A Thought on Kipp

Since I’m thinking about things today.

KIPP Public Schools is a nation-wide charter school organization that has had outsized success in teaching its students, as has virtually all charter and voucher schools and school organizations in the US.  It had a motto, Work Hard. Be Nice., which it scrapped in an attempt to pander to the woke gangs.

In defense of that move, Kipp Co-Founder Dave Levin wrote a Letter to The Wall Street Journal. Toward the end of that letter, Levin made the remarkable claim that

Hard work is essential. Character matters.

It’s a Start

But it can’t possibly be the final answer; it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has issued the final rule regarding college/university sexual harassment complaints and how colleges/universities must handle them. Along the way, DeVos revoked with finality the Obama DoEd rule that eliminated the rights of the accused.

It allows both the accused and accuser to submit evidence and participate in cross-examination in live proceedings, and both parties can also appeal a school’s ruling. Victims-rights advocates say the provision for cross-examinations could traumatize those alleging misconduct and potentially keep them from filing complaints at all.
It also allows institutions to choose one of two standards of evidence—”clear and convincing,” or the lower “preponderance of the evidence,” which just requires a greater than 50% likelihood of wrongdoing—as long as they apply the standard evenly for all cases

Education Standards

A St Paul, MN, public schools educator helping teachers decried insistence that consistent standards be applied to students and their school performance.

A child living in poverty with a single, working parent, little support, marginal technology, and a spotty Wi-Fi connection cannot be held to the same standard as a child of a well-educated family, whose parents are working from home, with ample technological devices, high-speed connectivity and support.

Of course, he can. The child either has mastered the material and is qualified to move on, or he has not. An honestly assigned grade is an index of the level of mastery.

Federal Money for Local Communities?

That’s what Congressman Tim Ryan (D, OH) wants—and not just for States; he wants Federal dollars for local communities within the States.

I talk to my mayors every day, township trustees, they’re in a world of pain here. There’s no money coming in. There’s gonna be huge layoffs at the local level.
I think that [McConnell’s plan is] a strategy to let these states go bankrupt so that they can renegotiate the pensions and…renegotiate the contracts for the police and fire and get the wages down[.]

Wuhan Virus and Higher Education

Our colleges and universities are being confronted with “hard choices” as a result of the Wuhan Virus situation.

Every source of funding is in doubt. Schools face tuition shortfalls because of unpredictable enrollment and market-driven endowment losses. Public institutions are digesting steep budget cuts, while families are questioning whether it’s worth paying for a private school if students will have to take classes online, from home.
To brace for the pain, colleges and universities are cutting spending, freezing staff salaries, and halting plans for campus building.

An Appellate Court Error

The 6th Circuit has this one.  Gary B v Whitmer concerns children in a really poorly performing Detroit public schools: miserable classroom conditions and abysmal test scores.

The appellate court decided, though, that this matter had nothing to do with the quality of the schools, over which the court has no jurisdiction, and everything to due process as delineated in our Constitution’s 14th Amendment, within which the court does have some jurisdiction.

Teachers Unions and Online Education

Oregon’s public schools are closed down due to the Wuhan Virus situation, as are most of our nation’s school systems.  As a result of that, parents started flocking their children to online charter schools so as to continue their education.  The Oregon Education Association, among others, object to that, though. They’d rather the kids sit around at home (because Oregon, like many States, has instituted a stay-home policy for all the State’s citizens and others living there) twiddling their thumbs, making pests of themselves, and otherwise being bored out of their minds rather than continue their schooling. So:

Resistance to Change

Matthew Hennessey, writing in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal commented extensively on the current Wuhan Virus (my term, not his) situation and its impact on education, specifically the forced switch to a measure of home schooling.

Many families have found themselves running pop-up homeschools. Most students will return to traditional classrooms when the crisis passes. But some families—perhaps many—will come away from this involuntary experiment with a new appreciation for home-based education. They may even decide that homeschooling is not only a plausible option, but a superior one.

It’s that last bit, coupled with the article’s subheadline, that drew my attention. That subhead was

Holding Some Back

Forty-three million students are doing homework at home due to the current Wuhan virus situation.

Here’s the shocker about that:

Some public schools are calling online work “enrichment,” not part of the curriculum, because they can’t guarantee that all students will have access to it.

The work, which was part of the curriculum when school was in session, won’t be graded, won’t count.  This is another example of the Left’s view of equality: hold back the successful because the less successful don’t, or can’t, keep up.  Don’t take steps to help the less successful do better. No, that’s too hard.

No VoTech in Public Schools

That seems to be the cry of those who object to a potential requirement that students should learn to code by the time they graduate from high school.

The Wall Street Journal ran another of its point-counterpoint debates, this time on the subject of learning coding—the rudiments of  programming—over the weekend.

Supporters argue

The idea is that such a skill will be invaluable in a world that increasingly runs on computer technology. What’s more, many companies report shortages of workers with programming skills.

Detractors, in addition to crying crocodile tears over supporters having ties to industry, argue