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Jill Bergeron

Private Schools Are Indefensible - The Atlantic - 0 views

  • if these children want to attend an elite college, their best bet by far is to spend their adolescence in a school where the experience of being Black is, for many, a painful one.
  • Among the posts from more recent students, what’s striking is that several kinds of experiences were related over and over: the expectation that Black kids would be excellent athletes (and possibly weaker students); insulting assumptions about Black students’ family backgrounds; teachers repeatedly confusing the names of Black students; other students constantly reaching out and touching Black girls’ hair; and non-Black students using the N‑word. Read collectively, these posts are a damning statement about the schools.
  • Private-school parents have become so terrified of being called out as racists that they will say nothing on the record about their feelings regarding their schools’ sudden embrace of new practices. They have chosen, instead, anonymous letters and press leaks.
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  • ‘Okay, we’re now welcoming you to the majority, where you should be’—with the white people, so to speak.” But “inherently within that, you are sacrificing who you are as a person—and it’s not like that would ever happen on the opposite end.” There had been costs to going to Spence. One of those, she now realizes, was “sacrificing my Blackness.”
  • The parents had demands of their own, including an immediate halt to curriculum changes.
  • Many schools for the richest American kids have gates and security guards; the message is you are precious to us. Many schools for the poorest kids have metal detectors and police officers; the message is you are a threat to us.
  • Shouldn’t the schools that serve poor children be the very best schools we have?
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    "Private Schools Have Become Truly Obscene Elite schools breed entitlement, entrench inequality-and then pretend to be engines of social change."
Jill Bergeron

The first time I realized I was black - CNN.com - 0 views

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    VIdeo series by CNN. Each video is about two minutes.
Jill Bergeron

NAIS - The Truth About Making Real Change for Racial Justice - 0 views

  • To look at ourselves honestly means to ask: Why are our schools here? The raison d’être of independent schools has been, and continues to be, that of advancing the interests of those who already have privilege—to provide a return on investment (ROI) to those who have sufficient disposable income to afford independent school. To put it differently, our main job is to preserve the social status quo or reproduce the elite; this class-bound purpose results in a hierarchical view of the world in which our students are destined for leadership. In our mission statements, the idea that we are creating leaders is almost universal. On their face, these statements provide a binary and hierarchical understanding of society, one in which there are leaders and followers, and we are teaching the leaders.
  • noblesse oblige, a worldview that accepts and perpetuates existing social hierarchies while promoting social good.
  • When we look at our schools’ service programs, the idea of “giving back” is ubiquitous. Yet we fail to discuss or even question how much taking is appropriate.
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  • Families send their kids to our schools, and we must prove that we are better than local public or other school options. In other words, we ask the majority of our families to give us financial support so that their kids can get more—not necessarily different—than what their taxes pay for; the “more” is the ROI.
  • Furthermore, this hierarchical worldview permeates our practices—from grading to sports, we promote hierarchies cemented on ability, access, and popularity, among other things. By viewing race problems in our schools in purely cultural terms, we are articulating our hope that we will promote some hierarchies while erasing other hierarchies based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. But as we know, hierarchies intersect and sustain each other.
  • the demand that our teachers get better or different professional development, that we hire and admit more people of color, and that we collectively become culturally competent is a way to deal with the symptoms of racism, not with a system of racism.
  • Why would those who have privilege, and want to keep it by paying for a special pathway for their children, want to give it up? Anyone familiar with the college admission process knows the tensions that emerge around race and class. If our students and families are happy to embrace the language of inclusion, such superficial pretense often evaporates when college admission lists appear. It is then that we see the hard limits of our inclusivity.   The families in our communities are essentially good people who want to share, but they don’t want to be left out.
  • They like the idea of “giving back” but do not want to take less.
  • many of our enrollment challenges derive from the fact that millennial families are looking for meaning and value—not access. We need to stop worrying about providing an illusory ROI and ensure that we help our students develop lives of meaning and purpose; we need to stop worrying exclusively about leadership and prepare them for ethical and active citizenship. It is only when we can talk to our students about the need to take less so that others can have their fair share that we will be able to honestly talk about race.
Jill Bergeron

NAIS - NAIS Research: Budget Considerations for the 2021-2022 School Year - 0 views

  • Data from the NAIS Snapshot surveys of varying groups of independent school leaders reveal that 61% of schools have increased their expense budgets for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, while 58% are projecting a loss for the same time period.
  • 49% of schools experienced a decrease in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year, with 33% seeing a decrease of greater than 5%. At the same time, 47% of schools reduced their fundraising goals from the previous year.[2] Tuition revenue will only help fill the gap at some schools: 49% increased their tuition, while 41% kept it the same and just 5% of schools reduced it.[3] However, 70% do expect to raise tuition in 2021-2022.[4]
  • Sixty-seven percent of schools have already implemented revenue-increasing strategies, and 76% plan to do the same in 2021-2022. Schools most commonly plan to rely on summer programs, with 67% already offering them and 79% likely to for the next summer.
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  • 74% of schools increased their technology budgets.[6] Thirty-six percent expect IT expenses to increase further in 2021-2022.[7] Other schools appear to be angling to attract and retain staff despite the cost: 43% increased salaries (compared to 21% who cut them), and 74% hired additional staff (though data from a different sample of NAIS members found that 30% had implemented a hiring freeze, while 19% instituted layoffs).[8] Additionally, 38% of schools have increased their general financial aid budgets, with 31% increasing it by more than 5%. Fifty-four percent have established a separate emergency grant fund for students needing additional assistance.
  • Despite the need for additional teacher training in online and hybrid learning, professional development budgets have frequently been cut to make up for additional spending elsewhere, with 41% of the schools decreasing the amount allocated (and 26% decreasing it by more than 16%).[10] Thirty-nine percent of schools are likely to continue to reduce professional development in 2021-2022, and 22% may freeze it altogether.
  • adding new degree programs was a common and successful tactic for boosting enrollment during the Great Recession and one that was also popular with faculty.
  • A parallel tactic for independent schools in markets that have seen increased demand for their programs, whether in-person or online, would be to add a part-time or afterschool component for parents worried about learning loss for their public school students.
  • Determining what motivates your parents can help your school focus its offerings and rein in expenses, helping you focus on what matters most to families.
  • Fifty-five percent of independent schools lost teachers this year due to COVID-19 concerns, and 8% lost 5% or more of their teaching staff, according to NAIS Snapshot surveys.[21] All of this has led to a nationwide shortage in both dedicated substitutes and, more broadly, people who can just watch over a classroom when the teacher isn’t physically present.
  • The goal of financial sustainability seems to have been superseded by the reality of teaching during a global pandemic
  • To address the substitute shortage in South Dakota, for example, one public school district partnered with a local university’s college of education. Teaching candidates are able to get the field experience hours required for their degree by substitute teaching in various classrooms.
  • After all, the job market for recent graduates has shrunk dramatically during the pandemic, with unemployment during the third quarter of 2020 particularly high among young people—almost 18% of 18- to 19-year-olds were unemployed as were about 15% of 20- to 24-year-olds.
  • One-time revenue shortfall (with expected rapid recovery): This scenario is optimistic during the pandemic, but schools that were unable to hold a large revenue-earning event in 2020, such as an auction, community fair, or summer camp, but expect to be able to do so in 2021 can rely on endowment funds for the time being. One-time or short-term expenses: Schools may need endowment funds to repair the campus after natural disasters or offer emergency financial aid grants for families facing hardship. Short-term expense for long-term savings: Schools that haven’t already done so, or haven’t done so to as full an extent as they would like, can use endowment funds to upgrade technology or PPE infrastructures in order to attract and retain students in the long-term.
  • When making financial decisions, school leaders need to be honest about the challenges affecting their final choice.
Scott Nancarrow

How to Help Middle and High School Students Develop the Skills They Need to Complete Ho... - 0 views

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    (I think this article just explained a solid 65% of my job!)
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