Saturday, November 16, 2013

With A Brooklyn Accent Go BATs All Week 11-16-13

With A Brooklyn Accent

With A Brooklyn Accent Go BATs All Week 

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What Schools in NYC Need- A Message from the BK Nation Education Forum
On Thursday, in Judson Memorial Church, a group of students, parents, teachers, principals and education researchers brought together by the new organization BK Nation had a frank discussion of what can be done to improve the public schools of New York City. Most of those on the panel and in the audience worked at, taught at, or attended schools in high poverty neighborhoods, and spoke with great eloquence about what is happening in those schools, how misguided current policies are, and what needs to change. Here is my summary of the points of agreement of people at the Forum. They represent a
My Short Program for Improving Public Schools in NYC
Here is my short program for improving public education in NYC which I am presenting at BK nation forum tonight1. Cut testing budget in half and use funds to lower class size2. Stop school gradings and school closings3. Triple the number of portfolio schools in NYC exempt from all state tests4. No testing below grade-3. Exemption of ELL and special needs students from state tests5. Withdraw from Common Core. Let teachers develop curriculum.6. Fund arts, agriculture and community history7. Reinvest in technical and vocational education8. No evaluation of teachers based on student test scores9.
Regents Chair Tisch and Chancellor King give a Lesson on How Not to Be a Leader
Last night's forum at Ward Melville HS in Suffolk County once again revealed why Regents Chair Merryl Tisch and Chancellor John King are poorly equipped to lead the public schools of New York State and why their actions, as well as their policies, have triggered one of the largest parent revolts in modern American history.In the face of incredibly moving testimony from parents and teachers about the damage done to children, teachers and families by the sudden imposition of Common Core aligned tests, their affect never changed.There was not a sign of sympathy, empathy, or understanding coming f

NOV 14

School Reform: A Discourse Of Lies Parading Behind Honorable Ideals
I have been fighting since I was an 8 year old growing up in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood and the battle to defend public education in the US may be the hardest one I have ever been in. Never has so much big money been amassed behind an effort to control, discipline and regulate the children of this nation. That money,selectively distributed by those who possess it, paralyzes and demoralizes many

NOV 12

On Today's Protest Against NY Ed Commissioner King at Ward Melville HS
WOO HOO!!!!Woke up this morning in a GREAT MOOD, ready to join THOUSANDS of Long Island parents, teachers and students at 5:45 protesting another closed forum sponsored by NY Ed Commissioner John King at Ward Melville HS in East Setauket. Since Commissioner King seems constitutionally incapable of actually listening to parents, teachers and principals, I doubt if this demonstration will have any i

NOV 11

Why BATS is Militantly Pro-Union as Well As Against Common Core
Unions are the best protection for the living standards of workers and the best defenders of workers rights at the workplace. The powerful interests who have worked to undermine unions and drive union membership from 35 percent of the work force when i was growing up to less than 13 percent today have helped transform the US from the most equal nation in the industrialized world to the most unequa

NOV 08

Powerful Speech to Her Local Rotary Club by a North Carolina Teacher
...Cristi Lackey Julsrud Hi BATs! As my school's teacher of the year, I was invited to speak at our local Rotary Club for their monthly luncheon. The people there were representatives from the business community. I was supposed to talk about my school, and myself , and my teaching, and how everything is all hunky-dory, but when it came right down to it I just couldn't lead those people to believe
While Diane Ravitch Recovers, the BATS will Carry on Her Wor
As we all hope and pray for Diane Ravitch's full recovery, let us take a moment to contemplate what with her full and enthusiastic support, this group has accomplished. In five short months, we have built an organization that has as much, or more public presence, as any Astro-Turf school reform organization funded by billionaires, and a lot more grassroots support. And the best is yet to come. Our
Tennessee BAT Tales- Installment Two
I changed schools last year to be closer to home and to work in the community in which I live. Previously, I was driving an hour each way to a job I loved, but the distance got to me. I teach middle grades math, which I have taught for 15 years. My current school is a rural, preK-12 school with relatively high free-and-reduced numbers. The teachers before me, who have been let go or reassigned, le

NOV 07

Tennessee BAT Tales- Installment One
Here is what is happening in Tennessee. For the past few years, working conditions for teachers and learning conditions for students have gotten progressively worse. The emphasis on testing is hurting our schools. Teachers and students are constantly preparing, taking, or reviewing tests. Many teachers are afraid to teach anything that “isn’t on the test.” Teacher evaluations and jobs are now tied
Our Children's Grim Future
Our children are being prepared, through relentless testing, now beginning as early as pre-K, for a world in which they are constantly going to be observed, monitored, evaluated, and measured in every dimension of their life, a world with little privacy, and shrinking opportunity. What is happening to their teachers is what awaits them in almost every occupation they choose to enter. If we don't r