Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bring in new faces and voices to Sacramento for real change | Thoughts on Public Education

Bring in new faces and voices to Sacramento for real change | Thoughts on Public Education

Bring in new faces and voices to Sacramento for real change - by Arun Ramanathan

Our electorate occasionally acts schizophrenic. Take the call for change. In the midst of one of our country’s longest running economic downturns, there’s a palpable anger against politicians and the political system. According to the rhetoric, they got us into this mess, and the answer is to boot them out. On Tuesday, this anger is likely to force a change of power in Congress – with Republicans taking over from the Democrats. Outside of California, the role of the Tea Party in this process has been [...]

Jonathan Kozol on Segregaton and Education Reform | Seattle Education 2010

Jonathan Kozol on Segregaton and Education Reform | Seattle Education 2010

Jonathan Kozol on Segregaton and Education Reform

“High stakes testing in kindergarten.” Sound familiar Seattle?

“The curriculum cops.”

Resegregation of our schools with “Neighborhood Schools”. Those “neighborhood schools” on the south end of town will be targeted by charter schools for two reasons. First, because now those minority, low-income families do not have any choice. Our superintendent did that in one fell swoop with the student reassignment plan. And secondly, because charter schools target minority communities where there is Title 1 money to be had. Hmmm…was that part of the (Broad) Five Year Strategic Plan?

This is a you tube video of Jonathan Kozol on his book “Shame of a Nation”.

Highly recommended. Start about 10 minutes into the video where Kozol begins to speak.

The Washington Teacher: The 266 Deserve Quality Legal Representation

The Washington Teacher: The 266 Deserve Quality Legal Representation

The 266 Deserve Quality Legal Representation

Featuring Candi Peterson, blogger in residence and WTU Candidate for General Vice President

On Friday, October 29 in the courtroom of Judge Judith Bartnoff- WTU lawyers appeared to challenge the reduction in force of 266 laid off teachers and school personnel. DC Schools Insider blogger, Bill Turque reported "The Washington Teachers' Union court challenge to the October 2009 layoffs effectively end this morning when a WTU attorney told a DC Superior Court judge that after scrutinizing 1,200 pages of District documents, the union could find no evidence that Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee contrived the budget crunch she said justified the job reductions."

Some of the laid-off teachers I talked to find it amazing that attorney Brenda C. Zwack said: "We didn't find anything that would warrant further briefing". While the court

ACLU Settlement: Helping or Hurting Students of Poverty? � InterACT

ACLU Settlement: Helping or Hurting Students of Poverty? � InterACT

ACLU Settlement: Helping or Hurting Students of Poverty?

photo from kpcc.org

In 2009, my school was decimated by seniority-based layoffs in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Twenty percent of our staff was fired in a reduction in force, a moment that was tragic for us, when instead we should have been celebrating a success. L.A. Academy, which had previously lost between 30-40% of teachers annually due to turnover, had reduced this transience to 0%. But then, the layoffs hit.

My school was one of many in poor, urban areas of Los Angeles that faced such a harsh reality. Letter writing campaigns, open letters, marches, parent mobilizations, presentations to the school board did nothing to

My New Piece In The Washington Post

My New Piece In The Washington Post

My New Piece In The Washington Post

Filed under school reform

Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet” has just published a guest post by me titled The importance of being unprincipled.

It’s a commentary of the self-righteous zeal of some school reformers, most recently exemplified Rhee & Fenty’s appalling “Manifesto” yesterday in The Wall Street Journal.

In many ways, today’s Washington Post column is a companion piece to the one I wrote earlier this month in The Huffington Post, Let’s Do Less ‘Fire, Ready, Aim.’

Uh, hello? Kids Have First Amendment Rights, Too! � Failing Schools

Uh, hello? Kids Have First Amendment Rights, Too! � Failing Schools

Uh, hello? Kids Have First Amendment Rights, Too!

OCTOBER 31, 2010
by Sabrina

In this video, DPS School Board President Nate Easley and DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg lead a discussion about whether to allow students to speak during public comment sessions. Seriously. They’re actually suggesting it might be wise to limit the ability of those most affected by their actions to voice their opinions about those actions.

Nate Easley doesn’t care about student voices from DeFENSE Denver on Vimeo.

I left this comment on DeFENSE’s website (where I found the video):

Utterly shameful. What bothers me the most about this, in addition to the bla

Class Struggle - Outrage at banning spelling tests

Class Struggle - Outrage at banning spelling tests

Outrage at banning spelling tests

J. Martin Rochester, Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is our guest columnist. He is a close student of the evolution of American education practices, and often warns of the deterioration of standards.

By J. Martin Rochester

The documentary “Waiting for Superman,” is yet another call for K-12 school reform aimed at closing the gap between academic achievers and non-achievers and promoting what an assistant superintendent in my school district once oxymoronically labeled “mass excellence.”

The problem is that school reformers are not really serious about raising the bar. After all, they continue to dumb-down education – adopting the slogan from the Chris Farley movie Tommy Boy, “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Lower the Standard” – while claiming to be smarting up. How one can do higher-order thinking in math, social studies, or any

What is one of the most important aspects of multicultural issues in the schools today? (�Cu�l es uno de los aspectos m�s importantes de las cuestiones multiculturales en las escuelas hoy en d�a?) - Perdaily.com

What is one of the most important aspects of multicultural issues in the schools today? (�Cu�l es uno de los aspectos m�s importantes de las cuestiones multiculturales en las escuelas hoy en d�a?) - Perdaily.com

What is one of the most important aspects of multicultural issues in the schools today? (¿Cuál es uno de los aspectos más importantes de las cuestiones multiculturales en las escuelas hoy en día?)

Christopher Columbus.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) One of the most important aspects of multicultural issues in the schools today is who will set the curriculum and what that curriculum will consist of. As a social studies teacher, I think the debate that always ensues over the selection of new social studies textbooks in California is a good example of the two directions our schools might go and the ramifications of choosing one or the other.

Books that portrayed a history of America built by diverse peoples but based on the values of Europe were accepted because the textbook commission said they offered a more balanced and unbiased approach. However, large groups protested the books on the grounds that they distorted and marginalized the histories of many of California's ethnic and cultural communities.

Palenque2.jpeg
At the center of this conflict is the fundamental struggle over inclusion and

Lawyers disputing allegations in Rutgers suicide - NorthJersey.com

Lawyers disputing allegations in Rutgers suicide - NorthJersey.com
Lawyers disputing allegations in Rutgers suicide
Sunday, October 31, 2010
THE RECORD
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW BRUNSWICK — Lawyers for two former Rutgers University freshmen accused of webcasting a classmate having sex with a man are disputing allegations against them.

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei were charged with invasion of privacy.
Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei were charged with invasion of privacy.

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei were charged with invasion of privacy after Ravi allegedly used a webcam on Sept. 19 to capture his roommate, Tyler Clementi of Ridgewood, having a gay sexual encounter. Clementi jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge days later.

But Steven Altman and Rubin Sinins, who represent Ravi and Wei respectively, told The Star-Ledger of Newark that the webcam stream was only viewed on a single computer and

School Tech Connect: They Don't Believe In Freedom Of Speech

School Tech Connect: They Don't Believe In Freedom Of Speech

They Don't Believe In Freedom Of Speech

Word.

Popout

It's okay for someone to hold the opponent's sign at a public appearance. Nobody gets hurt by it. Unless you're the guy holding the sign and the rally is filled with right-wingers who haven't read the First Amendment. Then

School Tech Connect: Interesting, Attractive, and Morally Purposeful...

School Tech Connect: Interesting, Attractive, and Morally Purposeful...

Interesting, Attractive, and Morally Purposeful...

I'm not sure how I feel about all my favorite bloggers contributing to HuffPo-- for my money, HuffPo is a dishonest venue that brooks no criticism. I follow HuffPo because they publish voices that aren't quickly available in any other single place, but I'm not under any delusions-- they're pushing Arianna's agenda just like Fox Newsis pushing Rupert Murdoch's. Hillary Clinton couldn't catch five seconds of a break from HuffPo, for one thing.

For another, Arianna is so body-dunked in the ed deform Kool Aid tank that as far as I'm concerned, she's

Voters to decide on education funding and Republican backed laws | NewsOK.com

Voters to decide on education funding and Republican backed laws | NewsOK.com

Voters to decide on education funding and Republican backed laws

The 11 state questions on Tuesday's ballot cover everything from education funding and term limits to Sharia Law and opting out of federal health care reform.

BY MEGAN ROLLAND Comment on this article 1
Published: October 31, 2010

Of the 11 state questions voters will consider on Tuesday, the behemoth is State Question 744 that calls for at least $830 million more to be spent on common education in Oklahoma over the next three years.

ADVERTISEMENT

The constitutional amendment was put on the ballot by more than 238,000 voter signatures collected with the support of the Oklahoma Education Association, a state teachers' union.

It would mandate that Oklahoma spend the same per student as the average expenditure in surrounding states. Oklahoma currently ranks 49th in the nation on per-pupil spending.

Opponents of the measure say that because there is no funding source identified, the money will have to come out of the general revenue budget and require devastating cuts to other state agencies including higher education, the Department of Human Services and others.

The bill does not specify where the money will come from, or how it will be allocated



Read more: http://newsok.com/voters-to-decide-education-fund-plan/article/3509720#ixzz13xc5o0xU

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.

School Tech Connect: Hey, Nevada!

School Tech Connect: Hey, Nevada!

Hey, Nevada!

I got nuthin'!

Seriously, my Kindle has transformed my life; I'm know knee-deep in Will Cather, Ford Maddox Ford, Richard Price, The NYT Book Review, The Nation, and The Atlantic Monthly. The adjustable font size makes it possible to read while you're walking your dog along the lake. Does life get any better? It's hard to blog when there's so much good stuff to read.

Since nothing's going to happen until this election is over, I'm going to use this moment to ask a question of the good people of Nevada, and the question is this: what the hell is wrong with you people? Of all of the bizarre elections this cycle, Sharron Angle's popularity in Nevada is to me the most breathtaking. When I think of Nevada, well, actually nothing comes to mind. Liberace? Paul Laxalt? Dawn Wells?

What I do know is this--- there are fewer people in the entire state of Nevada than in the city where I live, and

Mike Klonsky: When I tried Showing my Students a Video, Alarms went off

Mike Klonsky: When I tried Showing my Students a Video, Alarms went off
Mike Klonsky

Mike Klonsky

Posted: October 29, 2010 01:53 AM

After watching and listening to a recent Education Nation interview NBC's Andrea Mitchell did with Pasi Sahlberg, Finland's Minister of Education, I am even more astounded by the low regard we show for the teaching profession and the lack of trust we have in educators in this country. Finland, we are told, leads the world in science and math education, while as a nation, the U.S. trails far behind. (A side note is due here, because I have always felt that if we compared our heavily-resourced schools in upscale suburban neighborhoods with those of other nations, we would hold our own). Nevertheless, Salhberg attributes much of Finland's success to the high esteem in which his country holds its teachers. They are highly paid, trained at government expense, unionized, and given lots of freedom and autonomy -- not driven by standardized testing.

Here in the United States, on the other hand, there is an unprecedented assault on the teaching

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