Monday, April 9, 2012

Duncan Democracy? Algiers Charter Schools Association | NOLA.com

3 new board members join Algiers Charter Schools Association | NOLA.com:


3 new board members join Algiers Charter Schools Association

Published: Monday, June 28, 2010, 8:45 PM     Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 12:18 AM

The Algiers Charter Schools Association's board of trustees experienced a changing of the guard last week, with three members departing and three newcomers taking their places.
algiers-charter-students-chicken.JPGStudents from McDonogh 32 Elementary Charter School in Algiers check out a chicken during Agriculture Day in May.
Board members Elsie Rose, Donna St. Louis and Stephanie Bridges stepped down at Thursday's meeting because of term limits. While Bridges came onto the board in late 2007, Rose is one of the founding members from its inception in 2006. St. Louis also joined the board in 2006, several months after Rose.

All three women expressed their appreciation for being allowed to serve.

"Originally, the idea of serving on the board was frightening," Rose said, "but it's certainly been very gratifying to me."

The newest members were selected from 13 applicants, officials said. They are John Edwards, an engineer based in Baton Rouge; Dee Fuchs, a former nonprofit executive; and Gizelle Richard, a local dentist.

They join board president Charles Rice, Cassandra Bookman, Mark McNamara and Missy Duhon on the seven-member board. 

Edwards, 31, said he is excited at the prospect of using his engineering background to give back to 

ILLINOIS RETIRED TEACHERS AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION « Teachers Fight Back

ILLINOIS RETIRED TEACHERS AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION « Teachers Fight Back:


ILLINOIS RETIRED TEACHERS AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION

The Chicago Tribune, certain business leaders, anti union forces, and groups like ‘Illinois is Broke”, have done an amazing job at convincing the public that retired teachers and other retired public employees are bankrupting the State of Illinois by getting incredibly lucrative pensions.
I  recently had three instances where I was with a group of people who were discussing political issues. These people didn’t know I was a retired teacher and the conversations turned to Illinois’ “pension problem”.  There were people in each of the three groups who thought lucrative pensions of public employees and especially teachers were almost solely responsible for the State’s dire financial condition. In each instance I mentioned how much my yearly pension was and also what the average teacher’s pension was in Illinois. When the people heard my pension numbers, they sheepishly changed the subject.
Retired teachers and even working teachers of Illinois, we have a serious perception problem. We are losing this 

Yo El Jefe - Both of Obama's HEAT Jerseys were in the wash - Hispanically Speaking News

Castro Pokes Fun at Obama's Plan to Wear "Cuban Garment" to Summit - Hispanically Speaking News:


Fidel Castro Pokes Fun at President Obama’s Plan to Wear Cuba’s “Official Garment” to Summit

Fidel Castro Pokes Fun at President Obama’s Plan to Wear Cuba’s “Official Garment” to Summit
Photo: Fidel Castro Pokes Fun at President Obama's Plan to Wear Cuba's "Official Shirt" to Summit
Fidel Castro is poking fun at U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans to sport a guayabera - a tropical shirt that is Cuba’s official garment - during this week’s Summit of the Americas in Colombia, where the Communist-ruled island will not be represented.
“The curious thing, dear readers, is that Cuba is prohibited in that meeting; but the guayaberas, no. Who can stop laughing?,” the 85-year-old former president said in the latest of his Reflections on public events, published Monday in the official media.
Castro cited press reports that Colombian designer Edgar Gomez is creating guayaberas for Obama to wear during the April 14-15 summit in Cartagena.
The shirts are worn in Mexico, the Caribbean, northern South America and the Philippines, and 

NYC Public School Parents: School closing hearings at John Ericsson JHS and Grover Cleveland HS

NYC Public School Parents: School closing hearings at John Ericsson JHS and Grover Cleveland HS:


School closing hearings at John Ericsson JHS and Grover Cleveland HS

The following is by Pat Dobosz, a teacher and a graduate of John Ericson MS 126:
On Wednesday, April 4 we attended the closing hearing at John Ericsson MS 126 in Brooklyn. This was a "restart" school that is now becoming a "turnaround" school. This euphemism means it will close, lose 50% of its staff and get a new number and name. We heard many pleas from students, teachers, parents and politicians to give this school a chance. It has a new principal that everyone respects, and was just put under the restart model in September. Assemblyman Joe Lentol said that it was an insult to the new principal to switch gears now.  This school has 40% of its students receiving special education services, compared to 15.64% citywide. 25% of its student body are English Language Learners, several of whom spoke passionately about the education and services they were receiving at 126. 
John Ericsson has suffered neglect for many years because of poor administrators that were allowed to bring it 

Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Week 26: Over the hump…

Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Week 26: Over the hump…:


Week 26: Over the hump…

Number - 26
This has been a hard “Spring” in some ways, but easier in others. One part of the “hard” has been the fact that I’m in one of the few local districts that still does a Spring Break aligned with Easter, and this year, that wasn’t until last week. Both students and adults were more than ready for a “time out” by the time that last week rolled 

Pension Call Tuesday: May 2nd bus to Springfield. « Fred Klonsky

Pension Call Tuesday: May 2nd bus to Springfield. « Fred Klonsky:


Pension Call Tuesday: May 2nd bus to Springfield.


Our Park Ridge Education Association is getting ready to head for Springfield on May 2nd. Current plans are to leave Des Plaines around 8AM.
This does not replace back home lobby efforts. It is in addition to it. Messages to General Assembly members can be sent from here.
We have a noon appointment with Park Ridge Senator Dan Kotowski to discuss pension issues on May 2nd. Other PREA members will meet with their own state representatives or senators. IEA VP Kathi Griffin has invited us to have our box lunch picnic on the IEA headquarters lawn. Then we are heading over to TRS headquarters to express our disappointment with the recent statements of TRS Executive Director Richard Ingram about cutting retiree benefits and the “new reality.”
We expect to get back by 5PM.
Bus riders will get a green t-shirt that says: My pension. I paid. You promised.
If you have an interest in joining us on the bus down to Springfield, please make your reservation by Friday. You can contact us here or at fklonsky@mac.com

My Teacher Doesn’t Let Us Talk « City School Stories

My Teacher Doesn’t Let Us Talk « City School Stories:


My Teacher Doesn’t Let Us Talk

Teacher Stories
Joy of Teaching, April 9, 2012

I often work with students in small groups providing strategies for improving reading.  One of the activities I ask students to complete is a word sort that directs student focus on word features to improve decoding skills.   Part of this activity involves students working together to decide how a group of words can be sorted.  They must reach a conclusion and describe for me their thinking behind the word sort that they created.
Recently, I was observing students during this process, when one of the students shared that she thought this was fun.  I asked her why she thought so and she replied “My teacher doesn’t let us talk!”
It reminded me that, in our classroom lives of school reform, so many important things have been pushed out of 

The Common Core Will Reduce Reading and Writing To Chore Status | Truth in American Education

The Common Core Will Reduce Reading and Writing To Chore Status | Truth in American Education:


The Common Core Will Reduce Reading and Writing To Chore Status

kid-reading-manualMary Grabar who is teaches English at Emory University gave a very pointed critique at Roll Call of the literature standards for high school students within the Common Core.  She started off with a great analogy (something we learn to appreciate when reading good literature):
How good a player would Arne Duncan, former basketball pro and current secretary of Education, have been had he not been allowed to play a pickup game or idly bounce a ball? How many great players would there be had they not been able to play at the corner lot, instead forced through endless drills?
Kids would not have learned the lingo and mannerisms of basketball, or imagined themselves shooting jump shots next to Shaquille O’Neal or Larry Bird. The sport would have become a serious business; no longer would it be about the love of the game.
In short, the culture of basketball, so cherished by fans and players alike, would never have 

Some Thoughts On Bullying | Connected Principals

Some Thoughts On Bullying | Connected Principals:


Some Thoughts On Bullying

Cross-posted on the Burlington High School Principal’s Blog
There’s no doubt that the release of the documentary Bully will lead to some deeper discussion on bullying and what we can do to reduce the number of incidences of bullying in our schools and communities.  Discovery News posted a great article on the topic last week titled Why Do People Bully? and I think that this a question that we miss sometimes after hearing the horrific endings to some cases of bullying on local and national news.
While the uproar leads to a renewed focus on punishing bullies, I think it moves us further away from the solution.  In order to reduce bullying, we need to see what causes it and ensure that our schools educate students and establish cultures of care which do not tolerate the mistreatment of any student.
Here are a few of the excerpts from the Discovery article that we need to keep in mind:
  • “But now we’ve shown that there is a peer socialization process — that bullies tend to have more friends,” said bullying expert Dorothy Espelage, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • experts agree that peer influence is crucial in accounting for bullying. “If your peer 

Big Education Ape: 4-9-12 PM A Tale of Two Crows EDition #CECTOWNHALL #SPECED

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Big Education Ape: PARENTS CAN!

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