Welcome to On the Wire, our weekly roundup of city-ed stories:
After Trump revoked federal guidelines on transgender student rights, states and school districts are taking measures to uphold their students’ rights.
“All students deserve a safe and supportive school environment. California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration,” said California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
— Rhode Island state chief Ken Wagner also refused to back down: “The rescinding of this federal guidance does not change our policy — there is no room for discrimination in our schools, and we will continue to protect all students, including transgender and gender-nonconforming students, from any type of bias.”
— And District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson said the district will stick to its policy of ensuring “all students are treated equitably and with dignity.” In an email to the DCPS community, Wilson added: “We remain committed to supporting and protecting our transgender school community, as well as all of the students, families and community members of DCPS.”
Georgia Governor Rolls Out New School Takeover Plan. Will It Help or Hurt Kids? (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
After Georgia voters rejected a constitutional amendment to allow for state takeover of failing schools, Governor Nathan Deal is now trying to pass legislation, House Bill 338 that would bypass voter approval.
Anne Dichele, board chair of the Side By Side Charter School in Norwalk, CT, writes an impassioned plea to get back to where the charter school movement all began – a beacon of hope for disenfranchised students can flourish without all the red tape of larger school districts.
“Rather than build a corporation, we have chosen to build a beacon of hope and light — an example of what is possible in public education even with limited funding but a clear mission and high quality teachers,” writes Dichele.
Georgia’s Largest School District Receives National Education Accolade (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Gwinnett County, Georgia’s largest public school district, received national accolades earlier this week for their efforts of not only getting more students to take AP courses, but also the improved academic performance on AP exams.
The courses and teachers “provided me not only with college readiness, but preparation for life and opportunities,” said student Cameren Carter, who plans to attend Columbia University this fall.
Op-Ed: When Charter and Public Schools are Pitted Against Each Other, Children Lose (The Dallas Morning News)
There are many people that believe school choice and charter schools provide a better, safer education than public schools. However, Cynthia Franklin warns that shifting more public funds to charter schools will not improve education in our society.
“It is unjustified to think that one type of school is better than another based on whether it is public, private or parochial without considering what makes a school effective,” writes Franklin.
Fewer than half of Philadelphia fourth graders now read at grade level, Kristen Graham writes. However, a new citywide initiative, Read by 4th, aims to double that number by 2020.
“The Read by 4th campaign aims to boost early literacy by improving the quality of reading instruction in city schools, addressing barriers to student attendance, promoting summer reading to ward off learning loss, and working with parents to help strengthen students’ reading skills,” writes Graham.