Monday, October 14, 2013

Special Late Nite Cap UPDATE 10-14-13 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2




The Common Core Memorandum of Understanding: What a Story
The question of who, exactly, is truly responsible for writing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has been a matter for debate. Here is how the CCSS website describes CCSS development: Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people with a high-quality education. It should be clear to every stu

NPE Endorsements


Texas merit pay plan for teachers quietly disappears |
By TERRENCE STUTZ Austin Bureau Published: 13 October 2013 11:47 PM Updated: 13 October 2013 11:53 PM AUSTIN — It was the largest program of its type in the nation just a few years ago, hailed by Republican leaders as the wave of the future in education. But Texas’ once-vaunted teacher merit pay plan moreThe post Texas merit pay plan for teachers quietly disappears |
NPE Endorses Four Candidates for Denver Board of Education | The Network For Public Education
The Network for Public Education has endorsed four candidates for Denver Public Schools Board of Education. Rosario C de Baca, Michael Kiley, Roger Kilgore, and Meg Schomp will bring a fresh perspective to the Denver Public Schools – a school district of more than 84,000 students. In District 2, Rosario C de Baca stands for moreThe post NPE Endorses Four Candidates for Denver Board of Educ
Middle Class Children and the Hostage Takers in Corporate Education Reform | Reclaim Reform
Your children are the targets for Corporate Education Reform hostage takers. This is no exaggeration or hype. Middle class children in middle class areas. “No, a generation of youngsters is being held instead by pinstriped corporate executives, buttoned-down foundation officers and the local school board officials those aristocrats buy and sell.” High stakes testing, teacher moreThe post M
Commissioner King says Class Size Matters is a “special interest” manipulating parents | NYC Public School Parents
Over the weekend, NY State Education Commissioner John King cancelled all future PTA-sponsored forums about the Common Core, because he claimed that these meetings have been “co-opted by special interests” whose goal is to “dominate” these meetings, and that “parents don’t deserve to be manipulated and dominated.” His entire statement is quoted here. Today, a moreThe post Commissioner King
Get Schooled: Do zero tolerance policies on drinking go too far?
Facebook has become the fast way to advance a cause, and today’s is Massachusetts teen Erin Cox who drove to a party to pick up a friend too drunk to drive. Erin was rounded up when police arrived seconds later to break up the party. Her presence at the bash ...

Iran’s President Calls for Academic Freedoms
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s president stepped up his challenge to the country’s hard-line factions on Monday, calling for the lifting of restrictions on academic freedoms and for granting Iranian scholars more opportunity to take part in international conferences. The message from Hassan Rouhani underscores the increasing friction between his moderate-leaning camp and entrenched forces such as hard-line

More Student Resources On The Debt Ceiling
Here are new additions to The Best Resources For Understanding The Debt Ceiling: Republicans and Obama in debt crisis talks is a Breaking News English lesson. Here’s a video from The Washington Post: Here’s a video from The New York Times:

A Scheme To Reduce Crimes
 A “scheme” was put into place in Manchester, England in which ex-offenders would be employed to clean up areas called ‘grot spots’. This outcome of this scheme was beneficial to say the least.  It resulted in a huge reduction of re-offending rates.  Ex-convicts were employed full-time under the Your Environmental Team (YET) which so far has hired 30 prisoners on 6 month contracts.  The project wa
Immigration Court and Government Shutdown
          Days after the federal government shut down, effects are felt across many agencies. Immigration courts proceedings are largely shut down, too. A lot of immigration has been waiting for years to make their case for a green card. A lot of high hopes are starting to fall apart due to the government shutdown. Even high school seniors, withouth a green card, wonders how they will be able to g
Alternative Energy is Good...But is it Our Highest priority ?
It is in our best interest to focus some of our attention ( and money ), as a nation, on alternative energy. At this point in time, however, should it be our top priority? As of last year California has spent $1.6 billion on renewable energy projects, while wide spread budget cuts undermined the funding of arguably more paramount programs such as those supporting public education and child care se

Bill to limit ‘involuntary transfer’ of expelled students vetoed by Brown | EdSource Today

Bill to limit ‘involuntary transfer’ of expelled students vetoed by Brown | EdSource Today:

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Saturday that would have required greater transparency from districts about the process of involuntarily transferring expelled students, and other students, to alternative schools and the process for allowing those students to return to regular schools.
Senate Bill 744, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Long Beach, called for school districts to develop a clear set of requirements that expelled students must meet and set a timeline for when students can return to regular school. The bill was sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of California, Public Counsel, Children Now Legal Services for Children, Youth Justice Coalition and the Youth Law Center.
“Governor Brown has allowed an important opportunity to increase fairness in our state’s education system to slip away,” said Jory Steele, director of education equity for the ACLU of Northern California, in a statement. “Unfortunately, many students across the state will remain vulnerable to wrongful involuntary transfers, which contribute to the unfair push-out of students, especially students of color.”
Testifying in favor of the bill in May, a youth told the state Senate Education Committee that after being transferred to an alternative school before eighth grade graduation, he completed in one summer all of the requirements set by his district, including drug and alcohol counseling classes, 

Learn. Teach. Lead. This Time with Passion! — Whole Child Education

Learn. Teach. Lead. This Time with Passion! — Whole Child Education:

Barry Saide

Learn. Teach. Lead. This Time with Passion!

In order for me to lead effectively in my classroom, I needed to make sure I was teaching the right things. Otherwise, what were students learning? And, why were they learning it?
Students need to be personally invested in their learning in order for them to be most successful. What's taught needs to be relevant to them. The curriculum can be rigorous to the 10th power, but if it isn't taught in a way that is engaging and fun, students will not produce work that is reflective, vulnerable, risky, and potentially full of mistakes.
Mistakes help us to grow when we acknowledge them and are willing to identify what we did versus what we should do the next time. As I sat down to preplan my year as a 5th grade teacher, I needed to reflect on where I was as a learner: What was I doing well? What could I improve on? What was hard for me? And, what were my goals for the year?
What I've mentioned are all things I ask of my students: take risks, invest in yourself, advocate, and be open to new ideas because good learning is messy before it looks good. As I tell my students, if you have truly waded through the mess to construct new meaning and have learned the material, you can teach it to someone else. This is the highest level of learning, and this is how we create leaders. As a leader in my classroom, I need to embody and model these soft skills I ask of my students. Otherwise, I am a hollow leader. And, I felt hollow as 

NYC Public School Parents: Commissioner King says Class Size Matters is a "special interest" manipulating parents

NYC Public School Parents: Commissioner King says Class Size Matters is a "special interest" manipulating parents:

Commissioner King says Class Size Matters is a "special interest" manipulating parents

My Hero Leonie Haimson
Like Joan of Arc: Pissed Off a King!
Way to go Leonie!! Parents Can!!

Over the weekend, NY State Education Commissioner John King cancelled all future PTA-sponsored forums about the Common Core, because he claimed that these meetings have been "co-opted by special interests" whose goal is to "dominate" these meetings, and that "parents don't deserve to be manipulated and dominated." His entire statement is quoted here.

Today, a spokesperson from the NY State Education Department identified to reporters these "special interests" as NYSUT (the state's teacher union) and Class Size Matters.  I explained yesterday why it was absurd to say parents are being "manipulated" by  NYSUT, but I was absolutely flabbergasted to hear that King is claiming this about Class Size Matters as well.

I assume that he is referring to our efforts to inform parents around the state that their children's most personal information is being shared with inBloom Inc. and other vendors without their consent, and our advocacy to try to stop this from happening.  One question read from a card at the PTA forum in Poughkeepsie meeting on Thursday referred to these plans (see this video at about 41 minutes in.).

Yet the idea that parents' concerns about this data-sharing plan results from their being "manipulated" is so absurd it is difficult to even comprehend.  So far six out of nine states have pulled out of inBloom or put their plans on hold 

UPDATE: Ms. Jablonski's Class Blog: Bosnian mass graves discovered

Ms. Jablonski's Class Blog: Bosnian mass graves discovered:

Bosnian mass graves discovered

On a hill in Bosnia the crimes of war are finally being unearthed. Forensic teams have already found more than 150 bodies and hundreds more are expected to be found. Some citizens search for lost survivors and for the truth. Some prisoners return from near by prison camps who state thousands more were killed there. More than 300 are still missing. Many still want closure and other survivors are thankful it is not them in the ground there. Women and children are found in the remains, hopefully bringing the final chapter of this nasty war. Mostly Bosniak muslims and Croats were targeted in 1992. Many were rounded up and taken to prison camps. One prisoner in a camp became the symbol of the war. He survived but others were removed and shot. He has recovered and hopes that all remains are found to pay respects. This grave, one of the largest found in Bosnia, may contain evidence of war crimes and international war crimes investigators are present along with state prosecutors which sealed the location as a crime scene. The grave 

It is well known that the disposal of plastics is a reoccurring global issue, burning plastic materials generates large amounts of toxins and CO2 into the atmosphere. In 2009, Japan established a company called  Blest which created a small, safe machine that converts several types of plastics back into oil.  Using temperature controlled electric heaters to burn the plastics a released gas can be u
Governments Going Guerilla On Peaceful Protests?
Many governments around the world have been using excessive force or unnecessary action when confronted by peaceful protests. Exercising the right to organize and protest peacefully has been infringed upon in the United States, Israel, Canada, Argentina, Egypt, Hungary, Kenya, South Africa and Britain. The report, "Take Back the Streets: Repression and Criminalization Around the World,"

Government Shutdown does not affect NCUA.
Shares Insured and NCUA Doors Open, Even If Federal Government Closes.Chairman Matz Urges Credit Unions to Plan for Members’ NeedsALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 30, 2013) – A shutdown of the federal government will not halt regular operations of the National Credit Union Administration, and individual accounts will remain insured up to $250,000, the agency announced today.NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz e

Government Shutdown Causes Veteran Protest
     On Sunday, October 13, 2013, several veterans came out to the World War 2 Memorial on the National Mall to protest. The government shutdown caused the closure of this national memorial.  Afterward, several veterans met in front of the White House to continue their protest. A few politicians met with the veterans to speak publicly about the government shutdown, claiming that Congress is being

Lady Liberty Leads Legislative Lesson
       When it becomes evident that the government cannot protect it's people, it is the responsibility of the state to step in. Today New York legislature ruled that they dip into the tourism budget in order to reopen the statue of liberty national park. Due to partial government shut down, the park had been closed for 12 days and no end is in site. The author writes "Cuomo said the state st

No Benefits for Veterans
It has been two weeks since the government shutdown and now veterans are being affected as well. The Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki warned that financing veterans would be more difficult as the shutdown continues. Apparently 5.1 million veterans will not receive their compensation checks at November 1st, 433,000 fully disabled vets might not receive payments and 360,000 surviving wives