Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NYC Public School Parents: Is It Possible that 2 + 2 = 5 for Cathleen Black?

NYC Public School Parents: Is It Possible that 2 + 2 = 5 for Cathleen Black?

Is It Possible that 2 + 2 = 5 for Cathleen Black?


The timing may just be coincidental, and the interrelationships may be just as coincidental, but it is difficult to ignore their convergence. Is it possible that Mayor Bloomberg, or perhaps Joel Klein himself, engineered a recent appointment of Cathleen Black to the National Leadership Board of Harlem Village Academy's (HVA's) charter school network in order to strengthen her otherwise nonexistent education experience in advance of naming her as Joel Klein's prospective successor?

Consider first that Ms. Black's prior education credentials, as now being reported in the New York Times, appear to consist of having once attended a mentor day with Michelle Obama at a Detroit school, and having once been the figurehead "principal for a day" at a Bronx school. Add to this the fact that she just joined the HVA National Leadership Board "a few months ago" and has yet to actually attend any meetings. Throw on top of that the information that the co-chair of this advisory board (along with singer John Legend) is Rupert Murdoch, a multi-million-dollar contributor to HVA, and top it all off with the announcement that Joel Klein is taking an education industry, strategy-related position at Murdoch's News Corporation.

Considering the somewhat greasy incestuousness of it all, combined with Mayor Bloomberg's penchant for "keeping it all in the multi-millionaire,

Pissed Off Mom: Joel Klein sure has some chutzpa

Pissed Off Mom: Joel Klein sure has some chutzpa

Joel Klein sure has some chutzpa

I just finished watching Joel Klein's interview on NY1 Inside City Hall. When the question posed to him about Leonie Haimson's comment re: his legacy. He could only call her a propagandist, and having her own agenda. This makes me ill. Klein is the King of propaganda. Playing a shell game with data, making the so called agenda based people sue him on NYS Education Law violations., and then rewriting law at his own pleasure. . Stating that schools have wait lists because our schools are good. Joel it really is not that our schools are good it IS that we don't have a choice, no matter how much you say we do. Fix all our schools don't just concentrate on charters. I have news for you Superman is fictional. If there really was a superman my Principal would not have to take out a loan from the DOE to float our school because our budget was drastically cut. We don't have an arts program in our school, but I forget only test prep matters. Some parents might not understand how much education has changed since you and Bloomie have hijacked our system, ummm I mean have been in power.
My oldest children learned to write script, to appreciate literature, Knew how to identify a country, state, mountain (you get it) on a map, American History, NY State History, and then Latin American when they left elementary school. My youngest has not learned any of this.

Remainders: Analyzing “HUH?” v. “CLASS ACT” | GothamSchools

Remainders: Analyzing “HUH?” v. “CLASS ACT” | GothamSchools

Remainders: Analyzing “HUH?” v. “CLASS ACT”

Did you know we have a new schools chancellor?

  • Tom McGeveran analyzes the tabloids’ two very different takes on the new chancellor. (Capital)
  • Eight different takes on why Cathie Black should or should be the next chancellor. (The Atlantic)
  • In an interview with the Times, Klein says he doesn’t feel misunderstood by the public. (NYT)
  • Black’s book says a lot about her leadership style, but nothing about education. (NYT)
  • By appointing Black, Bloomberg is showing that he doesn’t trust teachers to lead. (New Yorker)
  • Callers to the Brian Lehrer Show had mixed feelings on Cathie Black’s credentials. (WNYC)
  • A former DOE insider says Klein could have avoided much of the early anger from parents. (Noodle Ed)
  • Klein changed the way a lot of influential people thought about education. (Eduwonk)
  • Klein’s legacy can’t be fully judged, as the kids who’ve lived his policies are still very young. (City Limits)
  • Merryl Tisch said she didn’t know about Bloomberg’s pick, but trusts his judgment. (City Hall News)

In other news:

  • Most reporters, columnists, and pundits did not question “Waiting for Superman” enough. (CJR)
  • Ruben Brosbe: the city isn’t changing its ESL materials, even though the students are. (GothamSchools)
  • If American students are bad at math, as a new study says, how is the U.S. still a superpower? (Flypaper)
  • Jay Mathews says middle schools are holding back U.S. kids in math. (Washington Post)
  • Nearly one in four Chicago elementary schools have lost their libraries to cuts. (NPR)

Elimination of Education Secretary Office - Year 2010 (CA Dept of Education)

Elimination of Education Secretary Office - Year 2010 (CA Dept of Education)

Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Praises Governor-Elect Jerry Brown for Pledge to Eliminate Office of the Secretary for Education, Work Collaboratively with CDE

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today issued the following statement regarding Governor-Elect Jerry Brown's plan to eliminate the position of Secretary for Education.

"I applaud Jerry Brown's decision to work closely with the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education, and eliminate the position of Secretary for Education. For too long, governance of education policy in California has been buffeted by too many competing forces. While I have admired and worked collaboratively with many appointed secretaries of education, the position itself is redundant and unnecessary. Eliminating unneeded government positions makes all the sense in the world, particularly in this era of extreme financial crisis.

"Governor-elect Brown is passionate about improving California. He and I agree that there is no greater investment in California's future than our students. The California Department of Education stands ready to work with the Brown Administration to help improve public education, close the achievement gap, and help all students reach their full potential."

Five things you may not know about the next schools chancellor | GothamSchools

Five things you may not know about the next schools chancellor | GothamSchools

Five things you may not know about the next schools chancellor

What do we know about Cathie Black?

Most of the profiles of her published so far focus on her management style, her similarities to her new boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and her lack of substantive experience in education.

But other details are beginning to surface. Here are some things we’ve learned so far:

This is not the first time she has walked into a management situation as an almost complete outsider.

Seven pages into her memoir-like business advice book, newly-appointed city schools chancellor Cathie Black recounts an episode that suggests yesterday’s events may have felt like deja-vu.

In the book, Black describes the first time she walked into the offices of USA Today to meet the staff. She had just been named president following the newspaper’s tumultuous first year:

I was also a female, non-newspaper person and an absolute unknown quantity to these people — many of whom had just learned about my hiring moments beforehand. As I looked around the room, I could feel the questions in the air: Was I a savior, a marketing genius who could turn the paper around? Or would I be a flop?

Twenty-seven years later, Black is in a similar situation: an outsider entering a school system whose members have as many questions about her as she does about them. Even her predecessor, current Chancellor Joel

Got $54 Million? No Problem...Retired Teachers Are Working for FREE! -- SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Got $54 Million? No Problem...Retired Teachers Are Working for FREE! -- SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Got $54 Million? No Problem...Retired Teachers Are Working for FREE!

CalRTA Members Donate Nearly 2.6 Million Volunteer Hours

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Though it's worth more than $54 million, this help is free! The California Retired Teachers Association today announced that its members had tallied nearly 2.6 million hours of volunteer service in the past year, valued at more than $54 million. Though the economy continues to sputter, retired teachers dig deep and give their time, effort, and even money!

Members of the Association also funded more than $485,000 in grants and scholarships to schools as well as current and future teachers.

In recognition of the twelfth annual California Retired Teachers Week November 7-13, 2010, retired educators throughout the state are spotlighting exceptional volunteers within their ranks who have donated more than 4,000 hours of their time to community activities and urging all Californians to find the time for volunteer service.

"The state is going through tough times, but that doesn't mean we should stop giving back to our communities. Hundreds of our members have tallied more than 4,000 hours in volunteer service—the equivalent of working fulltime for two years," notedPolly Bacich, president of the California Retired Teachers Association. "They can all tell you that the secret to volunteering is that you always get back more than you give."

Even in these tough economic times, when many are struggling to make ends meet, retired teachers continue to serve as role models for volunteer service. Since 1998, the California Retired Teachers Association has sponsored Retired Teachers Wee

Review & Outlook: Joel Klein's Report Card - WSJ.com

Review & Outlook: Joel Klein's Report Card - WSJ.com

Joel Klein's Report Card

If you can reform schools there . . .

Education reformers tend to react to the ferocious opposition of the status quo in one of two ways: Either they fade away in resignation, or they become even more radical. Joel Klein did the latter, which is why he leaves New York City's 1,600 public schools and 1.1 million students better than he found them.

A Democrat without education experience when he became schools chancellor in 2002, Mr. Klein began as a mainstream reformer. Raise standards, end social promotion, hire better teachers, promote charter schools. But as he was mugged by the reality of the K-12 public school establishment, he began to appreciate that real improvement requires more than change at the margin.

Thus he led the fight for far more school choice by creating charter school clusters, as in Harlem, that are changing the local culture of failure. Kids from as far away as Buffalo will benefit from his fight to lift the state charter cap, which increased to 460 schools from 200. Mr. Klein helped to expose the "rubber rooms" that let bad teachers live for years on the taxpayer dime while doing no work. He gave schools grades from A to F and pushed to close the bad ones, and he fought for merit pay in return for ending teacher tenure.

Mr. Klein leaves with much of that work uncompleted, but with reformers on offense and the public more engaged. Mayor Mike Bloomberg has chosen former media executive Cathie Black,

N.J. Gov. Christie targets legislators, teachers union in Clifton town hall meeting - NorthJersey.com

N.J. Gov. Christie targets legislators, teachers union in Clifton town hall meeting - NorthJersey.com
N.J. Gov. Christie targets legislators, teachers union in Clifton town hall meeting
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
THE RECORD
STAFF WRITER

CLIFTON – Governor Christie Wednesday afternoon lauded his “toolkit” as a solution to New Jersey’s tax woes at a town hall-style meeting with fans and critics at a Clifton VFW post.

Among the items Christie hopes to institute as part of his plan is a mandated 2.5 percent cap on property tax increases.
CARMINE GALASSO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
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Among the items Christie hopes to institute as part of his plan is a mandated 2.5 percent cap on property tax increases.

In am hour-and-a-half speech that was punctuated by loud applause, Christie derided state legislators for not considering his reform bills and for instead dwelling on items concerning dog sterilization and dentures.

He also mocked the New Jersey Education Association, teacher’s union, and vowed to continue his fight against what he called its “greed.”

Among the items Christie hopes to institute as part of his plan is a mandated 2.5

Klein pushes back against rumors surrounding his departure | GothamSchools

Klein pushes back against rumors surrounding his departure | GothamSchools

Klein pushes back against rumors surrounding his departure

As the dust settles around his abrupt resignation and replacement, Chancellor Joel Klein is beginning to fight speculation that he was pushed out of his job.

In an interview with New York Magazine today, Klein refuted the suggestion that tension had developed between him and Mayor Bloomberg after the mayor placed Chief Operating Officer Sharon Greenberger in the Department of Education. Sources told the Times — and I heard the same thing — that Greenberger was “imposed over Joel’s objection.”

Klein told NY Mag:

That’s absolutely preposterous. Part of my thinking, in terms of both the issues I was facing and long-term for the department, was that I needed to bring in a great long-term operating officer. I took the mayor to lunch at Nam, in Tribeca, and I said to him that I thought Sharon, who I had

Schools Matter: Formative Assessment and Next-Gen Technotwits

Schools Matter: Formative Assessment and Next-Gen Technotwits

Formative Assessment and Next-Gen Technotwits

Below are some words of caution from Margaret Heritage's paper, "Formative Assessment and Next-Generation Assessment Systems: Are We Losing an Opportunity?":
Yet what is striking in current discussions of next-generation assessment systems is that despite the evident connection between the processes involved in formative assessment, which Black and Wiliam identified in their 1998 review, and learning theory, the predominant paradigm for formative assessment in the U.S. persists as one of measurement – formative assessment, construed within a testing culture, as a test. This is not to say that an instrument cannot be used as a formative assessment – it can – in the sense that the information yielded can provide indications of students’ learning status relative to the “gap” that teachers and students can use to make adjustments to learning while that learning is developing. The point here is the relative emphasis given to formative

Poll: Majority of N.J. voters oppose Gov. Christie's education cuts, teacher merit pay | NJ.com

Poll: Majority of N.J. voters oppose Gov. Christie's education cuts, teacher merit pay | NJ.com

Poll: Majority of N.J. voters oppose Gov. Christie's education cuts, teacher merit pay

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 4:38 PM Updated: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 4:38 PM
chris-christie-education.jpgN.J. Gov. Chris Christie before a town hall meeting hosted by GOP nominee for California governor Meg Whitman.
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A majority of New Jersey voters oppose Gov. Chris Christie’s hefty state aid cuts and his plan to link teacher pay to student test scores, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released today.

Fifty-nine percent of registered voters said the state is underfunding education and 63 percent oppose merit pay, one of the key education reform proposals Christie unveiled at a town hall meeting in late September.

A large majority, 70 percent, of those surveyed do, however, support the governor’s intentions to overhaul teacher tenure, responding that tenure impedes the removal of bad teachers.

“New Jerseyans generally support their schools and want to see them better funded, even while they want the state to cut back on funding in other areas,” said David

Joel Klein’s bumpy learning curve on the path to radical change | GothamSchools

Joel Klein’s bumpy learning curve on the path to radical change | GothamSchools

Joel Klein’s bumpy learning curve on the path to radical change

Joel Klein

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein plotted big ideas throughout his tenure — and sometimes revised them.

When NBC New York broke the story that Joel Klein was about to resign yesterday, the news organization’s report summarized his tenure this way:

He is credited with ending the practice of social promotion but had a somewhat controversial reputation throughout his tenure.

The rest of the description closely mirrored Klein’s curiously incomplete Wikipedia entry, which highlights a 2005 First Amendment spat over a teacher training lecturer as a main feature of his chancellorship.

Wikipedia, use this instead: Klein brought a penchant for radical transformation to the New York City public schools, redrawing the basics of how schools are run, opening hundreds of new schools and closing dozens of

Students Break Windows at Conservative Party Headquarters in Fees Protest - Bloomberg

Students Break Windows at Conservative Party Headquarters in Fees Protest - Bloomberg

Students Break Windows at Conservative Party Headquarters in Fees Protest

Demonstrating students broke windows at the complex housing the headquarters of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party in London in protest against plans to cut funding to universities and increase tuition fees.

The protesters smashed glass on the ground floor of the 27- story Millbank Tower on the north bank of the River Thames, close to Parliament, today as a planned march turned violent. Demonstrators started a fire outside the building, burning effigies of Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. London’s Metropolitan Police said eight people -- both police officers and

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