Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Intimidation at Board Meetings - Geek Palaver

Intimidation at Board Meetings - Geek Palaver:



Intimidation at Board Meetings

May 3 Board Meeting
So there’s been a lot said about security at board meetings lately. Take Saturday’s article by Crystal Bonvillian of the Times, “Huntsville school board meeting audience met with metal detectors.”
Laurie McCaulley was told that Al Lankford, the district’s security chief, was concerned about “body language and demeanor at some of the meetings.” This is quite a curious statement.
You see, as someone who regularly attends board meetings, I am, of course, concerned about security at the meetings. Heck, my daughter was in attendance at the board meeting on March 15th, so of course I am interested in making certain that these bi-weekly meetings are safe. Every sane person shares that concern.
If I didn’t believe the meetings were safe, I wouldn’t go. If I didn’t believe they were safe, I certainly wouldn’t have allowed my daughter to attend.
But I do, and I did. And I’ve been at every board meeting since April 7, 2011 except two. In fact, if we count simply the bi-weekly board meetings for the past year, I’ve probably attended more of them than Al Lankford has attended. (For some reason Mr. Lankford wasn’t present from the January 17th meeting until about a month later. I was pleased to see him return.)
In other words, I’ve seen nothing in the audience’s body language and demeanor that would lead me to the conclusion that someone was behaving in a threatening manner. What I see at board meetings are people laughing, talking, applauding, saluting, and mostly sitting quietly and listening to the meeting.
Now, granted, I’m not there to watch the audience; I’m there to listen to the business being conducted. I’m also not a trained security officer. I know for a fact that a trained police officer is capable of “seeing” more than I.
But I am a writer and a teacher. I take my subject matter from observation of people as a writer, and I know when my students are alert, engaged, interested and learning (and I know when they are not) on the basis of their body language. So, while I do not have the years of training that I am sure Mr. Lankford has in identifying a threat, I do believe I am capable of seeing and noticing when someone is behaving in a threatening manner.
So while this is just my unprofessional assessment, not once have I seen anyone in the audience behave in a way that would cause me to be concerned about my safety.
But then I don’t see the world as Mr. Lankford, (or Dr. Wardynski for that matter) sees it. For example, Mr. Lankford, during our conversations on Thursday night asserted that sitting quietly and holding an iPad recording the Superintendent’s comments was an intimidating action. During that same conversation, he also referenced my sitting quietly at the State of the Schools address and holding an iPhone directed toward Dr. Wardynski and his presentation as an intimidating action.
He even claimed that my standing silently for 80 seconds as I waited for a response to my comments as an “intimidating action.” He stated multiple times that I was “intimidating the board” and that he wasn’t going to allow me to do that. He even implied that myIntimidation at Board Meetings - Geek Palaver:

Shutting Teachers Up - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher

Shutting Teachers Up - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher:



Shutting Teachers Up



Many years ago, before the internet, while there was still such a thing as local print journalism comprised of actual reporters writing stories about what was going on around town, a friendly newspaper editor asked me to write a monthly column about education. There had been a local education column in this paper prior to this, but the teacher who wrote it got into some hot water for writing about the misbehavior of students. He referred to his students using a few teachers-lounge terms--out of control, bouncing off the walls--and poof! He was history, yanked back by his district after irate parents complained. 
The editor gave me a quick primer in editorial writing--600 to 800 words, short paragraphs, don't mention locals by name unless it's laudatory--and said the purpose of these guest editorial columns was opening conversations on broader education issues. They wanted to get letters to the editor. They wanted pieces about how education was changing, and whether teachers thought those changes were useful or disastrous. One topic she suggested--and this tells you how long ago this was--was the efficacy of corporal punishment.
We'll throw a disclaimer on the end of your column, she said, explaining that you don't speak for your school district, only yourself. She didn't have to tell me not to write about thinly disguised individual students or my evil principal. I knew better. Important to know: I was not compensatedShutting Teachers Up - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher: 

Another Teachers' Union Could Call For Obama's Education Secretary To Resign

Another Teachers' Union Could Call For Obama's Education Secretary To Resign:



Another Teachers’ Union Could Call For Obama’s Education Secretary To Resign

“If our delegates want to do so, we will—it’s in their hands.”


WASHINGTON — The National Education Association called for Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s resignation at its convention last week, and the next largest teachers’ union might soon follow suit.
The American Federation of Teachers’ annual convention starts this week, and though a resolution is not in the cards just yet, union President Randi Weingarten wouldn’t rule out the possibility they too might call on Duncan to step down.
“Clearly we understand the sentiment of the NEA delegates. That same impulse led me to write a letter to Secretary Duncan criticizing his post-Vergara comments,” Weingarten said in a statement emailed to BuzzFeed through a spokesperson. “The AFT convention is a real opportunity for our members to direct policy. Even though — unlike the NEA — local affiliates submit resolutions in advance of the convention and a call for the secretary’s resignation is not in any of them, there will be plenty of opportunities for members to amend resolutions, so you never know what will happen on the floor. That’s democracy.”
The door is still open, but it remains to be seen if Weingarten will herself call for the resolution or address the Duncan issue at the convention.
The AFT has openly criticized President Barack Obama and Duncan on a number of issues, namely the administration’s support for charter schools and using test scores to evaluate teachers.
Most recently Weingarten penned a letter to Duncan reprimanding him for supporting a judge’s decision in the Vergara case that ruled against certain tenure statutes in the state. In her letter, she said Duncan “added to the polarization” between teachers and their schools.
Weingarten’s statement was pre-empted by a Twitter debate she got into with education activist and blogger Diane Ravitch, who mentioned Weingarten in a post calling on the AFT to join the NEA’s position.Another Teachers' Union Could Call For Obama's Education Secretary To Resign:

Randi Weingarten, Twitter, and “Secret Society” Membership | deutsch29

Randi Weingarten, Twitter, and “Secret Society” Membership | deutsch29:



Randi Weingarten, Twitter, and “Secret Society” Membership

July 8, 2014


Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is a corporate reformer’s gift. He appointedStefan Pryor, the co-founder of a major charter chain as state education commissioner. Even as traditional public education in Connecticut is underfunded, the number of charter schools grows. Malloy also believes in evaluating teachers using student test scores. He publicly stated that teachers “only have to show up for four years” in order to get collective bargaining rights.
Not only does Malloy not respect teachers; he is actively working to destroy traditional public education.
But, you see, the Connecticut American Federation of Teachers (CT-AFT) is willing to forgive because CT-AFT has other members, and according to CT-AFT President Melodie Peters, Malloy is nice to those other members:
Melodie Peters, the president of AFT-Connecticut, whose 29,000 members include teachers and a diverse collection of other professions, including health care employees, said Malloy supported AFT’s efforts to organize workers at Backus Hospital more than a year ago, as well his efforts to push Lawrence + Memorial to settle recently.
The labor movement is far better off with Malloy, who is the first Democratic governor in two decades, than without him, she said.
“Have mistakes been made along the way? Absolutely,” she said. “I would defy anyone to tell me that I’m perfect. When you have speechwriters, sometimes those things happen, right?” …
The delegates gave him a standing ovation. [Emphasis added.]
Malloy is running for re-election. In June 2014, CT-AFT gave Malloy their endorsement because he’s a Democrat–oh, and he *really* “respects” collective bargaining rights:
AFT’s endorsement of Malloy and the other five statewide constitutional officers, all Democrats, would barely be noteworthy in other years, but the governor’s relationship with labor in general and teachers in particular has been eventful. …
Leaders of AFT-Connecticut and other public-employee unions have said that Malloy deserved labor’s support for respecting collective bargaining rights for public employees at a time when they are under attack in other states. [Emphasis added.]
On June 17, 2014, the day that Malloy was officially given the AFL-CIO endorsement that virtually guarantees him a second term, AFT President Randi Weingarten offered wholehearted support for Malloy.
Here is part of Weingarten’s sorry justification for her support:
“There are a lot of people who say things they shouldn’t say,” Weingarten said. She said she has discussed the remark with Malloy and he sounded “very regretful.” And she said Malloy didn’t end up eliminating tenure—he found a way to make it easier to fire tenured teachers based on poor evaluations, but he didn’t get rid of their right to due process, she argued. [Emphasis added.]
Malloy’s really a good guy. He just made it easier to fire teachers who are being graded using student test scores. That’s all.
Oh, and regarding a resolution aimed at removing Pryor as education commissioner, Randi Weingarten, Twitter, and “Secret Society” Membership | deutsch29:

Geaux Teacher!: (John) White Lies and Alibis

Geaux Teacher!: (John) White Lies and Alibis:



(John) White Lies and Alibis

This letter was submitted to the press for consideration.




This is another unsolicited letter – from Anna Falcon Arthur, a physician and parent, in Thibodeaux, LA – expressing her own particular observations and concerns regarding Common Core.
In a “three-strikes-you’re out” format, Thibodeaux parent Dr. Arthurs  documents the actual facts related to several inconsistencies from the LA Dept. of Education and particularly from the LA State Superintendent:  1) federal and state laws dictate that curriculum must be locally controlled;  2) the fact that LA actually has received federal funds leading to federal control of LA public education (despite Supt. White’s and others’ claims that LA hasn’t received federal funding for these);  and 3) the fact that Supt. White has admitted that standardized test questions are changed each year (Supt. White won’t allow parents to see the tests claiming the questions are used repeatedly from year to year.)

On behalf of Dr. Arthurs,
Thank you,
Mary K. Bellisario, Coalition for Louisiana Public Education
________________________________________ 
In case there are any issues with opening the attachment, here is Dr. Arthurs’ letter:
(JOHNWHITE LIES, AND ALIBIS
Proponents for the Common Core Initiative have never supported their claims with facts. This could be due to the fact that there is little to no research or data to back up many of their unsubstantiated claims. Their elitist mentality and accompanying arrogance lead them to believe they can say whatever they want and the rest of us will just accept their premises. Parents have proven to be the fact checkers when faced with the false claims of Common Core proponents.

On December 22, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) awarded Louisiana $17.4 million in round three of Race to the Top (RTTT). RTTT was a federally funded competitive grant that required participating states to adopt national common standards before they were written (Common Core), national assessments (PARCC or SBAC), establish a state longitudinal data system for the collection and use of student data, and make changes in teacher accountability. Louisiana Supt. of Education John White has stated in public thatGeaux Teacher!: (John) White Lies and Alibis: 

Teachers are like gardeners | WagTheDog

Teachers are like gardeners | WagTheDog:



Teachers are like gardeners





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Being a good teacher is a lot like being a good gardener. Good gardeners are optimistic and patient. They are able to see the potential in those struggling young seedlings and enjoy watching them grow, develop and bloom. They give special tender loving care to those few plants that are struggling and not thriving. 
They don’t blame the plant when it’s not performing well; they check the growing conditions. Is the soil the plant is growing in suitable or does it need amending? Does the plant need more water; does the plant need less water? Does the plant need more sunshine; does the plant need less sunshine. 
Good gardeners are good problem solvers, but realize that sometimes no matter what you do, the plant still will not grow the way you would like it to.
If teachers are like gardeners, then the Common Core is like Miracle-Gro.
The makers of Miracle-Gro understand there are numerous factors that can impact plant growth, and their packaging includes the necessary disclaimer, “results may vary depending on rainfall and temperature.”
Soil formation and fertility is one of many influences on plant growth, and has a direct Teachers are like gardeners | WagTheDog:

Nite Cap 7-8-14 #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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7-7-14 Seattle Schools Community Forum Week
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Education News RoundupNorth Carolina is poised to exit from Common Core.  They also passed a student data privacy law earlier this year (and I'll be working to get one passed in the Washington Legislature).  North Carolina was one of the first states to embrace Common Core, now in place in more than 40 states. But support among some conservatives for the standards
A Chronicle of Echoes Gets Noticed in Salon | deutsch29
A Chronicle of Echoes Gets Noticed in Salon | deutsch29: A Chronicle of Echoes Gets Noticed in SalonJuly 7, 2014This summer, I am writing my second book, this time on the history, development, and promotion of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). On July 4th, I finished writing the ten-chapter body of that book, which means that even though I now turn my attention to proofing, editing, and form
DIARY OF A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER!: Loving Classroom Tools That Start Free, and Stay Free! We Appreciate You!
DIARY OF A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER!: Loving Classroom Tools That Start Free, and Stay Free! We Appreciate You!: Loving Classroom Tools That Start Free, and Stay Free! We Appreciate You!Click the pic to take you to the article on WeareTeachers Blog!It is common knowledge that teaching is one of the hardest professions. We  make very little money, and yet , we have a high level of "out-of-pocket&
The Daily Censored » Wal-Mart and the Apollo Group, owner of the University of Phoenix announce major mega-merger
The Daily Censored » Wal-Mart and the Apollo Group, owner of the University of Phoenix announce major mega-merger: Wal-Mart and the Apollo Group, owner of the University of Phoenix announce major mega-mergerStocks rose sharply today based on the recently released news that the retail giant, Wal-Mart, the biggest employer in America, will be merging with the Apollo Group, owner of the University of
Standing Up to Superman: An Interview with Barbara Madeloni | Jacobin
Standing Up to Superman: An Interview with Barbara Madeloni | Jacobin: Standing Up to Superman: An Interviewwith Barbara Madeloniby Barbara MadeloniIn choosing Barbara Madeloni as president, the Massachusetts Teachers Association has elected a fierce opponent of neoliberal education reform.(Yen Yen Woo / YouTube)Barbara Madeloni is an educator and activist from Northampton, Massachusetts, who was
7-7-14 Fred All Week Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher
Fred Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.: Diane Ravitch’s blog. A Mass teacher’s hopes for Lily.Newly elected NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and this blogger. - Diane Ravitch. This just in from a member of NEA from Massachusetts who is at the Denver convention. She hopes that Lily Eskelsen, the new president, will be a champion and fighte
Nite Cap 7-7-14 #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 CAPBattle For Texas: #SaveBillPowers Has Strong Record on Race & Gender | Cloaking InequityBattle For Texas: #SaveBillPowers Has Strong Record on Race & Gender | Cloaking Inequity: Battle For Texas: #SaveBillPowers Has Strong Record on Race




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