Sunday, December 12, 2010

Education debate splitting Dems - Dan Walters - fresnobee.com

Education debate splitting Dems - Dan Walters - fresnobee.com

Education debate splitting Dems

Posted at 08:15 PM on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010



For years -- even decades -- the political equation on California public education has been engraved in stone.
Democrats lined up with the California Teachers Association and other elements of the education establishment to contend that spending more money would be the pathway to improving test scores, dropout rates and other indexes of educational attainment.
Republicans, meanwhile, argued that merely spending more money wouldn't improve outcomes and that public schools needed competition -- either more charter schools or vouchers for private schools -- and a crackdown on incompetent teachers.
Recently, however, the equation has been changing. The Democrat-establishment coalition is breaking down as parents, especially those in inner cities, demand more local control, more school options and better outcomes.
Political war erupted between the CTA and EdVoice, an organization financed mainly by wealthy Democrats that is pressing for reforms that the union dislikes, such as more charter


Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/12/12/2195563/education-debate-splitting-dems.html#ixzz17xzNNBeN

NJ Spotlight | Proposed Parent-Trigger Bill Adds School Vouchers to Available Options

NJ Spotlight | Proposed Parent-Trigger Bill Adds School Vouchers to Available Options

Proposed Parent-Trigger Bill Adds School Vouchers to Available Options
Republican-backed measure is one of few in country that would let parents use vouchers to opt out of failing schools.

A Republican-backed bill that would give parents unprecedented rights to remake low-performing schools would offer them three options: replace the school’s staff, convert the school to a charter, or request vouchers to attend other public or private schools.

The bill is expected to be filed today by state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), and would go beyond most other states’ versions of the so-called parent trigger by offering school vouchers.

California has enacted a similar law that would allow for charter conversions, and the first such petition was submitted last week for a Compton elementary school. A half-dozen other states have considered comparable measures.

Majority Rules

Kyrillos said in a press release that his bill -- the Parent Empowerment and Choice Act -- would require the state to act within six months of families’ approved petitions on any one of the three options. A majority of eligible households would be required for the petition to be approved.

"The Parent Empowerment and Choice Act allows parents to take matters into their own hands

Virtual Special Ed: Sent from My iPad

Virtual Special Ed: Sent from My iPad

Virtual Special Ed: Sent from My iPad

First an admission: I am writing this post on an iPad using a voice app called Dragon dictation. Second: I don’t like technology. Let me qualify that: I don’t like technology when it is used as an excuse to deny children the help that they need. A few years ago, two boys showed up at my school. Neither were verbal. Both were having tremendous difficulty in their classes. As it turned out, they had come from a homeschooling environment supported by a virtual special education program. The virtual RSP teacher visited the boys only a few times

The Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage Award Nominations—$5000 in Prize Money | Dailycensored.com

The Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage Award Nominations—$5000 in Prize Money | Dailycensored.com

The Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage Award Nominations—$5000 in Prize Money

Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored Announces

The Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage Award Nominations are being accepted for the Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage Award. These submissions can be published or unpublished articles, or works in progress that express the ideas behind the original economic and social theories of Alfred Frederick Andersen. Andersen believed that every sentient being – human and non-human – has a right to the fair share of the material and economic benefits of the Common Heritage Wealth. Included in this Common Heritage are all earth’s natural resources: such as land surfaces, sub-surface minerals and fuels; water and air, as well as cyberspace; indeed the entire physical environment. The Common Heritage Award articles should propose and describe ways in which such sharing could be accomplished. Andersen’s work is recognized by the Media Freedom Foundation and Project Censored as an annual award to be given to the person that best reflects how the Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage can work in our culture. An example of such sharing would be the promotion of an idea that natural resource extractors would be required to pay the value of the resources into a Common Heritage fund for all living things.

First place winner will receive $3,500 award Second place winner will receive $1,500 award Winners will receive their award at the annual Media Freedom Foundation/ Project Censored Awards Ceremony in Berkeley, California, February 5, 2011. Transportation costs to Berkeley will be available to the winners. To submit a nomination send no more than a one-page summary of completed articles and specific URL to the original article to: commonheritageaward@gmail.com. For unpublished articles, submit full copies to: MEDIA FREEDOM FOUNDATION The Common Heritage Award P.O. BOX 571 COTATI, CA 94931

All nominations must be received by January 5, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified by January 10, 2011. Winning articles will be linked to the Project Censored website and published online. Dorothy N. Andersen and family have provided funding for this award. Judges are comprised of family members and board directors of

NYC Public School Parents: The underlying causes of rioting at Bergtraum HS

NYC Public School Parents: The underlying causes of rioting at Bergtraum HS

The underlying causes of rioting at Bergtraum HS

On Thursday, December 9, students rioted in the halls of Murry Bergtraum High School in lower Manhattan. The latest straw that broke the camel’s back was the announcement of the new “executive” principal, Andrea Lewis, who received a $25,000 bonus to run the school, that none of the students could use the bathrooms for an entire day – a punishment for a fight that had broken out between a couple of students the day before.

Her announcement led to rioting in the halls. More on this at GothamSchools, which broke the story,here and here; and NY 1 has video.

But as John Elfrank-Dana, the UFT chapter leader points out below, in a missive to fellow faculty members, the anger that erupted last week was also the result of deeper issues -- the awareness on the part of students that they are receiving a “junk education.” Indeed, Bergtraum is another NYC

Bernie Sanders and The Idea That Everyone Matters (And I Mean Everyone) — The Jose Vilson

Bernie Sanders and The Idea That Everyone Matters (And I Mean Everyone) — The Jose Vilson

Bernie Sanders and The Idea That Everyone Matters (And I Mean Everyone)



Senator Bernie Sanders

On Friday, I came back from another CoCoLoco meeting in which someone suggested I become an administrator (for the umpteenth time) because I was asked to be a table leader even though I had no idea I was leading the table until my name was put at the top of a name chart at an 8th grade table … and proceeded to lead it well. Fair enough, but there’s no way I can be an administrator, even if I know how to get people re-focused on a task and actually come appropriately dressed for a professional development day.

After the meeting, I came home to the news that Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent socialist from Vermont, was in his 5th hour of speaking to a mostly empty chamber about the corrupt calamity that is Barack

Schools Matter: Will the British Royals and American Billionaires Hire Blackwater for Their Entourages?

Schools Matter: Will the British Royals and American Billionaires Hire Blackwater for Their Entourages?

Will the British Royals and American Billionaires Hire Blackwater for Their Entourages?

Mr. Obama, America's Nick Clegg, should take note:

Popout

A clip from the Guardian:
. . . . Shiv Malik, co-author of the book Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth, says the under-thirties feel betrayed – sold out in favour of their parents and grandparents. Fees, he argue, are just one part of the jigsaw. The 29-year-old took to the streets himself on Thursday,

Failing School authors on blogtalkradio Tuesday December 14th, 2010. « Failing Schools

Failing School authors on blogtalkradio Tuesday December 14th, 2010. « Failing Schools

Failing School authors on blogtalkradio Tuesday December 14th, 2010.

DECEMBER 12, 2010
by markfriedman1

Hey everyone,

A historic moment for Failing Schools has arrived and we are inviting you all to come with us. Sabrina, Maria and I will be on blogtalkradio with the author of South Bronx School Blog, Bronx Teacher, on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 9 pm EST. The show goes for a hour from 9-10 pm EST so make sure you call in with questions or comments as well as listen.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bronx-teacher/2010/12/15/the-mind-of-a-bronx-teacher

Call in to (917) 932-8721

Hope to hear from as many people as possible and be sure to listen!

Mark

Why I’m Afraid The Gates Foundation Might Be Minimizing Great Tools For Helping Teachers Improve Their Craft | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Why I’m Afraid The Gates Foundation Might Be Minimizing Great Tools For Helping Teachers Improve Their Craft | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Why I’m Afraid The Gates Foundation Might Be Minimizing Great Tools For Helping Teachers Improve Their Craft

I support developing more effective ways to evaluate teachers — using multiple measures.

What I don’t support, however, is the present effort by the Gates Foundation that’s spending millions of dollars using student scores on standardized tests as THE MEASURE used to evaluate teachers.

I have no objection to scores from existing standardized tests being a part — a small part — of those multiple measures. If present efforts to create a “new generation” of state assessments actually invite teachers to work with them and develop more accurate performance-based assessments, I would have no objection to their proportional weight being increased — a little.

Accomplished California Teachers (of which I am a member) published a report earlier this year that I think accurately reflects my thinking on teacher evaluation:

To support collaboration and the sharing of expertise, teachers should be evaluated both on their success in their own classroom and their contributions to the success of their peers and the school as a whole. They should

The Associated Press: Gang moms and dads sent to parenting classes

The Associated Press: Gang moms and dads sent to parenting classes
Gang moms and dads sent to parenting classes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a Saturday morning and a half-dozen adults are sitting in a high school classroom, staring at grim photos of sickly drug addicts and hearing about the deadly consequences of gang crime. They'd rather not be here, but a judge made them come.

The moms and dads were ordered to attend the class under a new California law giving judges the option of sending parents for training when their kids are convicted of gang crimes for the first time.

Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, the lawmaker behind the Parent Accountability Act, said it is the first state law to give judges the power to order parents of gang members to school, though other court-mandated classes exist at the local level.

"A lot of parents do not know how to handle teenagers," Mendoza said. "Now more than ever, parents need a guide."

The new law went into effect in January and eventually will be in place across California. Budget cuts in Sacramento meant implementation of the classes was delayed and only in the past month or so have they been rolled out on a limited basis in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Several of those first classes were canceled due to low attendance, something organizers

Student protests: pressure mounts on Met police chief | UK news | The Guardian #demo2010

Student protests: pressure mounts on Met police chief | UK news | The Guardian

Student protests: pressure mounts on Met police chief

Sir Paul Stephenson faces increasing pressure after footage emerges of a police officer not wearing ID at this week's protests

YouTube: Riot officer with no identifying lapel number at London student protests 9th Dec 2010

Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson faces mounting pressure after footage emerged showing an officer policing Thursday's student protests not wearing identification.

Following the G20 protests last year, during which Ian Tomlinson died after being pushed to the ground by a police officer not wearing ID, Stephenson said it was "absolutely unacceptable" for officers to cover or remove their shoulder tags bearing identification numbers.

However, a video taken by one of the protesters at the London demonstration clearly shows one officer not displaying her numerals.

The footage emerged as reports said Stephenson had

Lobbyist in Trouble; DFER-NYS 27-Day Post-Primary Disclosure Report? « DFER Watch

Lobbyist in Trouble; DFER-NYS 27-Day Post-Primary Disclosure Report? « DFER Watch

LOBBYIST IN TROUBLE; DFER-NYS 27-DAY POST-PRIMARY DISCLOSURE REPORT?

From the New York Times:

One of the most influential lobbyists in Albany has been implicated in Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo’s wide-ranging investigation of the New York state pension fund and has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine.

The lobbyist, Patricia Lynch, arranged campaign contributions, gifts and even a job to gain access to Alan G. Hevesi, then the state comptroller, on behalf of clients seeking investments from the

Georgia Prisoners on Strike « occupy california

Georgia Prisoners on Strike « occupy california

Georgia Prisoners on Strike

GEORGIA, USA – Georgia State prisoners have been on strike since Thursday at the following state prisons: Baldwin, Hancock, Hays, Macon, Smith and Telfair, among others. Prisoners are refusing to leave their cells and work under slavery conditions. Prisoners have coordinated their efforts through a loose network of cellphones (which are banned for prisoners). They’re list of demands (below) is directed at the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC).

Demands:

  • A LIVING WAGE FOR WORK: In violation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, the DOC demands prisoners work for free.
  • EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: For the great majority of prisoners, the DOC denies all opportunities for education beyond the GED, despite the benefit to both prisoners and society.
  • DECENT HEALTH CARE: In violation of the 8th

Bloomberg Says Obama's Democratic Base Should `Suck It Up' on Tax-Cut Deal - Bloomberg

Bloomberg Says Obama's Democratic Base Should `Suck It Up' on Tax-Cut Deal - Bloomberg

Bloomberg Says Obama's Democratic Base Should `Suck It Up' on Tax-Cut Deal

President Barack Obama should tell Democrats angered by his compromises with Republicans on extending tax cuts to “suck it up,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Obama “can’t just sit there and depend on ideology” because “leadership is about doing the possible, not sitting around and waiting for the perfect,” Bloomberg said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Bloomberg told business executives in Brooklyn last week that the U.S. economy will stagnate if Congress remains mired in partisan gridlock. Obama should tell Democratic critics his bipartisan tax-cut deal won’t be the only tough vote of his presidency, Bloomberg said on NBC.

“He says, ‘Look, this is what I did, this is the best I can do. Suck it up,’” Bloomberg said, when

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