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Archive for August, 2018

“Asian Americans” Suit Against Harvard Because of Reverse Discrimination Undercuts Diversity, Opportunity

August 31, 2018 Comments off

Today’s headline story in the NYTimes reads:

Asian-American Students Suing Harvard Over Affirmative

Action Win Justice Dept. Support

Once again our country is witnessing a desire to impose some kind of meritocracy based on testing, a meritocracy that flies in the face of the economic, racial, and skill diversity that makes our country great and makes post secondary education a rich and meaningful experience for all. I expect that not only Harvard but also every other college and university will push back against this effort to base admissions solely on “objective criteria”.

Over two decades ago, one of my daughters was accepted to two “elite” colleges. When we attended the weekends where the colleges invited prospective students to visit campus with their parents one of the points the admissions officers made at both schools was their intent to make the entering population both academically excellent AND geographically, economically, and culturally diverse. One of the schools made a point of emphasizing how many valedictorians and high SAT scorers were NOT accepted because of their efforts to create a class that was more reflective of the nation as a whole. In effect, these “elite” schools wanted to make it clear that their entry standards were NOT based “entirely on objective statistics”… they included other factors as well.

This reality was driven home in our initial visits to campuses as well where more than one school told a group of prospects that if the college orchestra needed an oboist or a strong tennis player that person might gain entry over someone with 1600 on their SATs. In order for colleges and universities to offer broad experiences for ALL students they need to be mindful of areas of excellence outside of the traditional “objective measures”. Indeed, I do not recall ANY school we visited in the mid-1990s who proclaimed they were identifying the “best and brightest” based solely on objective measures.

When objective academic statistics are the sole criteria for admission, music, the arts, and athletics will all suffer… and possibly endowments as well. But, presumably, that is a price worth paying to ensure “fairness” prevails.

Stand Out: A Guide to “Charter School Marketing”

August 30, 2018 Comments off

After reading Mercedes Schneider’s post whose title is the same as this one, I re-blogged and offered the following commentary, which I also left as a comment on Diane Ravitch’s blog that incorporated the link to this post:

The whole notion of marketing a school and making a living as “…a strategic consultant in the field of education reform and philanthropy and specializes in collaborating with leaders and organizations to tell their story” is nauseating…. but in the emerging era of choice and charters public schools DO need to heed one piece of advice offered by the Colorado League of Charter Schools: they DO need to “Include parents on your list of those to be nurtured and recognized.” This was a sound practice in the era when I worked in public education (1970-2011), but it is even more important now! In states where choice is advocated by politicians, I think it is safe to assume that parents are getting bombarded with slick brochures written by “…strategic consultants in the field of education reform and philanthropy”. Public schools do not have the time or money to put out slick brochures, but we should have the time to praise and support parents. Failure to do so will increase the bleeding of students.

deutsch29

Where there is a charter school, there is a need to drum up some enrollment.

“It is not enough for parents to choose any seats,” saith the charter school; “we need for those parents to choose our seats.”

That’s where some nifty marketing assistance is helpful.

In 2015, the Colorado League of Charter Schools (CLCS) produced a publication entitled, Stand Out: A Guide to School Marketing, created by Lisa Relou Consulting:

Stand Out: A Guide to School Marketing was created in collaboration with Lisa Relou Consulting. Lisa Relou is the former Director of Internal Communications and Marketing for Denver Public Schools and has 15 years of experience marketing
schools in Colorado. She is currently a strategic consultant in the field of education reform and philanthropy and specializes in collaborating with leaders and organizations to tell their story. For information contact lisa.relou@gmail.com.

Some thoughts on how parents need help making…

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An Argument AGAINST Arming Teachers: Vermont School Locks Down When Umbrella is Mistaken for Rifle

August 30, 2018 Comments off

I cannot get the details on what transpired yesterday at Lyndon Institute in Lyndonville, Vermont because it is behind a paywall at the Caledonian Record, but the headline and the first sentence of the article gives me enough of a prompt to write this post. The headline reads:

Umbrella Mistaken For Gun Sparks Lockdown At LI

The first sentence of the article reads:

Lyndonville Police Chief Jack Harris is praising the response of Lyndon Institute officials and law enforcement for their response to yesterday’s report of a suspicious and possibly armed person on campus.

Based on the headline, the “…suspicious and possibly armed person on campus” was wielding an umbrella and not a gun… and based on yesterday’s weather forecast it would seem that the umbrella bearer was being prudent in bringing an umbrella to school since the possibility of afternoon showers existed… and based on the fact that schools across Vermont and across the nation are opening the year under the threat of school shooters, it is not at all surprising that a vigilant adult mistook an umbrella for a gun and, upon seeing something, said something.

But here’s what is sad: reports like these make headlines without taking into account how an understandable mistake like this impacts the lives of the hundreds of children in the school and reinforces the notion that school shooters abound.

But there is one good thing that comes from this: parents should be thankful that the teacher who mistook an umbrella for a gun was not armed.

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