Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 9th –The Day for a Single Spark | United Opt Out National

December 9th –The Day for a Single Spark | United Opt Out National:

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DECEMBER 9TH –THE DAY FOR A SINGLE SPARK



UOO


December 9th is a day for reclaiming public education through community vision and action
A Single Spark….ignites a fire of educational change. Because our children can’t wait.
One classroom at a time, one school at a time, we can alter the landscape of public education. By now, many of us are well versed in what is wrong with current education reform policies. We find national imposition of common core standards, infusion of corporate interests, and abuse of high stakes testing to be questionable practices that harm our children and our schools.
But what do we want?
As part of the National Day of Action(see www.otlcampaign.org/sites/default/files/Updated-List-of-Events.pdf for list of national event) United Opt Out invites local school communities all over the country to participate in The Single Spark campaign, an effort launched as part of the Dec. 9th National Day of Action and continuing into spring 2014 where UOO will be in Denver, CO working with local community advocates. A one-size-fits-all solution does not work! But we can begin with a shared vision or set of guidelines. We encourage parents, teachers, and community activists to bring these twelve ideas to their PTA, community organizations, or their elected officials and begin the work of reclaiming public education – now. Because our children cannot wait.
Twelve ideals we should demand – we should CREATE – for public education:
1) Revise how we fund public education. Serving children on the basis of whether they come from a rich or poor neighborhood based on taxes does not work. Neither does evading the difficult problems of poverty and segregation by closing schools and funneling money to charter schools outside of their communities. All communities should have full and equitable funding to provide the needed infrastructure to support all of its public schools. This includes additional support for community resources and wrap around services as determined by the needs of the community itself.
2) Size matters! Part of the funding issue (#1) includes having resources needed to maintain small class sizes for all grade levels, and additional staffing as needed.
3) Full staffing for all schools. All schools will be staffed with adequate numbers of highly qualified and unionized teachers (not TFA), teachers’ assistants, librarians, nurses, social workers, and other personnel deemed necessary by the community.
4) A fully inclusive range of creative subjects. Regular availability of art, music, PE, drama, dance, and other creative endeavors must be an integrated part of every school curricula.
5) The full funding for and inclusion of athletics, after-school programs, lunch, and recess. They are vital for the social, emotional, and physical development of children and must be built into their everyday routines. We must focus on building wrap-around programs and “in put” toward communities, health, recreation, and employment services and less on “out put” that is based on test scores.
6) Course content and teaching methods emphasizing a diverse range of perspectives, needs, and voices that embody the diverse fabric of our society. Such curricula include far more than the traditional narratives of dominant voices, but also includes stories, values, and perspectives of those who have historically been silenced or marginalized by the oppressive stream of history. Such content and methods not only encourage multiple learning styles that honor individual differences of each child but also engages students to be active citizens in a democratic society.
7) Demand that curriculum be selected based on the needs of the community. They must be shaped by children’s various and individual developmental, social, emotional, and intellectual needs. Let local and state entities decide on reasonable standards. We must demand that federal mandates about curricular decisions be eliminated. The goal is to meet children where they’re at and take them where they want to go.
8) Elimination of all high stakes standardized testing. Competition, punishment, and fear, driven by biased and unreliable tests reduce experience to over-simplified “right or wrong” factoids, and children to a number. Refuse to measure your child, or your child’s school by faulty numbers. Refuse to use tests as a way to eliminate great teachers who are faced with challenging classrooms. Refuse to punish children by forcing them into “test driven” instruction.
9) Include meaningful systems for assessment and evaluation such as portfolios and project-based learning. If we have smaller class sizes and meaningful instruction, teachers and schools will be able to create purposeful and useful assessments of the learning for EACH child. No one ever asks high priced private schools that do not use high stakes testing how THEY know what the children have learned. A model for evaluation used by $50,000- a- year- tuition private schools should be good enough for all our schools!
10) Elimination of corporate interests in “funding” their right to promote their agenda for public education. Our children cannot be bought and schools cannot be sold. Know any millionaires out there that want to donate to a new playground with no strings attached? Great. The rest of them must stay the hell out of policy including what and how we choose to teach our children.
11) Demand that your schools board be comprised of elected officials. And then be active in campaigning for them and know the election process for those people who SUPPORT your schools! Around the country, in larger cities, school boards are being bought by billionaires or handpicked through mayoral control and are populated by corporate CEO’s who have their own self-serving interests.
12) Be informed about the “choice” policies coming to your district! Vouchers and corporate-sponsored charter schools claim to provide “choice” to children, but the reality is that the monies going to these efforts are draining the resources that would otherwise go to building sustainable public schools. Many of these policies are aimed at eliminating a public school system in favor of a privatized one. If we make our public schools great, we won’t need vouchers and charters to replace them!
These ideas are not luxuries. They are necessities. If we continue to evade and deny our own children the fundamental rights to these opportunities, we will surely perish a divided, and intellectually, economically and emotionally impoverished people.

The Educated Reporter: Bracing for PISA: How Do America's Public Schools Compare Internationally?

The Educated Reporter: Bracing for PISA: How Do America's Public Schools Compare Internationally?:

MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013

Bracing for PISA: How Do America's Public Schools Compare Internationally?




The latest results of PISA -- an international assessment often used to compare the quality of the nation's public schools against other developed countries -- will be released Tuesday. That makes today the day to keep one particular word in mind: perspective.

My EWA colleague Mikhail Zinshteyn put together a useful primer on PISA, which is overseen by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). I encourage you to read it ahead of tomorrow's headlines. For more on PISA's limitations, and why broad-brush comparisons among countries don't contribute much to the conversation on America's educational equity and achievement gaps, check out Eduwonk Andy Rotherham's 2011 piece for Time.

We held a webinar a few weeks ago for reporters to talk more about PISA with Andreas Schleicher, the OECD's education director, as well as Mark Tucker of the 

12-1-13 Seattle Schools Community Forum

Seattle Schools Community Forum:






Seattle Schools This Week
A bit of an exciting week as the district welcomes two new Board members.Also FYI, the district is looking for members for its School Wellness Task Force.Seattle Public Schools is seeking members for a Task Force to review, revise, monitor, communicate and evaluate policies and procedures governing school food, competitive foods, nutrition education, physical education and physical activity. The T


11-30-13 Seattle Schools Community Forum Week
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Teacher Pension Fund Non-Crisis: Draconian Cuts are NOT Necessary | Reclaim Reform

Teacher Pension Fund Non-Crisis: Draconian Cuts are NOT Necessary | Reclaim Reform:

Teacher Pension Fund Non-Crisis: Draconian Cuts are NOT Necessary

Please email and call Monday, Dec. 2nd, to stop the political “final solution” to cut active and retired teacher pensions by Illinois legislators. (See the bottom of this page.) Other state employees are also targeted for cuts.
The teachers’ pensions in Illinois are depriving starving children from food, closing preschool programs and denying medical care for babies – according to the political propaganda by corporate financed bipartisan institutes, corporate media giants, and corporate owned politicos.
This is lunacy talk. Most people see through this savage farce.
Dec pension attack
Unfortunately, many people have been subjected to so much fear mongering that they believe “something should be done.” Well, first we all need to listen to what the legislative leaders themselves say about this entire destructive farce-crisis.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (recently) said that the state’s massive public employee pension debt is not a “crisis,” but instead an issue being pushed by business-backed groups seeking lower income taxes at the expense of retiree benefits.
People really misunderstand the nature of this whole problem. Quite frankly, I don’t 

Back in New York With the Same Passion, but to Less Fire and Smoke - NYTimes.com

Back in New York With the Same Passion, but to Less Fire and Smoke - NYTimes.com:

Back in New York With the Same Passion, but to Less Fire and Smoke



Rudy Crew, little seen in these parts since the turn of the century, blew back into town a few months ago with a desire, he said, to “stay below the radar.”
Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times
“There’s simply a quiet narrative. The drumbeat and suspicion and expectation and so forth are much more sublimated.”- Rudy Crew, president of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.

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“I’m a quieter person,” Dr. Crew, the new president of Medgar Evers College in central Brooklyn, said recently over breakfast. “I don’t necessarily need all of the hoopla and fanfare that came with coming here in ’95.”
If hoopla and fanfare were a waterfall, the one that accompanied Dr. Crew in 1995 qualified as Niagara.
He arrived in New York City to run the public schools, with just about everyone wondering how he would get along with the other Rudy, the one in charge of City Hall,Rudolph W. Giuliani. Would they hit it off? Or would Dr. Crew become, as he put it, “another chancellor going to be run out of Dodge” by a my-way-or-the-highway mayor?
For a while, the two Rudys fared splendidly, sharing drinks and cigars. Then came the crash. The mayor Rudy avidly supported school vouchers. The chancellor Rudy found them an unwelcome diversion of public money. The split grew bitter, then irreparable. Just before Christmas 1999, Dr. Crew was sent packing.
It would not be his only brush with controversy. After leaving New York, he was the schools superintendent in Miami, from 2004 to 2008; there, he had successes but also 
For New York City’s Charter Schools, a Lesson on Paying Rent
The Bronx Community Charter School could be a model if Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio follows through on his proposal to charge charter schools for space.    
Austin Journal: Closing a Fear Gap So Children Can Achieve
Montserrat Garibay, a teacher, is hoping to shrink the stark achievement gap in schools disproportionately populated by the children of immigrants by addressing fears of deportation.    


Reflections on Teaching » What’s going on behind the curtains in Sacramento City USD

Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » What’s going on behind the curtains in Sacramento City USD:

What’s going on behind the curtains in Sacramento City USD


News leaked out over the holiday week that locally our own Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) outside counsel Lozano and Smith principal, Lou Lozano, will be doing a presentation with school board member Darrel Woo, and outgoing Superintendent Jonathan Raymond sharing how they subverted seniority rights during rounds of massive layoffs in recent years. The presentation will take place at the California School Boards Association conference where they will be teaching their tricks to other districts.
After sharing this on Facebook, Larry Ferlazzo, whose Luther Burbank High School was especially hard-hit by the skipping, left the following comment:
 Shades of Edelman’s workshop at Aspen bragging about their manipulation of the political process. Just as that came back to haunt Stand For Children, this workshop will haunt district/teacher relations….
Larry is referencing an event a few years back when the edublogosphere’s collective jaw dropped as a video showing Jonah Edelman at the Aspen Institute revealing “sausage-making secrets practiced in Illinois” to try to make it impossible for the Chicago Teachers Union from striking by requiring any strike authorization vote from union members pass by a 75% margin. You can see the video, and analysis from Anthony Cody here. It was a rare moment where we got to peek behind the curtain of so-called education “reform”.
In the case of Edelman, this brought him and his organization, a lot of harsh comments and scrutiny. It was also was resoundingly unsuccessful is stopping Chicago teachers from striking, as when they did hold a strike 

Nite Cap 12-1-13 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2

James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP



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Pope Francis Wins!Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economic theories in critique of inequalityBy Zachary A. Goldfarb and Michelle Boorstein, Published: November 26 E-mail the writersPope Francis on Tuesday sharply criticized growing economic inequality and unfettered markets in a wide-ranging and decidedly populist teaching that revealed how he plans to reshape the Catholic Church.In his most
2nd Banana 11-30-13 Recap of Last Week's Best Post #EDchat #EDreform #RealEdTalk #p2 #1u
BIG EDUCATION APE 2ND BANANARECAP OF LAST WEEK'S BEST POSTNationalize the Walton Family Wealth on #BlackFriday | OccupyWallSt.orgNationalize the Walton Family Wealth on #BlackFriday | OccupyWallSt.org: Nationalize the Walton Family Wealth on #BlackFridayPosted 2 hours ago on Nov. 24, 2013, 1:37 p.m. EST by OccupyWallStTags: nationalize wealth, walmart, black fridayThe Walton Family is collectively
Morning Wink 11-30-13 AM Posts #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2
BIG EDUCATION APE - MORNING WINK  AM POSTS mark as readOregon charter school founders Tim King, Norm Donohoe agree to repay state $475,000, are forever banned from charter school operations in Oregon | OregonLive.com21min How Philadelphia’s School Crisis Crushes Opportunity: Money and Stability Matter | janressegerHow Philadelphia’s School Crisis Crushes Opportunity: Money and Stability Matter | j

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