Thursday, January 16, 2020

Misunderstanding Prayer, Religion, and Public Education Again and Again | radical eyes for equity

Misunderstanding Prayer, Religion, and Public Education Again and Again | radical eyes for equity

Misunderstanding Prayer, Religion, and Public Education Again and Again




Poet e.e. cummings understood a foundational combination of approaches common in U.S. politicians; his satirical political speech as poem begins: “‘next to of course god america i/ love you.’”
Patriotism and religiosity are effective political rhetorical strategies, but they also should be red flags to anyone concerned about their nation or their religion (or lack there of).
Current POTUS Trump has matched the buffoonery of cummings’ cartoonish politician, and in keeping with that theater, Trump has grabbed some low-hanging fruit by once again igniting the prayer in public school debate.
The tension between prayer/religion and public spaces such as schools has a long and complicated history. But since the early 1960s, one fact has existed that almost everyone who joins this debate misunderstands or misrepresents: All adults and students in public schools are free to pray, or not, and all types of religious texts can be read and assigned as literature (but not to proselytize).
Here is what people misunderstand: The Supreme Court ruled against coercion by the state in terms of religious practices. The ruling is not about anyone being religious or not, anyone practicing religion or not, but about the role of the state in coercion of religious belief and practice.
In other words, anyone who is religious should welcome this clarification CONTINUE READING: Misunderstanding Prayer, Religion, and Public Education Again and Again | radical eyes for equity

Schott Foundation Names Edgar Villanueva as Senior Vice President | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Schott Foundation Names Edgar Villanueva as Senior Vice President | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Schott Foundation Names Edgar Villanueva as Senior Vice President


The Schott Foundation started 2020 by announcing that Edgar Villanueva will become the foundation’s Senior Vice President of Programs and Advocacy.
In making the announcement, Schott President & CEO John H. Jackson said, “Several years ago, I had the pleasure of welcoming Edgar to the Schott family. Today, I am ecstatic about the opportunity to enhance Edgar’s role within Schott and to work with him as a valued colleague and partner in the journey to ensure that communities and grassroots organizations have the resources, power and voice necessary to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn and thrive. We share a common vision and intensity for achieving that goal.”
Edgar is the author of the acclaimed book, Decolonizing Wealth, and has played a critical leadership role at the Schott Foundation and across the philanthropic sector. He leads Schott’s program team, building collaborations with grantees and among philanthropic partners that empower and strengthen the grassroots movement for education justice. Looking ahead to the challenges of 2020 and beyond, he said, "I'm thrilled to lead in an organization that deeply reflects my values and my vision for philanthropic justice. Schott’s bold approach is saving lives every day because at the center of our work are those who are most impacted by historical and systemic racism."
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Founded in 1991, the Schott Foundation is a national public fund serving as a bridge between philanthropic partners and advocates to build education justice movements to provide all students an opportunity to learn.

Educators march in Tallahassee to demand investment in public schools - Education Votes

Educators march in Tallahassee to demand investment in public schools - Education Votes

Educators march in Tallahassee to demand investment in public schools




By Amanda Menas
Across Florida, more than 20,000 educators, parents, students, and allies rallied at the state capitol in Tallahassee on Tuesday to protest years of decline in school funding. Educators were threatened by the state Department of Education and district superintendents with expulsion, union de-certification, and loss of license for participating, but turned out nonetheless to support their students.
The educators are protesting inadequate funding of Florida’s public education system, and the serious teacher shortage that has left more than 3,500 teaching vacancies across the state.
We have seen more than a decade of disinvestment in public education in this state, and that has to stop,” said Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association.
Anita Carson, an FEA member and educator in the Polk County School District, carried a sign that read, “FLDOE tried to scare us! Polk County threatened to fire us! Nevertheless we persisted.” Nearly one-quarter of educators from her school district took personal days to attend the rally, despite threats to their jobs. Carson said she had to attend the rally to advocate for her students in high-poverty neighborhoods. She said, “I didn’t plan to leave teaching. I didn’t plan to leave the Polk County School District and after today I might not get to be a teacher anymore, but I’m still here.”
Carson continued, “Every student deserves a school that is amazing. If we aren’t doing everything we can to fund our schools, then we are doing wrong by them.” Her goal was to share with legislators a vision for public schools that goes beyond simply filling vacancies to recruit and retain highly qualified educators with restore full school funding that meets CONTINUE READING: Educators march in Tallahassee to demand investment in public schools - Education Votes


It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY
The latest news and resources in education since 2007


REL Answered My Ed Research Question & They Can Answer Yours, Too

terimakasih0 / Pixabay Regional Educational Laboratories are publicly-supported organizations that do educational research and, as I’ve shared in the past, will do free research for educators who have specific questions (see Send An Ed-Related Research Question To One Of The Regional Educational Laboratories – And They’ll Answer It! ). I’ve also previously-shared some research they did for me on
Ed Tech Digest

Eight years ago, in another somewhat futile attempt to reduce the backlog of resources I want to share, I began this occasional “” post where I share three or four links I think are particularly useful and related to…ed tech, including some Web 2.0 apps. You might also be interested in THE BEST ED TECH RESOURCES OF 2019 – PART TWO , as well as checking out all my edtech resources . Here are this
New National Geographic Video: “Volcanoes 101”

Pexels / Pixabay I’m adding this new video from National Geographic to The Best Sites For Learning About Volcanoes :
New Video From NASA: “An Introduction to the James Webb Space Telescope Mission”

WikiImages / Pixabay NASA is supposed to launch the often-delayed James Webb Space Telescope in about a year, and released this video today talking about it. You might also be interested in what it’s replacing at The Best Sites To Learn About The Hubble Telescope .
A Look Back: “What Does It Mean To Be A Good Citizen?”

I thought that new – and veteran – readers might find it interesting if I began sharing my best posts from over the years. You can see the entire collection here . One of my New York Times posts for English Language Learners several years ago was titled “What Does It Mean To Be A Good Citizen?” (note that The Times is having difficulties with older links and if you get an error message, just refr
Three Videos Explaining What Might Happen In The Impeachment Trial

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay Here are new additions to THE BEST TEACHING & LEARNING RESOURCES ABOUT IMPEACHMENT :
BBC Two-Minute “Explainer” Series

TheOtherKev / Pixabay I have links to a number of short video “Explainer” series from various news outlets at The Best Online “Explainer” Tools For Current Events, including ones from the BBC. Today, though, I discovered what appears to be yet another series that the BBC does – ones whose descriptions end with the words “…in two minutes.” You can find them all here . This is their latest:


A Look Back: “Getting students to engage — not just comply”

I thought that new – and veteran – readers might find it interesting if I began sharing my best posts from over the years. You can see the entire collection here . Getting students to engage — not just comply is a piece I wrote for The 
Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

An Under-The-Radar SCOTUS Case Could Obliterate The Line Between Church And State | HuffPost

An Under-The-Radar SCOTUS Case Could Obliterate The Line Between Church And State | HuffPost

An Under-The-Radar SCOTUS Case Could Obliterate The Line Between Church And State
A Montana education program at the center of a Supreme Court case was filled with anti-LGBTQ schools.

Nearly a third of the schools that participated in a Montana education tax credit program at the center of a controversial Supreme Court case maintain explicitly anti-LGBTQ policies, according to a HuffPost analysis. 
The program at the center of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which the Supreme Court is hearing later this month, provided tax credits to individuals and corporations that donated to private school scholarship groups. However, because Montana has a constitutional provision barring public dollars for religious schools ― and nearly all of the schools participating in the program were religious ― the Montana Supreme Court found the program unconstitutional and shut the program down in 2018.
Now, after the plaintiffs appealed, the case is before the Supreme Court, with public school advocates worrying the conservative-leaning court could call into question whether states are allowed to bar public funding for religious entities. But the issue isn’t just one of church and state or education funding, it is also about public dollars going to institutions with discriminatory practices, they say.  
A previous HuffPost investigation found that at least 14% of private religious schools around the country that receive public funding through programs like the one in Montana actively discriminate against LGBTQ staff and employees. In the Montana tax credit program, these numbers were even higher. 

Anti-LGBTQ Policies On The Books

Of the 13 schools that had signed up to participate in the Montana tax credit program as of 2018, when the program was shut down, four have anti-LGBTQ policies. One of these schools, Stillwater Christian School, is attended by the children of the plaintiffs in the case, who say they would benefit from the program.  

CURMUDGUCATION: National Parents Union: Do You Smell Astroturf

CURMUDGUCATION: National Parents Union: Do You Smell Astroturf

National Parents Union: Do You Smell Astroturf


This week Lauren Camera treated us to a warm, fuzzy piece of launch PR for the National Parents Union; the US News editor announces right in the headline that this group is here to challenge the teachers unions, but in a totally organic grass roots kind of way.

Two Latina mothers from opposite sides of the country have joined forces to form their own union to disrupt an education agenda they say is pushing out parents like them and, more importantly, leaving behind poor students and students of color.

Well, maybe not exactly like them, because these two moms have a pretty hefty record in the ed reform world.


It's always a good idea to look underneath
Weirdly enough, the National Parents Union already exists-- well, a group with that same name. They were/are a coalition of state groups in New York City, Connecticut, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, plus Moms for School Choice, which gives you an idea of what they were up to. They even had a gathering in 2013 featuring such notables as Howard Fuller, Steve Perry, and the California state director of DFER, the hedge funder-founded group intended to nudge the Democrats in the direction of school choice. However, the New York chapter was part of the push to close down InBloom and stop then-commissioner John King from cashing in on student data.

In fact, when invited to join as a founder of the new group, Gwen Samuel, a founding member of CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: National Parents Union: Do You Smell Astroturf



"We Are All Reformers" (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

"We Are All Reformers" (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

"We Are All Reformers" (Part 3)


So what do I remember of those years in the three Pittsburgh Public Schools I attended? Two non-spoiler alerts to readers about what I experienced in elementary and secondary schools.
The first alert is my fallible memory. Bits and pieces of being in school come back to me albeit in blurred, inexact ways. But those memories persist. Nonetheless, it is not a spoiler to alert readers to the inherent flaws of trying to remember what occurred decades ago. As the Italian writer Primo Levi put it:
Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument. The memories which lie within us are not carved in stone; not only do they tend to become erased as the years go by, but often they change, or even increase by incorporating extraneous features.
The second alert is that going to school is only one part of a child’s life—albeit an important one. Multiply 180 days (average number of days the 50 states require school to be in session over past few decades) by the hours that most U.S. students spend in school  (6.5 hours), the total is nearly 1200 hours a year in school.
Consider further that in such a year the child and youth is awake nearly 6,000 hours (subtracting 8 hours of nightly sleep). In other words, in each year, about 80 percent of a student’s life is spent outside of school. This is a round-about CONTINUE READING: "We Are All Reformers" (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

AstroTurf Alert: National Parents Union is Thinly Veiled Union Busting Backed by Billionaire Cash | gadflyonthewallblog

AstroTurf Alert: National Parents Union is Thinly Veiled Union Busting Backed by Billionaire Cash | gadflyonthewallblog

AstroTurf Alert: National Parents Union is Thinly Veiled Union Busting Backed by Billionaire Cash
How do you do something disgusting without hurting your image?
If you’re the Walton Family, you hide behind a mask.
That’s what their latest AstroTurf front group is – the so-called National Parents Union (NPU).
It’s a way to bust teachers unions, destroy public schools and profit off of students behind the guise of a friendly parents organization.
Oh, it’s all funded with oodles of cash from the Walton family and other billionaires but they get to pretend to be nothing but supporters on the sidelines.
The people who bust unions before most of us have even had breakfast yet claim they have nothing to do with this anti-union movement. It is all the parents doing. The Walmart heirs just put up the money to let these parents live their dream of union free schools – as if schools where educators have no rights or intellectual CONTINUE READING: AstroTurf Alert: National Parents Union is Thinly Veiled Union Busting Backed by Billionaire Cash | gadflyonthewallblog

NYC Educator: UFT Delegate Assembly January 15, 2020--The Census, the UFT Legal Plan, and the Chapter Leader Network

NYC Educator: UFT Delegate Assembly January 15, 2020--The Census, the UFT Legal Plan, and the Chapter Leader Network

UFT Delegate Assembly January 15, 2020--The Census, the UFT Legal Plan, and the Chapter Leader Network



UFT President Michael Mulgrew welcomes us. 4:34

Speaks of support for chapter leaders and delegates. Says chapter leader most important union position, as members identify with CL. Says work from focus group will go live February 3rd to several districts. Will roll out over week. There will be a chapter leader community on internet and CLs can ask questions. There is a knowledge base that UFT phone support uses, and from February on CLs will have access to it. This knowledge base evolves as new questions are asked.

There are issues with incorrect answers to questions and knowledge base can help cut down on that. Will be a CL chat room. There will be rules, and legalities, not for political use inside and outside of the union. Urges against bad language.

There will be a my school section with basic info. There will be a repository of school info so new CLs can see it, including SBOs and grievances. Union looking for other ways to use it, new applications, and urges constant back and forth. CL handbooks may be put online.

Looking to have a high percentage of registration for this. Tying this to a project. Everyone will get a letter signed my Mulgrew, Carranza and president of CSA saying that math and ELA must have a plan tied to new standards. Test scores aren’t everything, but we don’t want a dramatic drop either. UFT will do inventory, and CLs will have to log on and provide info on what materials school uses. Union will provide support.

Majority of existing materials are not aligned to new standards. Materials can be modified to do so. Will have to be evaluated by committees, which will approve or not.

Phase two will be lists of approved materials. Schools can choose from these materials and curriculum and programs will be provided by DOE. Each school district in NYC, and each CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Educator: UFT Delegate Assembly January 15, 2020--The Census, the UFT Legal Plan, and the Chapter Leader Network


Choosing Democracy: Help Qualify Schools Initiative

Choosing Democracy: Help Qualify Schools Initiative

Help Qualify Schools Initiative
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