Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Beutner is Planning to Terminate the HOMELESS UNIT: Teachers, Parents and Advocates - ACTION ALERT

Beutner is Planning to Terminate the HOMELESS UNIT: Teachers, Parents and Advocates - ACTION ALERT 

Teachers, Parents and Advocates, These programs have helped OUR children. PSA Counselors walked with us during the strike, it's our turn to support them because OUR children need them. If we let Beutner terminate these programs he's going to keep destroying LAUSD little by little. PLEASE Email the Board! 👇👇🏼👇🏾👇🏿👇👇🏼👇🏾👇🏿 URGENT Please share Beutner is planning to terminate the HOMELESS UNIT and to remove Homeless, Foster youth, Camp returnee and Group Home Scholars counselors. We ask teachers, parents and community advocates to complain to the board on Tuesday and to email or call your board member.

These high risk populations can't be properly serviced without PSA counselors: Homeless Program Foster Youth program Camp Returnee Program Group Home Scholars Program Instead of funding consultants LAUSD must keep the support service staff who have made a positive impact in the lives of these minorities. Parents, teachers, community members YOU need to be our student's advocate and voice these concerns. Please go to the Board Meeting and ask the Board to keep these programs April 23rd Beaudry bldg Individuals wishing to speak at a Board meeting must sign up at the meeting. There will be no sign ups in advance of the meeting. Speakers must sign up prior to the item being acted upon by the Board. Speakers should plan to arrive early as items with no speakers may be acted on at the beginning of the meeting Public Comment speakers to items not on the agenda will be heard beginning at 4 p.m. at the conclusion of the item begun before 4 p.m. For more information please call 213-241-7002 or email Email 213-241-6180 213-241-6382 213-241-8333 213-241-6387 213-241-6388 213-241-6385 PSA Counselors have had much success in the past years in motivating youth towards higher education and improving attendance by providing advocacy, counseling and support for these students. LAUSD promised extra counselors that are supposed to be hired after our historic strike. We need the PSA counselors who provide support to these students! We will fight for our students! Help Us! Thank you

Why the Tests Must Be Kept Secret - Teacher Habits

Why the Tests Must Be Kept Secret - Teacher Habits

Why the Tests Must Be Kept Secret

I’ll be giving my third-graders the state test in another week, which means I had to read this year’s testing manual and something called an “Assessment Integrity Guide.” That’s the one that explains how vital it is that the contents of the tests are kept secret. It’s 44 pages of rules, justifications, warnings, and procedures, all with the aim of helping to “establish, develop, and implement a state assessment system that fairly, accurately, and with validity measures Michigan’s content standards.”
Which, as someone who’s given the test many times and knows the reality, is kind of funny, but I’ll get to that later.
Because states want to ensure the validity of the results (or at least, that’s what they claim), they go to great lengths to keep test items from escaping the classroom walls. Ideally, the items are known only to those who designed them and the students who are subjected to them.
That’s a problem.

Right now, the Texas legislature is considering a flurry of legislation introduced in the wake of a Texas Monthly article that reported on a CONTINUE READING: Why the Tests Must Be Kept Secret - Teacher Habits

California Facing Teacher Shortage | Capital & Main

California Facing Teacher Shortage | Capital & Main

California Facing Teacher Shortage
A new report reveals that last year the state came up short about 8,000 of the 24,000 fully credentialed teachers it needed.

California remains in the depths of a qualified teacher shortage crisis, says EdSource, despite an uptick in the teacher preparation pipeline. April findings by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing noted that 23,832 prospective teachers were enrolled in state teacher prep programs during the 2016-17 school year (the most recent data available) — an increase of nearly 2,500 over the previous year and 4,000 more than in 2012-13. But that’s still a trickle compared to the 77,705 enrollment over 2001-02. Last year alone the state came up short about 8,000 of the 24,000 fully credentialed teachers it needed. The result, said California’s newly appointed State Board of Education president Linda Darling-Hammond, is that “half the people coming in are not yet prepared and most likely are teaching in the highest-need communities.” The fix? Darling-Hammond said the state must restore discontinued programs, such as scholarships that cover teacher preparation program costs, or student loan forgiveness in exchange for teaching in high-needs schools or hard-to-fill subject areas.
It’s the patriarchy, stupid: Fraternity members and athletes on men’s sports teams are more likely to commit alcohol-involved campus sexual assaults, a new study has found. Inside Higher Ed reports that the findings are the latest to correlate predatory sexual behavior with fraternities at a much higher degree than with the broader student population. Researchers used data from the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey, analyzing responses from more than 12,600 male students at 49 two- and four-year colleges and universities in a single, unnamed Midwestern state. Other findings: Although just over five percent of college men committed alcohol-involved sexual assaults, 87 percent of those were by serial perpetrators, who CONTINUE READING: California Facing Teacher Shortage | Capital & Main

Being part of a progressive community has never been more important than it is right now, right here | Eclectablog

Being part of a progressive community has never been more important than it is right now, right here | Eclectablog

Being part of a progressive community has never been more important than it is right now, right here
This isn’t just a website. This is a community.

Today is the last day of our 2nd Quarter fundraiser for 2019 here at Eclectablog. We try not to do this too often. The fact is, none of here enjoys asking you to send us money. In truth, I am probably the worst fundraiser in progressive politics. But, I am so committed to our model where all of our regular contributors are compensated for their work and to not running annoying ads that ruin your experience on the site that I’m willing to put aside the uncomfortableness to do it.
When I took the plunge to stop running ads, I did so with one specific thought: If we are going to keep this going, this has to become a community where people can interact, share their experiences, and debate the important issues we write about on the site. This had to be the foundation of creating a sustainable site that allows us to keep our unique model in place. I wasn’t sure it could be done. As it turns out, it can!

This has been a more quiet fundraising week than most. We’ve only gotten a handful of small donations and no sustaining memberships. If you’ve been waiting to contribute and become a supporter of this amazing community, now is the time.
There are three ways for you to support our efforts. First, you can use the handy PayPal form at the top of the right sidebar to make a one-time donation via Paypal in the amount of your choice.
Second, you can send a check (which avoids Paypal taking out a percentage of your donation) to Chris Savage, P.O. Box 32, Dexter, MI 48130. Please make the check payable to “Eclectablog”.
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Want to make a monthly donation? Enter the amount you want to pay each month: Being part of a progressive community has never been more important than it is right now, right here | Eclectablog

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How schools are using restorative justice to remedy racial disparities in discipline |

How schools are using restorative justice to remedy racial disparities in discipline |
How schools are using restorative justice to remedy racial disparities in discipline
Too many schools today are pushing children into pipelines of incarceration and violence instead of liberation

Named a “New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century” by the Los Angeles Times and the founding director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY), Fania E. Davis is a long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, restorative justice practitioner, and writer and scholar with a PhD in indigenous knowledge. In "The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice," Davis examines the still-pervasive, centuries-long cycles of racial prejudice and trauma in America and their repercussions, ranging from educational inequities to mass incarceration. To inspire a positive action toward change, she highlights real restorative justice initiatives that seek to address these issues in schools, justice systems, and communities. This newest addition to the Justice and Peacebuilding series is a much needed and long overdue examination of the issue of race in America as well as a beacon of hope as we learn to work together to repair damage, change perspectives, and strive to do better.

* * *
Education as a Liberatory Practice
From slavery times to the present, black people have treasured education as liberatory. It was unlawful for enslaved blacks to learn to read and write. When the slavemaster learned his wife was teaching young Frederick Douglass to read, he at once forbade it: “[I]f you teach . . . [him] how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave.” Upon hearing these words, Douglass had an epiphany, understanding in that moment that education was “the path way from slavery to freedom” and was the most important thing he and other slaves could do to free themselves. Douglass went on to become a leader in the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements, a best-selling author, and a US diplomat.
Author and educator bell hooks continues this black tradition, exhorting educators to enact a revolutionary pedagogy of resistance that is profoundly anticolonial and anti-racist. This is education as the practice of freedom, as famed critical pedagogist Paulo Friere puts it, and it means implementing practices that both challenge curricular and pedagogical biases that reinforce systems of domination like racism and sexism while simultaneously creating innovative ways to teach diverse groups of students. Instead of creating pathways to liberation and opportunity, however, too many schools today are pushing children into pipelines of incarceration and violence.
Image result for Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice in Schools
There are growing numbers of studies establishing the effectiveness of school-based restorative justice in reducing suspensions, expulsions, and police referrals, while improving academic outcomes and decreasing violence. For instance, according to a 2015 implementation study of whole-school CONTINUE READING: How schools are using restorative justice to remedy racial disparities in discipline |

Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest

In most states and in the federal government, conflicts of interest are prohibited and even illegal. But not in Florida!
State legislators regularly vote on legislation that enriches themselves and family members, and NO ONE CARES!
Conflicts of interest are peachy keen. Doesn’t everyone line their pockets at the public trough?
Fred Grimm of the Herald writes:
If Erik Fresen was … say … a county or city commissioner, a blatant conflict of interest would keep him from voting on charter school funding issues.
As my Herald colleagues Christina Veiga and Kristen Clark reported Sunday, laws governing ethical behavior would bar local officials from even discussing proposals at public meetings that have a direct or indirect financial impact on their interests. Or their families’ interests.
The Fresen clan has a lot riding on charter school construction funds. Erik Fresen earns $150,000-a-year as land consultant for Civica, an architecture firm that specializes in charter school construction. Civica has designed a number of schools for Academica, the largest charter school management company in Florida. Fresen’s sister and brother-in-law just happen to be Academica executives.
But state Rep. Fresen’s ethical deportment in the state Legislature is governed by such tepid regulations that the chairman of the House Education Budget Committee can get away with sponsoring legislation that would deliver a windfall to the family business.
The Miami Republican has fast-tracked a bill that would not only limit what school districts spend on their own CONTINUE READING: Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest | Diane Ravitch's blog

Ed Notes Online: Susan Ohanian - Trump,Trump, Trump: The March of Folly

Ed Notes Online: Susan Ohanian - Trump,Trump, Trump: The March of Folly

Susan Ohanian - Trump,Trump, Trump: The March of Folly

One of my favorite people is Susan Ohanian
who has been one of the leaders of the movement critical of standardized testing forever -- she is one of the first people who influenced me. But Susan goes far beyond that in terms of advocating for rational education. She has a new book out and if you happen to be in Vermont on May 7 stop by.

Trump,Trump, Trump: The March of Folly
Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 7:00pm

Join Onion River Press and Phoenix Books Burlington for the launch of Susan Ohanian's new book, Trump, Trump, Trump: The March of Folly, a clever and meticulously thought-out poetic rebuttal to the absurdity of the current president.

ABOUT THE BOOK: From giving his second-grade teacher a black eye to insulting the grieving parents of a military hero, the rollicking verse in this book presents a Donald Trump profile of bombast, babes, and bankruptcies. Details of Trump, his progeny and current political cohorts, characterized by greed and deceit, are verified by engrossing news accounts. The facts are grim, the humor captivating.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Ohanian, a longtime teacher and writer, is the author of more than a dozen books on education policy and practice. Notable titles include: One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards; Garbage Pizza, Patchwork Quilts, and Math MagicWho's In Charge? A Teacher Speaks her MindWhat Happened to Recess and WHY are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?

Susan's more than 300 articles have appeared in publications ranging from Education Week and Phi Delta Kappa to The NationThe Atlantic, and The New York Times "Metropolitan Diary." Her website of resistance to corporate intrusion into public education received The George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. She also received the Kenneth S. Goodman Award in Defense of Good Teaching from the University of Arizona and the Vermont Society for the Study of Education John Dewey Award. In March 2017 at her Vermont Town Meeting, Susan introduced a successful advisory motion to Impeach Trump, based on Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U. S. Constitution.

ADMISSION:  This event is free and open to all.
Event address: 
191 Bank Street
BurlingtonVT 05401
Ed Notes Online: Susan Ohanian - Trump,Trump, Trump: The March of Folly

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Easter Edition (4/21)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Easter Edition (4/21)

ICYMI: Easter Edition (4/21)

One of my favorite holidays is today, but whether you celebrate or not, here's some reading from the past week to feed your brain.

Against Metrics: How measuring performance by numbers backfires.

Not directly tied to education (though the subject comes up), this piece takes a look at the problems of people who think numbers are magical.

If we don't work on pedagogy, nothing else matters.

One of those "I'm not sure I'm 100% on board with this, but it's some food for thought" pieces.

Private Equity Pillage

The retail apocalypse is not about Amazon outselling bricks-and-mortar stores; it's about private equity funds draining the lifeblood out of the economy. This is not about education-- except that these are the same guys who want to get rich from privatizing education.

Why, yes, spending more money on schools does yield better results.

Every year in Pennsylvania, right tilted thinky tanks opine about how more money for schools won't yield results. Here's why they're full of it (and it probably applies to your state, too).

We're having the wrong conversation about the future of schools. 

A look at the broad picture of reform, and how it has done more harm than good.

Inside Maine's disastrous rollout of proficiency-based learning.

Maine tried to go all in on PBL and it was a freaking mess. Kelly Field writes the story for Hechinger.

Still Teaching   

The day of the Columbine shooting was his first day in the building. Now he's one of the thirteen teachers still there. A story of what it's like to work at That School, and safe spaces.

Florida Republicans choose guns over teachers

Florida. Again.

What Preschool Isn't 

Nancy Bailey looks at one of the stupidest ideas to refuse to die-- on-line preschool.

Austerity Comes to Canada

The Have You Heard podcast takes a look at some alarming ed reform trends (make all students take some courses on line?!) up Canada way.  

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Easter Edition (4/21)

When Local Control Turns Toxic
I am a fan of local control for school districts, but I'm not going to pretend that under the wrong circumstances it won't produce some terrible results. EdBuild has just issued a report on a troubling phenomenon-- the secession of wealthy communities from larger school districts . This issue has been reported on before , but this is a report that collects instances of attempts across the nation.

APR 19

KY: DeVos, Bevin, Loving Vouchers, Hating Teachers
Betsy DeVos took her Education Freedom Voucher Tour to Kentucky, and things went just about as well as you could expect. Secretary of Education DeVos has been crisscrossing the country in an attempt to sell her $5 billion voucher plan . Her latest stop was Kentucky, a state that has achieved a sort of choice limbo ; there's a charter law on the books, but the legislature has so far refused to fund
Creating More Defective Children
This has always been a dangerous side effect of educational certainty. If I'm absolutely certain that my program is awesome, my pedagogy is flawless, my materials are on point, and classroom is just generally perfect-- and yet some students are not learning-- well, there's only one possible explanation. The student must be defective. The defect effect appears to be cropping up in a new place. As r

APR 18

Why DeVos Doesn't Care About Charter Closings
During the recent House hearings, Betsy DeVos was confronted with some of the results of the Network for Public Education study of federal dollars going to charters, a huge number of which have closed or never even opened. She was unmoved : Let me first comment on the study you’re referring to. I’m not sure you can even call it a study. We’re looking more closely at it of course, and anything that

APR 17

The Charter Effect On Teachers
Unions, we have been told, have a deleterious effect on teachers, forcing them to accept lousier deals than they could get in a free market where they each negotiated their own deals. In such a market, schools would compete for teachers, bidding up the salary offers. Teachers could negotiate from a place of strength. No teacher would ever want a union ever gain. I confess that there was a time whe

APR 16

Guns Headed For The Classroom
Of all the bad ideas. I know there are folks who believe in their heart of hearts that arming teachers will make schools safer, or that putting armed police in the building will be helpful. But there are so many bad signs. I want to believe that school resource officers can be helpful. Earlier this month, a school shooting was likely averted just up the road because students at the school felt com
Melinda Gates Achieves Peak Epic Cluelessness
Sigh. Melinda Gates seems like a nice lady who means well, but her recent interview at the New York Times Magazine is a master class in how living in a very wealthy bubble can leave you out of touch with the rest of the world and an understanding of your place in it. It starts in the very first paragraph. “There are absolutely different points of view about philanthropy,” says Melinda Gates, who,

APR 15

FL: Charter Thievery And The Worst Legislature In The USA
Imagine. You live on the 300 block of your city, and your neighborhood is starting to look kind of run down, mostly because the city has redirected a ton of your tax dollars to the neighborhood on the 400 block. You try to fight city hall, but that's futile, so instead, you get the neighborhood together, and you collect money from amongst yourselves to upgrade sidewalks, clean the streets, refurbi
Arne Duncan Makes Me Want To Punch Myself In The Brain
Arne Duncan still has a gift. I'm not talking about his ability to continually get bookings as an education, though that certainly counts as a gift in the sense that he has done nothing to earn it. No, I'm talking about his preternatural ability to raise my blood pressure. He still hasn't gone away. This morning, as the Board of Directors naps, I am scanning through a batch of edu-reporting that c

APR 14

ICYMI: Finish Those Taxes Edition (4/14)
Personally, mine are already mailed in. My circumstances changed so much this year I have no idea whether I took a bigger hit or not. But regardless of your tax status, here are some pieces from the week for your edification. Take a read, and support these writers by passing on their stuff. Remember-- when you amplify a news media piece about education and it garners more hits, you help convince e

APR 13

Obstacles To Building Better Writers
Writing well is one of the great uber-skills, a quality that will open an infinite number of doors in a student's life. Unfortunately, we are living through a golden age of bad writing instruction, driven by high stakes testing and shrunken, meager ideas about the very purpose of education. In 39 years, I had some success in teaching students to be better writers. If you are a teacher intent on b

APR 12

DeVos Pushes Questionable Charter Research
The New York Post headline is pretty definitive: " Case Closed: Charter schools deliver more education 'bang' for the buck. " Writers Patrick Wolf and Corey DeAngelis are plugging their new paper, and Betsy DeVos is on Facebook plugging it some more . DeAngelis we've met befor e. He's a Fellow for the Cato Institute , policy adviser for the Heartland Institute, and a Distinguished Working-on-his-P