Monday, December 7, 2015

What’s behind the Obama administration’s recent ‘180 on standardized tests?  | CLASSROOM STRUGGLE

What’s behind the Obama administration’s recent ‘180 on standardized tests?  | CLASSROOM STRUGGLE:

What’s behind the Obama administration’s recent ‘180 on standardized tests? 



 Recently President Obama, in a surprising shift, committed to ending the growing trend of excessive standardized tests being forced on the nation’s public school students. He penned an open-letter to parents and teachers (published by Huffington Post), in it he, “asks the Department of Education to work aggressively with states and school districts to make sure that standardized tests meet three basic criteria… in summary they should be worthy, not take up too much time (2% of classroom time), and one source of assessment data.” The online article also links his testing action plan, which is a more comprehensive strategy to get standardized testing time decreased in U.S. public schools.
     Now to the relatively novice teacher, these words of our president may seem like a welcome relief. Yet for those who know the D.C. shell game, its wise to be highly suspect of this development. For seven years we’ve had to endure his administration’s testing onslaught wrought by RaceToTheTop and continued NoChildLeftBehind policy. Therefore we must ask the question, what is behind Obama’s abrupt departure from over-testing?
     Reflecting on the recent endorsements from both major teacher union presidents (Weingarten and Eskelsen-Garcia) for Hillary Clinton in the primary and the subsequent nationwide backlash from the Rank-and-File as this position was effectively forced upon us — this may be Obama trying to get back teacher union support for Hillary and the Democrats. Yet, more importantly we must keep in mind the nature of the Democratic party and their attempts, every two to four years, to gather support from what is an ever-shrinking base. If anything is said about the two terms of Obama — its served as a constant reminder that the Democrats are not a working class party. After seven years of the corporate education deform movement we should not be fooled by Obama’s last second effort to reverse his own testing-heavy legislation that has favored testing and textbook giants like What’s behind the Obama administration’s recent ‘180 on standardized tests?  | CLASSROOM STRUGGLE:

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Dorn Turns ALE Rules/Regs on their Head for Charter Schools

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Dorn Turns ALE Rules/Regs on their Head for Charter Schools:

Dorn Turns ALE Rules/Regs on their Head for Charter Schools




There are many contradictions between what OSPI tells regular districts about Alternative Learning Experiences (ALEs) versus what is being said that will be done for charter schools and ALE programs.

(I have repeatedly tried to get clarity on these issues from OSPI. I am now using the documentation they have at their website.) 

There are two main issues.

Here's the first one via a legislative document reviewing ALEs (bold mine):

For ALE, the WSLP represents the student’s academic program. It describes the course or courses the student is taking, including the learning activities for each course—it defines the student’s full alternative learning experience. Therefore, for an ALE student, there is no basis for the district to pay for any courses, experiences, or services not included in the WSLP.

That pretty much says that the WSLP is the raison d'etre for an ALE.  Now the RCW doesn't have a specific time by which there has to be an WSLP but anOSPI webinar from April 2013 makes it very clear that districts have to have this plan in place for all that follows.

As well, a "certificated teacher" has to approve the WSLP prior to the start date and monthly count date for enrollment.

Referencing the Superintendent's memo from Friday to districts about taking in these charter students via ALEs, the Superintendent seems to say, "WSLP? What WSLP? We don't need those" because, despite the fact that this ALE would have to start almost immediately in mid-December, the Superintendent gives these schools until FEBRUARY to get them filed. 

So what is the ALE program without a WSLP?  Almost makes it look like it's just a paper shield that the charters will have until the Legislature gets around to (possibly) funding them sometime in what? mid-late February? 

From the webinar:
Teacher approval is a method of documenting that a certificated teacher 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Dorn Turns ALE Rules/Regs on their Head for Charter Schools:

Is ESSA the ESEA Reauthorization Bill Arne Duncan Was Hoping For? - Politics K-12

Is ESSA the ESEA Reauthorization Bill Arne Duncan Was Hoping For? - Politics K-12 - Education Week:

Is ESSA the ESEA Reauthorization Bill Arne Duncan Was Hoping For?


 So you've probably heard by now the bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act seeks to rein in future secretaries of education. And it would allow states to chart their own course when it comes to teacher evaluation and school turnarounds, to name a couple of policies closely associated with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and company.

But Duncan sees a lot to like in the legislation—called the Every Student Succeeds Act—he plans to say in a speech Tuesday to the Learning Forward professional development conference just outside Washington. (Read excerpts here.)

Dodgers claim pitcher Danny Reynolds off waivers from Angels - True Blue LA

Dodgers claim pitcher Danny Reynolds off waivers from Angels - True Blue LA:

Dodgers claim pitcher Danny Reynolds off waivers from Angels

S ANGELES -- The Dodgers have been busy at the winter meetings, with three reported transactions in various stages of reported completion. But the first official move from Nashville announced on Monday was claiming right-handed pitcher Danny Reynolds off waivers from the Angels.
Reynolds, who turns 25 in May, had a 4.57 ERA in 43 games for Double-A Arkansas in 2015, with 10 saves, 50 strikeouts and 28 walks in 43⅓ innings.
The 2009 sixth-round draft pick was a starter in 2012-2013, when he put up a 4.83 ERA, a 17.6-percent strikeout rate and 9.3-percent walk rate.
In 2014-2015, all 90 of Reynolds' appearances have been in relief, where he put up a 3.59 ERA, a 24.8-percent strikeout rate and 11.2-percent walk rate. Then-Halos general manager Jerry Dipoto told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register in March that a switch to relief bumped up Reynolds' fastball from the low 90s to mid-90s mph.
Reynolds was added to the Angels' 40-man roster in November 2014, and he used an option year in 2015. He has two option years remaining.
With the addition of Reynolds, the Dodgers now have 37 players on their 40-man roster.Dodgers claim pitcher Danny Reynolds off waivers from Angels - True Blue LA:

Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time - Living in Dialogue

Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time - Living in Dialogue:

Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time



This is the fifth in a series of blog posts focused on the value of art in our lives, and the role art can play in resisting the test and punish model of education.  See the intro and links to other posts in the series here.
By Steven Singer.
Sometimes in public school you’ve just got to cut the crap.
No testing. No close reading. No multiple choice nonsense.
Get back to basics – pass out notebooks, crack them open and students just write.
Not an essay. Not a formal narrative. Not an official document. Just pick up a pencil and see where your imagination takes you.
You’d be surprised the places you’ll go.
You might invent a new superhero and describe her adventures in a marshmallow wonderland. You might create a television show about strangers trapped in an elevator. You might imagine what life would be like if you were no bigger than a flea.
Or you might write about things closer to home. You might describe what it’s like to have to take care of your three younger brothers and sisters after school until just before bedtime when your mom comes backfrom her third minimum wage job. You might chronicle the dangers of walking home after dismissal where drug dealers rule certain corners and gangs patrol the allies. You might report on where you got those black and blue marks on your arms, your shoulders, places no one can see when you’re fully clothed.
My class is not for the academic all stars. It’s for children from impoverished families, kids with mostly black and brown skin and test scores that threaten to close their school and put me out of work.
So all these topics and more are fair game. You can write about pretty much whatever you want. I might give you something to get you started. I might ask you a question to get you thinking, or try to challenge you to Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time - Living in Dialogue:

BustED Pencils Trending News: Closed & Sad; Deny; Hmmmm | BustED Pencils

BustED Pencils Trending News: Closed & Sad; Deny; Hmmmm | BustED Pencils:

Closed & Sad; Deny; Hmmmm 

newsboy_bustedpencils-logo_full color


Boring to students and teachers.  Type of bullying.  Follow the rules, do what you are told, ignore the interactive part.  Keep BUSTING PENCILS Barry!!

The Sad Art of Closed Reading

BustEDstretch

RTI raises MANY concerns!

“Response to Intervention”—An Excuse to Deny Services to Students with Learning Disabilities?

BustEDstretch
Smoke in Mirrors!!!

Success Metrics Questioned in School Program Funded by Goldman


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Resigned Alabama Teacher of the Year Now in the Running for Alabama Person of the Year! | deutsch29

Resigned Alabama Teacher of the Year Now in the Running for Alabama Person of the Year! | deutsch29:

Resigned Alabama Teacher of the Year Now in the Running for Alabama Person of the Year!

Ann Marie Corgill 3
 Ann Marie Corgill


On the evening of December 07, 2015, I had an email from Ann Marie Corgill, the 2014-15 Alabama Teacher of the Year whose October 2015 resignation made national news. (To read about Corgill’s ordeal in detail based upon my exclusive interview with her, see this post.)



The subject line of her email read, “Check this out….”
So I did.
It included a link to this December 07, 2015, AL.com story entitled, “Who Has Your Vote for Alabama’s Person of the Year?”
Sure enough, Corgill is on the ballot:
After a week of voting on 25 of the most shared and talked about stories on AL.com in 2015, our readers narrowed the list down to 10.
What do these 10 have in common?
Some spoke truth to power, such as…
Alabama’s Teacher of the Year who resigned: Ann Marie Corgill, Alabama’s 2014 Teacher of the Year (and a finalist for the national Teacher of the Year honor in 2015), resigned after being shuffled around due to confusion by Birmingham City Schools on whether she was certified to teach her fifth grade students, despite National Board certifications for ages 7-12.
The article includes an opportunity for readers to vote for Alabama Person of the Resigned Alabama Teacher of the Year Now in the Running for Alabama Person of the Year! | deutsch29:

Teachers and police officers may school Rahm. | Reclaim Reform

Teachers and police officers may school Rahm. | Reclaim Reform:

Teachers and police officers may school Rahm.


Rahm is too connected to jail.
Or… is he?
Rahm Emanuel NOT investigated.001
The Chief of Police was fired by Rahm for covering up a police murder. Covered up and paid millions in taxpayer money to the family of the murdered 17 year old black youth. Covered up for 13 months while Rahm gets himself re-elected. Then the head of the “Independent” Police Review Authority, who was personally appointed by Rahm, quits. Next the Chief of Detectives unexpectedly and suddenly leaves.
The CEO of the Chicago Public Schools was imprisoned for fraud. Appointed Board of Education members profit from closing schools and paying charters, charters they are invested in. The Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Accountability Officer of the Chicago Public Schools both jump ship right after Rahm loses an Illinois Supreme Court case which tried to claim that Chicago doesn’t have enough money to pay its debts for teacher and public employee pensions. However Rahm continues to give away millions and millions of tax dollars annually to the connected and their connections. DePaul University, an expensive private Catholic university, will receive millions for building a second basketball arena. Billionaire George Lucas will get megabuck tax dollars to build his museum. The list goes on and on.
But Rahm claims to not have enough money to pay teachers or to keep schools from closing. Even more teachers are scheduled to be fired and even more programs will be cut Teachers and police officers may school Rahm. | Reclaim Reform:





Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time | gadflyonthewallblog

Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time | gadflyonthewallblog:

Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time

d3493c8db7e1e4b423ce6b5e87f14eb6


This is the fifth in a series of blog posts focused on the value of art in our lives, and the role art can play in resisting the test and punish model of education.  See the intro and links to other posts in the series here.

Sometimes in public school you’ve just got to cut the crap.
No testing. No close reading. No multiple choice nonsense.
Get back to basics – pass out notebooks, crack them open and students just write.
Not an essay. Not a formal narrative. Not an official document. Just pick up a pencil and see where your imagination takes you.
You’d be surprised the places you’ll go.
You might invent a new superhero and describe her adventures in a marshmallow wonderland. You might create a television show about strangers trapped in an elevator. You might imagine what life would be like if you were no bigger than a flea.
Or you might write about things closer to home. You might describe what it’s like to have to take care of your three younger brothers and sisters after school until just before bedtime when your mom comes back from her third minimum wage job. You might chronicle the dangers of walking home after dismissal where drug dealers rule certain corners and gangs patrol the alleys. You might report on where you got thoseblack and blue marks on your arms, your shoulders, places no one can see when you’re fully clothed.
My class is not for the academic all stars. It’s for children from impoverished families, kids with mostly black and brown skin and test scores that threaten to close their school and put me out of work.
So all these topics and more are fair game. You can write about pretty much whatever you want. I might give you something to get you started. I might ask you a Putting the Arts Back in Language Arts – One Journal at a Time | gadflyonthewallblog:

K-3 students in Sacramento City schools to see smaller class sizes in fall 2016 | The Sacramento Bee

K-3 students in Sacramento City schools to see smaller class sizes in fall 2016 | The Sacramento Bee:

K-3 students in Sacramento City schools to see smaller class sizes in fall 2016

Katherine Hoffmore, 48, occupies her students in line at Greer Elementary as they get ready to go home for the day. Expected to cost about $7.5 million a year for salaries and benefits, the decision to lower class sizes brings the district in line with a new state formula that gives districts more money if they reduce their class sizes by the year 2020. Sacramento City Unified plans to add 75 teachers at 47 schools.
Katherine Hoffmore, 48, occupies her students in line at Greer Elementary as they get ready to go home for the day. Expected to cost about $7.5 million a year for salaries and benefits, the decision to lower class sizes brings the district in line with a new state formula that gives districts more money if they reduce their class sizes by the year 2020. Sacramento City Unified plans to add 75 teachers at 47 schools. Renee C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com


Sacramento City Unified School District plans to slash class sizes in kindergarten through third grade next fall to an average of 24 students, reversing recession era cuts that boosted the number of children in many classrooms to 30 or more.
Classes in the district currently average 29 students at schools with high numbers of low-income students. At other schools, the average can be as high as 32 children.
Expected to cost about $7.5 million a year for salaries and benefits, the decision brings the district in line with a new state formula that gives districts more money if they reduce their class sizes by the year 2020. Sacramento City Unified plans to add 75 teachers at 47 schools.
“Aside from it being the right thing to do, it’s really following through on what the state has set as a requirement,” Superintendent Jose Banda said. “It’s really what we believe in. We believe that smaller class sizes are better for kids and better for teachers. That’s the bottom line.”
Patricia Gentle, whose two children attend H.W. Harkness Elementary in south Sacramento, said there are 29 students in her daughter’s kindergarten class. “That’s a lot of 5-year-olds,” she said.
“The lower class size will give the teacher more time to spend on each individual,” said Gentle, who works elsewhere in the district as a teaching assistant. “They should have done it along time ago.”
I MADE A PROPOSAL TO THE DISTRICT TO ACCELERATE CLASS SIZE REDUCTIONS THIS YEAR, AND THEY REJECTED IT. SO WE’RE VERY PLEASED THAT THEY DECIDED TO DO IT NEXT YEAR.
Nikki Milevsky, president, Sacramento City Teachers Association
Some large school districts in the Sacramento area already have reduced class sizes. Elk Grove Unified School District, for instance, has reached the state’s 2020 target for grades K-3. Davis Joint Unified School District has 24- or 25-student averages at its school sites and will be fully compliant by next fall.
All K-3 grades in Rancho Cordova have met the 24-student threshold in the Folsom CordovaK-3 students in Sacramento City schools to see smaller class sizes in fall 2016 | The Sacramento Bee:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/7/15



CORPORATE ED REFORM

 





yong zhao » Are American Students Over-tested: Schleicher vs. Schleicher
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At School And At Home, How Much Does The Internet Know About Kids? : All Tech Considered : NPR
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MORE ON SFER – Corporate Money in the 2015 Denver Board of Education Election - Wait What?
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Charter applications could provide insight on LAUSD board sentiments - LA School Report
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Schoolyard Farms to launch 2nd school-based farm at Milwaukie-area high school | OregonLive.com
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The successor to No Child Left Behind has, it turns out, big problems of its own - The Washington Post
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Detroit teachers take battle to new level
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Charter school teacher hit with multiple corruption charges for leading Allentown student walkout
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$17 million SBAC testing money should be used to prevent the terrible cuts to programs that actually help children.  (Guest Post by CT Educator James Mulholland) - Wait What?
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Investigating Why So Many Black Preschoolers Get Suspended and Expelled - The Atlantic
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Garfield’s Black Student Union responds to rumored white supremacists march in Seattle | Seattle Education
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Liars in the HOUSE - The Crucial VoiceThe Crucial Voice
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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/6/15
CORPORATE ED REFORM Alabama Teacher of the Year Resigns– The Backstory, Part III | deutsch29Alabama Teacher of the Year Resigns– The Backstory, Part III | deutsch29: Alabama Teacher of the Year Resigns– The Backstory, Part III  Ann Marie CorgillOn October 30, 2015, the 2014-15 Alabama Teacher of the Year, Ann Marie Corgill, abruptly resigned from teaching at Birmingham City Schools after a taxing









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