Of Barbs and Burbs and Border Walls – They’re Now Ubiquitous in Education, CharterFolk.

Good day, CharterFolk.

I’m working on a couple longer “eat your vegetables” pieces on advocacy matters which I’ll post over the next week.

Meanwhile, let me get this shorter one out to you today about some recent articles in ed world which provide a backdrop for our work.

By now you guys know I have a tic on the ways that affluent communities build their public schools behind walls. This Atlantic article advances a new amalgam:

A barbed wire picket fence in the picture, and “border wall” in the title.

Essentially equating the two.

As I wrote in my 9021-Uh-0 column last fall, when our local town of Davis, California had a vote to renew one of the most restrictive zoning ordinances in California, it passed with 83% in favor …

… despite the ubiquitous yard signs claiming we welcome people from everywhere.

During the campaign, I said I wanted to post a yard sign saying “Trump Was On To Something. Build a Wall … Around Davis. Yes on D,” but calmer and wiser heads in the household prevailed on that one.

Now the idea seems to be getting greater currency.

I know that simple shaming of affluent people in the burbs isn’t a compelling strategy, but do you think we could make faster progress against attendance boundaries if we started calling them border walls?

Meanwhile, you guys might have seen this one.

It starts thusly:

The people who make and sell textbooks are not having a good summer.

For many educational publishing companies and book sellers, sales are plunging as districts shy from purchasing content they fear might fall afoul of state laws restricting education on race, sex and gender — or draw complaints amid a historic surge in book challenges. Meanwhile, frazzled firms are spending months negotiating with education departments, politicians and school officials to ensure the books they sell won’t leave them imprisoned, slapped with onerous fines or banned from doing business in a state under the raft of new legislation.

“Sales are way down for everybody. This is the worst it’s ever been,” said Ben Conn, who heads the Educational Book and Media Association, which has nearly 200 members nationwide. “It’s very difficult to be an educational book vendor right now.”

It comes out less than a month after this news hit:

We obsess over what Johnny reads.

But whether Johnny can read?

Not so much.

Now we have data that Johnny simply doesn’t read at all.

Kids spend 50% less leisure time reading these days than they did a decade ago.

Something’s taken the fun out of it, I guess.

In the end, barbed wire fences are being built between our kids and the literacy they will need to thrive.

Rounding out the portrait of walls and fences, I’m sure many of you saw this one.

It lays plains the barbs and burbs of American life.

But don’t console yourself thinking there’s some solution at the other end.

Only 2.5% of students who enter California’s vaunted program …

…for transferring between community colleges and the UC system actually transfer in two years.


Confusion reigns regarding which courses count toward transfer. Several of my kids’ friends who went the CC route are learning this first hand.

Burbs and barbs and border walls are ubiquitous in education.

Barriers between kids and the better opportunity they deserve.

So much to do, CharterFolk.

So much to do.