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Saturday, March 8, 2014

NPE 2014 National Conference Photo Gallery - The Network For Public Education

The Network For Public Education | NPE 2014 National Conference Photo Gallery:

NPE 2014 National Conference Photo Gallery

On March 1 & 2, 2014 Education advocates from across the country gathered at The University of Texas at Austin for the Network for Public Education 2014 National Conference. Over 100 panelists shared their experiences and expertise, new friends were made, and alliances were solidified. Enjoy this gallery of the conference! Photos by Carlo Nasisse – a proud graduate of a public school!

Mother Crusader: Expansiongate?

Mother Crusader: Expansiongate?:


My good blogging buddy Jersey Jazzman has been trying to make sense of outgoing Commissioner Cerf's decision to deny expansion to a suburban Hebrew language immersion charter (Hatikvah) when he approved the expansion of an urban dual language charter (HoLa) that, at least on the surface, seem very similar.
Two charters, both causing economic distress to their sending districts, both contributing to the ongoing segregation of New Jersey's schools. Yet one is approved while another is not. If you can explain how any of this makes sense, Chris Christie has a job for you at the Port Authority. 
His reference to the Port Authority may sound flippant, but it really isn't. 

What Did Cerf's DOE Consider?

I've read both Hatikvah's denial letter and HoLa's approval letter, and Chief Innovation Officer Evo Popoff was very clear; the state's decisions were based in large part on 'student performance on state assessments" mostly taken straight from the NJ School Performance Reports.

If you look at the state's data, and 

Fight the Privatization of Education: Oppose the Nomination of Ted Mitchell

The Nation:

Fight the Privatization of Education: Oppose the Nomination of Ted Mitchell

In October, the Obama administration nominated Ted Mitchell, the chief executive of the NewSchools Venture Fund, to become Under Secretary of the Department of Education. While the nomination has flown largely under the radar, the choice represents an alarming sign that the administration is favoring greater privatization of public education.
As Lee Fang pointed out last December, Mitchell's connections to for-profit colleges and the movement toward privatization raise real questions about his commitment to public education. On top of his work with the NewSchools Venture Fund, Mitchell has connections to powerful education corporation Pearson and to Salmon River Capital, a venture capital firm that helped to found the for-profit college Capella University. Furthermore, until he stepped down to prepare for his confirmation process, he was on the advisory board of Students Matter, the organization funding a legal challenge to teacher tenure in California.
While their advocates claim that charter schools and an increase in public-private partnerships will improve educational outcomes for under-served populations, they too often result in severe over-testing, a more segregated education system and fewer protections for teachers, all while generating huge profits for corporations. 
Education historian Diane Ravich has said that Mitchell "represents the quintessence of the privatization movement." Write to your senators now and tell them to oppose Ted Mitchell's nomination as Under Secretary of the Department of Education.
Ted Mitchell

Ted Mitchell, then president and CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund attends the New York Times's “Schools for Tomorrow” conference panel. (AP Photo)

V.A.M.: Value Added Measure: There May Be More You Can Learn How to Do in Five Weeks than Teach for America!

V.A.M.: Value Added Measure: There May Be More You Can Learn How to Do in Five Weeks than Teach for America!:

There May Be More You Can Learn How to Do in Five Weeks than Teach for America!

Teach for America has two new pilot programs.  Within the new cohort of recruits, there will be a subset engaged in a year-long preparation, including more classroom experience, the study of "learning theories," practical pedagogy (personally, I prefer the impractical!), and "cultural competency work."  I hate to say it, but I'm not sure how one would teach cultural competency in a year without degenerating into stereotyping, especially given that some schools are veritable United Nations of education.  Let us hope that I am misunderstanding the term. 

The second pilot program aims to extend the average recruit survival rates at original placements past the typical two-to-three year period by offering more T.F.A. support.  In addition, the organization is decentralizing, allowing for a new age of experimentation.  Off hand, this seems positive.  In my mind, just about anything would beat five-weeks of T.F.A. training.  I can hardly wait though to see all the data that's run on the guinea pigs, I mean, recruits and their students. 

Since the new year-long training program only applies to a subset of the cohort, it looks like most T.F.A. recruits will still move into the classroom after a mere 

The Rise of the BAT - Video Collection

The Rise of the BAT 

Movie trailer for all my fellow BATs

Play all