Thursday, August 20, 2009

Governor proposes merit pay for educators | L.A. Now | Los Angeles Times


Governor proposes merit pay for educators L.A. Now Los Angeles Times:

"Union leaders have already said they are against a state-wide merit pay system and using test score data to evaluate educators."

Education News & Comment


Education News & Comment:

"Interpreting “Race to the Top”: Summary & Analysis of USDE Draft Guidelines "


The New Teacher Project is encouraged to see the focus on better evaluation systems and teacher effectiveness data in July’s draft Race to the Top guidelines. The preliminary criteria reflect a real commitment to meaningful reform and echo many of the recommendations of TNTP’s recent report, The Widget Effect.
Now, districts and states face the challenge of responding to the guidelines with a smart teacher effectiveness agenda. To that end, TNTP has assembled a tool for education leaders and policymakers interested in pursuing Race to the Top reforms."

Gov. Schwarzenegger calls special session | thecalifornian.com | The Salinas Californian


Gov. Schwarzenegger calls special session thecalifornian.com The Salinas Californian:

"The office of California Governor Schwarzenegger has announced the governor has called a special session of the legislature and announced a legislative package to ensure California meets the Obama Administration's eligibility requirements and be highly competitive for the state's share of Race to the Top funding."

Contra Costa Teachers Voting To Authorize Strike - cbs5.com


Contra Costa Teachers Voting To Authorize Strike - cbs5.com:

"'If you're a teacher earning between $40,000-45,000 a year, it could mean that 25 percent of your salary would be going for health care for your family,' she said."

G.W. Carver School of Arts & Sciences




G.W. Carver School of Arts & Sciences:


"Our school culture is based on critical thinking (head), creative expression (heart), and wholesome action (hands). We are developing an environment for thinking, creating, and healthy activity. We foster respect for the individuality of each student throughout the school. Our college preparatory curriculum is integrated with the arts. Here you will find a place for students to explore and experiment; every classroom is like a laboratory or art studio where students and teachers engage in academic inquiry and test their ideas."

More California students taking and doing well on the ACT, but worries persist | L.A. Now | Los Angeles Times


More California students taking and doing well on the ACT, but worries persist L.A. Now Los Angeles Times:


"More California students in the class of 2009 than ever before took the ACT college entrance exam, and they outperformed their peers nationally, according to the nonprofit organization that administers the test.
'I am pleased to see that a record number of California students this year took the ACT college readiness exam,' said state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. 'This continued increase is a clear indication that each year growing numbers of our students are setting and reaching a higher standard and making the decision to go on to college.'"

School announces "no homework" plan - WAFB Channel 9, Baton Rouge, LA |


School announces "no homework" plan - WAFB Channel 9, Baton Rouge, LA :

"She said parents were shocked and students were excited. She also said the announcement was not only unexpected, but it was something she had never heard of before."

Education News & Comment


Education News & Comment:

"Board Meeting Tonight"

Next Board Meeting

Thursday, Sep 3, 2009 6:30 p.m. Open Session

Please Note: All Video of SCUSD Board Meetings are provided to
the Public by the Excellent Work of the SCUSD Web Team"

Education Week: Research Doesn't Offer Much Guidance on Turnarounds


Education Week: Research Doesn't Offer Much Guidance on Turnarounds:

"“There is both a lack of turnarounds in education and a lack of research about turnarounds,” said Bryan C. Hassel, a co-director of Public Impact, a Chapel Hill, N.C., consulting firm that has studied turnarounds in education and other fields. “And the research base for turnarounds outside of education isn’t any kind of ‘gold standard’ research base, either.” But he also maintains that the collected wisdom on the subject so far is strong enough to help schools bring about change."

Teacher Magazine: Educators View Push to Fix Schools With Hope, Skepticism


Teacher Magazine: Educators View Push to Fix Schools With Hope, Skepticism:

"Change in the city's schools often brings controversy, and the turnaround effort has been divisive. Teachers and principals are mad about getting fired, communities are incensed over another reform agenda they feel excluded from and students are confused returning to a group of teachers they don't trust."

Education Week: Texas Braces for Debate on U.S. History Standards



What the state incorporates into its standards can have nationwide significance because publishers often look to Texas, as well as California—the two biggest adoption states—when writing textbooks.

"Peter Marshall, the president of Peter Marshall Ministries, for instance, said he objected to a 5th grade “citizenship” standard that called for students to be able to identify Cesar Chavez, a Latino civil rights and labor leader; and Benjamin Franklin as people who modeled active participation in U.S. democracy. Mr. Marshall wrote, “To have Cesar Chavez listed next to Ben Franklin is ludicrous. Chavez is hardly the kind of role model that ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation.”"

Teacher Magazine: Do National Standards Make Sense?

Teacher Magazine: Do National Standards Make Sense?
National standards are hot right now. The case for common standards is predicated on a bedrock belief that high school graduates in America must share a set of skills and proficiencies. For the basic subjects—reading, writing, and arithmetic— that sounds fine.

However, schools today are offering increasingly diversified panoplies of skills and experiences. "Specialty" charter schools, focusing on areas like the arts or languages, are in. Incorporating the use of new technologies (blogs, Web sites, PowerPoint) into the classroom is in vogue. Successful schools are expected to offer a broad array of extracurricular opportunities for burnishing college applications. American schools—like the communities they are parts of— are profoundly varied and rooted in local educational values and resources. Should Amidon and Ramey be evaluated like the specialized Stuyvesant High School in New York City or a community school in El Paso?


Bill Cosby urges 'no more cuts' for Pa. schools - USATODAY.com


Bill Cosby urges 'no more cuts' for Pa. schools - USATODAY.com:

"'Ladies and gentlemen, is it that we don't like children? I mean, what did these people ever do to you that you want to cut? They're moving on a course that is very, very favorable,' said Cosby, decked out in a yellow T-shirt, red baseball cap, sunglasses and sandals. 'Why would you wants to take money from the success story and pull back on it so that they will start to enter prison?'"

MPS School Board chief rebuts mayoral takeover plan - JSOnline


MPS School Board chief rebuts mayoral takeover plan - JSOnline:

"Duncan has been a strong advocate of mayoral control of urban schools, and Doyle and Barrett said last week that they believe the change in governance in Milwaukee will put the state in a better position to compete for Duncan's Race to the Top dollars.
Wisconsin state law prohibits using student test data to evaluate teacher performance - an immediate disqualifier according to the proposed application guidelines for Race to the Top grants."

SCUSD Observer: Board Meeting Thursday evening...

SCUSD Observer: Board Meeting Thursday evening...:

"On the agenda:

Charter School Quarterly Report
St. HOPE public schools
Charter Facility Use Agreements"

No teachers on Teach for America, KIPP, YES Prep or New Teacher Project boards


No teachers on Teach for America, KIPP, YES Prep or New Teacher Project boards:

"The school reform agenda mirrors the changes businesses have achieved in the private sector since the Reagan presidency—lessening of job security and seniority rights, weakening of unions, greater pay differentials between educators, and empowering management, at both the central-office and school-level, at the expense of teacher influence over their profession."

Human Resources - Teacher quality under the microscope


Human Resources - Teacher quality under the microscope:

"It's no secret that one of the keys to creating better schools is to raise the quality of teaching in the nation's classrooms. But how to identify, and encourage, high-quality teaching is proving to be a challenge.
Several efforts to address this question are under way. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has just launched a five-year, $500 million initiative to quantify what, exactly, makes a teacher effective and how to tie that to student achievement (see story). And the Obama administration has cited improving teacher quality as one of four education-reform areas it plans to target in particular. (See 'Duncan outlines school reform agenda.')"

Americans Doubt Effectiveness of “No Child Left Behind”


Americans Doubt Effectiveness of “No Child Left Behind”:

"While NCLB is currently in limbo, awaiting congressional reauthorization, Gallup finds no consensus among either the entire American adult population or parents of school-aged children that the landmark education act has improved the quality of education received by public school children in the U.S. In fact, of those who are familiar with NCLB, a large majority say either it has had no effect on students' education or has made it worse. A bit of better news for supporters of NCLB is the finding that parents of school-aged children are a little more positive about the impact of the Act than are those who do not have children in school."

Commission on No Child Left Behind Expands Membership and Launches New Hearings to Update Recommendations


Commission on No Child Left Behind Expands Membership and Launches New Hearings to Update Recommendations:

"'Beyond NCLB's bold recommendations are becoming more widely supported, and their core principles are at the heart of the new ARRA requirements. Momentum is building among the states to develop and adopt high-quality common standards and tests, and states have made dramatic progress in developing data systems,' said Secretary Thompson."

Test scores offer reality check for Villaraigosa's schools -- latimes.com


Test scores offer reality check for Villaraigosa's schools -- latimes.com:

"The test results arrived at a crucial juncture for the mayor, for the charter school movement and for school improvement citywide. A school board resolution, scheduled for a vote next week, could turn over new schools as well as low-achieving campuses to outside operators, including the mayor and charter schools. The mayor's team already has quietly obtained control of a new Boyle Heights campus, an implied endorsement by the district of his effort at nearby Roosevelt High School."

Parent involvement is key to academic improvement - LA Daily News

Parent involvement is key to academic improvement - LA Daily News:

"Yet, the type of parent involvement that is desperately needed from all parents, and is the most difficult to obtain, is the type that takes active and daily personal interest in one's own child's performance with regard to both academic achievement and social behavior.
Involved parents make sure their children's daily attendance and punctuality is excellent. They supervise homework and make sure it's returned on time. They promptly respond to contacts by teachers and other school personnel. They regularly show up for scheduled parent conferences.
Involved parents let their children know, in no uncertain terms, that they are united with the school in their dedication to help their children grow and benefit from their time in school."

City's increase in kindergartners leaves less room to learn | San Francisco Examiner


City's increase in kindergartners leaves less room to learn San Francisco Examiner:

"But growing class sizes are a scenario that has become all too real for San Francisco Unified School District teachers, who are facing the pain induced by shrinking school revenue at the same time enrollment is soaring."

Fostering communication: Professionals join forces at summit to improve education opportunities for foster youth - Times-Standard Online

Fostering communication: Professionals join forces at summit to improve education opportunities for foster youth - Times-Standard Online:

"”Regardless of budget issues, California really has to take care of our foster kids,” Crandall said, lamenting cuts to Calworks, Healthy Families and other programs that potentially affect the county's foster children. “I don't think the governor's administration got that message.”"

Teachers take alternate route into classroom

Teachers take alternate route into classroom:

"While many are experts in their field - scientists, lawyers, accountants, business executives - they still need the basics: pedagogy, classroom management, lesson planning and how to work with English learners, for example.
'They want to get into teaching right away,' Kearney said. 'They have the life experience and the content expertise, and they're ready.'"

Editorial: State can't let money slip away - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee

Editorial: State can't let money slip away - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial Sacramento Bee:

"California, of course, should tap this fund to make big improvements in student achievement. Obama has made it clear that states leading the way in four core areas can win hundreds of millions of dollars, if they can show that they are:
• Setting and enforcing rigorous standards.
• Turning around historically low-performing schools.
• Using data to determine student needs and measure teacher effectiveness.
• Putting outstanding teachers in classrooms, especially in high-poverty schools and in hard-to-staff subjects such as math, science and special education"

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