Friday, February 15, 2013

Special Late Nite Cap UPDATE 2-15-13 #SOSCHAT #EDCHAT #P2



New York City teacher, poet and activist José Luis Vilson loves schools, but hates the loveless, joyless system in which they currently exist. He, like thousands of teachers, parents and students united by their love of public schools, is committed to changing that.

“I love public school because every time we as educators go into the classroom, we have a chance to create opportunities for everyone willing to take the trip with us, even if they’re reluctant to go at first,” he says. “There’s an unequivocal love and passion that goes into every interaction with our students.”
You can read more about his thoughts on how we build a school system as caring as the people within its schools on his blog,
Missed the Valentines yesterday? Don’t worry– it’s never too late to show that you #LoveSchools!

In the 42 years I have worked for this newspaper, I have adopted many of this town’s mental habits. One is a deep respect for inspectors general, those stewards of truth whose work we often herald in The Post. That is why I am disappointed by the failure of not one, but two, inspectors general to expose test tampering in the D.C. schools.
From 2008 through 2010, according to testing company CTB/McGraw Hill, some D.C. schools had 70 percent or more of their classrooms flagged for wrong-to-right erasure rates far beyond the mean erasure rates for all D.C. students. When officials at those schools were denied after-hours access to the answer sheets because of tighter security, their test scores plummeted.
University of North Carolina professor Gregory Cizek investigated similar erasures in Atlanta. He found they were the results of cheating. Many culprits confessed and lost their jobs. Cizek and other psychometricians say there is no reasonable explanation for statistically improbable 

Lou Brown Says........

For those who are written up for every nit picky little bullshit thing under the sun, take a cue from Lou Brown. Live life like Lou.


NJ Votes; NJ Drinks

NJ Spotlight has map out today showing which counties in New Jersey have the heaviest drinkers:

Just for fun, here's how New Jersey's counties voted in the 2012 presidential election:

Hmmm... I dunno, not really much of a correlation that I see. I guess you could argue that deep blue Middlesex, Union, Passaic, and Essex are teetotalers, but so are bright red Warren, Ocean, and Morris. Gloucester drinks plenty but was the only county close to evenly split in voting.  

Sussex, however (northwestern-most county), is putting the "party" in "Tea Party"!

Report Card: Watchdog agency fines Twin Rivers trustee for illegal loans

Twin Rivers school board President Cortez Quinn was fined $14,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission Friday for illegally accepting $55,000 in personal loans from a district employee in 2010 and 2011 and not reporting them on financial disclosure forms.

Bill Introduced: H.R.536 Diverse Teachers Recruitment Act of 2013

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to authorize the Secretary of Education to make grants for recruiting, training, and retaining individuals, with a preference for individuals from underrepresented groups, as teachers at public elementary and secondary schools, and for other purposes.

Bill Introduced: H.Res.51 Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that adding art and design into Federal programs that target the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States.

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that adding art and design into Federal programs that target the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States.

Dennis Walcott Proves He Is A Puppet

Amazing that I and The Crack Team are still able to get these super duper secret emails that Sock Puppet Chancellor Walcott send out to his centurions, er, I meant principals. The emails are now harder to get, yet through quite nefarious mean, still quite obtainable. Attached to the email is a letter to hand to parents for them to prepare for low scores as well.

So to summarize, Dennis' email he appears to be greasing the skids for the abject total complete shitty scores the NYC DOE is expecting because the tests are "harder." Well, what else can one expect when there is bullshit curriculum being used and implemented across the city. Do you think the parents of Roslyn, Scarsdale, Upper Saddle River, or Rye or being told to expect low scores? Noooooooooo!!!!!

Funny thing I notice, in Dennis' email he suggests tha

#edweek Kopp #tfa

You know I wouldn’t have to write these posts if people just did their darn jobs!  However, since EdWeek seems to think journalism is simply reporting, “someone has to say it!”
Is it news that Wendy Kopp is stepping down from TFA as CEO?  Yes.  Should it be reported? Yes.  Should that announcement be followed up with slippery facts about the relative impact TFA has had on the profession of teaching. NO! From EdWeek,
Kopp, 45, founded TFA in 1990. From an initial cohort of 50, the organization now sends a highly select group of more than 10,000 college graduates and other adults annually into low-performing schools for two years. About a third of TFA members remain in the classroom 

The Harlem Shake As A Language-Learning Activity

I was crazy enough to have my English Language Learner students create Gangnam-style videos as a language-learning activity (though no one reading this blog will ever see what we created since students wouldn’t do itunless I participated and, trust me, you don’t want to see me dancing).
So, if Gangnam-style worked so well, why not jump on the Harlem Shake bandwagon?
If you don’t know, the Harlem Shake is the latest music craze. I’m planning on showing some of these videos to 

Bill to Cut Tuition for Undocumented Students Advances in Colorado

Bill to Cut Tuition for Undocumented Students Advances in ColoradoA Colorado Senate committee passed Friday a bill to allow qualified undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
With a 4-3 vote, the Appropriations Committee sent SB 13-33 to the full Senate, where debate on the bill will begin Feb. 22.
An analysis made by the Senate estimates that the measure could benefit some 500 undocumented college students.
On Jan.25, the senatorial Education Committee also backed this measure by 6-3, with one Republican joining 

Research Gone Awry

Susan Notes:

As I read the almost-daily messages from Retraction Watch, detailing falsification and fabrication in scientific research, I always wonder, Where are the retractions in education research? 

by Susan Ohanian

The latest retraction of scientific research comes from MIT. For the Broad Foundation connection, read on. 

One thing I find interesting as well as profoundly disturbing is that the miscreant is now listed as a technology specialist at Clark + Elbing, a patent law firm in Boston. Of course any "discovery," involving autism, would be big news--and big profits. Amar Thyagarajan, who has been accused of fabrication but who refused to sign the 

Proven Ways to Bridge Gap Between Latino & White Students

By Marguerite Rigoglioso, Stanford News
readingThe achievement gap in academic performance between academically at-risk minorities and white students has concerned educators for decades now. It’s a troubling fact that Latino Americans and African Americans, for example, earn lower grades on average than their white peers and are much more likely to drop out of high school.
Amid such sobering statistics, a bright spark has appeared in the form of research being led by Geoffrey Cohen, a professor of education and of psychology at Stanford, and David Sherman of the University of California-Santa 

Smithsonian Latino Ctr Announces Latino Museum Studies Pgrm

smithsonianPRESS RELEASE
Program Aims To Create a National Network of Latino Professionals
The Smithsonian Latino Center announces the 2013 Latino Museum Studies Program, July 1 through Aug. 9 in Washington, D.C. Currently in its 17th year, this program fosters the development of scholars and emerging leaders in the fields of Latino history, art and culture. The deadline to apply for this summer’s program is April 15.
The program is open to graduate students and offered in two components: the first is a two-week seminar of presentations, workshops and discussions with leading Smithsonian curators, researchers and scholars. Participants learn about current and future Smithsonian projects and museum best practices via site visits and 

Rise Above the Mark aims to make the US a world leader again - Documentary on public education debate finds voice.

Rise Above the Mark:

Documentary on public education debate finds voice

  1. Rise Above the Mark - Trailer 1

    by riseabovethemark6 months ago3,328 views
    The next great ambition in public education. Rise Above the Mark aims to make the United States a world leader once again ...
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  2. Rise Above the Mark - Trailer 2

    by riseabovethemark1 day ago10 views
    It's time to make a difference in public education. Rise Above the Mark aims to make the United States a world leader once ...
    • NEW
    • HD

Documentary on public education debate finds voice

Updated 6:50 am, Friday, February 15, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — An Emmy Award-winning narrator is now part of a West Lafayette schools documentary that officials hope will serve as a catalyst in reshaping the national dialogue surrounding public education.
Peter Coyote, who has appeared in more than 100 films, including "E.T." and "Erin Brokovich," and has narrated more than 165 documentaries, will lend his voice to the in-progress documentary "Rise Above the Mark."
West Lafayette Superintendent Rocky Killion made the announcement Thursday afternoon before screening the film's second trailer for teachers and administrators gathered in the West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High auditorium.
"We are on a mission to raise awareness about what's happening in public education," Killion told the assembled teachers. "We are on a mission to tell our story."
Production began last year on the film, which is expected to be released this spring. The first trailer was released in August, the Journal & Courier reported ( ).
It included interviews with education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education; former Finnish minister of education Pasi Sahlberg; and Marc Tucker, CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy and author of the five-year education report "Tough Choices or Tough Times."
Since then several more names have been added to the project, including author and speaker Jamie Vollmer and Seth Phillips, principal of P.S. 8 in Brooklyn.
"As hard as my days have gotten here sometimes — I've had some hard days — I can always say at least I'm not in Indiana," Phillips says in the second trailer.
In 2011, amid a heated and polarizing debate, state legislators enacted a bevy of education reform laws, including the nation's most expansive system for providing tax-funded vouchers for public school students to transfer to private schools.
"You hear often about the bottom line," said high school science teacher Dave Collins. "They don't understand what we're trying to do here. We're trying to educate tomorrow's leaders, and we need the resources to be able to do that and do it well."
Junior high teacher Lisa Mills praised the trailer. She hopes the film's message will resonate with those arguing for a more business-minded and competitive education system.
"It takes away an aspect that was more collaborative and makes it competitive," Mills said.
"And that doesn't work in education. Even at the heart of legislation that's meant to make schools better, it feels punitive."
The documentary is just part of the project's endgame, which would see West Lafayette create a pilot system to unshackle teachers from state mandates.
To date, the West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation has raised more than $60,000 specifically earmarked for the documentary and to create and support that pilot system. No tax dollars were used for the project.
But while filmmakers originally started out to tell a West Lafayette-based story, Killion said the film has evolved.
"What has happened is we've gone from a more local, maybe regional, piece to now we are ready to take this to a national level of prominence," Killion said.
The creative team behind the project spent months courting a different well-known Hollywood actor to narrate the film. That effort stalled due to scheduling conflicts. The team finally moved on and approached Coyote.
Coyote has proven to be a strong ally, Killion said, and has even submitted the project to famed documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney for his consideration.
"(Coyote) wanted me to tell you," Killion told teachers, "that he is a 100 percent supporter of public education, he is a public school product from Iowa and he will do everything he can to help our school district tell this story and support what we're doing."
Now that the project has found its voice, the filmmakers will continue interviews and fundraising leading up to the yet-to-be scheduled premiere this spring.
"Stay tuned," Killion said.
Information from: Journal and Courier,
This is an AP Member Exchange shared by the Journal & Courier.

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