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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Big Education Ape Will Be Off Until Labor Day Have Fun And Read EDUBLOGS!!!

Big Education Ape Will Be Off Until Labor Day Have Fun And Read EDUBLOGS!!!

Save Our Schools March – Dyett High School Hunger Strike

Save Our Schools March – Dyett High School Hunger Strike:

Dyett High School Hunger Strike

Black Parents, Grandparents, Clergy and Activists Enter Hunger Strike to Save High School

National civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson joins strike – Learn more here!

CHICAGO, AUGUST 20, 2015 – More than 12 parents, educators and other activists in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood are entering day four of a dangerous hunger strike as they call on Mayor Rahm Emanuel end his plan to destroy the historic Dyett High School. Demonstrators, labor leaders and educators will conduct a sit-in today at 10:00 a.m. (cst) at the Board of Education, 42 West Madison.
This week, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.,  Chicago Teachers Union  Vice President Jesse Sharkey and others have expressed solidarity with the strikers who sleep overnight in a “tent city” near the school. The movement appears to be growing.
“Why do Black parents have to engage in direct action because we want a quality neighborhood high school,” asked, Irene Robinson, a parent participating in the hunger strike. “The city has sabotaged our community, which we know is undergoing gentrification. Why would they close the only neighborhood high school left for our children?
“We are willing to starve ourselves to bring justice to our children and our community,” added another parent Janette Taylor-Raman. “When white parents make requests to the mayor and Board of Ed (BOE), they respect them and honor their wishes. We have to protest, get arrested and refuse food to have our issues heard–and they still are not responding. Must we die too?”
Despite steady significant academic gains among students, the mayoral handpicked school board members voted to phase-out the high school, named for a famous African American composer, in 2012– the same year it closed 50 public schools, the most single closings in the nation’s history.
The hunger strikers demand an emergency hearing for the BOE members to vet the proposals on the merit of the academic quality contained wherein – not based on political ideology or cronyism; and determine the academic focus for the new Dyett High School at the next scheduled BOE meeting on August 26, 2015.
Incensed by CPS’ disingenuous responses by the city through the media, the hunger strikers want to set the record straight. After years of meetings with different school district chief officers and Board of Ed chairs, the community has been consistently ignored. The marginalization of hundreds of petition signatures, postcards and town hall participants that pre-date the Save Our Schools March – Dyett High School Hunger Strike:

The misuse of research to support deregulation and privatization of teacher education - The Washington Post

The misuse of research to support deregulation and privatization of teacher education - The Washington Post:

The misuse of research to support deregulation and privatization of teacher education

For years now we’ve been hearing from school reformers that traditional teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities are awful and that what we need is deregulation and market competition. In the following post, two academics evaluate the argument that these programs have failed as well as the value of the programs that school reformers embrace to replace them. This was written by Kenneth Zeichner and Hilary G. Conklin. Zeichner is a professor of teacher education at the University of Washington, Seattle, and professor emeritus in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A member of the National Academy of Education, he has done extensive research and teaching and teacher education. Conklin is a program leader and associate professor of secondary social studies at DePaul University whose research interests include teacher learning and the pedagogy of teacher education.
This post is an introduction to a paper on the subject by Zeichner and Conklin that is being published by Teachers College Record, titled “Beyond Knowledge Ventriloquism and Echo Chambers: Raising the Quality of the Debate on Teacher Education.”
By Kenneth Zeichner and Hilary G. Conklin
Though there is ample room for debate on how much and what kind of education is best for preparing effective teachers, inferring that one type of preparation does or does not yield better outcomes for students is not warranted by the evidence (National Research Council 2010).
The body of research leads one to expect students in the classrooms of corps members—recruited, trained, and supported by Teach For America—to learn as much or more than they would if assigned a more experienced teacher in the same school (Teach For America, 2014).
Critics of college and university-based teacher preparation have made many damaging claims about the programs that prepare most U.S. teachers–branding these programs as an “industry of mediocrity”–while touting the new privately-financed and- run entrepreneurial programs that are designed The misuse of research to support deregulation and privatization of teacher education - The Washington Post:

Old tensions complicate charter partnership trial :: SI&A Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource for Superintendents and the Cabinet

Old tensions complicate charter partnership trial :: SI&A Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource for Superintendents and the Cabinet:

Old tensions complicate charter partnership trial

(District of Columbia) An innovative grant program initiated by the Gates Foundation aimed at cultivating partnerships between charters and traditional schools has produced only mixed results.
Longstanding tensions over facilities and disagreement over basic instructional outlook proved hard to breakdown during the two-year test period, according to analysis from Mathematica Policy Research released this week.
“Nearly half the respondents who believed that collaboration activities had successfully broken down misperceptions across sectors added the caveat that the impact was limited to school staff who were participating in collaboration activities,” the research team reported, noting that some participants said that some “effective practices simply do not translate across different school types due to differences in structures and human capital.”
They also found that agreements between traditional schools and charters sometimes “suffered from a lack of buy-in” from school staff. “Some respondents perceived certain charter partners to be unwilling to share knowledge, either within or across sectors; other respondents in both sectors expressed concern about sharing being concentrated in only one direction, from charter to traditional public schools,” the evaluation said.
In an effort aimed at bringing innovations learned in the charter movement to a boarder cross-section of the education community, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a total of $25 million in 2012 to seven cities: Boston, Denver, Hartford, Connecticut, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia and Spring Branch, Texas.
The intent of the grants was to help each community carry out existing partnership programs between charters and traditional schools including teacher training; implementing the Common Core State Standards; creating personalized student learning experiences; creating universal enrollment systems; and development of common metrics to help families evaluate all schools on consistent criteria.
To evaluate how well the program has worked, the evaluators conducted both telephone and in-person interviews with school administrators and teachers as well as on-site observations.
Staff at both charters and traditional schools said one key to driving collaboration was when both entities shared the same building. “Co-location spurred teamwork,” the report authors said, “particularly when implemented as intentional, purposeful partnerships between two schools (including compact partnerships).”
They also found, however, instances where sharing space wasn’t successful and “sometimes increase tension across sectors, particularly when facilities are scarce and co-locations are the result Old tensions complicate charter partnership trial :: SI&A Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource for Superintendents and the Cabinet:

Jersey Jazzman: Chris Christie Disses His Own Teacher Tenure Law

Jersey Jazzman: Chris Christie Disses His Own Teacher Tenure Law:

Chris Christie Disses His Own Teacher Tenure Law

What would the crusaders against teachers unions do without their little anecdotes?

An arbitrator has ruled that Arnold Anderson can keep his tenured, $90,000-a-year job — for now. 
Anderson, who teaches at Roosevelt Elementary School in New Brunswick, needed to be at work by 8:40 a.m. The school’s principal reported he punched in late by more than five minutes six times during the last school year and 16 times in the 2013-2014 school year, according to the ruling. He was late another 40 times in the last school year and 49 times a year earlier.
Look, I'm all for adhering to contracts; if you have to be at work at 8:40, be at work by 8:40. But I get the sense that this was something that could have been resolved with a lot less drama.
Anderson told CBS 2 that most of the late-shows were during an unwritten grace period for teacher arrivals.
“You clock in, there’s a long line and stuff like that, so you have a three-minute window,” Anderson said. “In the two years, I was late more than 10 minutes only once — and I mean, you know, my car broke down.” [emphasis mine]
I tried to find the bell schedule for Anderson's district, but I couldn't. Who knows -- maybe this really did impact his students. Certainly, a supervisor is well within his or her rights to demand that employees follow negotiated rules (although I suspect there's more to this
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Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Today's a good day to give bully Rauner a kick in the ass

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Today's a good day to give bully Rauner a kick in the ass:

Today's a good day to give bully Rauner a kick in the ass

IL House members will vote today on overriding Rauner's veto of Senate Bill 1229. The bill was supported by AFSCME and passed by the General Assembly in May. It would put a potential labor-contract impasse in the hands of an outside arbitrator, rather than risk a strike or a lockout.

Rauner has been threatening to shut down state government as a way of busting the union -- like his hero Reagan did with the PATCO air controllers strike in '81. He would love to force the union into a strike or impose a lockout rather than negotiate a fair contract.

A veto override would be a major setback for Rauner and his union-busting Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Today's a good day to give bully Rauner a kick in the ass:

CURMUDGUCATION: Administrators Must Choose

CURMUDGUCATION: Administrators Must Choose:

Administrators Must Choose


Classroom teachers are experiencing the effects of reformsterism to widely varying degrees. In some classrooms, data fetishism, aligning to the standards, and chasing test scores create a powerful cacophony that drowns out actual attempts to educate students. In other classrooms, education remains the main focus and the sturm and drang of education reforminess remain a background, like stray dogs playing in the garbage cans out behind the school.

What makes the difference?

Not state or federal policy. Not the Big Standardized Test. Not even the wise arguments of thinky tanks and bloggers.


It's an administrator who says, "Just do your job well. I've got your back." Or it's an administrator who says, "If it's Tuesday, you'd better be on page twelve, paragraph six of the content delivery script."

The administrator's role has change over the past fifteen years. Under No Child Left Behind, many administrators just stalled for time. In many schools, the opening staff meeting was built around the phrase, "Let's just get through this year..." The year-by-year series-of-bandaids approach made sense then. Everyone knew that NCLB could not last, that the requirement that 100% of students be above average would either have to be averted or it would crash the whole system. Either way, something new would happen. "Sooner or later this has to go away," the reasoning went, "so let's just hold on and hope that day comes tomorrow."

But under the Obama-Duncan Common Core banner, the end game has been less clear, even as the choice has become clearer.

Schools can strictly follow the CCSS test-and-punish mandate designed to bring about forced failure 
CURMUDGUCATION: Administrators Must Choose:

FEE Draws a Circle

One of the larger mysteries of the education debates is why major journalistic outlets keep publishing "research" that is so transparently crap.

Some of this has become a regular thing, like US News' symbiotic relationship with NCTQ, a group that regularly publishes ratings for college programs that don't exist and once "researched" college teacher prep programs by looking through college commencement programs.

But in yesterday's Washington Post, Lyndsey Layton, a real reporter who usually covers actual education news, wasted a chunk of space on a new "report" from Jeb Bush's Families for Excellence in Education. She does identify FEE as am "advocacy" group, but that glosses over the fact that people who want to place advertisements for their business in a major newspaper ought to be paying for advertising space, not having their "advocacy" presented as if it's actual news.

FEE, a group that lives and breathes to see public schools replaced with a more profitable and selective charter system, has announced yet another attempt to flay the dead horse of a talking point that good teachers make all the difference, and that students on the bottom of the poverty and achievement curve get the worst teachers.

How can anyone measure such a thing, you ask? Simple.

You use teacher ratings to "find" the bad teachers. Teacher ratings are based primarily on test 

FEE Draws a Circle

Test prep for 5-year-olds is a real thing. Here’s what it looks like. - The Washington Post

Test prep for 5-year-olds is a real thing. Here’s what it looks like. - The Washington Post:

Test prep for 5-year-olds is a real thing. Here’s what it looks like.

It’s no secret that for some years now, kindergarten, once a time when youngsters spent the day learning through structured play, has become focused on academics, forcing young kids to sit in their chairs working for far longer than many are developmentally ready to handle. Along with that work has come tests and more tests, some standardized, some not. What you may not have heard much about is test prep for these youngsters.  Yes, test prep for 5-year-olds is a real thing. Phyllis Doerr, a kindergarten teacher in South Orange, New Jersey, explains what it looks like in this post, a version of which appeared in the News Record, the local paper of South Orange and Maplewood, NJ.
By Phyllis Doerr
As a kindergarten teacher, I find the trend to bring more testing into kindergarten not only alarming, but counter-productive and even harmful.
In the kindergarten at my school, we do not administer standardized tests; however, hours of testing are included in our math and language arts curriculum.  In order to paint a realistic picture of the stress, damaging effects and colossal waste of time caused by testing in kindergarten, allow me to bring you to my classroom for our first test prep session for 5-year-old children during the 2014-15 school year.
The test for which I was preparing my students was vocabulary. It worked this way: I said a word that we had learned in our “nursery rhyme” unit and then read a sentence containing that word. If the sentence made sense and the word was used correctly, the student would circle a smiley face. If the word was used incorrectly, they would circle a frown. This task requires abstract thinking, a skill that kindergartners have not yet developed — a foundational problem for this type of test.
My first sample vocabulary challenge as we began our practice test was the word “market,” from the nursery rhyme “To Market, To Market.” After explaining the setup of the test, I began.
“The word is market,” I announced. “Who can tell me what a market is?”
One boy answered, “I like oranges.”
“Okay, Luke is on the right track. Who can add to that?”
“I like apples. I get them at the store.”  We were moving in, Test prep for 5-year-olds is a real thing. Here’s what it looks like. - The Washington Post:

Challenged by charters, private and parochial school enrollments fall - The Hechinger Report

Challenged by charters, private and parochial school enrollments fall - The Hechinger Report:

Challenged by charters, private and parochial school enrollments fall

Old-line independent schools scramble for new ways to fill seats, make money

NEW ORLEANS—A more or less orderly line of four-year-olds, the boys in uniform blue polo shorts and the girls in plaid-checked jumpers, line up in the corridor of St. Rita Catholic School in the neighborhood known as Uptown.
College banners hang from the ceilings, inspirational passages on the walls, and a sign on the door that says these newest, youngest St. Rita scholars will be heading to college in 2029.
Catholic schools like this one have exceptional records of success; almost all of their graduates do, in fact, go on to college. But that hasn’t been enough to keep them from hemorrhaging students.
And it’s not just in New Orleans, where the archdiocese has also had to contend with the exodus that followed Hurricane Katrina, and where 20 Catholic schools have closed in the period beginning even before Katrina hit, including three last year.Confronted with falling birth rates and demographic shifts, rising tuition, the growth of charter schools, and other challenges, parochial schools are seeing their enrollments plummet.
Catholic schools nationwide have fewer than half as many students as they did 50 years ago, and the decline has resumedin the last 10 years after leveling off briefly in the late 1990s, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Nearly 1,650 schools have closed or been consolidated in the last 10 years, 88 of Challenged by charters, private and parochial school enrollments fall - The Hechinger Report:

Study sparks more debate over Florida tests for students | Miami Herald

Study sparks more debate over Florida tests for students | Miami Herald:

Study sparks more debate over Florida tests for students

A Senate panel tweaked its testing bill Wednesday so that the results of this year’s Florida Standards Assessments would not be used to determine whether third-grade students can be promoted to the fourth grade, or high-school students can graduate until an independent review of the exam is conducted.

Florida’s new standardized tests for students administered last year were fair.
Or were they?
An independent review of the Florida Standards Assessment, released Tuesday, has done little to quiet questions about whether the exams are valid.
The answers to those questions are critically important, since so much rides on these test scores — from student promotion to school grades.
State education officials say the new study proves the tests are an accurate way to measure student performance. Among the findings: that the state followed best practices to create its tests and individual exam questions were error-free.
As a result, scores will be baked into state-issued grades for schools and teacher evaluations.
“I believe it is in the best interest of our students that we move forward based on the results of this year’s FSA,” said Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.
But local education leaders point to the very same study to confirm concerns about the exams.
“...Superintendents stand firm behind their initial position that the results of the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) cannot fairly be used in teacher evaluations or to calculate A-F grades for public schools,” John Ruis, president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents said in a statement.
Lawmakers ordered the analysis of the FSAs after a rough debut last school year. Technical woes and even a cyber attack prevented students from logging on to the computerized exams; others were booted off mid-test.
In May, the education department awarded an almost $600,000 contract to study whetherStudy sparks more debate over Florida tests for students | Miami Herald:

Read more here:

New analysis argues that better teachers are flocking to better schools - The Washington Post

New analysis argues that better teachers are flocking to better schools - The Washington Post:

New analysis argues that better teachers are flocking to better schools

A new analysis of New York City school data shows that teachers who scored low in the city’s evaluation system are concentrated in struggling schools that tend to serve poor and minority students, while teachers with strong ratings are most likely to be found in schools where students test well and tend to be white and Asian.
The analysis, by Families for Excellent Schools, an advocacy group that has been campaigning to expand public charter schools, shows a strong correlation between teacher quality — as measured by the city’s system — and how students perform on standardized tests.
“The data shows just how tightly linked student achievement is to teacher quality, and helps lay bare the fault lines of educational inequality in New York City’s schools: race and poverty are the most critical factors for whether you have good teachers in the classroom,” said Khan Shoieb, a spokesman for Families for Excellent Schools.
The organization looked at 2013-2014 ratings for 20,167 public school teachers at 553 elementary and middle schools in New York City, about one-third of the public school system.
The group found that as teacher quality, as defined by the city’s ratings system, increases, students are more proficient in English and math and are less likely to be poor, black and Hispanic. There were outliers – examples of highly rated teachers working in schools where students demonstrated low proficiency – but those exceptions were relatively few.
It is perhaps unsurprising that teachers at low-performing schools have low job performance ratings, since 40 percent of teacher evaluations in New York in 2013-2014 were based on student test scores. (State lawmakers have since made a controversial change promoted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that requires 50 percent of a teacher’s rating to be based on test scores, starting with the 2015-2016 school year).
“When we attempt to draw a straight line between the effort of a teacher and the success of her students, based solely about test scores and ignoring all New analysis argues that better teachers are flocking to better schools - The Washington Post:

Barbaric Restroom Policies In School | Catherine Pearlman

Barbaric Restroom Policies In School | Catherine Pearlman:

Barbaric Restroom Policies In School

My daughter's middle school started up again earlier this week, and--as always--there was a flurry of forms for me to read and sign. This sheet asked for permission for the children to walk off campus with their teacher. OK, fine. That sheet made sure parents understand students will only receive 50% credit on tardy work. Yikes-- harsh, but understandable.
So I was signing paper after paper after paper when my pen came to an immediate stop. Before me, in very plain language, was a policy that, at best, can be termed barbaric, potentially dangerous, and incredibly insensitive. In fact, I was so shocked I had to read it again. So I did ...
"Students will be allowed to use the hall pass a maximum of 3 times per quarter. However, each use of the hall pass will cost the student 3 extra credit points. You will keep an individual hall pass log which must be presented each time a hall pass is issued. A lost log prevents the issuing of a hall pass and the awarding of any points."
Just in case there's any confusion, by daughter's school awards extra points for students who don't use the toilet during class. In other words, if my child needs the bathroom when her body naturally tells her it is time, she will be penalized by receiving a lower grade.
I am dumbfounded.
Yes, surely teachers become sick and tired of students leaving class to dilly-dally in the hallways. It can be disruptive and annoying, and the kids might miss important lessons during their absences. However, what's more distracting than sitting at a desk, squirming left and right, desperate to relieve oneself. While this policy may prevent hallway misadventures, it penalizes students who might actually need to use the bathroom.
Furthermore, the policy can have very serious side effects outside the classroom. Generally beginning in middle school, girls menstruate every month. There is no telling when the moment will strike. And there are often mishaps in management--particularly with youngsters learning how to handle the monthly flow. Teachers (especially female ones) should understand that delaying a trip to the bathroom is tantamount to branding girls with a scarlet letter.
Severe medical consequences can also arise from restrictive restroom policies. Children are more likely to have urinary tract infections, incontinence and chronic constipation. Children are struggling with constipation at near epidemic proportions, with some studies suggesting up to 30 percent of school-aged children affected. Thecost for heath care and treatment for children with constipation is estimated at nearly $4 billion per year.
One common cause of constipation is withholding when the body signals it is time to Barbaric Restroom Policies In School | Catherine Pearlman:

Why teachers are working for free in Pennsylvania school district - Yahoo News

Why teachers are working for free in Pennsylvania school district - Yahoo News:

Why teachers are working for free in Pennsylvania school district

A state budget impasse means the Chester Upland School District has run out of money. But the deeper question is what happens to districts when charter schools start siphoning off large amounts of money.

As public school students in Chester, Pa., prepare for school Wednesday, their teachers will be preparing for something much more daunting than the first day of school: the prospect of weeks – perhaps even months – without a paycheck.
And last week they decided that they’re going to work anyway.
“We’re ready for the students to show up Wednesday morning,” says Dariah Jackson, a teacher at Stetser Elementary School in Chester.
“We all have decided to work without pay,” she continues. She starts to say “until” but then corrects herself. “As long as we can,” she says. “There is no ‘until.’ ”
The Chester Upland School District (CUSD) has struggled with economic and academic problems for years, but now a budget impasse in the state capital, combined with the explosive growth of public charter schools in the district, have conspired to put it on the brink of insolvency.
Districts in states such as Florida, Illinois, and New York are dealing with similar issues as charter schools strain local budgets. But Chester is seen as an extreme case.
CUSD officials informed teachers and support staff last Thursday that they wouldn’t be able to make payroll for the start of the school year. That day, the roughly 200 members of the local teachers union voted unanimously to work without pay. Secretaries, school bus drivers, janitors, and administrators will also be working without pay. 
It’s unclear when money might become available, says Wythe Keever, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Educators Association, the parent union of the CUSD teachers.
The district serves around 3,300 students and is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia; it is thesixth-poorest school district in Pennsylvania, according to the state’s Budget and Policy Center.
Years of financial mismanagement and a poor tax base have left CUSD with a $22 million operating deficit. Since 2010, the state has provided the district with at least $74 million in one-time cash infusions, the Daily Times reports. But the state budget is now 52 days overdue, and it's unclear when an infusion of cash might come.
Critics argue that the main reason CUSD can’t pay its teachers or its deficit is the three privately operated but publicly funded public charter schools in the district. A receiver appointed to the district after the state put it in financial recovery status in 2012 points to a multimillion dollar debt owed to Chester area charter schools as an exacerbating factor that must be resolved before the school district can move forward.
State law requires school districts to pay the charters for every student in the district that goes to a charter school. But as enrollment in charters grows, school districts pay more out of their own pockets, services in public schools can decline, and more students may leave for charters.
The Chester Community Charter School, the largest charter in CUSD, opened in 1998 with 100 students. The school now enrolls 2,900 students, nearly as many as are in the traditional public school system. CUSD currently makes about $64 million in tuition payments to local charter schools, according to Keever, more than it receives in state school aid.
Enrollment in publicly funded charter schools has increased nearly sixfold in the state between 2000-01 and 2013-14, according to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.
Peter Greene, a high school English teacher in Venango County in northwest Pennsylvania, Why teachers are working for free in Pennsylvania school district - Yahoo News:

A New Report Outlines the Harmful Social and Psychological Effects of Discrimination on Immigrant Children - CityLab

A New Report Outlines the Harmful Social and Psychological Effects of Discrimination on Immigrant Children - CityLab:

The Immigrant Kids Are Not All Right

A new report by the Migration Policy Center reviews the lasting scars of growing up in an anti-immigrant environment.

Image AP Images

All summer, presidential hopefuls have been stepping over each other to sayridiculousdemeaning things about immigrants. As ignorant and inaccurate as their perceptions are, this type of treatment isn’t new. Immigrants encounter offensive judgments probably every day. For their children, navigating this environment of insults, stereotypes, and low expectations can have long-lasting repercussions.
new report by the Migration Policy Institute explores the psychological, social, and academic scars such ill-treatment leaves on immigrant kids. Here’s how the report summarizes its conclusions:
From the existing research, it is clear that immigrant children recognize discrimination from peers and teachers at least by middle childhood (around age 8), and at the institutional or societal level by adolescence. Discrimination affects the psychological well-being of immigrant children, their academic outcomes, and their social relationships.
Studies reviewed by the report’s author, Christina Spears Brown, present a grim picture of life at school for children of immigrants. Even in elementary school, kids report being insulted verbally, excluded from group activities, and being threatened and physically hurt by classmates because of their language, ethnicity, or immigrant status. The report quotes fourth graders in Los Angeles, for example, who describe frequent racial name-calling.
“In PE class, a lot of kids called me a beaner,” one young Mexican immigrant told researchers.
Adults don’t always know any better. In school, teachers sometimes add to the problem. Immigrant children report that their teachers often grade and punish them unfairly, discourage them from joining advanced-level classes, and don’t A New Report Outlines the Harmful Social and Psychological Effects of Discrimination on Immigrant Children - CityLab:

For-profit-run virtual charter schools won’t have to take attendance | The Progressive Pulse

For-profit-run virtual charter schools won’t have to take attendance | The Progressive Pulse:

For-profit-run virtual charter schools won’t have to take attendance

It’s bad enough that North Carolina will be turning over the future of thousands of its children and tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to a predatory Wall Street company in the name of “school choice,” but this morning’s report from NC Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner that state officials have waived attendance taking requirements for the state’s new “virtual charter schools” is simply and absudly beyond the pale. This is from Wagner’s story:
“The North Carolina State Board of Education quietly approved a policy last month that could allow the state’s two brand new virtual charter schools to avoid recording and reporting daily student attendance, and stipulates that the virtual schools would only lose their state funding for a student if he or she fails to show any “student activity,” —as defined by the for-profit charter operators—for at least ten consecutive days….
Previously the online virtual charter schools, which are taking part in a pilot program authorized by the legislature last year and set to begin this fall, would have had to record daily student attendance using the state’s online reporting software—like traditional brick and mortar public schools—to comply with compulsory attendance laws.
Via conference calls before the start of school in late August, both the Charter School Advisory Board and the State Board of Education quickly approved a new policy that doesn’t require the virtual schools to record and report daily student attendance to the Department of Public Instruction.
That change came at the behest of officials with the North Carolina Virtual Academy, the school backed by controversial for-profit online school operator K12, Inc., who complained to state officials that recording and reporting daily student attendance through the online reporting software that traditional schools use didn’t work for them, according to DPI’s interim director of the state’s charter school office Adam Levinson.”
The story goes on to explain that while schools will be required to monitor “student activity,” the requirement is vague and basically left up to the schools themselves. In Michigan, where such laissez faire policy was in effect, the results were predictably dreadful.
The bottom line: The move to sell off our public schools to the privatizers and corporate vultures continues apace. Read the entire story by clicking here.
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Wisconsin private school voucher spending outpaces public -

Wisconsin private school voucher spending outpaces public -

Wisconsin private school voucher spending up 77 percent, outpaces 11 percent public aid growth

MADISON, Wis. — Spending on Wisconsin's private school voucher program increased about seven times as fast as aid to public schools since Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans took control of the Statehouse, based on new figures released Tuesday.
A memo by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau prepared at the request of voucher-opponent Sen. Jennifer Shilling, a Democrat from La Crosse, shows the spending increase on private voucher schools between the 2011-2012 fiscal year and 2016-2017.
During that time Walker and lawmakers increased funding for the original voucher program in Milwaukee and created new ones in Racine and statewide. Walker, who is running for president, has touted his support for expanding access to private schools through the voucher program as he travels the country.
While voucher school funding went up about 77 percent, funding for K-12 public schools increased only 11 percent over that period. Still, spending on vouchers pales in comparison to what the state pays in aid to public schools.
In 2016-2017, the state will spend about $258 million on voucher schools compared with $5.4 billion on public schools. In 2011-2012, the state spent about $146 million on voucher schools and $4.9 billion on public schools.
"With declining family wages, a shrinking middle class and statewide teacher Wisconsin private school voucher spending outpaces public -

Nevada school voucher program set to funnel public funds to schools that pledge allegiance to Christian flag - AMERICAblog News

Nevada school voucher program set to funnel public funds to schools that pledge allegiance to Christian flag - AMERICAblog News:

Nevada school voucher program set to funnel public funds to schools that pledge allegiance to Christian flag

The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have filed a lawsuit against the State of Nevada over their new school voucher law, which will direct public funds to private schools — many of which are overtly religious.
One such school, highlighted by the ACLU, places an “emphasis on teaching ‘Christian Americanism,'” but only after students have recited this pledge:
I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for Whose kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.
The United States’ Constitution makes it clear that giving public money to a school that teaches its kids that non-believers aren’t deserving of life or liberty isn’t an option. The Nevada State Constitution makes it even clearer, with a section devoted specifically to prohibiting public funding of religious education that reads: “No public funds of any kind or character whatever, State, County, or Municipal, shall be used for sectarian purpose.”
The funds awarded under the voucher program reportedly come with no strings. As Heather Weaver wrote for the ACLU today, this means that private schools that receive public funds could use them to do the following:
The Bible, via Pixabay
The Bible, via Pixabay
Some private religious schools in Nevada teach creationism and that the Bible is the literal truth, dramatically diverging from state educational standards that govern publicly funded schools. Most private religious schools also require students to take part in prayer and worship services. At one Islamic school, for example, Friday afternoon prayers are mandatory.
Moreover, private schools will be eligible to take part in the voucher program even if they discriminate in admissions and employment. Students who do not follow the school’s faith or attend the church that operates the school may be charged more in tuition. Meanwhile, some schools simply reject outright any applicant who does not subscribe to their faith.
Schools could also use voucher funds to discriminate against LGBT students and block pregnant students from Nevada school voucher program set to funnel public funds to schools that pledge allegiance to Christian flag - AMERICAblog News:

Student Socialization in Public Schools

Student Socialization in Public Schools:

Student Socialization in Public Schools

Group Of Children Playing In Park

Socialization you could say is how a child interacts with their peers. There are many definitions, but in school, socialization mostly involves how children play and get along with each other. We think of recess when considering socialization. We wonder how much socialization children miss when they don’t get recess.
Public schools can go a long way towards bringing children together and socialization seems critical for society in general, but some parents don’t like socialization in public schools. They don’t believe it’s necessary for good schooling.
One of the criticisms of homeschooling is that children might not get opportunities to socialize, but most parents I know who home school work extra hard to get their children to interact with others. Some home schools create networks where students get to know others who learn mostly at home.
With current educational reforms there are concerns that children in public school don’t get to socialize like they should.
What do parents like or dislike about socialization in public schools?
Negativity Surrounding Socialization in Public Schools
Here are some reasons why parents don’t like an emphasis on socialization in public Student Socialization in Public Schools: