Thursday, December 9, 2010

Schools Matter: More of That Obama Flighting Spirit, This Time on Environmental Issues

Schools Matter: More of That Obama Flighting Spirit, This Time on Environmental Issues

More of That Obama Flighting Spirit, This Time on Environmental Issues

I am without words.

From the NYTimes:
The Obama administration is retreating on long-delayed environmental regulations — new rules governing smog and toxic emissions from industrial boilers — as it adjusts to a changed political dynamic in Washington with a more muscular Republican opposition.

The move to delay the rules, announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency, will leave in place policies set by President George W. Bush. President Obama ran for office promising tougher standards, and the new rules were set to take effect over the next several weeks.

Now, the agency says, it needs until July 2011 to further analyze scientific and health studies of

Call to Europe, from Rome to London: this is just the beginning! « occupy california

Call to Europe, from to Rome to London: this is just the beginning! « occupy california

Call to Europe, from to Rome to London: this is just the beginning!

By *
from UniRiot:
…You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: occupation of universities everywhere in Europe, blockage of the cities, manif sauvage, rage. This is the answer of a generation to whom they want to cut the future with debts for studying, cuts of welfare state and increasing of tuition fees.

The determination of thousand of students in London, the rage of who assault the Italian Senate house against the austerity and the education cuts, has opened the present time: this is because the future is something to gain that start when you decide collectively to take risk and to struggle.
The extraordinary struggles that we are living have the capacity to show a present with an intensity that exceed the linearity of the time, that refuse our precarity condition: it is an assault to the

US education chief meets NYC's future chancellor | BlueRidgeNow.com

US education chief meets NYC's future chancellor | BlueRidgeNow.com

US education chief meets NYC's future chancellor

By KAREN MATTHEWS Associated Press
Published: Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday that incoming New York City schools Chancellor Cathie Black "has the potential to be a fantastic leader" and he will do everything he can to support her.

Duncan met later with Black, a publishing executive who has been a controversial choice to lead the nation's largest school system because she has no background as an educator.

City Department of Education spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz said the two discussed a number of education issues, including the city's plans to implement the state's winning Race to the

ACTION United: Where's the money... and the teachers? | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

ACTION United: Where's the money... and the teachers? | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

ACTION United: Where's the money... and the teachers?

by Gustavo Martínez on Dec 09 2010

About a 100 people gathered Tuesday night to discuss the findings of an ACTION United reportthat found that "the highest poverty schools have the least experienced teachers."

Youth and adults listened to speakers in the auditorium at Berean Presbyterian Church in North Philadelphia. They also waited for School District officials to show up. Something that never happened.

Yong Zhao » Blog Archive » A True Wake-up Call for Arne Duncan: The Real Reason Behind Chinese Students Top PISA Performance

Yong Zhao » Blog Archive » A True Wake-up Call for Arne Duncan: The Real Reason Behind Chinese Students Top PISA Performance

A True Wake-up Call for Arne Duncan: The Real Reason Behind Chinese Students Top PISA Performance

Big news! China has become the best education nation, or at least according to some experts and politicians. Chinese students (a sample from Shanghai) outscored 64 countries/education systems on the most recent PISA, OECD’s international academic assessment for 15 year olds in math, reading, and science. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sees this as a “wake-up call” and Chester Finn, an influential education expert who served in the Reagan’s Department of Education, likens it to “sputnik,” the man-made satellite launched by the former Soviet Union in 1957 that startled America. ...

What The Hell Do I Know? — The Jose Vilson

What The Hell Do I Know? — The Jose Vilson

What The Hell Do I Know?



Kanye West Shrug (feat. Taylor Swift), VMAs

To my most fervent readers,

Despite whatever any of you think about my prolificity, I rarely get into discussions about war, poverty, and education in person unless I’m absolutely prompted. One time, some of my colleagues talked about some students as potential crack babies due to their erratic behavior. As they laughed and scoffed, I carefully told them that, despite society’s long held beliefs in this epidemic, there’s no such thing as a “crack baby.” Surely, there are people who were affected by their parents’ unsavory habits, but to say there are babies whose behavior

Let’s Go To The Videotape « My Island View

Let’s Go To The Videotape « My Island View

Let’s Go To The Videotape

I recently read how Bill Gates is pushing for video-taping teachers as part of an assessment process during the observation of lessons. His goal is to include videotaping of all teachers in the process of their evaluations. On the surface this sounds workable and even helpful; after all it does work for athletes. For many years now, coaches and recruiters alike all said, ”Let’s go to the Video Tape” it will show us the way. Of course the media has changed and gone digital, so actual video tape is being replaced by other technologies, nevertheless we call it videotaping.

I have had myself videotaped at times during my career to objectively view what I looked like, and how I delivered a specific lesson to my students. It was my choice of class, my choice of lesson, and my choice to view and use. I knew what I was looking for in my lesson. I did find it to be helpful, but it was my choice to use it as a tool, and I chose how to do it. I have used videotaping with students

Settlement in free public schools case | The Education Report

Settlement in free public schools case | The Education Report

Settlement in free public schools case

By Katy Murphy
Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at 5:15 pm in families, finances, lawsuits.

textbooks. File photo by John Green/Bay Area News GroupFamilies who are charged by their public schools for elective classes, course materials, uniforms or school activities could soon have a way to file a complaint and get their money back — without going to the courts.

California’s American Civil Liberties Union affiliates sued the state of

New America in California | NewAmerica.net

New America in California | NewAmerica.net

Villaraigosa's game-changing speech

Published: December 8, 2010
(cross posted at Fox & Hounds Daily)

The most significant speech given by a California politician this year was LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's address to a PPIC conference in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Villaraigosa is a former employee of two giant California teachers' unions. He is one of the state most important Democratic politicians, and certainly its most prominent Latino one -- in a state that is Democratic politically and increasingly Latino. And despite all of that, he gave a speech calling out teachers' unions as the strongest obstacles to education reform.

This one is worth clipping and saving. It could be a career ender for Villaraigosa. Or it could launch him to statewide office later this decade. Either way, you'll be hearing about this speech again. The full text of Villaraigosa's speech is below.

Remarks as Prepared for Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa - PPIC "California's Future" Conference - Education Keynote, December 7, 2010

Thank you for that kind introduction. It is a true honor to address such an esteemed audience. I would like to thank the Public Policy Institute of California for organizing this conference and bringing us together. And I would like to congratulate Mark Baldassre and the entire staff at PPIC for the thoughtful and influential work they continue to produce every year.

It is more than fitting that we begin the day on the topic of education reform, because there are few issues more pressing than ensuring that all Californians have equal access to a world-class education. When most of us went to school in the 1950s and 1960s, we were blessed that California public schools were synonymous with excellence. We were the gold standard, a national model that complemented our

solidaridad: Mayor Villaraigosa's vile, reprehensible, repugnant speech at PPIC

solidaridad: Mayor Villaraigosa's vile, reprehensible, repugnant speech at PPIC

Mayor Villaraigosa's vile, reprehensible, repugnant speech at PPIC

"We have our cake, and are eating it too." — Eli Broad (Predatory Pseudo-Philanthropist and Charter-Voucher School Backer)

Failure doesn't begin to describe charter sycophant Villaraigosa and PLAS
Don't know if anyone caught the horror that was "Remarks as Prepared for Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa - PPIC "California's Future" Conference - Education Keynote, December 7, 2010," but it is some of the most vile, reprehensible, repugnant, filth ever uttered by a politician in my memory, and that includes Gorge W. Bush's racist lies leading up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Astonishingly, the philandering Mayor's mendacity knows no bounds. This speech, overflowing with falsehoods and outrageous slander, is beyond shameful, and speaks volumes to his complete complicity with the corporate agenda of known privatization proponents like Eli Broad, William Gates III, and the Walton heirs.

The irony is that the pernicious Mayor spells

Times: Before Black, Canada said ‘no’ — Joanne Jacobs

Times: Before Black, Canada said ‘no’ — Joanne Jacobs

Times: Before Black, Canada said ‘no’

Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone and a star of Waiting for Superman, turned down the job of running New York City schools, sources tell the New York Times. Mayor Michael Bloomberg then offered the job to Cathie Black, a publishing executive with no public-school experience.

Mr. Canada, by contrast, has gained international notice as the leader of the Harlem Children’s Zone, a network of charter schools renowned for its cradle-to-college approach. He grew up in the South Bronx and holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Schools Matter: Obama and Duncan Seem to Be the Only Folks Having Sputnik Moments

Schools Matter: Obama and Duncan Seem to Be the Only Folks Having Sputnik Moments

Obama and Duncan Seem to Be the Only Folks Having Sputnik Moments

Oh yes, China launched its first satellite in 2003, 46 years after Sputnik and Vanguard 1. From ABC News:

High Test Rankings Mask Underlying Problems
Chinese students made international headlines this week when Shanghai high school kidsoutscored their counterparts on PISA, an international standardized test. China came out on top and the U.S. was buried somewhere in the middle -- but it was no surprise to education experts or even to people familiar with China's progress as a global presence.

"The entire system is geared toward that one goal -- taking [a] test," said Yasheng Huang, a

School Tech Connect: Gulen Schools

School Tech Connect: Gulen Schools

Gulen Schools

I'm hanging out here for an hour... feel free to chime in if you're watching.

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A vote for Rahm is a vote for Arne Duncan on steroids. Except that Arne Duncan is already Arne Duncan on steroids. « Fred Klonsky's blog

A vote for Rahm is a vote for Arne Duncan on steroids. Except that Arne Duncan is already Arne Duncan on steroids. « Fred Klonsky's blog

A vote for Rahm is a vote for Arne Duncan on steroids. Except that Arne Duncan is already Arne Duncan on steroids.

DECEMBER 9, 2010
by Fred Klonsky

I don’t care where Rahmageddon lives.

And I really don’t care where Rahmageddon sends is little children to school. He can send them to Latin or Francis Parker or home school for all I care.

I care that he wants to “ramp up” school turn arounds.

Rahmageddon is calling for 35 more school turn arounds over the next few years.

Reaching 35 turnarounds over a four-year period would ramp up the pace of that policy at CPS. The first occurred in 2006, at Sherman Elementary School on the South Side, and since that time 11 other institutions have gone through the process, at an average of three per

Report: Many officials willing to replace half of staff to turn around schools

Report: Many officials willing to replace half of staff to turn around schools

Report: Many officials willing to replace half of staff to turn around schools

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 9, 2010; 5:23 PM

Education officials across the country have replaced the principals and at least half of the staff in about 150 struggling schools to obtain federal aid, the Obama administration disclosed Thursday.

In several hundred other cases, principals have been replaced and other major steps taken as part of the administration's unprecedented $3.5 billion campaign to rejuvenate thousands of the nation's lowest-performing schools.

The initiative, which reflects President Obama's get-tough policy on school reform, is likely to be central to the coming debate in Congress over revision of the No Child Left Behind law.

Thursday's report on the school improvement grant program shows that despite protests this year over proposals to fire large numbers of

Senator Kirk smashes a Dream. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Senator Kirk smashes a Dream. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Senator Kirk smashes a Dream.

Some claimed he would be a so-called progressive on social issues.

That’s what our state IEA leadership always claimed when they endorsed Mark Kirk year after year for Congress, including this year in the Republican primary for Senate.

But today Senator Kirk’s office announced he would vote against the Dream Act, which would give legal status

Education as politics - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com

Education as politics - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com

Education as politics

Mitch Daniels signals that it'll be a top issue in Indiana in 2011:

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mitch Daniels said Wednesday he will ask lawmakers to approve an education voucher system that would let low-income students use state money to help pay for private school tuition.

Daniels provided few details about his proposal — including income levels at which families would qualify or the amount they could receive — but said it will be part of his larger education agenda for the 2011 session. ...

“We must give all students — regardless of their zip code, regardless of how much money their parents make, regardless of their race —

London Student Protest / Riot - Police Charge On Horseback

One district, different worlds | The Education Report

One district, different worlds | The Education Report

One district, different worlds

By Katy Murphy
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 at 8:15 am in achievement gap, curriculum,dropouts, high schools

Oakland Technical High School. Photo by Jane Tyska/Bay Area News GroupThe timing was pure coincidence: a story about the popularity of Oakland Technical High School and its humanities program and a report that 40 percent of Oakland’s public high school students drop out. The juxtaposition illustrates the wide range of experiences and opportunities in the city’s public schools.

At Tech, for instance, the estimated dropout rate (based on 2008-09 data) is 28 percent. That’s about the same percentage of 10th- through 12th-graders who are enrolled in Paideia, the school’s rigorous, college prep humanities program.

Here’s a video I took during a visit to the program this fall:

Murry Bergtraum students riot after bathroom access denied | GothamSchools

Murry Bergtraum students riot after bathroom access denied | GothamSchools

Murry Bergtraum students riot after bathroom access denied

Hundreds of students at Murry Bergtraum High School rioted through the hallways today after the school’s principal told teachers not to give out bathroom passes.

Teachers at the lower Manhattan school said that the day began with a fight between two students on the building’s third floor. After the fight, Bergtraum principal Andrea Lewis reportedly announced over the school’s loud speaker that in the future, students who fought would be arrested. Lewis reportedly told students and staff that for the rest of the day, the school’s bathrooms would be closed and teachers should not issue bathroom passes.

In a school of over 2,600 students, this news did not sit well.

“She also said that in the case of emergency, kids could use the bathrooms in the nurse’s office, but by then,

DREAM Act alive! Don't believe the NPR hype! | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

DREAM Act alive! Don't believe the NPR hype! | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

DREAM Act alive! Don't believe the NPR hype!

by Gustavo Martínez on Dec 09 2010 Posted in Social justice in education
Photo: Courtesy of National Council of La Raza

It’s been a couple of nail biting days for theDREAM Act. Just after a prolonged session yesterday in the House of Representatives, thebill survived and was sent to the Senate where it remains right now despite several media reports that earlier indicated the DREAM Act was “likely dead.”

But, as blogger Michael E. Hill explains, Harry Reid played his cards so well today that a vote on the bill is still possible next week, which gives Democrats extra time to whip up enough votes to pass this 10-year-old proposal.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would give thousands of undocumented immigrants of good moral character; who were

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