Thursday, November 5, 2015

Math placement tests deserve more scrutiny | EdSource

Math placement tests deserve more scrutiny | EdSource:

Math placement tests deserve more scrutiny

Mathematics plays a central role in winnowing opportunities for students to enter and succeed in college. In California, students can graduate from high school with just two years of math, including a single college-preparatory course, Algebra 1. But if they don’t also complete Geometry and Algebra 2 (or, with the introduction of the Common Core state standards, an integrated pattern of courses covering the same material), students aren’t eligible to attend either of the state’s public university systems.
Last month, Governor Jerry Brown took an important step toward insuring more students the chance to take those courses: He signed a bill, SB-359, requiring school districts to adopt “fair, objective, and transparent” policies for determining how to place students into math courses when they start high school. The new policy means that students can’t arbitrarily be directed off the college math-ready track. This is good news for ensuring that more students, including more under-represented minorities, acquire the foundational math skills they need before college.
But bad news awaits too many students at the college gateway. That’s because taking the right courses in high school doesn’t guarantee access to college-level math courses at the state’s colleges and universities. To varying degrees, all three higher education systems in California use placement tests to determine whether students are ready for required college-level math courses. Those who aren’t – including up to 85 percent of community college students and 33 percent of students at California State University – must take one or more remedial courses.
The problem is that the placement tests used by most campuses have limited efficacy for placing students. Research in California and nationallyMath placement tests deserve more scrutiny | EdSource:

Petrilli and Wright’s Porous Article on Mediocre Test Scores | deutsch29

Petrilli and Wright’s Porous Article on Mediocre Test Scores | deutsch29:

Petrilli and Wright’s Porous Article on Mediocre Test Scores





In November 2015, Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli and Brandon Wright published an article entitled, “America’s Mediocre Test Scores,” which is slated to appear in the Winter 2016 issue of Education Next.
The article has a number of limitations worthy of note.
For starters, the article lacks links to references supporting the authors’ assertions. They open by referring to Pasi Sahlberg, Michael Rebell and Jessica Wolff, and Randi Weingarten, and without linking to sources, Petrilli and Wright connect statements these individuals have made regarding the connection between poverty and student performance on standardized tests to a “relative measure of poverty”:
For those educators quoted at the beginning of this essay, the answer is yes. They assert that the U.S. has a sky-high child-poverty rate compared to other developed countries.
To support their claim, they use a measure that assumes all families with less than half the median income in the country are by definition “poor.”
Petrilli and Wright need to provide the links for the source(s) to support their statement above.
Another limitation of Petrilli and Wright’s article is the “two out of three” assumption Petrilli and Wright’s Porous Article on Mediocre Test Scores | deutsch29:
Also In November 2015, Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli




Ed Notes Online: See the Video: Parents Sue Achievement First Charter Over Discipline and Lack of Services - We had the AF story 4 years ago

Ed Notes Online: See the Video: Parents Sue Achievement First Charter Over Discipline and Lack of Services - We had the AF story 4 years ago:

See the Video: Parents Sue Achievement First Charter Over Discipline and Lack of Services - We had the AF story 4 years ago






DUHHHHH!  This report by the NY Times

Lawsuit Accuses Brooklyn Charter School of Failing to Provide Special Education Services

supports the video interviews we did with Achievement First former parents in April 2011. Here is one of the 3 clips I posted:




Achievement First Charter School Parents Speak Out: Why they removed their children Part 2 from MORE-UFT/GEM on Vimeo.

Here are links to all the clips --
Videos of Achievement First parents talk about their children sitting on the floor: https://vimeo.com/30227766,https://vimeo.com/30238788https://vimeo.com/30266020.

We did these riveting interviews for our movie


The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman

   due to Leonie Haimson's organizing the interview and doing the questioning. I just turned on my camera. I thought we would be there for a few minutes instead of over 2 hours. We were able to use just a bit of the footage in the movie but for me it turned into one of the most powerful statements we made. People in Providence used the footage to help fight Achievement First.

RBE at Perdido Street School made this comment:
What kind of cretins would discipline a child with autism for not looking in the direction of the teacher?
The kind who run and/or work at Achievement First.
Oh, btw, they're hiring, so if you're in the market for a job where you get to abuse kids, especially special education students, head on over to Idealist and send the Achievement First cretins your resume...

CURMUDGUCATION: WSJ Runs Cyberschool PR

CURMUDGUCATION: WSJ Runs Cyberschool PR:

WSJ Runs Cyberschool PR








If you were feeling badly about the poor beleaguered cyber schools that took a drubbing earlier this week (from both a report suggesting they are no more effective than a long nap and the many charter fans who piled on to excoriate them), take heart. Someone did run to their defense. And an alleged journalist paved the road so that the run would be easy.

The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal posted a five minute infomercial for the cybers, featuringCenter for Education Reform Senior Fellow and President Emeritus Jeanne Allen. The Center for Education Reform is a full-on advocacy group for the charter school industry, used to float every imaginable argument in support of sweet, chartery goodness. Allen was there to blunt the impact of the study, and the WSJ host was there to help her do it.

"A small study on online charter schools is creating a big controversy," our hostess leads, suggesting that the study was neither large nor important, and suggesting that there is actually some sort of debate over the uselessness of cybers, and not just a whole lot folks from all across the ideological spectrum declaring that cyberschools are a big expensive waste of time.

Then we introduce Allen and lead with a question that is a softball in much the same way that Donald Trump is somewhat self-assured. Referring to the CREDO study, the host asks "Was this study conducted at Stanford or near Stanford--" with a chuckling delivery suggests that somebody cribbed the study off the back of a cereal box and is just trying to make it sound important by attaching 
CURMUDGUCATION: WSJ Runs Cyberschool PR:

American Indian/ Native Alaskan Caucus Cheers Enactment of Two Key Measures - California Teachers Association

American Indian/ Native Alaskan Caucus Cheers Enactment of Two Key Measures - California Teachers Association:

AMERICAN INDIAN/ NATIVE ALASKAN CAUCUS CHEERS ENACTMENT OF TWO KEY MEASURES

Storyteller David Garcia demonstrates the use of rhythm sticks employed in Chumash music and dance.


Caucus Chair Mary Levi briefs participants in the celebration about AB 30 (Alejo), the CTA-backed bill that bars California schools and universities from using mascots that are racial caricatures.
More than 100 State Council members joined the American Indian/Alaska Native Caucus for a celebration Saturday night of two key legislative victories and a moving presentation by a renowned Chumash Storyteller, David Garcia.
Participants cheered as Caucus Chair Mary Levi recounted the enactment of two CTA-supported measures that phase out the use of racial mascots and provide a new credential to help preserve Native American language and culture.
AB 30 by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) makes California the first state to bar schools and colleges from using racial slurs aimed at Native Americans.
AB 163, by Assembly Member Das Williams (D-Carpinteria), creates the American Indian Language and Culture Credential, a new certification enacted at the urging of the Chumash tribe. It will support teaching of heritage and language, particularly to Native American students.
During his presentation, Garcia told traditional stories, including ones that drove home the importance of maintaining courage in the face of adversity.
 Garcia and Levi both addressed the caucus’ next legislative target: getting California to change the official name of the Oct. 12 holiday to “Indigenous People’s Day.”
Garcia said that Native Americans had no need to be “discovered” by European explorers since they had been living on the continent for thousands of years.American Indian/ Native Alaskan Caucus Cheers Enactment of Two Key Measures - California Teachers Association:

VIDEO: Republican Jay Dardenne Endorses Democrat John Bel Edwards for Louisiana’s Next Governor | deutsch29

VIDEO: Republican Jay Dardenne Endorses Democrat John Bel Edwards for Louisiana’s Next Governor | deutsch29:

VIDEO: Republican Jay Dardenne Endorses Democrat John Bel Edwards for Louisiana’s Next Governor

dardenne edwards
Dardenne Endorses Edwards


In the race for Louisiana governor, Republican David Vitter’s DC Super PAC ran attack ads against both Republican contenders, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle.
The October 24, 2015, led to a runoff between the only Democrat John Bel Edwards, who led with 40 percent of the vote, and Vitter, who had 23 percent of the vote. The runoff is scheduled for November 21, 2015.
In his victory speech on October 24, 2015, Edwards invited both of the Republicans who lost, Angelle and Dardenne, to join his efforts to become Louisiana’s next governor.
Even at the risk of being shunned by the Republican Party, Dardenne took Edwards up on his offer at Louisiana State University’s Free Speech Alley, as WWL-TV reports on November 05, 2015:
Dardenne, who was the target of Vitter attack ads during the primary, announced his support for Edwards in “Free Speech Alley” in front of the LSU Student Union, a place he chose for the event.
He said Gov. Bobby Jindal has damaged the GOP brand in Louisiana and believes Vitter would damage it further, while he believes Edwards can unify the state. …
Edwards said he would consider offering Dardenne a place in his administration should he win but denied he promised Dardenne or anyone else a job in exchange for the endorsement.
Dardenne said he will remain a Republican, although he might no longer be welcome in the party.
Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere and Republican National Committee 
VIDEO: Republican Jay Dardenne Endorses Democrat John Bel Edwards for Louisiana’s Next Governor | deutsch29:

Lawsuit Accuses Brooklyn Charter School of Failing to Provide Special Education Services - The New York Times

Lawsuit Accuses Brooklyn Charter School of Failing to Provide Special Education Services - The New York Times:

Lawsuit Accuses Brooklyn Charter School of Failing to Provide Special Education Services






Special education students at a Brooklyn charter school did not get mandated services and were punished for behavior that arose from their disabilities, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday.
The suit, filed on behalf of five students at Achievement First Crown Heights, described a “systemic failure to provide them a free appropriate public education, in violation of their rights.” It said that students did not get physical therapy and other services for weeks at a time, and that a student with autism was disciplined for not looking in the direction a teacher instructed or for hiding under his desk.
In addition to the charter network and the school, the suit also named the New York City Department of Education and the New York State Education Department, asserting they failed to make Achievement First, a network with schools in Connecticut and Rhode Island as well as in New York City, live up to its responsibilities.
“Kids with special needs not only should be granted accommodations for their needs, but they must be under federal and state law,” said Michelle Movahed, a senior staff attorney at New York Legal Assistance Group, a nonprofit organization that is representing the students and their families. “This is not just a question of doing the right thing.”
Charter schools are publicly financed, but privately run, and they are required, like regular public schools, to formulate and carry out individual learning plans for children with special needs.
The suit comes at a time when charter schools, especially those in the Success Academy network, have come under scrutiny for their enforcement of strict behavior codes, suspending even the youngest students, some of whom might qualify for special education services. But advocates and families say that in both charters and traditional public schools, it can often be a struggle to ensure children with disabilities receive the services to which they are entitled.
In a statement made shortly after the suit was filed, Achievement First Lawsuit Accuses Brooklyn Charter School of Failing to Provide Special Education Services - The New York Times:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 11/5/15



CORPORATE ED REFORM





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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 11/4/15
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