Latest News and Comment from Education

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Special Late Nite Cap UPDATE 2-12-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2




Wyoming House Rejects Common Core
The Wyoming House passed HB 97 on a 47-13 vote.  This is significant because they are currently in an appropriations session.  Any non-appropriations bill needs a 2/3 majority vote in order to pass during these short 20-day sessions.This bill introduced by State Representative Tom Reeder (R-Casper) is, in my opinion, a very strong bill.It forbids the state from joining any consortium where they wo
Report: PBS series on reducing public pensions secretly funded by anti-pension billionaire
A two-year investigative series devoted to examining the merits of cutting pensions for public employees was quietly funded by a billionaire engaging in a multi-pronged campaign promoting the tactic, Pando Daily reported on Wednesday. According to Pando, a spokesperson for the series, Pension...
Portland teachers strike: School board declares 'state of emergency' to go forward with strike preparation
The move is largely a formality to grant Superintendent Carole Smith the authority to spend money on strike preparation, including hiring replacement teachers.
Portland Public Schools accuses district of illegal strike
If teachers go on strike next week, will class size be one of the reasons?

Musical Media for Education: Follow-Up
Recently you LIKED the picture below on Facebook. If you did not have a chance to read the accompanying information about Musical Media for Education, here it is again. Investment Opportunity: MME is a sole proprietorship in the process of becoming a Limited Liability Corporation (New York). We are seeking part

Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons by Sylviane A. Diouf [Book Trailer]
NYU PressOver more than two centuries men, women, and children escaped from slavery to make the Southern wilderness their home. They hid in the mountains of Virginia and the low swamps of South Carolina; they stayed in the neighborhood or paddled their way to secluded places; they buried themselves underground or built comfortable settlements. Known as maroons, they lived on their own or set up co

Vista charter school closes, reopens under new name
Mountain Peak Charter School in Vista closed, but has reopened as part of other school.

The Face of Education Reform
Every time I read a story about some education reformer saying something dumb, like “status quo” or “student achievement,” I shake my head and sort of giggle to myself.  Then, I read another story about a child who is really hurting under the system those reformers are pushing so fiercely into our public schools.  The […]
In discussing the Winter Olympics, I brought in a piece of it. #evaluatethat
For a portion of what was to be my 120 minute literacy block today, as mandated by my District, I brought in my ice hockey gear and put it all on, in honor of the winter Olympic Games.  Sorry if it had no objective other than to satisfy my students’ curiosity and perhaps expose them […]

Get Schooled: Snowed under: When the snow starts coming down heavy, student performance can also fall
I was surprised at the number of teachers who contended on the blog and Facebook that their schools can make up missed instruction without resorting to canceling spring break. (I wrote that metro districts should cancel spring break in view of the mounting snow days.) One teacher said: “One ...

Public Schools Accountability Act
Authorizes the creation of an educational accountability system for California public schools. Its primary goal is to help schools improve and to measure the academic achievement of all students.

A report released Wednesday by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools showed that 600 new public charter schools opened across the country this year, adding 288,000 students in 2013-14. There are now 6,500 schools educating more than 2.5 million students in the United States. California added 104 new charters and 48,000 students this year, the most in the country.  

Chancellor Farina Announces NYC Schools Are Open For Thursday February 13
I can't believe they're calling a school day beofre the snow even starts:NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Department of Education announced that New York City Schools will be open Thursday. With the storm expecting to hit overnight, crews are already preparing roads in Manhattan. Mayor de Blasio also declared a hazardous travel advisory for Thursday. He will keep schools open like he did during the last big
Sid Caesar
His death was announced today - he was 91.His influence was long-lasting:Albert Einstein was a Caesar fan. Alfred Hitchcock called Mr. Caesar the funniest performer since Charlie Chaplin. Television comedy in its early days was dominated by boisterous veterans of vaudeville and radio who specialized in broad slapstick and snappy one-liners. Mr. Caesar introduced a different kind of humor to the sm
Cuomo: No Raises For Human Services Workers For Sixth Straight Year So That Rich People Can Get A Tax Cut
There's a special level in hell for a governor who operates this way:ALBANY, N.Y. — The Cuomo administration has proposed keeping pay flat for the sixth straight year for caretakers of the disabled and others at state-funded nonprofits. Most Assembly members, in response, have signed a letter calling for the 2 percent cost-of-living increase in the final negotiated budget for the next fiscal year.
To Go Or Not To Go?
The National Weather Service raised the forecast of snow totals to 8-12 inches for the city late this afternoon, but those totals are supposed to come in two waves - heavy overnight snow that leaves 4-8 inches in the city, then turning over to rain (or even a dry slot for a while), then back to snow again in the evening for another 4 inches or so.When I heard the 8-12 inches forecast, I figured ev

Janet Yellen and I Were Taught to Revere Capitalism. But It’s a Failing System.
This post first appeared at the Guardian website. It is crossposted here with the author’s permission. President Barack Obama listen as Janet Yellen, vice chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, where the president announced he was nominating Yellen to be chair of the Federal Reserve,

Are Our High School Students Dumb? Are Our High Schools Disastrous?
I received a letter from John Ogozolak, a teacher in upstate New York, where the economy has long been in serious trouble, with a paucity of jobs and economic opportunity. I decided to share it, because like him, I too have wondered what message we give our high school students. The politicians and the media constantly tell them how dumb they are, how lazy and shiftless, yet they are our future. W

In de Blasio’s first budget, uncertainty and a belief that money matters
The education line in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed budget rests on two big assumptions: that he can convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo to chip in $500 million more to the city this year, and that his own prekindergarten funding plan will prevail over Cuomo’s. De Blasio revealed those assumptions in his first budget presentation today, in which he said his $73 billion city budget would move the city tow

Supporters of bill that would delay new standards, test make pitch to state board
Supporters and opponents to a bill that would delay the full implementation of the Colorado Academic Standards lobbed their opening pitches to lawmakers, the State Board of Education and the media Wednesday, the day before the Senate Education Committee may decide the fate of the measure. Supporters of the bill, which would also delay the rollout of standardized tests aligned to the standards and
House panel endorses study of minority teacher pipeline; school finance law remains on ice
An articulate seventh grader helped to convince the House Education Committee Wednesday to pass a bill that would require the state Department of Education to study the shortage of minority teachers and develop ways to recruit, develop and retain more of them. “There is a high sense of urgency” about the issue, said sponsor Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, noting that about 12 percent of Colorado tea
Board executive sessions bill bares partisan divisions
A spirited Republican attack on Wednesday failed to stop preliminary floor approval of a bill that would require school boards to fully record their closed-door meetings, including conversations with attorneys about legal matters. While supporters of the bill, House Bill 14-1110, have been circumspect about its origins, it’s widely assumed that it was at least partly inspired by the Douglas County
State Board decides to watch testing flexibility bill
State Board of Education members Wednesday took a collegial approach to a bill that would allow school districts to opt out of state tests, a marked contrast to their vigorous disagreement over a previous standards-and-testing measure. During their regular monthly meeting, board members had their first discussion of House Bill 14-1202, a measure that would allow school districts to opt out of stat

The Wolf of Sesame Street. Public TV signs a deal with the devil on pension reporting.
By David Sirota. Read the entire article here. On December 18th, the Public Broadcasting Service’s flagship station WNET issued a press release announcing the launch of a new two-year news series entitled “Pension Peril.” The series, promoting cuts to public employee pensions, is airing on hundreds of PBS outlets all over the nation. It has been presented as objective news on  major PBS programs
The weather is warming up for Tuesday’s Soup Kitchen at Pension Thief Robyn Gabel’s office.
The fight against pension theft is heating up again. Senate President John Cullerton is threatening Chicago teachers with massive layoffs if the CTU doesn’t agree to another Senate Bill 1 deal. CTU VP Jesse Sharkey isn’t impressed. “We’re not stupid,” he responded. Chicago teachers and other Chicago public employees will be heading for Springfield on Wednesday. And Thursday our IEA Retired chapte

The Best Resources On “One-To-One” Laptop/Tablet Programs — Please Suggest More!
I’ll soon be covering a question in my Education Week Teacher column about one-to-one laptop/tablet programs, and thought it would be useful to readers (and to me!) to create a “Best” lists on the topic. This list will be fairly limited at the beginning, but I’m confident readers, particularly teachers who are actually doing a one-to-one program, will contribute great stuff in the comments. I’ll
Three Good Tweets On Grading & Assessment
Here are three good tweets I’m adding to The Best Resources On Grading Practices: Nice summary of grading shifts, lifted from Genessee's webinar playing now. #sblchat — Craig Kesselheim (@ckesselheim) February 11, 2014 RT @TheJLV: Students at Hudson have a three part grading system. In thirds: self, teachers, peers. They were pretty accurate across. #educon — Larry Fer
“How Can We Develop Life-Long Readers?”
How Can We Develop Life-Long Readers? is the latest “question-of-the-week” at my Education Week Teacher column. Responses are welcome here or there…

Farah Jimenez talks school funding, teacher contracts, and appointment to SRC
by NewsWorks staff When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett nominated Farah Jimenez to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission last month, she drew nearly universal praise.  Jimenez, the CEO of the People's Emergency Center in West Philadelphia, was confirmed by the state Senate last week. The Republican has been lauded for her work with homeless women and children, a credential advocates feel will t

New York State's Meaningless Concessions Throw Out the Only Tests Worth Keeping
In New York, the teacher evaluation formula is based on 20 percent state mandated tests, 60 percent observation, and 20 percent local assessments.  While canceling nary a state test or any of the planned implementation of the Corporate Core, the New York Board of Regents and their new panel of CorpEd advocates have have come up with a plan to shove local systems into dumping their own local assess

Guest: Improvement at schools like Rainier Beach requires sustained funding
Recently, a colleague and I visited another Seattle high school. When we were introduced to the class as teachers from Rainier Beach High School, a ninth-grade boy with a friendly face asked, “You’re from Rainier Beach? Do you like working there? Isn’t it a bit … sketchy?�

Kane Unable
Harvard professor Thomas Kane recently testified on behalf of the ‘families’ in the Vergera vs. California case.  The plaintiffs in this case seek for the teacher tenure process and the LIFO layoff priorities to be changed in order to ensure that students in California have more of a chance to be taught by an ‘effective’ teacher.  Anytime Kane is involved, we are sure to see him claim that his val

EdSource | New EdSource Report Underscores Positive Impact of Parent Involvement in Schools
EdSource | Highlighting Strategies for Student Success: New EdSource Report Underscores Positive Impact of Parent Involvement in SchoolsA new EdSource report reviews compelling research showing that parent involvement in their children's school is associated with a range of positive outcomes for students.Parent Involvement in Schools Linked to Improved Academic Outcomes  A new EdSource report, The
Help the Badass Moms go to Austin! by Rousemary Vega - GoFundMe
Help the Badass Moms go to Austin! by Rousemary Vega - GoFundMe: Help the Badass Moms go to Austin! The women of Chicago's Badass Moms are going on the road! We are trying to get to the Network for Public Education conference in Austin on March 1-2 to hone our organizing skills and network with education justice activists from across the country. We would love your support with travel, meals and r
Nite Cap 2-12-14 Revised #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2 Revised
James Baldwin said it best: "For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP SPECIAL Mid Day Banana Break 2-3-14 #RealEdTalk #edreformBig Education Ape - Mid Day Banana BreakWhy Precisely Do Teachers Leave High Poverty Schools?Why Precisely Do Teachers Leave High Poverty Schools?. Recently, I participated in a 9 minute p