Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Good Things at the Board Meeting

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Good Things at the Board Meeting:

Good Things at the Board Meeting

The kids from Maple Elementary came and did a wonderful dragon dance to welcome in the new year. Great fun.

Also, 38 more teachers were recognized for being board-certified. According to the Board, our district is 5th in the nation for the number of board-certified teachers. Good for all those teachers. (I will try to give a breakdown of where all these newly-certified teachers come from but unfortunately, Cathy Thompson only said their name and not their school.)

Lots of good input from mostly elementary science teachers on the importance of equity in science teaching for ALL children. They also worry over the fact that most of their funding comes from grants (not a stable source)

Modern School: Extrinsic Motivation: Chitown Charter Implements Stiff Fines for Student Infractions

Modern School: Extrinsic Motivation: Chitown Charter Implements Stiff Fines for Student Infractions:

Extrinsic Motivation: Chitown Charter Implements Stiff Fines for Student Infractions


Image from Flickr, by Sebastian Bergmann
The Noble Network, which runs 10 charter high schools in Chicago, raised nearly $200,000 last year (and $400,000 since 2008) from discipline penalties, the Chicago Tribune reported this week. The Network, which has been praised by Ed Deformer Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has been charging students $5 per violation for such trivial infractions as having untied shoelaces, bringing chips to school or dozing off in class.

Critics are accusing the network of using the fines to cull low performing (and lower income) students in order to boost graduation rates. Last year the network lost 473 students, more than twice as many as the previous year.

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
Noble CEO Michael Milkie believes that by enforcing all rules, even the little ones, he has

Jersey Jazzman: The Pie-Crust Promises of Chris Cerf

Jersey Jazzman: The Pie-Crust Promises of Chris Cerf:

The Pie-Crust Promises of Chris Cerf

As Mary Poppins said: "Easily made, easily broken":
The UFT has lost its lawsuit and the DOE says it will release the teacher data reports to the media within weeks, with all the major newspapers expected to print them. These reports, which rate 12,700 NYC teachers by means of numerical ratings of 1 to 100, are based solely on the 2010 test scores of their students, filtered through a complicated value-added formula. They are widely seen by many experts as highly unreliable, based on false or incomplete data and with huge margins of error -- even if you believe that standardized test scores alone are all that matter.

The city will release these data reports, despite the promise in 2008 by then-

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Chicago area "most corrupt." So let's put mayor in charge of schools

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Chicago area "most corrupt." So let's put mayor in charge of schools:

Chicago area "most corrupt." So let's put mayor in charge of schools

A study being released today says the number of public corruption convictions in the Chicago area was higher than in any other federal court district in the entire country from 1976 through 2010.

I've got an idea. Let's put the mayor in charge of the schools and make CPS a wing of City Hall. We can call it, "reform"

The Opposite of Social Promotion... - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher

The Opposite of Social Promotion... - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher:

The Opposite of Social Promotion...

...is social demotion. In other words, public humiliation. Failure, writ large.

Flunked. Held back. Retained. It's failure, no matter what you call it. Imposed by adults, some of whom honestly believe they're instituting a kind of academic tough love. Suffered by children who struggle with learning, for any one of a galaxy of reasons.

And it seems to be all the rage, part and parcel of the Invisible Hand School of education policy which promotes technocratic carrot-stick solutions, from merit pay to performance evaluations based on student test data. Three

Today's Big Education Ape - PostRank Top Late Nite Posts 2-14 #soschat #ReclaimingReform


Seattle Schools Community Forum: What is Going on with this MOU?

Seattle Schools Community Forum: What is Going on with this MOU?:What is Going on with this MOU?by Melissa WestbrookI keep trying to get up from this computer but something new pops up.So the Action Report on the Creative Approach Schools has changed (but not the MOU). Here are the changes (the red is new):I move that the Seattle School Board approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the Seattle Education Association and the Seattle School District No. 1 regarding the Collective ... more »

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Who Can You Trust? Part 2

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Who Can You Trust? Part 2:Who Can You Trust? Part 2by Melissa WestbrookI guess no one.So from what I was following on the superintendent search (both in person and reading minutes), I thought I understood how the superintendent search would be working. Of course, we are still waiting on the webpage for this information (tick tock). I had understood the search committee to be made up of the following:7 Board members1 SEA rep1 PASS rep1 SCPTSA ... more »

This Week In Education: Thompson: Collective Effort Vs. Teacher Scapegoating

This Week In Education: Thompson: Collective Effort Vs. Teacher Scapegoating:Thompson: Collective Effort Vs. Teacher Scapegoatingby john thompsonDavid Cantors’ EdWeek commentary (Who Is Responsible for Student Achievement?) starts as if it was another exercise in the blame game. Cantor’s focus groups with teachers, parents, and other stakeholders could never answer the question "who should be responsible for making things better." But Cantor listens and realizes that educators "were shouting to policymakers: You can't put anything else on our plate" and that ... more »

To Catch a Plagiarist | Edwize

To Catch a Plagiarist | Edwize:To Catch a Plagiaristby Senorita in the CityPirillo Fitz[Editor's note: Señorita in the City is the pseudonym of a fifth-year teacher in a high school in Manhattan. She blogs at senoritainthecity.com where a version of this post first appeared.]Recently I found myself identifying with these words spoken by Liam Neeson’s character in the movie “Taken”: “What I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills that I have acquired over a very long ... more »

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Education - Day of Action. March 5 -Sacramento

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Education - Day of Action. March 5 -Sacramento:Education - Day of Action. March 5 -Sacramentoby Duane CampbellJoin Us on March 5 Day of ActionTo Demand that the California Government:Fully fund public education, which is a public good and is the cornerstone of a democratic society, a vibrant economy, and the social and intellectual development of every individual.Fully fund social services, which to a large part provide a crucial safety net for the most vulnerable members of society ... more »

Hear from PAA members how to fight back against corporate reform! « Parents Across America

Hear from PAA members how to fight back against corporate reform! « Parents Across America:Hear from PAA members how to fight back against corporate reform!by leoniehaimsonDear Friends:·Feeling overwhelmed by all the negative legislation and education policies being imposed by corporate reformers on your school or district? Want to get advice from other parents fighting the same battles in their communities?Next Monday night, Feb. 20 at 8 PM, Parents Across America will be sponsoring a conference call, open to all parents ...more »

National Education Organizations Respond to the President’s FY2013 Budget Proposal | LFA: Join The Conversation - Public School Insights

National Education Organizations Respond to the President’s FY2013 Budget Proposal | LFA: Join The Conversation - Public School Insights:National Education Organizations Respond to the President’s FY2013 Budget ProposalBy Anne O'Brien on February 15, 2012On February 13, 2012, President Obama released hisFY2013 budget proposal. While many analysts believe the budget is dead on arrival in Congress, those in the education community are praising the president for recognizing the important role that education plays in our economy and our society.In his budget, ... more »

Rally to support IL House Bill 4487: Moratorium on School Closings, Turnarounds and Phase-Outs

Chicago Teachers Union | Rally to support IL House Bill 4487: Moratorium on School Closings, Turnarounds and Phase-Outs:Rally to support IL House Bill 4487: Moratorium on School Closings, Turnarounds and Phase-Outs02/15/2012Click here to download the flyer.

Shanker Blog » Guessing About NAEP Results

Shanker Blog » Guessing About NAEP Results:Guessing About NAEP Resultsby Matthew Di CarloEvery two years, the release of data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) generates a wave of research and commentary trying to explain short- and long-term trends. For instance, there have been a bunch of recent attempts to “explain” an increase in aggregate NAEP scores during the late 1990s and 2000s. Some analyses postulate that the accountability provisions of NCLB were responsible, while more recentarguments have ... more »

IEA: Put the active in activism. « Fred Klonsky

IEA: Put the active in activism. « Fred Klonsky:IEA: Put the active in activism.by Fred KlonskyThere will be no Lobby Day this year.Some folks have pulled me aside and said, “Let’s just go down there.”But that’s not really the point, is it?We can go down to Springfield with a bus of 50. But then what?What’s our state Association for?A few days ago, IEA President Cinda Klickna responded to one our our local Association members, Jerry Mulvihill, with a long explanation ... more »

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Who Can You Trust?

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Who Can You Trust?:Who Can You Trust?by Melissa WestbrookAnyone who has lived a couple of decades on this planet knows that life is full of nuance (even if we don't want to admit it). We know that life isn't always fair.But in my years in advocacy, I have always puzzled over why some don't want to be entirely truthful when it comes to certain issues. They may have privately looked at an issue from all sides ... more »

Missouri Education Watchdog: We Could All Use A Little Perspective

Missouri Education Watchdog: We Could All Use A Little Perspective:We Could All Use A Little Perspectiveby AnngieThis map tool, which we all use frequently, should be a reminder to us that perspective is important. Using this zoom feature can tell you whether you got a great deal on a hotel in the middle of the action, or found a hotel in the second ring of suburbs outside the city you really wanted to visit.Last week the news erupted with coverage ... more »

NYC Public School Parents: Why the release of the Teacher data reports and adoption of a new statewide evaluation system will be bad for teachers and bad for kids

NYC Public School Parents: Why the release of the Teacher data reports and adoption of a new statewide evaluation system will be bad for teachers and bad for kids:Why the release of the Teacher data reports and adoption of a new statewide evaluation system will be bad for teachers and bad for kidsby Leonie HaimsonThe UFT has lost its lawsuit and the DOE says it will release the teacher data reports to the media within weeks, with all the major ... more »

Rainier Beach Responds to the League of Education Voters Attack on Its’ School and Community | Seattle Education

Rainier Beach Responds to the League of Education Voters Attack on Its’ School and Community | Seattle Education:Rainier Beach Responds to the League of Education Voters Attack on Its’ School and Communityfrom Seattle Education 2010 by seattleducation2011In a race to promote charter schools and teacher performance evaluations based on test scores, it seems that the League of Education Voters (LEV) is hurting rather than helping the community that they purport they are trying to assist. With “friends” like these, who ... more »

Today's Big Education Ape - PostRank Top Late Nite Posts 2-14 #sosmarch #ReclaimingReform

A Teacher Letter to the New York State Dept. of Ed. | United Opt Out NationalBig Education Ape - PostRank (PostRank: All)-8 minutes agoA Teacher Letter to the New York State Dept. of Ed. | United Opt Out National:A Teacher Letter to the New York State Dept. of Ed.by adminTo Whom it May Concern:I firmly oppose any initiative that continues (or expands) the current regime of standardized testing. As an educator, I know that standardized tests are not humane, nor ... more »

School Tech Connect: Meets and Exceeds

School Tech Connect: Meets and Exceeds:Meets and ExceedsThe ISAT scores are totally awesome and telling. Except when they don't support the mayor's narrative. Then they're just noise.Emanuel and the new CPS leadership team have repeatedly said the most closely watched category—the one tabulating the percentage of students who “meets and exceeds standards”—is not a good measure. CPS sought to address the issue earlier this year by switching to new school report cards that do not include ISAT scores. Rather, the ... more »

Schools We Can Envy by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books

Schools We Can Envy by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books: Schools We Can EnvyMarch 8, 2012Diane RavitchFinnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?by Pasi Sahlberg, with a foreword by Andy HargreavesTeachers College Press, 167 pp., $34.95 (paper) Tuomas UusheimoThe Kirkkojärvi School in Espoo, Finland, which accommodates about 770 students aged seven to sixteen and also includes a preschool for six-year-olds; from the Museum of Finnish Architecture’s exhibition ‘The Best School in ... more »

WE’RE LOSING THE PUBLIC RELATIONS BATTLE « Teachers Fight Back

WE’RE LOSING THE PUBLIC RELATIONS BATTLE « Teachers Fight Back:WE’RE LOSING THE PUBLIC RELATIONS BATTLEby alkleenEverywhere I go in Illinois I hear people complaining about the State’s indebtedness and how much teacher pensions have contributed to the problem. Where have the teacher unions been in trying to explain to people that the deficit has nothing to do with the pensions of teachers and everything to do with the negligence of state legislators? I haven’t heard one television or radio advertisement ... more »

Psst…it’s hatching! « Failing Schools #edchat #edreform

Psst…it’s hatching! « Failing Schools:Psst…it’s hatching!by SabrinaPsst…it’s hatching!FEBRUARY 14, 2012by SabrinaNo, not the turtle egg in one of the lower school science classes. It’s our new site, ReclaimingReform.org!Don’t worry; the links and discussion that have happened here will be preserved here, and in the coming days and weeks the best of this site will be archived onto the new one as well. If you haven’t already, please sign up to let us know if and how you’d like to be ...more »

A Teacher Letter to the New York State Dept. of Ed. | United Opt Out National

A Teacher Letter to the New York State Dept. of Ed. | United Opt Out National:A Teacher Letter to the New York State Dept. of Ed.by adminTo Whom it May Concern:I firmly oppose any initiative that continues (or expands) the current regime of standardized testing. As an educator, I know that standardized tests are not humane, nor developmentally appropriate.We are currently studying and writing non-fiction in my second grade classroom. It is beautiful to hear students teach all about topics ... more »

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