Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Change teachers' tenure? California State Board of Education says 'not now' to San Jose request -

Change teachers' tenure? California State Board of Education says 'not now' to San Jose request -

Change teachers' tenure? California State Board of Education says 'not now' to San Jose request

By Sharon Noguchi
POSTED:   03/12/2014 03:26:39 PM PDT | UPDATED:   ABOUT 4 HOURS AGO

Not Now, Ma! 

Signaling the sensitivity of making even modest changes in how California runs public schools, the State Board of Education on Wednesday delayed action on an unusual request from San Jose Unified School District and its teachers union to change the length of probation for new teachers.
The request faced staunch opposition from the statewide teachers union, a powerful player in Sacramento, and a lack of support from the state Department of Education.
State board members worried about the implications of any vote with a lawsuit, unrelated to San Jose's request, hanging over their heads. That suit, known as Vergara vs. California, challenges teacher tenure, layoffs and dismissal.
Instead, the board indicated it would reconsider the waiver request in May, when the trial presumably will have wrapped up.
San Jose Unified sought flexibility to grant teachers tenure after one year, or to keep a teacher on probation for three years. Current state law requires public schools to either grant teachers tenure after two years or terminate them after the second year.
San Jose Unified officials argued that two years -- especially since districts must put together their case midway through a teacher's second year -- sometimes doesn't allow time to fairly evaluate a Change teachers' tenure? California State Board of Education says 'not now' to San Jose request - 

empathyeducates – Charter School Closure: Supply and Demand?

empathyeducates – Charter School Closure: Supply and Demand?:

    Charter School Closure: Supply and Demand?

    Photograph; John McDonogh High School Principal Marvin Thompson attends the first Future Is Now Schools charter board meeting since administrators learned the school would close at the end of the current academic year. (March 11, 2014.) (Danielle Dreilinger, | The Times-Picayune)
    Over the last few decades, we have seen that education news morphed into business views. Often what we read is “safe for printing”, minus the background. Before you read Future is Now Director Steve Barr’s views on John McDonogh High School Closure you may wish to review another perspective.
    Dr. Raynard Sanders, host of New Orleans Imperative has over thirty years of experience in teaching, educational administration, and economic and community development. As a principal of a New Orleans high school, he was recognized by the Louisiana State Department of Education for guiding his high school through four consecutive years of improvement on the state graduate exit exam, He offers this reflection….A little background….John McDonogh High School in New Orleans was given to Future is Now, a charter operator run by Steve Barr founder of Green Dot Charter Schools, for the 2012-2013 school term. After announcing how they were going to dramatically turn the school around, firing all the faculty members, hiring a principal at a salary of $150,000 a year, hiring an Assistant Principal at $115,00 a year for the Freshman class of 9 students and making the school a film studio in a controversial production of a reality show with the Oprah Winfrey 

    empathyeducates – Tense Moments in de Blasio’s TV Interview
    empathyeducates – Tense Moments in de Blasio’s TV Interview: Tense Moments in de Blasio’s TV InterviewThe war on teachers, unions, and public education, if it exists, is evidence in an interview, or more so in the message, ‘trend on the tax relief our charter schools receive and we will retaliate.’ Close any charter schools or do not give these institutions the option to co-locate and the wrath of
    Photograph by Matthew Hinton | Kelly and Noah Fischer Originally Published at Southern Poverty Law Center. | March 12, 2014 Kelly Fischer’s hopes were quickly dashed last fall. She was attending a High School Fair in New Orleans, a chance for parents to meet representatives from the […]

    For special ed, One Newark is two Newarks | Bob Braun's Ledger

    For special ed, One Newark is two Newarks | Bob Braun's Ledger:

    For special ed, One Newark is two Newarks

    Where the special education classes will be...first of six pages.
    Where the special education classes will be…first of six pages.
    Newark’s charter schools–especially those with money and national backing like KIPP (TEAM Academy) and Uncommon Schools (North Star)–will be the big winners in Cami Anderson’s “One Newark” plan. If Anderson pulls it off, even she may be a big winner, leaving Newark with the reputation as the biggest privatization advocate since Michele Rhee and all that will mean for book contracts and speaking fees. But let’s think a moment about the biggest losers–they are almost certain to be the most vulnerable children in the city, the disabled, and their parents. They are on track to be warehoused in the least funded, most neglected public neighborhood schools.
    Charter schools, after all, have evolved from laboratory schools offering alternatives to conventional practices to havens  from children with problems–whether those problems are disabilities, behavioral issues, language difficulties, parental indifference, or anything else that many parents who believe they have choices want to avoid. Charters are the instrument of the new segregation–based, not simply on race, but on more nuanced distinctions: Ethnicity, language, wealth, parental engagement, political connections, and other attributes of the better off. 

    A View From the Edge » We’ve Been ‘Opted Out’—Really!?!

    A View From the Edge » Post Topic » We’ve Been ‘Opted Out’—Really!?!:

    We’ve Been ‘Opted Out’—Really!?!

    Posted by  Published in General

    We have known since October that Oklahoma districts would be expected to participate in “item tryouts” (field tests) for our new Grade 3-8 testing vendor, Measured Progress, along with the End-of-Instruction field tests conducted by CTB/McGraw-Hill.
    In a state department bulletin released last month, districts were told that students would be randomly selected to participate in one of these field tests, and that the testing would be scheduled after the operational testing window was complete in early May.
    Honestly, it was a pleasant surprise when we found out last week that students and schools in the Jenks district were NOT randomly selected to participate in ANY of these field tests. However, when we discovered that Owasso Public Schools had also not been “randomly selected,” several of us became a little suspicious. As you may have heard, some parents and educators in Owasso made some waves recently because of their vocal opposition to implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in their district. Therefore, this news was way too coincidental for random chance.
    So, I took it upon myself to make a few inquiries by phone and email. It did not take long to discover that we and Owasso were unique and that every other district in our area had been selected for this field testing.
    A conversation yesterday with an executive at the headquarters of Measured Progress revealed what I A View From the Edge » Post Topic » We’ve Been ‘Opted Out’—Really!?!

    United Opt Out National 

    Students at the Core of this Week’s Legislation

    Students at the Core of this Week’s Legislation:

    Students at the Core of this Week’s Legislation

    Leaders in the state senate have filed a new bill, and it could have an effect on every one of us Kentucky public school students.
    Senate Bill 224 represents an attempt to dismantle the Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS), related to math and English and language arts content, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It will be heard in committee Thursday, March 13th, while we, the greatest stakeholders, are still in school.
    The idea behind the Common Core State Standards, implemented as KCAS in Kentucky, is to better prepare us for adult life in the global community and to ensure that students in every district in the country benefit from consistency in substance and rigor at every grade level.
    What is that supposed to look like for those of us at the classroom level?  Ideally, KCAS means less rote memorization in math with a greater emphasis on showing the work and applying formulas.  In English, we should notice an emphasis on reading and writing critiques and forming arguments that are based on evidence, not unsubstantiated opinions.  Under KCAS, we are also likely to see our teachers facilitating group discussions and problem-solving rather than giving us information through a more traditional lecture.
    At least a few successful high school students who understand what this initiative is trying to do see the logic behind it:  Students at the Core of this Week’s Legislation:

    The Limits of Teacher Autonomy | Paul Bruno

    The Limits of Teacher Autonomy | Paul Bruno:

    The Limits of Teacher Autonomy

    2789011953_eb1bdc27e9_nThis post from Matt Bruenig has just enough educational implications for me to indulge some of my philosophical tendencies. Discussing Justin Green’s complaint about anti-discrimination laws infringing on personal freedom, Matt writes:
    Now ask yourself this question: can people in the U.S. refuse to engage in private commerce with anyone for any reason?
    The answer is clearly yes. If you do not want to engage in commerce with, say, a black person, you are not forced to. Nobody requires you to operate a hotel, a restaurant, or any other  The Limits of Teacher Autonomy | Paul Bruno:

    The Jailing of Francesco Portelos

    The Jailing of Francesco Portelos

    Nelson Mandela. Eugene Debs. Mahatma Gandhi. Andrei Sakharov. Ho Chi Minh. Bobby Sands.
    Pussy Riot. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

    These political prisoners are now joined by a new name.Francesco Portelos.

    On February 25, 2014 Francesco wrote a post on his blog; "How to 'Hack' the DOE Payroll Portal and Give Yourself a Raise." When you read this, and you will be laughing your tushy off,  you will come to the realization that a brain damaged monkey would come to the conclusion that Francesco's post was tongue in cheek, sarcastic, and satirical.

    Sadly, the folks at the DOE and the NYPD are not as smart as the aforementioned brand damaged monkey.

    On Monday, March 10, 2014 at 10 AM EDT Francesco was forced to turn himself in to the detectives at the 84th precinct in Brooklyn which so happens to be the local precinct for our friends at 65 Court St. Thus begun Francesco's odyssey.

    Francesco spent the next 13 hours in the holding cell in the precinct with having nothing but a bag of Doritios (Dependable sources have shared with The Crack Team it was nacho cheese flavor) for sustenance. He was then shackled with other prisoners and bussed to Central Booking on Schermerhorn Street and spent the next 20 hours locked up in a cell.

    A cell in which he was put in was filled with crack addicts, child molesters, and mean people. Twenty hours of just cheese sandwiches. Twenty hours before he saw a judge. Thirty hours of holding it in.

    When he went before the judge Francesco came across the first adult in almost 2 days; the assistant 

    DFER Idiocy on New York School Finance | School Finance 101

    DFER Idiocy on New York School Finance | School Finance 101:

    DFER Idiocy on New York School Finance

    This may just be among the most ludicrous proclamations I’ve read in quite some time, and it’s brought to us by none other than
    doofuses/doofi? …well something with a “D” For Education Reform:
    “Contrary to what you may hear from certain special interest groups, the best way to fix our schools is not just to pour more money into the education bureaucracy. New York already spends $75 billion in education annually—from public schools to state funded universities—more than the total annual budget of 47 other states. What we need is smarter investments that actually deliver results, like statewide universal full-day pre-k, scholarships for students in critically-needed STEM courses and funding to reward our hardest working teachers. Governor Cuomo is taking a stand for our students by pushing for these programs, and we should all join him in putting our students first.” – See more at:
    I’ve spoken on this point on many  previous occasions – that simply throwing out “big a-contextual numbers” is pointless. It says nothing. It’s bafflingly ignorant – mathematically inept and simply stupid. That NY “already spends $75 billion in education annually” is neither here nor there without context. It’s just dumb blather – pointless. Saying that it’s “more than the total budget of 47 other states” is equally stupid.

    Diane Ravitch, FUD, and you | Reclaim Reform

    Diane Ravitch, FUD, and you | Reclaim Reform:

    Diane Ravitch, FUD, and you

    As a child Diane Ravitch must have been a wiz at those connect-the-dots pages. Today she is dedicated to teaching us as all how to connect-the-dots.
    First, Diane tells us to try to see the whole picture to get a general idea of where things are and where they are going. In one of her eye-opener blogs titled “Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education” she tells us of when she first learned that FUD is a marketing technique meant to cause harm. FUD is an acronym for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. (Google it.) FUD is a vile propaganda strategy used for the destruction of any competitor.
    Ravitch signing
    What is happening in your locale that is evidence of the FUD attack strategy?
    Regarding the use of FUD against public education, Diane makes the matter clear. It makes people so desperate that they will seek out unproven alternatives. It makes the public gullible when they hear phony claims about miracle schools, where everyone graduates and everyone gets high test scores, and everyone goes to a four-year college. No such school exists. The ‘miracle school”’usually has a high suspension rate, a high expulsion rate, a high attrition rate, and such schools usually do not replace the kids they somehow got rid of. Some ‘miracle schools’ have never graduated anyone because they have only Diane Ravitch, FUD, and you | Reclaim Reform:

    Say goodbye to public schools: Diane Ravitch warns Salon some cities will soon have none -

    Say goodbye to public schools: Diane Ravitch warns Salon some cities will soon have none -

    Say goodbye to public schools: Diane Ravitch warns Salon some cities will soon have none

    "Why destroy public education so that a handful can boast they have a charter school in addition to their yacht?"

    Say goodbye to public schools: Diane Ravitch warns Salon some cities will soon have none
    Diane Ravitch (Credit: Paul Wolfe)
    Once a George H.W. Bush education official and an advocate for greater testing-based accountability, Diane Ravitch has in recent years become the nation’s highest-profile opponent of Michelle Rhee’s style of charter-based education reform (one also espoused by Barack Obama).
    In a wide-ranging conversation last week, Ravitch spoke with Salon about new data touted by charter school supporters, progressive divisions over Common Core, and Chris Christie’s ed agenda. “There are cities where there’s not going to be public education 10 years from now,” Ravitch warned. A condensed version of our conversation follows.
    The conference of your Network for Public Education closed with a call for congressional hearings on high-stakes standardized testing. What would those hearings look like and what do you think they’d uncover?
    I think they would ask, for example, about costs. There are many states that are cutting the budget for public schools at the same time that they’re paying a lot out for testing… Texas, for example, a couple of years ago… cut $5.3 billion out of the public schools, and at the same time gave Pearson a contract for almost $500 million… They said that there would be 15 end-of-course exams in order to graduate high school and caused a parent rebellion: There were so many angry moms, they organized a group called TAMSA – Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment — better known as Moms Against Drunk Testing…
    There are school districts where a very significant part of the school year is spent preparing to Say goodbye to public schools: Diane Ravitch warns Salon some cities will soon have none -