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Sunday, October 14, 2018

How Pissed-Off Parents and Teachers Could Expel Scott Walker From Office – Mother Jones

How Pissed-Off Parents and Teachers Could Expel Scott Walker From Office – Mother Jones

How Pissed-Off Parents and Teachers Could Expel Scott Walker From Office
He slashed education funding. Now Wisconsin’s governor is in the race of his life against the state’s education superintendent.

Tom Rulseh was baffled by the email from an angry constituent. Why, the woman demanded to know, had the Three Lakes School District allowed Gov. Scott Walker to film a campaign ad in a public school that had nearly been forced to close thanks in part to Walker’s own budget cuts?
The ad, it turned out, featured employees and teachers from the rural Wisconsin district praising Walker’s education policies. “Governor Walker has been very helpful to us with state funding,” claimed one school board member in the ad.
“I was shocked when I saw it,” says Rulseh, the school board president. “I called a meeting right away—an open meeting the public could attend to address the matter.” In front of a standing-­room-only crowd, the board passeda new policy barring its schools from being used for politicking. Walker declined to take down the ad, leaving it on the air for the rest of the week.
Walker, the union-busting Republican who came to power in the tea party wave of 2010, is running for a third term. And as the Three Lakes outcry illustrates, the race has been dominated by a debate over the state’s public schools, which have suffered from massive funding reductions and teacher shortages during his tenure.
So it’s fitting that Walker’s opponent is Tony Evers, the state’s superintendent of education. A 66-year-old with nerdy glasses that often sit slightly askew, Evers (rhymes with “fevers”) has spent his entire working life in education. He often wears a black T-shirt that says, “I ❤ My Public School,” and he has put education at the center of his campaign—a move that helped him cruise to an easy victory in a crowded primary. Now, he has a chance to do something that liberals have been dreaming about for nearly a decade: remove Walker from the Wisconsin Statehouse.

Wisconsin certainly isn’t the only place where education has become the defining issue of the midterms. Throughout 2018, the country has been gripped by a wave of teacher protests against years of crippling funding cutsand dismal compensation. A nine-day strike in West Virginia resulted in a 5 percent pay raise. The victory there inspired similar statewide strikes in Arizona and Oklahoma, the latter of which had seen roughly one-fifth of its school districts switch to a four-day week to save money. There were also walkouts in Colorado and Kentucky.

Why Teachers are Ticked Off

Wisconsin isn’t the only state where teachers are mad about budget cuts and low pay. See more charts and statistics on the sorry state of education funding across the nation: How Pissed-Off Parents and Teachers Could Expel Scott Walker From Office – Mother Jones

End K-12 Sex Harassment and Assault #MeTooK12 #MeToo #timesup

Fundraiser by Joel Levin : End K-12 sex harassment and assault

End K-12 Sex Harassment and Assault #MeTooK12

End K-12 sex harassment and assault

If there’s one key takeaway from my years of nonprofit work with families, schools, national organizations, and lawmakers, it’s this: there’s an epidemic of sexual harassment and assault in K-12 schools that is preventable, if only schools knew how to address it. 

I’m raising funds to create affordable online training that educates schools about practical steps they can take right now to end the culture of sexual harassment before students enter college and the workplace.

For me it’s a personal calling. Our entire family life was devastated when our 15-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted on a school field trip. The inequitable and unlawful way in which the school district responded to the assault caused her to feel utterly devalued as a human being.  She was betrayed by her school, which failed to take the required steps  that would have allowed her to continue her education, free of retaliation, after the assault.  Today, six years later, she still suffers from the emotional trauma that derailed her education.

The nightmare of our daughter's sexual assaultLike most parents, we believed our child was safe in the care of her school. But our advocacy on her behalf brought us into contact with countless parents whose children also experienced life-altering sexual harassment and assault. I couldn’t remain silent. 

Three years ago, I co-founded Stop Sexual Assault in Schools, a national nonprofit that spearheaded the movement to educate the public about the epidemic of K-12 sexual harassment and assault.  As Director of Programs, I’ve used my background in education and instructional design to create free educational materials for families including the full-length video  Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School! I also helped initiate the national #MeTooK12 campaign, which has been covered widely in the media.

Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School! video

Our schools are in crisis. Research shows that sexual assault, ongoing sexual harassment, and cyber-harassment cause real emotional, psychological, and economic damage to students. Feeling unsafe at school correlates with declining academic performance, skipping school, and dropping out. After their school fails to protect them, some students take their own lives. The victims are girls, boys, and gender non-conforming students. It’s a form of discrimination and it’s against Title IX, a federal civil rights law.   

How our school mishandled sexual assault

Most school districts are unprepared to handle sexual assault incidents--both legally and compassionately. School districts often believe they can avoid lawsuits and bad press by denying or ignoring sexual harassment and assault in their schools.  Schools often retaliate against families and their own staff who report incidents of student harassment and assault.  Because school districts fail to follow the proper procedures, they end up harming the very students they’re supposed to serve.

Schools are unprepared to handle reported sexual assault

CONTINUE READING: Fundraiser by Joel Levin : End K-12 sex harassment and assault

Talking Across The Pond About Ed Reform 2.0 – Wrench in the Gears

Talking Across The Pond About Ed Reform 2.0 – Wrench in the Gears

Talking Across The Pond About Ed Reform 2.0

Virtual Reality and the Globalized Workforce: Talking Across the Pond, Part 2 – Wrench in the Gears - 

One of the nice things about working in digital spaces is that you’re able to connect with people across distances and find you have a lot in common. You can help one another and learn new things in the process. The blogger at Privatising Schools based in the UK reached out to me with a proposal that we collaborate on a project that might help British readers get up to speed with the evolving landscape of privatization, since they are a few years behind us. I thought it sounded like a great plan. What follows is the first in a series of ten questions posed by Privatising Schools and my responses. For regular readers, much of this will be familiar ground, but I think it worthwhile to see how developments in the UK and US overlap, and they do in some unexpected ways. Privatising Schools has woven together a somewhat more condensed version with answers to our first round of questions. Check it out here to get more of the UK perspective.

Question 1

First of all, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. I know that your work is closely tied to your experiences as a parent with a child in the public school system in Philadelphia; the subtitle of your blog is ‘A Sceptical Parent’s Thoughts on Digital Curriculum’. But many people don’t appreciate how hard tech-based schooling – cyber-schools, ‘blended learning’, ‘adaptive’ learning systems using AI, and all the rest – is being pushed, both in the US and here in England. Could you say more about the Continue reading: Talking Across The Pond About Ed Reform 2.0 – Wrench in the Gears

This Disney heiress is here to tell you exactly what the 1% did with Trump’s tax cuts EveryBody vs Trump @EVRYBODYvsTRUMP

This Disney heiress is here to tell you exactly what the 1% did with Trump’s tax cuts
Spoiler: They didn’t create more jobs and increase salaries

Whatever Happened To Service Learning? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Whatever Happened To Service Learning? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Whatever Happened To Service Learning?

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Fads come and go in education as any teacher or administrator over the age of 30 knows. Service learning, however, was not (and is not) a fad. Defined broadly as K-12 students providing “community service” it has been in public and private schools for over a century. But it did have its faddish moments in the 1980s and 1990s–see Ngram. And it remains popular among policymakers and practitioners who see schools’ primary duty as developing “good” citizens. But issues of what exactly is service learning, who benefits most–students? community?–and toward what ends–individual giving back? solving community problems?–persist.
What is service learning and when did it begin?
Like most school innovations, service learning has had multiple meanings since it was introduced into schools in the 1970s. Policymakers, researchers, and practitioners have various definitions. Distinguishing between students doing community service and school-based service learning has made definitions hard to pin down for decades.
Community service (e.g. students visiting  the elderly,  cleaning up parks, feeding the homeless, volunteering in hospitals and early childhood day care centers) has been an feature of schooling for over a century. And it remains so. In a 2008 survey of principals, 60 percent of elementary schools had students engaged in both voluntary or required community service activities while 74 percent of middle schools and 86 percent of high schools did also.
For all the diverse definitions, service learning in K-12 schools comes down to a planned experience integrated into the regular curriculum that contains goals and opportunities for students to reflect on what they do (e.g., internships, field studies, science projects in community) and what they are learning (see herehere, and here).
Some examples:
*Angie started her senior year behind on the service hours her high school  Continue reading: Whatever Happened To Service Learning? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice
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