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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!' : NPR Ed : NPR

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!' : NPR Ed : NPR:

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!'

 A restorative justice circle at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif.

One by one, in a room just off the gym floor at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif., seventh-graders go on the interview hot seat.
Some 80 students have applied to be "peer leaders" in the school's new, alternative discipline program called "restorative justice."
Kyle McClerkins, the program's director, grills them on aspects of adolescent life: "What is the biggest challenge for middle school girls? What has changed about you from sixth grade to now?"
This school and the Oakland Unified School District are at the forefront of a new approach to school misconduct and discipline. Instead of suspending or expelling students who get into fights or act out, restorative justice seeks to resolve conflicts and build school community through talking and group dialogue.
Its proponents say it could be an answer to the cycle of disruption and suspension, especially in minority communities where expulsion rates are higher than in predominantly white schools.
Oakland Unified, one of California's largest districts, has been a national leader in expanding restorative justice. The district is one-third African-American and more than 70 percent low-income. The program was expanded after a federal civil rights agreement in 2012 to reduce school discipline inequity for African-American students.
At Edna Brewer Middle School, the fact that students are taking the lead — that so many want to be part of this effort — shows that it's starting to take root.
"Instead of throwing a punch, they're asking for a circle, they're backing off and asking to mediate it peacefully with words," says Ta-Biti Gibson, the school's restorative justice co-director. "And that's a great thing."
Last school year — the program's first year — Gibson says, kids weren't ready to talk things out. "Last year there was a lot of different conflicts, An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!' : NPR Ed : NPR:

2014’s Best and Worst Players in Public Education - Democrats For Public Education

2014’s Best and Worst Players in Public Education - Democrats For Public Education:

2014’s Best and Worst Players in Public Education

December 17, 2014 | Posted in:Articles, News

2014 saw the formation of a much-needed and long overdue new organization to advocate for public schools. Democrats for Public Education (DPE) was launched in June by Ted Strickland, former governor of Ohio, and political consultant Donna Brazile. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin was soon named co-chair. According to the group’s mission statement, DPE believes every student should have “access to a strong and safe neighborhood school with well-prepared and supported teachers, deep and engaging curriculum and social services to meet their mental, social and physical needs.”  Their message is clear: public education is a fundamental civil right and schools cannot be improved by cutting funding and attacking the very profession that is charged with teaching our students.

Many charter schools funded better than public schools, website shows - Chronicle-Telegram

Many charter schools funded better than public schools, website shows - Chronicle-Telegram:

Many charter schools funded better than public schools, website shows

The Ohio Charter School Accountability Project, a joint venture of the Ohio Education Association teachers’ union and Innovation Ohio, released figures of the study on the It provides the number of students enrolled in charter schools in every district in Ohio, as well as the grades associated with those charter schools and funding they receive.
In addition to providing insight into the funds provided to charter schools, the figures also show that many of the charter schools received lower grades than their traditional public school counterparts.
According to information provided by Innovation Ohio, the average school district last year received $4,149 per pupil, which is $1,596 less than the $5,745 base amount paid to charter schools. Local school districts have to make up that $1,596 state funding shortfall through local revenue or reductions.
The state spends more than $900 million on the 122,019 students enrolled full-time in charter schools, with 511 of 613 public school districts receiving less money per pupil than charter schools do, according to information provided by the Lorain County Educational Services Center.
In Lorain County, 3,800 students are enrolled in charter schools and more than $29 million is spent on those students, with more than $4.2 million coming from local funds. Six of the county’s 14 districts, Avon, Avon Lake, Clearview, Columbia, North Ridgeville and Sheffield, pay more in local dollars to charters than is deducted from the state foundation on a per pupil funding basis.
Two local educators, Greg Ring and Jay Arbaugh, traveled to Columbus on Tuesday to talk about charter school funding at Innovation Ohio headquarters.
“Charter schools really divert local tax dollars away from local districts,” Arbaugh, superintendent of Keystone Schools, said during a phone interview after the meeting. “That’s certainly not the intent of the people who are paying the local taxes.”
Ring, superintendent of the Lorain County Educational Services Center, said a county survey regarding charter schools was conducted earlier this year and 62 percent of respondents said they were opposed to local tax dollars leaving their districts to support for-profit and other charter schools.
“We know there are local tax dollars leaving to follow students into their charter schools,” Ring said. “Our survey results showed people were resoundingly against that, because sometimes those dollars are going to for-profit institutions which generally have lower ratings.”
Ring said local school boards and administrations have no control over the situation.
“Most people don’t understand this and when they realize what’s happening, they have a problem with it,” Ring said. “I think people vote on local levies expecting that the money will stay in our school systems.”
Arbaugh, who said he is not opposed to parents having a choice of where they send their children to school, said the funding issue needs to be addressed, especially since local governments are facing more revenue challenges than they ever have.
“I’m all for choice and competition,” Arbaugh said. “But when students in my district are going to charter schools that have an average grade of a D or less, and local tax dollars are being funneled to those Many charter schools funded better than public schools, website shows - Chronicle-Telegram:

MY DINNER WITH DEASY : The Unseemly Schemes of UTLA POWER SLATE andLAUSD's Scandal Barron, John Deasy

HEMLOCK ON THE ROCKS: MY DINNER WITH DEASY : The Unseemly Schemes of UTLA POWER SLATE andLAUSD's Scandal Barron, John Deasy:

MY DINNER WITH DEASY : The Unseemly Schemes of UTLA POWER SLATE andLAUSD's Scandal Barron, John Deasy

Ladies and gentlemen,
I got this information from Ms. Cathy Brava where she indicates names and last names of  people who met with John Deasy. Let me now tell  you the whole story.
Just  before his death, Matt Taylor, stood up at the South Area Meeting and asked Ms. Ingrid Villeda, South Area Director, to explain a little more about the meeting she and other Board of Directors had with John Deasy, the LAUSD SUperintendent. Ms. Ingrid Villeda, as usually happens, began to talk  about a meeting she and others  previously had at the LAUSD headquarters with Deasy. She indicated that Deasy had directed  her and other teachers to meet with him to discuss the issue of problematic principals.  Immediately, Matt Taylor interrupted and clarified to Ms. Villeda that he was not asking about the meeting they had at the LAUSD headquarters, but the other meeting they had with Deasy  in a private restaurant.  Ms. Villeda  strongly refused to talk about the meeting and claimed the meeting never took place.

Then, Matt Taylor re-addressed  his question and asked Ms. Villeda  to explain the reasons  for her and other UTLA members, to meet with Mr. Deasy in a private restaurant without  Warren Fletcher being present.  Ms. Villeda ignored Mr. Taylor questions  and forced a different issue on the agenda. Mr. Taylor asked her again and again and Ms. Ingrid continued to avoid the issue. She repeatedly said that Matt was interrupting and she was not going to discuss any of that with him or anybody else. Frustrated for not getting any answer, Mr. Taylor  decided to leave the room. As Mr. Taylor walked toward the exit, a few teachers approached Mr. Taylor and asked him about the issue. He indicated that a group of UTLA Directors had met with Deasy secretly  and Ingrid  was part of it.
Later,  Mrs. Cathy Brava  published a document titled “The Animals Farm”, and also made public that John Deasy requested a secret meeting to discuss several issues that concerned the District.  She did not give specific  details but other sources have made  public that the meeting involved several members of the “Union Power” slate and other Board of Directors. For example, it is indicated that  the Union Power slate members who attended the meeting with Deasy were: Cecily Myart-Cruz, Colleen Schwab and Daniel Barnhart. From the other group were present: Jose Lara and Ingrid Villeda.
In later  postings, teachers  began to ask questions about  this issue. In response, Ms. Villeda accused these teachers of spreading venom, distrust and rumors that only hurt the union. However, It is not Ms. Villeda’s  duty, in any way, to take unilateral action to meet with Dr. Deasy  regardless of how frustrating it could have been for her and other teachers that Mr. Fletcher did not take actions that she and her friends would have expected.  Instead of meeting with Deasy secretly, she should have forced Trygstad and Schwab to do the job that they were getting paid  to do by our union members to represent our members.If there were legal problems, why didn't the UTLA lawyers meet with Deasy to discuss any legal  issues? 
It is crystal clear that the meeting they had with Deasy had a purpose. As we can now see, most of those who met with Deasy are now  office. Let's not forget that The Union Power members visited a large number of  schools  during working hours for 43 days HEMLOCK ON THE ROCKS: MY DINNER WITH DEASY : The Unseemly Schemes of UTLA POWER SLATE andLAUSD's Scandal Barron, John Deasy: