Thursday, October 22, 2015

An unusual public fight between a New York charter school network and PBS - The Washington Post

An unusual public fight between a New York charter school network and PBS - The Washington Post:

An unusual public fight between a New York charter school network and PBS






A rather unusual public fight has erupted over a PBS NewsHour piece by longtime correspondent John Merrow about the Success Academy Charter School network in New York City, which was founded in 2006 by former City Council member Eva Moskowitz with the financial backing of Wall Street financiers. Success demanded a correction to material it said was wrong, PBS issued a clarification, but Moskowitz isn’t satisfied.
In the PBS NewsHour video, Merrow reports about student suspensions in the 34-school Success network. Success is structured in the “no excuses” model of schooling, which essentially means that teachers are responsible for student achievement and that there are no excuses — not hunger or sickness or violent home lives — for students not doing well. Critics have long charged that Success counsels out students who may drag down their school’s standardized test scores or present difficult disciplinary problems, which Moskowitz has repeatedly denied.
A recent post by Leo Casey, executive director of the nonprofit, Washington, D.C.-based Shanker Institute, charged that Success suspends students at about seven times the rate of New York City public schools, and that the network has misrepresented its suspension rates to the U.S. Department of Education. The charter network said it had no response to that post.
But it did respond — publicly and strongly — to the Merrow piece, which featured the Success Academy Prospect Heights in Brooklyn. Merrow noted that the school’s code of conduct runs six pages, labeling as infractions everything from “bullying and gambling to littering and failing to be in a ready-for-success position.” Getting out of a seat without permission or calling out an answer are infractions as well — and these can lead to suspension. Moskowitz is shown telling Merrow: “If you get it right in the early years, you actually have to suspend far less when the kids are older, because they understand what is expected ofAn unusual public fight between a New York charter school network and PBS - The Washington Post



New York College Prof to Student: Don’t Criticize Common Core | deutsch29

New York College Prof to Student: Don’t Criticize Common Core | deutsch29:

New York College Prof to Student: Don’t Criticize Common Core

put a cork in it


In September 2015, I received the following email from a New York student in a graduate-level teacher education program:
Dear Ms. Schneider,
I am an educator at a school in New York City who was shocked to find a letter from a Professor [name] in my mail box this week. As an educator, I am of the opinion that creativity should be a key focus of any curriculum.
I have enrolled in a master’s in ed. program at [name of school] and as an educator have expressed disagreement with Prof. [name] over the Common Core. [This professor] also has worked for Pearson….
As the letter from Prof. [name] directs, I should stop expressing my opinions of the CCLS (Common Core Learning Standards) in class. I feel this ironically stifles my right to freedom of speech and I am gravely concerned that [the professor’s] attitude will negatively affect my academic progress.  …
I am shocked by the letter, which was mailed to me in person….
I spoke with the individual sending the email. We had a frank conversation that included the reality that I do not know firsthand how the student has conducted him-/ herself in class. However, there are issues about this situation that are problematic regardless of the student’s behavior. First of all, the professor chose not to ask the student to make an appointment for a one-on-one meeting, instead choosing to “talk New York College Prof to Student: Don’t Criticize Common Core | deutsch29:
David Coleman Covers Bobby Vee



Educators for Sawant! Rally & Fundraiser | Seattle Education

Educators for Sawant! Rally & Fundraiser | Seattle Education:

Educators for Sawant! Rally & Fundraiser

sawant


Educators for Sawant!
Rally & Fundraiser
Saturday, Oct. 24; 5:30-7:30 PM
Labor Temple – 2800 1st Ave, Seattle
Next steps in the fight for high quality education.
In the aftermath of September’s historic teacher strike, let’s continue forward with this momentum to fight back against the corporate domination of education. Join us in building for Kshama’s re-election at this rally & fundraiser!
• Kshama Sawant along with re-election staff and volunteers marched with educators on daily picket lines.
• Organized a large community meeting inside City Council Chambers to build support for the strike.
• Led the way to a unanimous vote to make September 14th – 18th “Seattle Educator’s Week” in recognition and support of the Seattle Education Association whose members went on strike t win historic victories.
• Kshama’s re-election staff and volunteers knocked on doors and hung up posters to build community support for the strike.
• Kshama used her Solidarity Fund to donate to the Teacher Strike Fund twice.
*SPEAKERS*
Andy Russell: 4th grade teacher at Dearborn Park International School, member of Social Equality Educators,  board member of the Seattle Education Association and on the bargaining team. He held steadfast against teachers being evaluated based on test scores.
Alonzo Ybarra: 18 Year Seattle Middle College teacher and activist
Dustin Washington: Director of Seattle Freedom School
Kshama Sawant: Member of the American Federation of Teachers Local 1789 and taught at the Seattle Central Community College before being elected in 2013.Educators for Sawant! Rally & Fundraiser | Seattle Education:

Report calls for big changes in educating state’s English learners | EdSource

Report calls for big changes in educating state’s English learners | EdSource:

Report calls for big changes in educating state’s English learners



Researchers studying a group of California school districts are highly critical of the state’s system for providing services to English language learners in a report released this week.
Citing disparities in results and strategies among districts, professors from Stanford and other universities called for creating common, statewide criteria for determining who English learners are and for determining when they no longer need extra help. They also recommend:
  • Stronger monitoring to ensure that English learners have access to core academic classes and demanding content, the lack of which contributes to a lower graduation rate and readiness for college.
  • Better preparing new teachers and training existing teachers to understand second language acquisition and how to incorporate language instruction in all content areas.
  • Ending the general ban on bilingual education and creating incentives for districts to expand bilingual and dual language immersion programs, which researchers said can be more effective than English-only instruction in teaching English fluency. An initiative to rescind Proposition 227, the 1998 general ban on bilingual education, will be on the ballot in 2016.
The report incorporates findings of three school district–university research partnerships: in Los Angeles Unified, in a collaboration of seven small and medium-sized districts known as the English Language Learner Leadership Network, Report calls for big changes in educating state’s English learners | EdSource:

California's Farm to Preschool Program - Healthy Eating & Nutrition Education (CA Dept of Education)

California's Farm to Preschool Program - Healthy Eating & Nutrition Education (CA Dept of Education):

California's Farm to Preschool Program

The California Department of Education (CDE) connects Farm to Preschools (F2P) and manages the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) F2P take ACTION Challenge.





What is Farm to Preschool?

F2P is a growing movement that includes activities that strengthen relationships between children in early child care and education settings and healthy, local food.  
F2P activities include:
  • Purchasing, promoting and serving healthy, local foods in snacks or meals
  • Providing educational activities related to agriculture, food, health, or nutrition
  • Creating hands-on learning opportunities for children through gardening

California’s CACFP F2P take ACTION Challenge

In October 2015, the CDE Nutrition Services Division (NSD) launched the CACFP F2P take ACTION Challenge (Challenge) for child care centers (CCC) and day care home (DCH) providers participating in California’s CACFP. This F2P Challenge is in partnership with the Child Care Food Program (CCFP) Roundtable CACFP take ACTION Challenge External link opens in new window or tab. initiative. CCCs and DCH providers can choose to participate in the F2P Challenge without participating in the CACFP Challenge or they can participate in both Challenges simultaneously. The goal is to increase F2P activities throughout California.
The CACFP F2P take ACTION Challenge is an opportunity for CCCs and DCH providers to commit to implementing F2P program enhancements by August 31, 2016. The CDE will recognize CCCs and DCH providers after completion of the activity(ies) by issuing awards and posting their business name on the CCFP Roundtable Conference External link opens in new window or tab. Web page. In order to participate, CCCs and DCH providers will select specific F2P activities (a total of 27 F2P activities) in three areas of focus. For more information, please visit the CACFP F2P take ACTION Challenge, Questions and Answers.
To participate, complete the online CACFP F2P take ACTION Challenge Survey External link opens in new window or tab. by August 31, 2016. 

Resource Links

Purchasing Local Foods


National Farm to School Network, Farm to Preschool: Getting Started with Local Foods Purchasing External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This tip sheet will assist you in determining which local foods to purchase and where to buy them. 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm to Preschool External link opens in new window or tab. 
This USDA Web page includes a variety of policies, guidance, and resources related to F2P.
USDA, Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs External link opens in new window or tab. 
This guide covers procurement basics, defining local, where to find local products, and the variety of ways schools can purchase locally in accordance with regulations.
USDA, Financial Management—Child and Adult Care Food Program External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This USDA Food and Nutrition Service guidance covers allowable costs in the CACFP.

Recipes

USDA Team Nutrition, Recipes for Healthy Kids—Cookbook for Homes External link opens in new window or tab.
This cookbook features kid-approved recipes that are low in fat, sugar, and sodium, and include dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, and whole grains. (Serving size equals 6.)
USDA Team Nutrition, Recipes for Healthy Kids—Cookbook for Child Care Centers and Schools External link opens in new window or tab.
This cookbook features kid-approved recipes that are low in fat, sugar, and sodium, and includes dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, and whole grains. (Serving size equals 25, 50, or 100.)

Garden-based Education and Activities

CDE, Food for Thought External link opens in new window or tab. 
This nutrition education curriculum is designed for child care programs to teach young children (three to five years old) about good nutrition and healthy food choices. The curriculum is structured around five units, namely Fall Fruits and Vegetables, Winter Fruits and Vegetables, Go-Grains, Power up with Proteins, and Spring Snacking.
CDE, Healthy and Active Preschoolers External link opens in new window or tab. 
This Web page includes a variety of songs to sing with preschoolers that feature fruits and vegetables and a list of storybooks for young children that focus on healthy food.
California Department of Public Health, Harvest of the Month External link opens in new window or tab. 
This award-winning initiative features ready-to-go tools and resources that can be used in diverse applications to support healthy eating and daily physical activity.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package External link opens in new window or tab.
This curriculum package includes activity ideas and resources for implementing F2P.
Institute for Child Nutrition (ICN), Visit to the Farmer’s Market—Autumn is for Apples External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This activity guide is intended to help child care providers plan a trip to a farmer’s market. It provides helpful ideas for what to do before, during, and after the visit.
Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College, Farm to Preschool Harvest of the Month Curriculum External link opens in new window or tab.(PDF)
This curriculum is designed for preschool-age children and features a different fruit or vegetable each month. It teaches children where food comes from and why gardening and locally grown food is so important in our lives.
USDA, Grow It, Try It, Like It Nutrition Education Kit External link opens in new window or tab.
This garden-themed nutrition education kit features MyPlate and introduces children to three fruits— peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables—spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash.

Creating Preschool Gardens

California School Garden Network, Steps to a School Garden External link opens in new window or tab.
This Web site provides a variety of resources for planning and sustaining a school garden.
ICN, Gardening with Children External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This four-page handout is No. 4 of the Meal Time Memo series (2010) for child care and focuses on planning an outdoor garden.
ICN, How Does Your Garden Grow? External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This four-page handout is No. 4 of the Meal Time Memo series (2009 and updated in 2013) for child care and focuses on getting the community involved in an outdoor gardening project.
ICN, Plant an Indoor Garden External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This four-page handout is No. 7 in the Meal Time Memo series (2008) and focuses on planting an indoor garden.
Life Lab, Getting Started, A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This comprehensive guide addresses all aspects of creating a school garden, from planning and preparing the site to maintaining and managing the garden.
The Garden School Foundation, Southern California Preschool Garden Primer External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This primer includes instructions for creating a raised-bed garden, a planting guide for Southern California, garden activities, and recipes.

Finding Farmers and Farmer’s Markets in California

Community Alliance for Family Farmers External link opens in new window or tab.
This Web site provides a user-friendly way to find farmers and farmer’s markets near your home or business. Just type in your zip code and the distance you are willing to travel and a list of farms and farmer’s markets with contact information will be displayed.
California Department of Food and Agriculture, The California Farmer Marketplace External link opens in new window or tab.
This Web site features California produce, grains, meats, and other products for sale and is available for individual consumers. The Marketplace offers farmers the opportunity to post products and connect directly with school food service to increase the amount of California grown and produced foods on school lunch trays.

Food Safety

University of Massachusetts; University of New Hampshire, Food Safety from Farm and Garden to Preschool External link opens in new window or tab.
This free, online training program is designed to improve the understanding of food safety risks related to fresh fruits and vegetables, and reduce the risk of foodborne illness in young children. Each Unit includes videos, interactive activities such as sharing boards, and the creation of best practices planning tools.

Promoting F2P in the Media

National Farm to School Network, Communication Tool Kit External link opens in new window or tab.
This toolkit contains an explanation of this year’s Farm to School Month activities, a sample press release, suggested social media posts and graphics, sample text for newsletters, and ideas and tips for making media pitches.

Connecting F2P in California

Community Alliance with Family Farmers; Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, California Farm to School Network External link opens in new window or tab. 
The California Farm to School Network (CFSN) serves as a communications hub and convener across many organizations and regions in the state. The CFSN shares resources and brings farmers, schools, distributors, and practitioners together to support California’s leadership in the Farm to School movement.
Questions:   Laurie Pennings | FarmToPreschool@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-3813

NYC Public School Parents: Cease and Desist letter sent today to Eva Moskowitz of Success Charters

NYC Public School Parents: Cease and Desist letter sent today to Eva Moskowitz of Success Charters:

Cease and Desist letter sent today to Eva Moskowitz of Success Charters



A FERPA complaint to the US Dept of Education Family Compliance Office will follow soon. 


October 22, 2015

Eva Moskowitz, CEO
Success Academy Network
95 Pine Street, Floor 6, New York, NY 10005
By US Postal Service Priority Mail and email to: eva.moskowitz@successacademies.org

Dear Ms. Moskowitz; 

I demand that you immediately remove the letter you wrote to PBS and sent to the press on October 19, that contained details of my son’s disciplinary record and is posted at [link removed] , as well as the second follow up letter you posted and sent on October 21 at [link removed.]

As you are well aware, regulations governing compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 require that educational agencies and institutions obtain a parent’s signed and dated written consent before they are allowed to share non-directory personally identifiable information from a student's education records to third parties (34 CFE 99.30).

Some of the details of my son’s disciplinary history are accurate but many are not.  In any case, I was not contacted at any time beforehand, and I did not give my consent to the disclosure of any part of his education record.

In fact, your first letter includes an email from John Merrow of PBS, saying that I “was unwilling to release [my] son’s records.”  This is further documented by PBS, in their response to the letter, in which they write: “the mother was not willing to allow Success Academy to release her NYC Public School Parents: Cease and Desist letter sent today to Eva Moskowitz of Success Charters:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 10/22/15



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