Thursday, March 7, 2019

ATTENTION SACRAMENTO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST #Unite4SACKids #WeAreSCTA #WeAreCTA #strikeready #REDFORED #SCTA #CTA



ATTENTION SACRAMENTO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST 


Yesterday, my audit request to examine the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) budget crisis was approved on a unanimous, bi-partisan vote. We can finally get the answers that we need to prevent future fiscal calamities and protect our classrooms. Thank you to @rudysalasjr for your leadership as the chair of JLAC.





Breaking News: Eli Broad Gave $100,000 to Defeat Jackie Goldberg in School Board Race | Diane Ravitch's blog

Breaking News: Eli Broad Gave $100,000 to Defeat Jackie Goldberg in School Board Race | Diane Ravitch's blog

Breaking News: Eli Broad Gave $100,000 to Defeat Jackie Goldberg in School Board Race



Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times just tweeted this:
Eli Broad made a $100,000 donation on March 5, election day, to an SEIU Local 99 PAC backing Heather Repenning for the open L.A. school board seat. Other pro-charter folks gave to support other candidates, suggesting divided views and/or an anybody-but-Goldberg strategy.
Heather Repenning worked for Mayor Eric Garcetti. Local 99 of the SEIU spent $1 million to defeat Jackie. Now we know where some of that $1 million came from. The question for Local 99 is why they would want more charter schools, since most are nonunion? Repenning came in either 2nd or 3rd, with about 13% of the vote, far behind Jackie, who received 48%.






Breaking News: Eli Broad Gave $100,000 to Defeat Jackie Goldberg in School Board Race | Diane Ravitch's blog

New school report cards reveal 'sad' outcomes

New school report cards reveal 'sad' outcomes

New school report cards reveal ‘sad’ outcomes


The new Oklahoma school report cards reveal sad outcomes in urban schools, something high-stakes standardized testing and the first generation of primitive school grades have always sought to show.
The primary means for enforcing No Child Left Behind’s accountability-driven, market-driven goals involved producing a series of headlines about “failing schools,” with many reformers hoping that patrons would reject traditional public education for a market-driven alternative. Today’s more sophisticated school grades, however, tell a more complicated story. They can be a valuable diagnostic tool if we dare to analyze these new metrics the way they are intended.
The best thing about Oklahoma’s new school grades system is that they document the extent of chronic absenteeism. Previous accountability systems excluded most chronically absent students on their school level report, thus encouraging poor districts to ignore their most vulnerable students.
The two worst things about the report card system are how it is far too difficult to find the most important data on virtual schools, such as Epic charters, and that it uses standardized tests and categories that are too rigorous for accountability purposes. The Epic conundrum is beyond the scope of this post.
Review Oklahoma’s new
school report cards
Oklahoma’s accountability tests are pretty comparable to the NAEP tests that aren’t supposed to indicate whether students are on grade level. Only a handful of places, like Shanghai, Korea and Boston produce high proficiency rates on these sorts of tests. Poor CONTINUE READING: New school report cards reveal 'sad' outcomes

What Do Americans Think Schooling is Supposed to Do? | Teacher in a strange land

What Do Americans Think Schooling is Supposed to Do? | Teacher in a strange land

What Do Americans Think Schooling is Supposed to Do?

My friend Mary Tedrow once asked, on a social media platform, a series of deep questions designed to stick to the brain, sending thought bubbles off in multiple directions: What is our product, in public education? What consistent deliverables are schools and teachers supposed to generate, over time?
Like all good conversation starters, it yielded some pretty obvious answers and some light-bulb moments. Older teachers tended to think the purpose of public schooling was centered around citizenship—turning out graduates who had basic skills, plus a developed sense of obligation to society, to hold a job, be a good neighbor, to vote and pay taxes.
Others felt that the elementary to secondary pipeline was supposed to develop workplace capacity, the same basic literacy and numeracy, plus other qualities (‘team player,’ for example) useful to businesses—with the caveat that colleges and universities would finish the job preparation for ‘higher’ occupations.
There were dreamers–I say that with great affection–who hoped schools and teachers would find the talents and innate good in all children, helping them set and pursue lofty goals.
Mary, however, suggested that the general public now thought our product was test scores.
The more I think about her statement, the more I think it’s true.
Last night, on the local network evening news (which I watch solely to get the CONTINUE READING: What Do Americans Think Schooling is Supposed to Do? | Teacher in a strange land

They Schools: Educational Narratives, Resistance, and the Perpetual Distance Separating Equity from Equality | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

They Schools: Educational Narratives, Resistance, and the Perpetual Distance Separating Equity from Equality | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

They Schools: Educational Narratives, Resistance, and the Perpetual Distance Separating Equity from Equality


They Schools: Educational Narratives, Resistance, and the Perpetual Distance Separating Equity from Equality

by Wilfredo Gomez | @BazookaGomez84 | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

“American is woven of many strands...our fate is to become one, yet many.” These were the words spoken by Princeton President Chris Eisgruber in the recent keynote conversation had with Aspen Institute President and CEO, Dan Porterfield. In invoking that which was constructed as both haunting and beautiful, Eisgruber spoke to an audience convened on behalf of advocating, advancing, and sharing the experiences of first-generation, low-income students at some of our nation’s most selective institutions of higher education.

The words taken from Ralph Ellison’s seminal read Invisible Man were poignant and powerfully recited towards the end of the discussion, a clarion call to those present (both in person and via livestream) that a commitment to excellence, and educational excellence more specifically, rests at the nexus of the personal and political, where collaboration exceeds the boundaries of educational institutions, and political ideologies, to imagine a utopian space of learning, cross-cultural cultural exchange, and rigorous dialogue; this is a site where unity and diversity become by-products of policies, practices, programs, initiatives, habits, and cultures that seek to transform institutions and shift conversations from equity to a focus on the nuances of equality. In keeping with one of the central themes of the conferences convened (at Princeton University) from Feb 15-19, this was to usher in not solely a moment, but a movement, an entrenched commitment on the part of administrators, students, and collaborators to gather as one, with the sole purpose of exacting the future they awaited -- collective efforts to envision and enact -- A Hope in the Unseen to echo the educational narrative told by Ron Suskind.

While a phenomenal dialogue filled with many gems, that invocation of Ellison’s work was equal parts eerie and rather necessary, for in the haunting and beauty of Ellison’s prose, the specter of Ellison’s democratic imaginings was very much present -- a haunting of collective pasts and actions we have yet to reckon with. Thus, in thinking about our character, Invisible Man, our omniscient and nameless narrator (protagonist), there is an established reference point for thinking through the experiences of being othered in society, and what the implications might be, when those others enter institutions that were not built for them.

At one end of the spectrum, the marker of invisibility is a best case scenario. At worst, it is the feeling and internalized nature of feeling abject -- addressing questions of institutional access without recognition or awareness of intersectionality, inclusion, or the set of experiences that make each and every student truly unique. A counter to such an argument exists as selling points that speak to the quality of life present on college campuses throughout the CONTINUE READING: They Schools: Educational Narratives, Resistance, and the Perpetual Distance Separating Equity from Equality | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

Thinking Strike | Live Long and Prosper

Thinking Strike | Live Long and Prosper

Thinking Strike


They went on strike in West Virginia and Oklahoma. They went on strike in DenverChicagoLos Angeles, and Oakland…in KentuckyNorth Carolina, and Arizona.
All over the country teachers are standing up and walking out. Sure, it’s about salaries, but it’s also about class size, wrap-around services, and pensions. It’s also about teachers’ students and their own children.
The strikes are in response to years of neglect. Teachers are tired of being disrespected. They’re tired of seeing their students left behind by shrinking budgets. Teachers are tired of seeing funds meant for their schools and their students being used for private, religious, and privately run charter schools. Scores of teachers are leaving their profession in frustration. Those who have stayed are standing up and fighting back.
INDIANA
States aren’t able — or willing — to invest the money needed to fully fund their public education systems. Indiana, for example, has yet to see its school funding reach the level it was at before the 2008 recession. Indiana teachers earn almost 16 percent less than they did in the 1999-2000 school year when adjusted for inflation. The state’s Republican majority began the 2019 legislative year calling for teacher raises, but the Republican-dominated Indiana House sent a budget bill to the (also Republican-dominated) Senate which offers schools a scant 2.1% increase…only slightly more than 2018’s inflation rate of 1.9%. At that rate, it will take decades for teachers to reach salaries equivalent to those in 1999-2000. There seems to be, on the other hand, plenty of money for the privatization of CONTINUE READING: 

Education Scholarship Tax Credits And Undercover Boss: Feeling Good While Fixing Nothing

Education Scholarship Tax Credits And Undercover Boss: Feeling Good While Fixing Nothing

Education Scholarship Tax Credits And Undercover Boss: Feeling Good While Fixing Nothing

You remember Undercover Boss. The mostly-reality show shows a high-level executive putting on a disguise and going out into the trenches of the company. There, they'll meet real employees--often employees with touching hard luck stories. At the end of the episode, the boss meets the employees and metes out a sort of justice--"You get a car, you get a college fund for your kid, you get retraining, and you get fired."
The moments in which a struggling employee receives a bonus, or money for medical treatment, a car, or some other much-needed benefit are feel-good TV, as long as you don't think about them too hard. While some bosses on the show gain insights about their whole system and try to address them, too often the insight is more along the lines of, "I just learned that I don't pay my people enough to afford to raise a family, so I'll give a nice bonus to this one worker and leave the rest of my employees to continue struggling."
At the end of the episode, the boss hasn't fixed anything. A couple of employees have won a sort of TV lottery by getting the attention and charity of their boss, but "Let's hope some of these folks get lucky now and then," is not a sustainable plan for a business. Bosses should not be congratulating themselves for little acts of generosity when they should be asking themselves why those acts of generosity are necessary in the first place.

Betsy DeVos’ right-wing school indoctrination program betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between public and private schools – Alternet.org

Betsy DeVos’ right-wing school indoctrination program betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between public and private schools – Alternet.org

Betsy DeVos’ right-wing school indoctrination program betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between public and private schools


The billionaire heiress who bought her position as Donald Trump's Education Secretary plans to spend $5 billion of your tax dollars on private, religious, and parochial schools.

What do you do when thinking people reject your political ideology?
You get rid of thinking people.
That’s Betsy DeVos’ plan to rejuvenate and renew the Republican Party.
The billionaire heiress who bought her position as Donald Trump’s Education Secretary plans to spend $5 billion of your tax dollars on private, religious, and parochial schools.
It’s a federal child indoctrination program to ensure that the next generation has an increasing number of voters who think science is a lie, white supremacy is heritage and the Bible is history—you know, people just gullible enough to believe a reality show TV star who regularly cheats on his many wives with porn stars is God’s chosen representative on Earth. A measure to make child kidnapping, imprisonment, and wrongful death seem like a measured response to backward immigration policy. A measure to make collusion and fraternization with the world’s worst dictators and strongmen seem like global pragmatism.
To make matters even more galling, consider the timing of DeVos’ proposal.
In the beginning of February, Donald Trump Jr. criticized “loser teachers” who he said were indoctrinating school children into—gasp—socialism.
At the end of that same month, DeVos proposed funding Christian madrasas from sea-to-shinning-sea.
Apparently indoctrination is just fine for conservatives so long as it’s the right kind of CONTINUE READING: Betsy DeVos’ right-wing school indoctrination program betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between public and private schools – Alternet.org



Failed Predictions on Technology in Schools | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Failed Predictions on Technology in Schools | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Failed Predictions on Technology in Schools


Over five years ago, Petar Jandric a professor at the Polytechnic of Zagreb, interviewed me about my decades of writings on technology in schools. The entire interview appeared in the journal E-Learning and Digital Media (2015) Here is a portion of that interview about my poor record in predicting the future.

PJ: Three decades ago, you published Teachers and Machines: Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920. Only four years after the famous appearance of the computer on the cover of Time magazine in 1982, you dedicated a whole quarter of the book to ‘the promise of the computer’. Some of the presented conclusions are just as relevant today. For instance, it cannot be disputed that ‘to question computer use in schools is to ask what schools are for, why teachers teach certain content, how they should teach, and how children learn’. At the time, however, it was impossible to predict the depth and extent of social change brought by information and communication technologies.
Standing on the shoulders of previous research efforts, we can learn from fulfilled predictions just as much as we can learn from failed promises. Based on the most successful predictions and the deepest historic failures, therefore, what can be learned from the first one hundred years of marriage between education and technologies? If you set out to rewrite Teachers and Machines, what would you do differently?

LC: Thanks, Petar, for recalling that quote from Teachers and Machines. It is the one I have used often. Please allow me to reproduce the blog post I wrote about this topic five years ago:
A quarter-century ago, I described and analysed the history of machines deployed in classrooms (film, radio, instructional television and the newly arrived desktop computer) to help teachers teach more, faster and better. Then I did something foolish in the final chapter. I predicted future uses of computers in classrooms from my vantage point in 1986.
Of course, I was not alone in making predictions. Seymour Papert dove into the CONTINUE READING: Failed Predictions on Technology in Schools | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

New School Finance Report Confirms Funding Shortages Striking Teachers Have Been Showing Us | janresseger

New School Finance Report Confirms Funding Shortages Striking Teachers Have Been Showing Us | janresseger

New School Finance Report Confirms Funding Shortages Striking Teachers Have Been Showing Us



For nearly two decades the preferred spin of policymakers at federal and state levels has been that financial investments (inputs) are far less important than evidence of academic achievement (outcomes as measured by standardized tests). And the outcomes were supposed to be achieved by pressuring teachers to work harder and smarter. Somehow teachers have been expected to deliver a miracle at the same time classes got bigger; nurses, counselors and librarians were cut; and teacher turnover increased as salaries lagged.
Image result for K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago,
Statements of justice in public education have always been a little vague about the most direct path to get there.  One of my favorite definitions of public education’s purpose is from Benjamin Barber’s 1992 book, An Aristocracy of Everyone: “(T)he object of public schools is not to credential the educated but to educate the uncredentialed; that is, to change and transform pupils, not merely to exploit their strengths. The challenge in a democracy is to transform every child into an apt pupil, and give every pupil the chance to become an autonomous, thinking person and a deliberative, self-governing citizen: that is to say, to achieve excellence… Education need not begin with equally adept students, because education is itself the equalizer. Equality is achieved not by handicapping the swiftest, but by assuring the less advantaged a comparable opportunity. ‘Comparable’ here does not mean identical… Schooling is what allows math washouts to appreciate the contributions of math whizzes—and may one day help persuade them to allocate tax revenues for basic scientific research, which math illiterates would reject. Schooling allows those born poor to compete with those born rich; allows immigrants to feel as American as the self-proclaimed daughters and sons of the American Revolution; allows African-Americans, whose ancestors were brought here in bondage, to fight for the substance (rather than just the legal forms) of their freedom.”  (An Aristocracy of Everyone, pp. 12-13)
Image result for K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago,
There are many reasons to consider Barber’s principles carefully in Trump’s America. In the New School Finance Report Confirms Funding Shortages Striking Teachers Have Been Showing Us | janresseger  
Image result for K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago,

Image result for K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago,Image result for K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago,
Image result for K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago,

Charter Schools Exploit Lucrative Loophole That Would Be Easy to Close - Education Law Prof Blog

Education Law Prof Blog

Charter Schools Exploit Lucrative Loophole That Would Be Easy to Close


While critics charge that charter schools are siphoning money away from public schools, a more fundamental issue frequently flies under the radar: the questionable business practices that allow people who own and run charter schools to make large profits.
Charter school supporters are reluctant to acknowledge, much less stop, these practices.
Given that charter schools are growing rapidly – from 1 million students in 2006 to more than 3.1 million students attending approximately 7,000 charter schools now – shining a light on these practices can’t come too soon. The first challenge, however, is simply understanding the complex space in which charters operate – somewhere between public and private.

Unregulated competition

Charters were founded on the theory that market forces and competition would benefit public education. But policy reports and local government studies increasingly reveal that the charter school industry is engaging in the type of business practices that have led to the downfall of other huge industries and companies.
Charter schools regularly sign contracts with little oversight, shuffle money between subsidiaries and cut corners that would never fly in the real world of business or traditional public schools – at least not if the business wanted to stay out of bankruptcy and school officials out of jail. The problem has gotten so bad that a nationwide assessment by the U.S. Department of Education warned in a 2016 audit report that the charter school operations pose a serious “risk of waste, fraud and abuse” and lack “accountability.”

Self-dealing

The biggest problem in charter school operations involves facility leases and land purchases. Like any other business, charters need to pay for space. But unlike other businesses, charters too often pay unreasonably high CONTINUE READING:Education Law Prof Blog
Image result for Charter Schools Exploit Lucrative Loophole That Would Be Easy to Close

CURMUDGUCATION: Why Do Teachers Have Such Lousy Parental Leave?

CURMUDGUCATION: Why Do Teachers Have Such Lousy Parental Leave?

Why Do Teachers Have Such Lousy Parental Leave?


At Working Mother, Amy Sherman asks a really good question-- It's a Mom-Dominated Profession. So Why Are Teachers Getting the Shaft on Maternity Leave?

Of course, we're talking about US teachers, because we rank at the very bottom of the barrel for developed (or in some cases, even semi-developed) countries when it comes to maternity leave. For all our noise about babies and motherhood and how parenting a small child is one of the most important jobs in the world, as a society, we don't do jack to support people who are actually parenting babies. We could make, as a country, the same deal that we make, for instance, with soldiers-- when duty calls, the employers just have to suck it up and the country makes sure to support them.


Just got home from Stock Photo Hospital
Instead, we leave it to individual businesses to decide how much support they will give parents of newborns (above and beyond the meager FMLA requirement). Some businesses do pretty well. For all their faults, Microsoft has a pretty good set of policies for parental leave. Many of the tech companies do, even though they are notoriously bad at hiring women.

So what does it say that one of the most female professions has uniformly lousy parental leave policies?

My wife and I were fortunate. The twins were born on the day after the last student day of my wife's year (a few days after my last day). As was the case with the woman in Sherman's story, my wife could have had paid leave-- by using up her sick days. This is a ridiculous bind to put new parents in-- what are the odds that a parent of small children will need a few sick days? A few years ago, my CONTINUE READING:
CURMUDGUCATION: Why Do Teachers Have Such Lousy Parental Leave?


EXITING NEWARK: Strange happenings as state loses control of the schools. Part One. |

EXITING NEWARK: Strange happenings as state loses control of the schools. Part One. |

EXITING NEWARK: Strange happenings as state loses control of the schools. Part One.



Just days before the New Jersey state school board voted to end state control of the Newark schools in 2017, local administrators appointed by former Republican Gov. Chris Christie pushed through a contract awarding nearly $200,000 to a consulting firm with ties to state officials who ran the district. It was just one of a number of commitments the system’s former state masters imposed on the struggling, financially strapped district.
 And, while the Newark school system dutifully paid The New Teacher Project Inc. (TNTP) all the money required by the contract’s terms, the district—according to a later state audit—didn’t use documents, advice, and other materials provided by the consulting firm.
 The New Teacher Project is a spinoff of Teach for America (TFA), an organization that recruits teachers without traditional training, mostly for short stays in poor districts. TNTP was established in 1997 by TFA alumna Michelle Rhee who later attracted national attention for her anti-union and pro-charter school policies and testing controversies in Washington, DC, where she served as superintendent. TNTP now plays down its connections with Rhee and TFA—and probably for good reason.


Cami Anderson


Cami Anderson, a former political operative for then Newark Mayor (now US Sen.) Cory Booker and the first of Christie’s choices to run the Newark district as state-appointed superintendent, was a TFA executive director. In her first year as CONTINUE READING: EXITING NEWARK: Strange happenings as state loses control of the schools. Part One. |