Please Note: During the summer, The Education Trust-Midwest will email monthly newsletters on the first Tuesday of each month. Weekly newsletters will resume on September 6.

Haycock: Achieving Racial Justice Is A Job For All Of Us

This excerpt is from a letter from Kati Haycock, CEO of The Education Trust, published on July 19, 2016, following the tragic shooting at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida. Full text of the letter is available here.

Like most Americans, I watched the horrific tragedies of last week unfold with tear-filled eyes and a broken heart. Together, we witnessed seven more examples of the explosive consequences from a toxic cocktail of hate, ignorance, injustice, and fear.

Unlike many of the pundits, though, my biggest fear isn’t that the summer will devolve into an unending cascade of demonstrations and prayer vigils, bringing continuous attention to the open and festering wound of race and injustice in America. My biggest fear is that it won’t — that collectives of mostly Black activists will continue the important work of calling attention to the need for dramatic reforms in our American criminal justice system, while everybody else, especially White Americans with the luxury of distraction, goes back to thinking about everything but justice reform.

The work of achieving the America we dream of should not be the work of one group or another but all of us who call this country home. And we the people — Black, Brown, White — must not rest until all can claim that dream. And bring it to powerful, just fruition.

Read the full letter here.

A Sea of Charter Schools in Detroit Leaves Students Adrift

Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest was quoted in a New York Times article on the charter school market in Detroit. The full article is available here.

Michigan leapt at the promise of charter schools 23 years ago, betting big that choice and competition would improve public schools. It got competition, and chaos…

While the idea was to foster academic competition, the unchecked growth of charters has created a glut of schools competing for some of the nation’s poorest students, enticing them to enroll with cash bonuses, laptops, raffle tickets for iPads and bicycles. Leaders of charter and traditional schools alike say they are being cannibalized, fighting so hard over students and the limited public dollars that follow them that no one thrives.

Detroit now has a bigger share of students in charters than any American city except New Orleans, which turned almost all its schools into charters after Hurricane Katrina. But half the charters perform only as well, or worse than, Detroit’s traditional public schools…

But the city’s residents — many of them stranded here after whites and middle-class blacks fled in waves — will not share in any renaissance as long as only 10 percent of rising high school seniors score “college ready” on reading tests…

“People here had so much confidence in choice and choice alone to close the achievement gap,” said Amber Arellano, the executive director of the Education Trust Midwest, which advocates higher academic standards. “Instead, we’re replicating failure.”

Read the full article here.

Noteworthy News


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@Ted_Ed: Q4 What activities do you use to get to know your students as individuals? #TedEdChat ["If I am going to push my students toward their dream and their purpose in life, I've got to get to know who they are." - Linda Cliatt-Wayman