Monday, June 27, 2011

Over 400 Categorized “Theory Of Knowledge” Links | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Over 400 Categorized “Theory Of Knowledge” Links | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Over 400 Categorized “Theory Of Knowledge” Links

As regular readers know, in addition to teaching English and Social Studies classes, I teach an International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course (you can see our TOK class blog here). It’s a lot of fun.

Periodically, I share TOK-related resources for other TOK teachers.

I now have over 400 Delicious links sorted into appropriate TOK categories that can be accessed here.

During the second semester of the class, we review the chapterin my book on the qualities of a good lesson, and then students — in small groups — prepare and teach short lessons to other small groups in the class. We

Teacher Evaluation System Examines Classroom Performance - NYTimes.com

Teacher Evaluation System Examines Classroom Performance - NYTimes.com

Teacher Grades: Pass or Be Fired

Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times

Mary Gloster, left, evaluated Emily Strzelecki, a first-year science teacher at a low-performing high school in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Emily Strzelecki, a first-year science teacher here, was about as eager for a classroom visit by one of the city’s roving teacher evaluators as she would be to get a tooth drilled. “It really stressed me out because, oh my gosh, I could lose my job,” Ms. Strzelecki said.

Related

Her fears were not unfounded: 165 Washington teachers were fired last year based on a pioneering evaluation system that places significant emphasis on classroom observations; next month, 200 to 600 of the city’s 4,200 educators are expected to get similar bad news, in the nation’s highest rate of dismissal for poor

L.A. Unified ditches homework : Hot Topics

L.A. Unified ditches homework : Hot Topics

L.A. Unified ditches homework

By Kelsey Williams, SFGate:

The Los Angeles Unified School District just released their new policy that homework will count for only 10 percent of the grade, giving students essentially a free pass to not do a thing.

While there are some lauding the approach as progressive and fair towards students whose home life and economic circumstances makes work outside of the classroom difficult, the overarching move once again takes power away from the teachers who know their student's situation better than any school supervisor could. According to the Los Angeles Times:

The L.A. approach is intended to account for the myriad urban problems facing the district's mostly low-income, minority population. It's also aimed at supporting L.A. Unified's increasing focus on boosting measureable academic achievement.
According to the new policy, "Varying degrees of access to academic support at home, for whatever reason, should not penalize a student so severely that it prevents the student from passing a class, nor should it inflate the grade." It was distributed to schools last month.

Homework, however, is not just a teacher's form of torture meant to overload students and cause



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/hottopics/detail?entry_id=91814#ixzz1QXqql4DN

Whittier parents staging a sit-in to meet with CPS officials - chicagotribune.com

Whittier parents staging a sit-in to meet with CPS officials - chicagotribune.com

Whittier parents staging a sit-in to meet with CPS officials

Parents staging a sit-in at Whittier Elementary School say they plan to meet with CPS officials today.

The parents, who initially sat in last fall to prevent demolition of a field house near the school and demand a library for the students, now say they don't want CPS to build a library inside the school, and prevented construction crews from working two days last week. They want CPS to build the library in the field house.

The parents also said they received a letter from CPS saying that construction crews must resume work by Tuesday or the project at the Pilsen school will not be done this summer.

On Friday, several dozen protesters forced a delay on the project's start for a second consecutive day.

About 40 parents and community activists stood near the school while the crews arrived to resume the project that began Tuesday. Shortly after they arrived Friday morning, crews left the site, deciding against a confrontation, a Chicago Public Schools official said.

"All we want is for (schools CEO Jean-Claude) Brizard to sit down and talk to us," Gema Gaete, a member of the Whittier Parents Committee, said at the time.

This morning, the group said it hoped that Brizard would be among the CPS officials at today's meeting.

Last fall, the group staged a 36-day sit-in to demand a school library and to stop CPS

Schools Matter: Media literacy, the common core standards, and the menu fallacy

Schools Matter: Media literacy, the common core standards, and the menu fallacy

Media literacy, the common core standards, and the menu fallacy

Beach and Baker, in Ed Week, argue that "core standards must embrace media literacy."http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/06/22/36baker.h30.html?r=813299394#comments

The question that first needs to be asked is whether we should have common core standards at all. The idea of standards seems to be innocent and common-sense, but the current movement, from the beginning, has been a means to establish national tests, which are unnecessary (we already have plenty of tests that do the job very well; in fact, we have far more than we need), and expensive (MUCH more expensive than we originally thought).

Susan Ohanian has made this analogy: Proposing standards is like giving out menus to the starving. To extend the analogy, instead of providing food, we are debating what should be on the menu.

We can discuss standards only after we protect children from the effects of poverty (no child left unfed; better health care, access to reading material).
Here is a media and information-literacy activity for all of us.
Examine Arne Duncan's speeches, especially those in which he first announced the need for

Save Our Schools

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Too poor to play? I doubt it.

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Too poor to play? I doubt it.

Too poor to play? I doubt it.

As you probably know by now, there's no love lost between me and corporate reformers who dismiss poverty and racism as mere "excuses," used by apologists for failing schools and poor teaching.

But I also have difficulty understanding some otherwise well-meaning educators who look at kids growing up in poverty as if they had some incurable disease and therefore incapable of learning complex ideas or critical thinking skills. Even worse are those who assume that poor kids aren't even capable of partaking in group or play activities with each other or with other children.

I was troubled by an AP wire story by Dan Stockman which appeared in Saturday's Sun-Times as "Teaching the poorest to work, play" and which began this way:

There are no swings at Hammond’s Lafayette Elementary School. In fact, there’s almost no playground equipment at all. That’s OK, though, because they don’t really do outside recess here.

The intellectually lazy use of “status quo” | EdNewsColorado

The intellectually lazy use of “status quo” | EdNewsColorado

The intellectually lazy use of “status quo”

Cross-posted from the ‘Failing Schools’ blog

status quo: “the state in which”; the existing state of affairs

The education reform discussion (or debate, depending on who’s talking) is filled with buzzwords and terms, most of which (like “accountability” and “reform”) are meant to sound positive, so that we choose to agree with the speaker. (“Well, I believe in holding people accountable for their actions, so yes, I’m for an accountability movement.”) We know that many of these fall apart under closer scrutiny, but at least there’s an attempt to win skeptics over by appealing to commonly shared values.

But some terms are designed to shame us into compliance with the speaker. “Status quo” is the perfect example of this.

People who regularly engage with school reform issues are well aware of the way powerful people have defined

Preview of “School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias”

Preview of “School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias”

Preview of "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias"

The video below is a short preview of the 34-minute video “School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias.” Private schools receiving funding through “school choice” programs are using A Beka Book, Bob Jones University Press, and other Protestant fundamentalist curricula. The textbooks in these series teach that dinosaurs lived on earth with humans; deny global warming; promote hostility toward other religions and other sectors of Christianity (particularly Roman Catholicism); provide a biased and often factually incorrect version of history; and teach extreme laissez-faire economics, claimed to be biblically-based.

The full length video (embedded at end of article) focuses on the state of Pennsylvania and its Education Improvement Tax Credit program or EITC, the oldest and second largest corporate tax credit program in the country. Pennsylvania was the site of Kitzmiller v. Dover, which unfolded in 2005 in the full glare of the press. Meanwhile an end run has been made around this case and other well-publicized battles over curriculum. The

Fraud & abuse in FL voucher schools « Failing Schools

Fraud & abuse in FL voucher schools « Failing Schools

Fraud & abuse in FL voucher schools

JUNE 27, 2011
by Sabrina

I nearly vomited while reading the Miami New Times’ account of some of the horrors taking place in Florida’s poorly regulated voucher school system, under the McKay scholarship program that gives tuition vouchers to special needs students. Abuses like these are a prime example of why it is so important to have a robust, healthy public school system, with real oversight by officials who are directly accountable to the public. De-regulating that system doesn’t typically encourage innovation, as privatization proponents argue; at best, most of these schools do no better than the schools they’re with which they’re meant to compete. But often, de-regulation does encourage fraud. (According to the article, administrators receiving tax-payer funds for voucher schools include “criminals convicted of cocaine dealing, kidnapping, witness

Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action, July 30, 2011

Big Education Ape: 6-26-11 PM 'What Happens When Charter Schools Fail' Edition

Big Education Ape: Ed News Now
Big Education Ape: Ed News Now
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The reform pretenders - The Answer Sheet

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Chicago Shopping

chicagotribune.com - By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Tribune reporter 4:59 p.m. CDT, June 26, 2011 In the coming days, Chicago Public Schools officials plan to hand out pink slips to about 1,000 teachers.The layoffs include ...

coopmike48

Jean Hagen Profile

tcm.com - Jean Hagen ProfileTo movie audiences, Jean Hagen will forever be Lina Lamont, the shrill-voiced silent movie star who Debbie Reynolds has to dub in Singin' in the Rain (1952). It was a tour de forc...

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Ohio Gov. Kasich -- 'Thanks Koch Bros."

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When I Retire | Edwize

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