Friday, September 11, 2009

Bill Maher: New Rule: Float Like Obama, Sting Like Ali







Bill Maher: New Rule: Float Like Obama, Sting Like Ali:

"Tomorrow Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees are marching on Washington in protest of, well, everything. It's the Million Moron March, although they won't get a million of course, because many will be confused and drive to Washington state -- but they will make news. Because people who take to the streets always do. They're at the town hall screaming at the congressman, we're on the couch screaming at the TV. Especially in this age of electronics and Snuggies, it's a statement to just leave the house. But leave the house we must, because this is our last best shot for a long time to get the sort of serious health care reform that would make the United States the envy of several African nations."

SCUSD Observer: A Letter from the chair of the Black Parallel School Board


SCUSD Observer: A Letter from the chair of the Black Parallel School Board

A Letter from the chair of the Black Parallel School Board

The African American youth in Sacramento are at a state of heightened emergency in relation to their academic pursuit yet, we are not truly outraged about this. With education being one of the fundamental keys to success we must make every effort to ensure the academic key fits correctly once it's placed into the hands of our African American youth.

On Saturday, September 5, 2009, the Black Parallel School Board held its monthly meeting at the Oak Park United Methodist Church in Sacramento. The meeting started promptly at 10 am and adjourned at 12 pm. One of the key items we covered was standardized testing. Readers are you aware that within the Sacramento City Unified School District during the past school year of all the African American students they are serving only 8 children of African descent are in geometry and there are only 9 African Descent youth in Algebra II. African American students overall have made little to none standardized test improvements and the same is occurring with the high school exit exam test results. Our children's ability to articulate themselves in written form is declining astronomically too.

KJ loan flap: Teichert says Mayor is "inaccessible." Sacramento News & Review > Blogs > SNOG#BlogPost-1216789




Sacramento News & Review KJ loan flap: Teichert says Mayor is "inaccessible." :

"Just one more thing about Kevin Johnson‘s game of “hide the loan,” then I‘ll shut up about it, for now.

I have still have not heard, despite asking over and over again, a good explanation for why Johnson withheld key information from City Attorney Eileen Teichert and the City Council during a contentious August 25 council meeting."

The Charter School Paradox


The Charter School Paradox:

"' ... authorizers, charter school advocates and policymakers must be willing and able to fulfill their end of the original charter school bargain, which is accountability in exchange for flexibility.' ~CREDO report"

Commentary: Who says public schools need more money? - CNN.com


Commentary: Who says public schools need more money? - CNN.com:

"Teachers unions and politicians are constantly claiming that K-12 public schools need more money in order to produce good academic results. But does the data support the argument that our schools need more money to succeed?

The Oakland Unified School District had a budget of $602 million for the 2008-2009 school year, according to Katy Murphy, an education reporter with the Oakland Tribune. That budget, which includes $77 million spent on consultants, means that the district spends an average of $16,270 per student!"

Capitol Alert: Poll: Californians distrust politicos


Capitol Alert: Poll: Californians distrust politicos:

"Nearly three-fourths of those polled by the Public Policy Institute of California say that state government is run by a few big interests for their benefit, a new high in the 11-year history of PPIC polling. Just 20 percent say it's run for the common benefit.
Californians believe the state wastes too much money, and they are down on both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature, the PPIC also found."

Teacher Beat: UPDATED: Some Academics Push Back on Teacher-Student Link in 'Race to the Top'


Teacher Beat: UPDATED: Some Academics Push Back on Teacher-Student Link in 'Race to the Top':

"I've been making my way through the thousands of Race to the Top comments, and there are a handful from some academics who argue that there isn't a strong enough research base to support the use of 'value added' data for decisions involving teachers.

The inclusion of such measures in the Race to the Top guidelines appears to fly in the face of the Obama administration's promises to fund research-based approaches in the Race to the Top, these scholars contend.

Helen Ladd, a scholar at Duke University, argues that the proposed criteria would lead teachers to focus even more heavily on standardized tests, and that the value-added measures themselves are not reliable."

Santa Rosa approves advertising in schools | PressDemocrat.com | The Press Democrat | Santa Rosa, CA


Santa Rosa approves advertising in schools PressDemocrat.com The Press Democrat Santa Rosa, CA:

"The policy will also prohibit any deals that are “not in keeping with the goals and purposes” of the district.

All potential sponsors must submit a written proposal to the superintendent. The Board of Education will review every proposal and retains the right to accept or reject any corporate, commercial or promotional sponsorship.

Trustee Wally Lowry successfully lobbied to add religion and politics to the list of off-limits topics."

UC president recommends huge tuition increases


UC president recommends huge tuition increases:

UC President Mark Yudof is recommending a 15 percent increase in in-state undergraduate fees that would take effect next spring, and another 15 percent increase on top of that beginning in fall 2010.
The governing Board of Regents will hear details of the proposal - which also includes graduate-level fee increases of 15 percent - at its meeting Wednesday, but won't vote until November.
If approved, the undergraduate fee increases would be the eighth and ninth in seven years, and would send the price of a year at UC above the $10,000 mark for the first time next fall. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/09/11/MNAB19L7Q9.DTL#ixzz0QoU4s4RP

State to face education-funding suit


State to face education-funding suit:

"Arizona's leading advocacy group for charter schools is preparing to file a lawsuit to try to force the state to equalize funding for all public schools.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed next week in Maricopa County Superior Court on behalf of about a dozen families with students in district and charter schools, officials with the Arizona Charter Schools Association said Thursday.

The families will claim the state's funding system violates the Arizona Constitution in several ways, particularly in its mandate to provide all students with a uniform public-school education. Instead, an outdated formula leads to unequal funding of schools, allowing some higher-funded schools to offer students smaller classes and teachers more pay, officials said."

Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow


Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow:

"Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow

By Catherine Rampell
They say there’s only one thing that matters in real estate: location, location, location. A similar mantra could apply to the job market: education, education, education.

That is the theme of a new report, released today by the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, entitled “Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow.”

The report surveys previous research done on which parts of the labor force will grow the most between now and 2016 (answer: health care, and jobs requiring post-secondary education). It then argues for ways to improve the educational system so that American workers can more readily adapt to our ever more skill-based economy.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/Jobs_of_the_Future.pdf"

State mulls linking test scores to teach pay » Redding Record Searchlight


State mulls linking test scores to teach pay » Redding Record Searchlight:

"'It's a bad deal for education,' said Steve Piffero, a history teacher at Red Bluff High School and president of the school's teachers association. He also sits on the California Teachers Association board.

Tying teachers' performance evaluations directly to the test scores of their students is like 'putting all our eggs in one basket,' he said.
Teaching is a yearlong process, he said, and standardized tests are a one-day deal.

If a student is having a bad day or isn't a strong test-taker, then the teacher would be unjustly punished, he said."

Bold risk for teachers union - The Boston Globe


Bold risk for teachers union - The Boston Globe:

"The Boston Teachers Union, an AFT affiliate, has long sent mixed messages on pilot schools, which often feature longer school days, flexible budgeting, more intensive scheduling, and less attention on union work rules. In principle, the union approved the creation of such schools in its contracts, partly to counter competition from state charter schools that take a similar educational approach. But BTU leaders later turned around and blocked specific proposals for new pilot schools. Onlookers would have a right to be confused now that the union is opening a pilot school of its own."

Striking Kent teachers may be fined $200 per day | Local News | Seattle News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | KING5.com


Striking Kent teachers may be fined $200 per day Local News Seattle News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather KING5.com:

"KENT, Wash. -- A King County Superior Court judge is threatening to fine striking Kent teachers and their union unless they return to work Monday.

King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas ruled Thursday afternoon that the Kent Education Association will be fined $1,500 a day, and teachers who defied the court order will be fined $200 a day for each day they refuse to honor their contract and violate the order."

D.C. Teachers, Rhee Appear Close to Contract; Both Sides Might Yield Some Ground - washingtonpost.com


D.C. Teachers, Rhee Appear Close to Contract; Both Sides Might Yield Some Ground - washingtonpost.com:

"Tenure protections are likely to remain in place despite Rhee's outspoken criticism of the provisions as a major obstacle to reform. As recently as July 5, she told an audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival: 'Right now, the culture within education and within the teaching ranks is once you have tenure, you have a job for life. I believe that mind-set has to be completely flipped on its head and that we have to move out of the idea that a teaching job is a right. . . . And unless you can show you are doing positive things for kids, you cannot have the privilege of teaching.'"

Sun Gazette Newspapers - Arlington > News


Sun Gazette Newspapers - Arlington > News:

"“We need more parents trained to advocate for their kids, and we need volunteers,” said Dr. Talmadge Williams, a former president of the Arlington NAACP and chairman of Parent Allies for Student Success (PASS). The group on Sept. 10 held its second-annual graduation ceremony, honoring 42 parents who spent weeks learning to be a bigger part of their children’s academic lives."

Public school parents’ Bill of Rights proposed > YourNabe.com > Bronx Times Reporter > News


Public school parents’ Bill of Rights proposed; YourNabe.com Bronx Times Reporter News:

"“As a public school parent, I know that our city can do more to bring our public schools to the top of the class,” DeBlasio said. “With the first day of school just a week away, there is no better time to make increasing parental involvement a top priority. As public advocate, I will work to build on the successes of mayoral control and implement much needed reforms.”"

DeBlasio’s 10-point “bill of rights” calls for “honest, respectful two-way communication with local school representatives and Department of Education officials,” “timely and accurate information about opportunities available to students,” and “access to comprehensive and thoughtful information about the performance of children’s schools.”

Can we please act like United States? - National voices - Merced Sun-Star


Can we please act like United States? - National voices - Merced Sun-Star:

"Culture conservatives are adamant about wanting public schools to teach kids values such as respect, hard work, personal responsibility and patriotism. But heaven forbid the president of the United States should talk to students about hard work, personal responsibility and dedication to their goals and to their country. That somehow smacks of indoctrination.
Sheesh!"

Plan would limit charter schools' independence | Philadelphia Daily News | 09/11/2009


Plan would limit charter schools' independence Philadelphia Daily News 09/11/2009:

"Nearly 30 representatives from the city's 60 charter schools gathered last night at the Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School, on Broad Street near Spring Garden, to speak against the amendment, which would peg charter schools' requests for increased enrollment or additional grades to their renewal application.

Currently, the schools, whose charters generally are up for renewal every five years, can request changes to enrollment or grade configuration at any time."

Shorter school year is wrong way to go - MontereyHerald.com :


Shorter school year is wrong way to go - MontereyHerald.com ::

"We do not have any magic solutions for the Salinas schools, no quick fixes, though we do believe that administrators there and elsewhere must look even harder at sports and other extracurricular activities before taking any more money out of the classrooms.

What we do have is concern that eliminating days of classroom instruction, even while the educational bureaucracy is putting more and more emphasis on test scores, could irreversibly speed the public schools into a downward spiral."

Katherine Rea | The value of public education - Opinion


Katherine Rea The value of public education - Opinion:

"California's budget crisis this summer precipitated massive losses for higher education. Facing a $26 billion deficit, the state 'solved' this problem by cutting spending left and right. In response to billion-dollar cuts in funding, the UC system raised student fees by 9 percent, reduced freshman enrollment by 6 percent and slashed millions of dollars from individual campus budgets.

Aside from cuts in access, the quality of education the UCs offer is also threatened."

SN&R > Local Stories > Under pressure > 09.10.09


SN&R > Local Stories > Under pressure > 09.10.09:

"So in the spring, the Sacramento Charter Review Committee was formed, to look at a whole suite of possible reforms. Yes, the committee would consider increasing mayoral power and responsibility. But it would also look at other reforms, like the creation of an ethics commission, putting in place a system of instant runoff voting, term limits or a full-time city council.

Now it appears most of those ideas will be off the table, thanks to the mayor and city council’s insistence that a strong-mayor initiative go on the ballot in the next election in June of 2010"

Education | Kent teachers stunned at district's rejection of union offer | Seattle Times Newspaper


Education Kent teachers stunned at district's rejection of union offer Seattle Times Newspaper:

"When the Kent teachers union made an offer Thursday morning that was $200,000 less than the Kent School District's own bottom line yet would still reduce class sizes, teachers thought they had a solution that would bring an end to the now 16-day strike."

Editorial: Time to get moving on school reform - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee


Editorial: Time to get moving on school reform - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial Sacramento Bee:

"Legislators end their regular session tonight, but they've got some urgent unfinished business. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called a special session on education reform – and wants action by Oct. 5, less than three weeks away."

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