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Weekend Reading: Why Chicago parents are on a hunger strike to get their school revamped

Oliver Morrison

School closures, past and present

  • A group of Chicago parents are nearly two weeks into a hunger strike to get the city to revamp their scheduled-to-be-closed school. (DNAinfo)
  • A mother explains the personal history with school closure that led her to join the strike. (Catalyst)
  • And a researcher studying the school’s neighborhood who previously worked in a school that closed shares her perspective. (Seven Scribes)
  • A meditation on the closure of Jamaica High School in New York City and the history, policy, and poverty that got us there. (New Yorker)
  • Here’s what protest against the plan to close Jamaica looked like in 2009. (Chalkbeat)
  • An advocate for overhauling struggling schools says his allies would do well to acknowledge why communities oppose closure. (Justin Cohen)

Ten years after Katrina

  • This week was the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the storm that led to a radical restructuring of schools in New Orleans.
  • A suite of stories recalls the storm’s impact on New Orleans schools, from the explosion of choice to the disappearance of black woman teachers and beyond. (Education Week)
  • While outsiders masterminded much of what unfolded in New Orleans, local educators and advocates played a crucial role. (Andrew Rotherham)
  • A journalist who covered the changes in New Orleans recalls moments when she could see the winners and losers clearly. (Schooled)
  • An advocate who helped create many of the city’s new schools says the overhaul’s benefits to local students are clear but the idea of replicating it elsewhere is not. (Relinquishment)
  • Preschool hasn’t seen needed changes since the storm, according to an early education advocate. (Ahead of the Heard)
  • Here’s a roundup of the best reporting on the storm’s education impact from across the country. (L.A. Times)

What Americans really think about testing

  • Two polls out this week find that Americans either really support testing or really don’t. (NPR)
  • The poll commissioned by a publication that supports testing and accountability policies found wide support. (Education Next)
  • The poll commissioned by a large association of educators, who tend to be wary of testing, found the opposite. (Phi Delta Kappan)
  • Why the disparate findings? One analyst says it’s all in the questions. (Education Post)
  • Here’s what the polls said about other education issues, including the Common Core and charter schools. (The Atlantic)

Back to school

  • Know any ninth-graders feeling jitters about starting high school? Some older-by-a-year girls have advice for them. (Rookie)
  • “It’s not because of the kids,” says a New York City teacher who’s not returning to the classroom after six years. “It’s just everything else.” (Yo Mista!)
  • Come along for a ride as Tennessee educators start their school year by visiting students at home, a practice that can have long-lasting effects on parent involvement. (NPR)
  • An Iowa school district welcomed educators back to class with an education jargon-rich parody of “One Day More” from Les Miz. (WGN)

In other interesting news

  • A new study found that paying parents to help their children with homework produced few academic results. (BloombergView)
  • Rupert Murdoch wants to unload Amplify, the once-hyped ed tech company that former New York City schools chief Joel Klein started. Here are two looks at what went wrong. (Buzzfeed, EdWeek)
  • A tiny, mighty Christian lobbying group has successfully blocked states from even minor oversight of homeschooling. (ProPublica)
  • In Boston, more homeschoolers are secular, educated, and aiming to insulate their children from school’s dulling effects. (Boston Magazine)
  • How many more children are living in poverty than there were a decade ago? A lot, and this map shows where they are. (Huffington Post)
  • An educator of color pushes back against the call to ally the Black Lives Matter movement with public education protest. (Jose Vilson)
  • A New York City teacher reflects on losing a former student whose death came after a police encounter. (The Atlantic)
  • Two Massachusetts fourth-graders pulled a Chalkbeat and achieved impact with their article on sex-segregated lunchtime. (Good Morning America)
  • The 2012 Chicago teachers strike had many ripple effects. The latest one is an erotic novel. (Teaching Now)

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