Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Education Report Teachers give union leaders the go-ahead

The Education Report

Teachers give union leaders the go-ahead

By Katy Murphy
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 5:46 pm in OEA, strike, teachers
The vote is in: Union leadership is now authorized to call a strike as long as a majority of the representatives from each school approve it first. The proposal won 75 percent approval last night.
The turnout was roughly the same as it was in January – 755 votes out of a membership of 2,800, including substitutes (according to OEA’s website). That’s roughly 25 percent.
755 total votes
565 – yes
184 – no
6 – abstained

Stanley I. Greenspan, Developer of ‘Floor Time’ Teaching, Dies at 68 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com

Stanley I. Greenspan, Developer of ‘Floor Time’ Teaching, Dies at 68 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com

Stanley I. Greenspan, Developer of ‘Floor Time’ Teaching, Dies at 68




Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan, a psychiatrist who invented an influential approach to teaching children with autism and other developmental problems by folding his lanky six-foot frame onto the floor and following their lead in vigorous play, died April 27 at a hospital in Bethesda, Md. He was 68 and lived in Bethesda.
Marty Katz/washingtonphotographer.com
Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan in 1989 demonstrated his teaching methods with a mother and her son.
The cause was complications of a stroke, said his wife, Nancy Thorndike Greenspan, who was co-author of several of his more than 30 books.
“Floor time,” as Dr. Greenspan called his approach, is used in special-education classrooms and clinics around the world, though it remains controversial — as do all early-intervention treatments for autism. An opposing approach that relies on strict behavioral goals and checklists has been more intensively studied and is more widely used in the United States.
Dr. Greenspan encouraged parents, teachers and therapists to get down on the floor with children, even very young ones, and engage them with gestures and words to build warm relationships and expand their world of ideas — many times a day, if necessary.
In a 2002 therapy-session video that can be seen on his Web site, he joins a mother and her distracted, barely verbal 22-month-old son on a rug strewn with toys, including a cardboard crown. After half a minute of unfocused play, Dr. Greenspan urges the mother: “Try to enter into his world a little bit more. So if he’s got the crown and he doesn’t want to put it on, you put it on. Say, ‘I’ll be the queen.’ ”
In a few moments the boy is putting the crown on his own head, his mother’s head and Dr. Greenspan’s head, and — to his mother’s surprise — using words and giggles to say what he wants.
The Harvard pediatrician and behavioral expert Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a longtime colleague and co-author with Dr. Greenspan of “The Irreducible Needs of Children”

Oakland teachers authorize union leaders to call strike Education - ContraCostaTimes.com

Education - ContraCostaTimes.com

Oakland teachers authorize union leaders to call strike

Updated: 05/04/2010 08:18:44 PM PDT

OAKLAND — Teachers in the city's public schools have granted union leaders the authority to call a longer strike to settle a labor dispute with the district.
One-quarter of the union's 2,800 members turned out to vote Monday night; the results were released Tuesday evening. Of the 755 ballots cast, about 75 percent were in favor of the authorization, the union reported.
The authorization means the union's 16-member board may call a strike that's less than 10 days long. An indefinite strike must be approved by a council of representatives from each of the district's 100-plus schools.
"It gives us a real mandate for what we've been doing: keeping the heat on the district," said Betty Olson-Jones, Oakland Education Association president.
The years-long contract battle took an unusual turn last month when the Oakland school board unanimously imposed a contract with no changes in compensation and then — almost immediately — signaled an interest to return to the table. Days later, the union carried out a one-day strike that had been authorized in January. The two sides are expected to set a date for bargaining Thursday.
Troy Flint, a school district spokesman, said it is the administration's goal to make teacher compensation competitive with that of nearby districts.
"We don't consider this a doomsday scenario," he said. "We're encouraged by the fact that we're returning to the bargaining table, and I think

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both sides want to avoid a strike."
Read Katy Murphy's Oakland schools blog at www.ibabuzz.com/education. Follow her at Twitter.com/katymurphy.

Acalanes parcel tax measure passing

Saying it is sure to lose, Oregon quits contest for federal school innovation money | OregonLive.com

Saying it is sure to lose, Oregon quits contest for federal school innovation money | OregonLive.com

Saying it is sure to lose, Oregon quits contest for federal school innovation money

Gov. Ted Kulongoski: Oregon needs to go back to the drawing board before it can match leading states when it comes to raising student achievement and innovating in public education.


Biggest difference between Oregon Democrats for governor is on education

Bill Bradbury wants to pump money into schools and let them use it as they see fit; John Kitzhaber wants more state oversight of education spending.

Westside Christian High School's choir in Lake Oswego shoots for fourth state title in a row

Since winning three state championship titles in a row, Soli and the Westside Christian choir has become a hard act to follow. The choir's secret? According to the students, it comes from a tight-knit family atmosphere that makes the music room as a solac

voiceofsandiego.org | News. Investigation. Analysis. Conversation. Intelligence.

voiceofsandiego.org | News. Investigation. Analysis. Conversation. Intelligence.
More Than 100 Teachers Face Budget Ax
More than 100 educators in their first few years at San Diego Unified will get warnings that they might lose their jobs this summer, according to teachers union President Camille Zombro, who was notified of the number today.
The school board finalized the plan behind closed doors Tuesday after months of deliberating over how many teachers, if any, would receive the dreaded warnings. Zombro said the vote was 4 to 1, with school board President Richard Barrera casting the only dissenting vote.
The warnings let a teacher know that they might be out of work this summer. California school districts have to send notices to teachers if they want to lay them off later. If they don't, they can't dismiss them. Local schools often send out hundreds of such warnings, then reverse them when budget predictions improve, but the warnings alone can damage morale and prod teachers to leave and seek other jobs.
The cuts are part of a plan to patch up an estimated $87 million deficit for next school year, a result of state budget cuts that have pinched the school district three years in a row. San Diego Unified has been planning since February to thin the ranks of its teachers to help survive the budget crunch, but school district officials had been analyzing whether

Schools Matter: The Next Too Big To Fail: For Profit Colleges

Schools Matter: The Next Too Big To Fail: For Profit Colleges

The Next Too Big To Fail: For Profit Colleges

With a default rate of nearly 50 percent and with graduates holding a lot of meaningless and useless paper degrees and with the amount of for-profit college debt equal to the total amount of credit card indebtedness in all of America ($750 billion), we must wonder what is keeping Arne Duncan and the Dems from doing something to rein in these corporate welfare diploma mills whose administrators are getting deliriously wealthy from taxpayer-supported student loans.

Could the hesitation to stop the bilking and fraud have something to do with an Obama promise to return the U.S. to its #1 status in the number of college degrees? With Wall Street buying Congressional votes to halt the expansion of public colleges and universities, it seems that the for-profit phony-baloney colleges will have to play a vital role if the President is not to be embarrassed by making another promise he can't keep.

Besides, who are these profiteers at Argosy and Phoenix and Corinthian hurting, anyway? Certainly no one who

Education - NorthJersey.com Applicants for seven North Jersey charter schools seek OK to open

Education - NorthJersey.com


EDUCATION NEWS

Elk Grove Citizen : News

Elk Grove Citizen : News

Local middle, high schools close for first furlough day



Photo by Keri Wood - Joseph Kerr Middle School is closed for the April 30 furlough day.

By Cameron Macdonald - Citizen News Editor
Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 4:54 PM PDT
More than 19,000 middle and high school students across the Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) had a day off on April 30 when their campuses shut down for this school year’s first furlough day. The next furlough day for these schools is May 14.

Those two furloughs were a sacrifice approved by the majority of teachers in the Elk Grove Education Association (EGEA) in order to keep 29 middle and high school counselors employed for the next school year.

An estimated $2.5 million would be generated for the counselors, due to the two furloughs, EGUSD spokesperson Elizabeth Graswich said.

The EGUSD is facing an intense financial dilemma that includes a projected $60.5 million budget shortfall for the 2010-11 school year. The district is among numerous others that are suffering from deep state cuts in education funding, adding up to billions in the last two years.

EGEA President Tom Gardner emphasized that the furloughs “are a direct result of the lack of

Kent State, Forty Years After � Student Activism

Kent State, Forty Years After � Student Activism

Kent State, Forty Years After

A friend emailed this afternoon to ask why I hadn’t put up a post commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State killings. It actually hadn’t occurred to me to write about it.
But I did speak with a reporter at length on the subject a couple of weeks ago. Her article — a solid commemoration — is worth reading. I also posted to commemorate last year’s 39th anniversary, and I’ve addressed other aspects of the Kent State story here, here, and here.
Four students were killed at Kent State forty years ago today, murdered by National Guard troops. Nine others were injured.
The dead were these four students:
Allison Krause, 19, a demonstrator, shot in the side at a distance of 33o feet.

Donate Pantyhose, Hair and Fur for Oil Spill � Tangerine, Florida

Donate Pantyhose, Hair and Fur for Oil Spill � Tangerine, Florida

Donate Pantyhose, Hair and Fur for Oil Spill

A Matter of Trust is collecting pantyhose, hair and fur to make oil absorbing booms and mats.  They are looking for salons in Florida to donate hair. Please contact them if you can help and to get collection information. They are setting up collection points here in Florida.


Defying odds (and mom), a student wins the right to study science | Remainders-GothamSchools

Defying odds (and mom), a student wins the right to study science | GothamSchools

Defying odds (and mom), a student wins the right to study science

Sharmin Mollick, a senior at Marble Hill High School for International Studies, works on a physics problem.
Sharmin Mollick, a senior at Marble Hill High School for International Studies, works on a physics problem.
This is the first in a series of profiles of college-bound student recipients of scholarships administered by New Visions for Public Schools.
All it would take to keep Sharmin Mollick happy for life, it seems, is a good science laboratory.
Mollick’s school, the Marble Hill High School for International Studies, doesn’t have a fully-equipped lab. But for Mollick, even studying science publicly, in the daylight, has been a luxury.
That will change this fall, when 18-year-old Mollick heads to Cornell University to study biochemistry.
Listen to Sharmin Mollick discuss her studies and goals.
Mollick left Bangladesh with her mother and brother at 14, in part to avoid a marriage she said members of her extended family were trying to arrange for her. Like many Bangladeshi girls, Mollick attended primary school but was forced to drop out after seventh grade.
By the time Mollick arrived in New York, she had been out of school for two years. Before she left school, however, a teacher introduced her to basic genetics. “It was fascinating to know something new, because in my country you don’t usually get to talk about science a lot,” she said. “It goes against the beliefs of Islam and it’s a Muslim-dominated culture.”
But Mollick was hooked. “You have questions that you can answer either through experiments or through research, and you still have more questions, and those answers give rise to more questions that you can answer — it just never ends,” Mollick said. “It just never gets boring.”
When she entered Marble Hill as a ninth-grader, she sped through her classes for new English speakers and into classes to prepare her for more advanced science courses. Administrators at Marble Hill, a small school with a


Remainders: In reform v. union buy-in debate, Klein picks reform

Schools Matter: New Jersey's Punish the Poor Education Steamroller Rolls Over Seniors

Schools Matter: New Jersey's Punish the Poor Education Steamroller Rolls Over Seniors

Don't Miss College, Inc. Tonight, May 4, on Frontline

Or watch later online.


Press Release:
Higher education is a $400 billion industry fueled by taxpayer money. One of the fastest-growing--and most controversial--sectors of the industry is the for-profit colleges and universities. Unlike traditional colleges that raise money from wealthy alumni and other donors, many for-profit schools sell shares to investors on Wall Street. But what are students getting out of the deal? Critics say a worthless degree and a mountain of debt. Proponents insist they're innovators, widening access to education. FRONTLINE follows the money to uncover how for-profit universities are transforming the way we think about college in America.

New Jersey's Punish the Poor Education Steamroller Rolls Over Seniors

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

By Rita Giordano
Inquirer Staff Writer
The June graduation of thousands of students could be at risk after most who took New Jersey's retooled alternative exit exam during the winter failed to pass, according to data obtained by the Education Law Center.
In January, 10,308 students statewide took the math Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA), the test given to students who do not pass the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA). Of those students, 9,514 took all required parts of the test and only 34 percent passed, according to the law center's data.
Of the 4,293 who took all required parts of the language arts test, only 10 percent passed.
In Burlington and Camden Counties, 13 percent of students who took all language-arts sections passed. In Gloucester County, the rate was 6 percent, according to the data.
On the math, about one-third passed in all three counties.
Among Camden City students, only 4 percent passed the reading and writing test, and 8 percent 

Food and Freedom � The Quick and the Ed

Food and Freedom � The Quick and the Ed

Food and Freedom

May 4th, 2010 | Category: Uncategorized


The DC City Council gave final approval today for new nutrition and physical education standards in the city, requiring all public schools–district and charter–to comply with new requirements for healthier school meals, free breakfast for all, and more mandated exercise time in school.
As anyone who has heard me rant about the evils of high fructose corn syrupknows, I am very supportive of healthier school lunches and increased exercise. It’s a health issue for students, and what students eat can impact their ability to pay attention and learn during the day.
But do these new mandates represent an infringement on charter schools’ autonomy? Not many people will fight against giving kids better food and more exercise, but the new requirements do show the city council’s willingness to

Survey shows adult education cuts helped balance school budgets - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Survey shows adult education cuts helped balance school budgets - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Survey shows adult education cuts helped balance school budgets

California school districts relied heavily on cuts to adult education programs to balance their current budgets, findings from a Legislative Analyst's Office survey released today show.
Seventy-one percent of the 231 state school districts that responded to the survey reported shifting money away from adult education during the 2009-2010 school year using newly granted flexibility.
The survey also found that the flexibility has had a positive impact in helping school district's balance budgets.
More than 75 percent of districts reported that they made major or minor changes to their adult education programs.
Read more about

Help for Haiti: Education – ED.gov Blog

Help for Haiti: Education – ED.gov Blog

Help for Haiti: Education

The Department of Education is intensely concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Haiti caused by the January 12, 2010, earthquake and the rebuilding of their education system at all levels including elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and vocational.
This is the first of what we hope will be an active blog site that will capture new ideas and insights on how best the United States can draw on our expertise to assist the Ministry of Education in Haiti, as they work to create a system that is better that what they had prior to the crisis. We will be checking this site every day, and passing the information on to policymakers here in Washington and on the ground in Haiti, so feel free to share your thoughts on what you think can make a difference!
Andre Lewis
Office of Postsecondary Education

Alan Gottlieb: Colorado Is Ground Zero

Alan Gottlieb: Colorado Is Ground Zero

Alan Gottlieb

Alan Gottlieb

Posted: May 4, 2010 04:58 PM



Over the next 10 days or so, Colorado will sit dead center in the debate over how to improve public education in this country. Senate Bill 10-191, which would make significant changes to teacher tenure and teacher evaluation in Colorado, will make its way--or fail to--through the Colorado House of Representatives beginning this week. It has already passed the Senate.
A Florida bill with some similarities to SB 10-191 (but much harsher changes to tenure) was vetoed last month by Gov. Charlie Crist, earning him a lifetime's exile from the Republican Party. Now the National Education Association is turning its heavy guns on Colorado, hoping to bury state Sen. Mike Johnston's bill before it becomes law.
Their chances of success look pretty good. The NEA, the Colorado Education Association and local teachers' unions are powerful lobbying machines. The perception that Johnston's bill is anti-teacher, that it seeks to blame teachers alone for the failures of American public education, seem to be taking root, at least in some quarters.
In a decidedly unscientific survey, comments on the Education News Colorado web site and blogare running against the bill by a substantial margin. Whether this is the result of an orchestrated campaign is anyone's guess.
It is going to be one heck of a fight, and the stakes could not be higher. SB 10-191 represents a major gamble by local proponents of Obama-Duncan reforms, because its failure would alter the course of reform in Colorado in unpredictable ways. It would almost certainly kill any chance the state might have to win $175 million in round two Race to the Top money.
A visit to Denver last week by Diane Ravitch, the highest-profile opponent of Race to the Top, underscored how much disagreement there is, here and across the nation, about best way forward. Ravitch said she hoped SB 10-191 would fail, because it is unduly punitive and scapegoats teachers.
She also urged all states, including Colorado, to run away from Race to the Top as fast as possible

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