Tuesday, June 9, 2015

As 22,000 students risk not graduating, LAUSD board eases requirements | 89.3 KPCC

As 22,000 students risk not graduating, LAUSD board eases requirements | 89.3 KPCC:

As 22,000 students risk not graduating, LAUSD board eases requirements



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The Los Angeles Unified School District board unanimously agreed to ease high school graduation requirements, no longer requiring a C grade or better in college prep classes.
The school board is modifying a commitment made a decade ago to require so-called A-G courses, the classes required to become eligible for University of California and California State University entry, to earn a high school diploma.
The higher standards haven't dramatically improved student outcomes: more than 22,000 LAUSD students in the Class of 2017 risked losing out on a diploma they may have been eligible for in a neighboring district or nearby charter school.
“I am worried we are setting students up for failure because this district hasn’t gotten its act together,” said board member Tamar Galatzan.
At its meeting Tuesday, members agreed students could earn a D rather than C in the college prep courses.
Board members also asked LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines to design interventions, such as online classes to make up credits and expanded summer school, to help students who are struggling with the advanced coursework. 
Also pending before the board is a proposal to allow students to remain in school until age 22 to graduate. 
This story will be updated.

A call to stop the spread of charter schools | districtchronicles

A call to stop the spread of charter schools | districtchronicles:

A call to stop the spread of charter schools



Empower DC’s Daniel del Pielago says that
there are solutions to public education
that do not require corporate intervention
often associated with charter schools.
Credit: aft.org
(NNPA) – The pressure is on for civic leaders to end the expansion of charter and contract schools in Black and Latino communities across the nation.
Jitu Brown, national director of the Journey for Justice Alliance, claims that the fight for public education – which suffers with the expansion of charter and contract schools – is a human and civil rights issue.
As voices from the community were increasingly drowned out by philanthropic groups seeking wholesale educational reform, corporate charters and appointed school boards have become the status quo, said Brown.
According to an article in Education Week, a magazine published by Editorial Projects in Education, more than 60 percent of philanthropic donations funneled into educating young people in the United States went to charter and contract schools in 2010. Less than 25 percent of funding went to those programs about 15 years ago.
“What would actually be revolutionary, brand new and fresh is if community wisdom was listened to and [corporations] worked with the people who are directly impacted by the institutions that they have to live with everyday,” said Brown.
Daniel del Pielago, education organizer of the grassroots group Empower DC, agrees.
Pielago asserts that when communities work together, and when they’re given the chance to put together solutions that work, they find success that doesn’t require corporate intervention.
That success is embodied by the community school model championed by groups such as the Journey for Justice Alliance.
According to the Coalition for Community Schools, community schools feature an “integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement” that promotes “student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.”
Helen Moore, the co-chairperson of the Keep the Vote/No Takeover Coalition in Detroit, Michigan, said that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently working its way through a Republican-led Congress still at odds with Obama, should give communities the power to control the destinies of their children.
Moore said that neither the “No Child Left Behind” Act or President Obama’s “Race to Top” fulfilled what was supposed to really happen: giving Black and Brown school systems the power and resources they needed to implement high-quality educational programs for their children. “What’s lost in the minutiae of school closures is the dismantling of good neighborhood schools,” said Brown. “There were actually solid well-performing schools in our community that were receiving schools for students that lost their schools due to closures.”
Two years later, Brown said, those schools often saw their test scores plummet, creating a cascading effect. Overcrowded classrooms make it harder for teachers to do their jobs, lowering morale and having a negative impact on an already stressful learning environment.
“One of the casualties of corporate education interventions is the removal of Black teachers, a significant part of the Black middle class. And who are they replaced by? They are replaced by newer, younger, Whiter and more transient teachers.
“We are all for teaching diversity, but we also know that that is a civil rights issue. Children have the right to look at their teachers and dream that they can be that; they should be able to see themselves,” said Brown.
Earlier this month, the Alliance hosted a conference in Newark, New Jersey in an effort to strengthen national networks and equip citizens with the tools to organize and combat myriad inequities that exist in public school systems nationwide.
They also advocate for more penalties for schools that lean too heavily on zero tolerance policies, which causes disproportionate suspension and expulsions of students of color for A call to stop the spread of charter schools | districtchronicles:

Walking to DC Jesse by Jesse Turner - GoFundMe

Walking to DC Jesse by Jesse Turner - GoFundMe:

Walking to DC Jesse






Sending out an SOS, I am 2 days out from starting my walk to DC. I will walk 10 miles a day. I am hoping people might consider donating 10 for 10. I could use a little help from my friends.

Walking to DC,

Jesse

Walking to DC Jesse by Jesse Turner - GoFundMe:




Jesse The Walking Man Turner is walking from Connecticut to Washington DC this summer to protest the education malpractice that is demoralizing parents, teachers, and turning our children into human capital.

I'll start walking in June, time it to reach Washington DC for the BAT's National Congress July, (400 miles in 40 days)

I'll post my itinerary in February. I will hold Walking Man Events along the way in people's homes, libraries, coffee shops, churches, and on street corners, to gather evidence from parents, students, and teachers.

Why walk?

1. I am a Professor of literacy, I have a Ph.D in Language, Reading, and Culture. Everything I know professionally informs me what is happening to our children in the name of education reform is child abuse.

2. Because Moses walked, because the Cherokee Walked, because the Navajo walked, because Martin Walked, and because Cesar Chavez walked. Walking may just be the most potent weapon human beings have against oppression.

3. Because childhood matters.

4. Because children come first.

5.Becasue someone has to tell our nation's leaders our children, their teachers and local schools are more than test scores.
This is a grassroots campaign to connect the dots across states and bring awareness to the testing abuse that is demoralizing children and their teachers.  My estimate is the walk will cost me 6000.00. I am willing contributing 3000 of my own money to my walk. My hope is to raise 3000 dollars the other half of the cost. 

CURMUDGUCATION: Atlanta Superintendent Deeply Confused

CURMUDGUCATION: Atlanta Superintendent Deeply Confused:

Atlanta Superintendent Deeply Confused








Dr. Meria Castarphen, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, thinks everyone is completely misunderstanding the situation.

APS has just announced the slashing of eighteen band and orchestra teachers from the elementary school system, and possibly the funding for those programs as well (the reportage on the latter is a little fuzzy).

That news spread pretty quickly, and Dr. Castarphen took to her personal blog to offer an explanation. Kind of. 

Yes, eighteen positions were cut. That was just part of a district "right-sizing" (lordy, but I just live for the day that some boss announces "right-sizing" as an explanation for hiring more people). This right-sizing included cutting 368 positions, including a chunk from the central office. But cutting music?! No!! Well, maybe. Sort of. Yes.

In our cluster planning and our move to a new operating system, APS has given clusters and schools more freedom and flexibility to choose how they staff their schools in order to meet the specific needs of their students. This includes the decision about which arts and music instruction to offer students.

For example, if principal A observed high interest in band over orchestra in their elementary school, that principal could choose to enhance the band program and remove the orchestra program. If principal B saw a growing interest in visual arts, principal B could decide to invest more in visual arts, eliminating band and orchestra. If principal C was interested in enhancing band and orchestra programs, principal C could choose to increase school class sizes in order to offer a more robust fine arts program.

See, even if the school doesn't have a band program. It could be taught by, I don't know, pixies, or regular classroom teachers on their lunch hours, or traveling street musicians who were coaxed into the building. Because students can be taught to play instruments, particularly as beginners, by pretty much anybody.

Maybe students will get really interested in a band, which I suppose could happen despite the fact that they have no band or band teacher in the building to pique that interest-- maybe they'll read about bands in books or see some compelling band music on tv or those same instrument-teaching pixies will visit them in their sleep.

Also, please note that middle school and high school band and orchestra are not being cut. Nosirree. They will still be there, thriving despite the fact that students will arrive from the elementary school without any knowledge of playing in a music ensemble or playing an instrument. Because 
CURMUDGUCATION: Atlanta Superintendent Deeply Confused:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 6/9/15


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM





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