Weekly Roundup for November 4, 2011

Bronx high schoolers display their running pride on a wall across the street from the Van Cortlandt Park cross country course.

Jess Tonn>      Fire up Acrobrat…These folks released ELT reports this week:

>      If you bought the hardcover version of Diane Ravitch’s book last year and are curious about the new chapter at the end of the recently released paperback edition, check out Valerie Strauss’ summary. Ravitch’s main argument: “School reform must occur in tandem with social reform.”

>      The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University debuted a new documentary about parent activism in New York City this week. According to Gotham Schools, the film “traces the organizing story that emanated from an effort to improve a single Bronx school in the mid-1990s and resulted in the citywide Coalition for Educational Justice.” Here’s the trailer and an interview with the producers.

>      Elsewhere in NYC news, the city reports that suspensions are up, but more serious crimes in schools are down. Thanks to Lindsay Christ for bringing this to our attention—Black students: 30% of school system, but 52% of suspensions. White students: 14% of school system, 7% of suspensions.

>      Good news for our neighbors in the Garden State…Start hanging those pictures back on your office walls, New Jersey After 3! We’re happy that you’re staying afloat.

>      Not at the Ed Trust conference? Neither am I. But I’m following what’s happening on Twitter.

>      Speaking of social media, here’s something that surprised me—the top social media brand among teens is NOT Facebook. [OMG does that mean that i’m officially old? LOL] And I’m glad to see Larry Ferlazzo tackling this thorny issue: Can teachers be friends with students using social media?

>      The Joan Ganz Cooney Center gives new meaning to the term “early adopters” in Take a Giant Step: A Blueprint for Teaching Young Children in a Digital Age. What do you think of their idea to establish a Digital Teacher Corps?

>      Digital badges are a running theme of this blog. Lydia Dobyns agrees that they could be The Great [College] Equalizer.

>      We’re used to seeing Soledad O’Brien in our office between the 7-9am hours, leading our Board of Directors meetings. Now you’ll have the pleasure of spending your mornings with her, too. Congrats on the new show, Soledad.

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity:

Out-of-School Time Program for Elementary and Middle School Youth
The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development will fund nonprofit organizations that deliver year-round out-of-school time (OST) programs to New York City public and private (including charter) school students in kindergarten through the middle school grades. OST programs must be located in neighborhoods throughout New York City.

Deadline: December 16

And now for something completely different:

One of my favorite events of the year happens this Sunday: the New York City marathon. Join me in cheering on Gweneviere Mann (bib number is 65445) and her boyfriend Yasir Salem (bib number is 65444) who will be running together for the second time since Gweneviere’s brain injury in 2008.

“You know, I have spent a lot of days since my injury comparing myself to what I used to be and feeling sad about the things that I’ve lost,” Mann says. “But doing the marathon really shows me that I still have a lot left in me.”

See you at the finish line, Gweneviere.