Monday, August 31, 2015

Mr. “Rebrand,” Mike Huckabee, Now Common Core “Killer” | deutsch29

Mr. “Rebrand,” Mike Huckabee, Now Common Core “Killer” | deutsch29:

Mr. “Rebrand,” Mike Huckabee, Now Common Core “Killer”




On Monday, August 31, 2015, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee sent the following anti-Common Core appeal in an email to potential Republican supporters:
Sign my petition if you agree we must KILL Common Core and ABOLISH the Department of Education. Education is a family function – not a federal function. Period!
Friend, 
  
Across the country, the federal government has hijacked our education system by ramming Common Core down the throats of local governments. Washington bureaucrats are holding classrooms and kids hostage and threatening to punish those who reject their one-sized-fits-all big government mandates.  
  
This radical, recklessness must end! We must shift power back to state and local governments. In my ten years as governor, I fought for 
Mr. “Rebrand,” Mike Huckabee, Now Common Core “Killer” | deutsch29:

Ready to Strike for the Schools Seattle’s Students Deserves! | I AM AN EDUCATOR

Ready to Strike for the Schools Seattle’s Students Deserves! | I AM AN EDUCATOR:

Ready to Strike for the Schools Seattle’s Students Deserves!



bargining team


Today, I went to the Strike Captain meeting of the Seattle Education Association (SEA, the union that represents Seattle’s teachers and educational support staff) and I can tell you that our educators are fired up and prepared to strike, if necessary, to win a contract that helps us achieve the education system that Seattle deserves.



The SEA has been bargaining with the Seattle School District over a new contract all summer. We are now in the final days before school starts and the union and the school district are very far away from reaching an agreement. Thousands of educators will be gathering for general membership meeting on Thursday, September 3rd to either vote to ratify an agreement or to go on strike—but given the disorganized and disrespectful manner in which the Seattle school district conducted itself, I don’t expect that there will be an agreement by the time of our meeting.
It didn’t have to come to this, but the district waited until the last days of summer to respond to any of the proposals put forward by educators or put forward any serious proposals of their own. The proposals from the District, as you will read below, will do almost nothing to support Seattle’s educators or students, and in some cases would do great harm.
In contrast, the bargaining team for the educators has never in my time as a teacher put forward such a visionary set of proposals to advocate for the type of reforms that would dramatically improve our schools.
IMG_1996The union is advocating for a decrease in the use of high-stakes testing. This would include forming a joint committee with the union and the district to accept or reject any standardized testing beyond the federally mandated tests and getting rid of the “Student Growth Rating” that ties tested subject teacher’s evaluations to standardized tests scores. The Seattle School District has inundated our school with dozens of tests that students have to take in their lives as K-12 students, and it’s past time that we reclaim our classrooms for teaching rather than test prep.
The union is also fighting for equitable and ample recess across the school district. Many schools in Seattle—predominantly the schools that serve low-income and students of color—have only 15 min of recess, and the union is insisting that every school have a minimum of 45 minutes. This union demand was an outgrowth of the coalition of parents from around Seattle that formed last school year called “Lunch and Recess Matter” who have been fighting for student’s right to have enough time to play and eat.
IMG_1933-2Moreover, our union wants to implement “race and equity teams” at each work site that could identify structural inequities and institutional racism and make recommendations about how to address those issues. The Seattle Public Schools have been shown to suspend African American students some 4 times higher than their white peers. The School Seattle district should be impressed by the leadership from educators in addressing these injustices in the schools, but instead they have rejected this proposal.
In addition, our union is asking for case load caps for our schools counselors and psychologists so that they can provide the individual attention that all students deserve. At many schools, including Garfield High School where I teach, counselors have hundreds of students on their caseloads Ready to Strike for the Schools Seattle’s Students Deserves! | I AM AN EDUCATOR:

#FightforDyett | Bill Ayers

#FightforDyett | Bill Ayers:

#FightforDyett 






Hannah Arendt describes a freedom involving “participation in public affairs, or admission to the public realm” (Arendt, H. 1963. On Revolution, New York: Penguin, p. 32). The hunger strikers at Dyett HS—fighting for public education in Chicago—are creating the public space right now, tonight. She acknowledges that freedom involves the establishment of certain rights within a domain of privacy, spaces where people are neither coerced nor obstructed, but she argues that this in itself is a rather narrow and negative approach to freedom, that the domain of the personal and the private is not the “actual content of freedom.”  The content of freedom is found, rather, in “a body politic”, that is in those public spaces where people come together freely as authentic beings to name the obstacles to their own humanity: “a body politic which is the result of covenant and ‘combination’ becomes the very source of power for each individual person who outside the constitutional political realm remains impotent” (p. 171).
Arendt describes the American revolution as an event “made by men in common deliberation and on the strength of mutual pledges.  The principle which came to light during those fateful years…was the interconnected principle of mutual promise and common deliberation” (pp. 213-214).  And this “principle which came to light” also drove the French and the Haitian revolutions, the German, the Russian, and the Chinese revolutions, the movements in Hungary in 1956 and Poland in 1979.  In each case, in a time of crisis and change, citizens came together spontaneously—whether in town meetings, communes, workers’ councils and soldiers’ committees, or soviets—in order to create a public space for the expression of their dreams and their demands.  It was in these public spaces that, according to Arendt, freedom came to life, and she referred to them as “treasures”, for they embodied the “hope for transformation of the state, for a new form of government that would permit every member of the modern #FightforDyett | Bill Ayers:


CURMUDGUCATION: Middle Way

CURMUDGUCATION: Middle Way:

Middle Way






In the midst of the back and forth over her comments about New Orleans' Myth of School Makeovers, Andrea Gabor dropped this quote from  Howard Fuller: 

“I do believe things are better for a large number of kids than before Katrina. But I don’t want to be put in the position of saying: pre-Katrina was all bad, post-Katrina is all good. When we set it up that way, we’re negating anything that was positive before Katrina. What that tends to negate is the capacity of black people to do anything of excellence. 

 “The firing of those teachers is a wound that will never be closed, never be righted. I understand the issue of urgency. But a part of this quite frankly has to do with the fact that I do not believe that black people are respected. I don’t believe that our institutions are respected. And I don’t believe that our capacity to help our own people is respected…

 “Its hard for me, because I do support the reforms and think there are some great things that have happened. I do have to ask the same question as Randi (Weingarten)—at what cost? 

 “Even if you talk to black people who drank the Kool-aide: The issue still is– this was done to us not with us. That feeling is deep. It can’t be ignored. It speaks to any type of long-term sustainability of what’s happening in New Orleans. 

 “When black people came out of slavery, we came out with a clear understanding of the connection between education and liberation. Two groups of white people descended upon us—the missionaries and the industrialists. They both had their view of what type of education we needed to make our 
CURMUDGUCATION: Middle Way:



Anthony Cody - Challenging the Gates Foundation - Living in Dialogue

Anthony Cody - Challenging the Gates Foundation - Living in Dialogue:

Anthony Cody - Challenging the Gates Foundation





Report: Low-income, black, disabled students miss school more often | EdSource

Report: Low-income, black, disabled students miss school more often | EdSource:

Report: Low-income, black, disabled students miss school more often





California’s low-income, black and disabled students are more likely to miss school frequently, which can be linked to future achievement gaps and dropout rates, according to a report released Monday.
The national report by Attendance Works found that chronic absenteeism is often the result of a student’s health problems, such as asthma, and absenteeism is often as prevalent among young children as it is among teenagers. At least 10 percent of kindergartners and 1st-graders miss nearly a month of class in a school year, according to the report.
Researchers generally define chronic absenteeism as missing 10 percent of the school year, but states often have their own definitions.
“Although we think about missing too much school as a problem in middle school and high school, it’s really a problem that affects the youngest children,” said Hedy Chang, a report author and director of Attendance Works, a national nonprofit that focuses on increasing school attendance, in a conference call with reporters.
The report came out the same week that the State Board of Education is about to consider making attendance rates a key part of its accountability system.
On Wednesday, the board will decide how to incorporate average daily attendance, or ADA, as a state measure for the federal No Child Left Behind law. Because new scores are unavailable as California transitions to a new testing system, attendance for elementary and middle schools instead will be one way to show if schools are meeting goals under the federal law, called Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP.



But the average daily attendance number falls short of demonstrating school success, Chang said. The ADA number only shows the average number of students who attend school in a given time. That can mask how many students are chronically absent. Even schools with a 95 percent attendance rate could have 20 percent of students who are chronically absent, Chang said.
“It tells you how many show up every day. It does not tell you that they are missing so much school that they are academically at risk,” Chang said.
Currently, California is one of six states that fails to collect attendance data in its system that tracks student information over time, according to the report. Chang said less than 10 states use chronic absenteeism as part of their accountability plans.
State board officials acknowledge that chronic absenteeism data would be a better measure and education officials are developing a plan to collect information in the future, according to a state board document. (See agenda item 7.) The numbers should be available in 2016-17.
For now, state board officials are recommending that elementary and middle schools set a target of 93 percent average daily attendance.
The California numbers largely reflect the attendance gap seen nationally, where black and low-income students had among the highest percentages of absenteeism, according to the report.
The absentee numbers came from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, tests often known as the Nation’s Report Card that students nationwide take every two years. Students were asked if they missed three or more days of school in the month before taking the test. Researchers averaged the 2011 and 2013 responses.
Nationwide, 22 percent of black 4th-graders and 23 percent of black 8th-graders responded that they had missed at least three days, compared to 19 percent of white students in those grades.
Among low-income children, 23 percent of 4th-graders and Report: Low-income, black, disabled students miss school more often | EdSource:

Attendance Works would like to express its deep appreciation to the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation  for investing in our development as a national initiative.
In addition, we thank The California Endowmentthe David and Lucile Packard Foundationand The San Francisco Foundation for supporting our work in California;  the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and Community Foundation of Greater New Britain for supporting our work in Connecticut; and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation for supporting our work in Arkansas.

Report: Chronic school absenteeism is contributing to academic gaps - The Washington Post http://wapo.st/1LPrN0i

Asthma, other illnesses major reason for young learners' absences, study finds | 89.3 KPCC http://bit.ly/1LPrToG


Teacher Shortage: Who Will Teach the Children?| Uppity Wisconsin

| Uppity Wisconsin:

Teacher Shortage: Who Will Teach the Children?


Kathleen Vinehout
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
"Actions have consequences"


“Please sound the alarm,” Superintendent Mary Baier wrote to me. “We are not able to find people to fill positions in Wisconsin.” She needed a special education teacher and only one applicant had applied to her rural Plum City district.
When the school bells ring across Wisconsin, parents expect classrooms to be filled with qualified teachers. But a dramatic decline in education majors at university-based programs and an exodus of both newly minted and experienced teachers have left Wisconsin parents asking, “Who will teach our children?”
The “impending crisis” is here.
Schools are scrambling to find qualified teachers. For example, less than a month before school started, News 8 WKBT reported the La Crosse district needed to fill 23 positions.
Districts have done more with less for years. Existing teachers covered more classes and received cross training. Districts asked current teachers to go back to school and obtain certification in different subjects. Local schools already share many teachers, guidance counselors and other staff. Teachers move between schools, between districts and even across state lines during the course of their workweek.
Some districts use special “waivers,” or permission to bend the rules on teacher certification, allowing a district to place an unqualified teacher in a position as long as that teacher seeks proper certification.
But the teacher shortage is growing and it affects urban, suburban and rural schools.
Christine Hedstrom works in Human Resources for the Waukesha School District. She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “You could technically start a school year without an administrator in place, but you need to have a teacher in the classroom.”
But rural schools are particularly hard hit.
Rural schools often have fewer options and already greatly diminished choices for students. They’ve already combined, shared, downsized and cross-trained. Having a teacher in the classroom may not even be possible in some local rural classrooms.
A rural western Wisconsin district board member told me, “We are starting the school year with two positions unfilled”- one of the positions was a Spanish language teacher. “I guess we’ll have to use some type of video/distance learning option,” the board member told me. “But that’s not a good way for students to learn a language.” Spanish is the only foreign language available to students in this rural district.
When I asked folks why we had a teacher shortage, I heard several comments over and over. “Fewer students going into teaching.” “New graduates not staying in Wisconsin.” “More teachers retiring or leaving the profession.” “Teaching is no longer a valued profession.”
The Wisconsin Budget Project reported over the last eight years the number of teachers in Wisconsin public schools fell by nearly 3,000 even as school enrollment increased.
They also reported on a troubling decline in experienced teachers. "In the 2013-14 school year, teaching staff of 39% of school districts had an average of 15 or more years of experience. That share has fallen dramatically since the 2004-05 school year, when 58% of school districts has a teaching staff with an average of 15 or more years or more of experience.” 
Not surprisingly, fewer students are entering the education profession. Statistics from the United States Department of Education show a dramatic drop in the number of university students learning to be teachers | Uppity Wisconsin:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/30/15 #FightForDyett


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

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