Monday, September 19, 2011

Woolly School Garden: Edible School Gardens, Green Schoolyards & Classrooms

Woolly School Garden: Edible School Gardens, Green Schoolyards & Classrooms:

What is a Woolly School Garden?

A Woolly School Garden is everything a school needs to create an outdoor garden classroom and begin teaching gardening and nutrition and includes:

How does it work?

Fast and simple. If your school has the budget, we send you your Woolly School Garden. If your school doesn't have the budget, we'll sign you up for donations, help you raise the money on our site, and then send you your Woolly School Garden. Our goal is to help thousands of more schools grow gardens over the next year.

What does a school need to receive a garden?

  • At least one teacher or school garden manager.
  • A sunny wall or fence.
  • $1,000 or a lil' patience to raise the money.





Listen to this segment | the entire program
September 19, 2011 @ 9:53 am - The start of the school year brought major announcements from the LA Unified School District. About half of the district’s 430 library aides may be laid off, and more could have their hours cut. Next year, school will be back in session from Summer break three weeks earlier than usual, in mid-August. Of the library lay-offs, recently seated Superintendent John Deasy mixed regret with justification saying in part, “[s]tudents learn to read through their classroom teacher, not through the library.” Deasy also expressed hope that a longer school year will boost student scores on standardized tests. During a speech given at Occidental College last week, he called LA a national leader in education policy saying, “Los Angeles is America—only sooner.” What does it mean, then, for the nation

U Black, Maybe [AfroLatino, Part Two] | The Jose Vilson

U Black, Maybe [AfroLatino, Part Two] | The Jose Vilson:

U Black, Maybe [AfroLatino, Part Two]

Mario Morales, AfroLatino

When we talk about black maybe
We talk about situations
Of people of color and because you are that color
You endure obstacles and opposition
And not all the time from … from other nationalities
Sometimes it comes from your own kind
Or maybe even your own mind
You get judged … you get laughed at…you get looked at wrong
You get sighted for not being strong
The struggle of just being you
The struggle of just being us…black maybe

- Common, “U Black, Maybe”

There’s something about being AfroLatino that people don’t quite understand. There’s an understanding of seeing race and culture as these malleable things that far too many people can’t always comprehend. Self-identity as a process complicates relationships, because whenever you think you have yourself figured out, others’

The Whole Child Blog « Whole Child Education

The Whole Child Blog « Whole Child Education:

Best Questions: Parent and Family Engagement

Despite the rumors, school improvement is hard. It’s not about a single passionate leader. It’s not about “fixing” teachers and teaching or parents and parenting. It’s not about poverty. It’s not about money. And it’s not about standards. It’s about all of them. And more.
In this column, I’ll take on the real deal of school improvement—for all schools, not just certain kinds. And for all kids. Because it’s not about quick fixes or checking off the instant strategy of the moment. It’s about saying, “Yes, and…” not “Yes, but…” no matter what our circumstances are. It’s about asking ourselves the best questions.
Fellow educators, let’s set the record straight on a few things:
  • Families are not keeping the “good” kids at home.
  • No parent wakes up and thinks, “I am really going to mess up my kid today.”
  • School staff work for families, not the other way around.
  • Teachers parent and parents teach.
  • Every bit of research ever done shows that collaborative home-school partnerships (not fund raising, not 

Peg with Pen: Changing the Narrative. Ending the Fear. Saving our Public Schools.

Peg with Pen: Changing the Narrative. Ending the Fear. Saving our Public Schools.:

Changing the Narrative. Ending the Fear. Saving our Public Schools.

September is almost over. Teaching to the test is in full swing. When talking to people in your community, it's a great time to pop the question, "What do you think about students opting out of the state test?”

Often, the "opt out" question elicits a look of fear. There is concern that schools, students or communities will be punished by opting out. Many are fearful of letting people down. Some tell me we need accountability. Parents in suburbs are afraid that opting out will cause their schools to receive less funding. Parents in low socioeconomic areas want to raise their children's test scores in the hopes of avoiding school closure and corporate takeover. Teachers are afraid they may lose their job or get punished in other ways. Many of these fears are founded on fact; many are founded on fiction.

We are ruled by fear in our current education system.

One of the first things I learned as a teacher was the importance of helping children feel safe in the classroom. It

School Tech Connect: Thanks, Mr. Smagorinsky

School Tech Connect: Thanks, Mr. Smagorinsky:

Thanks, Mr. Smagorinsky

Another great takedown over at Valerie's column. Today's author is Pete Smagorinsky, who was one of my teachers early in his career. The guy was awesome; he led with humor and followed up with more. I was not yet a writer at that point in my life, but some of the comments he wrote in the margins of my papers made me feel like I had something worth saying.

Later on in my own career, I became the king of snarky marginalia, and I found that it really engaged kids of all ability levels. If there was one thing that helped me teach kids how to write, it was the idea that you should give them a feeling that their words and ideas were worth responding to, at length.

Smagorinsky once told a joke in class-- it was based on a homophone--- and I swear to Jebus I've thought about

Creating Innovators with “Outlier teachers:” A sneak peek at Tony Wagner’s new book | Connected Principals

Creating Innovators with “Outlier teachers:” A sneak peek at Tony Wagner’s new book | Connected Principals:

Creating Innovators with “Outlier teachers:” A sneak peek at Tony Wagner’s new book

Dad, there’s your favorite word again,” my son calls out, a tad cynically, when we are driving to school listening to NPR and a reporter uses the word innovation. I am aware that my son, and others, believe this word has become too much of a buzz-word and perhaps a fad, too often so broadly defined that it becomes generic, empty in content, and devoid of true significance.

But, I refuse to be deterred.

Like Tom Friedman in the New York Times, President Obama, and many others, I think the word and the concept capture and describe something both wonderful and incredibly important in our world today– and in fact, more

A Teacher’s Eye-View of Ohio’s Job-Killing Law | AFL-CIO NOW BLOG

A Teacher’s Eye-View of Ohio’s Job-Killing Law | AFL-CIO NOW BLOG:

A Teacher’s Eye-View of Ohio’s Job-Killing Law

Nicole Gentile, a teacher with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and an AFT member, wrote this message to Ohio working families about the job-killing ramifications of S.B. 5, a new law that attacks the collective bargaining rights of workers seeking to maintain a middle-class living. Together with thousands of Ohioans, Gentile is working to repeal the law in the November elections.

I just got home from Marion-Sterling Elementary School. I might not be there much longer.

After nine years teaching in Cleveland public schools, I along with 350 others, received a layoff notice due to cuts by Gov. John Kasich to public education funding.

Instead of investing in our children by funding schools like Marion-Sterling, Kasich chose to cut our budgets first. That’s not all—he and his political allies passed Senate Bill 5, now Issue 2, a bill that bans teachers from negotiating with school districts around basic issues

“Connecting Spending to Student Outcomes” - SACS Training

SACS Training
Standardized Account Code Structure
Monday, September 26, 2011
6:30 – 8:00 pm
Location:  TBD

Highly recommended for all school site council, advisory council, PTA/PTSA
members, teachers, as well as interested parents, and community members.

Do you want to know
How much money your school receives?
Do you want to know
How your school is spending that money?
Do you want to see
How your site plan and your spending match?
You can!

Learn to read your school’s checkbook. SACS training will enable you to
match spending to the action steps in your SDIP (Single Plan for Student

SACS training will give you the tools to better understand your school’s
budget and expenditures.

To reserve your spot sign up at Tuesday’s (Sep. 13) DAC meeting or call Dave Ross (715-2827), Kionne Cochran (803-5309) or email
This training is free of charge and is provided by parents.

The school district budget looms as a mystery of intertwined and complicated
figures to many school board members and school administrators.

Yet, the school budget is the single –most important element in the operation of a
school district. For everything that happens in a school district passes through
the school budget.

The school budget provides the structural shell within which a district’s
educational programs operate.
Dr. Richard A Stedry
Quote provided by Board Member Diana Rodriquez, March 2011

“Connecting Spending to Student Outcomes”

Add One More to the List of 40 New Jersey Charter Schools Whose Licenses Have Been “Revoked, Denied or Surrendered Over the Last Decade” | Scathing Purple Musings

Add One More to the List of 40 New Jersey Charter Schools Whose Licenses Have Been “Revoked, Denied or Surrendered Over the Last Decade” | Scathing Purple Musings:

Add One More to the List of 40 New Jersey Charter Schools Whose Licenses Have Been “Revoked, Denied or Surrendered Over the Last Decade”

Things obviously went south fast at Capital Preparatory Charter High School in Trenton. Just three years ago a spokesperson for the New Jersey DOE said, “there appeared to be a lot of teaching and learning going on……” In a story published yesterday in, Carmen Cusido writes:

Yet somehow things went terribly wrong at Capital Prep. The Grand Street school accumulated a large deficit, lacked a certified business administrator and was spending taxpayer dollars in ways that had little educational value, the DOE later found.

The school spent $10,000 on hotel fees for a staff junket to Atlantic City, $5,600 on a year-end staff party at KatManDu restaurant, and $38,000 on flower boxes and campus landscaping.

Big Education Ape: 9-19-11 PM CHARTER SCHOOL SCANDALS Who is Accountable? EDition

Big Education Ape: Ed News Now:

Published by Coopmike48 – 6 news spotters today Beta - Flag petition as inappropriateBy Susan DuFresne (Contact)To be delivered to: The United States SenateDear Senators: The recent passage of H.R. 2218, the Empowering Parents Through the Quality Chart...


How to Stop the Drop in Verbal Scores - Charlottesville, Va. THE latest bad but unsurprising news on education is that reading and writing scores on the SAT have once again declined. The language competence of our high school...


The Perry Plan: Low Wages, Texas Style | AFL - by James Parks, Sep 16, 2011Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry touts his job creation record as governor of Texas, but the reality is that new Texas-style jobs are low-wage jobs. Writin...


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