Educ 308: Cities, Suburbs and Schools
Spring 2016 seminar, Mondays 1:15-3:55pm from Jan 29-May 2, 2016
Austin Arts Center room 231, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
Map to our classroom — visitor’s map of Trinity campus
Jump to: Week 1: Jan 25 — Week 2: Feb 1 — Week 3: Feb 8 — Week 4: Feb 15 — Week 5: Feb 29 — Week 6: March 7 — Week 7: March 21 — Week 8: March 28 — Week 9: April 4 — Week 10: April 11 — Week 11: April 18 — Week 12: April 25 — Week 13: May 2 — Assessment
Our upper-level undergraduate seminar operates as a team research workshop on cities, suburbs, and schooling. To develop our skills with qualitative, quantitative, and historical methods, we closely read other studies and conduct our own small-scale research in metropolitan Hartford. As a community-learning seminar, we partner with local groups and share our findings and stories on the public web. Prerequisite: Ed 200 or the Cities Program or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with American Studies and Public Policy & Law.) Enrollment limited to 20.
This semester our theme is School Choice and Civil Rights. We begin with present-day debates over public school choice as a reform strategy in the Hartford region, and go back in time to understand its historical roots in civil rights activism over discriminatory housing and schooling. Our seminar will work on three research projects:
- How do school choice programs communicate with families in the Hartford area?
What does public school enrollment data reveal about choice in Connecticut?
- How do housing mobility program advocates communicate their policy goals in the Connecticut legislative arena?
- How have discriminatory barriers and civil rights activism evolved in the Hartford area, and how do we share meaningful histories and teaching ideas on the public web?
This semester we will share our research drafts for feedback with our “Sister Seminar” at Yale University: Cities, Suburbs, and School Choice, taught by Professor Mira Debs. See our Trinity-Yale GDoc Organizer http://bit.ly/TrinityYale2016
Also, guest evaluators for our historical web essays are: Jasmin Agosto (Trinity ’10 and NYU Gallatin MA ’15), an artist/activist/historical researcher in Hartford; and Glenn Mitoma, a professor of human rights and education, and director of the Dodd Research Center at UConn.
For each session, students must bring a laptop for in-class writing, peer editing, and data analysis. Contact me if you need to borrow my spare Chromebook. Most readings will be made available in digital and paper formats.
(Subject to change; asterisk* = more to come; revisions marked in red.)
Week 1: Jan 25
How do Hartford parents experience the public school choice application process?
- Before class, fill out quick student info survey
- Introduction to the syllabus
- Intro to sharing settings and our Google Doc Organizer (restricted to seminar)
- Assign: Team field notes on a downtown public school choice info location, on GDoc Organizer by end of Fri Jan 29
Week 2: Mon Feb 1
Why are there so many public school choice options in the Hartford area? How do choice programs market to different parents?
- Complete listed readings before seminar. We will discuss readings and work through presentations/exercises in seminar.
- Guiding question: After reading my essay below, how does student learning in this community-learning seminar differ from more conventional classes?
- Jack Dougherty, “Investigating Spatial Inequality with the Cities, Suburbs, and Schools Project,” in On The Line: How Schooling, Housing, and Civil Rights Shaped Hartford and Its Suburbs (Trinity College, book-in-progress, 2016), http://ontheline.trincoll.edu/book/chapter/investigating-spatial-inequality.
- Presentation with exercises: School Choice Conceptual Map for Hartford CT
- Study hint: During or after my Google Slide presentations, File > Make a Copy to insert notes about your own insights/questions.
- Guiding question: According to This American Life, what pressures influence how school choice providers market magnet schools to different communities? What storytelling techniques are most effective in this podcast format?
- Listen to podcast, act 1 on Hartford: Chana Joffe-Walt, “The Problem We All Live With – Part Two,” This American Life, August 7, 2015, http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/563/the-problem-we-all-live-with-part-two; see also link to transcript.
- Review each team’s field notes in Google Doc Organizer (restricted to seminar)
- Scan all of the school choice print information you received last week, and also these online resources:
- Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) manages lottery applications for interdistrict magnet schools, technical schools, and Open Choice city-suburban transfers, http://www.choiceeducation.org/.
- Hartford Public Schools (HPS) Choice office manages applications for district-wide (non-magnet) schools, http://www.hartfordschools.org/choice-page.
- Hartford Public Schools, Future Guide: How to Choose the Best School for Your Children and Their Future, 2016-17 School Year (Hartford Public Schools, 2015), http://www.hartfordschools.org/school-selection-resources.
- “Choose Success: A Guide to Public School Choice for Students and their Families,” Connecticut State Department of Education, 2014 website, http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2681&q=335070 (see Q&A sections on charters, magnets, Open Choice, agri-science, and vo-tech schools).
- Updated Assignment on GDoc Organizer: Individual field notes on a public school choice fair on GDoc organizer before Mon Feb 8th seminar OR alternative assignment
- Assign students as advance annotators/discussion leaders for major readings to come
- Tutorial: How to annotate with Hypothes.is
Week 3: Mon Feb 8
How do different parents navigate school choice markets? How have other researchers investigated this process? How can we analyze our collective qualitative field note data?
- Read qualitative studies, using Moodle versions with Hypothes.is annotations:
- Allison Roda and Amy Stuart Wells, “School Choice Policies and Racial Segregation: Where White Parents’ Good Intentions, Anxiety, and Privilege Collide,” American Journal of Education 119, no. 2 (February 1, 2013): 261–93, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668753; see Moodle version annotated by Michelle and Vianna
- Mary Pattillo, “Everyday Politics of School Choice in the Black Community,” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 12, no. 01 (March 2015): 41–71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1742058X15000016; see Moodle version annotated by Courtney and Jessica
- Maia Cucchiara, “Re‐branding Urban Schools: Urban Revitalization, Social Status, and Marketing Public Schools to the Upper Middle Class,” Journal of Education Policy 23, no. 2 (March 1, 2008): 165–79, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02680930701853088; see Moodle version annotated by Cara
- Jack Dougherty et al., “School Information, Parental Decisions, and the Digital Divide: The SmartChoices Project in Hartford, Connecticut,” in Educational Delusions? Why Choice Can Deepen Inequality and How to Make Schools Fair, ed. Gary Orfield and Erica Frankenberg (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), 219–37, http://books.google.com/books?isbn=0520274741; see Moodle version annotated by Lilly
- Assign: Essay 1 qualitative analysis of choice information, due on GDoc Organizer by end of Friday Feb 12th, and assigned internal peer editing due by end of Sun Feb 14th
- In class: Thematic analysis of team and individual field notes on GDoc Organizer
- Sample 1 and Sample 2 by last year’s students on similar assignment
- Assign: Revise Essay 1, due on Trinity-Yale GDoc Organizer by end of Mon Feb 15th, for Yale seminar peer editing
- Discuss: Qualitative research secondary sources, led by annotators
- Feedback about writing/reading annotations on PDFs with Hypothes.is?
- Prep for next week’s readings and annotators/discussion leaders
Week 4: Mon Feb 15
Who chooses? Who enrolls? Who leaves? Who benefits from school choice?
- Read school choice report PDFs on our website, with Hypothes.is annotations:
- Robert Cotto, Jr. and Kenneth Feder, Choice Watch: Diversity and Access in Connecticut’s School Choice Programs (CT Voices for Children, 2014), http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/choice-watch-diversity-and-access-connecticuts-school-choice-programs; Read PDF on our website, annotated by James and Lisa
- Kevin Welner, “The Dirty Dozen: How Charter Schools Influence Student Enrollment,” Teachers College Record, April 22, 2013, http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=17104, and publicly available at http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/welner-charter-enrollment-teachers-college-record.pdf; Read PDF on our website, annotated by Nico
- Vanessa De La Torre, “Advocates: Hartford Magnet School Pushed Underperforming Student To Withdraw,” Courant.com, July 7, 2015, http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hartford-cityline/hc-hartford-smsa-letter-0707-20150706-story.html; Read PDF on our website, annotated by Nico
- In class: Visuals about school choice events: Vanessa De La Torre, “Star Wars Event Heralds Extra Month To Apply For School Choice Lottery,” Courant, January 29, 2016, http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-hartford-school-choice-deadline-0130-20160129-story.html.
- In class: Discuss your rewrite plans for essay 1, due on Trinity-Yale Sister Seminar Organizer by end of Monday Feb 15th, for Yale students to comment
- Presentation in class, based on Jack Dougherty et al., Who Chooses in Hartford? Report 1: Statistical Analysis of Regional School Choice Office Applicants and Non-Applicants among Hartford-Resident HPS Students in Grades 3-7, Spring 2012 (Hartford, CT: Cities Suburbs Schools Project at Trinity College, May 12, 2014), http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/cssp_papers/46; see also Who Chooses Report 2 (October 2015), http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/cssp_papers/48/.
- Discussion of reports on choice process, led by annotators
- In-class: How do different videos portray Hartford-area school integration?
- CNN, School Integration: What Helps Kids the Most? [comparison of Brooklyn rezoning and Hartford-area magnets], 2016, http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/02/06/school-integration-poppy-harlow.cnn.
- “The State of North End Schools,” video of public event by J. Stan McCauley, January 31, 2014, http://accesstv.org/archives/4178. (Focus on segment from 29:30 to 34:30 on school choice and neighborhood schools).
- Prep for readings in next class, and upcoming essay 2 assignment
Mon Feb 22: No Class (Trinity Days)
- Recommended: Attend the courtroom trial on Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) vs Rell. Learn more at http://ccjef.org
Week 5: Mon Feb 29
How do housing mobility program advocates communicate their policy goals in the Connecticut legislative arena?
- Updated: Our seminar will attend this informational hearing from 1:30-3:30pm, Legislative Office Building, Room 1A, 300 Capitol Ave, Hartford CT. Fill out this quick transportation survey.
- Read: Open Communities Alliance, Zip Code Destiny event page, and their organization’s 2015 policy priorities
- Read about the Gautreaux and Moving To Opportunity (MTO) housing voucher experiments: Alana Semuels, “Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?,” The Atlantic, February 3, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/02/is-ending-segregation-the-key-to-ending-poverty/385002/.
- Read policy brief on Housing Choice Voucher program: Barbara Sard and Philip Tegeler, “Children and Housing Vouchers,” The Dream Revisted: NYU Furman Center, October 2014, http://furmancenter.org/research/iri/essay/children-and-housing-vouchers.
- Read any portion of this website: Stefanie DeLuca and Jessi Stafford, “Finding Home: Voices of the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program,” March 6, 2014, http://apps.tcf.org/finding-home.
Week 6: Mon March 7
What makes housing choice policy more successful in some US metro areas? How could Connecticut’s housing choice programs be improved? What lessons can we learn by comparing housing choice and school choice?
- Re-read about the Gautreaux and Moving To Opportunity (MTO) housing voucher experiments: Alana Semuels, “Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?,” The Atlantic, February 3, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/02/is-ending-segregation-the-key-to-ending-poverty/385002/.
- Read: “Attending a Baltimore Housing Mobility Program Orientation Session,” HousingMobility.org, March 2014, http://www.housingmobility.org/2014/03/15/attending-a-baltimore-housing-mobility-program-orientation-session/.
- Presentation: Housing Choice Policy in Connecticut
- Background: Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice 2015 (Hartford: Connecticut Department of Housing, 2015), http://www.ct.gov/doh/lib/doh/analysis_of_impediments_2015.pdf.
- What are Tenant-Based Housing Vouchers? page 52+
- Source of income (HCV and RAP settlement patterns) page 89+
- Housing Mobility Programs in Connecticut, pages 119-124 (PDF page 121)
- RAP Assistance page 148+
- Tenant-Based Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, pages 152-157
- Discuss peer comments on Essay 2; strategies to improve final drafts
- Assign Essay 2 final draft on CTOCA GoogleDoc Organizer by end of Wed March 9. Your audience is the CT Open Communities Alliance staff
- Discuss: Lessons we can learn from comparing housing and school choice?
- Discuss: Writing substantive comments versus copyediting
- Assign: Substantive comments on 2 Yale school choice essays due before departing for spring break on Friday March 11th *
Mon March 14: No Class (Spring break)
- Read: Susan Eaton, The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial (Chapel Hill NC: Algonquin Books, 2007), in paper or digital format.
- Watch: T. J. Noel-Sullivan, Separate But Unequal: Sheff v O’Neill, Streaming video (Hartford, CT, 2014), https://vimeo.com/92868548.
Week 7: Mon March 21
How do we tell meaningful stories about civil rights, past and present, in the Hartford region?
- Welcome back: Essay 2 feedback from CT OCA; your comments on Yale essays
- Discuss Eaton’s book: What story does she tell? How does she tell it? Which aspects of the story stay with you, and why?
- Compare with Noel-Sullivan’s short video
- Invited guests: Emily Meehan ’16 and Elaina Rollins ’16 at 2:45pm
- Read: Essays by Meehan and Rollins and other Trinity students in ConnecticutHistory.org, http://connecticuthistory.org/trinity-college-students-call-attention-to-histories-of-inequality/
- Introduce Essay 3: Historical web essay and teaching ideas
- Assign: Delve into the list of topics and source materials
- Question for the seminar: How shall we decide who focuses on which topics?
Week 8: Mon March 28
How have housing discrimination and civil rights activism evolved in the Hartford region?
- Guest: Jasmin Agosto ’10 at 1:15pm
- Read and comment before seminar: Jasmin Agosto, DRAFT of “Data-Driven Activism” (on the Education/Instruccion civil rights organization fight against racial steering in the Hartford housing market in the 1970s).
- Background resource: Jasmin Agosto, “Fighting Segregation, Teaching Multiculturalism: The Beginning of the Education/Instruccion Narrative of the 1970s Hartford Civil Rights Movement” (Educational Studies Senior Research Project, Trinity College, 2010), http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/cssp_papers/10.
- Read: Shaun McGann and Jack Dougherty, “Federal Lending and Redlining,” On The Line, http://ontheline.trincoll.edu/book/chapter/federal-lending-and-redlining/.
- See also “Race Restrictive Covenants in Property Deeds” interactive map, with longer narrative to come, http://magic.lib.uconn.edu/otl/doclink_covenant.html.
- In seminar: What digital evidence would enhance the narrative and analysis in Jasmin’s web essay in WordPress format for the On The Line book?
- Photo: http://epress.trincoll.edu/ontheline2015/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2015/01/1974circaEducation_Instruccion_DixonPapers.jpg
- Longer excerpts and links to oral history transcripts with Dixon and Grenier: http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/cssp_ohistory/
- Embedded excerpts of oral history audio clips, by uploading a clip to SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/) and using SoundCite tool by KnightLab: http://soundcite.knightlab.com/
- Embed selected PDF report pages from: Education/Instruccion, Fair Housing At Its Worst, series of early 1970s reports, http://ctcollections.trincoll.edu/islandora/object/120002%3A241
- Excerpts of housing discrimination evidence from US v Barrows 1974 court document, beginning PDF page 22 (see Roman numerals I-VII)
- Excerpts of place-specific housing discrimination evidence from case above, inside an interactive storymap template (http://www.datavizforall.org/leaflet/storymap/index.html); type sample data into this Google Sheet
- In seminar: Finalize essay 3 timeline and commit to topics & sources (limited access)
- Transcribing assignments to 6 lucky students
- Experimental resource: Watson IBM speech-to-text voice transcriber. Test quality by uploading a .WAV audio file to this limited-length demo (https://speech-to-text-demo.mybluemix.net/); see more complex instructions to set up full-length video/audio transcriber (https://github.com/JackDougherty/video-transcriber)
- Students are welcome to join me at any of these upcoming public events:
- Wed March 30th (depart Trinity at 6pm; 7-9pm) MLK forum on housing in Glastonbury, http://www.ctoca.org/events
- Thur April 21st, 3:30-5pm, CT Fair Housing Center “Community Conversation on housing integration,” Homewood Hilton Suites, downtown Hartford http://www.ctfairhousing.org/lovingconversation
- Thur May 5th, 5:30-7pm, Stowe Center, 77 Forest St, Hartford, Community conversation, “Red-lining and Housing Discrimination,” https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/worxcms_published/calendar_page1033.shtml
Week 9: Mon April 4
How have public schooling and private housing influenced each other over time?
- Mini-presentation: Housing Barriers We Inherited in the Hartford Region
- In-class: Home and School Shopping Simulation with Google Sheet Data
- Jack Dougherty, Part 4: Building, Selling, and Shopping the Lines, On The Line book-in-progress, http://OnTheLine.trincoll.edu.
- Jennifer Jellison Holme, “Buying Homes, Buying Schools: School Choice in the Social Construction of School Quality,” Harvard Educational Review 72 (2002): 177-205, http://hepgjournals.org.ezproxy.trincoll.edu/doi/pdf/10.17763/haer.72.2.u6272x676823788r (requires Trinity credentials)
- In seminar: Updated essay 3 timeline
- In seminar: Finalize topics & sources (limited access)
- Transcribing assignments — download free trial InqScribe tool and view guide
Week 10: Mon April 11
How do we craft compelling stories with insightful analysis? What is inquiry-oriented learning, and how can we use this method to enhance the teaching of civil rights history?
- Updated Essay 3 timeline and organizer
- Essay draft posted for internal comments by end of Mon Apr 11
- Internal comments done by Wed Apr 13 at 12 noon
- Revised essay posted for Yale comments by end of Thur Apr 14
- Yale peer edits done by Mon April 18th at 12 noon
- Final web essay posted in GDoc AND WordPress by end of Wed April 20th for guest evaluators
- TeachIt lesson posted by end of Sunday May 1st
- In-class: Crafting your story with analysis
- 1) Pitch your essay: What are the stories that pull us in? From whose perspective do you tell them?
- 2) What are your insightful arguments (a thesis statement) about how and why events happened, or a deeper understanding of the stories?
- How to embed digital content and links in the GDoc version (later on WordPress)
- Video conference 2-2:15pm with guest evaluator Glenn Mitoma, assistant professor of education and human rights, director of Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut
- Possible questions: Why are you interested in seeing more historical web essays on education activism in the Hartford region?
- What advice can you offer to help us bring the stories of “rights” (whether civil rights or human rights) to the surface?
- When reading an historical web essay, what qualities make it successful, especially for broader audiences?
- Prepare for next week’s deadlines
Week 11: Mon April 18
- Writing workshop: discuss Yale comments and revision plans
- Feedback for most constructive Yale commenters?
- Tutorial: How to publish on WordPress.org
- In WordPress, only one editor at a time; co-author access
- Display your name in the profile or co-author custom byline
- Add a title (start with year to display in order)
- Check category (web-essay-2016) to display your essay here
- Clean copy and paste from GDoc to WordPress (no images)
- Insert appropriate links in your essay
- Upload media images into WordPress, with caption & source
- Embed video (with time stamps) into WordPress editor
- Updated direct links to videos (limited access)
- Embed and display a scrolling PDF
- Recommended: shortcode for Chicago-style endnotes
- Assign: Post final web essay in BOTH GDoc Organizer and WordPress by end of Wed April 20th for guest evaluators
- Assign: Commenters on Yale final essay draft, due before seminar Mon April 25
- CT Teach It lesson idea
- In-class: Sample lesson idea on Abolition and African-Americans in Connecticut, and explore others
- In-class: Inquiry-oriented learning and the Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies Frameworks, 2015, http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/board/ssframeworks.pdf
- Assign: File > Make a copy of our GDoc Teach It lesson template, and post yours on GDoc Organizer by end of Sunday May 1st
- Guest at 3:30pm: Rebecca Furer, Teach It Program Consultant, Connecticut Humanities
- Prepare for next week’s deadlines
Week 12: Mon April 25
- Guest evaluators Jasmin Agosto and Glenn Mitoma join us to discuss their written feedback, with online comments from Susan Campbell
Week 13: Mon May 2
- Invitation to attend Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Salon on Thursday May 5th (see details below); if you would like a ride, meet Jack at 5:10pm in Mather Circle
- Invitation to attend dinner with Yale sister seminar on Sunday May 8th, 6-8pm at Professor Mira Debs’ house in Hamden CT; please RSVP her (email@example.com) and Trinity classmates/instructor if you plan to attend
- Informally present your inquiry-oriented lesson ideas for http://teachitct.org
- Designate on Organizer if you would like your lesson sent to Rebecca Furer
- Recommended: Send me revised essays for consideration in On The Line
- Your feedback on 5 paragraphs about Sheff: From Idea to Implementation
- Share your views (positive and negative) about the web writing process
- Optional: Short video to be shown at May 3rd talk at Hunter College, NYC
- Download template and email me peer evaluations of overall contribution to learning by the end of tonight (Mon May 2nd). I will average scores and scramble order of comments, then forward to individual students.
Join us on Thursday May 5th
Redlining and Housing Discrimination, Salon at Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Redlining is a discriminatory practice by which financial institutions refuse or limit loans, mortgages, or insurance within specific geographic areas, especially inner-city neighborhoods. Despite gains, housing discrimination continues today. How can we take a stand against housing discrimination? How can we create inclusive communities? Join the conversation with featured guests: Professor Jack Dougherty, Trinity College and Maria Cuerda, CT Fair Housing Center. The event is free and will take place in the Stowe Visitor Center.
5:30 – 5:45 PM Refreshments; 5:45 – 7 PM Discussion
Students may access their individual scores on the password-protected Moodle site. Your work will be evaluated based on:
- Research Project 1: Qualitative analysis of school choice and parent information
- Team field notes = 5
- Individual field notes = 5
- Essay 1 draft and internal peer editing = 5
- Essay 1 revision for Yale peer commentary = 15
- Research Project 2: Policy analysis of housing mobility program
- Essay 2 draft and internal peer editing = 5
- Essay 2 final draft = 15
- Research Project 3: Historical essay with teaching ideas
- Essay 3 draft for internal and Yale comments = 5
- Essay 3 final draft for guest evaluators = 15
- Teach It lesson idea = 5
- Peer editing of 2 Yale school choice essays = 2 x 5 = 10
- Peer editing of one Yale final prospectus essays = 5
- Seminar peer evaluation of overall contribution to learning = 10
Total = 100 points
Late assignments will receive a 10 percent penalty for every 12 hours overdue, with exceptions granted only for verified medical or family emergencies.
In this course, unsatisfactory work (below 70%) falls in the D or F range, adequate work (70-79%) in the C range, good work (80-89%) in the B range, and outstanding work (90 to 100%) in the A range. Each range is divided into equal thirds for minus (-), regular, and plus (+) letter grades. For example, 80 to 83.33% = B-, 83.34 to 86.67 = B, and 86.68 to 89.99 = B+.
Students are expected to engage in academic honesty in all forms of work for this course. You are responsible for understanding and following the Intellectual Honesty policy (around page 20) of the Trinity Student Handbook.
Students with Academic Accommodations: Trinity College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you have a documented disability and require academic accommodations, please schedule a meeting with me during the first two weeks of the semester and bring a copy of your accommodations letter. If you do not have a letter, but have questions about applying for academic accommodations, please contact Lori Clapis, Coordinator of Accommodation Resources, at 860-297-4025 or Lori.Clapis@trincoll.edu.
Please notify me during the first week of the course if you require any scheduling accommodations for religious observances.