Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Handful of NEA Leaders Have Taken Another Step Toward Endorsing Hillary Clinton Despite Member Outcry | gadflyonthewallblog

A Handful of NEA Leaders Have Taken Another Step Toward Endorsing Hillary Clinton Despite Member Outcry | gadflyonthewallblog:

A Handful of NEA Leaders Have Taken Another Step Toward Endorsing Hillary Clinton Despite Member Outcry



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“We are what Democracy looks like.”
With those words, Lily Eskelsen Garcia took the reigns of the National Education Association (NEA) as President in 2014.
A little more than a year later, the NEA is set to prove those words false by endorsing a candidate for the 2016 Presidential Primaries without input from the rank and file.
Despite vocal opposition from thousands of members of the largest union in the country, the NEA Political Action Committee (PAC) Council voted to endorse Hillary Clinton.
The council of 74 educators from the organization’s political arm voted Thursday. The NEA Board of Directors is expected to make a final decision on Saturday.
Many details of the vote, itself, are shrouded in secrecy and bad math.
Numerous sources in the NEA say the PAC council voted 82% in favor and 18% against. However, these figures are suspect. Two of the largest state delegations – California and New Jersey – abstained. The percentages being touted by PAC Council A Handful of NEA Leaders Have Taken Another Step Toward Endorsing Hillary Clinton Despite Member Outcry | gadflyonthewallblog:

Seattle Schools Community Forum: School Shootings Since Newtown

Seattle Schools Community Forum: School Shootings Since Newtown:

School Shootings Since Newtown



Here, 142 of them.





 The idiot today? TOLD people online he was going to do this and got advice on how to do it.  (Pick a class with girls; they won't fight back.) What happened to "see something, say something?" Oh wait, that's for foreign, not domestic, terrorists (and that's what these guys are).

President Obama seems pissed and disgusted.

“So tonight, as those of us who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer are thinking about the families who aren’t so fortunate,” the president said in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, named for a man severely wounded by a would-be assassin’s bullet, “I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save these lives and let these people grow up.”

He said that he knew that "there were parents across the country who are scared because it might have been their children." 

Except.

Except there was a guy - there's always someone the media manages to find - in Roseburg who said "things like that don't happen here."

News flash - every town IS everytown in the U.S.A.  Down the street from Roosevelt High School, up I-5 in Marysville, Seattle U, community college campuses, university campuses and yes, elementary schools.  Oh yeah, don't forget your movie theaters and churches.

Don't anyone think that any one of us will be safe from this carnage.  Don't for one minute think your kids are safe because really, they 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: School Shootings Since Newtown:

Our Justice Is Complicated | The Jose Vilson

Our Justice Is Complicated | The Jose Vilson:

Our Justice Is Complicated



For some reason, my Pocket app has been full of idiosyncratic profile pieces. This Fader one of Drake. This POLITICO one of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. This New York Times obitdedicated to teacher-turned-community activist Terry Rosenbaum. This Esquire bit on the old new Mark Zuckerberg.
So when La Galeria Magazine published their profile on me today, on the same day that the most beloved education blogger would visit my classroom, I was curious about what’s happened since the last time she visited my class.
One of the recurring themes I see in my work is the idea of justice as a messy and complicated idea. That’s where justice needs to be served. Justice isn’t a facile thing. Whereas any number of situations can be looked at from a binary lens, I’m more excited by the idea that most of the work we must do requires finer instruments than folks have used. Most of this work feels more like knowing when to use a Phillips screwdriver instead of a hammer, or when to use a drill instead of a pocket knife.
Most of my friends have more than one tool in their toolbox.
Some of us have grown rather weary of the binary, favoring social justice through all the layers it Our Justice Is Complicated | The Jose Vilson:

Broad and Walton Contribute a Combined $650,000 to Upcoming Louisiana BESE Election | deutsch29

Broad and Walton Contribute a Combined $650,000 to Upcoming Louisiana BESE Election | deutsch29:

Broad and Walton Contribute a Combined $650,000 to Upcoming Louisiana BESE Election






Billionaires Eli Broad and Alice and Jim Walton have contributed a combined $650,000 to Baton Rouge businessman Lane Grigsby’s PAC, Empower Louisiana, so that Grigsby might use it to try to retain a corporate-reform-bent majority on the state’s education board, BESE, from 2016-19.
The BESE election is scheduled for October 24, 2015.
According to Empower Louisiana’s campaign finance report (07-17-15 to 09-14-15), Jim and Alice Walton each donated $200,000 on August 20, 2015, and Broad contributed $250,000 on September 10, 2015.
The total on the above report is $763,710, which means that as of September 14, 2015, money from two billionaires from Arkansas and one billionaire from California constitutes the principal funding for Grigsby’s efforts to preserve a BESE majority known for supporting charters and vouchers without equally supporting adequate oversight; supporting high-stakes testing without supporting timely, clear, comprehensive reporting of testing results, and for allying with a state superintendent known for hiding and manipulating data, refusing to honor public records requests, and refusing to consistently audit the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE).
Grigsby considers the above to be the desired course for Louisiana’s state board of education. According to the October 01, 2015, Advocate, he plans to spend his PARC’s predominately Walton and Broad money on 3 of the 11 BESE seats:
Grigsby’s group — it is limited to independent expenditures — will rely mostly on television and radio advertisements and direct mail.
Races where it will be involved include BESE vice president Jim Garvey, of Metairie, against challenger Lee Barrios, of Abita Springs; incumbent Holly Boffy, of Youngsville, against challenger Mike Kreamer, of Lafayette and incumbent Mary Harris, of Shreveport, against challengers Tony Davis, of Natchitoches, and Glynis Johnston, of Shreveport.
The group backs Garvey, Boffy and Davis in those contests.
Even as they are pouring money into the October 2015 Louisiana state board election, Broad and Walton are teaming up to promote more charter schools in DC, and Broad is trying to privatize half of the schools in Los Angeles (see here also).
Grisgby backs those who will deliver the Walton- and Broad-approved, test-score-dependent privatization agenda for Louisiana schools.
Oppose Grigsby, Walton, and Broad.

Flip BESE.







Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, published on June 12, 2015.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.



Bernie and Hillary on Charters | Diane Ravitch's blog

Bernie and Hillary on Charters | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Bernie and Hillary on Charters




Charters kill unions. Ninety percent of charters are nonunion. Their sponsors want it that way..
Personally, I am completely opposed to for-profit charter schools. I think they are an abomination. I believe that every cent paid by taxpayers should be dedicated to the needs of children and their teachers, and not a single cent should be paid to investors.
Q. What are your views on private school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and charter school accountability and transparency?
BS: I am strongly opposed to any voucher system that would re-direct public education dollars to private schools, including through the use of tax credits. In addition, I believe charter schools should be held to the same standards of transparency as public schools, and that these standards should also apply to the non-profit and for-profit entities that organize charter schools.
This is what was on her blog from our questionnaire for HRC:
http://dianeravitch.net/2015/07/12/hillary-clinton-on-education/
Q. What are your views on private school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and charter school
accountability and transparency?
HRC: I strongly oppose voucher schemes because they divert precious resources away from financially
strapped public schools to private schools that are not subject to the same accountability
standards or teacher quality standards. It would be harmful to our democracy if we dismantled
our public school system through vouchers, and there is no evidence that doing so would
improve outcomes for children.
Charters should be held to the same standards, and to the same level of accountability and
transparency to which traditional public schools are held. This includes the requirements of civil
rights laws. They can innovate and help improve educational practices. But I also believe that
we must go back to the original purpose of charter schools. Where charters are succeeding, we
should be doing more to ensure that their innovations can be widely disseminated throughout
our traditional public school system. Where they are failing, they should be closed.Bernie and Hillary on Charters | Diane Ravitch's blog:
Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

The Costs of Our Teachers Opting Out | John Ewing

The Costs of Our Teachers Opting Out | John Ewing:

The Costs of Our Teachers Opting Out






As another school year gets underway, the public receives its annual dose of hand wringing about the state of American education. In the past few weeks, we have read about massive "failures" as districts and states report scores from last year's tests, about the rise of the opt-out movement, about parental unease with the Common Core, and about teacher shortages spreading across the country.
Editorials excoriate public schools; pundits offer glib solutions; politicians excoriate "whining" teachers and their unions, which, we are told, have brought education to this state of affairs.
This ritual of education bashing has become so commonplace that it's easy not to notice and move on. But we ought to notice because the annual lamentation is causing great damage. Because of it, confidence in public schools has fallen by nearly half over the past four decades, from roughly 60 percent to below 30. Because of it, job satisfaction for teachers has fallen dramatically, from 62 percent to 39 percent in just five years. And because of it, experienced, accomplished teachers are leaving classrooms in droves, while interest in teacher training programs is plummeting.
Each year, about 13 percent of the nation's roughly 3.5 million teachers either move to a different school or opt-out of teaching altogether. This means schools are in a perennial scramble to find replacements. Some see recruitment programs such as Teach for America as the answer. But filling classrooms with bright people with little training or support is not much of a solution. A few recruits succeed, growing into talented and passionate long-term educators, but many more struggle and leave after a year or two. Recruitment is important, but until we find ways to retain outstanding teachers we will be pumping water out of a sinking ship instead of plugging the holes.
Even more concerning, such programs are predicated on the belief that great teaching requires only enthusiasm and determination, not deep knowledge and carefully-honed skills. By perpetuating this view, they demean the profession and ultimately reduce its prestige. These programs may attract plenty of college graduates eager to burnish their resumes, but until teaching is viewed as a respected profession that requires both talent and training, our best and brightest will never consider it a career.
Study after study shows that experience counts in teaching. While recruitment may be an immediate need, retaining a workforce of outstanding, experienced educators is the ultimate goal.
So what do we do?

First, stop casting teachers as the cause of the problem rather than partners in the The Costs of Our Teachers Opting Out | John Ewing:

Louisiana Legislators, BESE Members, Citizens File a Public Records Request for PARCC(ish) Raw Scores | deutsch29

Louisiana Legislators, BESE Members, Citizens File a Public Records Request for PARCC(ish) Raw Scores | deutsch29:

Louisiana Legislators, BESE Members, Citizens File a Public Records Request for PARCC(ish) Raw Scores



john white 3
La. Superintendent John White


The following public records request was delivered to Louisiana State Superintendent John White both by messenger and by email at around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 01, 2015:
Baton Rouge, LA
For Immediate Release:  Date: October 01, 2015
Louisiana Citizens Public Records Request for PARCC Data
Today a group of legislators, BESE members, school board members, educators, and citizens filed a formal public records request for the purpose of securing the release of vital data from the Common Core tests that were given to Louisiana students almost six months ago.
These public officials and citizens believe that the results of the Spring 2015 PARCC testing are in the possession of the Louisiana Department of Education and therefore constitute public records under Louisiana law.
The law provides that any Louisiana citizen over the age of 18 may request any public record and that the custodian of public records must provide such public records immediately, but at least within a period of five business days.
These citizens believe that this formal public records request is necessary because numerous similar informal requests by various citizens have either been denied or ignored by the State Superintendent.
Representative Brett Geymann, the lead author of Common Core related legislation this last session, expressed frustration that the data from the tests has not been provided to the educator and parent committee that was formed to revamp the standards:
“This last legislative session we attempted to remove the Common Core Standards from our curriculum because it was not appropriate for our school children. However, in the course of the legislative process we worked out a compromise agreement that required a thorough review of the present Common Core Standards for the purpose of developing new standards that would benefit our students. Unfortunately, now we find that the Standards Review Committee is being denied access to the test results that could help to inform their work in revising the standards. This is in violation of the spirit of the agreement. The taxpayers paid millions of dollars for these tests and we should have the results in a form that can help the revisions committee.”
Representative Schroder echoed those sentiments: “We kept our end of the bargain. Time is running out for the committee. They need the information now. We are not asking that the test itself be released. We just want the standard each question tests and what percentage of students got it right.”
BESE member, Jane Smith, a former superintendent and state legislator, pointed out that she had helped negotiate the compromise: “I have said from the beginning that I Louisiana Legislators, BESE Members, Citizens File a Public Records Request for PARCC(ish) Raw Scores | deutsch29:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 10/1/15



CORPORATE ED REFORM






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YESTERDAY

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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 9/30/15
CORPORATE ED REFORMNews Corp. Sells Amplify to Existing Leadership Team | EdSurge NewsNews Corp. Sells Amplify to Existing Leadership Team | EdSurge News: News Corp. Sells Amplify to Existing Leadership TeamYesterday Amplify laid off upwards of 500 employees. Today Amplify has new owners.Or does it? News Corporation announced today that it has “sold its Amplify Insight and Learning businesses to a











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