Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Education News & Comment


Education News & Comment:

"Sacramento City Council Member Bonnie Pannell and Council Member Sandy Sheedy have endorsed Patrick Kennedy’s campaign for Sacramento City Council, District 5.

“I am proud to have the support of Council Members Pannell and Sheedy. I have had the great privilege of working with them over the years and look forward to continuing that relationship when I am on the City Council,” said Patrick upon the announcement.

Pannell represents District 8 in South Sacramento and Sheedy represents District 2 in North Sacramento. They join their colleagues, Council Members Ray Tretheway (District 1) and Steve Cohn (District 3) in endorsing Patrick Kennedy for Sacramento City Council."

SCUSD Observer: No child left behind races to the top?


No child left behind races to the top?
Last week's release of the AYP Progress report for SCUSD shows that many of the schools in our district are failing to adequately educate Sacramento children according to No Child Left Behind standards.SCUSD schools in year 1 of program improvement status jumped from 3 in 2008-09 to 15 to 2009-10.

Circumference, Radius, Diameter, Oh My! | Activities | Education.com


Circumference, Radius, Diameter, Oh My! Activities Education.com:

"Even though middle school geometry can be tough, there's no reason to fear the friendly circle. Big words like 'circumference,' 'radius,' and 'diameter' may sound intimidating, but they're just fancy words for different measurements of a circle. Here's a quick, kid-friendly intro to those geometry terms, and a fail-safe way to calculate circumference, no matter what!"

Buying Educational Software? Start by Asking the Right Questions - Educational games and software


Buying Educational Software? Start by Asking the Right Questions - Educational games and software:

"But how do you know which program to pick? The array of educational software programs available can be both tantalizing and confusing. Before you start shopping, you should understand how educational software works, what your child's specific needs and interests are, and how to find a reliable program tailor-made to your child's needs and learning style."

A Wise Latina Woman: Reflections on Sonia Sotomayor | Teaching Tolerance




A Wise Latina Woman: Reflections on Sonia Sotomayor Teaching Tolerance:

"As schools open this month, I hope that teachers take the opportunity to begin a conversation about the Sotomayor confirmation and hearings, and that they invite their students to share their thoughts and feelings about this momentous event. I hope too that teachers frame this conversation as part of the larger American story of struggle and achievement on the part of the dispossessed. It is a noble story, one that is not yet over. And that is why it is important, and necessary, that we now have a wise Latina on the Supreme Court.
Sonia Nieto is a noted education scholar and co-chair of Teaching Tolerance’s Teaching Diverse Students Initiative (TDSi) Advisory Committee."

voiceofsandiego.org: Education... Bringing Teaching for the Gifted to All Kids




voiceofsandiego.org: Education... Bringing Teaching for the Gifted to All Kids:

"His mother Sadie said it was '100 percent different' than the way she was taught as a child, and she liked what she saw. Dominic relished getting into debates with other children about the ethics of playground squabbles. He is a pint-sized philosopher with a karate T-shirt and a frank and surprisingly adult manner, who readily picks out what his teachers call the 'Big Ideas' -- one of the buzzwords that mark the new strategies -- in classic stories such as the Tortoise and the Hare."

"The turtle was slow. The hare judged him. No one really thought that the hare wouldn't win -- he's the fastest living creature in the universe," Dominic, now in 2nd grade, explained after school. "So the big idea is, 'Don't judge a person.'"

Strong Mayor Initiative Reviewed - Most Popular News Story - KCRA Sacramento


Strong Mayor Initiative Reviewed - Most Popular News Story - KCRA Sacramento:

"Committee member Jo Ann Fuller said so far they see no major changes needed in the way Sacramento's government is run.
'At no time has anyone come before us and said this is not working to where we need some big changes,' Fuller said.

Committee chair William Edgar said there are some changes they would like to see such as allowing the mayor to have appointment power, allowing him to select a city manager, but he said they believe it should be up to the city council excluding the mayor to approve the selection.

Johnson said he was disappointed with the committee's findings so far, saying the committee hasn't taken significant steps to change the way the city is run."

Amato's job may be on line | Recordnet.com#STS=fzww1i4f.1qun


Amato's job may be on line Recordnet.com#STS=fzww1i4f.1qun:

"STOCKTON - The long-running leadership drama in the Stockton Unified School District may reach a decisive final act tonight when trustees meet in closed session to discuss suspending or dismissing Superintendent Tony Amato.

Anti-Amato forces have organized what they say will be a heavily attended rally outside the district office before the meeting. As pressure from union leaders mounted Monday, Amato defended his 14-month tenure, saying the opposition he has faced is the natural result of the arrival of a superintendent working to bring sweeping change. He also acknowledged that his future in Stockton Unified is murky."

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Poll: New York governor not getting job done « - Blogs from CNN.com


CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Poll: New York governor not getting job done « - Blogs from CNN.com:

"'Voters say Gov. Paterson is well intentioned but ineffective. They say he lacks leadership skills and is off the mark on handling the state's fiscal situation. Voters say he's not too liberal but is not fighting for people like me,' says Siena New York pollster Steven Greenberg. 'While voters overwhelmingly don't believe that Paterson's blindness hinders his ability, they believe his actions – or lack of actions – as Governor define him as ineffective.'

Paterson has even lost his own party, says Greenberg: Democrats, 'by a significant margin,' believe he is well-intentioned but ineffective, bad on fiscal issues and lacking leadership skills."

Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook: The Changing Landscape of Teacher Learning


Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook: The Changing Landscape of Teacher Learning:

"One of the big challenges is just making time for teachers to participate in any type of quality professional development, whether online or face-to-face. That’s especially true if it’s something that requires thought and effort outside the experience itself. It’s one thing to go to a make-and-take session, like a traditional workshop. In that case, you just go to the session and get something that maybe enhances what you are already doing and then hopefully take it back to the classrooms and do it. It’s another thing if you’re part of a professional development experience that essentially challenges you to rethink your pedagogy, your content, and your assessments, and that expects you to go try some things in your classroom and reflect on how well they went, and then come back and discuss them with a community of other teachers doing similar things. That’s a much more substantial commitment."

Chico teachers agree to lesser insurance package - Chico Enterprise Record


Chico teachers agree to lesser insurance package - Chico Enterprise Record:

"In a telephone interview from her office, Combes said the district will continue to pay the full premium for full-time employees for the insurance package until June 30, 2012.
The biggest change in the insurance package has to do with the deductible.

Under the previous contract, the CUTA-covered employees had the 'Silver Plan' offered by the Butte Schools Self Funded Programs. Under the new contract, starting Nov. 1 and continuing through the end of this contract, the employees will have the so-called 'Red Plan.'

According to Christy Patterson, executive director of the Butte Schools Self Funded Programs, the maximum deductible in one year for an employee with two or more dependents under the old plan would have been $300. Under the new plan, the deductible for that same family of three or more will be $1,000 a year."

Bridging Differences: The NCLB Paradox Enters the Twilight Zone


Bridging Differences: The NCLB Paradox Enters the Twilight Zone:

"Behind these promises and threats lies a simple theory: scores are not high enough, because teachers are either lazy, don't work hard, or aren't motivated enough to do a good job. So teachers will work harder and be more successful if they can get more money, and they will work harder and be more successful if their livelihoods and reputations are on the line.

The problem with the incentives and sanctions approach is that it works. It does produce higher scores. We see scores going up in many states, sometimes at rates that defy belief. Some states may actually reach that dreamy goal of 100 percent 'proficiency' by 2014."

At New York City Teachers’ Union Helm, Michael Mulgrew - NYTimes.com


At New York City Teachers’ Union Helm, Michael Mulgrew - NYTimes.com:

"Mr. Mulgrew also differs from his predecessors in one key way: he is the longest-serving classroom teacher ever to head the union, something that could help him earn the respect of veteran members who are often the most active members. (He also happens to be the first non-Jewish leader in the 49-year history of the union.)

Mr. Mulgrew needs to win a unionwide election next spring to secure the presidency. While he is expected to have broad support, the union, which has 228,000 members, also has its share of internal dissent."

Larger classes may mean more dropouts | Oregon Education - OregonLive.com


Larger classes may mean more dropouts Oregon Education - OregonLive.com:

"High school reform research shows that students begin to get lost and left behind when teachers have too many students. The Coalition for Essential Schools, an organization that has successfully reformed some high schools, says teachers must know who they teach and recommends that 'no teacher have direct responsibility for more than 80 students in the high school and middle school and no more than 20 in the elementary school.' Many Oregon high school teachers this year are responsible for more than 200 students, which makes it impossible for them to know and serve all their students well. As the Gate Foundation has discovered, simply making schools small is not sufficient to make them excel, but it is necessary high schools find ways to make personal connections with every student or they will lose some of them."

Phila. schools prepare for cuts as they face budget shortfall | Philadelphia Inquirer | 09/22/2009


Phila. schools prepare for cuts as they face budget shortfall Philadelphia Inquirer 09/22/2009:

"Masch said that it was too early to speculate where cuts might be made, but that the district would 'move heaven and earth' to keep in place reforms put forward by Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

This school year, the district lowered class size in kindergarten through third grade and hired more counselors, particularly in the city's troubled neighborhood high schools.
Will the district commit to keeping those reforms in place, no matter what?

'I can't say that,' Masch said. 'We don't have a plan yet. But we're not going to turn away from making reform. I do not think that Dr. Ackerman will let us rest until we have figured out a way to do everything in our power to make the dollars we do have go as far as possible in helping us enable more students to succeed academically.'"

Patrick Kennedy


Patrick Kennedy:

"Sacramento City Council Member Bonnie Pannell and Council Member Sandy Sheedy have endorsed Patrick Kennedy’s campaign for Sacramento City Council, District 5.

“I am proud to have the support of Council Members Pannell and Sheedy. I have had the great privilege of working with them over the years and look forward to continuing that relationship when I am on the City Council,” said Patrick upon the announcement.

Pannell represents District 8 in South Sacramento and Sheedy represents District 2 in North Sacramento. They join their colleagues, Council Members Ray Tretheway (District 1) and Steve Cohn (District 3) in endorsing Patrick Kennedy for Sacramento City Council."

Failing in many ways | The State Press - An independent daily serving Arizona State University


Failing in many ways The State Press - An independent daily serving Arizona State University:

"I’d like to think that both President Barack Obama and Perry are correct. We’re certainly failing to teach our children the things they need to know, as the No Child Left Behind Act (considered by many pundits to be a colossal failure) narrowly stresses math and reading comprehension and fails to provide a benchmark for students’ broad education. Kids need to get off Facebook and care once again about becoming informed and educated citizens of the world.

And that doesn’t mean passing a test."

Schools miss goals, add to list - MassLive.com


Schools miss goals, add to list - MassLive.com:

"They have plenty of company. When results of the 2009 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Systems exam were released last week, officials announced that 937 schools, or 54 percent of all schools in the commonwealth, failed to meet the goals."

'Barack and Michelle' tells story behind domestic tension that nearly ruined the Obamas' marriage


'Barack and Michelle' tells story behind domestic tension that nearly ruined the Obamas' marriage:

"It was a look he had grown accustomed to since the birth of their first daughter, Malia, in 1998. Michelle, like so many other working mothers, was the one expected to bear most of the parenting burden that only intensified with the birth of Sasha.

A nagging concern she wasn't afraid to share with him directly - and repeatedly - was that he seemed willing to put politics ahead of the family."

Colorado Independent » Move toward national education standards goes forward


Colorado Independent » Move toward national education standards goes forward:

"Monday, the Common Core Standards Initiative, a project of the National Council of Governors and the Council of Chief State School Officers, released the first official draft of standards in English language arts and math, standards that it hopes will one day be adopted by every state in the nation. Currently, 48 states have signed on to the project, expressing interest in voluntarily adopting the standards once they are written. (The not-surprising exceptions are Texas and Alaska.)

Colorado appears significantly on board with the project by virtue of the fact that it was one of six states asked to review the standards before they were made public—this, despite the fact that it is currently in the process of revising its own standards."

AdaEveningNews.com - Ada, Oklahoma - No Child Left Behind Act explained


AdaEveningNews.com - Ada, Oklahoma - No Child Left Behind Act explained:

"“A State’s definition of AYP is based on expectations for growth in student achievement that is continuous and substantial, such that all students are proficient in reading and math no later than 2013-2014,” a letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige to the schools said. “Accountability systems must establish proficiency goals statewide, based on assessment data from the 2001-02 school year, that progressively increase to reflect 100 percent proficiency for all students by 2013-14.”

While definitions were set by each state, the letter said definitions of AYP were to be, “based primarily on the State’s academic assessments.” After a fourth year of failing to achieve AYP, the school would have to plan for restructuring. This could include replacing staff and state governments taking over the school."

BeyondChron: San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily News » The Chronicle 's Dangerous Proposal for the UC System


BeyondChron: San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily News » The Chronicle 's Dangerous Proposal for the UC System:

"The editorial proposed several ways of generating more revenue for the UC system. The first suggestion urged UC to implement a three tier tuition system in which students would pay the most money to attend UC’s most prestigious and most popular campuses (Berkeley, UCLA), less to attend the next most popular campuses, (Davis, San Diego Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz) and the least expensive fees would be paid by students attending the Merced, Riverside and Irvine campuses. Such a plan could mean only the rich and well connected can attend the state’s best public universities."

K-State Collegian - Students still finding jobs, despite recession


K-State Collegian - Students still finding jobs, despite recession:

"The unemployment rate for college graduates almost doubled from 2.8 percent last year to most recently 4.7 percent, according to statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in July.
More recently, employers responding to a National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2010 Fall Preview survey expect to trim college hiring again this year, following significant cutbacks in hiring that affected the class of 2009."

Students Warned to Prove Texas Residence or Leave - NYTimes.com


Students Warned to Prove Texas Residence or Leave - NYTimes.com:

"DEL RIO, Texas (AP) -- Students living in northern Mexico have skirted residency requirements to attend U.S. public schools for generations, but when the superintendent in one Texas border town got word that about 400 school-age children were crossing the international bridge each day with backpacks but no student visas, he figured he had to do something."

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Rooftop gardens grow among the skyscrapers | csmonitor.com


Rooftop gardens grow among the skyscrapers csmonitor.com:

"In recent years, enthusiasm has grown for green roofs, hailed for harnessing rainwater that can overwhelm urban sewage systems, and keeping buildings warmer in winter and cooler in summer, lowering electricity use.

But amid increasing interest in fresh, local food, this season seems to herald the era of the rooftop farm. It’s as though somewhere someone decreed, “Roofs shall not lie fallow.” And a colony of entrepreneurs, residents, schoolteachers and restaurateurs set to work.

Flanner considered going to the country to farm — only to realize he didn’t want to leave the city, he just wanted to be a farmer. He quit his job at E-Trade and partnered with Annie Novak, 26, who had farming experience. The green-roof design firm Goode Green agreed to do the installation for free and the production company Broadway Stages agreed to pay for it, as an experiment on the roof of its Greenpoint building."

WWJ Newsradio 950 - California IT Firm To Add 1,000-Plus Jobs In Ann Arbor


WWJ Newsradio 950 - California IT Firm To Add 1,000-Plus Jobs In Ann Arbor:

"“A collaboration between state and regional partners to provide Systems in Motion with the training resources, tax incentives and other business-critical support helped the company choose Michigan over competing sites,” said Ken Theis, director, Michigan Department of Information Technology. “Growing companies often need far more resources and support than one entity can provide, so by recognizing shared strengths and coming together to fill the gaps, collaborative efforts, like the one in place to bring Systems in Motion to Michigan, can help grow our economy and bring thriving businesses to our state.”"

“We’re delighted to be able to join with state, county and local agencies, as well as education institutions in Michigan to build a true public-private partnership,” said Neeraj Gupta, CEO, Systems In Motion. “Systems In Motion’s Ann Arbor facilities will drive technology leadership for global enterprises, while providing an important job creation engine for the local community.“

TNJN - Qualms stirred over Obama and education


TNJN - Qualms stirred over Obama and education

"Obama did not encourage a formal education; he encouraged each student to take responsibility for whatever education - formal or technical - that he or she decided to attain. He gave students a dose of realism: most people do not gain success as a rapper or basketball player. A solid education will provide a solid foundation for all dreams. He told students that ultimately, they will fix the issues plaguing the world today. Taking responsibility for the education that teachers and parents try to provide is the only way to gain the knowledge that will help rectify the global problems."

The Associated Press: Census: Recession had sweeping impact on US life


The Associated Press: Census: Recession had sweeping impact on US life:

"The homeownership rate fell to 66.6 percent last year, the lowest in six years, after hitting a peak of 67.3 percent in 2006. Residents in crowded housing jumped to 1.1 percent, the highest since 2004, a sign people were 'doubling up' with relatives or friends to save money.

_ The share of people who carpooled to work rose to 10.7 percent, up from 10.4 percent in the previous year. Commuters who took public transportation increased to 5 percent, the highest in six years, with Washington, D.C., at the top.

_ Women's average pay still lagged men's, but the gap has been narrowing. Women with full-time jobs made 77.9 percent of men's pay, up from 77.5 percent in 2007 and about 64 percent in 2000.

_ More people are getting high school diplomas. Only two states, Texas and Mississippi, had at least 1 in 5 adults without high school diplomas. This is down from 17 states in 2000 and 37 in 1990."

Obama gets personal on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' -- latimes.com


Obama gets personal on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' -- latimes.com:

"In a more personal moment, Obama talked about how tough the homework load is at Sidwell Friends School, the Quaker school his daughters, Sasha and Malia, attend in Washington.

'We decided there weren't going to be any fancy camps during the summer,' Obama said. 'They basically just goofed off during the summer . . . which I couldn't do.'

'Others have,' Letterman said, a possible reference to the previous administration, drawing only a laugh from the president.

Obama also offered some insight into date nights with the first lady when shown a picture of the two of them wearing 3D glasses. They were watching the movie 'Up' at the time, he said."

Obama On Letterman


Watch CBS Videos Online

The Conversation: Education chief wants a transformation - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee


The Conversation: Education chief wants a transformation - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial Sacramento Bee:

"U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a man in a hurry. Children, he says, have only one chance to get an education: 'We cannot wait because our children cannot wait.'

And he's a one-man whirlwind in a battle against stifling bureaucracy at all levels – whether at the Department of Education in Washington or in rules and regulations at the local level that get in the way of efforts to improve student achievement."

Tweet-tweet goes Schwarzenegger, a big Twitter user - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee


Tweet-tweet goes Schwarzenegger, a big Twitter user - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News Sacramento Bee:

"Schwarzenegger still delivers a weekly radio address and sends press releases. But he seems most obsessed with communicating in 140 characters or fewer via Twitter.

Since joining the social networking site last year, the governor has drawn 1.15 million followers. He visited Twitter headquarters in San Francisco last month and started a Web site that solicits ideas via Twitter. He even used it to wish his son Patrick a happy 16th birthday last week, calling him 'a true stud.'"

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