacher-librarians (am assuming that second one, published today, is written by the same Ms. Murphy as the author of the blog piece referred to a couple of lines back. Whether there are one or two Ms. Murphys documenting the process of what's happening in LAUSD and speaking out, kudos to you.

    Teachers here in Providence will soon be facing the same process. Well, not exactly the same. The LAUSD hearings, however absurdly the district may be handling them, are being conducted on a teacher-by-teacher basis. Teachers in Providence who wish to seek due process to address their firings will be doing so in group hearings, the ProJo reports. I will leave it to you to opine on the legality or feasibility of conducting group hearings for such a purpose.

    Which teachers will choose to do so will become evident soon, I assume. According to this May 3 Emergency Motion to Expedite published on the PPSD website, "The individualized statements of cause contemplated by the PSB Plan have to be provided to the teachers no later than May 17, 2011 under the Tenure Act." That was yesterday.

    I surmise that these notices went out to "Category 3" teachers who are being dismissed for cause (see this useful post from The Quick and the Ed blog for a succinct explanation of three hiring/firing categories into which PPSD has sorted teachers). Or did it go to all teachers whose dismissal notices haven't yet been rescinded? This would including those going to next week's "match event" designed to put still-fired teachers eligible for hire into open PPSD teaching jobs.

    Seriously, if anyone has insight into the process, please to share. I've figured out about as much as I can with Google as my guide and need to get back to the paycheck-generating work.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Follow the approved Wellness Policy, says PPSD parent Nina Ciniglio

    Today, I'm delighted to share a guest post from Nina Ciniglio, a parent of a son at Nathan Bishop Middle School and current president of Bishop's PTO. Nina contacted me in response to the East Side Monthly piece I wrote earlier this year about the benefits of recess; you can read a version of it here.

    The words that follow are Nina's.
    I just read your piece about recess in East Side Monthly. I agree totally with everything, and in fact had tried on many levels to get recess reinstated in its full capacity (at least 10 minutes, non punitive) at my son’s elementary school, Robert F. Kennedy.

    After a lot of effort that went nowhere, we thought the answer was upon us. The school board was finally going to bring to the table a new Wellness Policy that was required by NCLB. The Wellness Policy states, "The Board believes all students and staff should have the opportunity for daily physical activity. Schools will be encouraged to create an environment that supports physical activities. Daily physical activity must never be withheld as a disciplinary strategy."

    We thought the problem was solved because supposedly the schools were going to be instructed to follow this, but I don’t think it went any further than the school board room! This policy was approved in March 2009, I don’t know why it says 2007. [You can view and dowload the entire PPSD Wellness Policy here.]

    My son, who is now at Nathan Bishop, was so passionate about this issue that we drew up a petition and he collected signatures at and around school. He then wrote up a one page intro voicing his concerns and seeking approval of this Wellness Policy and presented it and the petition to the school Board in March 2009 at the school board meeting that was (supposed) to be the one which they were voting on the policy. Quite a courageous feat for a 10 year old!

    I also just noticed that there was a Wellness committee put in place in August 2010. Maybe this is an issue we could tackle as parents, and see what the status of the policy is and why is it not being followed.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    News and no news about PPSD student assignments.

    Sorry that it's been quiet around here for the past couple of days. Blogger, the host of this site, was being weird. But now all seems to be better for now.

    This is old-ish news now, from Wednesday's ProJo: "Providence offers plan for schools' displaced students," which likely to be:
    Asa Messer Elementary School: All students and staff will be transferred to Bridgham Middle School, which will become an elementary school.
    West Broadway Elementary School: Less than a third (about 111) are going to Bridgham, and less than a third (about 101) are going to Carnevale Elementary School. The rest of the children -- 136 students -- will be sent to Fortes/Lima, West and other schools.
    Windmill Elementary School: About 98 children are going to King Elementary School; about 62 are going to Veazie Elementary School; about 61 are going to Kennedy; about 51 are going to Carnevale and about 34 are going to the Fortes/Lima Elementary School complex.
    Flynn Elementary School: About 110 are going to Lauro Elementary School; about 119 are going to Fortes/Lima; about 77 are going to other schools; about 32 are going to Carnevale; about 30 are going to West and about 11 are going to Bailey Elementary School.
    Bridgham Middle School: About 183 are going to Del Sesto Middle School, about 71 to Bishop Middle School, about 49 are going to Greene, and about 13 are going to Hopkins Middle School.
    Approximately 62 special education students will be assigned their new schools at a later date, after consultations with parents.
    As far as I am aware, this news is just about the numbers. Parents of students from schools that will be closed have not yet received notification about the schools to which their kids have been assigned. I know I can speak for the Parent Teacher Organization at MLK Elementary to say that we welcome incoming students from Windmill with open arms, and we're looking forward to meeting the new families who will bring their energy and dedication to their kids' success in school to MLK. We want to do all we can to make MLK accessible to incoming families, and as soon as we are able to know which families will be sending their kids to MLK, we'll have an open house, invite new families from Windmill to our year-end PTO meetings, and do anything else that we can to support good transitions for these incoming students.

    It's worth noting, too that parents of any incoming middle schoolers who submitted school choice forms in December 2010 as part of the regular process have not yet found out our kids' middle school assignments, nor have those of us with incoming kindergarten or first graders registered during March and April - though per regular PPSD practice (not good practice, but as it has happened at least since 2005), we would not yet have heard about elementary school placements.

    I called PPSD registration on Monday to inquire about when we will hear about middle school placements and learned that letters should be send out next week or early the week after. In the meantime, I suggest calling the student registration office at (401) 456-9297 to try to get someone on the phone to share the info that they have about the status of your kids' registrations. In fact, I just tried to do so; no one picked up (lunchtime? Friday? who can say why?) and I was left to attempt to reach staff members there by trying their extensions (on this page - handy to have it in front of you before you call). I tried two staffers whose voice mailboxes were full, left a message for a third asking for the registration status for my incoming middle schooler and incoming kindergartener.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    "Inspiring Hope" - A Look Inside Hope High School

    May's East Side Monthly (with a cover that features friend of this blog Anisa Raoof, editor of the wonderful KidoInfo website) contains "Inspiring Hope," a continuation of the "At School Today" column I've been writing for ESM. For this piece, which is in the online and print editions on page 44, I spent a morning at Hope High School asking questions about what classes and programs are engaging Hope students and connecting them to success. Here it is online, and I've reprinted the piece below (which differs very slightly from the edited version in print).

    There's been a lot said about Hope recently, especially since RIDE declared at the end of March that Hope Information Technology was a failing school in need of intervention (interestingly, the announcement of that unfortunate, and I think undeserved, designation happened the day before I visited the school for my ESM story). A few highlights of the Hope High School reporting and opinionating:
    • "At Hope High, Recent Gains Now Lost," a bleak but honest assessment of the situation at Hope now in the ProJo
    • A write up from WRNI on Hope teacher's reaction to the plan, which includes appealing RIDE's decision and/or combining Hope Arts and Hope IT to form one un-failing school (the ProJo also covered this development here)
    • Commentary from Warren Simmons of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform on the ups and downs of Hope with an eye toward describing the reasons why changes made to improve academics at the school have not created meaningful or lasting improvement. 
    I feel that I have far more to learn about my neighborhood's only public high school before I embark on any significant opinionating of my own. I am exceedingly grateful for the generosity of Hope's educators, administrators and students as I have begun to get to know the school. For this story and for a feature that's going to appear in the June edition of East Side Monthly, they have greeted me warmly and opened their school to me. There's a deep well of good practice alive at Hope, and much of that emerges in the stellar programs that I wrote about. These programs - JROTC, theater, and the arts program - are not making the difference academically or otherwise for all kids at Hope. Nevertheless, even if they don't represent what is typical, they very much represent what is possible, and I believe that if Hope's educators and students had a reasonable amount of autonomy balanced with accountability, as they have had from time to time in the past though not long enough and not with the right conditions (as Dr. Simmons described), they could achieve amazing results.

    With no further ado, here's the May ESM "At School Today" piece on my day at Hope High School:

    As a curious neighbor, possible prospective parent, and journalist, I recently visited Hope High School. I wanted to get inside Hope to appreciate some the good things that I believed must be happening for students within Hope Arts and Hope Information Technology, the school’s two learning communities. Anyone with a passing awareness of local public education knows that a collective of Hope students have demonstrated fierce loyalty to the school as they attempted to preserve the Hope’s block schedule and accompanying adequate teacher common planning time, an endeavor that has met with frustration (and which is itself a powerful story, but not the story I am telling here).  As that situation unfolded, my present curiosity focused not only on teaching and learning as demonstrated (or not) by NECAP scores but on what else was happening inside Hope.

    The morning I set aside to spend at Hope started in Laura Maxwell’s Advanced Placement English class, one of four AP offerings this year at the school, where I joined the class’ 12 students to study the construction of persuasive essays. I spent several more hours with teachers and students, although I needed several more days to check out all the list of programs and opportunities for students that Laura and her colleagues had assembled. In the time that I had, I got to know a bit about three programs that are clearly creating powerful opportunities for engagement and success for students.

    First, I visited Hope’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program, run by teachers Lieutenant Colonel Raoul Archambault and First Sergeant Alan Kushner. Formerly part of Hope Leadership, which no longer exists as a separate learning community, the JROTC program continues to thrive. Enrolling 130 students in grades 9-12—nearly a tenth of Hope’s student body—JROTC combines academics, leadership and teamwork training, service learning, health and physical fitness, and more. I saw young people learning in a unique classroom, with desks on one side, a workout area on the other, and ample resources to support their JROTC commitment. The only school in Providence with a JROTC program, Hope receives federal funding for uniforms, materials, and a 50 percent subsidy for instructor salaries. JROTC students’ strong academic achievement, high rates of graduation, and higher education success repay the investment. Students I talked with said that they were grateful for the program’s structure, high expectations, and opportunity to share their skills with the city; if you see a military color guard at a Providence Bruins game or a Providence Public Schools high school graduation, you’re likely looking at Hope JROTC students in action.

    I next met with art teacher Valerie Kline, who spent her lunch break sharing details of Hope’s partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design. In its eighth year, the partnership offers Hope Arts students the opportunity to pursue serious arts study and career preparation. Students participate in RISD’s Project Open Door program, which provides learning opportunities and mentors for students from Hope and several other urban schools from eighth grade through college. Hope students can earn RISD certificates—a professional credential—in a variety of fields, and RISD students and staff work at Hope to support students as they hone their skills and build their portfolios. RISD places three Master of Arts in teaching candidates at Hope for training and RISD students and staff members actively participate in Hope’s robust afterschool offerings. The Hope-RISD partnership also assures that up to two Hope Arts students per year are eligible for full 4-year RISD undergraduate scholarships. Clearly, Kline and her fellow Hope Arts teachers also serve as valuable assets to Hope students dedicated to approaching arts scholarship and practice seriously.

    My last stop took me to Christine Auxier’s drama studio, part classroom and part stage. Auxier and 15 of her theater students were preparing for the following evening’s preview performance of Laurie Brooks’ Triangle, a play focused on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire disaster and its parallels to current-day immigrants' issues. [Readers may remember that I shared info about a Triangle preview in a previous post.] In August, the Hope High School Theater Company will perform Triangle in Edinburgh, Scotland at the American High School Theater Festival, which takes place in conjunction with the city's renowned Fringe Festival. The American High School Theater Festival showcases the best of high school theater in the United States. Hope is a repeat visitor to the Festival, having performed there previously in 2000 and 2004, and this year is Rhode Island’s only representative. It’s an incredible honor, the result of many years of dedicated effort and tradition within Hope’s theater program.

    There’s so much more. I wish I could tell you about Hope Information Technology’s certification offerings for students, about Hope’s athletics program, about Hope’s student journalism successes. Through the years that I have been writing about education, I have felt far more love for high schools that I ever dreamed possible when I was a student myself. I share this not terribly astounding revelation as a way to frame the frankly giddy delight I experienced during my brief time at Hope. While what I observed may not be the experience of all students, it certainly represents what is possible and what we as a neighborhood and a city must celebrate and expand.

    P.S.: In February’s column, I didn’t yet know which middle school my oldest child would choose as he moved from elementary school. People have wondered about what we decided, so I’m happy to report that once we get through the rigors of fifth grade and the delights of summer, he will be a student at Nathan Bishop Middle School*.

    *Or so I expect, but do not actually know for sure. As of today, May 10, families of incoming middle school students have still not heard from PPSD about our kids' school placements.  

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Teacher Appreciation Week

    Normally, I am at best lukewarm about appreciation days, weeks and months. Mothers' Day is Sunday, and though I love being a mother to my children more than anything else in my life, I do not require much if anything on that actual day that I would not want, need, or expect on any other day. Whatever people would like to do to acknowledge that I am their mother, or the mother of their children, or whatever, is great, but I resist the idea that love can be heaped on during one day if that might cause mothers to be taken for granted in any way during the other 364 days of the year. I know you may not agree but whether or not you do, you get the idea.

    In the past, both when I was a teacher and during the time I've been working with teachers in various ways, I have tended to regard teacher appreciation days/weeks similarly. I love celebrating teachers but prefer to spread out the love through the entire year. However, this year, when teachers everywhere including and especially Providence are not feeling much love at all, every day and week should be devoted to appreciating teachers. Therefore, during this week, which through whatever marketing powers that be has been designated Teacher Appreciation Week on a national scale,  I am grateful for the opportunity to say thank you to our teachers for your commitment to our children.

    Earlier this week, in order to make my good will tangible, I made a donation to help a Providence teacher through Donors Choose. Click here to see the 36 requests that PPSD teachers have made. Pick one or two, and donate a little or a lot. Do it now.

    Of course, teachers deserve far more than a week of token acknowledgement or token donations to fund basic classroom needs. You deserve to be honored and supported, to have the opportunity for professional achievement and recognition, to have adequate if not excellent materials and working conditions in place to be able to focus on the real work in front of you, which is knowing our kids well in order to support and challenge them. As a parent, I rely on you to care for my children as thinkers, workers, and whole human beings, and I am immeasurably grateful for your dedication, persistence, and skills.

    Many parent-teacher organizations celebrate their schools' teachers in all kinds of ways. At my kids' school (Providence's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School), the PTO cooks and serves an annual luncheon to teachers. This year, our PTO President, Corey D. B. Walker, also created a proclamation that celebrates the work of teachers at King and throughout PPSD; it's the image below, which you can click on to see a larger version. May these words and the millions of other words of appreciation that have come the way of teachers this week transform into policies and practices that support teachers to do their best work as professionals day in and day out so that our kids--and all of us--can not just survive but thrive.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Kudos to Central Falls High School Chess Team!

    In the "beyond" part of Providence Schools and Beyond - though not far beyond - on Sunday, May 1, the Central Falls High School Chess Team placed sixth at the National High School Chess Championships. ProJo coverage is here (2nd item in the news digest).

    News of the chess team's impressive showing hasn't been posted yet on the Central Falls High School Transformation blog, though the blog does share the progress of the team as it made its way to the national tournament.

    Congratulations to the team members, coaches and supporters for a fantastic performance!

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Achievement First Mayoral Academy charter application per Tom Hoffman

    Pressed for time, I am not going rehash but rather will simply direct you to the recent posts that Tom Hoffman has made on Tuttle SVC blog about the significant problems that the Cranston Achievement First Mayoral Academy, which is currently in the form of a RIDE charter application, would present to all involved. The related posts are recent; scroll down to check them out. Tom also wrote up his thoughts for Common Ground magazine; flip digitally to page 4 for that.  Much appreciation to Tom for surfacing what certainly does seem like a bad deal for all involved.

    Diane Ravitch at RIC tomorrow

    Diane Ravitch, whom I have referred to in this blog from time to time, will speak tomorrow at Rhode Island College at 4:15. Full details of her talk, sponsored by Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, are here. Great opportunity for those who can make it!