Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Special Late Nite Cap UPDATE 5-28-13 #SOSCHAT #EDCHAT #P2


Nite Cap UPDATE
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE


CORPORATE ED REFORM


The Incoherent World of Rick Hess

Oh, my stars and garters! Get the fainting couch: Rick Hess has the vapors!
I've been friendly with Diane Ravitch for a long time. Encountering her historical work 20 years ago, I was struck by her hard-hitting, erudite analyses. She invited me to deliver my first featured talk (at Brookings, on my then-forthcoming Spinning Wheels book). When I was leaving UVA's Curry School of Education, she was one of the handful of mentors I turned to for guidance. A few years ago now, I hosted the first public event for her Death and Life book.
All of which left me enormously disappointed as I read two blog posts that Ravitch penned over the weekend. Ravitch weighed in on a situation in Los Angeles, where principal Irma Cobian was removed from her position at Weigand Avenue Elementary School in Watts when Parent Revolution helped parents exercise California's "parent trigger" law. Ravitch started out 

Alice Mercer: Veteran Teachers Not a Priority in High Priority Schools

Guest post by Alice Mercer.
All eyes are on Chicago, and the record school closures taking place in that city. But this is a drama being played out in cities across the country, including my own, as "right-sizing", the Broad way, takes over. By now, many would have (or should have) heard that in Chicago, the projected savings have disappeared (or didn't exist in the first place), and in the face of massive protests, the mayor has thrown $55M to a classic "Edifice complex" (my husband's term for hubristic public works projects). Public will has been ignored, and the press has been muzzled.
Now we come home to Sacramento. Once again, projected savings - questionable; public will - ignored; press inquiries - we'll get back to you...much later; last, but not least, reality-based decision-making -completely absent. Let me share the sad tale of woe that has befallen my district (and to a greater degree, at least 50 teachers). When schools close or their enrollment declines, teachers lose their position (not their job, but the school they are assigned to). This can happen to teachers that have plenty of seniority, especially in the case of school closures. There were a large number of teachers looking for new positions because of my 

Inglewood schools once again face financial uncertainty

The troubled Inglewood school district is once again facing severe financial uncertainty.

In Case You Missed It: Task Force Wants to Redefine Bullying


I'm traveling this week, and while I'm gone I thought I would share a few recent posts that you might have missed the first time around. 

When it comes to student bullying, a task force of education researchers wants schools to focus more on addressing the underlying issues contributing to bad behavior and spend less time worrying about how to define it.

Spurred by recent school shootings and student suicides, last year the American Educational Research Association decided for the first time to formally address bullying at the K-12 and higher education level. The task force, made up of experts from a range of fields, considered existing research, identified effective policy and practice, and compiled recommendations to help schools develop more effective interventions.

The term “bullying” itself is problematic because it's become a catchall phrase for everything from relatively minor 

Study Says Ability To Identify Patterns Key To Second Language Learning

A new study has just been published identifying the ability to distinguish patterns as a key to learning a second language:
Some research suggests that learning a second language draws on capacities that are language-specific, while other research suggests that it reflects a more general capacity for learning patterns. According to psychological scientist and lead researcher Ram Frost of Hebrew University, the data from the new study clearly point to the latter.
In my books and articles, I’ve written a lot about how we use inductive learning — which is specifically designed 


Does America Really Care About Its Children?

Tell me what this says about us:
Fiscal year 2011 marked the first decrease in per student public education spending since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data on an annual basis in 1977, according to new statistics released today (dollars not adjusted for inflation). The 50 states and the District of Columbia spent $10,560 per student in 2011, down 0.4 percent from 2010. The top spenders were New York ($19,076), the District of Columbia ($18,475), Alaska ($16,674), New Jersey ($15,968) and Vermont ($15,925). 
Total expenditures by public elementary and secondary school systems totaled $595.1 billion in 2011, down 1.1 percent from 2010. This is the second time total expenditures have shown a year-to-year decrease, the first time being 2010. [emphasis mine]
I'm really not interested in hearing politicians on either side of the aisle talk about "reform" when they can't even keep per pupil spending at least constant (and that's not even counting for inflation!). And I'm especially 


GLBT Pride Month


President Barack Obama declared June to be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Pride month. The initial declaration was made three years ago via proclamation.
Pride is an affirmation of ones self and the community as a whole. The modern "pride" movement began after the Stonewall riots in 1969.
Instead of backing down to unconstitutional raids by New York police, gay people fought back, which gave the underground community the first sense of communal pride in a very well publicized incident.
From the yearly parade that commemorated the anniversary of the Stonewall riots began a national grassroots movement. 
CTA continues this legacy by offering resources for educators and families around GLBT issues in education. 

Equity for LGBTQ Families a Moral Imperative

To join MomsRising.org and blog in support of LGBT families, click here.

The other day, something happened on my Facebook page that gave me hope for our children and our country’s future. My mom, a socially conservative evangelical Christian, hit the “like” button after I swapped my profile photo for the Human Rights Campaign’s red equal sign.
I am proud of her because, in spite of the attitudes she grew up with in her native Puerto Rico, in spite of what 

Late Night: Teacher in Trouble–Fight for Your Rights (to Party)

Golly Mr. Dryden, you’re my favorite teacher!
John Dryden, a high school teacher in Batavia, Illinois is in hot water for teaching his students about their rights, and for putting that lesson into action by informing students of their Fifth Amendment rights in connection with a survey asking about illegal drug use. The survey was ostensibly aimed at assessing the needs of students at Batavia High School except it asked about illegal drug use and students’ names were on each form! What’s a cool teacher to do?
Dryden, who had just finished teaching a unit on the Bill of Rights, worried that students might feel obliged to incriminate themselves—an especially ticklish situation given the 

Walmart fined $110 million for dumping toxic chemicals in California

Wal-Mart was hit with $110 million in US federal and state fines Tuesday after pleading guilty to criminal charges of mishandling hazardous waste and pesticides at its retail stores. The world’s largest retailer was fined for dumping hazardous chemicals in city trash bins and sewer systems in.


North Carolina Passes Voucher Bill | Diane Ravitch’s blog

by Diane Ravitch On a vote of 27-21, the North Carolina House Education Committee passed a voucher bill (called, euphemistically, “opportunity scholarships”). As the article linked above notes, private school vouchers will siphon a minimum of $100 million from the public schools over the next three years. In her summary, Lindsay Wagner of NC Policy ...read more


Bumper Stickers Should Not Drive Education Reform | SchoolTube

by Dr. Vickie L. Markavitch _ Dr. Markavitch explains how our comprehensive K-12 school districts are being put at risk under the name of reform and that reform has many buzzwords floating around – at least in political circles: Choice, charters, vouchers, cyber schools, performance pay, dollars following the child, parent triggers, unbundling, and privatizing. ...read more

Create Your Own Geography Game With “GeoSettr”

GeoGuessr is one of my favorite games on The Best Online Geography Games list.
It’s now gotten even better.
You can now create your own GeoGuessr game at GeoSettr (Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip).
By the way, I’ve made a couple of other additions to that games list:
You can create a Mission Map Quest game here, and a Google Maps scavenger hunt at Terra Clues.








Alice Mercer: Veteran Teachers Not a Priority in High Priority Schools - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

Alice Mercer: Veteran Teachers Not a Priority in High Priority Schools - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

Alice Mercer: Veteran Teachers Not a Priority in High Priority Schools

Guest post by Alice Mercer.
All eyes are on Chicago, and the record school closures taking place in that city. But this is a drama being played out in cities across the country, including my own, as "right-sizing", the Broad way, takes over. By now, many would have (or should have) heard that in Chicago, the projected savings have disappeared (or didn't exist in the first place), and in the face of massive protests, the mayor has thrown $55M to a classic "Edifice complex" (my husband's term for hubristic public works projects). Public will has been ignored, and the press has been muzzled.
Now we come home to Sacramento. Once again, projected savings - questionable; public will - ignored; press inquiries - we'll get back to you...much later; last, but not least, reality-based decision-making -completely absent. Let me share the sad tale of woe that has befallen my district (and to a greater degree, at least 50 teachers). When schools close or their enrollment declines, teachers lose their position (not their job, but the school they are assigned to). This can happen to teachers that have plenty of seniority, especially in the case of school closures. There were a large number of teachers looking for new positions because of my 

NYC Public School Parents: Complaint filed with Office of Civil Rights claims Bloomberg administration widens gap and violates rights of minority students in HS admissions process

NYC Public School Parents: Complaint filed with Office of Civil Rights claims Bloomberg administration widens gap and violates rights of minority students in HS admissions process:

Complaint filed with Office of Civil Rights claims Bloomberg administration widens gap and violates rights of minority students in HS admissions process

Wendy Lecker of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity/Education Law Center has an excellent piece in , about the complaint just filed with the  U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on behalf a group of NYC parents and advocacy groups.  The complaint shows that:
Schoolbook

 "the D.O.E.’s high school admissions policy consigns African-American and Latino students overwhelmingly to schools with the highest concentration of high-needs students, which significantly diminishes their chances for obtaining a high school diploma. Moreover, the city has known about this inequity for years and has done nothing to address it."

We already knew about the confidential 2008 Parthenon report which I gave to GothamSchools in 2011, showing that the percentage of overage entering ninth graders was highly predictive of whether a high school would struggle or not.  As this report plaintively asked , "Should we consider constraints on the [high school] admissions process that take into consideration the predicted graduation rate of the school? (e.g. “don’t allow any school to have a predicted rate less than 45%”)"

What I hadn't know was that there was

'Miracle' L.A. school board triumph: She thought of her students - latimes.com

'Miracle' L.A. school board triumph: She thought of her students - latimes.com:

'Miracle' L.A. school board triumph: She thought of her students

'Fifth-grade teacher' was underdog candidate Monica Ratliff's ballot designation. It resonated with voters, who propelled the 43-year-old to victory over heavily favored Antonio Sanchez.

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Monica Ratliff
Victorious school board candidate Monica Ratliff. (Los Angeles Times / May 22, 2013)
For a fleeting moment in her underdog campaign, Monica Ratliff faltered. The candidate for the Los Angeles school board stood outside her chief fundraiser's home and balked at the task of asking people for money.
Then, she said, she thought of three struggling students in her fifth-grade class at San Pedro Street Elementary, located in a gritty downtown Los Angeles neighborhood. She thought of the vocational programs, better training for teachers and other ideas she could push for as a board member to keep her students from falling off track.
Her hesitancy vanished.
"I am asking for them," she said after her electoral triumph last week. "After that, I was inspired."

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