Thursday, July 17, 2014

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: BEFORE BUYING TECHNOLOGY, ASKING ‘WHY?’

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: BEFORE BUYING TECHNOLOGY, ASKING ‘WHY?’:



BEFORE BUYING TECHNOLOGY, ASKING ‘WHY?’

BY ROSS BRENNEMAN, EDUCATION WEEK TEACHER |  HTTP://BIT.LY/1MZSR3D



—Ross Brenneman
Published Online: June 18, 2014 /Includes correction(s): July 15, 2014  ::  District leaders and other advocates of personalized learning frequently say that the approach isn't about technology. But that’s easy for an administrator to say when every child in his or her district has a school-provided computer.

The record of spending certainly seems to suggest districts believe that one requires the other.

First, consider the nearly $400 million given out by the U.S. Department of Education for its Race to the Top district competitive-grant program in 2012, created to spur on personalized-learning initiatives in low-income areas. And then there’s the subsequent $120 million the department gave out in 2013 during the second round of that competition.

Out of the 21 total school districts to receive funds through those iterations of Race to the Top, almost all created 1-to-1 digital device plans. Even some of the districts without 1-to-1 ambitions in their applications, such as the Carson City, Nev., and Houston school districts, have nevertheless been working on getting laptops to their students.

Districts without such federal funding have also been entranced by 1-to-1 programs: In Arlington, Va., the district is piloting a 1-to-1 program among 2nd and 6th graders that will cost $200,000, before eventually expanding. The Madison, Wis., school system recently embarked on a $28 million 1-to-1 initiative that hints vaguely at personalized learning. Maine began implementing a statewide 1-to-1 initiative over a decade ago under former Gov. Angus King, although current Gov. Paul LePagealmost shut it down over concerns about cost-effectiveness. That program has poured millions of dollars into Apple MacBooks for students.

Some districts may have comprehensive instructional plans to go along with their technology purchases, but it's not like Apple—or hundreds of other technology 4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: BEFORE BUYING TECHNOLOGY, ASKING ‘WHY?’:

Stress Impacts Student Performance | WagTheDog

Stress Impacts Student Performance | WagTheDog:



Stress Impacts Student Performance





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Decades of research and studies have documented the impact of stress on cognitive performance such as critical thinking, judgment, and decision-making skills.
The ability to concentrate, follow directions, process new information, and make good decisions are all greatly diminished and impaired by stress.
The high level of stress induced by the high stakes consequences of standardized tests has in effect “poisoned the well” and directly undermines the reliability and validity of the Common Core assessments.
The new Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT) are supposedly superior to paper tests because they can measure a student’s ability and achievement level in a shorter amount of time using fewer questions.
This is possible because test questions are generated in real time based on how the student responded to the previous question and the difficulty of subsequent test items are adjusted to the student’s “perceived” ability level.
The impact of student stress will greatly diminish the reliability and validity of CAT because the test depends on each student performing at maximum cognitive ability and putting forth Stress Impacts Student Performance | WagTheDog:

Vergara ruling becomes campaign issue | EdSource

Vergara ruling becomes campaign issue | EdSource:



Vergara ruling becomes campaign issue


State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Marshall Tuck this week launched a petition calling on his opponent, incumbent Superintendent Tom Torlakson, not to appeal a lawsuit ruling that struck down statutes giving California teachers firing protections and rights to tenure and seniority. The move indicates Tuck views the decision in Vergara v. California as an election issue that can work in his favor.
Tuck, a former charter school executive from Los Angeles, is, like Torlakson, a Democrat.
The online petition letter reads:
To State Superintendent Tom Torlakson: The five laws that were struck down in Vergara v. California regarding teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoffs have made it nearly impossible to fire ineffective teachers. Instead of defending these laws, I urge you, as the defendant in this case, not to appeal this ruling. Let’s use this as an opportunity to make sure our schools are finally able to put an effective teacher in every classroom.– YOUR NAME
Torlakson, along with Gov. Jerry Brown and the State Board of Education, are named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the organization Students Matter on behalf of nine student plaintiffs in 2012. In June, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu issued a tentative ruling that the five labor protection laws denied minority students their constitutional right to an equal opportunity for an education.
In a statement after Treu’s June 10 ruling, Torlakson said, “Teachers are not the problem in our schools, they are the solution.” And he said Treu’s decision could “inadvertently” complicate the task of attracting and retaining good teachers. But neither he nor Brown has directly commented on whether they would appeal Treu’s decision, although the California Teachers Association, which is also is a co-defendant, already has said it would appeal the ruling.
Brown did not mention the Vergara decision in remarks at the national convention of the American Federation of Teachers in Los Angeles last week, prompting his Republican opponent for governor, Neel Kashkari, to hold a press conference outside the convention hall in which he also called on Brown not to appeal Vergara.
There’s no rush for Torlakson or Brown. Treu has indicated he would take an extra month, through mid-August, to finish writing a permanent ruling on the case, which could differ from the tentative decision. Torlakson, Brown and the state would then have an additional 60 days to decide whether to Vergara ruling becomes campaign issue | EdSource:

US Department of Justice blasts California’s English Learner monitoring | 89.3 KPCC

US Department of Justice blasts California’s English Learner monitoring | 89.3 KPCC:



US Department of Justice blasts California’s English Learner monitoring



Officials with the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing Monday they're troubled California officials did not act on a 2007 student census that found 20,000 English learner students had received no specialized instruction.



“California’s EL students cannot afford to wait any longer,” the filing by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels said.



The document was filed in support of a 2013 lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against the state, claiming uneven English learner services are a violation of state law.



The US Dept. of Justice began investigating California's English learner monitoring in 2013.





State and federal law requires schools to give students who speak a language other than English at home specialized teaching to get them up to speed in academic English. The students in question make up less than 2 percent of the state's US Department of Justice blasts California’s English Learner monitoring | 89.3 KPCC:







HIP’s Statement on New Superintendent | Hmong Innovating Politics

[Press Release] HIP’s Statement on New Superintendent | Hmong Innovating Politics:









HIP’S STATEMENT ON NEW SUPERINTENDENT

Rebuilding Trust and Engaging Diverse Parents Among Challenges for New Superintendent

Community Members Optimistic About Collaborating to Better Serve Students and Families
Sacramento, CA –  On Thursday, the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) voted to appoint a new Superintendent to oversee the district’s schools. Mr. Jose Banda, previously the Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools and Anaheim Unified School District, has a track record of engaging limited-English proficient families and improving student achievement among low-income communities. This background will serve Mr. Banda well as he enters a school district that has struggled with on-going strife and growing dismay among Sacramento’s diverse families. In particular, Mr. Banda inherits a district where the closure of seven neighborhoods schools has driven away hundreds of students from SCUSD and distrust has mounted as parents have felt continually ignored.
Despite these challenges, Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP), a community based organization actively involved in supporting parents during the school closure is eager to start anew with Mr. Banda’s leadership. As HIP organizer Laura Vu describes, “Having worked with parents for the last couple of years, I know that the community is eager to move forward with leadership that brings people together and reaches out to parents and families. We are very optimistic that Mr. Banda will draw from his experience working with immigrant and limited-English proficient students and families. Because we recognize that there are many challenges ahead, we are dedicated to working alongside the new Superintendent to help improve the outcomes of all students.”
<END>
**HIP is a grassroots-organizing group whose mission is to strengthen the political power of Hmong and disenfranchised communities through innovative civic engagement and strategic grassroots mobilization. We envision a Sacramento of empowered communities that thrive in a socially and economically just democracy.**
Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP)
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Lesson 3: We Need Better Language to Describe Poverty | Gatsby In L.A.

Lesson 3: We Need Better Language to Describe Poverty | Gatsby In L.A.:



Lesson 3: We Need Better Language to Describe Poverty



 I recently worked with three groups of 8th and 9th grade students. All of the groups are comprised of students of color from families in poverty, which means they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch under a California program whose cutoff is for a family of four is an income of under $30,615 (free), or under $43,568 (reduced-price). Students from families like these who qualify for free and reduced lunch are generally the students we talk about when we talk about children in poverty.

My three student groups all meet this criterion. In addition, they all are highly motivated and academically proficient, with supportive parents who have enrolled them in an after-school college-prep enrichment program. They must all be alike, right?
Wrong.
In fact, these three groups of students seem markedly different. The first is a racially diverse group that includes Latino/a, African-American, Pacific Islander and Indian students; several of the parents and many of the students’ older siblings have attended college, often very prestigious colleges. They live in the Westside of L.A., a socioeconomically diverse area, and attend an honors magnet school that includes middle- and upper-middle class students of all races. This group is both more academically advanced and more sophisticated than the other groups. Some of the students have travelled with their families to other cities or countries, not just to visit family but for tourism. They read at or above grade level and their writing is generally fluid, with some complex sentences—a quality that in my experience indicates frequent outside Lesson 3: We Need Better Language to Describe Poverty | Gatsby In L.A.:

Sacramento City district names Banda as new superintendent - Education - The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento City district names Banda as new superintendent - Education - The Sacramento Bee:



Sacramento City district names Banda as new superintendent

Published: Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014 - 7:26 pm


Let the Games Begin!

Sacramento City Unified trustees, as expected, voted Thursday night to name José L. Banda as the district’s new superintendent, concluding a search that began about seven months ago when Superintendent Jonathan Raymond departed.
The 6-1 vote for Banda, with trustee Jay Hansen dissenting, came in closed session and was announced at the start of the subsequent open meeting.
Banda is superintendent for Seattle Public School, where he was hired in July 2012 from the Anaheim City School District.
Trustee Gustavo Arroyo, one of three board members who traveled to Seattle to explore Banda’s leadership, said local leaders there consistently credited Banda for his collaboration and his ability to bring stability to the district.
“It was a reassurance of the talent that Mr. Banda brings to the district,” Arroyo said.
Under the terms of the contract, Banda will receive $290,000 yearly in total compensation.
When former superintendent Jonathan Raymond left the district at the end of $2013, he earnedSacramento City district names Banda as new superintendent - Education - The Sacramento Bee:

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/17/6564821/sacramento-city-district-names.html#storylink=cpy

Lily Eskelsen García: Keynote @ Netroots Nation | Lily's Blackboard

Lily Eskelsen García: Keynote @ Netroots Nation | Lily's Blackboard:

Lily's Blackboard Rotating Header Image

Lily Eskelsen García: Keynote @ Netroots Nation

NEA President-elect Lily Eskelsen García is not only now on Twitter (@Lily_NEA) she is also part of the opening keynote at Netroots Nation! Follow the livestream here!



Nite Cap 7-17-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT



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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