Friday, December 17, 2010

Private Foundations & Schools | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Private Foundations & Schools | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Chatham, NJ, superintendent Jim O'Neill strikes back at Christie contract criticism | APP.com | Asbury Park Press

Chatham, NJ, superintendent Jim O'Neill strikes back at Christie contract criticism | APP.com | Asbury Park Press

Chatham, NJ, superintendent Jim O'Neill strikes back at Christie contract criticism

Jim O'Neill: Proposed pay caps are 'socialist'

JAKE REMALY • DAILY RECORD • DECEMBER 17, 2010

Jim O'Neill, superintendent of the School District of the Chathams, came out swinging today in response to the criticism leveled at him and his school board earlier this week by Gov. Chris Christie over the board's decision to extend O'Neill's contract beyond Christie's proposed pay caps.

In a statement to the Daily Record on Friday, O'Neill questioned Christie's base of support for his proposed caps - setting a limit on all superintendent salaries, based on the size of their district - a plan he called 'socialist.' O'Neill also said it was 'ludicrous' to believe he could trick the school board into paying him more than he deserved.

"If I was that good at hoodwinking bright people, I would not be superintendent," O'Neill said. "I would be

Teacher tenure, protests on line in education reform sessions - Beacon News

Teacher tenure, protests on line in education reform sessions - Beacon News

Teacher tenure, protests on line in education reform sessions

Story Image

Illinois State Representatives Keith Farnham and Linda Chapa LaVia converse during the House Committee on Education Reform panel discussion at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Ill., on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media

ARTICLE EXTRAS

AURORA — If some school reform advocates have their way, it could be more difficult for public school teachers to obtain tenure and for teachers unions to strike in Illinois.

On Thursday and Friday, a panel of eight state legislators gathered at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora to hear testimony about controversial measures that would affect Illinois public schools and teachers unions.

The possible reforms being considered by Illinois House members include making teacher tenure tougher to acquire, making it more difficult for teacher unions to strike and considering performance evaluations when a school decides to hire or fire.

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, said these are issues some community leaders have been trying to fix for more than 20 years.

“I don’t know how rapidly we’ll be moving on possible legislation, but it’s been an extremely thoughtful discussion on all sides,” she said.

The Washington Teacher: WTU Insists Teachers Should Be Paid !

The Washington Teacher: WTU Insists Teachers Should Be Paid !

WTU Insists Teachers Should Be Paid !

On Wednesday, December 16, the Washington Teachers’ Union received complaints from members that due to an administrative error teachers and school personnel at Mann Elementary school located at 4430 Newark Street NW would not receive a full paycheck due them on December 17, 2010. One Mann Elementary school staffer led a valiant effort to try to get teachers their checks on time. Unfortunately many reasonable suggetsions to this problem were rejected.

The WTU diligently worked on behalf of our members starting Wednesday and insisted that teachers and school staff should receive a supplemental check prior to going on leave for the holidays. Unfortunately, due to new

Queens Teacher: Children First Or Is It Profits First?

Queens Teacher: Children First Or Is It Profits First?

Children First Or Is It Profits First?

News Corp. Crams for Classes
Media Giant Faces Task of Honing Education Strategy

By RUSSELL ADAMS And JESSICA E. VASCELLARO


With two moves over two weeks, News Corp. has become one of the biggest players in the increasingly crowded field of corporate investors chasing the next technology to transform American education.

Now it has to hone its strategy.

Company executives say the foundation of the media conglomerate's push will be Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn, N.Y., maker of software and other tools to help schools evaluate and monitor student performance and tailor teaching plans accordingly. News Corp. plunked down $360 million last month for 90% of the company.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.'s chairman, has tapped outgoing New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to oversee the company's education initiative, a job Mr. Klein is to start next

“The Big Money” « Failing Schools

“The Big Money” « Failing Schools

“The Big Money”

Continuing on the topic of money, LA history teacher Charles Olynyk talks about the effects of budget cuts, how district funds are spent, and the sometimes unsavory ways school and district leaders find to make up the shortfall. “The Big Money” (Originally posted at Remember Fremont) Today is Thursday, December 16, 2010 and Day 171 [...]

“Helpless”

Budget cuts are a continuing problem for schools across the country. Here, LA English teacher Mat Taylor discusses the problems the cuts have already caused. “Helpless” (Originally posted at Remember Fremont) Unfortunately for students, parents and teachers alike, the leader of LAUSD, Ramon Cortines is sadly out-of-touch, misinformed and dead wrong about 15th St Elementary [...]

Knowing What You Don't Know - Ed Thoughts

Knowing What You Don't Know - Ed Thoughts

Knowing What You Don't Know - Ed Thoughts

It's another one of those first-meetings I have a lot recently. I'm sitting in a bar/grill/café/I-don't-know-what-but-don't-care-as-long-as-they-serve-beer-place, across from someone who "works in education," but not really. Everybody "works in education" now, but few people want to actually work in education anymore, and I understand. Teaching is freakin' crazy these days.

The establishment is a local joint with odd, schizophrenic décor. The old 'bones' of the structure--the building itself, and the built-in furnishings--are sloppily updated, and they mix uncomfortably with new things...that are supposed to look older and more established than they are. I try to ignore this as I exchange pleasantries with my charming new friend, who wanted to meet in order to "bridge our differences" regarding ed reform.

I enjoy meetings like this, but I dread them a little, too. I'm no stranger to different points of view, moving in and out of different social worlds as frequently as I do. I enjoy debate, too. But this one has such serious consequences. It's hard, sometimes, dealing with people who approach this so theoretically, when you still dream about your students' faces... and only recently stopped vomiting when forced to deal with the so-called

Class Struggle - A plea for peace among petulant pundits

Class Struggle - A plea for peace among petulant pundits

A plea for peace among petulant pundits

By Jay Mathews

As the football season for my Redskins falls apart, I have become addicted to the shouting of sports talk radio. Great failures inspire irresistible passion and confrontation. The national debate over how to fix our failing schools attracts me for the same reason. But in my saner moments, I wish we were more considerate of those with whom we disagree.

I thought about this as I read a long and erudite assault on the views of historian and author Diane Ravitch by investor and charter school advocate Whitney Tilson. I know both Ravitch and Tilson. They are among my favorite commentators. For the sake of the schoolchildren we all care about, I wish they were more willing to give credit to ideological adversaries for the good sense and good works on all sides of the debate.

Tilson attacks Ravitch's latest book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” as well as some of her recent magazine articles and speeches. Like many who read the book, Tilson believes it is a refutation of Ravitch's long support for more testing, higher standards, more charter schools and more parent choice. Tilson

Remainders: A “plea for peace” between two edu-pundits | GothamSchools

Remainders: A “plea for peace” between two edu-pundits | GothamSchools

Remainders: A “plea for peace” between two edu-pundits

  • A spending bill is pulled out of consideration meaning K-12 funding will likely be flat. (EdWeek)
  • Rhee says Cathie Black will succeed because she did, but Rhee was basically fired. (Flypaper)
  • Parents: How should Black change the arduous high school admissions process? (InsideSchools)
  • Just like the State Department, teachers are learning the perils of promised confidentiality. (HuffPo)
  • Jay Mathews issues a “plea for peace” to Diane Ravitch and Whitney Tilson. (Washington Post)
  • Coming to comment threads: the Center for Education Reform’s “media bullpen” (Linda Perlstein)
  • That’s 300 comments per day/per staffer, funded by the Gates Foundation. (Schools Matter)
  • States’ interest in changing tenure rules is likely to continue into 2011. (EdWeek)
  • Given funding to start a service program, a D.C. school isn’t sure where it went. (Washington Post)

My Tentative Embrace of Left-Libertarianism | Lefty Parent

My Tentative Embrace of Left-Libertarianism | Lefty Parent

My Tentative Embrace of Left-Libertarianism

Logo of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left

In the profile section of my Facebook page and increasingly in conversation when asked, I’m describing my political orientation as “left-libertarian” rather than “progressive” or “liberal”. I kind of feel like an adolescent experimenting with or trying on for size a persona that they are intrigued with but may not yet be fully comfortable with. Perhaps in wrestling with principles built around the primacy of liberty, I’m trying to rationalize some sort of continuity with ideas that I inherited from my parents. My mom always saying that in terms of parenting principles, that “kids will tell you what they need”, and when it came to education, “teachers should run the schools”. My father (though never explicitly stated as far as I can recall) believing that life at its best is an adventure, with twists and turns and outcomes always in doubt.

Natomas deal struck in bid to avert state takeover - Latest News - sacbee.com

Natomas deal struck in bid to avert state takeover - Latest News - sacbee.com

Natomas deal struck in bid to avert state takeover

With district bankruptcy and a state takeover of schools looming, Natomas Unified School District teachers have tentatively agreed to furloughs and bigger class sizes to save the district nearly $3 million dollars over two years.

Ken Mac Pherson, a teacher at Inderkum High School, expresses his frustrations while asking a question during an informational meeting Tuesday on the Natomas Unified School District's financial situation. A state takeover of the district is looming.

Education Equality Project director departs, future in question | GothamSchools

Education Equality Project director departs, future in question | GothamSchools

Education Equality Project director departs, future in question

An education advocacy group launched by Chancellor Joel Klein and the Reverend Al Sharpton over two years ago has lost its director and faces an uncertain future.

Unveiled in 2008 in Washington D.C., the Education Equality Project was intended to influence discussion of education policy in the presidential election. (Remember those wars — manufactured or not — within the Democratic party?) It was also a way for Klein to broadcast his views on a national scale, much like former D.C. schools superintendent Michelle Rhee is doing with her new advocacy group, StudentsFirst.

After Arne Duncan was named Secretary of Education, EEP seemed to lose steam. Now comes news (viaedReformer) that EEP director Ellen Winn is leaving for a job at 50CAN, where she’ll be in charge of expanding

Afternoon Update: Education Week: From the Wires

Education Week: From the Wires

FROM THE WIRES

This year, Florida introduced a new formula for grading high schools that allowed schools to pump up their grade by steering more students into so-called "accelerated courses," regardless of whether or not the students passed.
December 17, 2010 - McClatchy-Tribune
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
Shocking video of a gunman opening fire during a school board meeting in Florida has Pennsylvania school officials thinking about safety at their own meetings.
December 17, 2010 - McClatchy-Tribune
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 17, 2010 - AP
December 16, 2010 - AP
December 16, 2010 - AP

Effectiveness council gets some advice | EdNewsColorado

Effectiveness council gets some advice | EdNewsColorado

Effectiveness council gets some advice

Three superintendents and two education lobbyists had some clear words of caution Friday for the State Council for Educator Effectiveness, which is working to develop frameworks for new teacher and principal evaluation systems.

Teacher evaluation“Give us general guidelines” on evaluation said Aurora Superintendent John Barry, commenting on the recurring but unfinished council discussion about how detailed and prescriptive on school districts the state should be in setting up evaluation systems under the new educator

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