Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ms. Katie's Ramblings: New CPS School Budgets are Stinky Turd Lumps

Ms. Katie's Ramblings: New CPS School Budgets are Stinky Turd Lumps:

New CPS School Budgets are Stinky Turd Lumps



CPS has done it again. If you thought "Student Based Budgeting" was a bad idea (it is) then you will not be surprised to learn about CPS' brand new way to harm kids with budget cuts and to blame principals for the fallout.

Let's call it..."lumping." Instead of the previous system that funded special education positions (teachers and support staff) centrally, now CPS is lumping ALL sped and general education monies into one giant half-empty bucket. When student-based budgeting hit the schools three years ago, essentially slashing budgets, special education remained relatively protected. I mean, special education has...well, "special" protections under federal law.

Not that CPS didn't try to cut those darn expensive special education services. Last year, CPS DID slash those budgets. Only to receive a crap load of "appeals" from schools that ended up forcing the district to shell out even MORE money for sped. Turns out, special education has NEVER been funded adequately. (I know, I know...I'll give you a moment to get over your shock.)

So this year...I gotta give it to those wily CPS budget shenanigan-makers...they came up with a pretty ingenious way to cut back on expensive sped. They are going to make principals steal from the general education population! In order to meet those pesky federal requirements for special education, principals will be forced to cut gen ed positions, specials, after-school programs, and who know what else in order to fund the protected 
Ms. Katie's Ramblings: New CPS School Budgets are Stinky Turd Lumps:



JULY 14TH - FROM TEAR GAS TO CHEMO -- FROM PEOPLES' PARK TO NICE, FRANCE AND ECHO PARK TOO.

Turtle Learning: JULY 14TH - FROM TEAR GAS TO CHEMO -- FROM PEOPLES' PARK TO NICE, FRANCE AND ECHO PARK TOO.:

JULY 14TH - FROM TEAR GAS TO CHEMO -- FROM PEOPLES' PARK TO NICE, FRANCE AND ECHO PARK TOO.





  

   Today over 70 people so far have been counted as killed by a "suicide vehicle weapons attack" in Nice, France-- on BASTILLE DAY - which has actually been superseded on Google by reports of the attacks and murders of people in Nice.  Now up to 75 as I write this.  On Bastille Day it says:   
"The French National Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789,[1][2] an important event in Paris in The French Revolution, which had begun two days earlier,[3] as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.[4][5]"  Most important was :    "The French Revolution (French: Révolution française [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, and was partially carried forward by Napoleon during the later expansion of the French Empire. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, experienced violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a 
Turtle Learning: JULY 14TH - FROM TEAR GAS TO CHEMO -- FROM PEOPLES' PARK TO NICE, FRANCE AND ECHO PARK TOO.:



Jersey Jazzman: What We Don't Know About Gulen-Linked Charter Schools, And Why That's a Problem

Jersey Jazzman: What We Don't Know About Gulen-Linked Charter Schools, And Why That's a Problem:

What We Don't Know About Gulen-Linked Charter Schools, And Why That's a Problem



This week's attempted coup in Turkey will inevitably turn the spotlight on Fethullah Gulen -- the primary political rival of Turkish President Erdogan -- who lives in seclusion in Pennsylvania. Gulen is linked to a network of over 160 charter schools operating across the country, including several in New Jersey that Governor Chris Christie has recently praised.


I've written several pieces about Christie's love affair with Gulen-linked charters here in New Jersey -- see herehere, and here. Even though I've looked at these schools closely, I won't claim I've exhaustively researched the entire Gulen movement, otherwise known as Hizmet, and its connections to US charter schools. Still, from what I have read, it's clear that there certainly is a network of charters connected to Gulen. The proliferation of these charter schools has been reported on by CBS NewsThe AtlanticThe New York Times, and The Wall St. Journal. This is hardly tinfoil hat territory.

That said, there's quite a bit we still don't know about these schools:

- The charters linked to Gulen generally do not express their connections openly. While Hizmet is clearly a religious movement, there is no indication the charters ever proselytize. Charter leaders may express their admiration for Gulen, but they do not, so far as I've ever seen, admit to taking direction directly from him when it comes to the administration of the charters.

- This said, there is at least an informal network that binds these charters together, and that network is aligned with Hizmet. The website Gulen Charter Schools has documented, in great detail, the structure of this network, which includes not only the charters themselves but also related contractors.

- These schools employ staffs that consist of large numbers of Turkish nationals, although not exclusively. There are many reports that the schools use H1-B visas to bring teachers Jersey Jazzman: What We Don't Know About Gulen-Linked Charter Schools, And Why That's a Problem:





Big Education Ape: Reclusive Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, blamed for failed coup in Turkey - LA Times - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/reclusive-muslim-cleric-fethullah-gulen.html

Big Education Ape: US would consider extradition request for exiled cleric -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/us-would-consider-extradition-request.html


 Big Education Ape: Fethullah Gulen: The Islamic scholar Turkey blames for the failed coup - The Washington Post - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/fethullah-gulen-islamic-scholar-turkey.html

Big Education Ape: Coup in Turkey: Is Fetullah Gulen Behind It? | Diane Ravitch's blog - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/coup-in-turkey-is-fetullah-gulen-behind.html

Big Education Ape: KILLING ED: 120 American Charter Schools and One Secretive Turkish Cleric -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/01/killing-ed-120-american-charter-schools.html

 Big Education Ape: Update: Gulen Harmony charter school network accused of bias and self-dealing Dallas Morning News - http://go.shr.lc/1qV85Hm

Big Education Ape: Turkey Links Texas Charter Schools to Dissident - WSJ - http://go.shr.lc/1OW1ZfV



Big Education Ape: Magnolia Science Academy - A Gulen Charter School: Gulen Magnolia Science Academy links discussed at LAUSD board meeting -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/magnolia-science-academy-gulen-charter.html

Reclusive Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, blamed for failed coup in Turkey - LA Times

Reclusive Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, blamed for failed coup in Turkey - LA Times:

Reclusive Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, blamed for failed coup in Turkey

 the wake of Friday's deadly coup attempt in Turkey, that country's president quickly laid blame on Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who has lived in exile in Pennsylvania since 1999 and controls a $25-billion religious organization.
Gulen, 75, who denied the charges in a statement, is a virtual recluse at the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center, constructed near Saylorsburg, Penn., in the 1990s as a center for Turkish American children.
Praised by supporters as a moderate who supports education and interreligious dialogue though his Hizmet movement, Gulen also has been accused of stealth efforts to topple the Turkish government and spread Islamic law, or Sharia, in Turkey and abroad.
"Fethullah Gulen is the leader of a terrorist organization," Prime Minister Benali Yildirim said in a statement Saturday. "Especially after what happened yesterday, I don't believe any country would support him. Whichever country supports him isn't a friend of Turkey. It is practically at war with Turkey."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration would entertain an extradition request for Gulen, but he added that Turkey's government would have to prove his complicity. Visiting Luxembourg, Kerry said Saturday that Turkey hadn't yet requested the United States send the cleric home. But later in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a demand that the U.S. extradite Gulen.
In a statement released by his foundation, the Alliance for Shared Values, Gulen condemned Friday's coup attempt and rejected claims he was involved.
The government said more than 200 people were killed in the attempt, and 1,440 wounded. In addition, 104 soldiers identified as coup backers were killed in the fighting, and 2,839 members of the military had been arrested.
"Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force," Gulen said. "I pray to God for Turkey, for Turkish citizens, and for all those currently in Turkey that this situation is resolved peacefully and quickly. As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations."
A spokeswoman for Gulen's foundation, Safiye Embel, was unsure whether any of its officials would be available for an interview Saturday.
"As you can imagine, we have a lot of [media] requests right now," she said.
Earlier this year, Gulen was put on trial in absentia in Istanbul, accused of attempting to overthrow the government by instigating corruption probes that targeted people close to Erdogan.
Gulen and 68 others, including former police chiefs, have been charged with "attempting to overthrow the Turkish republic through the use of violence," leading a terrorist organization and "political espionage."
In a video that surfaced after his departure from Turkey in 1999, Gulen ordered followers to infiltrate key government positions and prepare for a coup — allegations that mirror charges the government filed against him in 2014.
In a purge of Gulen sympathizers that year, Turkish police arrested the editor of the Reclusive Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, blamed for failed coup in Turkey - LA Times:
 Big Education Ape: US would consider extradition request for exiled cleric - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/us-would-consider-extradition-request.html


 Big Education Ape: Fethullah Gulen: The Islamic scholar Turkey blames for the failed coup - The Washington Post - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/fethullah-gulen-islamic-scholar-turkey.html


Big Education Ape: Coup in Turkey: Is Fetullah Gulen Behind It? | Diane Ravitch's blog - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/coup-in-turkey-is-fetullah-gulen-behind.html

Big Education Ape: KILLING ED: 120 American Charter Schools and One Secretive Turkish Cleric -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/01/killing-ed-120-american-charter-schools.html

 Big Education Ape: Update: Gulen Harmony charter school network accused of bias and self-dealing Dallas Morning News - http://go.shr.lc/1qV85Hm

Big Education Ape: Turkey Links Texas Charter Schools to Dissident - WSJ - http://go.shr.lc/1OW1ZfV

Big Education Ape: Magnolia Science Academy - A Gulen Charter School: Gulen Magnolia Science Academy links discussed at LAUSD board meeting -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/magnolia-science-academy-gulen-charter.html

Rev. William Barber at SOS Rally - Living in Dialogue

Rev. William Barber at SOS Rally - Living in Dialogue:

Rev. William Barber at SOS Rally



For Reverend Barber’s full speech click here.















Schoolhouse Live - YouTube - https://youtu.be/uJ6SgeZN9BM on @youtube

US would consider extradition request for exiled cleric

US would consider extradition request for exiled cleric:

US would consider extradition request for exiled cleric


LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The Obama administration would entertain an extradition request for the U.S.-based cleric that Turkey's president is blaming for a failed coup attempt, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.
But he said Turkey's government would have to prove Fethullah Gulen's wrongdoing.
Visiting Luxembourg, Kerry said Turkey hasn't yet requested that the United States send home Gulen, who left Turkey in 1999.
Gulen has harshly condemned the attempted coup attempt by military officers that resulted in a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire that left dozens dead. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is blaming the chaos on the cleric, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania and promotes a philosophy that blends a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.
Erdogan has long accused Gulen, a former ally, of trying to overthrow the government. Washington has never found any evidence particularly compelling previously.
"We haven't received any request with respect to Mr. Gulen," Kerry told reporters. "We fully anticipate that there will be questions raised about Mr. Gulen. And obviously we would invite the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny. And the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgments about it appropriately."
"I'm confident there will be some discussion about that," Kerry added.
President Barack Obama on Friday urged all sides in Turkey to support the democratically elected government in Turkey, a key NATO ally.
In a statement issued after a meeting with his national security advisers Obama also urged those in Turkey to show restraint and avoid violence or bloodshed. Obama was to be briefed on the situation Saturday by his national security and foreign policy advisers.
Gulen is understood to maintain significant support among some members of the military and mid-level bureaucrats. His movement called Hizmet includes think tanks, schools and various media enterprises. Gulen and Erdogan only became estranged in recent years.
In a statement, Gulen said he condemned, "in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey."
"Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force," he said. "I pray to God for Turkey, for Turkish citizens, and for all those currently in Turkey that this situation is resolved peacefully and quickly."
Gulen sharply rejected any responsibility: "As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations."
Reiterating American support for Erdogan's government, Kerry said the U.S. opposed any attempt to overthrow a democratically elected leader. He said a change of government should only come through a legal, constitutional process.
Kerry also said that U.S. military cooperation with its NATO ally has been unaffected by the turmoil. Turkey plays a key role in U.S.-led efforts against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
"All of that continues as before," Kerry said.
He said the U.S. had no prior indication of the coup attempt, which came as Erdogan was on vacation.
It appears not to have been backed by the most senior ranks of the military, and Turkey's main opposition parties quickly condemned the attempted overthrow of the government. Prime Minister Benali Yildirim said 161 people were killed and 1,440 wounded in the overnight violence. He said 2,839 plotters were detained.
"If you're planning a coup you don't exactly advertise to your partners in NATO," Kerry said. "So it surprised everyone. It does not appear to be a very brilliantly planned or executed event."
Turkey plays a key role in U.S.-led efforts against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.US would consider extradition request for exiled cleric


 Big Education Ape: Fethullah Gulen: The Islamic scholar Turkey blames for the failed coup - The Washington Post - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/fethullah-gulen-islamic-scholar-turkey.html






Big Education Ape: Coup in Turkey: Is Fetullah Gulen Behind It? | Diane Ravitch's blog - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/coup-in-turkey-is-fetullah-gulen-behind.html

Big Education Ape: KILLING ED: 120 American Charter Schools and One Secretive Turkish Cleric -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/01/killing-ed-120-american-charter-schools.html

 Big Education Ape: Update: Gulen Harmony charter school network accused of bias and self-dealing Dallas Morning News - http://go.shr.lc/1qV85Hm

Big Education Ape: Turkey Links Texas Charter Schools to Dissident - WSJ - http://go.shr.lc/1OW1ZfV

Big Education Ape: Magnolia Science Academy - A Gulen Charter School: Gulen Magnolia Science Academy links discussed at LAUSD board meeting -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/magnolia-science-academy-gulen-charter.html

Keeping retirement weird. Trumpence a bag. | Fred Klonsky

Keeping retirement weird. Trumpence a bag. | Fred Klonsky:

Keeping retirement weird. Trumpence a bag.





 Mary Poppins sings Trumpence a Bag.

Recent polls show Donald Trump polling zero among African Americans.
He could be getting less than zero, if you count the margin of error. The poll suggests that not one African American in all of Ohio and Pennsylvania will admit that they are voting for Trump.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence is not positioned to improve on those numbers. What Pence brings to the ticket is the anger of retirees. Anger at Pence. See, Pence’s record in Congress is one of voting against Social Security and Medicare.
He calls them entitlements. 
Entitlements is one of those loaded words that makes it seem as if we are getting a freebie.
The Alliance for Retired Americans is just one of the organizations who this week did a spit take when Trump finally, finally, finally decided on Pence.
The ARA gives Pence a 22% rating. They consider him anti-senior.
The good news for Trump is that Pence’s rating isn’t zero.
The conventional wisdom is that old angry white guys are Trump’s core constituency.
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Pension activists. Here you have (from left) Bob Zahniser, John Dillon, Bob Lyons, this blogger and Glen Brown celebrating the first anniversary of the Illinois Supreme Court’s broad ruling in defense of the constitution’s pension protection clause. Missing from the photo is Ken Previti. He lives in Florida.
There are many others missing from this photo as Keeping retirement weird. Trumpence a bag. | Fred Klonsky:

"Islands" That Separate Education Haves From Have-Nots : NPR Ed : NPR

"Islands" That Separate Education Haves From Have-Nots : NPR Ed : NPR:

"Islands" That Separate Education Haves From Have-Nots

A close look at New Jersey's school districts shows "island" districts with higher levels of poverty than the surrounding districts.
A close look at New Jersey's school districts shows "island" districts with higher levels of poverty than the surrounding districts. EdBuild


The school district of Freehold Borough, N.J., has a 32 percent poverty rate. It is fully surrounded by another school district, Freehold Township, which has a 5 percent poverty rate.
Freehold Borough is what a new report calls an "island district" — and it's not alone. The report, from a nonprofit called EdBuild, maps 180 of these islands around the country: Districts that, by historical accident or for political reasons, lie completely inside other systems with a disparate poverty rate and often different funding levels.
And that can correlate with very different outcomes for students — something educators in Freehold Borough have long struggled with.
"Surrounding communities are able to provide a better education than we are," says Rocco Tomazic, superintendent of the K-8 district. "It's not supposed to be that way per the state constitution."
As we noted in our School Money project, around half of school funding in the U.S., on average, comes from local property taxes. That means districts with high poverty often struggle with limited resources, a one-two punch.
"We have a mismatch between the way we're funding schools and what we're expecting schools to deliver," says Rebecca Sibilia, the founder and CEO of EdBuild, which focuses on school finance.
Though they are rare, Sibilia argues that these island districts serve as vivid examples of a larger pattern that holds true in many places throughout the country: The resources available to your local public school may depend on your zip code, or sometimes even your specific address at birth.
In the late 19th century, New Jersey passed a series of laws to allow town centers to incorporate as "boroughs." These are separate from surrounding townships, with separate governments, separate tax bases and separate school districts.
Drawing those lines would prove fateful in Freehold. Back then, Tomazic says, townships tended to be agricultural and boroughs were more prosperous. Today, he adds, his small urban district has many county buildings, which don't pay taxes, and more existing density compared with the surrounding township, which makes it harder to build more housing to generate property taxes.
"We have surrounding communities that spend $22,000 per student and we're spending $11,600," Tomazic says.
Freehold Borough has seen a recent surge of students due to immigration, even as state aid has been held flat for the past three years. It must pay rent to its more "Islands" That Separate Education Haves From Have-Nots : NPR Ed : NPR:

Mississippi’s Charter School Funding Challenged in Court | deutsch29

Mississippi’s Charter School Funding Challenged in Court | deutsch29:

Mississippi’s Charter School Funding Challenged in Court

Charter Schools - Dividing Communities since 1991

On July 11, 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center backed a lawsuit by several parents (also on behalf of their children) against Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Department of Education, and the Jackson Public School District; the suit challenges the constitutionality of using ad valorem tax money and per-pupil funding to fiscally support charter schools in Mississippi (as per the Charter Schools Act of 2013, or CSA).
The gist of the suit involves giving public money to schools that are not overseen by the state and district. An excerpt from the suit:
Section 206 of the Mississippi Constitution provides that a school district’s ad valorem taxes may only be used for the district to maintain its own schools. Under the CSA, public school districts must share ad valorem revenue with charter schools that they do not control or supervise. Therefore, the local funding stream of the CSA is unconstitutional.
Section 208 of the Mississippi Constitution forbids the Legislature from appropriating money to any school that is not operating as a “free school.” A “free school” is not merely a school that charges no tuition; it must also be regulated by the State Superintendent of Education and the local school district superintendent. Charter schools– which are not under the control of the State Board of Education, the State Superintendent of Education, the Mississippi Department of Education, the local school district superintendent, or the local school district– are not “free schools.” Accordingly, the state funding provision of the CSA is unconstitutional. …
The CSA heralds a financial cataclysm for public school districts across the state. … The future is clear: as a direct result of the unconstitutional CSA funding provisions, traditional public schools will have fewer teachers, books, and educational resources.
The suit refers to three charter schools already open in Jackson and an additional 14 planning to open– with 11 of the 14 intending to set up shop in Jackson.
The CSA language is clear in its intent that the “money should follow the child,” so to speak, with the state department of education being directed to pay the charter schools “for each student in average daily attendance at the charter school equal to the state share of the adequate education program payments for each student in daily average attendance at the school district in which the charter school is located.” Mississippi’s Charter School Funding Challenged in Court | deutsch29:
Big Education Ape: SPLC lawsuit: Mississippi charter school funding violates state constitution | Southern Poverty Law Center - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/splc-lawsuit-mississippi-charter-school.html



Big Education Ape: In Southern schools, segregation and inequality aren’t just history -- they’re reality | PBS NewsHour - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/in-southern-schools-segregation-and.html



Big Education Ape: After Being Ordered To Consolidate, District Argues It Would Create White Flight | ThinkProgress - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/after-being-ordered-to-consolidate.html

Russ on Reading: Five Ways to Fight Summer Reading Loss

Russ on Reading: Five Ways to Fight Summer Reading Loss:

Five Ways to Fight Summer Reading Loss


I am sitting at my computer this morning looking outside at an absolutely sweltering mid-July day in southeastern Pennsylvania. The weather people are warning us that the combination of heat and humidity makes it dangerous to go outside. So, I am thinking that this is a great opportunity to keep the kids inside and have a family reading day (and for me to avoid the needed garden work).

These days most elementary schools provide dedicated in class time for kids to read from books they have selected because of their interests and reading abilities. Unfortunately, for many kids summer is not a time when books are readily accessible or reading time a part of a daily routine. This lack of practice in reading often leads to a phenomenon that reading researchers call summer reading loss or summer reading setback. Kids who don't read over the summer, lose reading gains they made over the school year.

There is plenty of research documenting summer reading loss and you can access some of it here and here. Not surprisingly, summer reading loss impacts children in low income families more than in middle income and high income families. While  there is less research on how to combat summer loss, there are some common sense ways that parents and teachers can use to help fight summer loss.

Give Access to Books

When kids have access to books that they want to read and that they can read, their reading improves. There is actually some good research to demonstrate this. In many lower income families access to books is limited. In order to combat summer loss we must get books in kids hands. Schools can play a role in this. Research has shown that just getting high interest books in the homes of low income children can make a difference in summer loss. Simply by giving kids books to take home at the end of the school year, schools can make a difference. Different schools have found 
Russ on Reading: Five Ways to Fight Summer Reading Loss:



Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Parent's Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century by Russ Walsh

A Parent's Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century

by Russ Walsh

Giveaway ends August 31, 2016.
See thegiveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

A Parent's Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century is now available.

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