The chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Schools has asked the state education commissioner, the state attorney general, and the state comptroller to coordinate an investigation into the state’s operation of the Newark school district. He asked many of these questions before–and, so far, the Christie Administration and its legislative allies, including Democrats, have stonewalled his efforts and covered up the possible violations of law.
State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex), in a 10-page letter to the state officials, lists scores of detailed questions he wants answered about the Newark district’s proposed $53 million deficit, the hiring of consultants, the granting of raises to top aides of the state-appointed school superintendent, the operation of the district’s “One Newark” enrollment plan,possible business connections between public officials and private entrepreneurs, the lack of state oversight over her spending and travel practices, the treatment of special education students, and possible conflicts of interest involving the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) that has awarded more than $100 million in construction funds to Newark charter schools.
Rice has twice demanded state-appointed superintendent Cami Anderson appear before his committee to answer the questions but she blew off his invitations twice—including when she traveled to California to attend a conference, part of her disappearance from Newark in the run-up to the mayoral election.
“The lack of information, transparency, and accountability by Superintendent Cami Anderson and her administrators has raised much concern by the public regarding the sale of the 18the Avenue School building, the ‘One Newark’ plan, the igh salaries and raised provided to her staff, her relationship with consultants as well as the superintendent’s continuous travel out of state to conferences rather than being in the district to address the problems of the Newark Public Schools,” Rice wrote.
For five months, Rice has asked these questions and they have been reported in the media–including, at times, the main-stream media. Clearly, state education The Cami cover-up | Bob Braun's Ledger:
Labor Groups Petition Arne Duncan To Dump Sallie Mae
A prominent student group and the nation’s largest labor federation are among organizations with close ties to the White House demanding that the Department of Education terminate its contract with the student loan company formerly known as Sallie Mae.
The AFL-CIO, United States Student Association, American Federation of Teachersand other advocacy groups in recent days have called on their members to sign anonline petition urging Education Secretary Arne Duncan to sever Navient Corp.’s lucrative contract to collect monthly payments on federal student loans after federal authorities accused the company of cheating soldiers. Sallie Mae recently split itself into two companies, Navient and Sallie Mae Bank.
The involvement of the AFL-CIO, an ally of the White House and the Democratic Party, opens a new political front in student advocates’ campaign to force Duncan to hold Navient accountable.
“The Department of Education shouldn't be in business with companies like Sallie Mae that break the law, and I don't want my taxpayer dollars supporting such a company,” the petition states. “I urge you to not turn a blind eye to these disreputable practices. Please take these matters seriously by ending your agency's contract and business dealings with Sallie Mae at once.”
Last week, the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. accused Sallie Mae and its former loan unit, Navient, of intentionally violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act for years by overcharging active-duty troops beginning in 2005. The FDIC also said Sallie Mae and Navient illegally processed borrowers’ monthly student loan payments in a way that maximized late fees.
The organizations’ joint petition, which has garnered more than 50,000 signatures and was organized by the nonprofit Jobs With Justice, threatens to ratchet up pressure on Duncan to penalize Navient.
The Education Department last fall told Sallie Mae it intended to renew its contract(now held by Navient), even though federal investigators a few months earlier had discovered evidence that the company had violated the servicemembers law. Breaking the law constitutes a breach of the company’s contract with the Education Department.
John White’s “Statewide Trends” of LEAP Supposed to be Publicized on May 27
May 22, 2014
When Louisiana State Superintendent John White withheld the Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP) scores on Friday, May 16, 2014– the day that these scores were supposed to be released, he chose to wait until midday to contact the schools.
White offered no reason for the delay. However, by now, it is no secret that scores for White’s pet project, predominately-charter Recovery School District (RSD), were likely the reason for the delay.
On May 19, 2014, White issued a district newsletter that opened with a message from him. Here is that message, in full:
In the body of this weekly email you will find instructions regarding 2014 LEAP, iLEAP, and LAA 2 results. The results are now available in the secure LEAPWeb portal, and you may access them at this time.
Every year, the Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy holds a candle lighting to honor victims and survivors of crime in the Philadelphia area. This year the PCVA felt it especially important to incorporate a youth portion to the event. PCVA, Victim Witness Services of South Philadelphia (VWSSP), Asians American United (AAU), and youth from Science Leadership Academy (SLA) decided to reflect about what violence means to youth. Youth are impacted by violence everyday – in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our homes. Statistics show that 42% of people victimized in 2006 were under the age of 25. But I don’t want to limit this to just physical violence. It also means exposure to violence, exposure to tragedy or harassment.
VWSSP and youth at SLA did a poll earlier this month to get an overview of what types of violence young people are exposed to and how it has impacted the lives of students. It was overwhelming how many young people have been affected by violence and don’t feel safe in our communities. On the other hand in many ways violence has been completely normalized to youth. We heard young people talk about bullying like it was a rite of passage. We heard young people talking about fighting and retaliation and snitching like those were normal things.
VWSSP and myself decided to create a survey to give youth an opportunity to voice their opinions on safety, violence and their communities. Here are a couple of responses from the survey:
“I feel as if the violence in Philadelphia has changed the way Philadelphia looks at their youth. Not all of us contribute to the crime in Philadelphia and we should not be treated as if we do. Even if it just for precaution. They think that anywhere we go there is going to be a fight or flash mob. Some of us would just like to get lunch after school without having to be in the liberty place by a certain time, or else we aren’t allowed in.”
“I think that violence can be directly related to ignorance and the way people are being formed in this city. Not only can the lack of education affect the future generation but it has been affecting this generation greatly.”
BASED ON ED REPORTER HOWARD BLUME's TWITTER FEED, A MAJOR STORY IS COMING FROM THE LA TIMES: @howardblume: ●Next week's meeting of school bond oversight committee has new agenda item: Stuart Magruder, the nominee Board of Ed wouldn't approve. ●Current & former committee members say L.A. Unified exceeded authority by blocking Magruder from panel overseeing spending of bond $s. ●Some LAUSD officials say they had right to reject Magruder, the nominee of architects assn. He's a vocal critic of $1billion+ iPad effort. ●Bond Committee apparently not giving in to district. They'll take up matter first off at meeting next week.
NOTE TO THE LAUSD BOARD: What part of “Independent Oversight” is so hard to understand?
WITNESS THE WITLESSNESS YOURSELF: http://bit.ly/RfEbM9Start it at 8:30, turn your volume up and pay more attention to the words and actions of the members who are OFF mic, rather than the ones who are ON-mic, right up to the point where Ms Galatzan says, "Jeff, I'm confused."
May 21st, 2014, 5:38pm :: The architect tossed off a Los Angeles Unified School District oversight committee Tuesday is fighting to be reinstated.
The school board voted to remove Stuart Magruder, an outspoken critic of the district's iPad program, from a list of renewal appointments on the committee that oversees how bond funds are spent. Those voter-approved bonds have been the principal funding source for Superintendent John Deasy's $1 billion one-to-one tablet initiative.
School officials have said bond funds can be spent on technology upgrades.
But Magruder said voters clearly meant for the $19 billion loans to be used to maintain and build schools, not to buy "the modern equivalent of pencils and paper." He said his ouster was political retribution.
"It drastically calls into question the independence of the committee," he said in an interview.
On Wednesday, the American Institute of Architects asked the school board — nicely — to reconsider his reappointment, given that the committee's founding documents give the institute to a guaranteed seat on the committee.
Quite a few people who reacted to my post (see below) thought it was real. It wasn't. It was an attempt at satire. Part of its failure was my fault, for not making it clear that it was satire. And part was the situation we are now living in, a situation so bizarre that this kind of announcement is believable. The reaction confirms Alfie Kohn's statement: In education, satire is now obsolete.
The post was inspired by the news that 69% of Californians said they liked the Common Core standards after hearing a brief statement about them. The statement said only that they "are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school have the knowledge and skills they need to enter college programs or the workforce." I'm surprised anybody would object.
I owe more than a hat-tip to Andy Borowitz, who writes amazing political satire. Follow him on borowitzreport.com.
OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR THE COMMON CORE!!!
There is now no doubt: Americans overwhelmingly support the common core. In a poll organized by the Pearson Publishing Company, 96% strongly agreed with the statement, "Schools should teach important things." By a wide margin, those surveyed also agreed that "teachers should help students learn stuff."
This is NOT about political parties and ideological differences. This is about children, schools, teachers, pensions, hotels, basketball, real estate, stocks, hedge funds and everything else where money can be made corruptly.
Who are the players in the wholesale destruction of public schools, public services and all forms of democratic government?
Billionaire Kenneth Griffin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley (D), convicted felon and ex-Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich (D), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (R), Political Propagandist Karl Rove (R), Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D), billionaire Illinois republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (R) and a list of outwardly diverse players who in reality serve the American Gods of Greed – including the Koch Brothers.
“Keep in mind–TIFs divert property tax dollars from public schools that are so dead broke many of them can’t afford to buy basic supplies, like toilet paper. Moreover, the mayor is earmarking money to build the Marriott at the very moment he says he has to jack up property taxes and cut payments to pensioners because the city can’t afford to make good on its pension obligations.”
“In short, the city claims it doesn’t have money for its school children or retirees, but it somehow has plenty of cash to enrich a hotel corporation – one that just so happens to be part owned by the hedge fund of the mayor’s largest contributors.”
Newark Students Occupy School Board Meeting | National Opportunity to Learn Campaign | Education Reform for Equity and Opportunity: Newark Students Occupy School Board MeetingPosted on: Thursday May 22nd, 2014Newark, NJ, is a city at a crossroads. For the past several years under the direction of state-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson, the school district has followed the national trend of r
Glenn Beck's Angry and Ignorant Book About Common Core | Diane Ravitch: Glenn Beck's Angry and Ignorant Book About Common CorePosted: 05/21/2014 5:16 pm EDT Updated: 05/21/2014 5:59 pm EDTPrint ArticleOver the years, we have seen a steady dumbing down of American culture, especially in the mass media. Whether newspapers, radio, or television, we have lost many of our well-educated, cultured, well-
Creating a Better Tomorrow Today in the Middle Level: Lessons from Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers — Whole Child Education: THE WHOLE CHILD BLOGCreating a Better Tomorrow Today in the Middle Level: Lessons from Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles ClippersMay 22, 2014 by Dru TomlinMost of us know the story by now. Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was recen
CURMUDGUCATION: Flunking GeographyIf you want to find the grubby handprints of Rich People on education, look at the issue of geography.It has become fashionable for Reformsters to decry the influence of geography, to say that students should not be stuck with a school based on zip code, that community schools are quaint and all, but their time has passed. From Denver to Newark, Reformsters are ta
Schools Matter: A Prelude to TN Bonus Pay ReportFrom a clip in the Memphis Commercial Appeal:The retention bonusTennessee offered last year to keep strong teachers in low-performing schools likely was a factor for more than 70 teachers who signed on for another year in inner-city schools, most of them in Memphis.Of the 365 teachers that took the state up on the offer, 20 percent of them are more l
Sweeping New Bill Seeks To Help Students With Disabilities, But It May Not Go Far Enough: Sweeping New Bill Seeks To Help Students With Disabilities, But It May Not Go Far EnoughSen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) speaks at an event in the Capitol Visitor Center to call on the minimum wage to be increased to $10.10 per hour. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) | Tom Williams via Getty Images The bipartisan
Tennessee Commissioner Huffman’s Accountability Immunity |:Tennessee Commissioner Huffman’s Accountability Immunity Following up on my most recent post, about the video capturing Tennessee’s Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman’s “Inspiring” TEDxNashville Talk, a VAMboozled! follower sent me a follow-up article linked here, “about the nightmare schools here in Tennessee have had with big testing/d
empathyeducates – Enforcing School Dress Codes Teaches Girls to be Ashamed, Not ‘Modest’: Enforcing School Dress Codes Teaches Girls to be Ashamed, Not ‘Modest’We need to stop telling girls that their existence is problematic to men. Photograph: AlamyBy Jessica Valenti | Originally Published at The Guardian. May 21, 2014Dress codes assume that male students’ education needs to be protected. What g
Test Score Gate – for John White, Failure was not an option | Crazy Crawfish's Blog: Crazy Crawfish's BlogZesty Louisiana Education PoliticsTest Score Gate – for John White, Failure was not an optionPosted on May 22, 20140I first learned about the Test Score Gate Friday May 16th while I was investigating some LODE payroll fraud, textbook kickback, using grants to reward allies and as bribes, and a
Answer Sheet: Guess how many memos USDA sent to schools about healthy school lunches?Federally funded school lunches have been in the news because Republicans in the U.S. House just voted to allow some schools to get a waiver from a law that requires lunches served to students to meet new health standards. Why? Apparently some schools can’t make enough money serving healthy foods because kids don’
Massachusetts Teachers Association Takes On High Stakes Tests, School Takeovers - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher: Massachusetts Teachers Association Takes On High Stakes Tests, School TakeoversBy Anthony Cody on May 22, 2014 10:45 AMOn Tuesday I shared news from Connecticut teachers who had succeeded in passing resolutions pushing back on high stakes testing and the Common Core. This
LA School Report - What's Really Going on Inside LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District): Morning Read: Racial tensions rise at Watts middle schoolRacial tensions are rising at Watts middle school Fanning racial tensions at a Watts middle school, several African American parents asserted Wednesday that Latino administrators are unfairly targeting their children and unofficially suspending them
SCOTUS on high-stakes tests: They “eradicate” “insidious” “racism” | Cloaking Inequity: SCOTUS on high-stakes tests: They “eradicate” “insidious” “racism”It has been common knowledge for a long time that high-stakes tests have a disparate impact on students of color. What is interesting about high-stakes testing is that proponents recently reframed the gap in the NCLB-era from being from discrimin
Seattle Schools Community Forum: State Releases Audit of Seattle Schools' Federal ProgramsState Auditor Troy Keller released his office's report on SPS's "financial statements and compliance with federal laws and regulations."It's a lengthy report but that is because it contains page after page of district financial reports. It makes for interesting reading if you have the time. Page
Wait What?: Wait What? Democratic State Central Committee’s legacy of using donations to fight pro-public education DemocratsOne of the newer Wait, What? readers raised a question in the comment section of the blog this week. They took offense when one of the blog’s longest standing, and most respected readers, realsaramerica pointed out that Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy and the State Democrats d
Teacher Tenure / Continuing Contract database: Related Analysis50-State Reports on Teacher Tenure / Continuing Contract Policies1. Requirements for earning nonprobationary status2. Notification of nonrenewal and hearing3. Appeal forum4. Other continuing contract provisions forum5. Reasons for dismissal6. Reduction in force7. Last known revisionRelated ReportsTrends in State Teacher Tenure LawsTeac
BIG EDUCATION APE - MORNING WINK AM POSTSBeware the Robo-Grader | Truth in American EducationBeware the Robo-Grader | Truth in American Education: Beware the Robo-GraderFiled in Common Core Assessments by Shane Vander Hart on May 22, 2014 • 0 Comments1A friend drew my attention to an op/ed in theBoston Globe about something Pearson was developing in order to grade the essay section of the PARCC e
Beware the Robo-Grader | Truth in American Education: Beware the Robo-GraderFiled in Common Core Assessments by Shane Vander Hart on May 22, 2014 • 0 Comments1A friend drew my attention to an op/ed in theBoston Globe about something Pearson was developing in order to grade the essay section of the PARCC exam – a robo-reader. If you think this idea is a disaster in the making the author of the op/e
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: Rick Cohen: What Happened to Zuckerberg’s $100 Million?Rick Cohen admired an article in The Néw Yorker about Cory Booker and Chris Christie’s grand plan to overhaul the schools of Newark, which inspired Cohen to write his own reflections. Cohen has written an informative article about the fate of Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift
We Need a Strong Alliance for Schools - Bridging Differences - Education Week: We Need a Strong Alliance for SchoolsBy Deborah Meier on May 22, 2014 10:11 AMDeborah Meier continues her conversation with Mike Klonsky today. Dear Mike,You've got it more right than wrong. I'm just as concerned about the relationship between a school and its community, but I've been paid to think about what can be do
Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | …For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL: Resources On Ending The Year StrongI’ve got a nice collection of resources called The Best Ideas On How To Finish The School Year Strong…. Readers might find it useful.by Larry Ferlazzo / 1h hide // saveInfographic: “Many Languages One America”I’m adding this infographic to The Best “Language Maps”: Please include attribu
Fred Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.: Jim Popham’s Tractable Teacher Evaluation.. Jim Popham at NEPC.by Fred Klonsky / 1h hide // saveChris Christie’s pension pay to play and how pension theft is a national scandal.I have been accused of making Illinois’ pension theft too big a deal. Some have suggested that Illinois’ pension theft is j
Ed Notes Online: UFT Contract: Roseanne McCosh, PS 8X, Urges Colleagues to Vote NOFormer Unity Caucus member slams UFT leadership and Unity.Norm---I wrote the below and it will go into teacher mailboxes. The majority in my school are voting NO and many of them will not attend the union meetings with UFT officials to hear bullshit. The NO campaign at PS 8 was taken up by many teachers in my school
@ THE CHALK FACE: Segregation not about Proximity, but EquitySegregation not about Proximity, but Equity. via Segregation not about Proximity, but Equity.Filed under: PAUL THOMAS: Becoming Radical1 by plthomasedd / 49min 5-21-14 @ The Chalk Face@ THE CHALK FACE: Why Did Cory Booker and Mark Zuckerberg Ignore Newark’s Families?Dale Russakoff’s New Yorker profile “Schooled” is a wonderful account of
the becoming radical | A Place for a Pedagogy of Kindness (the public and scholarly writing by P. L. Thomas, Furman University): Segregation not about Proximity, but EquityFor several years, I have been showing Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later in both my introductory education course and an interim educational documentaries course at the selective private university where I teach. Two scenes ad
empathyeducates: Post-Apocalyptic Mindset in a Civilized WorldPhotograph; Appalachian Children. By Paul L. Thomas, Ed.D. | Originally Published at the Becoming Radical. May 20, 2014The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.Henry David Thoreau, WaldenSince October 1999, when I experienced several weeks of unrelenting panic attacks, I have been negotiating my lifelong struggle with anxiety—man
Perdido Street School: Cuomo Puts A Criminal In Charge Of The State Democratic PartyFrom State of Politics:Former Gov. David Paterson on Wednesday was formally installed by the state Democratic Committee as its next chairman, assuming the post from Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright. Paterson, addressing the delegates on the first day of the Democratic convention here in Melville, naturally opened wi
The “New American” Educational Plan: Google, Private Think Tanks & the Federal Government. | Missouri Education Watchdog: The “New American” Educational Plan: Google, Private Think Tanks & the Federal Government.inShareIf you just open your eyes and do a little research, it’s easy to understand the blueprint of the takeover of public education and the massive amount of data mining to be do
“Rethinking Schools” Magazine: Standardized Tests Disguise Privilege as Merit | janresseger: “Rethinking Schools” Magazine: Standardized Tests Disguise Privilege as MeritPosted on May 22, 2014 by janressegerOur federal testing law, No Child Left Behind, passed under President Bush, and the programs of the Obama Administration that have amplified its dire consequences in poor communities of color—R
NYC Educator: N.Y.C.: Power to the Sleeping Giant!: N.Y.C.: Power to the Sleeping Giant! I love NYC. I'm not the first one to say so, nor will I be the last. NYC has been a center of cultural diversity and activism in history. I cannot forgive the fact that our U.F.T. fails to engage its membership in activism. I look to Chicago, Karen Lewis and the C.T.U. I look to Los Angeles and the recent U
Embattled Newark School Chief Has Important Friend in High Places - NJ Spotlight: EMBATTLED NEWARK SCHOOL CHIEF HAS IMPORTANT FRIEND IN HIGH PLACESJOHN MOONEY | MAY 22, 2014Christie expresses support for Cami Anderson and her reforms but won’t comment on her contract renewalAmid calls for embattled Newark schools Superintendent Cami Anderson to step down, the man who appointed her in 2011 went out
Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: 'When you close a school you open a prison': 'When you close a school you open a prison'THE PIPELINE... Hundreds marched Monday night from Lawndale to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center to call for an end to what they call the “school to prison pipeline.” Activists began their march with a rally at Paderewski Elementary, a school that was among the m
Nite Cap UPDATEUPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATECORPORATE ED REFORMwww.tomtorlakson.com/Ronald McDonald: Explain this to the children whose classrooms you visit.Outside McDonalds Headquarters in Oak Brook, IL – an affluent suburb of Chicago – fast-food workers and their supporters are arrested and treated like enemy combatants in a foreign country by warrior uniformed police. Insane over-reaction to a r
Is Cami leaving? | Bob Braun's Ledger: Is Cami leaving?NTU President Joe Del GrossoThe president of the Newark Teachers Union has sent an e-mail to its membership predicting state-appointed schools superintendent Cami Anderson will soon leave ker position.Joseph Del Grosso said he and other union officials met earlier this week both with Acting Education Commissioner David Hespe and legislative
One Valuable History Lesson: an open letter | Reclaim Reform: One Valuable History Lesson: an open letterPosted on May 21, 2014by Ken PrevitiTo All of the Teachers of History in Illinois:Please make time in your harried schedules of mandated arbitrary test preparation to teach one truly valuable lesson of Illinois and American history. This is also linked to current events at the culmination of th
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 CAPBREAKING NEWS!!!! FARINA WANTED ATR's DONE AWAY WITH!! southbronxschool.comhttp://www.southbronxschool.com: BREAKING NEWS!!!! FARINA WANTED ATR's DONE AWAY WITH!!Sources in Tweed shared starling news today with The Crack Team about how the negoti