Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Answer Sheet - Pensions for teachers vs. chancellors

The Answer Sheet - Pensions for teachers vs. chancellors

Pensions for teachers vs. chancellors

It seems fair to note that after making a public stink about the awfulness of pensions for public school teachers, former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein has himself accepted a $34,000 pension check. Klein recently penned an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why Teacher Pensions Won’t Work,” in which he equates the pension system for New York City’s public teachers to a Ponzi scheme.

Huffington Post bans a post attacking white suremacy. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Huffington Post bans a post attacking white suremacy. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Huffington Post bans a post attacking white suremacy.

I don’t much like it when someone gets banned for writing something critical of those in power, or for peace, or against racism.

It’s happened to me. And when it happened, others published it instead.

That’s one reason I like the internet.

We’re all Wikileaks.

Here’s Rick Ayers banned column. And a brief intro by the author.

I have had 44 posts on Huffington Post. A few times they have insisted on edits for sensational reasons (when i wrote about “terrorism” they made a headline that said my brother is Bill Ayers). But this is the first blog piece i’ve written that they simply refused to run. Since it names “race” as central to the

Sacramento to be home for education-reform group, mayor says - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Sacramento to be home for education-reform group, mayor says - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Sacramento to be home for education-reform group, mayor says

The education-reform organization meant to bring substantial financial and political clout to the push for school improvement will be headquartered in Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced today.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2011 file photo, Michelle Rhee, former D.C. public schools chief, speaks to staff and guests during a visit to a South Florida charter school in Opa-locka, Fla. Rhee is continuing her fight to improve the nation's classrooms through a new organization, Students First.

solidaridad: Gate's Yolie Flores displays an all new level of mendaciousness on ACLU settlement

solidaridad: Gate's Yolie Flores displays an all new level of mendaciousness on ACLU settlement

Gate's Yolie Flores displays an all new level of mendaciousness on ACLU settlement

"Hedge funds are always looking for ways to turn a small amount of capital into a large amount of capital. A wealthy hedge fund manager can spend more than $1 million financing a charter school start-up. But once it is up and running, it qualifies for state funding, just like a public school... It is extremely leveraged philanthropy" — Predatory Hedge Fund Manager Whitney Tilson in bold, rest of quote is Joe Nocera

Support Parents and UTLA against LAUSD and corporate charter cash cows
Don't know if people caught the evil princess of privatization's latest fact free op-ed on the Daily News, but I had some choice words in response to her

Shanker Blog » No Comment

Shanker Blog » No Comment

No Comment

Yale University will soon end two prestigious teacher training programs due to lack of interest, according to theJanuary/February alumni magazine.

The first, a traditional teacher preparation program, offered education courses and teacher certification to undergraduates. The second, Yale’s five-year-old Urban Teaching Initiative, offered a tuition-free 14-month master’s in education program to those willing to commit to teaching in New Haven’s urban public school system.

“At the same time a record 18 percent of Yale seniors applied to Teach for America last year…”

A parent says her concerns with Black go beyond the jokes | GothamSchools

A parent says her concerns with Black go beyond the jokes | GothamSchools

A parent says her concerns with Black go beyond the jokes

A week after Chancellor Cathie Black made headlines by joking that more birth control would solve the problem of overcrowded schools, the furor is beginning to dissipate. But one parent who attended the meeting where Black made the controversial remark said it was blown out of proportion from the beginning.

Shino Tanikawa, a member of the Community Education Council for District 2, which is home to many of the city’s overcrowded schools, told GothamSchools that she’s no fan of Black. She sued the state for giving Black a waiver to become chancellor. But the chancellor’s birth control and Sophie’s Choice comments didn’t bother her. What she found disturbing, she said, was Black’s “total lack of vision or priorities” for the school system.

Tanikawa’s full response:

I think the remarks are diverting our attention away from more important issues. The birth control

Voucher bill lists eligible schools | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Voucher bill lists eligible schools | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Voucher bill lists eligible schools

by Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 20 2011 Posted in Latest news

Senate Bill 1, the voucher bill that is the top educational priority of the new administration in Harrisburg, lists 144 schools whose students will be eligible for vouchers if they meet certain income limits.

Of that total, 88 are in Philadelphia.

The list is interesting:

  • It includes every neighborhood high school in the city except for Northeast and Audenried, which didn't have an 11th grade to be tested.
  • It includes several discipline schools, including Learning Academy North, where students attend after being expelled, raising questions of whether those students would also be eligible.
  • It includes Renaissance Schools and Promise Academies, schools currently undergoing makeovers either by outside organizations or a District team. The ones now under outside managers are now charter schools, raising

Space the Final Frontier « My Island View

Space the Final Frontier « My Island View

Space the Final Frontier

I recently involved myself in a discussion I have been engaging people in since the mid 1970’s. The Topic: Is it one space or two after a period when word-processing? The topic resurfaced after @smartinez, a highly respected educator and Tweeter, sent out a link to a post explaining the rule. http://www.slate.com/id/2281146/According to Farhad Manjoo, Old-fashioned typewriters used monospaced type, which produced a lot of white space between characters and words, so using two spaces after a period made the text easier to read, but as of the 1970s, monospaced type went out of style. Electric typewriters and computers now both use proportional fonts, eliminating the need for the extra space. This fact prompted this statement, “Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.”

Now for what happened after I re-tweeted that link to the post that validated the very position I have taken since the 1970’s. A number of people stepped up questioning, if that was important, or if anybody really cared. Some

Recall against Nate Easley, and the campaign for northeast Denver kids, has begun | DeFENSE

Recall against Nate Easley, and the campaign for northeast Denver kids, has begun | DeFENSE

Recall against Nate Easley, and the campaign for northeast Denver kids, has begun

The initial steps to put a recall of Nate Easley on the May ballot has started. A coalition of northeast Denver residents filed the following proposed language for the ballot:

We the qualified voters of Denver Public School District 4 demand the recall of current elected Denver Public Schools Board of Education member Dr. Nate Easley. Our demand is based on Mr. Easley’s activities related to conflicts of interest and allowing these to effect his representation of his District 4 constituency. Specifically, Dr. Easley’s roles as DPS Board of Education president and his job as Deputy Director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation make him subject to undue influence related to his votes as our representative. As a board member, Dr. Easley supervises the DPS superintendent, who also serves as on the DSF Board of Directors, thereby having direct influence over Dr. Easley’s employment. As Deputy Director of DSF, Dr. Easley receives a

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: It's 2011. Are we still OK with school segregation?

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: It's 2011. Are we still OK with school segregation?

It's 2011. Are we still OK with school segregation?

Louisiana marker
"If we had a school that was, like, 80 percent high-poverty, the public would see the challenges, the need to make it successful. ... Right now, we have diluted the problem, so we can ignore it." -- John Tedesco, Wake County, N.C. school board
School choice is a mixed bag. On the progressive side, it has meant more options for parents, students and teachers--a building block for democratic education It's a way to give kids more reasons to come to school every day besides compulsory education laws. Choice was also a major component of the early small schools movement, which created smaller learning communities--schools of choice-- both within and outside of neighborhood schools as a way of tapping into students' interests, talents, and life possibilities.

But the language of school reform, including school reform itself, has always been contested territory. School

The Answer Sheet - Giving guns to teachers: A Nebraska legislator submits bill

The Answer Sheet - Giving guns to teachers: A Nebraska legislator submits bill

Giving guns to teachers: A Nebraska legislator submits bill

It was inevitable that someone would push a plan to allow teachers to pack concealed guns, and now, someone has, that someone being Nebraska state Sen. Mark Christensen, who has even submitted legislation to that end. Here’s what he was quoted as saying by the Christian Science Monitor as he submitted his bill this week to the state legislature: “If you have a kid come in to shoot a teacher ... or other kids, it’s best to have somebody that can take care of the situation.”

Schools Matter: Oligarchs Pay For Evaluation of Oligarchs' Teacher Evaluation System

Schools Matter: Oligarchs Pay For Evaluation of Oligarchs' Teacher Evaluation System

Oligarchs Pay For Evaluation of Oligarchs' Teacher Evaluation System

When Arne Duncan came out publicly in support of Kaya Henderson as Chancellor of DC Schools, it was a clear sign that the same failed approach that led to Wonderwoman's departure would remain in place as long as Henderson was ostensibly in charge. From Rhee's sordid history in DC, we know that she was a cartoon super-heroine, with scripts provided by the Broadies and Waltons.

That arrangement continues, with DCPS announcing that an "independent" evaluation of the pay per score evaluation system called IMPACT will be undertaken by Harvard's most famous tenured panderer to the Oligarchs, Roland Fryer. Ha ha, ha ha ha. Excuse me.

Will Mayor Gray continue to allow this charade?

From Bill Turque at WaPo:
By Bill Turque
The Harvard think tank that experimented with paying D.C. middle schoolers for good grades and

Early and often. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Early and often. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Early and often.

Former Chicago Alderman, "Fast" Eddie Vrdolyak.

Chico was Daley’s gofer.

The Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky documents the long and sorry relationship between Gery Chico and Richie Daley.

In the last 20 years, Chico’s been the mayor’s deputy chief of staff and chief of

Queens Teacher: Cathie: You Should've Listened

Queens Teacher: Cathie: You Should've Listened

Cathie: You Should've Listened

Looks like Cathie won't be catching a break any time soon. Parents have had it. I tried to tell Cathie to back out in November and she didn't listen. Let's try again.

Open Letter to Ms. Black

Dear Ms. Black,

Please do the right thing and withdraw yourself from the fray.

You will be vilified by the public, not taken seriously by educators & parents and tossed aside when Bloomberg

NYC Public School Parents: The PEP meeting last night

NYC Public School Parents: The PEP meeting last night

The PEP meeting last night

Last night at the Panel for Educational Policy, my statement to the new Chancellor Cathie Black.



For more on the $1 billion extra the DOE wants to spend on new technology, see today's NY Post. Typically, the city wants to blame this on the state and the feds mandating online assessments. This doesn't fly; nowhere else

New Posts on Parents 4 democratic Schools 1-20-11 Get Involved- Read Education News

New Posts on Parents 4 democratic Schools
Get Involved- Read Education News



Making Alliances With Open Eyes - Bridging Differences - Education Week

Making Alliances With Open Eyes - Bridging Differences - Education Week

Making Alliances With Open Eyes

Dear Diane,

When it comes down to it, what motivates me is my dislike of bullies. I can't recall who recently wrote this—or words to this effect, but it struck me that my dedication to democracy boils down to precisely this—a loathing for bullies. And, I suppose, a fear of them, which goes back a long way to my youth. Part of our task is connecting that natural aversion (and attraction) to bullying to democracy. A substantial state of equality is the key ingredient.

Are we born with it?

Who cares, I suppose. But it's a good place to unravel what democracy is and isn't about. Like all things good, it also reminds us that getting rid of bullies probably comes at a price. We are always in the process of making unintended trade-offs, with consequences we later rue. But often don't learn from.

There is no way to avoid such trade-offs, but the more consciously we make them, the more prepared we are to handle the less-desirable consequences.

I think of this often when colleagues/allies with whom I align on current educational policy disagree with me on

ASCD Inservice: Are We Putting Kids in a Box or a Rocket?

ASCD Inservice: Are We Putting Kids in a Box or a Rocket?

Are We Putting Kids in a Box or a Rocket?

Davis_alinaMy four year old loves to read David Shannon's Too Many Toys. In it, Spencer has too many toys and Mom wants to clear out all the ones he doesn’t use. At the end of the book he doesn’t care to keep the toys, but the box that holds them. He transforms it into a rocket and soars around the house.

Is impromptu creative play a concept of the past?

Skill and drill and standardized testing are the rigorous practices of our kids today, the driver for schools to be deemed successful. As I view the curriculum and walk into classrooms across my school district, I don't see the kind of activity that allows for students to create. The interactions with peers, where empathy, impulse control, problem-solving and risk taking are nurtured, are minimal or nonexistent. I see children lined up neatly in a row, learning their standards and preparing for assessments. They can regurgitate math facts, identify elements of a story but they don't know how to invent a game.

We do need to have a time where skills are developed and knowledge is enhanced. But we also need time to foster

Revisiting Multiculturalism

With the U.S. population becoming more diverse than ever and census trends projecting significant increases in Hispanic student enrollment, how can schools draw strength from authentic and worthwhile multicultural approaches in the classroom? What have schools learned from past iterations...

Damn Good Education Daily

Damn Good Education Daily
Damn Good Education Daily

scholasticadministrator.typepad.com - Much to the consternation of the centrist reformers who simply can't believe that they don't own every media outlet out there, Valerie Strauss has turned her Washington Post blog into an education ...

alexanderrusso



huffingtonpost.com - In the most recent issue of Dissent "Got Dough? Public School Reform in the Age of Venture Philanthropy," Joanne Barkan reveals the connection between the philanthropic educational projects of such...

cajacobson
studentactivism.net - At least fifty protesters — Twitter reports say as many as eighty — were arrested this morning at the University of Puerto Rico as new student fees went into effect. (article | translation) Student...

studentactivism



voices.washingtonpost.com - My holiday weekend reading included an early copy of "The Bee Eater," Richard Whitmire's biography of former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, due out next month. Full disclosure at the top...

KennethLibby



pheedcontent.com - I knew my friend and former Post colleague Rick Weintraub had a son with learning disabilities. Rick had told me how Philip worked hard, got an education, and eventually became a productive married...

alexanderrusso

Big Education Ape Todays News / Archive