Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Week In Education: Reform: Republican Gov. Chris Cristie Makes Unlikely Champion

This Week In Education: Reform: Republican Gov. Chris Cristie Makes Unlikely Champion

Reform: Republican Gov. Chris Cristie Makes Unlikely Champion

image from si.wsj.net
Here's the profoundly disturbing fixed-grin photo of NJ Gov Chris Cristie, Oprah Winfrey, Cory Booker, and the Facebook guy (Mark Zuckerburg) accompanying this WSJ article rehashing the fight between Cristie and the teachers union (and making a big bolt-on deal out of his supposed presidential ambitions). What makes it interesting is the thought that, in a post Michelle Rhee world, Cristie is reformers' unchosen new champion -- their loudest voice against the status quo, etc. Awkward, no, to be tied to a big blustering white guy -- even if


Weekend Reading: New Yorker On Bullying, Reform™, Etc.


261.x600.feat.essentials.illio9The New Yorker on bullying, drug sniffing dogs for rent, Reform™, and more to come: Behind the anti-gay bullying New Yorker: The problem is a culture of exposure that is far more advanced than any efforts to combat online cruelty. Bullying feeds on weakness, anger, and, lately, the systematic undervaluing of privacy. There’s such a thing as violating your own privacy, too... Wanna be a School Reformer? You Better do Your Homework! Gary Stager: In public education today, unqualified is the new qualified. The celebration of inexperience and lack of preparation is particularly disconcerting when it comes to education policy. When you allow billionaires, ideologues, pop singers and movie viewers to define reform, you get Reform™... Company Renting Drug-Sniffing Dogs to Insane Parents [Parenting] Gawker: A Maryland company is renting out trained drug-sniffing dogs for $200 an hour. The target customer: Parents who want to find their

LA charter group lays off sixth of staf Thoughts on Public Education | Analysis, opinion and ruminations on California education policy

Thoughts on Public Education | Analysis, opinion and ruminations on California education policy

Schools Matter: Rendell Mans Up to Charter School Real Estate Swindle

Schools Matter: Rendell Mans Up to Charter School Real Estate Swindle

Rendell Mans Up to Charter School Real Estate Swindle

A clip from the Philadelphia Inquirer on Gov. Rendell's courageous veto of education bill:
. . . .Charter schools are typically exempt from property taxes, although some districts have sought to tax them in recent years. The provision in question would have extended the exemption to their property owners, if the owners were nonprofits.

Rendell said it might spur for-profit landlords to convert to nonprofit foundations in order to exploit

Saturday coffee. � Fred Klonsky's blog

Saturday coffee. � Fred Klonsky's blog

Saturday coffee.

Anne and I celebrate 34 years of marriage today.

Maybe some day, and not too far away, everybody in the US will be able to celebrate wedding anniversaries if they want to. And then in 34 years, everybody can celebrate 34 years of marriage in they want to.

We’re celebrating it by having coffee, reading the Times, going shopping, dropping stuff at the cleaners, raking autumn leaves if it doesn’t rain and having dinner in Bucktown at a French-Japanese fusion restaurant. We decided to dress up.

I’m putting on a tie. I never wear a tie.

At Whole Foods they had an eye of round roast on sale. I asked the butcher if I

Old school.

Phoebe Snow.

D.C. Teachers' Union election will affect survival of Rhee's initiatives

D.C. Teachers' Union election will affect survival of Rhee's initiatives

D.C. Teachers' Union election will affect survival of Rhee's initiatives

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 23, 2010; 11:37 AM

There's one election this political season in which D.C. residents - public school families in particular - have a major stake but no vote: for leadership of theWashington Teachers' Union.

Much of the public discussion about education reform this fall was dominated by the widely anticipatedresignation of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and presumptive mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray's willingness to sustain the initiatives she launched. But the survival of Rhee's agenda - especially for hiring, evaluating and firing teachers - will also be determined by those at the top of the 4,000-member union, which spent heavily to unseat her boss, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

George Parker, who signed the game-changing labor contract with Rhee that was approved by members in

Reoccurring question #4,080: What kind of Collaboration will it be? � Failing Schools

Reoccurring question #4,080: What kind of Collaboration will it be? � Failing Schools

Reoccurring question #4,080: What kind of Collaboration will it be?

OCTOBER 23, 2010
by markfriedman1

I can confidently say before beginning this one that there will be more on this topic shortly.

Education is filled to the brim with buzz words used so frequently that they grow foggy in not specifically communicating what people see and propose in education circles (holla @ word attack, fellow authors!). One such word is collaboration.

After looking back to earlier this year and the summer by watching CORE CTU leaders Karen

Update: Reader Comments on Jay Schenirer and the curious case of CASA - SNOG - October 18, 2010 - Blogs - Sacramento News & Review

Jay Schenirer and the curious case of CASA - SNOG - October 18, 2010 - Blogs - Sacramento News & Review

Reader Comments

Displaying 3 comments.

Posted 10/21/2010 8:28PM by Class of 69
JAY SCHENIRER is a fraud. He brags: “I ran a successful business.” To be accurate, he should add for voters: “into the ground.” He has been a failure in virtually everything he has laid his hands on. His first business was a pasta place. It failed. Next, he took on the food service at the Sterling Hotel. The owners hated him and kicked him out. Then he merged with the successful Food for Thought restaurant. There, as the Chief Financial officer, in charge of budgets, he ran the business into the ground and then walked out, leaving huge debt including tens of thousands of delinquent state and federal taxes. A once successful business – before Jay got involved – had to close and deal with the debt. He went on to the Sacramento Food Bank to, he says, do good–not escape his failure in the private business world. He left that job under circumstances no one seems to want to talk about. Then there is CASA and the debt he left behind at the Sac. School District. And this is the guy who wants to oversee the City’s money? I wouldn’t trust him to accurately price a BLT sandwich. John M. Poswall Attorney LESS
Posted 10/22/2010 4:34AM by bbbbmer
Thank you Mr. Poswall for this information. Many of us had no idea just how unsavory a character Jay Schenirer really is and was. He certainly seems the type willing to sell his soul to the highest bidder, and certainly that opportunity will come as he enables KJ’s powergrabs, both through a resurgence of the unconstitutional SMI, and now, in overseeing the privatization/charterization/mayoralization of public education in Sacramento. Thank you for your potent insights – hopefully they will enlighten voters to send this jerk packing rather than seating him on the city council. This certainly makes Patrick Kennedy look like the far more optimal candidate for that district, and I hope he wins… LESS
Posted 10/22/2010 10:44PM by anonymous-1287812321
Jay Schenirer is a liar and sidesteps the whole CASA fiasco. He obviously is suffering from convenient memory loss and it’s almost amusing that Laura Bruno, who’s one of the chief benefactors of the CASA deal, has put Schenirer front and center when this whole sticking mess was put into operation. To see that wannabee King Kevin Johnson endorses Schenirer is no surprise because that’s who helped him hijack Sac High for the charter school. Birds of a feather stick together. Let’s hope the Sacto electorate can be smarter this time and reject Schenirer, reject all of Kevin Johnson’s choices, because to do otherwise is just asking for more corruption. LESS

NOT Waiting for Superman : Articles/Ultimate $uperpower: Supersized dollars drive "Waiting for Superman" agenda

NOT Waiting for Superman : Articles/Ultimate $uperpower: Supersized dollars drive "Waiting for Superman" agenda

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by Barbara Miner

This article, written expressly for NOTwaitingforsuperman.org, explores the money behind the movie, its promoters, and those who will benefit from the movie. As author Barbara Miner writes, “In education, as in so many other aspects of society, money is being used to squeeze out democracy.” After examining the role of hedge funds, foundations and other players, she asks, “Should the American people put their faith in a white billionaires boys’ club to lead the revolution on behalf of poor people of color?”

Please download the .pdf version of this report to read sidebar pieces and footnotes.

Ultimate $uperpower:

Supersized dollars drive Waiting for Superman agenda

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: NATIONAL REORT CARD: CALIFORNIA GETS A “C” IN FUNDING, A “D” FOR EFFORT – State ranked 31st in funding for education …or 32nd, …or 24th, …or 46th

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: NATIONAL REORT CARD: CALIFORNIA GETS A “C” IN FUNDING, A “D” FOR EFFORT – State ranked 31st in funding for education …or 32nd, …or 24th, …or 46th

NATIONAL REORT CARD: CALIFORNIA GETS A “C” IN FUNDING, A “D” FOR EFFORT – State ranked 31st in funding for education …or 32nd, …or 24th, …or 46th

BY JOHN FENSTERWALD - EDUCATED GUESS | HTTP://BIT.LY/9V1ZI8

10/15/10 • In terms of unadjusted state and local spending for education, California ranks 24th in the nation. But adjust spending to account for the regional cost of living, as Education Week does annually, and California’s per student spending falls to 46th in the nation.

Which ranking you cite in debates with colleagues and around the dinner table is usually a giveaway as to where you stand on the need for more K-12 funding. (I tend to go with Ed Week.)

Now, a new study of the state school funding that claims to be the most comprehensive is ranking California in 31st place, with an adjusted spending of $9,030 – $1,102 below the adjusted U.S. average of $10,132 and nearly $7,000 below top-ranked Wyoming.

“Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card,”[http://bit.ly/bksBMI] funded by the Ford Foundation, used 2007 figures, which predated the recession, though the

Teachers at Harlem's Sisulu-Walker Charter School get unionized with UFT

Teachers at Harlem's Sisulu-Walker Charter School get unionized with UFT

Teachers at Harlem's Sisulu-Walker Charter School get unionized with UFT

Saturday, October 23rd 2010, 4:00 AM

Teachers at the city's oldest charter school have unionized.

The United Federation of Teachers announced Friday that Harlem's Sisulu-Walker Charter School staff had formally signed up.

The union officially alerted the school's board yesterday.

"We took this step to ensure that classroom teachers will have a real, professional voice in the decisions that



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2010/10/23/2010-10-23_teachers_at_oldest_charter_join_uft.html?r=ny_local/education#ixzz13C7dBJPa

The Answer Sheet - Building teacher accountability from the ground up

The Answer Sheet - Building teacher accountability from the ground up

Building teacher accountability from the ground up

This was written by educator Anthony Cody. After 18 years as a science teacher in inner-city Oakland, he now works with a team of experienced science teacher-coaches who support the many novice teachers in his school district. He is a National Board-certified teacher and an active member of the Teacher Leaders Network. This appeared on his Teachers Magazine blog, Living in Dialogue. By Anthony Cody I am in my 24th year working in a medium-sized urban school district, and I have experienced school reform first-hand. Most often it takes the form of top-down programs that attempt to involve everyone in the District in a process that the superintendent (or state-appointed administrator) has decided will transform us from chronically under-performing to excellent in the coming year. Sadly, sweeping programs like these rarely make much difference, and leave teachers feeling as if they are not respected as professionals. This is not to

Schools Matter: Bloomberg's Criminal Hypocrisy

Schools Matter: Bloomberg's Criminal Hypocrisy

Bloomberg's Criminal Hypocrisy

As Diane Ravitch documents in her book, the Bloomberg Machine used manipulated cut scores that they knew were phony to promote a fraudulent reform agenda based on control through testing and replacing public schools with corporate charters. From 2006 through 2009, Bloomberg and Klein crowed about each year's conversion of the low scorers at Level 1 to the Levels 2 and 3, when they knew that the picture they were presenting to the public was the grossest of charades. From Ravitch:
Why did the number of students at level 1 [the lowest scorers] plummet? Becase the state lowered the bar and made it easier for students to reach level 2. On the sixth-grade reading test in 2006,students needed to earn 41 percent of the points to attain level 2; by 2009 students in that

High Performing Teachers with Low-Tech Classrooms � Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

High Performing Teachers with Low-Tech Classrooms � Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

High Performing Teachers with Low-Tech Classrooms

The title is not a joke or a poke in the eyes of techno-enthusiasts, believe me. Writer Amanda Ripley visited classrooms around the world and found that the best ones–her opinion–are low-tech. Specifically, she cites South Korea and Finland, countries that outscore the U.S. in international tests, as having low-tech classrooms. In South Korea, she cites one student who described her room having a few old computers, an overhead projector, and well, that’s the extent of the “new” technologies.

She then quotes an expert on European schools about the lack of technological innovations in schools around the world:

‘In most of the highest-performing systems, technology is remarkably absent from classrooms,’ says Andreas

Considering 21st Century Skills � InterACT

Considering 21st Century Skills � InterACT

Considering 21st Century Skills

When teachers are “off for the summer” we find all sorts of wonderful ways to work on our own learning and practices. This past summer I had the chance to read the book 21st Century Skills, and even a chance to talk with one of the authors, Bernie Trilling (who co-authored the book with Charles Fadel). The results of my reading and our conversation were put into an article in the Education Week Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook: “Adapting Teaching to a New Era.” However, within the constraints of that article, I couldn’t quite incorporate all of thought-provoking ideas and valuable information that Trilling shared

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