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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oregon Save Our Schools: Educating Kids, Yes It Is Personal!

Oregon Save Our Schools: Educating Kids, Yes It Is Personal!:

Educating Kids, Yes It Is Personal!

On Wednesday, February 5th, 2014,  two members of OSOS, both veteran classroom teachers, visited, by invitation, the office of Senator Mark Hass, chair of the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee. Senator Hass has worked on some positive pieces of legislation related to education, so we were hoping we might get at least a listen regarding teacher concerns about the consequences in Oregon’s middle and elementary school classrooms regarding the focus on high stakes standardized testing and implementation of Common Core State (sic) Standards. That meeting was not very positive. Here, one of the teachers writes an open letter to Senator Hass about that meeting from the teacher’s perspective. A private email was sent to the Senator’s assistant earlier this week expressing disappointment in the meeting and asking what the Senator’s position is on moratorium or repeal of the Common Core in Oregon. At the time of this posting, there had been no response from his office.

Dear Senator Hass,

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with our meeting on Wednesday, February 5th. When I spoke at Beaverton’s 40/40/20 meeting about my frustration with sloganeering over true action to improve education for Oregon students, what I said clearly struck a chord with the audience as evidenced by the fact that I was the only speaker who received a round of applause. Afterward, when I approached you and spoke to you in private, I expressed my dismay at Oregon Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton’s assertion that teachers support the current reform agenda. I told you that I could put you in touch with many, many teachers who, like myself, feel that these policies not only do not help students but in fact are harming them. You invited me to make an appointment with your assistant to come to Salem and speak to you. I took his card that night and contacted him the next day via email.

My fellow teacher, Tricia Snyder, and I arrived about five minutes late. That was totally my fault because right as I was dismissing 

Mayoral run for CTU’s Karen Lewis? Spouse sour on being first husband - Chicago Sun-Times

Mayoral run for CTU’s Karen Lewis? Spouse sour on being first husband - Chicago Sun-Times:

Mayoral run for CTU’s Karen Lewis? Spouse sour on being first husband

Updated: February 19, 2014 9:23PM

SPRINGFIELD — Chicago Teachers Union chief Karen Lewis came to Springfield on Wednesday to rally against possible pension cuts to city teachers but left town being urged to run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
By her own and other union members.
Lewis has locked horns repeatedly with Emanuel over school closings and his bid to impose pension cuts on city teachers much like what current and retired state workers were handed last December.
She went so far as telling reporters last October that the mayor was “in trouble” with voters in Chicago even though his campaign war chest was brimming with money.
During the CTU president’s call for unity in the looming pension fight on Wednesday, loud chants of “Run for Mayor!” filled the Capitol rotunda, where unionized city workers gathered to hear her speak.
Afterward, Lewis seemed to suggest she’s staying put in 2015, when Emanuel faces re-election, but she also didn’t close any doors.
“I have a job that I was elected to. I am not a politician. I clearly am not a 

Dennis Van Roekel’s Continued Common Core Crush | deutsch29

Dennis Van Roekel’s Continued Common Core Crush | deutsch29:

Dennis Van Roekel’s Continued Common Core Crush

February 19, 2014

Today, National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel once again reinforced his devotion to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Mind you, he tried to make his open letter appear to be a “learning experience” in which he had “listened”; however, what Van Roekel is actually doing is publicly reiterating his allegiance to a set of hastily-constructed, untested standards for which the equally-hasty rollout was “botched.”
Just last month– January 2014– Van Roekel maintained that no one could tell him any specific standards that were problematic– and that anyone objecting to CCSS had to offer “a better alternative” even though he referred to CCSS as a “best guess.”
In his current letter, as far as Van Roekel is concerned, it’s all about the “botched rollout”– never about the forced implementation.
Van Roekel is careful to never mention any teacher as having any valid, experience-based negative reaction to the standards themselves.
In short, Van Roekel’s letter is a calculated CCSS sales job– nothing more than another effort to Save the Standards.
Throughout his letter, Van Roekel refers to statistics from his biased NEA survey– which I dismantle here.
Van Roekel opens his letter with, “During my 23 years as a high school math 

People's Benchmarks, People's Sovereignty: New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts | Black Agenda Report

People's Benchmarks, People's Sovereignty: New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts | Black Agenda Report:

People's Benchmarks, People's Sovereignty: New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts

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by Michelle Renee Matisons and Seth Sandronsky

New Jersey pioneered the practice of abolishing democracy in education through state takeovers of mostly minority school districts. “Not only was New Jersey the first U.S. state to implement school district takeover, it has some of the longest occupied districts in the nation.”  

People's Benchmarks, People's Sovereignty: New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts

by Michelle Renee Matisons and Seth Sandronsky

This article previously appeared in Counterpunch.
It appears New Jersey never intended to return control to local districts once seized.”
With globalization, the expansion of capitalist production has doubled the planetary work force, and U.S. elites in New Jersey and other “blue and red states” are defunding urban education services and then conveniently refunding education through private market interventions.  As corporate America flexes its political power by renting lawmakers at all levels, mass incarceration of the racialized populace has been a key social policy reflecting this trend of globalized class power.  Like the War on Drugs that parallels it, the War on Public Schools directs public attention to a singular cause for the class inequality inherent in the capitalist system.  Both “wars” masquerade as comprehensive solutions to crime and poverty, fixating on symptoms and not root causes of social problems.   
Racialized class power is found everywhere in predatory reform targeting poor urban school districts.  Like the War on Drugs, it disproportionately affects poor people of color, but poor urban and rural whites are casualties in both wars too.  The bipartisan War on Public Schools picks up and exacerbates social outcomes created by the bipartisan War on Drugs: urban communities continually bear the brunt of a political system unified by racialized class power.  Far from withering away, contemporary U.S. capitalism increasingly relies upon the state’s regulatory powers.
Police, prisons and schools in New Jersey municipalities, including deindustrialized Camden, are state sites to control and monetize superfluous populations to capital accumulation. The process used to double the world proletariat in the past 40 years is the same one that designates large swaths of the U.S. populace disposable.  White supremacist capital targets inner city populations for displacement (gentrification/ school closure), warehousing (prisons, not job and educational opportunities), and premature illness and death 

Teacher Abuse is Abuse

Teacher Abuse is Abuse

I got my first bachelor pad in my hometown way back in July of 1990. It was awesome. A studio apartment directly behind an IHOP, at a main intersection, shops within walking distance, and best of all a Metro-North station a quarter of a mile walk.

Being a groovy single guy the other married men with families on my floor lived somewhat vicariously through me. They thought I was cool. I didn't think they were. Not 100% true, there was one dad who almost turned me off to getting married and having children.

Jughead and Big Ethel lived diagonally across the hall from me. They had a 2 bedroom. Both were portly and ugly as sin. However, the had a gorgeous toe-headed little boy named Reggie. Back in 1990 Reggie was about 4 years old.

Anyway, and I got this second hand, when Reggie was born, Big Ethel suffered from sever post-partum depression to the point where she was hospitalized. Which is an explanation, I think, of what I am about to share.

Being that Reggie was an only child, Reggie bore the brunt of everything, good and bad, in their home. Sadly, from what I heard and saw, in person, in the hallway, and in my apartment with my door closed sitting outside on the balcony while blasting Rush, was not right.

Reggie was a handful and cried and had tantrums quite a bit. Every time he cried and/or threw a tantrum I would hear from either Jughead or Big Ethel, or both, yelling at Reggie, "IF YOU DON'T STOP 

States Fighting Back Map Update | Truth in American Education

States Fighting Back Map Update | Truth in American Education:

States Fighting Back Map Update

The Truth in American Education cartographer has updated the States Fighting Back Map called Retaining Constitutionally Guaranteed Liberty and State Sovereignty.  The previous update was released June 24, 2013.  Since that time, fourteen states qualified and have been added to the map.  The added states are Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

You can download the map by clicking on the down arrow at the bottom of the document. You can get a download link and embed code by clicking the share this file envelope just to the left of the down arrow.

Retaining Constitutionally Guaranteed Liberty and State Sovereignty

Rejecting the Common Core State Standards

The Pending Rejection states are so marked as a result of serious discussion or action taken towards withdrawing from the Common Core State Standards, withdrawing from PARCC or SBAC, delaying implementation of standards or assessments, or not funding the implementation.  The discussions or actions considered include public forums, legislative bills, and hearings on state legislative floors in 2012, 2013, or 2014.

  • SB 53 

Ms. Jablonski's Class Blog 2-19-14

Ms. Jablonski's Class Blog:

Obama doesn't like violence.
Protestors have taken a stand in Ukraine after their President reversed the planned trade deal with the European Union and turned to Russia instead. Things only got worse when an anti-protest law went into effect.Thus far, the military has yet to be involved, and the Obama administration has vocalized its approval of the decision and strongly encourage the military to stay on the sidelines. Obama
Sparks fly over a lesbian-themed music video by an expatriate IranianGoogoosh, whose real name is Faegheh Atashin, is a popular Iranian singer amongst all ages. She left Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, since women were banned from performing. She resumed her career away from the Iranian restrictions on females. Today, she performs in U.S, and European cities with large Iranian populations.

Protest in Ukraine: Making headlines, but what is it about?

        The headlines this afternoon are about the protests going on in Ukraine after they've taken a worse turn in the past couple of weeks, leaving 25 dead. There are talks of truces and negotiations leading to a fresh start, but to be able to fully understand the protests now, we have to be informed with the history of the situation.        The protest started a couple weeks ago at the site of

Ms. Jablonski's Class Blog 2-17-14
Ms. Jablonski's Class Blog: Obama decries Uganda anti-gay lawMany homosexuals in sub-Saharan African countries have been severely discriminated against or in most cases, they are thrown in jail. Lesbians, for example, have been "deliberately targeted for sexual violence." Since the colonial-era, homosexuality has been illegal under a law that criminalizes sex acts - being defined as &quo

LA school board criticized for closed-door discussion of temporary representative | Pass / Fail | 89.3 KPCC

LA school board criticized for closed-door discussion of temporary representative | Pass / Fail | 89.3 KPCC:

LA school board criticized for closed-door discussion of temporary representative

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Mary Plummer/KPCC

The Los Angeles Unified school board decided unanimously to tap former administrator Sylvia Rousseau to temporarily represent the south-central district until a special election can be held in June to replace late board member Margueritte LaMotte. But the way the board reached that decision - discussing its options in a closed-door meeting - is drawing fire.
"This is a classically political decision that needs to be made in public if it's made at all," said Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition. 
The school district argues that the 5-0 decision Tuesday to pull-in Rousseau was a personnel matter, thus exempt from the California Brown Act's public meeting requirements. (Board member Monica Garcia was absent.)
But Scheer said that doesn't hold water.
"They can call it what they want buy they are appointing someone to fill-in for an 
Report: Data linking would reveal what's working in early childhood education
Rosa Sanchez lays a child down to rest at Jardín de Niños, which is part of the California Children's Academy that helps families become financially independent by providing affordable child care to low income families.; Credit: Mae Ryan/KPCC In this data-driven age, a new report questions why states don't compare various pieces of information - like teacher training and Kindergarten success - to