Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jersey Jazzman: The Last Thing Atlantic City's Students Need Is School Vouchers

Jersey Jazzman: The Last Thing Atlantic City's Students Need Is School Vouchers:

The Last Thing Atlantic City's Students Need Is School Vouchers

Jersey Jazzman (artist's conception)


Atlantic City is in big fiscal trouble, and that includes its schools. So what do its leaders think the state should do? An infusion of aid? A new approach to curriculum? A full-frontal assault on childhood poverty?


Nope -- what the kids really need is "choice"!
Atlantic City’s MUA debacle (part of the larger state takeover debate) overshadowed a major development at Wednesday night’s council meeting, Save Jerseyans. 
This November, when voters in A.C. head to the polls, they’ll pass judgment not only on the state-wide casino gaming referendum but also a pair of city-specific school choice ballot questions. 
The questions will read as follows:

Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City to begin offering vouchers to families with children ages 6-16 so they can select the school they want their children to attend?
 
and

Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City of Atlantic City to begin offering property tax credits to families with children ages 6-16 who choose to home school?
 
The resolution (see attached here) was passed unanimously by the Democrat-dominated body and was filed with the Atlantic County Clerk by the Jersey Jazzman: The Last Thing Atlantic City's Students Need Is School Vouchers:


CURMUDGUCATION: Resolve To Be Present + Feds Testing Plan, Part II (Still Clueless)

CURMUDGUCATION: Resolve To Be Present:



Resolve To Be Present
For the next couple of weeks, as the beginning of my school year approaches. I'm going to write to renew my resolve to keep focus in my practice. This is one of that series of posts. If teaching is about relationship (and I believe most definitely that it is), then it must follow the First Rule of Relationships, which is that the first thing one must do to be in a relationship is show up. There a
Feds Testing Plan, Part II (Still Clueless)
You may recall that almost a year ago, President Obama and his administration announced that they'd noticed that testing was out of control in schools, and maybe somebody should do something about that. (Actually, if your memory's good, you may recall they had the same epiphany two years ago .) This led to the announcement of a Testing Action Plan that did not so much rearrange deck chairs as it c


Education and Profit
Even as many charter fans are backing away from the idea of for-profit schools, last month found US News running this piece arguing that profit-making and education go together like a horse and carriage. The author is Ian Lindquist , a 2009 graduate of St. John's Colle


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mid-August Edition
CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mid-August Edition : ICYMI: Mid-August Edition ICYMI: Mid-August Edition I'm embarrassed that I haven't been saying this all along, but if you find something on this list that speaks to you, be sure to share it on your own networks. Amplifying voices is important, and you can do that just by tweeting and posting anything you find that you like directly. Don't share this pos
CURMUDGUCATION - http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/



Jersey Jazzman: When It Comes To Schools, Money DOES Matter -- Even in Michigan

Jersey Jazzman: When It Comes To Schools, Money DOES Matter -- Even in Michigan:

When It Comes To Schools, Money DOES Matter -- Even in Michigan

$14 BILLION dollars!
I've become something of a connoisseur of a particular genre of opinion writing: the "We can't just throw money at schools!" op-ed. These pieces have a style all their own: they use the same talking points, the same context-free data points, and the same appeals to the same authorities. 
The goal of these pieces isn't to give a nuanced view of the role of funding in public education. Instead, they exist to place just enough doubt into the reader's mind about the need for equitable and adequate school funding so the status quo of public schools withmushrooms growing on the walls seems almost acceptable -- or, at least, better than the alternative.
Here's a fine example of the style -- Ingrid Jacques in the Detroit News:
Michigan is at an education crossroads. As its public schools continue to plummet in performance, state leaders can either demand proven accountability measures and smart investments — or they can take the easy way out.
In this case the easy way is to call for more money. And that’s exactly what school unions and administrators are doing. The State Board of Education is also singing that tune.
Jacques undoubtedly knows that calling for increased funding for any government function these days is hardly "easy." Decades of conservative rhetoric (transmitted through outlets like Jacques' editorial page) have made it nearly impossible for even the most liberal politicians to advocate for significant tax hikes to support public programs, especially education.

The "easy" way to justify the horrible conditions found in Detroit's (and Michigan's other disadvantaged cities') schools is to pretend that all sorts of vaguely described 
Jersey Jazzman: When It Comes To Schools, Money DOES Matter -- Even in Michigan:

Cn u rd this and Inventive Spelling – Missouri Education Watchdog

Cn u rd this and Inventive Spelling – Missouri Education Watchdog:

Cn u rd this and Inventive Spelling

zookene

inventive spelling
The above graphic is from Your 1st grader’s writing under Common Core Standards.   The article explains that ‘invented spelling’ is acceptable Cn u rd this and Inventive Spelling – Missouri Education Watchdog:

Why white students need black teachers — by a white teacher - The Washington Post

Why white students need black teachers — by a white teacher - The Washington Post:

Why white students need black teachers — by a white teacher


One of the key arguments often given for why it is important to increase the diverse of America’s teaching force is that students of color do better academically when they have teachers of color. A 2010 study titled “Diversifying the Teaching Force: An Examination of Major Arguments” found that “teachers of color use their insider knowledge about the language,culture, and life experiences of students of color to improve their academic outcomes and school experiences.”
In this post, a white teacher explains why it is also important for white students to be taught by people of color. She is Ashley Lamb-Sinclair, the 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Lamb-Sinclair is returning to full-time classroom teaching this fall after a sabbatical working with the Kentucky Department of Education. She teaches high school English and creative writing, and authors the www.beautifuljunkyard.com website. She is also the founder and chief executive officer of Curio Learning, an educational technology company launching a platform for teacher professional development.  (Twitter handle: @AshleyLambS)
By Ashley Lamb-Sinclair
Robert Trumbo was the first person to ever tell me I was going to be a teacher. He didn’t just suggest it, he almost commanded it, or at the very least prophesized it. I sat in his AVID class (a class to help students gain skills for college readiness) helping a fellow student with his essay, and Mr. Trumbo said to me, “You’re a teacher, Ashley Lamb.”
I believed him, even though I openly disagreed at the time, mostly because Mr. Trumbo was one of my most respected teachers and his presence in my life was almost mythology. He had taught my mother and aunts and was one of their favorite teachers too. If Mr. Trumbo told you something, you’d better take heed.
He demanded that all of his students memorize their Social Security numbers because “trust me,” he’d say, “you’re gonna need it.” He explained to us the importance of maintaining “good credit,” something I remembered ashamedly when I started piling on my own credit card debt in college. Mr. Trumbo would become unreasonably furious when someone passed gas in his classroom, storming around spraying Lysol and doing his best not to curse, much to our amusement.
He was the only teacher I ever saw cry. Our high school suffered the tragic loss of two students in a drunk driving accident, and I will never forget the crack in Mr. Trumbo’s voice when he Why white students need black teachers — by a white teacher - The Washington Post:

A Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents

A Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents:

A Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents

photodune-3132356-dollar-sign-xs

One of the old education reformers is Chester E. Finn, Jr. of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He referred to himself as aging–not me. But he is old, and my point with this is that the push to destroy public schools, as we know them, started a long time ago.
Finn just wrote a letter to Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg for all of us to see, like we are the bystanders in their goofball, grand design of schools. Schools will no longer be public–other than they will still receive our tax dollars.
It is hard not to be struck by the arrogance of it all.
If one understands what a democracy is, and how it relates to public schools, they will be puzzled as to why Finn isn’t writing a letter to the American people–you know–the ones who are supposed to be the real owners of their schools.
But instead, he writes to Chan and Zuckerberg. He wants them to think about school reform. He sees them as the owners of America’s schools. They, like Gates and the other wealthy oligarchs, assume they know best how children learn because they made a lot of money and got rich.
That school design is laid out best in Finn’s mention of special education, where he calls IEPs a clumsy version of “personalized learning.” 
Individual Educational Plans really are the key to understanding the wide range ofA Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents: 


Power: I am a white privileged girl living in the suburbs | BustED Pencils

Power | BustED Pencils:

Power

phoebe and lucy

I am a white privileged girl living in the suburbs. That being said, I have my ownexperiences with power structures, and many that have occurred via my activist work, in my personal life, and via my teaching in the public schools. I want to share a few today in the hopes that thinking through these ideas might help others consider how to move forward as activists and teachers as public intellectuals. Right now, we are losing in our efforts to save public schools and the teaching profession.  If anyone tells you otherwise they have not done the research or they are intentionally using their power to keep you in the dark – it’s all out there – in writing – for anyone interested to peruse.
One would hope that power is used for the good of humanity, for the good of our world and each human, plant, and animal walking this earth. That’s what it should be. Seems like a silly thing to even point out, doesn’t it? But in this country – that idea – doing things for the common good – has vanished for the most part.
My chickens have taught me a lot about power. I have eight. We got six about three years ago and added two to the flock two years ago. The youngest two, named Lucy and Phoebe, are thick as thieves. Lucy is a stark white and black beautiful Brahma and Phoebe is a deep black and rich brown red laced Wyandotte. The two girls stick together – it gives them power to ward off potential bossiness or meanness from the older girls. As a young hen Lucy was as fierce as the wind. She would jump and fly up into the face of one of the strongest and biggest leaders in our flock. She would take the older girls off guard and they weren’t quite sure how to put her in her place – they typically backed off. I kept waiting for a coup – as Lucy tried to take the lead in the flock. Early on we noticed that Lucy had a crooked claw on her foot. I worried about that for fear that it might someday cause her to lose some of her assertiveness and power within the flock. Phoebe could fly up high and jump on perches quickly whereas it took Lucy a bit longer to learn to grip the perch. Eventually she did.  However, never, did she reach the heights Phoebe could reach. And oddly enough, Phoebe still allowed Lucy to take the lead in everything. At night on the perch she would try to bury her head under Lucy’s body to go safely to sleep. Lucy’s potential for being the lead in the flock was strong.
Several weeks ago I noticed a change with Lucy. She looked thinner. She was always one of the biggest girls in the flock. I went to pick Lucy up and Phoebe charged at me and pecked me and then pecked Lucy hard on the neck. Lucy cowered. I had never seen her cower. Phoebe charged at me again and in shock I pushed her away hard. She then flew at me and attempted to bite me again. Lucy continued to cower. I was blindsided by these behaviors. Lucy had always protected Phoebe! As I watched throughout the day I noticed that Lucy had become a target. The girls were letting her have it left and right – pecking her neck – Power | BustED Pencils:

Schools Matter: Education Technology, Surveillance and America's Authoritarian Democracy

Schools Matter: Education Technology, Surveillance and America's Authoritarian Democracy:

Education Technology, Surveillance and America's Authoritarian Democracy




"The NSA has nothing on the monitoring tools that education technologists have developed in to 'personalize' and 'adapt' learning for students in public school districts across the United States"  
Jesse Irwin, Model View Culture
The state-finance matrix defined: Influenced by David Harvey's notion of the state-finance nexus, the state-finance matrix is a highly disciplined neoliberal landscape where state power structures and technologies facilitate and protect the activities and interests of finance capitalism over all else. This matrix provides an insulated environment for financialization via securitization, which simply described, is a process where financial institutions bundle together (illiquid) financial assets - primarily loans - and transform them into (liquid) tradable securities that can be expeditiously bought and sold in secondary financial markets. Within this globalized environment, digital securities trading - including “fictitious” trading, hedging and speculating in derivative markets - generates “phantom wealth”; whereby the exchange of capital, money and currency is detached from material or labor value. In the twenty-first century, debt is the new global currency and is a primary source of (intangible) wealth accumulation.
Rebooting the System for a New Age
Writing in Forbes Magazine in 2013, technology entrepreneur Naveen Jain made an assessment of the historical origins of mass public education by pointing out that, “Our education system was developed for an industrial era.” Jain went on to explain that the U.S. education system,
…today uses the mass production style manufacturing process of standardization. This process requires raw material that is grouped together based on a specific criteria. Those raw materials are then moved from one station to another station where an expert makes a small modification given the small amount of time given to complete their task. At the end of the assembly line, these assembled goods are standardized tested to see if they meet certain criteria before they are moved to the next advanced assembly line.
Jain makes this point not as a critique of education serving the interests of capitalism through the application of the scientific management model of production (Taylorism) to schooling. On the contrary, he does so to make a case that current education reform policies are a continuation of the original mission of U.S. public education as an instrument of social control, yet only being modernized to bolster financialized capitalism. As Jain puts it“Our education system is not broken, it has just become obsolete.” He goes on to explain: 
When I think of all the tremendous, seemingly impossible feats made possible by entrepreneurs, I am amazed that more has not been done to reinvent our education system. I want all entrepreneurs to take Schools Matter: Education Technology, Surveillance and America's Authoritarian Democracy:
 

Mike Rose. Grit. | Fred Klonsky

Mike Rose. Grit. | Fred Klonsky:

Mike Rose. Grit.

MikeRoseAMP090612-e1350322586703-680x538
While I’m on the road for the rest of August, I will be posting other bloggers. This is from a post by Mike Rose last June. 

“Grit” Revisited: Reflections on Our Public Talk about Education

“Grit” is in the news again big time with the appearance of Angela Duckworth’s alliterative best-seller Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. I wrote about both the conceptual and methodological problems with grit last year, and given the attention Professor Duckworth’s book is attracting, I thought it would be worthwhile to repost what I wrote below and add a few thoughts here.
The book is drawing its share of mixed and negative reviews for superficiality bordering on pop psychology, for its narrow conception of character, for its focus on individual personality traits over social and economic factors, and for problems with methodology. Most of these characteristics were evident in Professor Duckworth’s work long before the publication of her book, but it seems that they got amplified as she (and most likely her editor) prepared her book for a general audience.
Given the number of mixed to negative reviews, it would seem that the opinion-makers are finally countering their original enthusiasm for grit. The ledger is balanced. Those of us with concerns about grit can relax.
Well, no. The meteoric rise of grit reveals troubling problems in the formation of our public discourse about education. I and many others have written about our policy maker’s culpability in the formation of this discourse, but here I’d like to consider another dimension of the circumstances that give rise to phenomena like the one we’re witnessing with grit.
With some notable exceptions, not many journalists who cover education–and even fewer opinion page columnists–have a solid background in the Mike Rose. Grit. | Fred Klonsky:

Randi Weingarten: Art is essential, not extra

Art is essential, not extra:

Art is essential, not extra


I spent time this summer with impoverished bohemian artists, a murderous barber and people accused of practicing witchcraft—all during one mesmerizing opera- and musical theater-filled weekend in Central New York. Like me, aficionados of the musical arts from near and far make the annual summer pilgrimage to Cooperstown—not only to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but to The Glimmerglass Festival. The festival’s mission is to offer opera enthusiasts great art in an idyllic lakeside setting, as well as to cultivate such enthusiasm in new and nontraditional audiences—dispatching performers to schools, houses of worship and even one of the state’s highest-security prisons.
Francesca Zambello, the remarkable artistic and general director of The Glimmerglass Festival, calls this her “cultural crusade.” Children as young as 10 from neighboring towns take the stage in the festival’s youth chorus. Promising performers from across the globe get valuable training and exposure through the Young Artists Program, for ages 20 to 30. Colorblind recruiting and casting was a hallmark of the festival’s productions long before “Hamilton” made its debut.
Zambello is especially drawn to works that illuminate relevant social issues, one of the ways she makes connections with people who might sooner drink hot sauce than attend opera. Hence, her selections for this summer’s festival include “La Bohème,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Crucible.” Themes first explored in earlier eras remain relevant today—extreme wealth and poverty, the darkness of revenge, and fear stoked into frenzy that causes people to turn on each other.
These experiences stimulate my mind and feed my soul. And they steel my conviction that the arts must be a part of every community and every school. The arts can anchor a community and connect people who otherwise might not feel a common bond. Culture can also drive economic revitalization; The Glimmerglass Festival’s $8 million budget plants a $21 million footprint in the region. And thebenefits of children’s exposure to the arts are numerous and well-established.
The arts can develop confidence and competence in students who haven’t found success in other academic subjects. They promote creativity and self-directed learning. They engage students—who, with access to the arts, have better attendance, report less boredom, and are more likely to stay in school and do better in school. High school students who take arts classes have higher math and verbalSAT scores. Exposure to the arts has even been shown to affect young people’s values, making them more tolerant and empathetic.
For at-risk students who have access to the arts, the advantages are striking. They tend to have better academic results, including being 10 percent more likely to Art is essential, not extra:

Peek Inside a Classroom: Effective Education Reform | LucidWitness.com

Peek Inside a Classroom: Effective Education Reform | LucidWitness.com:

PEEK INSIDE A CLASSROOM: EFFECTIVE EDUCATION REFORM

Co-Authors:

Sandra L. Bloom, M.D.  and Daun H. Kauffman M.Ed., M.B.A.

Classroom insights provided by Daun Kauffman  in true vignettes.

Graphic 2


 I always started school days with my class by sharing a personal greeting and an optional hug with each student, as they entered the door of our room.  They had a comforting routine with coats and backpacks and warmup work on the board ready for them.  They knew that someone who knew them had prepared especially for them.  Our startup was paired with breakfast for everyone, courtesy of Title 1.  The familiarity helped students with self-regulation in the transition to a classroom environment.

Teachers can learn too!
I felt we had a positive, caring beginning to our day of academics, but I couldn’t help but push the pace, especially when days overflowed with Lesson Plans.
That is, I felt that way until a friend who pioneered the development of the “Sanctuary Model,” Dr. Sandra Bloom, M.D., suggested an addition.  With an ear-to-ear smile she pressed gently and politely and respectfully, but oh so firmly and confidently.  She pressed her case to “add one question,” add “just one question”.  Dr. Bloom waited… pointedly and expectantly.  She wanted me to try adding a “Community Meeting” to our daily startup.  “Go around the classroom so each student participates: My name is ___.  One word for my feelings this morning is ____.”
I agreed, skeptically, thinking we already had a fine, “community” startup, and wondering where we’d find the time.
We started with learning the routine.  I added some options to Dr. Bloom’s question:  a) to ‘pass’, thinking that sometimes some of the kids would be dealing with weighty stuff, and b) to add a reason for their feeling or simply say “no reason”.
The first ten days, many simply shared “I feel happy.  No reason”.  Or “I feel sad. No reason”.  So, I began to incorporate “feelings words” into our other vocabulary work and I bought a large wall  poster with visualizations of feelings words.  The kids began to be intrigued.
“Knowing” is not the same as “Understanding”
The “Community Meeting” in the Sanctuary Model “Toolkit begins similarly, as part of building any trauma-informed organization.  Explicit acknowledgement of feelings as first priority, embedded in establishing social norms of safety and caring for each person in the group.
In our school classroom, “How are you feeling?” became central to Peek Inside a Classroom: Effective Education Reform | LucidWitness.com:

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mid-August Edition

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mid-August Edition:

ICYMI: Mid-August Edition

ICYMI: Mid-August Edition

I'm embarrassed that I haven't been saying this all along, but if you find something on this list that speaks to you, be sure to share it on your own networks. Amplifying voices is important, and you can do that just by tweeting and posting anything you find that you like directly. Don't share this post (not just this post) but share the original post that I've linked to.

Teacher Education and a Call To Activism 

Paul Thomas takes a look at teacher education's self-esteem problem, and the foolish things it has led to.  

There's No Such Thing As a Public Charter School

A spirited op-ed that makes this point one more time.

Useless Testing Gap Analyses (and the Newspapers That Love Them)

Mark Weber is the king of explaining complicated statisticky things in ways that ordinary humans can understand. Here's another great explainer on test result gaps.

Why I Quit My Job, But Not Being a Teacher

Yes, it's another "Why I Quit" letter, but it's well done and makes a statement about how strongly teachers identify with the work.

Teacher Pay, Student Poverty, and Inequitably Funded Schools: A Data-Driven Story From Chicago

A look at how the broke-on-purpose school district of Chicago tilts the field against poor neighborhoods. You should also check out the follow-up post at Jersey Jazzman

The Olympic Celebration of Diversity

What if we narrowed the Olympics down to just seven events?

A Conversation with Nashville School Board Member Amy Frogge 

A look inside the recent Nashville school board election, in which reformsters pumped in tons of money and a local Mom still beat them.

Brand New NY Charter Group Has Michigan as Its First Customer

More research from the indispensable Mercedes Schneider, showing how yet another group of reformster consulting profiteers pops up.

Protect Yourself from ASDs

Come for the rundown of what ASDs are, how they spread, and why they're a bad idea. Stay for Chyris Barbic (the pioneer ASD chief) saying that having several states pursue ASDs is problematic.

Following the Money in Washington Primaries

Tracking the dollars that reformsters spread through Washington state in hopes of getting the charter industry more political leverage.

The So-Called Right To Teach 

Nancy Flanagan dissects the newest rhetorical attack on the teaching profession.
 CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mid-August Edition:






Education and Profit
Even as many charter fans are backing away from the idea of for-profit schools, last month found US News running this piece arguing that profit-making and education go together like a horse and carriage. The author is Ian Lindquist , a 2009 graduate of St. John's College (the read great books 

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ryan Lochte | the becoming radical

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ryan Lochte | the becoming radical:

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ryan Lochte


At our faculty retreat focusing on diversity, a few lessons grew spontaneously from the keynote and related break-out sessions.
One lesson at the individual level exposed blind spots among faculty related to how language offends, the relationship between intent and impact, and a not-so-veiled resistance to listening and then acting on expanding diversity through culturally responsive behavior among faculty with privilege.
Another lesson at the systemic level was a confrontation of the chasm between words and action: what we say matters, but what we fund and how we act ultimately determine if those words are veneer or genuine principles.
My university is a selective liberal arts college that is a microcosm of the larger tensions of culture and diversity facing the U.S.
White heterosexual male privilege dominates (and even fuels) both our wider society as well as any insular community or institution within our society. James Baldwin deconstructed throughout his career how whiteness and blackness inform each other while whiteness seeks always to keep itself central to the American Way.
Now, I do not know what white Americans would sound like if there had never been any black people in the United States, but they would not sound the way they sound….
The brutal truth is that the bulk of white people in American never had any interest in educating black people, except as this could serve white purposes. It is not the black child’s language that is in question, it is not his language that is despised: It is his experience. A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled. A child cannot be taught by anyone whose demand, essentially, is that the child repudiate his experience, and all that gives him sustenance, and enter a limbo in which he will no longer be black, and in which he knows that he can never become white. Black people have lost too many black children that way.
Today, for example, as #BlackLivesMatter rose out of tragedy after tragedy, the narcissism of whiteness has created a backlash that demands attention to how working-class whites have suffered.
And then, on a smaller scale, during the 2016 Rio Olympics—a time ripe with amazing accomplishments by black athletes from the U.S.—we have been handed Ryan Lochte, a case of arrested development as a consequence of privilege.
Somehow we will not address the white gaze, and we are also committed to keeping the gaze of concern on whiteness because, you know, frat-boy life is funny even when guys are biologically grown:Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ryan Lochte | the becoming radical:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education