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The debate over “no excuses” charter schools, explained


Libby Nelson, Vox.com news editor and former education reporter, joins Matt and Sarah to talk about the discipline practices and educational outcomes at so-called "no excuses" charter schools. Then they turn to a white paper that looks at lead poisoning and fertility. References and further reading: Illinois Public Radio story on Noble Academy Video of teacher at Success Academy ripping up student's homework Research mentioned by Libby on outcomes at the Harlem Children's Zone Upper West Side parents mad about school integration plan White paper on lead poisoning and fertility

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
You got no HBO lot of the best drama series in television. History have come out of them, and I ve got a new one from hearing this Sunday, it's called succession from Adam Mackay, who was the director of the big short and for my Jesse Armstrong, was a writer of in the loop by those are too great movies about financing and politics. There me Then you should check them out if you haven't seen him frankly, but if you have seen him, you know how exciting it is their working together on this project to the project. It's called succession. This is the story of the royal family, their owners and one of the biggest media companies in the world and then, when family patriarch Logan decides he's not quite ready to retire, adult children are going to fight to figure out where they fit in, so it ties into a lot of real world themes that that we have here, but its fiction compelling stories I set in the board, rooms and penthouse apartments of New York, city succession, exports, power, politics, money and family and the cut the corporate world succession or Sunday night, ten p m.
and it's only on HBO Elite, very Diana visiting that it's Tuesday right now. So it's confusing you as a whole hello. Welcome to another, so reads on the box, meaning tat network replace yes, Sir Club with us. Today, today by would be Nelson one of our fantastic editors on the politics and policy team, but formerly, and in a prior life, an education reporter and an education puck. A story, and I a yes and it did with education guest long in the past? This is my first weeds reappearance. The biweekly weeds began to read very excited so we wanted to talk about education topic, and so we have let me with charter
cools eyes like a big issue. There are lots of different kinds of charter. Schools allowed a different state laws. I think the like super high level overview of charge goes in general. Is that every They are about average, but there's a lot of problems and closes lotta charter. Schools is not a difference, but the policy conversation of mine, I don't know like fancy policy people tends to focus in iron. a relatively small number of charter school networks that exists deliberately exist in big cities in low income neighbour adds that our mission driven we're going to take poor, predominantly children of color and we're gonna? U know show that, like education can uplift that men and transcend everything
and they have at least in the terms used by education, reformers. They have like the data behind them that camp and some of these other networks, they they have good test scores and pretty as much as you can tell with rigorous experiment. evaluation based on lotteries who gets in who gets out the graduates of these no excuses charter, school urban charter schools. They do better on standard as tests than similar kids and traditional public schools. They enroll in college a high Wade's, they complete college, somewhat higher rates and it's hard to get really solid experimental data on whole life outcomes because he would need like fifty years, but its suggestive that it at least to some extent works in those terms, and yet many many points of controversy remain Many points of controversy dear me, and I would say that I think anything act
in rolling in college is also the jury is still somewhat out, if only because, while it feels freely we have been covering and arguing about Turner schools forever. This is still a relatively new movement, and so as much data we have now I'm college, graduation and later life outcomes. There is going to be a lot more in like five to ten years, as we start to see more and more students who have been all the way through charters what is going. This is the tragic nature of trying to evaluate education policy. Is that there's like Zebra huge, alas right we fifty years and will get back to Yoke has come back to the weeds and twenty seven minutes. Cities have elections like every two to four years where they have to debate these things yes, so I mean. That's, that's a good point. I mean we do see. Oftentimes with all kinds of childhood and wrenches effects that fade out so I would cite reminded like how far have we been talk through a little bet kind of like where these schools are what there ass. If he isn't like what we know from the research that exists,
far, even though it's not like everything what what is the scope of this part of the charter? School debate? Yeah What say it to these for the most part to generalise, pretty brightly exists in cities and urban as a sort of the larger the city, usually the larger the presence in the larger the debate there is about them, they are called. Excuses schools, because one of this sort of organizing ideas at one particular chain was that, like poverty should not be used as an excuse for lack of educational achievement that term at sea- was actually really controversial, very like sort of obvious reasons, but their sort of based on it.
The other, like you, were going to have this very rigorous and disciplined environment. A lot of times at the lessons are not scripted. There are like very specific things. The teachers are supposed to do their very specific behaviors that they're supposed to teach to a degree that sort of like teaching you how to school as well as teaching you math are teaching you reading so like the kids are often like. They are supposed to be tracking the teacher with their eyes there. All of these behaviors tat they focus on as well, and so like a lot of this conversation is about how much does behaviors are successful. The weird thing by these schools is like: if you talk about Turner schools with people, You don't spend a lot of time with education like this is probably what they think of their actually liquor, relatively small, or at least not the majority of the charter school movement. I should actually be bad yes out, just just style. I think I'd also like what's the charter's, what is it
So I started school is a goal that is publicly funded, but is privately Rhine companies or non profit groups or other outside actors can like build a school with their roles. That does not have to follow the rules of the school district. In terms of anything from like? Teachers teacher hiring length of school day like any of the sort of normal things that are usually establish school by school bicycle, but difference, or at least the big difference between this and of voucher programme. Where we give you money to go to private school. Is that other schools at least. I think all the schools that are called charter schools have to sort of admit people on an equitable. basis yeah? I may care, and they have a little bit more formal oversight. Usually like you can't just lake start up a school and have people bring their public school money to you. The charters and school vouchers all sort of our part of this idea that lake there should be choices behind just the neighbourhood public school Africans and their families.
But, but so like with it, with a tartar schooling, in theory at least, and sometimes in practice. You would lose your charter, you can't say ok to get into this school. You need to pass a task right right, unlike the bulk of charters exist, just in states that have loose chartering rules, enable start them for all kinds of reasons ray and these sort of like bees big city charter school networks. Are they loom large in the media, because they I mean, there's a lot of them in DC. There's a lot in New York, LOS Angeles there, like where journalists live charter. Schools are often so I say not beloved by teachers, unions who see them as taking bunny out of the United School systems, and you have the most like ideologically advanced teachers, unions, It also tend to be in these big city districts, where people well,
I don't want to put the one way but like they will die up the most sophisticated like like He'll reasons why this is bad rather than just kind of hazy. Grumbling right at the New York, Chicago LOS Angeles teachers unions, are very sophisticated operations that there's like there's a high level, political fight. In big said, he I did they also for the same reason like loom large within the Democratic Party, because they are in these cities. There was until first recently, like a fairly large conversation about education and, like the best approach to education within the Democratic Party, that's faded a little bit but leg for a lot of reasons. These particular chains in their particular approach, loom larger than they might in terms members when, I think also the particular things you here in this kind of his. How we started playing this episode is there is a story from the and be our station in Chicago about a chain a chain of charters. Gaza has become much much larger over the past few years,
started as one story by reporter. Let people started writing into this reporter and kind of came to this anecdote where some girls they're reported that they were not given quit bathroom breaks during their periods that they were told they could tie a structured around their waste. There say at least one of the charter schools. I plan to switch from khakis as part of uniform two black pants, which some size obviously third way to deal with this problem of girls bleeding through their pants was just to change. The color of the pen less obvious. I think that is one of the things that is also anything it. Seventy the geography of these schools too, but these discipline measures that it seems like these ones with them. Girls not having adequate time to the bathroom during that period. Clearly cross a line but like where that line is drawn. I think some of these particular examples. York times at some reporting on this too, when I think of video that when pretty viral about,
maybe a year or so ago, obeys the of aim teacher reprimanding a child's. I think it is the type of discipline that they offer that off brings them into like that charter. Controversy in fact makes them the face of the charter school debate as away as well yeah. I think so, Business all links together is, as we are talking about at the beginning, like we know some things about their outcomes. There are some things we just aren't going to know, but there are also a sort of and often outside of lake, the current policy in research conversations. There are other things going on with these schools that are becoming like increasingly reported. I notice talked about, and I would say that's the discipline controversies. Unlike their method, these schools methods of discipline and how appropriate they are, how much they have to do with their six. And then also a separate but related conversation but segregation, and the fact that these goals do tend to be absolutely overwhelmingly populated by and latino students.
I mean, I think, I think, to understand the context for this. It is important to get that there's like a basic political economy issue with Charter Scots right, which is that like they, they take money out of the traditional public school system and put it into charter networks like by design inherently it could be the greatest school in the war. In fact, the better. The schools are, and the more everybody wants, one rule in them, the more. they're gonna, take money out of the public system, so people invested in the public system dont like this idea, and so they criticise it and you developed first a critique around and well is this actually any good it right and then, as Evans came in its again, no, the economic performance is improved,
and then there were a lot of controversies and wound. Well. Is there some sort of shady statistical games going on here, and I think that doesn't really pan like like it holds up? No, like you know, good experiments based on random lotteries Agus show good results for kids the discipline, controversy is now like in the segregation controversy which in particular is odd visit sort of contradicts conference in number. Two. Are this like third wave of urban charter were criticism where now it's like. Ok, perhaps the academic results are good and its legitimate, but the the price is too high and I think it case of this noble gives noble economy as story from Chicago, like the price. Coolly is too high. I mean like if somebody said
ok, we're going to adopt a policy and wage girls are like routinely humiliated in this way and then like well? But you know you have like to have So the standard dvd really gets it. They had an adequate response, but they re just like under diktat ground. That covers that. What is the research on the outcomes account stronger that you don't know we mention it's like. Not everything has college Billig. What do we actually know about how these particular networks compare to? national public schools there at the research on in our earth. Research on the outcome is pretty strong, I'm You're often looking at greed levels for standard deviations of method. Reading achievement, there are some, I think it's the Harlem Children zone. I was actually just re reading. This research in New York that could play the level of growth was basically enough to eliminate the racial achievement gap. I mean they are pretty significant in terms of reading and math scores, especially compared to students,
traditional public schools within that district. Around the same time- and I d- I think, big, how attributable this is? We ve seen this a little but with noble but really success. It had to be a New York which had the teacher grubbing up, a student like a kindergarten offers greater math paper. A few years ago that went viral is really very, have seen these conversations because there, sums have been so guide and the controversy around the techniques that they have used to get there has been so loud tat. I think that's really like the paradigm attic one here like they among tartar supporters are like the darling of how good they are and how get their test scores are, but they also have this like low rolling, slow boil of controversies, kind of always Andrews, as that occasionally won't like bubble after a viral video. So why we're talking here about six economy in New York, noble in Chicago can't help. It is probably a lot of places- vigour, the most the most famous,
Are there other sort of big names busy the big names they come to mind, and these can pop up a sort of smaller or more individual places as well, but if you're talking about sort of the no excuses genre of tartar schools, these visit, the really big ones, and also the ones that are expanding, which I think is an important part of this I've been. So how do you ve covered these it? How do you think of this out of you, It is like. A trade off between discipline and outcomes are like a areas, carries a give thought about this more than the two of us, unlike our you think about these two things working together. yeah, I've thought about it a lot lately and I think my thinking out it has changed some quiet. I used to feel that these disciplines stories were very anecdotal. They didn't ever really breakthrough in the policy conversation which was always about like test scores and funding, and the statistical like this. This is the logic of whether this made Hence I think, particularly in D c and at like think tanks and people who study these there always like while they're always going
some bad apples in some places to go too far, and obviously it's very bad, but it's not necessarily like a judgment on the movement There have been enough of these types of stories now and they still in very anecdotal, but every time one comes out everybody I know who taught the charter school leg says: yeah seem dry, Blake there's a number of them. I think, that to me as striking is the degree to which the policy conversations of our doesn't acknowledge. This is a trade off and the defence sort of a lake. These schools have good discipline and it's one of their isn't they achieve results in you know individual teachers like ice or I went to public school. I can certainly tell stories of individual teachers who went too far and had by
but he has existed, you know probably would have been in one, but I don't think there's always a lot of honesty about like this is clearly going to happen and we need to have sort of a forthright conversation about. Is this just baked into this model? I think attends much more to be shoved at the side or to happen and like to totally separate conversations like there's one among sort of charter sceptics, who tend to be also concerned about social justice and education, and they talk a lot about discipline and then their sort of the lake Education Reform Pro trader noticing. This is good. Like know anything, these things should happen, but it doesn't feel like these two conversations cross and I would say, as are like, I have thought a lot lately about how much more converse, how much more attention paid to the outcomes of the conversation than to the discipline side, because I think there are some interesting questions to be asked here. About this man. You know well, there's a visual version of it in which, like nobody is saying, this is good.
Where I mean like there are certainly the most extreme incidents that go the most fire. All you know, people even on the approach harder side will sail a girl like that Giovanni and then it is also true. I did there's like eighty but Gillian schools in America and they each have multiple tee And it's like you know: we have a system which nothing ever goes wrong, but This is an interesting topic because it is kind of like a higher synthesis of what the charter proponents and the critics are saying here, right that, like
in the no excuses slogan, it's like will. What are the excuses swayed and if you talk to like less political public school teachers are just about what's going on, Ligon is true, like they offer a lot of what you could pejorative long term court, unquote excuses for poor outcomes and their students, typically pointing to the students, parents and saying that look like if kids are not raised at home to value education and to listen to and respect educators that there is not that much that they can do as classroom teachers to like make them do that at any rate, like look really comes back to the parents, you know and that's all like a policy proposal. I don't think they would carry
rise. It as an excuse- but you might say: ok, they are making excuses. They are saying it's the parents fault. We can't do anything for the kids. The no excuses model is like very literally saying we will not accept. as an excuse. We are going to do it instead and we're going to provide a model of education that bushy educated parents would not want for their kids, because we are trying to do something in lieu of the parents. instead of taking a glowing com, losers, economic status, community and crafting a school for them. That looks like an idealized version of you, no good public school in the suburbs. You create this thing that looks like a drill camp because you are so
When will this gonna be no excuses right like AIDS? That's why? Unlike the there, the really is, like eight, like a hard core of tension there, like. What do you do about the fact that by there are families and like whole communities full of families that do not have certain like norms and behaviors instilled end like this is an answer, but a lot of people look at it in their like woe. Yeah at eighty I went to us not paint with two right of Russia, because there's that degree of it there also are- and this comes up a lot in sort of China proponents discussions of this- their parents who pick these schools on purpose because they like the discipline where within those communities- and they look- you know I look at the traditional public school- it's a mess and they get their doing that the mat and, like I go to the school and the kids. uniforms and sitting in the roads and paying attention and like it does prevent this lay. It presents this like very visual order and theirs
apparent to think the latter is there's our parents want exactly there. Marbury underlines this than the mere than than have the ability to to get their kids into it by women I think that I've been thinking about a line is not even like the individual kids were caught up in these, like particularly bad ones, but it's about sort of in something that much more difficult to measure, but it's like white does that environment? What message does that environment stand? What kind of effect is that have even on the kids who fought followed, rules and succeed, and one reason I'm looking forward to more and more students. Aging out of the system is not just for the data but also for Lake Hoodie to reflect back on that envy leg. You know we were treated sort of like prisoners and we ve got math test. Scores were really good and I dont know if the answer is like it was worth it or it wasn't worth that, but I think that the question worth asking
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and action towards future free from gun violence to join the movement by wearing Orange this Friday June, first and post your pictures online, using hashtag, where Orange, to show your committee tending than violence. one other thing and I've been thinking about bringing back the relentless Torres preparing. This episode is kind of what happens to teachers in this system, as well as having one of things you see is, and the beacon workers be through. This is right is a lot more turnover and burn out that one of the things I think you end up with a lot of teach for America. Folks at these schools and uniting- probably all of us, have friends. You did british Amerika and found it very stressful, and you do a lot of work after work in your hours are essentially like often similar, you like banking job. Downtown Manhattan except you're, making a fraction of that money. In one of the things that seems to be, I mean it does not make, it does not seem inherent to the no excuses model.
but in order or maybe it is because in order to find teachers who are ok, putting up with that kind, schedule it tends to be like younger new, or you know it has this energy my mom has been Para educator for thirty years and one to think, it's about it is that very predictable schedule and makes you does it year after year, she's only much better than she was, years ago, but you see lot more burn out That seems like a really difficult situation, a kind of put less experienced educators in charge of this discipline approach that I imagine, would be really really challenging implement something you'd, probably get better at in time. But then you don't have that continuation euro over year, and it seems that you know it's not like keeps as we only of teachers for Ex years, but it seems like it might almost be baked into the model given like the expectations of the teachers, and
situations. I think it is it, but I think it's also baked in the mail, the other direction with which is like one of the things about about these charter networks, that they tend to be much more top down than like a traditional public school like sometimes they will have like other teachers who are developing the lesson plans and they just hand them out and to a degree that make sense of what you know what you're doing is working with a lot of people in their first second third year of teaching, who are still learning the ropes who lake, don't even necessarily you know, have grasped by like classroom discipline, it sort of like giving them formulas of like this is what you're gonna do in this situation. This is what you're gonna do in this situation like, and I think for the staff at incredibly helpful, but you do get into this chicken and egg of lake. Are they burning out because they work really hard? They were curly long hours like keeping can be an emotionally difficult profession or is this is some sort of built for the idea that lake you're going to always have people in there? You know the bulk of people who are fairly and
periods in once you get more experienced like you, don't want to do that anymore. You wanna go somewhere with a little bit more at Honnami and there are ways to move up where, like you can become the person who makes lesson plans. But what? If, if what you want, is to be like a teacher of twenty years of experience, who can totally run their own classroom like it's not necessarily going to be the best environment for you, and so you do see a good amount to turn over. That. I think perpetuates this probably in some cases, contributes other. I should say that I know there have been some of these really high profile. Cases have involved teachers who have been there while or who are considered to be like stars of the system, and so it's not always just like a first, your teacher getting over found, which
thing. That could happen anywhere, and I think I mean this speaks to I mean both the discipline and the them sort of career path or lack thereof rate is. It is a philosophical disagreement about what the education system is for right, that, like this vision, assure bucolic vision of education right in which, like the schools and nice, places the teachers in nice people they, when you know this Nelson runs a classroom. you are instilling a lifelong love of learning in the children, and everything is gonna, be the glorious and then there's like another vision of education in which, like the accumulation of human capital as a necessary ingredient for success,
modern economy and we need to like develop scalable lesson plans with validated methods that create the outcomes that we want to see, weighed and option number two just like it sounds way worse. I think you know like if you, if you like, put it plainly like what they are trying do it like it. It doesn't sound great and you can you can make it sound bad. Why you, like advanced vocabulary about like reconstruction of a NEO liberal subject or whatever or just like common sense right like there's a lot of wrote. Learning is a lot of focus on like basic discipline is like not a lot of time to like explore your passion. wait, but then on the other side is just a question of reality, which is like are large urban public
school systems, generating bucolic educational outcomes, or are they really really crappy and we need to do something different other then, like repeat cliches, about love, farming and and Bobby Barack Obama. And it's just another case. Words, like I think, like like the trade off his really real rattling, nice story that Kip could tell. Would be that there are very successful. Model is based on like making things awesome and exactly how we all think schools should be Unlike the reality is quite different, like it seems to work pretty well, but it's like it's its grim yeah and I will say, I feel, like I've, been very negative, because this is obviously something I might still thinking through alive. But if you go into these classrooms, there is often like it is also hard to have that lake bucolic, love of learning environment and a cluster that is chaos or authority
other students are being destructive and there are like, if you go in- and you see these lessons, are you talk to people who got it and observed lake going with us? these techniques, their also like really deep, learning going on and really good discussions, even with kids at a younger age that you might not see elsewhere and so I, the degree to which these things are linked to me is like really interesting are some charters that are trying to sort of intervene. Some on the discipline and rigour side, while not sort of changing the academic side, and I think that is probably where I would like to see more schools go- is to really like take each piece of this apart and be lake. Are these bathroom roles super critical to achieving our mission? Look! What does that look like, like innovating The discipline inside right now, it's sort of like reconsidering how many of these rules
ass, a sorry or how they approach them? So, like a lot of China's even Wednesday, get attention for this have scaled back, some of their policies, ignoble, used to charge you for getting detention and that something that no longer happens, which seems good if you're working with primarily a low income population, but sort of being open and flexible. The idea that lake, maybe everything that we're doing, is not necessarily the reason we're successful, and could we do more like
filiation oriented stuff. Instead of detention, could we give kids more chances? Are there are sort of other ways to solve problems that aren't like removing someone from the classroom and sort of using those like another ability to experiment and then started? Folds are supposed to be experiment in the first place like. I think that something that's really promising so I say, is like a big of this issue. Like did, did you see the story in in New York a couple weeks ago about the parents and upper West side Yasser were freaking out about kids from Harlem
secondly, coming to their public school, and I say this in my neighborhood all the time I mean Don T go like too deep into my life, but I bet I live in. Like a gentrifying neighbourhood, that's like become pretty fancy, but has some section, eight buildings and other public housing. It's a majority minority public school parents on the playground. You know there's like a lot of discussion about, like should, should we enroll our kids and this local score Jose gonna go in the fall and people will start talking and very euphemistic terms about what their concerns are in the back. Well, you know the neighborhoods changed a lot. The schools enjoying oh yeah. What like, what's what's changing about it rain and like I dont think that these up a website but we're Appearance or Logan Circle. Liberal parents do not like in the grips of like,
very short terror, can only mean, like gives a reason, their living in urban neighbourhoods in the first place right. It's not like I don't know some like crazy contagion. Theory, it's like that! You're worried about school disciplining, and they worried in a very classed and racial eyes way right but like this is the thing that They did the oftentimes the exact same people, who would be very critical of the extremely harsh discipline at urban charters, like also don't want kids from poor backgrounds, kids, who they perceive may come to school, with social problems till I come in and somehow like police. Their classrooms, and as long as you have that right, like intense demand for segregation in the public school system from the people with the most political clout I just like. I don't feel like this great
solution. You know like it's like the no she's a charter solution does not seem great to me, but like also just like dumping kids into overwhelmed low performing public school system, doesnt seem grade, and it's like there's a great like twitter. Take a viper will really should do. Is integrate the schools, but it's like the stakeholders. Really, don't want to do that. Yeah. I think angrier things, those sort of the larger segregation and education conversation- that's revived itself somewhat over the past few years and its intersecting really interesting in ways with the charter movement that we should probably talk about me, just like. I don't know, there's a lot of hypocrisy and education, especially among quite progressive ish people and its at both ends. It's the people who, like woods, There are totally in favour of integration and telling their school and then there's the other end of it of lake folks. Will praise to the Heavens Slick charters was that they would not even have a similar case ray you see him
higher education with people who are like not immigration, go to college like MIKE. It's for sure gonna go to college its, and I think it's just nature like what you think is good for you, society. What you think is good for your individual childlike may not always be the same thing, but if it is another layer that makes this lake that, in the lack of super clear solutions, make this a fresh waiting. An interesting topic feels like something that kind of stretches across a lot of policy issues. We talk about mountains, like a hugely am inside revelation, but a lot of the people making the policy decisions are making those knowing expressly. They are never going to use the thing that they are, eating, even that they can t look, look it's great test scores and like AIDS, doing something good for the greater good, but I feel, like this stretches across a lot of different domestic policies where, anyway, I think a lot like a space. I cover a lot. I think I don't know of people trade, their insurance at work for medicated cover.
even though, like there's pulling the chose, medicate coverage sexually more popular, that a lot of the policy making is being done by people who are not the intended recipients, Graham, and that I don't know if it's just you know just for a town comes in terms of like what policies are actually set up, the people who will be using them programmes. Given its woods strange Cato public education, though, is that like this is something that the United States, a public service that is like formally organized on a universalistic basis, way So did the segregation charter angle. You know it's worth talking about right, so you know people will look like legged DC and like the tardy schools and anti Sea or, like super duper, duper over womanly african American. I think that's true of of most of these networks that gets levelled at as a criticism against them. If they were disproportionately way
would also be levelled criticism against them, and I don't have any with some territories in some places. Usually not this type of school ragged. It usually is not only over homely non white, but Lake overwhelmingly wineries, like the one thing that happened with noble in Chicago is noble, is shifting from serving like another humbly latina population today like animals,
the population, yeah these ten, they tend to be aiding. Graciously isolated is the technical term of art that is used here, but they tend to be racially isolated, but its age. Actually, the traditional public schools that are ex gluten air in these city, swayed so like in Washington DC, like the thing to do, is to attend an elementary school that feeds into a middle school that feeds into Woodrow Wilson High school. In word three and to get into such an elementary school. You must buy a house in certain neighbourhoods and like if you grow up in a different neighborhood. You may not attend these schools when it's the same in New York. Ride like that's the whole, this an endless procession of stories in the Times Metro section about different neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the like minute politics of where the school boundary lines are because
these schools are there their public, but their sort of like the private property of the people who live in the neighborhoods. The charter, schools, at least formally speaking, have to accept whoever wants to come, but they like are marketed in certain ways. I mean it's it's again. It's like it's, I would say troubling on both sides of the coin. I think that's sure and I think they're- sort of two criticisms of overwhelming cigarette its walls, one in which that is just like on a philosophical level, bad to not expose children to people of different raises the other is that, like historically, they obviously had by short sighted comes, which is interesting and hard to square. What sort of the idea that these charges are going into were residential segregated
the de facto residential segregated urban neighbourhoods on purpose and like trying to get good, better outcomes for kids color specifically, and so it's kind of it's the most circular argument of them being equal. These Greece, you know their critics are like all these goals are greatly isolated and supporters thing that's a little, but the point and like going sort of round in circles on that forever there are not even in districts that are getting more diverse, they're, not as many at least not as many what- publicize sort of attempts to create like you could create unintentionally integrated charter school indecent that like tries to attract kids from us to the park and kids. the outward, but there are not as many of those are, they do not get the press of the ones that are serving more specific populations yeah I mean I don't know it's. It seems like I think that would be do you know that we may be an indictment that, like there's not a demand for that, but maybe there is no inside it
a lot of residential segregation. The United States, but most district school boundaries are like further gerrymandered. Beyond that, too, like induce extra segregation, you could do the opposite. You could have more lottery admission to public high school. I mean I, I think for like first greater sorry to have to go to school near the house for logistical reasons, but, like I went on the subway too high school, like people can do that. Tussocks teenagers can move about a city, I'm confident so a streams level of defeatism. I think a round some of that that charter creation, other working in part, is a response to the original like cream skimming arguments that some people wanted to go in and bill. Egg. No, like we can craft a super segregated ultra high poverty school, unlike will show
but I think there hasn't been a lot of bike reflection. Unlike is that is actually that idea like Gazette a model of education, that people embrace like that, how we want our society to work and live I don't think that we do you. The underlying hydrogen of all of this is lake. We talk alight and as a policy or in it We had a journalist. I would write about like the things that are very easy to measure which is like reading and Matthew Scores, but I think coming to sort of a more holistic concern about, like the other things that go in education in Paris, but perhaps in part, because nationally reading and master test scores was thought out alone that over the past few years, leg and its. I think it's much harder to make policy decisions about stuff like that, because it is a much more philosophical conversation about like what you do, Scooby which is a lot harder than like quite as winter is the mats has math test scores can think a lot of it's more like what sort of humans are coming out of yours school, which is a lot harder to measure on a scale than than a score
as liberals, and I'm gonna be interesting to see once once. We have you now twenty five thirty year olds, who can like articulate their feelings about all this like what but butts there? How do people bear witness to this situation? Temper white paper? Let's do I'll take a break. And then come back to our paper. You know, I think most of us want to become responsible adults. We want to protect our homework home security system, but I would also like to have some measure of privacy, but how many homes security companies are actually thinking? How can we protect your home and put your privacy? That's what's so great about simply the obsession with details and with no other hunsford accompanied example, could get a camera. You can control from new found that we want to protect your home,
and your privacy slave. This brilliant idea, they ve got a privacy shudder for your camera, but even just want like a shudder, they won t be able to hear it collects you know it's clothes, they wondered have a light out. You could easily tell what is on and then we need to work for a long time. Europe simply safely putting the work. Testing differ, metals, incomes, design, months equipment, efficient homes, security, camel lightweight, aluminum privacy, but everytime details really matter and that's what said simply say, part keeps a family said the not just home security, its own security done check out simply safe today, simply safe. That complex reads that simply say that harms like weeds to learn more about simply say today, simply Saint Thomas Life So if you like me, you don't know how much time you do enjoy relaxing with book, sometimes but you're like a big, ever expanding Lester books, the people are suggesting you can never get to source
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I am a tight as team that harms flash weeds discharge. Your free trial for three months after the replacement, jointed, that's blinkers: dot, com, slashed weeds, started, pre trial or get three months after platinum, blinkers, doc, arms life Ok, we got here toxic truth, led infertility by Karin Clay, margarita port neck and add, since every these are three professors from Carnegie. Alan, there looking led exposure explaining some of the same kinds of things that that other others have used the interstate highway system and the clean air, and while the rolled out and serve disparate geography asked they. Let you have time series dad on where led accumulate in different places. We ve talked before about said. He said, show Leds impact on child development, but they are finding. Is that is a significant impact on fertility of reductions in airborne?
between one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight increased fertility rates meaningfully and then hire led in topsoil decreased fertility rates in the two thousand, we talked about America's fertility rate decline gonna weeds. Obviously the change over the past few years was not caused by a sudden surgeon in let emissions. This is just part of the sort of cause all background of of, what's been what's been going on in the country, and you know it just goes to show that, like I don't know exactly, That is bad for you, that exiles, lead is sure bad pollution is bad. I don't know to me: I'm not like an environmental journalist not ever been like a passion subject of mine. I don't cover environmental disputes,
age, but I am amazed by like the quantity and scope of data that is coming out, indicating like harms to environmental toxins that were not even on the radar of people who started trying to address them, and it makes me think that, like a lot of The ongoing national conversation about environmental regulation is like really Miss guide that I mean in a technical sense like you can't do cost benefit analysis based on like unseen future, better but it's striking that everything we look back. I'd read that like getting led out of gasoline We're not only like a good idea based on a cost benefit analysis available seventies, but who is actually a much better idea than was known at that time? You airiness drives home to me how hard it is to cover.
That is a toxin as something that is invisible. That rarely makes headline you knew. We were covering a lot like other news organisations around the flint led water poisoning, crisis and then a kind of trickled off, even though you know, there's no like resolution to this problem and I think one of the things that, like gaze, still kind of astounds me a little bed there, certainly worthies big steps taken to get let out of gasoline too, I think a lot of like lead paint out of houses. There is till a lot of lead in the american environment like it is uniting I'm learning as I'm getting ready to become current we're doing a lot of testing at the house that we bought, unlike our here it is full of lead, we're getting our water tested for lad, we'll see what comes out of that that it still some we kind of just accept and live with that. I was actually reading over some old stuff mantra, bout that the national
barks here in DC, which actually their own and maintain a lot of the parks kids play and they just don't monitor fertile lead and think that's fine. There is no policy movement to get the national parks to monitor their services for so it is a very odd thing where were they keep the array? We see this huge benefit to the costs. we're, also because it's like sown not on It's not like pollution that you don't see it and see like oh small, like that looks problematic, that It's still exists in a pretty major way for us. The count Gimme, just like explain it sort of origin or their swayed. So what happens? there used to be led and gasoline. Gasoline there be led in the air. This is a really serious environmental problem. Eventually, they phased out. Let a gasoline that did a huge
fed there's like almost no led in the air, so like that's really good, but does all this old, let's just like in the dirt particularly of city, is that were reasonably big cities in the fifty six he's an and seventy is so. You know some of the kind of like sunbelt cities that didn't have their many people living. then her, ok, but like North eastern and especially midwestern cities are just like the full of lead in the dirt everywhere and, like nobody is doing anything about it. Like is inadequate, as the water situation may be like there are in fact requirements at the the funding was a scandal because that's not supposed to happen at your local public park or community garden. If you live in a city being full of toxic lead is like a hundred percent kosher like there's. No,
requirement at today's understand. You haven't you been about, but we do have. Definitely I've been viewed culture both as regards full as lead right and like because something happened specifically your backyard, because the soil everywhere in Washington DC is full of lead. Unless you explicitly clean it up, and nobody has, Yes, I recall that when the other things that the development of a different direction- but this paper made me think of as I've seen other conversations about fertility and lead that actually go in the opposite direction, and so one of the kind of things we ve seen and lead research is that definitely hire a higher led blood levels There is definitely a strong correlation with lower I q and less impulse control
and for a while I've been reading things, they cover teen pregnancy, about the relationship between fertility and read and lead, suggesting that that lead has been a key driver of white team. Pregnancy was so high in the nineteen nineties that this was like a generation that has come up here to win led was more prevalent in Erin gasoline, and then you see this steep drop off. You know in the mid nineties kind of as lead visas out of gasoline, and there was this expect their dead. There has been this theory. I've seen put out there in a few academic papers that the deal adding of gasoline and getting let out of the air was responsible at some level for the decline in teen pregnancies. We ve seen over the past duly thirty years at this point, so it is interesting to see it cutting too to kind of get this other perspective.
I am on what's going on there with with fertility this one. If you read through the actual paper there making more of an argument about, do you know that it's not about impulse control, because that lead is bad for reproduction, that there are three things that happened to the body that we don't need to go super detail in here, but that lead it just makes like a less hospitable place to care. Let's have a cautious cognitive decline. Semite increase unplanned pregnancy, yes, but it also causes like biological damage. The reproductive system that my degrees planted, unground, pray, she's a lot eclipse get out. What sort of my question about this in the context of the larger fertility conversation had like? Obviously, if you are somebody who was
pregnant and can't because of what exposure are having a hard time than he would have carry entailed a term, because what exposure like that is truly tragic for you as a person, I'm trying to sort of figure out how to fit this into the broader context. Given that lake, I have not seen it suggested that people who want here pregnant can to a major part art or can carry the term Erlich a major. Part of the decline in fertility over all right- I've been pregnant for nine months now, and it's like nothing. Anyone warned me about like when I was trying to get pregnant like stay away from lead because there's nothing I could actually do to stay away from monks turns out by yard is well lead. But you get all these warnings about mercury about like don't, eat fish because, like you make it mercury from dad- Lead doesn't really factor into the conversation around fertility in anything, vacant way? And I don't know you know at my last house: we let go,
vegetables and, unlike another backyard, those probably fall of lead, and I ate a bunch of those that's too As you know, I never had a doctor who knew I was like a late twenties woman's. They like Erlich, maybe often those super leaded vegetables year. Your growing in your house just doesn't seem to factor into the conversation in the way. A lot you hear about so many things. I don't do this, don't do that when you're pregnant but like lead does not seem to factor into the conversation in any. serious way. Yeah I mean I do think in part there, assuming that, unlike a toddler, you will probably not just the lead soil sort of regardless but that's part of within giving carrots from, like my life, a garden like that's, probably know what, but also a disturbing implication of this research Try is because we knew that soya lead in soil was getting into small kids and was doing cognitive damage.
The assumption was it that had to do with them being filthy toddlers and that this was not necessarily an issue for Dulled swayed is one reason why there are no warning about those given to to potentially by now actually pregnant women. Will you tell me about the sort of like backyard gardening channel, but that an actual seem to be sufficiently widespread practice to account for this, and so like this, like a home, another avenue of reach. that we now need to do. Whether the implication here is that lead soil is getting into adults bloodstreams through not entirely obvious. Why but some kind of dust getting kicked up. You know this again in a way that is leading to biological outcomes that we were not aware of what they think. You're. Really good right. Do we focus alot, unlike I q of small children,
right. We haven't really focused as much unlike what is let exposure mean for adults, but also what does it mean for because they don't look here at the question of the the in utero impact right, because, like this, why they're telling you like don't eat fish while you're pregnant re because, like we obviously understand how fish gets into a human adult human body. You know it's like this The thing right, it's like this is not at all on the medical communities radar and also not on the policy community trader. The mercury thing also is crazy. I mean it's true, but it's so weird to treat as like an individual level. Health problem, like all of the fish, is contaminated with toxic heavy metal let's just thirty- that if you're right you're right literary to worry about that. As I know it's worse, because you have the insane chart of the omega three first Asthma, and it goes not just for pregnant women, but for children, because you're supposed to eat more.
Like salmon's like that's. We should really does have Emily Astor near who were at the best book about pregnancy ever to walk, is through this on a separate weeds. I have been so it's like it's like every week is like cause. Aim is again his get his salmon and his shrimp, because those are like approved, low mercury fish but like possibly, regulators should not have so much. Mercury the air yes, perhaps and lead now. We know there should not be so much led in the air as well that the ground ground, wherever it is. This, is this but I do feel like are like perpetual crisis the universe, legal act. The problem that in another world might be getting addressed the leg I was actually just nothing other than sort of continued attention occasionally to Flint. This is like the most I have heard about lead in two years, and it's very very hard to find this information like if you want to figure out like am I a woman trying to get pregnant,
like an area where I'm really likely to be exposed to lad, where less likely to be exposed to lead even find that information about your own house about your neighborhood about like their areas that you live and work in China. When we were covering the Flint water crisis, you just very quickly find that its incredibly difficult, like the lot of cities states there, just our requirements too
track? That kind of thing which is worrying, given as we like, learn more and more in papers like this about the very negative impacts that lead can use. Www greed, just because I think, reading between the lines, its public agencies, that no they don't have budget to fix. These problems have an incentive to ensure people also cannot be aware of their scope or also be very upset, but connecting back to our earlier issue like this really good evidence that reducing lead, paint in old houses and reducing led soil and urban neighbourhoods would both improve children's Sir
cognitive abilities, but also in particular, improve their behavioral concerns widened it like this. While you write this extremely valid, but only like this is a meaningful step to the bucolic education utopia that we don't in the four corners of the education policy world don't seem to be able till I get toward would be too like actually take community level steps to improve the community level. Ireland, the people live in, and it's like. I don't know you know, there's an interesting question like she should we treated as like a quantum court excuse, they ve all been exceeded, to toxic levels of heavy metal, all their lives- I don't know but We could also addressed the problem. Well it altogether. Tat was that was masterful that thank you. Thank you it always comes together. In the end, you now everything relates to everything else, which is why we always ask you to check out our other box media podcast network broadcasts even turn.
As recline show, but really today explained is, where its add, I think, every day explaining all the things in the world and, frankly, and a more timely basis that we get to hear and ass. Though thanks levy for joining us Ed's incredibly enlightening informative. We do more education stuff. Thanks to our engineer, Griffin, Tanner producer, Bridget Armstrong. Thank you for listening Back on Friday,.
Transcript generated on 2021-09-12.