Monday, December 30, 2013

Open Letters To ‘B-List’ Reformers I Know. Part 2: Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Open Letters To ‘B-List’ Reformers I Know. Part 2: Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer | Gary Rubinstein's Blog:

Open Letters To ‘B-List’ Reformers I Know. Part 2: Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer




On February 12, 2013, founder and long time CEO of TFA, Wendy Kopp, stepped down.  Two new co-CEOs were appointed, Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer. Elisa was a 1998 corps member and Matt had never taught.  Both were working as very high administrative positions in TFA before this recent promotion.
I was pretty surprised by this announcement.  I did not expect Wendy to ever not be the CEO of Teach For America.  I was also puzzled that neither of the new co-CEOs were required to relocate to be near the national headquarters in New York City.
Over the past four months they have co-written three blog posts on the ‘Pass The Chalk’ site which had points of view that I definitely object to.  The first was about a bogus study ‘proving’ that certain TFA teachers teach significantly more than their non-TFA counterparts (I analyzed that report here).  The second was about a bogus interpretation of the recent NAEP gains ‘proving’ that corporate reform strategies are working (I wrote about NAEP ‘gains’ here). The third was about their support for the common core (Me and others have written a bunch about the problems with the common core).
I’ve ‘followed’ them both on Twitter and also had an opportunity to meet them both at the national TFA headquarters this past spring.  I was invited to participate in a round table discussion with other TFA alumni at the New York City stop of the ‘listening tour’ that Elisa and Matt went on when they began their new positions.
Before the meeting I greeted both of them.  During the meeting, I had a chance to speak to the group, and I tried to use my time efficiently.  Matt commented that he reads this blog, which was nice to know.  After the meeting, I first approached Elisa and said something simple like, “It was nice to meet you.”  Then when I was saying good bye to Matt, who was a few feet away 

Fire the teacher who told student we don't need another black... | Get Schooled | www.ajc.com

Fire the teacher who told student we don't need another black... | Get Schooled | www.ajc.com:

Get Schooled
Posted: 9:51 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30, 2013

Fire the teacher who told student we don't need another black president 

Teachers ought to build up students, not tear them down.
Teachers ought to build up students, not tear them down.
Several of you suggested we discuss the teacher in Ohio suspended without pay for allegedly telling an African-American student, “We don’t need another black president.”
Here’s my view: Fire the teacher. (That appears to be in the works.)
I don’t lightly endorse stripping a teacher of his livelihood, but this guy is in the wrong profession. It's inexcusable that in response to a student expressing a desire to someday be president of the United States, he reportedly says, “We don’t need another black president." (Other students witnessed and confirmed the classroom exchange.)
No parents would want their kids in that classroom. This was overt racism – direct, nasty and repugnant in any setting but horrifying in a classroom. There are no free speech issues at stake here. Under the law, a teacher cannot make discriminatory statements based upon race, creed, religion or national origin. In any workplace, speech can be limited. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean employees are free to make discriminatory or harassing comments.
This teacher would also face censure if a female student announced her dream was to be on the 

Schooling in the Ownership Society: Billionaire hedge-funder and charter supporter Cohen tops Forbes 2013 scandal list

Schooling in the Ownership Society: Billionaire hedge-funder and charter supporter Cohen tops Forbes 2013 scandal list:

Billionaire hedge-funder and charter supporter Cohen tops Forbes 2013 scandal list

Cohen tops Forbes Scandal List
Net Worth: $9.4 billion
Nationality: American
Source of Wealth: SAC Capital Advisors (hedge fund)
What happened:  Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors in November pleaded guilty to insider trading violations while agreeing to pay a $1.2 billion penalty and to stop managing money for outside investors. The U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, described insider trading at SAC as “substantial, pervasive and on a scale without precedent in the history of hedge funds.” 

Back in July, I posted about scandal-ridden billionaire hedge-funder Stephen Cohen and revealed his ties to corporate reform and charter schools. I wrote then that Cohen and his wife Alexandria, turn out to be big players in the charter school world.
Through their tax-sheltered family foundation, they have given $35 million to "school choice" projects and more than $10 million over the last six years to Achievement First, Charter Network,as a way of pushing the development of  charter schools across Connecticut. Cohen, who strikes me as anything but a Robin Hood, is also on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, which helped spawn 

Our Thinking Has to Change | Connected Principals

Our Thinking Has to Change | Connected Principals:

Our Thinking Has to Change

thinking
This is a bit of a rant…
This morning I was pinged on a tweet sharing the article, “Why new technologies could never replace great teaching“.  For some reason, I was up early and read the article and then was WIDE AWAKE.  Along with the author, I have a strong belief in the teaching profession.  That being said, I believe that educators should in many ways be leading the world, not trying to catch up to it.  How many businesses look to what education is doing?  How often is it the other way around?
One of the quotes from the article really caught my attention:
Put at its simplest, if future models of learning means encouraging young people to spend prolonged periods in front of faceless computer screens, exposed to largely unregulated material in an inherently unsafe environment, then that is clearly not the way forward.
Wow…a lot of assumptions made there.  Let’s break it down a bit.
There are a lot of people that are spending a lot of time on computers and connecting with people.  It is becoming normal that kids and adults, are using social media to talk to PEOPLE, not simply look at things that can’t interact back.  In fact, those people on the other side of the computer actually do have faces, and kids and adults are actually making connections with them.  So much in fact in education, that conferences are starting to change their formatting in many places to allow for networking time.  Not to create time to connect with people that you don’t know, but to talk to people 

Nite Cap 12-30-13 #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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YESTERDAY

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