Friday, September 7, 2012

CTU, Nitzberg - Perdaily.com

CTU, Nitzberg - Perdaily.com:


Contribute to the Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund posted by Roy Nitzberg

The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on the front lines of a fight to defend public education. On one side the 30,000 members of the CTU have called for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a better school day with Art, Music, World Language and appropriate staffing levels to help our neediest students.

On the other side, the Chicago Board of Education--which is managed by out of town reformers and Broad Foundation hires with little or no Chicago public school experience--has pushed to add two weeks to the school year and 85 minutes to the school day, eliminate pay increases for seniority, evaluate teachers based on student test scores, and slash many other rights.

Teachers, parents and community supporters in Chicago have fought valiantly--marching, filling auditoriums at hearings and parent meetings, even occupying a school and taking over a school board meeting. Most recently, 98 percent of our members voted to authorize a strike. But now we find ourselves facing new opponents--national education privatizers, backed by some of the nation's wealthiest people. They are running radio ads, increasing press attacks, and mounting a PR campaign to discredit the CTU and the benefits of public education.

We are asking you to support our struggle for educational justice. You and your organization can show your support by making contribution to our Solidarity Fund. All donations will be used to conduct broad outreach throughout Chicago and nation-wide. Specifically, we plan to print educational materials, to distribute information about our positive agenda, such as the CTU report The Schools Chicago Students Deserve, and to mobilize massive support for educators in rallies and gatherings throughout the city.

Any amount you can give will be a great help. You can donate using your credit card online at www.ctunet.com or write a check to the "Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund" and mail it directly to the Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60654.

If your organization or union would like to write a letter or resolution of solidarity, we would very much appreciate it. Thank you for your support.

In Solidarity,
Karen GJ Lewis, NBCT
CTU President

Teach For America Alumna Vanessa Lugo-Acevedo Receives Presidential Honor - Hispanically Speaking News

Teach For America Alumna Vanessa Lugo-Acevedo Receives Presidential Honor - Hispanically Speaking News:


Teach For America Alumna Vanessa Lugo-Acevedo Receives Presidential Honor

Teach For America Alumna Vanessa Lugo-Acevedo Receives Presidential HonorPresident Obama and the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics recognized Teach For America alumna Vanessa Lugo-Acevedo (Colorado Corps ’10) and 9 others as White House Champions of Change Latino Educators. The 10 honorees attended a special ceremony at the White House on Friday, August 31st. The White House Champions of Change program honors everyday Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities.
Lugo-Acevedo, whose parents emigrated from Mexico to Carpinteria in Southern California before she was born, is a 2010 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and the first in her family to attend college. As a Teach For America-Colorado corps member, she taught pre-kindergarten at Denver’s Cole Arts and Sciences Academy, where she continues
to teach today.
“I believe the Champions of Change honor can open doors for Latino youth in our nation and motivate them to 

No Fab Formula for Jalen Rose - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher

No Fab Formula for Jalen Rose - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher:

Teacher in a Strange Land



No Fab Formula for Jalen Rose

Shortly after I retired from a 31-year stint as a public school teacher, I applied for a part-time job in a Detroit charter school. Why? Because they were seeking a twice-weekly middle school jazz band teacher plus someone to lead professional development for a crew of mostly novice teachers. I was, shall we say, highly qualified. Plus--I had spent nearly my entire career in a "safe"--and wonderful--small town district. I wanted the challenge of teaching in the center of Detroit, part of the "reform" zeitgeist.
At the interview, a few days before the school opened, the superintendent--who was not and never had been an educator--asked me about instructions she'd been given by the school's founder. He told her to direct all teachers to assign a heavy load of homework on Day One, due on the second day. Students who didn't 

LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer wants to strengthen oversight of charter schools - LA Daily News

LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer wants to strengthen oversight of charter schools - LA Daily News:


LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer wants to strengthen oversight of charter schools

Schools Matter: New York Principals Fight Continues

Schools Matter: New York Principals Fight Continues:


New York Principals Fight Continues

From Sean Feeney and Carol Burris:
 
We thank you for your support and would like to provide you with an update on activities since the end of the 2011-12 school year. As always, the most recent version of the APPR Position paper (with all signatures) is available at: http://www.newyorkprincipals.org/appr-paper  Given that the paper with signatures is over 140 pages long, we have also created a separate link for the four-page paper alone.
As of the beginning of this new school year, over 1500 New York State principals have signed the letter: that's nearly one-third of all principals in NYS! We have over 5800 total supporters right now. Be sure to check out our website for the most current information.
Our Work Continues
In the face of everything we

A Message from a CTU Member | United Opt Out National

A Message from a CTU Member | United Opt Out National:


A Message from a CTU Member

Public Education's Eight Ball: Student Poverty | National Opportunity to Learn Campaign | Education Reform for Equity and Opportunity

Public Education's Eight Ball: Student Poverty | National Opportunity to Learn Campaign | Education Reform for Equity and Opportunity:


Public Education's Eight Ball: Student Poverty

Posted on: Friday September 7th, 2012

Steve Strieker, Social Studies Teacher, Janesville School District
The following post was written by Steve Strieker, a veteran Social Studies teacher in Janesville, WI. This has been reposted, with Strieker's permission, from his blog "One Teacher's Perspective."
---------
As noted in an earlier blog, one of my summer reads was P.L. Thomas’ book, Ignoring Poverty in the U.S. It is one of the most important education books I have read. He has reframed my thinking.
Contrary to what too many scapegoaters claim, I've never believed public education to be the cause ofAmerica's socioeconomic ills. However, I had fallen into the trap of repeating the mantra that quality public education is the cure-all for the poor. Thomas’ research highlights what all of us should be repeating in our communities and schools over and over. This is now my Thomas-induced mantra:

Charter schools call proposed L.A. moratorium illegal - latimes.com

Charter schools call proposed L.A. moratorium illegal - latimes.com:


Charter schools call proposed L.A. moratorium illegal


Charter Schools - Dividing Communities since 1991


Charter school advocates are mounting a campaign against a proposed moratorium on new charters in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The moratorium is one provision of a resolution, by school board member Steve Zimmer, that is scheduled for discussion on Tuesday.
Any moratorium would violate state law, according to the California Charter Schools Assn., in a Friday letter to L.A. Unified. The proposal “very clearly violates the Charter Schools Act,” wrote the group's general counsel, Ricardo J. Soto. “The Board of Education must continue to accept, hear, and take action on all charter petitions.”
Charter schools are independently operated and free from some provisions that govern traditional public schools. Most are non-union. L.A. Unified has more charters, 186, than any other school system in the country. The school district oversees and authorizes charter schools within its boundaries.
Zimmer has frequently decried the loss of students to charter schools. His proposal calls on all schools to share 

Civil Rights Assistant Secretary to Address Statewide Hearing on School Discipline Policies, Discuss Equity in Education | U.S. Department of Education

Civil Rights Assistant Secretary to Address Statewide Hearing on School Discipline Policies, Discuss Equity in Education | U.S. Department of Education:


Civil Rights Assistant Secretary to Address Statewide Hearing on School Discipline Policies, Discuss Equity in Education


Contact:  
 Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov 


Event Date 1: September 10, 2012 03:00 pm - 06:00 pm


Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali will address a statewide hearing on school discipline policies and education equity Monday in Los Angeles. Ali will discuss findings of her office's Civil Rights Data Collection, which revealed that minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.
The hearing, co-sponsored by the California Endowment, the superintendent of public instruction and the state attorney general's office, will feature youth, community leaders, research, educators and policy experts addressing the topic, "Why Are California Schools Suspending More Students Than They Graduate?"
The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.
OCR works to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights. For more information, visit OCR's Web site or Facebook or follow on Twitter (@Edcivilrights).

Event 1
Who :Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali
What :Remarks to a statewide hearing on school discipline policies in California
When :3-6 p.m. PT Monday, Sept. 10, 2012
Where :
Los Angeles Public Library, Mark Taper Auditorium
630 W. Fifth St.
Los Angeles

Pass / Fail : Manhattan Beach Unified offers teachers 3 percent raise, no health cuts | 89.3 KPCC

Pass / Fail : Manhattan Beach Unified offers teachers 3 percent raise, no health cuts | 89.3 KPCC:


Manhattan Beach Unified offers teachers 3 percent raise, no health cuts

MBUSD Manhattan BeachThe two-year contract includes a 3 percent raise without initially proposed cuts to health care. It's the first raise the teachers have seen in five years. Credit: Tami Abdollah/KPCC
Manhattan Beach Unified and its teachers' union reached a tentative agreement that includes a pay raise for teachers, officials said Friday.
The two-year contract includes a 3 percent raise without the district's initially proposed cuts to health care. It also includes measures to help the district cut costs, should ballot measures to raise taxes not pass in 

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Knowles wants Chicago to be "Silicon Valley of education"

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Knowles wants Chicago to be "Silicon Valley of education":


Knowles wants Chicago to be "Silicon Valley of education"




Rahm's vision, building on the legacy of the Daley regime, includes the privatization of everything public. Take away the last vestiges of democratic public decision making, weaken the labor unions and put everything into the hands of his corporate patrons. But Rahm's vision would remain unframed and unfocused without the help of his academic brain-trust.

One of Rahm's closest such academic confidants, especially on ed policy -- read privately-managed charter schools and union busting -- is U of C' prof Timothy Knowles. He's definitely a guy you won't find walking the picket lines with striking teachers next week.

It's not that there's anything new or original in what Knowles espouses. Rather his role is to flavor Rahm's vulgar 

My Writings « Deborah Meier on Education

My Writings « Deborah Meier on Education:




Link to publisher
Books by Deborah Meier
(2010) (with Brenda Engel & Beth Taylor).Playing for keeps: Life and learning on a public school playground. New York: Teachers College Press.
(2004) (Edited, with George Woods). Many children left behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is damaging our children and our schools. Boston: Beacon Press. 
(link to excerpt by George Wood–html)
(link to review-html)
(2004) (with Ted & Nancy Sizer). Keeping school: Letters to families from principals of two small schools. Boston: Beacon Press.
(link to excerpt by Ted Sizer–html) 
(link to review-html)
(2002). In schools we trust: Creating communities of learning in an era of testing and standardization. Boston: Beacon Press. 
(link to excerpt –html)
 
(Link to review-html)
(2000). Will standards save public education? Boston: Beacon Press. 
(link to full text – html) 

(link to review-html)
(1995). The power of their ideas: Lessons for America from a small school in Harlem.Boston: Beacon Press

UPDATE: LISTEN TO DIANE IN THE AFTERNOON 9-7-12 Diane Ravitch's blog

Diane Ravitch's blog:





Governor Deval Patrick Touted Wrong School

Andrea Gabor got an email from the principal of Brockton High School.
She and the teachers succeeded in turning around their school without firing 80% of staff.
They did it the old-fashioned way, through team work.
But Arne likes mass firings.



Crew Member of “Won’t Back Down” Speaks

Did the stars and crew of the anti-union film “Won’t Back Down” know that they were carrying a message on behalf of rightwing extremists?
This writer says no:


Syracuse Elementary Schools Drop Recess

In hopes of raising test scores, elementary schools in Syracuse are eliminating recess.
This discounts mountains of research about the importance of non-cognitive skills, which are often learned on the playground,
And too there is the pesky fact that children need tine to run and play.
A sound mind in a healthy body.
But not in Syracuse.


Democrats Abroad Wrote Great Platform!

The Democrats Abroad platform unequivocally supports the strengthening of public education and the education profession. It opposes privatization of public education. It opposes charter schools and vouchers. It supports the use of tests for diagnostic purposes and opposes the use of tests to evaluate 


Why Teach-to-the-Test Wins

Arne Duncan reminded us In his speech at the Democratic National Convention that President Obama opposes teaching to tests. Duncan didn’t say whether he agrees. It’s hard to take this sentiment seriously now that so many states are evaluating teachers by student test scores, at Duncan’s urging.
When this practice is one day acknowledged to be bogus, we will remember who imposed it.
Meanwhile Governor Dannel Malloy, who has specifically endorsed teaching to the tests, was made chairman of


Did Anyone Copy Democrats Abroad Post?

I accidentally deleted yesterday’s post about platform of Democrats Abroad.
If you have a copy, would you  send it to me so I may restore it?









School’s Out for Teachers « MomsRising Blog

School’s Out for Teachers « MomsRising Blog:


School’s Out for Teachers

By Abby Lane, Fellow, National Women’s Law Center
We’re back this Friday with your monthly update on the BLS jobs numbers. Other things are back too – cooler temps are back, Monday night football is back, and kids are back to school – but one thing that isn’t back are teachers. Local education lost jobs last month, capping a year of losses totaling over 83,000. In fact, since the recovery started in June 2009, local education has lost 301,000 jobs. This is bad news for kids and for women, who make up over 70 percent of the positions in this sector.
These education losses are just part of the ongoing public sector losses. I know we hammered it home last month, but the big story for women this month is still public sector job losses. Over the recovery, women’s public sector job losses have wiped out a whopping 45 percent of their private sector gains. Since June 2009, women have now lost 450,000 public sector jobs, while they gained 999,000 private sector jobs.
How Public Sector Job Loss is Hurting the Recovery
Though the month wasn’t great all around – the economy added 96,000 jobs in August and the overall unemployment rate dropped slightly to 8.1 percent, hovering near the level it has been at since the start of 2012 

Teachers face layoffs around the country | The Raw Story

Teachers face layoffs around the country | The Raw Story:


Teachers face layoffs around the country

By Kay Steiger
Friday, September 7, 2012 15:11 EDT
Teacher via Shutterstock
Topics: 
 
In the state of Wisconsin, where many marched in protest last year to widespread cuts to education and attacks on collective bargaining under Gov. Scott Walker, things aren’t looking so great for teachers.
“We hear from members anywhere from second-year teachers to people with 12 years of teaching experience who are uncertain about where they’re going to be,” Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association (WEA), a union that represents teachers in the state, told Raw Story. A number of teachers have told her they’re seeking work in other nearby states like 

Ten minute drawing. The Civil Rights issue of our time. « Fred Klonsky

Ten minute drawing. The Civil Rights issue of our time. « Fred Klonsky:


Ten minute drawing. The Civil Rights issue of our time.

My limited understanding of public vs. charter schools « My Island View

My limited understanding of public vs. charter schools « My Island View:


My limited understanding of public vs. charter schools

I was a public-school educator for 34 years. While I recognize many of public education’s shortcomings, I am a staunch supporter. More than ever, I believe that this country needs its citizenry to be more than just educated, but also critical thinkers and lifelong learners.
Our country is a representative democracy dependent on leadership, and the direction for our country is placed in the hands of our elected officials who are our politicians. In our government, all leaders are politicians, but not all politicians are leaders. That would make a majority of our government officials, politicians and not leaders. Ideally, leaders make decisions based on the needs of the people. Politicians see the same problems and make decisions based on their needs, or the needs of their political party, or the party’s special interest supporters. This holds true for both political parties.
I first became aware of the charter school movement in 2004. It was my understanding that it was determined 

In Chicago, the Whole World is Watching Once Again

In Chicago, the Whole World is Watching Once Again:


In Chicago, the Whole World is Watching Once Again

In 1968, student protesters stationed outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago broke into a spontaneous chant that quickly crystallized the tenor of the times: “The whole world is watching!”
It’s ironic, then, that one day after this year’s Democratic National Convention, rumors of a city-wide teacher strike in Chicago are reaching a similarly feverous pitch.
As they do, I want to borrow that famous line from 1968 and re-purpose it for 2012. The whole world should be watching, once again, because the core issues at stake in Chicago are the same core issues at stake in our ongoing efforts to improve American public education. In short, what’s happening in Chicago is extremely important, extremely rare, and not entirely discouraging.
It’s extremely important because you have a Democratic mayor pushing reforms that his city’s teachers — the 

Follow up on Ed Waivers, Junk Rating Systems & and Misplaced Blame – New York City’s “Failing” Schools « School Finance 101

Follow up on Ed Waivers, Junk Rating Systems & and Misplaced Blame – New York City’s “Failing” Schools « School Finance 101:


Follow up on Ed Waivers, Junk Rating Systems & and Misplaced Blame – New York City’s “Failing” Schools

About a week ago, I put up a post explaining a multitude of concerns I have with the current NCLB waiver process itself and how it is playing out at the state level. To summarize, what we have here is the executive branch of the federal government coercing state officials to simply ignore existing federal statutes, by granting waivers to state officials who adopt the current administration’s preferred education reform strategies. Setting aside the legal/governance concerns, which are huge, few if any of these preferred strategies are informed by any sound research/analysis.
Equally if not more disturbing is how this waiver process is playing out at ground level, and the message it sends.  Once again (as in Race to the Top) the administration has encouraged the adoption of ill-conceived homogenized policy frameworks across states. States are encouraged, through the waiver application process, to propose how they will abuse data yielded by their generally inadequate data systems in order to 

Leonie Haimson: The Reality and the Hype Behind Online Learning and the 'School of One'

Leonie Haimson: The Reality and the Hype Behind Online Learning and the 'School of One':


The Reality and the Hype Behind Online Learning and the 'School of One'


 Executive Director, Class Size Matters


The Daily News has a story about a new negative evaluation of DOE's much vaunted "School of One" program. This study, which found no significant achievement gains from the program, was quietly placed on the Research Alliance website in the middle of summer with no apparent outreach to the media or the public. This contrasts with the huge publicity machine promoting this online program that has operated since its inception as a pilot started in the summer of 2009.
The School of One is an online, or "blended," learning math program, combining online with small group instruction. It was started by Joel Rose when he was at DOE, using an algorithm devised by Wireless Generation. Rose, along with Chris Rush, formerly of Wireless Gen, has now taken the company private and renamed it New Classrooms. According to its website, the company is hiring new staff to work in NYC, as well as in Washington D.C., Chicago and Perth Amboy, N.J. schools