Thursday, October 28, 2010

Michelle Rhee outspoken to the end of her tenure as D.C. schools chancellor

Michelle Rhee outspoken to the end of her tenure as D.C. schools chancellor

Michelle Rhee outspoken to the end of her tenure as D.C. schools chancellor

In one of her last public appearances as D.C. schools chancellor, Michelle A. Rhee took part in a College Board conference at the Washington Hilton.

By Bill Turque
Thursday, October 28, 2010; 9:01 PM
She is D.C. schools chancellor for just one more day, but that didn't stop Michelle A. Rhee from issuing one last warning Thursday, this one to ineffective teachers and the undergraduate education programs that granted them degrees.
"Now we have a new teacher evaluation system where we know who's ineffective, minimally effective and highly effective," she told a hotel ballroom filled with educators attending a College Board forum. "We're going to back-map where they came from, which schools produced these people. And if you are producing ineffective or minimally effective teachers, we're going to send them back to you."
Rhee is exiting the District much as she entered it a more than three years ago: outspoken, impatient, apparently indifferent to the kind of tension and pushback that most in her line of work labor to avoid. What she did here, and how she did it, will be debated for years. But her signature contribution, many supporters and detractors say, was a change in the conversation.
Rhee added a new urgency and righteous anger to the

NYC Public School #Parents: Richard Barr on the 47 proposed school closings

NYC Public School Parents: Richard Barr on the 47 proposed school closings

Richard Barr on the 47 proposed school closings

It is appalling to look at the list of 47 schools targeted for possible closure, as well as to think of those already closed in the last few years by this regime.

When you attend a closing "hearing" for one of them as I did for my alma mater, Christopher Columbus H.S., or if you attended the P.E.P. "hearing" at Brooklyn Tech. for 19 at once, and you see every person who works at one of these schools, or attends one, or sends their kid or kids to one, get up and say "don't close this school" and you see the bureaucrats who have unfortunately been given power over this public school system remain unmoved, unpersuaded, acting like they could care less about what the people they are supposed to be serving, or managing, want, or say, or think, it can turn your stomach and break your heart.

When you think of people who have been made temporary custodians of an enormous public school system which is, I believe, in its third century, acting like they have the right to just do away with so many of that system's pillars, with no obligation to maintaining them, it makes your blood boil. People who said "put us in

Your denial of the importance of true diversity to maintain the status quo doesn’t fool me � EducationCEO's Blog

Your denial of the importance of true diversity to maintain the status quo doesn’t fool me � EducationCEO's Blog

Your denial of the importance of true diversity to maintain the status quo doesn’t fool me

Part of my (late) morning (or even afternoon) ritual is to read the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC) for stories related to education. My first stop is usually the GetSchooled blog by Maureen Downey, then on to education articles by Aileen Dodd, as they often write on some interesting topics. This morning there was an article written [...]

Remainders: Mixed marks for Bloomberg on schools in new poll | GothamSchools

Remainders: Mixed marks for Bloomberg on schools in new poll | GothamSchools

Remainders: Mixed marks for Bloomberg on schools in new poll

  • Nearly 1,800 city students will get free tickets to a Broadway show on the Scottsboro Boys. (NYTimes)
  • P.S. 184 Shuang Wen is protesting a NY1 story on its after-school Mandarin program. (The Lo-Down)
  • Schools have one more day to fill 850 vacancies before schools lose money for them. (InsideSchools)
  • Buffalo teachers spent more than $9 million in public money on cosmetic surgery. (Buffalo News)
  • Voters like mayoral control but don’t think Bloomberg has improved schools, a new poll says. (WSJ)
  • A total of 41 states have now adopted common core standards. (Curriculum Matters)
  • A challenge to the idea that economic integration will always boost poor students. (Flypaper)
  • The Chamber of Commerce is backing candidates who favor scrapping USDOE. (Politics K-12)
  • Special education advocates recommended keeping local diplomas available for now. (InsideSchools)
  • Only a fifth of science teachers feel they have resources for hands-on experiments. (Answer Sheet)

Montgomery officials question sale of high school property to private academy

Montgomery officials question sale of high school property to private academy

Montgomery officials question sale of high school property to private academy

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 28, 2010; 7:51 PM

A proposal to sell a former Montgomery County high school to the private school that rents it has raised concern among some elected officials, who say the county should not be selling school buildings when enrollment is growing and many classrooms are overcrowded.

These critics also point to the gap between the proposed purchase price and the assessed value of the property.

Officials with the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy say they were performing a public service when they spent more than $8 million on renovating the former Robert E. Peary High School in Rockville in 1996 and that they did so with the understanding that they

Insurance Companies are Buying Mike Villines. Are you?

davejonesinscomm2010 | October 27, 2010

Insurance companies have spent $5.7 million to elect Mike Villines, an anti-consumer, pro-insurance industry candidate for California Insurance Commissioner. They are laundering their contributions through the California Chamber of Commerce so voters don't know who is funding the attack ads against consumer champion Dave Jones.


"Please Stop!": The 5 Dumbest Tropes in the EdReform Debate - Ed Thoughts

"Please Stop!": The 5 Dumbest Tropes in the EdReform Debate - Ed Thoughts

"Please Stop!": The 5 Dumbest Tropes in the EdReform Debate - Ed Thoughts

I'm a big fan of Allie Brosh's comic blog, Hyperbole and a Half. As I engage with different people working in the school reform arena, I often encounter people who disagree with me. That's OK. But I'm also, and often, blindsided by crazy statements that make me want to scream,

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and have all of the nonsense just reverse course or melt away. Trying to improve schools and society is hard enough, without the additional burden of stupid rhetoric that clouds the real issues, confuses the public, and makes it difficult to advance comprehensive solutions.

This Is A Great Explanation Of One Of My Biggest Concerns About “School Reformers” | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

This Is A Great Explanation Of One Of My Biggest Concerns About “School Reformers” | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

This Is A Great Explanation Of One Of My Biggest Concerns About “School Reformers”

One of the biggest concerns I have about many “school reformers” is the fact that many have extremely limited (and in a number of cases — like Education Secretary Duncan — zero) direct experience in the classroom.

It’s not my habit to quote from Forbes Magazine, but there is an exceptional column there by Conor Friedersdorf that’s titled Why Some Elites Know Not What They Run. In it, he shares correspondence he has had with a person who wants to reshape health policy, but does not want to spend any time “working in the trenches.” It provides a much more articulate representation of my concern than any that I could write.

Here’s an excerpt:

I understand why my correspondent doesn’t want to spend several years in the field or working at a hospital before she gets to even tackle the systemic problems that she wants to solve, but I’d wager anything that she’d be far better at improving outcomes on the ground if she understood first hand what went on there, rather than

Why Pell Will Not Save Us From High Tuition

Why Pell Will Not Save Us From High Tuition

Why Pell Will Not Save Us From High Tuition



Source: College Board Trends in Student Aid 2010

The past few years have seen a massive investment in the federal Pell Grant Program. This has translated instead substantial increases in the maximum award, which has gone from $4,050 in the 2006-07 academic year to $5,350 in 2009-10. Add in the additional $200 increase for the school year underway and you’re talking about a $1,500 bump in just a few years.

Richmond High Gets Lesson in Masculinity - The Bay Citizen

Richmond High Gets Lesson in Masculinity - The Bay Citizen

Richmond High Gets Lesson in Masculinity

It was a year ago yesterday that police say seven men beat and raped a 16-year-old Richmond High School girl for more than two hours before anyone called 911. The victim had just left the school’s Homecoming Dance. Several people reportedly witnessed the crime and took no action to stop it; how many bystanders were there is disputed. In the days immediately following the crime, rape prevention instructor Rhonda James excoriated the school district for denying her request to teach workshops at the high school. James directs Community Violence Solutions, a nonprofit that offers what’s called “bystander training” in how to intervene to stop a rape. School officials subsequently allowed James’ program into the school. Community Violence Solutions began holding the

Studies Show Pot Arrests Lopsided for Blacks and Latinos

In addition to being a health, economic and legal issue, Proposition 19 has now become a civil rights issue. According to two reports released within the last week by the Drug Policy Allianceand partnering civil rights organizations, African Americans and Latinos are arrested anywhere from 2 to 13 times as often as whites for personal possession of marijuana, although arrest rates vary by city. The Drug Policy Alliance, an organization that works to change public policy regarding drugs, worked with the California NAACP to release the report Arresting Blacks for Marijuana in Californialast Friday. On Wednesday, it released a second report, Arresting Latinos for Marijuana in California, with the William C. Velasquez Institute, a public policy analysis organization that

Why Schools are the Proper Venue to Address Anti-LGBT Bullying | Gay Rights | Change.org

Why Schools are the Proper Venue to Address Anti-LGBT Bullying | Gay Rights | Change.org

Why Schools are the Proper Venue to Address Anti-LGBT Bullying

As we wrote on Change.org earlier today, a school district in California has gotten into trouble for showing an acclaimed anti-bullying film to students. Why? Because the film includes gay and lesbian kids (or those perceived to be gay or lesbian) among the groups who deserve respect from their peers in the classroom.

In spite of the importance of this message, a group of parents has objected, with one woman declaring that her parental rights had been trampled and that the district was trying to usurp her parental role by exposing her child to what she considers an unhealthy lifestyle.

The offensiveness of this mother's position is infuriating, and the fact that she considers it better for children to be driven to suicide than for their possible gender identities to even be discussed in school is a moral outrage.

Facing new rules, a for-profit charter school company evolves | GothamSchools

Facing new rules, a for-profit charter school company evolves | GothamSchools

Facing new rules, a for-profit charter school company evolves

The city’s most established for-profit charter school management company is rebranding and recreating itself in light of a new law that forbids the group from running schools.

As of tomorrow, Victory Schools will be named Victory Education Partners and it will no longer be a traditional management company. The group will retain its for-profit status, but will continue to work in schools by offering a variety of services, from professional development to back-office support, that schools can choose to purchase.

The change was prompted by the passage of a new law last spring that doubled the cap on charter schools, and also barred for-profit companies from operating or managing new charter schools. One of three for-profit charter management groups work with New York City schools, Victory had to change or close shop in the city. It’s

Portland School Board lauds Superintendent Carole Smith, begs her to stick around | OregonLive.com

Portland School Board lauds Superintendent Carole Smith, begs her to stick around | OregonLive.com

Portland School Board lauds Superintendent Carole Smith, begs her to stick around

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010, 12:11 PM Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2010, 12:30 PM
SMITHWMICROPHONE.JPGView full size
9 Comments
Many people dread their annual job evaluation, but for Portland Superintendent Carole Smith, the public unveiling of her performance reviewthis week wasn't a nail-biter but a full-fledged love fest.

All six school board members present praised her personal and professional integrity, her quiet way of getting things done, her inclusive leadership style and her deep commitment to serving all children, particularly the disadvantaged.

"We have a great leader," said board member Pam Knowles. "I have been particularly impressed with her concern about all children. ... The equity work has been phenomenal."

In a school district where short-term or temporary leadership has been the norm since 1997 -- with five superintendents or interim leaders in less than 11 years before Smith came aboard -- board members said it loud and clear: They really want Smith to stick around.

Board member Ruth Adkins put it this way: "We are all in agreement that ... we are very lucky. ... I hope she will be with us for

North Portland's University of Portland named a top producer of Fulbright scholars

The university produced five master's degree scholars this year, placing it above Seattle University and 12 other U.S. colleges.

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