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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Missouri Passes Bill To Reclaim State Control of Education Standards | Missouri Education Watchdog

Missouri Passes Bill To Reclaim State Control of Education Standards | Missouri Education Watchdog:

Missouri Passes Bill To Reclaim State Control of Education Standards

stopCCJEFFERSON CITY, MO – With strong support in both the House and Senate, the Missouri legislature passed HB1490 whose main purpose is to define a system wherein state education experts will evaluate and  recommend state K-12 education standards. HB1490 passed the House 131:12 and the Senate 23:6. While not going nearly as far in returning local control of education as members of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core had hoped, the bill is a good first step towards reclaiming state sovereignty over education.
“We would have liked the language to be a lot stronger in terms of rejecting the Common Core State Standards. We will have to rely on the professional integrity of those selected to be on the various work groups to really focus on what is best for our students and teachers and not be swayed by outside political or financial interests,” said Anne Gassel a co-founder of MCACC. The coalition is a grassroots group made up of mothers and fathers, grandparents, teachers and school board members who are working together to restore local control of education.
HB1490, sponsored by Representative Kurt Bahr of St. Charles county, originally called for just the immediate cessation of implementation of Common Core State Standards. Several amendments were added by the House to address the practical issues of what would happen to districts while the state was working on new standards. “It was a team effort between grassroots supporters and our counterparts in the Senate. I am happy to have gotten a bill that will force an open and transparent process involving all of Missouri in the education of our children,” said Bahr.
The bill contains a one year moratorium on actions that could be taken based on student test scores on the statewide standardized tests aligned to the CCSS. Teacher evaluations cannot be affected by these scores, nor can they negatively impact district accreditation. The Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP5) which the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education imposed three years ago in a process that was far less consultative with local administrators than it had ever been in the past, required student test scores be used for both accreditation and teacher evaluation.
Senator Ed Emery (District 31)  carried the bill in the Senate which added additional measures including the protection of student data. The bill which passed out of the Senate differed enough from the House bill to require a conference committee to work out the differences. The committee also sought input from the Governor’s office to make the bill less vulnerable to a veto.

In February 2009, Governor Jay Nixon told C-SPAN, “Education… is primarily a state responsibility, no doubt about it.” He stated that Missouri had an “outstanding” public education system. During 2008 a visit by then US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, she had this to say about Missouri’s standards, “Massachusetts gets a lot of air time about their high standards, Missouri Passes Bill To Reclaim State Control of Education Standards | Missouri Education Watchdog:

empathyeducates – Hedge Fund Titans Hum a Happy Tune, ‘Public Education Is For Sale’

empathyeducates – Hedge Fund Titans Hum a Happy Tune, ‘Public Education Is For Sale’:

    Hedge Fund Titans Hum a Happy Tune, ‘Public Education Is For Sale’

    The families of kindergarten teachers make less in a year than the average top 25 hedge fund manager makes in 15 minutes. Photograph; Blanton Elementary School kindergarten teacher Amy Collins, left with her class on Monday, August 20, 2012 in Lealman, Florida. (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, Scott Keeler)
    By Sam Pizzigati | Originally Published at Too Much. May 10, 2014

    The latest annual hedge fund industry pay stats have suits smiling — and ordinary mortals worrying about public education’s future.

    Pharrell Williams has reason to be happy. The singer and music producer has had the world’s hottest pop single over the past six months. His Happy has been topping the charts everywhere, from the United States to Lebanon and Bulgaria.
    If this bouncy ditty keeps selling, Williams might even end up 2014 as happy as Taylor Swift, the most lavishly compensated musical artist in all of 2013. Swift took home $39.7 million for the year.
    But Pharrell Williams, if he should hit that lofty mark, probably still wouldn’t be feeling nearly as tickled and giddy as the over 3,000 power suits who were swaying to his Happy last Monday.

    A hedge fund manager in 2013
    had to take in $300 million
    to make the top 25.

    Those suits — an assemblage that included most all the major domos of hedge fund America — were attending an annual high-powered investment conference in Manhattan. At the conference close, reports,Businessweek, the attendees all rose as Happy’s infectious beat filled Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.
    What had the hedgies so happy? The rest of us found out the next day. In 2013, the trade journal Alphaempathyeducates – Hedge Fund Titans Hum a Happy Tune, ‘Public Education Is For Sale’:

    5-15-14 Jersey Jazzman: Would Linda Brown's Parents Have Wanted a "Choice" District?

    Jersey Jazzman: Would Linda Brown's Parents Have Wanted a "Choice" District?:

    Would Linda Brown's Parents Have Wanted a "Choice" District?
    This weekend is this 60th anniversary of Brown v Board of Education, the landmark case that ended separate but equal public schools. The case was originally brought against the Topeka, Kansas school board by Oliver Brown, the father of Linda, a third grader.Oliver had tried to enroll Linda at their neighborhood school a few blocks down the street; he was told instead that Linda would have to go to

    5-14-14 Jersey Jazzman Jammin': Where In The World Is Cami Sandiego?
    Jersey Jazzman: Where In The World Is Cami Sandiego?: Where In The World Is Cami Sandiego?Ras Baraka, an employee of the Newark Public schools, has just won election as mayor. Throughout the campaign, Baraka has been a harsh critic of State Superintendent Cami Anderson -- his boss -- and her plan for restructuring the school system, One Newark.You would think, then, that Anderson would have someth

    More on the USDOE Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program | deutsch29

    More on the USDOE Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program | deutsch29:

    More on the USDOE Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program

    May 15, 2014

    On May 14, 2014, I wrote this post on the US Department of Education’s (USDOE) Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program (PAF). I note that via PAF, it is possible for US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to monitor and control local districts of education.
    My concern is that districts employing Duncan’s PAFs unwittingly open the door to site-level federal intrusion in education affairs.
    I am not advocating that all principals who demonstrate an interest in the PAF program desire to equip Duncan to enforce his No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver and Race to the Top (RTTT) conditions, not the least of which are evaluating teachers and administrators using student test scores and adherence to the “state led” (tongue in cheek) Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I am advocating that principals participating in PAF might well find themselves placed in the regrettable position to do so.
    First, consider this PAF job description from the USAjobs website:
    The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is looking for the best and brightest to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. If you are a highly-motivated , creative individual who would like to work for an agency that establishes policies on federal financial aid for education, distributes as well as monitors those funds; collects data on America’s schools and disseminates research; focuses national attention on key educational issues; and prohibits discrimination and ensures equal access to education, ED is the place for you! 
    This application is for ED’s inaugural Principal Ambassador Fellowship (PAF) More on the USDOE Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program | deutsch29:

    5-15-14 Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | …For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

    Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | …For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL:

    The Best Commencement Speeches
    I’ve published a number of posts about notable commencement addresses, and thought I’d bring them altogether here. I was prompted to do so by Vox’s great post today sharing their picks for The 21 greatest graduation speeches of the last 50 years. Here are my posts (let me know what Vox and I are missing): Animated Video: George Saunders’ Commencement Speech On “The Importance of Kindness” Video:

    Edublogs Now Makes It Super-Easy To Embed “Pins” From Pinterest
    I’ve posted a number of times about my frustration with the constantly changing process Pinterest provides for making Pins embeddable in blogs and websites. Well, Edublogs now makes it super-simple to do it — just copy and paste a Pin’s url address. You can see screenshots here. Here’s what it looks like: Just another reason why I think Edublogs is the best blogging platform out there!
    “Practical Ideas To Help Students & Teachers Stay Organized”
    Practical Ideas To Help Students & Teachers Stay Organized is my latest Education Week Teacher post. I share guest responses from three educators — Julia Thompson, Ariel Sacks and Gini Cunningham — as well as contributing my own thoughts. Here are some excerpts:
    New World Cup Resources
    Here are new additions to The Best Sites For Learning About The 2014 World Cup In Brazil: Brazil 2014: the physics behind the Brazuca is an interactive from The Guardian. Brazilian anti-World Cup protests hit Sao Paulo and Rio is from The BBC. TES Connect has a number of downloadable lessons related to The World Cup. Here’s a link to the official World Cup YouTube Channel. It’s filled with usefu

    5-14-14 Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | …For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL
    Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | …For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL: Video: “Around the World in 360° Degrees”In his own version of “Where The Hell is Matt?”, here’s a guy who took panoramic videos of himself in different places around the world. I don’t think it’s anyway near as interesting as the two “Matt” videos (which are also embedded below), since Matt shows much more interaction with

    Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Rahm's attack dog, Kupper is on the loose

    Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Rahm's attack dog, Kupper is on the loose:

    Rahm's attack dog, Kupper is on the loose

    No sooner had Rahm tried to reinvent himself as a gentle, warm and caring ("I welcome principals' concerns and ideas") mayor, than his CPS plantation ignited once more. The arsonist this time was Rahm's own attack dog, John Kupper who in one single mouth-fart, attacked both the Sun-Times for giving too much play to the mayor's critics and Chicago Principals Assoc. Clarice Berry, for being a "CTU shill."
    Chicago principals leader Clarice Berry

    Here's Pres. Berry's response:
    “I am appalled at the demeaning and disrespectful characterization by Mr. Kupper and, by extension, to my principals. That man does not know me. He’s never spoken to me. He has no idea what my relationship is to the CTU or Karen Lewis. We are colleagues. We respect each other and we’re friends,” Berry said.
    “I want the mayor to direct his employee to make a public apology to me and to my members, whom he insulted in public. I hope the mayor reprimands him. He should work on the political side — not the education side. We want the politics out of our job.”
    Berry accused Kupper of “engaging in the same kind of intimidation and repression of principals” that her organization and its members have been Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Rahm's attack dog, Kupper is on the loose:

    5-15-14 Seattle Schools Community Forum

    Seattle Schools Community Forum: More Money for Everything Except K-12:

    What About PE? - A Great Series by KUOW
    KUOW's Ann Dornfeld has done a three-part series on PE in public schools that is both informative and illuminating.  Some of what she reports is troubling.Part One - Seattle Area Kids Don't Get Enough P.E., but Who's Keeping Track?This was the most troubling part as we find that neither SPS nor OSPI is really tracking what is a legal requirement.  In fact, SPS almost has a "all the other kids

    More Money for Everything Except K-12
    Because I know that Sacajawea's principal got notified last night, at the last possible minute, that the district had cut 1.0 FTE at the school.  "Decreased enrollment" was the reason but it has been suggested that many parents got spooked by no bus service outside the boundaries.  (And it's no picnic for those who live within the boundaries as it is an area without sidewalks.) This may

    5-14-14 Seattle Schools Community Forum
    Seattle Schools Community Forum: Oversight Work Session on Coordinated Health, Safety & SecurityThere will be a Work Session today from 4-5:30 pm that could be of some interest as it covers a variety of topics.  It's the Oversight Work Session on Coordinated Health, Safety & Security  (Coordinated Health and Safety & Security are two different presentations).  This is Pegi McEvoy's are

    Mercedes K. Schneider and the Elephants | Reclaim Reform

    Mercedes K. Schneider and the Elephants | Reclaim Reform:

    Mercedes K. Schneider and the Elephants

    Have you seen this incredible short video of elephants rescuing their young?
    Immediately, I thought of Mercedes K. Schneider.

    The mother elephant had her calf swept from behind her by a raging river. Another elephant saw this and went to the rescue, yet could not quite do it alone. Other elephants noticed and were on the way to help. One fiercely determined elephant also grabbed hold of the calf. Together, and with the wave blocking protection of others, they rescued the calf.
    At the Network for Public Education National Conference in March at the University of Texas in Austin I briefly met Mercedes. Earlier that day I had attended the Common Core panel presentation moderated by Anthony Cody. The panelists included Mercedes, Jose Luis Vilson, Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, Paul Horton and a person whose name I choose to not name.
    All of these named panelists are protectors of our children.
    They remind me very much of what we are all attempting – the rescue of our children from Corporate Education Reform and the billionaire investors who profit from CER.
    Watch the full 40 min VIDEO of the panel HERE.
    Mercedes was recently interviewed by COUNTERPUNCH, the online news magazine. Mercedes answers in her usual factual manner that cuts to the quick of who is doing what 

    Sacramento News & Review - Barking at big money - Bites - Opinions - May 15, 2014

    Sacramento News & Review - Barking at big money - Bites - Opinions - May 15, 2014:

    Barking at big money

    City council candidate Ali Cooper says top-dollar donors wield too much influence at City Hall


    Read 1 reader submitted comment

    This article was published on .

    City council candidate Ali Cooper is doing something pretty unusual in Sacramento politics. He is taking on the corrupting influence of money in City Hall. That’s probably why big-money interests like developer groups, the Sacramento Metro Chamber and Wal-Mart are spending unusually large amounts of money to defeat him.

    When Cooper knocks on voters’ doors in Curtis Park or Oak Park or South Land Park Hills or City Farms, he launches into an energetic rap about how City Hall caters to the interests of the wealthy and well-connected over the interests of working people, taxpayers and neighborhoods. He is, after all, a professional organizer, who left his job as political director at SEIU Local 1000 to campaign full time. He can be intense. Some surely find his style, and his message, grating. Bites happens to think he’s right.

    Cooper’s opponent, District 5 incumbentJay Schenirer, is bright and creative. But he has marinated himself in special-interest money for the last four years, and it shows.

    Bites has written before about Schenirer’s taste for Wal-Mart corporation money, the self-dealing way he uses his Way Up nonprofit organization to solicit donations from wealthy interests in order to burnish his own political “brand.” It’s a trick he learned from his friend Mayor Kevin Johnson. And it’s corrosive.

    At a recent election forum in Curtis Park, Cooper went after Schenirer on these shady “behests,” to the point where the nice League of Women Voters lady politely reminded Cooper that it wasn’t that kind of debate. But we need to have that kind of debate.

    Cooper wants to prohibit council members from soliciting donations for their own nonprofits from people and businesses that have business before the council. “It’s an enormous temptation to take money for their private ventures on the side, while they’re making policy. We’ve got to end the pay-to-play culture at City Hall,” he said.

    He’s also speaking out against the rigged arena process. “We had tens of thousands of people sign a petition asking for a vote on the arena,” Cooper said. Indeed, a public vote on sports subsidies had been policy on the books at City Hall for the last two decades. Schenirer and his colleagues ignored that policy and went to extraordinary lengths to deny the public a vote. Schenirer got elected in part by opposing the giveaway of city-owned parcels to would-be arena developers. Now, he supports the giveaway of millions worth of city land, with no requirements on the developers who are taking it.

    Schenirer pushed to scrap economic studies for big-box stores like Wal-Mart, thus hiding information from the public about the effects of mega-retailers on local business. He supports Johnson’s “strong mayor” plan—a winner-take-all system that consolidates power into the hands of Sacramento’s moneyed interests.

    So, no surprise that in the last couple of weeks Schenirer’s patrons have dumped $88,000, so far, into an independent-expenditure committee to help hold on to his seat. That’s on top of the 4-to-1 fundraising advantage Schenirer already had, comparing the candidates’ campaign committees.

    The special I.E. committee includes money for polling and cable-TV ads—unusual if not Sacramento News & Review - Barking at big money - Bites - Opinions - May 15, 2014:

    The Man Who Helped Bring Down Donald Sterling Is An Asshole, Too

    The Man Who Helped Bring Down Donald Sterling Is An Asshole, Too:

    The Man Who Helped Bring Down Donald Sterling Is An Asshole, Too

    The Man Who Helped Bring Down Donald Sterling Is An Asshole, Too
    If you were watching closely, you might've seen Kevin Johnson, the former NBA guard who's now mayor of Sacramento, sitting courtside at Staples Center during Game 4 of the Clippers-Thunder series. His arm was around his wife, Michelle Rhee, and the two seemed to preside over the action, conspicuous by design—their very presence in the fancy seats a further rebuke to the man whom Johnson had recently helped to oust from the NBA, Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
    Johnson and Rhee seem to be everywhere these days. There was a joint appearance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. There was another at the Kentucky Derby. And of course before either of those was Johnson's cameo in the Sterling saga. Called in as an unofficial representative of the players, Johnson lobbied NBA commissioner Adam Silver to come down hard on Sterling. After the announcement of Sterling's lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine, The New York Times's Harvey Araton wrote: "[I]t is apparent that the league's response was shaped as much by the influence of a player turned politician who has no official affiliation with the NBA as it was by Silver's conviction."
    It was a bitterly funny turn of events for some longtime Johnson observers, who remember when he was the guy making repulsive admissions on tape while speaking with a much younger female with whom he never should've been involved. At the very least, they believe Johnson—with an assist from Rhee—earned a lifetime ban from the moral high ground many years ago. "All I can say is the factually supported charges against Johnson certainly bring into question holding him out to be a moral compass," says New York attorney Gerald Walpin.The Man Who Helped Bring Down Donald Sterling Is An Asshole, Too: