Williams: California, where orange is the new red and school accountability just got much harder to read
Oh, California, you paradise, you far-flung western shoal, you frontier beyond purple mountains and fruited plains, you earth-shaking technological marvel, you never-ending party — California, you’re the land of good news, where the economy booms and the culture is wildly, diversely, supremely cool. You’re the golden realm at the end of our national rainbow. Fittingly,...
By Conor Williams | November 13, 2017
Commentary: Raising LA high school graduation rates by any means necessary is an empty accomplishment
Education is full of priorities: getting kids ready for kindergarten, getting children reading on grade level, developing students’ STEM skills, building social-emotional skills, addressing nature deficit disorder (children spending too little time outdoors), developing thoughtful citizens, training future workers to compete in a global marketplace, and so on and so forth. They’re all interlocked to a certain...
By Conor Williams | July 24, 2017
LA education activist Yolie Flores on schools, politics, and why she’s running for Congress
Yolie Flores is one of 24 candidates who will compete in the April 4 special primary election for the 34th Congressional District seat which includes downtown LA, Koreatown and the city’s northeast region. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, a runoff election will be held on June 6. When longtime representative Xavier Becerra...
By Conor Williams | March 28, 2017
The cool factor in embracing California’s bilingual-education vote: Multiculturalism
Now, at the tail end of a historically fraught election season, seems like as good a time as any for a reminder: Multiculturalism is one of the jewels of American civilization. How can you tell? Because it’s delicious. Californians know this better than anyone else. By the time the rest of the country is discovering...
By Conor Williams | November 3, 2016
Desperate for bilingual teachers? New paper says you should start with your classroom aides
I have all sorts of principles for guiding my thinking about education. But my grand, unifying theory, the thing that determines how all the other stuff hangs together, basically rests on two claims: 1) there are enormous systemic inequities built into American public education, and 2) the decentralization of U.S. political institutions makes rapid policy-driven...
By Conor Williams | June 3, 2016
Commentary: Is California failing its dual language learners?
These days, Washington, D.C., policymakers are focused on working through the details of implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which is replacing No Child Left Behind as the nation’s preeminent federal education legislation. The deliberations have included some conversations about how the law treats multilingual students. It’s early days to know how ESSA — and...
By Conor Williams | May 10, 2016