Body cameras for principals in Burlington, Iowa, schools: Why a police accountability policy is wrong for education.

Disturbing. Another indication that school leaders can prefer restoring order to establishing justice.  These are the measures that support a school-to-prison pipeline. This Iowa proposal establishes more surveillance.

Parallels between law enforcement and education are building. Both teachers and police feel embattled and grossly misunderstood. Social justice educators and advocates who want to disrupt oppressive power can't afford to take the introduction of body cameras as a neutral device.  Like every other policy and practice, it comes embedded in a web of power relations.

And to recall my mentor Sari Biklen, "It's all just data until you interpret it.  Then, it becomes evidence of something." 

Anna Deavere Smith Fights School-to-Prison Pipeline With New Play | The California Report | KQED News

Not that she needs any of our help, but how about trying to bring this powerful play to our communities?  Who's with me on developing the community organizing to use this as a jump-off for local action?

Syracuse school, 19 others in the state, get one year to turn around before being taken over |

Syracuse school, 19 others in the state, get one year to turn around before being taken over |

I was principal of one of the schools on this list as we designed our turnaround. Both the promises and threats attached to that project were powerful.  Several posts here reflect on that process from the inside.  Looking at the promise in pros and cons, attempts to treat people like professionals despite the threat of imminent transfer, establishing student-centered justice, even interviewing in the first place.  I'm also sharing documents that were actually used in turnaround leadership.  Are you connected to turnaround or know someone who is?  How do your experiences compare?

Pearson loses huge testing contract in New York — and gets more bad news - The Washington Post

A good step. And some good lessons for us.

First, activism works. Without organizing of families, teacher unions (@NYSUT), and administrators to push back against Pearson, this would not have happened.  We need to stay vigilant about the successor contractor because...

Second, this neoliberal corporate reform is like the Hydra, with many heads.  So, we will need to continue to educate our friends and colleagues that 

  • these tests do not diagnose student learning.  They are designed to sort and sift students, not tell us what know and can do, or conversely where the gaps are in their knowledge, and
  • these tests do not indicate the quality of teaching that students have received.  The psychometric testing industry still has shown no credible evidence that student test scores predict good teaching or bad.

Black Girls Matter

Racialized and gendered behavior expectations contribute mightily to the school-to-prison pipeline.  As girls are expected to be fundamentally docile, adults have a low threshold for seeing them as disorderly.  Powerful report here on how girls are pushed out of school.