Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Community Profile: Elizabeth Davis, WTU President | Washington Informer | African American newspaper, Washington D.C.

Community Profile: Elizabeth Davis, WTU President | Washington Informer | African American newspaper, Washington D.C.:

Community Profile: Elizabeth Davis, WTU President

Dorothy Rowley | 8/6/2013, 6:07 p.m.


Elizabeth Davis


Elizabeth Davis is the newly-elected president of the Northwest-based Washington Teachers Union. She won the vote by 55 percent, having defeated Nathan Saunders in a run-off election this summer, and officially assumed the helm on Aug. 1 to serve a three-year term.
The 62-year-old educator, who taught for 41 years in nine D.C. public schools, lists several items on her agenda for school reform. Among them is to work closer with Chancellor Kaya Henderson to determine what real school reform means and its impact on students' quality of learning, as well attracting and keeping good teachers.
"I want school reform to be more than students' ability to pass a standardized test," Davis said. "I've seen cases where the tests were not sufficient to get them through post-secondary education, and in some cases where students simply didn't graduate … Overall, I don't want to be a roadblock to reform [as] I see the WTU as an ally in helping the chancellor get the reform issue right."
Davis added that when it comes the issue of extended school days, student achievement doesn't result from a longer school day, but from having had a better school day.
"Why focus on extending the school day when students have 

Beware the Testpocolypse in New York State on August 7, 2013.southbronxschool.com

http://www.southbronxschool.com:

Beware the Testpocolypse in New York State on August 7, 2013

As the clock is ticking down to when all mayhem is about to take place across the State of New York, we here in the suburbs seems rather calm, as I am sure the rest of the state is.

Of course the rest of the state are not the 5 boroughs of New York City in which we have been told that the sky is about to fall and soon rioting will commence throughout the Empire State?

What is causing all this? Of course it is the release of the state exam scores 4 months after they were administered and 3 1/2 weeks before school begins, tomorrow, August 7.

John King, Grand Poobah of the NYSED said;
“Scores are expected to be significantly lower than the 2011-’12 scores,” he wrote, adding that principals should use the scores “judiciously” when making decisions about whether 

Jersey Jazzman: Save Valerie Strauss from Jeff Bezos

Jersey Jazzman: Save Valerie Strauss from Jeff Bezos:

Save Valerie Strauss from Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, please remeber: it doesn't get any better than Valerie Strauss.

So Mr. Amazon is buying the Washington Post - gosh, I haven't been this excited since Kate named the baby...

Honestly, who cares? Newspapers are dying, and everyone knows it. Why should we give a flying fig?

Oh, yeah - that:
There's one area where Bezos has been hyper-active, but largely unknown to the general public: education reform. A look at the Bezos Family Foundation, which was founded by Jackie and Mike Bezos but is financed primarily by Jeff Bezos, reveals a fairly aggressive effort in recent years to press forward with a neoliberal education agenda:
—The Bezos Foundation has donated to Education Reform Now, a nonprofit organization that funds attack advertisements against teachers' unions and other advocacy efforts to promote test-based evaluations of teachers. Education Reform Now also sponsors Democrats for Education Reform

The Network For Public Education | Network for Public Education strongly endorses Sue Peters for the Seattle School Board

The Network For Public Education | Network for Public Education strongly endorses Sue Peters for the Seattle School Board:

Network for Public Education strongly endorses Sue Peters for the Seattle School Board

Network for Public Education strongly endorses Sue Peters for the Seattle School Board
Network for Public Education strongly endorses Sue Peters for the Seattle School Board. Seattle is an important battleground between the forces of privatization and corporate reform and progressive policies to protect and strengthen our public schools. Sue is a public school parent with nearly ten years of experience with the Seattle Public Schools.  She is ...


Network for Public Education strongly endorses Sue Peters for the Seattle School Board

Network for Public Education strongly endorses Sue Peters for the Seattle School Board.
Seattle is an important battleground between the forces of privatization and corporate reform and progressive policies to protect and strengthen our public schools.
Sue is a public school parent with nearly ten years of experience with the Seattle Public Schools.  She is a national leader in education advocacy and a founding member of Parents Across America.  She is an eloquent voice for smaller classes, a strong curriculum, student privacy, and against privatization, high-stakes testing and school closings.  She believes in embracing & celebrating the individuality and diversity of each child.  She has served on two Seattle school task forces: the Superintendent Search Community Focus Group (2012), and the Strategic Plan Stakeholder Task Force (2013).
Sue’s main opponent, Suzanne Dale-Estey, has out-raised her nearly five to one, including thousands of dollars from the likes of Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft. In recent days, Dale-Estey’s supporters have launched a nasty negative campaign, including sending out thousands of inaccurate mailers attacking Sue. (See here and here.)
Sue has also been endorsed by the M. L. King County Labor Council and numerous Democratic clubs, as well as Jesse Hagopian, a leader of the Seattle test boycott this spring.
Please donate to Sue’s campaign, vote for her if you live in her district, and forward this message to all your Seattle friends – if you believe in keeping the public in public education.  You can also check out her terrific columns in the Huffington Post and elsewhere.  The deadline for sending in your primary ballot is Tuesday, August 6.  The top two vote-getters will face each other in the November general election.

On Selling Your Lesson Plans [Making Money As A Teacher] - The Jose Vilson | The Jose Vilson

On Selling Your Lesson Plans [Making Money As A Teacher] - The Jose Vilson | The Jose Vilson:

On Selling Your Lesson Plans [Making Money As A Teacher]

by JOSE VILSON on AUGUST 6, 2013
Pay Teachers
Pay Teachers
Do you want to make money as a teacher? Of course you do.
You know how hard it is to make money as a teacher? We already work enough unpaid hours grading papers, calling parents, and writing lesson plans. Why not profit off of it?
These and other questions came up today because a frequent commenter asked me on my Facebook page what I thought about this topic. I said I’d leave it up to my folk on the Facebook page. You can read the comments for yourself. I liked most of the nuanced responses.
Before I give my own, here’s something to consider about this whole discussionTeachers are often asked to take the altruistic, heroic roles for whatever reason. It’s bad enough that we have too many pockets of society that say teachers get paid too much already
- See more at: http://thejosevilson.com/on-selling-your-lesson-plans-making-money-as-a-teacher/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheJoseVilson+%28The+Jose+Vilson%29#sthash.qYUcfNWM.dpuf

I ATTEMPT TO RAP | Teachers Fight Back

I ATTEMPT TO RAP | Teachers Fight Back:

I ATTEMPT TO RAP



It’s very important that older teachers find ways to relate to their younger students.  The same should be said about older and retired teachers when it comes to interacting with much younger teachers.  Younger teachers don’t seem to be too concerned about the teacher pension crisis in Illinois. Older teachers need to bring younger teachers on board when it comes to fighting hurtful pension reform. I am going to try and inspire younger teachers to join in the fight to protect  teacher pensions. What better way to get the attention of younger teachers than to articulate pension concerns by using a format that might appeal to young teachers?
While I abhor rap music and any form of rapping, I will attempt my own rapping if it will enlighten younger teachers about the pension crisis. Here goes my attempt to build rapport with younger teachers by rapping about pensions.
“The state stole your pension money, and that ain’t funny. Your golden years are now in tears. You live with your fears.
Don’t yield to Springfield, demand what’s due you, before they screw you. If the legislature goes too far, you’ll 

Diane in the Evening 8-6-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all #Cheats4Change

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:





ALEC Has a Stranglehold on Pennsylvania Legislature
Jodi Hirsh of Pittsburgh writes that ALEC has forty members in the Pennsylvania legislature, and many hold key positions. ALEC is the voice of major corporations, who oppose any sort of government regulations. She writes that: “House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, Senate Judiciary Chair Stewart Greenleaf, and House State Government Chair Daryl Metcalfe, as well as the Republican chairs of the Health

Amazon in Culture Clash in Germany Because of Anti-Union Policies
The New York Times reports that Amazon is involved in labor disputes in Germany, one of its biggest markets, because of Amazon’s antipathy to union labor. Germany has strong unions. Amazon eventually plans to bring in robots to do the work of people and fears that  unions will be an obstacle. Robots never form a union and don’t ask for higher wages, health care or pensions. The article says: Last

Jeff Bezos: Worse Than We Thought
Lee Fang, brilliant investigative journalist for The Nation, has looked closely at Jeff Bezos’ interest in education, and the news is bad. (Fang wrote this classic article about influence-peddling and corruption in the reform movement.) Bezos is throughly smitten with the idea that the way to improve education is to privatize public schools and to eliminate teachers’ unions. Fang writes: —The Bezo

Michigan: Snyder Declares Financial Emergency in Pontiac
Governor Rick Snyder declared a financial emergency in Pontiac, setting a course to name an emergency manager, with the powers to cancel all contracts and–if he or she chooses–to privatize the public schools and give them to charter corporations.  
LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 8-6-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:   What Will This Charter School Teach This Public School?New York State has this really big idea. It will spend $4.5 million so that top charter schools can teach ordinary public schools how to succeed. What secrets will the charter schools share with the less fortunate, less successful neighborhood public schools? Consider the exa

UPDATE: 3 Conversation Starters for the School Year | Connected Principals

3 Conversation Starters for the School Year | Connected Principals:


We Need to Know
cc flickr photo by azjd I began my teaching career at an inner-city school in downtown Phoenix.  For a young man who was from a very small town, in central Kansas, the diversity of the school was staggering — ethnically, economically, and academically.  While I was aware of families in need in our community, I had never been exposed to the level of poverty, and violence, that my downtown Phoenix s

3 Conversation Starters for the School Year

August 6, 2013
By 



Last year, as I documented some of the crucial things that we needed to discuss to further innovative practices in our school, I feel more prepared to have some crucial conversations in my role this year.  I wrote a few blog posts to help guide my own learning but I wanted to put them on one post as a focus for next year.
Below are some posts that I am hoping others can use as conversation starters with staff as they prepare for the 2013-2014 school year.
1.  Is your digital citizenship practice a pass or fail?
Several schools are looking at improving the opportunities for “digital citizenship” in schools, yet are sometimes missing crucial elements.  Blocked sites that can be beneficial to students take away from the “real world” that students live in outside of our schools.  Ignoring discussing “digital citizenship” in schools is also a disservice.
Hopefully, this rubrics is beneficial to see where your school is at, while also sparking some 

Statement on NCLB Waiver Approval - Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education)

Statement on NCLB Waiver Approval - Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education):

State Schools Chief Issues Statement on NCLB Waiver Approval



SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced conditional approval of No Child Left Behind waiver applications by eight California school districts:
"All California schools deserve relief from the unworkable mandates of No Child Left Behind, so it's noteworthy that a few districts have—temporarily at least—managed to navigate the complex waiver requirements imposed by the Administration," Torlakson said. "I continue to believe that Congress should make it a priority to revise NCLB, and that relief from the failings of federal policy should not be reserved only for those prepared to provide Washington an ever-expanding role in the operation of California's public schools.
"California is in the midst of a historic and positive transformation of its public schools, making new investments in our children and their futures, and completing that work successfully remains my top priority. Once the terms of these agreements are made available to the Department and the public, I will encourage the districts involved to collaborate closely with teachers and other stakeholders in devising a workable system of accountability and oversight."
# # # #
Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

 Face it...Tom Torlakson is No Tony Bennett!


Day 7: Mass arrest of singers in WI capitol, legislator and photographers threatened with arrest : blue cheddar

Day 7: Mass arrest of singers in WI capitol, legislator and photographers threatened with arrest : blue cheddar:

Day 7: Mass arrest of singers in WI capitol, legislator and photographers threatened with arrest

August 6, 2013
By 
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Photo Credit: Jenna Pope
Today was the 7th day of mass arrests in Wisconsin’s capitol building since July 24, 2013 when the mass arrests began.
I was not present, so I’ve compiled information from others:
According to WMTV, today August 6th, 22 people were cited for not having a permit and one of the 22 also got a disorderly conduct ticket.
A tally that Jason H. has been keeping shows that capitol cops have dispensed 168 citations and 6 misdemeanors to singalong participants since July 24th.

Web Learning 2.0: A Defense of Public Education

Web Learning 2.0: A Defense of Public Education:

A Defense of Public Education



What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.
—John Dewey, educational philosopher, The School and Society, 1907 
Politics is not the focus of this blog. But politics often invades everything. Over the weekend, Republican candidate for President, Rick Santorum, weighed in on public education:
“Yes the government can help,” Mr. Santorum added. “But the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools, is anachronistic. It goes back to the time of industrialization of America when people came off the farms where they did home-school or have the little neighborhood school, and into these big factories, so we built equal factories called public schools. And while those factories as we all know in Ohio and Pennsylvania have fundamentally changed, the factory school has not.” 

Oppel, Richard A. Santorum Questions Education System; Criticizes Obama, NYT February 18, 2012.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/us/politics/santorum-criticizes-education-system-and-obama.html

 While there are some anachronism in the current system of education -- (to name a few)
  • the requirement that students attend school only none months a year.
  • the idea that education comes in tidy bundles of minutes - carnegie units
  • the idea of school provided one-to-one computing,
there is no doubt that the idea of publicly funded and mandated education is an idea that still carries great weight in contemporary society.  I am not saying that we don't need to improve public education (we can discuss those improvements - like online education in later posts), put rather public schools are not anachronisms.

The Center on Educational Policy publication, Why We Still Need Public Schools, cites six missions of public education. Our schools:
  • Provide universal access to free education.
Public schools are the only way to assure that ALL  children have the benefits of education. The school choice movement is a movement toward the privatization of public schools. The idea that parents should have a choice in their children's education is a market-based argument. Market-based solutions, while providing an "efficient" outcome, do not always produce the best outcome. Market-based solutions assume that access to products is equal. Issues like transportation to and from schools are crucial parts of the decision.
[T]he fact remains that the whole country is directly interested in the education of every child that lives within its borders. The ignorance of any part of the American people so deeply concerns all the rest that there can be no doubt of the right to pass laws compelling the attendance of every child at school . . .
—Frederick Douglass, African American writer and abolitionist, speech at the National Convention of Colored Men, 1883
As an online teacher, one of my concerns about the online education programs is that online education can increasingly be privatized. Why is this a concern? Because as people make choices about education, I have seen parents choose an online educational program for their children based not on quality, but on the program that has lesser graduation requirements.

Local based education makes it possible for states and localities to emphasize local needs. National companies 

Parents United for Responsible Education » Blog Archive » Take Action!

Parents United for Responsible Education » Blog Archive » Take Action!:

Take Action!



What you can do about some of the hot issues in public education
Presented to Education for Democracy plenary for Democracy Convention, Madison WI, August 7, 2013 by Julie Woestehoff, PURE and Parents Across America
  • Track federal ESEA reauthorization (PURE and PAA have news services to help you – see below). The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) expired in 2007 but Congress has yet to agree on how to fix it. Unfortunately, the “bipartisan” take on education looks a lot like the corporate reform version – charter schools, parent “choice,” testing. Please see PAA’s charts comparing the Republican House and Senate Democratic proposals (attached). Experts we listen to do not think an agreement is possible in the next year or two, but it is still important to inform and influence your representatives. Proposals or parts of proposals that are in the works now can end up as federal law.
  • Watch out in your own state for some of the following (PAA news lists will help with this – see below):
    • Parent trigger and other “parent empowerment” laws
    • Voucher bills
    • Final mandates for test-based teacher evaluation
    • State boards of education agreeing to share confidential student data without parental consent
    • Other testing mandates related to the Common Core
  • Join PURE’s news list: http://pureparents.org/?page_id=40 or just use the link at the top of our web site home page, www.pureparents.org. You will receive regular posts – news, opinion, and a weekly action alert for Chicago and/or the nation.
  • Join Parents Across America’s newsletter list: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/sign-up/ or click on “Take Action” at the top of our home page, www.parentsacrossamerica.org. You will receive a weekly newsletter with updates about PAA and our chapters and affiliates, and a weekly action alert. Join the PAA News listfor regular news and updates on education: Send an e-mail to PAAnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
  • Consider starting a PAA chapter. Chapter leaders should be current or former public school parents. Details here: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/join-us/
  • Why would anyone who cares about public schools shop at WalMart? When you shop at WalMart and other businesses, your money ends up paying Michelle Rhee, Teach for America, and fat cat charter school operators. Boycott them and spread the word!
  • Sign the National Resolution on High Stakes Testing (http://timeoutfromtesting.org/nationalresolution/). If you belong to a group, have them endorse it, too.
- See more at: http://pureparents.org/?p=20803#sthash.PReRlCMl.dpuf

How they’ve been taking the public and education out of public education
handout for the Democracy Convention, August 7, 2013 * Julie Woestehoff  Downloadable pdf here. Also, please see companion piece, “Take Action! What you can do about some of the hot issues in public education” You know them – Gates. Rhee, Walton, Broad, Pritzker, ALEC, Bloomberg, Daley, Emanuel, our state and Congressional legislators (Republicans and Democrats), Duncan and, yes, President Obama.

Fighting Budget Cuts, North Carolina Educators Dig In For the Long Haul | NEA Today

Fighting Budget Cuts, North Carolina Educators Dig In For the Long Haul | NEA Today:

Fighting Budget Cuts, North Carolina Educators Dig In For the Long Haul

August 6, 2013 by twalker  
Filed under Featured NewsState NewsTop Stories
By Brenda Álvarez
Schools may still be out for the summer in North Carolina, but thousands of educators in the Tar Heel State have spent much of July and August rallying in opposition to devastating cuts to public education. Teachers, support staff, parents, and school administrators have come out in droves in massive public protests, and many have gone tojail over it, too.
Governor Pat McCrory’s state budget guts half a billion dollars from schools, leaving fewer teachers, textbooks, supplies and school busses to support a growing student population, and—without a pay increase—a faltering education profession.
“Education cuts never heal,” said Amy Harrison, a special education teacher in Guilford County. “We may not see the immediate effects of these cuts this year or the next, but 10 to 15 years down the road when students are in college or entering the workforce that’s when we’ll see them.”
What will be immediate are the 9,000 education positions that will be purged, along with the cap on class sizes and more than 10,000 Pre-K slots and the cap on class sizes.
Protests have been organized by the NAACP every Monday since late April. Called Moral Mondays, these marches have drawn thousands of people from across the state and have given educators a platform to tell 

Choosing Democracy: House of Cards Episode 1 - "Broad's Academy of Power"

Choosing Democracy: House of Cards Episode 1 - "Broad's Academy of Power":


House of Cards Episode 1 - "Broad's Academy of Power"




In this, episode 1 of the Badass Teacher’s House of Card Series, Eli Broad’s ideals and his intentions for the Public School System in America are exposed. Don’t believe the rhetoric and propaganda, instead do YOUR homework and follow the money trail.
Is Broad a Public School Bully in his own back yard?
http://articles.philly.com/2013-04-30…

Broad’s indoctrination of superintendents and state school officers:
http://www.substancenews.net/articles…
http://thebroadreport.blogspot.com/p/… [click on the year to see who graduated from Broad Academy]
Eli Broad and the LA Times:
http://blogs.kcrw.com/whichwayla/2013…

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
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Latest News and Comment from Education