Thursday, May 9, 2019

Guard at Colorado school shooting may have shot at deputies, wounded student amid chaos: Source - ABC News

Guard at Colorado school shooting may have shot at deputies, wounded student amid chaos: Source - ABC News

Guard at Colorado school shooting may have shot at deputies, wounded student amid chaos: Source



An armed security guard at a Colorado school may have mistakenly fired on sheriff's deputies and wounded a student amid a highly chaotic shooting rampage at the campus this week, authorities told ABC News on Thursday.
Investigators are probing the security guard's actions during the chaos that broke out Tuesday afternoon at the Highlands Ranch STEM School when two students allegedly opened fire on classmates, killing one student and injuring others, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told ABC News.
Detectives are trying to determine if gunshots directed at Douglas County Sheriff's deputies responding to the scene were mistakenly fired by the security guard, whose name has not been released, and whether the guard shot and wounded a student during the episode, a law enforcement official said.

PHOTO: Students hug at a vigil for the victims of the shooting at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., May 8, 2019, as Sen. Michael Bennett speaks.Rick Wilking/Reuters
Students hug at a vigil for the victims of the shooting at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., May 8, 2019, as Sen. Michael Bennett speaks.more +

The source cautioned that the investigation is in the early stages and investigators are speaking with the security guard to determine all the facts.
A Douglas County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman would not comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said the security guard restrained one of the shooting suspects until deputies arrived.
The school’s security officer is employed by BOSS High Level Protection.

PHOTO: Devon Erickson, an accused STEM school shooter, answers the judge during his advisement at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., May 8, 2019.Joe Amon/Denver Post via AP
Devon Erickson, an accused STEM school shooter, answers the judge during his advisement at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., May 8, 2019.more +

The twist in the investigation was first reported by NBC affiliate station KUSA-TV in Denver.
Grant Whitus, chief executive officer of Boss High Level Protection, told ABC News on Thursday that the guard was interviewed by investigators for about an hour following the CONTINUE READING: Guard at Colorado school shooting may have shot at deputies, wounded student amid chaos: Source - ABC News

Nearly 200 Sacramento school teachers getting laid off as district attempts to avoid state takeover | abc10.com

Nearly 200 Sacramento school teachers getting laid off as district attempts to avoid state takeover | abc10.com

Nearly 200 Sacramento school teachers getting laid off as district attempts to avoid state takeover
Sacramento City Unified School District will approve the layoffs at a special board meeting scheduled on Thursday at 7 p.m.




SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly 200 Sacramento City Unified School District teachers will soon be fired as the district continues to try avoiding a state takeover, announced late Tuesday night.
The layoffs had been announced earlier this year but were challenged by the teachers’ union. However, an administrative judge upheld the layoffs and ABC10 has confirmed that 178 teachers will laid off on July 1, 2019.
SCUSD blamed a decline in enrollment and budget issues for the layoffs as they continue to make cuts to try and avoid a state takeover. The district has until June to fill a $35-million budget hole.
No word yet on what schools and teachers will be impacted by this decision.
RELATED:
SCUSD officials told ABC10 that the board will approve the layoffs at a special board meeting scheduled on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Superintendent Jorge Aguilar issued the following statement following the decision:
“Decisions that result in our district losing dedicated staff members are not easy. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to maintain our current staffing levels due to our fiscal crisis and declining enrollment. We are committed to helping our staff during this challenging transition.”
Board President Jessie Ryan had this to say:
“Each cut to our dedicated, certificated, classified and administrative staff looms heavy on our hearts but is unfortunately necessary given our grave fiscal challenges. We remain committed to doing the difficult work necessary to avoid a state takeover but recognize how deeply these actions impact our school communities.”
This is a developing story.
Nearly 200 Sacramento school teachers getting laid off as district attempts to avoid state takeover | abc10.com

The Lockdown-Drill Generation - The Atlantic

The Lockdown-Drill Generation - The Atlantic

When Was the Last Time American Children Were So Afraid?
Students used to duck and cover. Now they have lockdown drills.





This week, America got another reminder of the fear that its schoolchildren must make sense of every day. On Tuesday afternoon, nine students were shot—one of them fatally—at STEM School Highlands Ranch, near Denver.
Though the two suspects are teenagers, STEM School Highlands Ranch is K-12, meaning that some young children were exposed to the violence. Among them was a second grader who told a New York Times reporter that he’d gone through lockdowns and active-shooter drills since kindergarten. That’s close to half of his eight years of life.
His familiarity with potential crisis scenarios makes him part of an enormous group: In the 2017-2018 school year, over 4.1 million students participated in a lockdown or lockdown drill, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
These lockdowns can be scarring, causing some kids to cry and wet themselves. Others have written letters bidding their family goodbye or drafted wills that specify what to do with their belongings. And 57 percent of teens worry that a shooting will happen at their school, according to a Pew Research Center survey from last year. Though many children are no strangers to violence in their homes and communities, the pervasiveness of lockdowns and school-shooting drills in the U.S. has created a culture of fear that touches nearly every child across the country. In postwar America, have kids ever been so afraid and so regularly prompted to imagine their own suffering?When I asked that question to Paula Fass, a historian at UC Berkeley and the author of The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child, she brought up two eras as analogues. The first was the early stages of the Cold War—the ‘50s in particular—when fears of nuclear bombs had schoolchildren across the country doing duck-and-cover drills underneath their desks.

Governments should step up their efforts to give people skills to seize opportunities in a digital world - OECD

Governments should step up their efforts to give people skills to seize opportunities in a digital world - OECD

Governments should step up their efforts to give people skills to seize opportunities in a digital world


09/05/2019 - Governments must urgently step up their efforts to improve their education and training policies to help more people reap the benefits of the digital transformation and to reduce the risk of automation widening inequalities and driving unemployment, according to a new OECD report.
The OECD Skills Outlook 2019, which is part of the Organisation’s “I am the Future of Work” campaign, shows that as job markets evolve in response to technological change, some countries are better prepared than others as a result of the skill levels of their populations.
A new scoreboard in the Outlook finds that only a few countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, are ahead in terms of the skills and effective lifelong learning systems needed to thrive in the digital world.
However, many other countries are lagging behind. Japan and Korea, for example, have the potential to perform well but must make greater efforts to ensure older workers and adults are not left behind. People in Chile, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Slovak Republic and Turkey often lack the skills needed to flourish in the digital world and current training systems are not developed enough to enable them to upskill.
“In our rapidly digitalising world, skills make the difference between staying ahead of the wave and falling behind,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, launching the report in Paris. “To help people, governments will need to find the right balance between policies fostering flexibility, labour mobility and job stability. Businesses have also a key role to play in ensuring that employees upskill and reskill, adapting to the changing demands of the labour market. By improving our skills systems, we can ensure that today’s technological revolution will improve lives for all.” Read the full speech.
Traditional education systems need to evolve into lifelong learning systems, says the OECD. Adults will need to reskill and upskill throughout their careers to keep up with changes in the labour market. Yet, participation in training by low-skilled adults – those most likely to be affected by the changes ahead – is 40 percentage points below that of high-skilled adults on average across the OECD. Countries should create flexible and shorter types of learning opportunities, and technology can help through the development of online resources.
The Outlook says it is also key to improve the labour market relevance of adult learning and design new ways to recognise the level of skills of people who will follow complex learning pathways. It is vital to overcome the lack of motivation, which seems to prevent many low-skilled adults from engaging in training opportunities.
The Outlook estimates the level of training required for workers to change occupation and calculates how much training effort is required to facilitate these transitions. The findings show that more than half of occupations (54%) at high risk of automation will need either a moderate (less than one year) or severe (more than one year) training effort for workers to transition to better-quality and safer jobs.
The magnitude of the challenge is substantial since lifelong learning systems need to provide training for adults throughout their careers, so that they can move to other jobs as automation progresses or avoid being displaced from jobs that will be profoundly transformed. Governments need to put the right incentives and mechanisms in place to engage employers, social partners and other stakeholders to share the costs.
Countries can foster lifelong learning by addressing inequalities in learning opportunities throughout life, adapting the school curriculum to changing skills requirements and providing more effective training to teachers. Technology can play a large role in making education and training systems more efficient, flexible and adaptable to individual needs. To achieve this goal, it is important that teachers receive the support they need to use technology in order to improve student outcomes.
Technology can also help lagging regions catch up, by connecting people with teachers and learning opportunities that may not be available locally.
The OECD Skills Outlook 2019, together with country notes for Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, are available at http://www.oecd.org/publications/oecd-skills-outlook-2019-df80bc12-en.htm
For more information, journalists should contact Spencer Wilson (tel. + 33 1 45 24 81 18) in the OECD Media Office (tel. + 33 1 45 24 97 00).

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

Governments should step up their efforts to give people skills to seize opportunities in a digital world - OECD

OKCPS will try ‘transformation school’ experiment again

OKCPS will try ‘transformation school’ experiment again

OKCPS will try ‘transformation school’ experiment again


Given the excellence of Classen SAS, Southeast H.S., and Belle Isle Enterprise School, expanding access to these magnet schools makes sense for OKCPS in its new Pathway to Greatness realignment.
But what will be the education values that drive the district’s effort to turn around high-challenge schools using the transformation school model? And if the district invests in BrittonMartin Luther KingThelma Parks and Rockwood elementaries to become “innovative transformation schools,” will the instruction be similar to that of previous transformation schools?
“Our goal is to help prepare middle-schoolers to be able to be successful,” Southeast Middle School’s new principal, Rhonda Schroeder, explained to The Oklahoman’s Tim Willert. “Our academics will be enriched with science and technology and engineering.”
Similarly, Belle Isle’s students take Spanish, math exploration classes that connect concepts with real-world applications and elective topics like gardening and STEM projects.
“The school produces exceptionally well-rounded students thanks to great teachers, great leaders and so many opportunities for students to become engaged through academics, fine arts, athletics and other extracurricular activities,” said Christy Watson, a Belle Isle CONTINUE READING: OKCPS will try ‘transformation school’ experiment again

Teacher's Union Says ‘Elitist’ Betsy DeVos Is Making Teaching ‘Impossible’: ‘Strikes Are Never a First Resort’

Teacher's Union Says ‘Elitist’ Betsy DeVos Is Making Teaching ‘Impossible’: ‘Strikes Are Never a First Resort’

TEACHER'S UNION SAYS ‘ELITIST’ BETSY DEVOS IS MAKING TEACHING ‘IMPOSSIBLE’: ‘STRIKES ARE NEVER A FIRST RESORT’

Image result for ELITIST’ BETSY DEVOS

One of America’s largest teacher’s unions has hit out at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, accusing her of hypocrisy and failing to listen to the needs of both teachers and students.
The reaction came after DeVos criticized educators for taking industrial action and suggested such measures were unfairly undermining students’ education.
Statewide work stoppages have taken place in Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, Colorado and North Carolina during the 2018–2019 school year. Smaller actions have been launched across the country. The graph from Statista below shows the number of teaching strikes in the U.S. in recent years.
20190507_TeacherSTATISTA
But the Department of Education has refused to cave to the industrial action. Speaking at a conference in Baltimore on Monday, DeVos said teachers should air their grievances outside of classroom hours.
“I think it's important that adults have adult disagreements on adult time, and that they not ultimately hurt kids in the process,” DeVos said. “I think too often they're doing so by walking out of classrooms and having arguments in the way that they are.”
But American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten dismissed DeVos' comments. She told Newsweek, “It's so rich when people cut budgets and make it impossible to teach until they take action at the last resort to try to actually get kids what they need. Those same people who have made it impossible then say, ‘Oh, well they shouldn't disrupt kids.’”
The AFT—the second largest teachers’ union in the country representing some 1.7 million people—has been involved in strikes across the country. The union and its members have rallied against low wages, large class sizes and other issues.
Weingarten suggested it was “the height of hypocrisy” for DeVos to “make it impossible for teachers to teach” and then blame the teachers for drastic action. After all, she added, strikes “are never a first resort, they are always a last resort.” This is something Weingarten believes the general public already knows. “The public understood…that teachers want what children need,” she explained. “Teachers went on strike for kids, not on kids.”
DeVos did agree that “great” teachers should be “well paid,” but did not elaborate on how much CONTINUE READING: Teacher's Union Says ‘Elitist’ Betsy DeVos Is Making Teaching ‘Impossible’: ‘Strikes Are Never a First Resort’

The Most Important Article You Will Read This Year: “Stop the Bleed” | Diane Ravitch's blog

The Most Important Article You Will Read This Year: “Stop the Bleed” | Diane Ravitch's blog

The Most Important Article You Will Read This Year: “Stop the Bleed”


Bystanders can and must be first responders, and they can learn the techniques to stop bleeding. These are crucial as a person can bleed to death in five to eight minutes.
It is a sad commentary on our society but it is reality: none of us knows when we will be the bystander whose fast thinking and action are required to save the life of a friend or a stranger.
The number of shootings and acts of terrorism has escalated and is now called an “Intentional Mass Casualty Event.”
Williams begins with a dramatic account of one of these events at a high school in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.
“One April morning in 2014, a sixteen-year-old sophomore at Franklin Regional Senior High, in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, stole two butcher knives from his parents’ kitchen, hid them in his backpack, and took them to school. He was wearing all black and, according to witnesses, had a “blank expression.” Just before first period, in the hall of the science wing, he stabbed several classmates. Then he pulled the fire alarm. As the corridor filled with people, the boy moved down the hallway, a knife in each hand, stabbing more students. He turned and raced back up the hall—an administrator CONTINUE READING: The Most Important Article You Will Read This Year: “Stop the Bleed” | Diane Ravitch's blog



Can Choice Save Public Education revised | Deborah Meier on Education

Can Choice Save Public Education revised | Deborah Meier on Education

Can Choice Save Public Education revised

I recently ran across an article I wrote for The Nation in 1991 entitled “Choice Can Save Public Education.” It surprised me for two reasons, (1) Was I already worried that public education might disappear? And (2) when did I stop being such an enthusiast for choice?


At the time I wrote the Nation piece my slogan was “Small schools, choice and self-governance” was my mantra.

I even thought school size could be mandated without doing any harm—and probably doing a lot of good. My enthusiasm for choice began when in 1973 Tony Alvarado, the superintendent in East Harlem offered me a chance to start “my own” school of choice. District 4 was a densely packed district, about a square mile in size. 1973 was the beginning of a too short period in New York City when elected local school boards and their superintendents had unprecedented autonomy. Alvarado’s proposed that parents could choose to send their children to this new small school and I could choose the staff, and together we were promised a lot of freedom. Within a few years there were almost as many small schools of choice as zoned neighborhood schools. In a way it made the neighborhood schools a choice as well.

District 4 quickly went from being the poorest and lowest scoring school district to be having schools with some social class integration (more based on class than race) and higher test scores. Small schools and choice seemed to have won a victory. Self-governing schools not so much—alas—as few of the new or old school leaders liked the idea of sharing power.

Self-governing democratically operating school became my central focus from then on. As I was approaching retirement, I was attracted to Boston, which was starting something they called Pilot Schools. It seemed an exciting opportunity to explore all CONTINUE READING: Can Choice Save Public Education revised | Deborah Meier on Education


CURMUDGUCATION: What She Taught Me

CURMUDGUCATION: What She Taught Me

What She Taught Me



I've written about Miss Gause before. She was my elementary school vocal music teacher, and she had a critical effect on me in two major ways.

First, she was fairly relentless in confronting the Monotone Boys I'm-Too-Cool-To-Sing Chorus in the back of the room. She harangued us into listening to pitches and more or less matching them. Now, in my school students took a listening aptitude test in fourth and fifth grade to determine if we were eligible to study an instrument. I flunked in fourth grade and passed in fifth; the difference was Miss Gause. It is not humanly possible to imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn't played an instrument.


Second, she paddled me (it was the sixties). I was in the back of the room performing what I was certain was a hilarious imitation of her conducting technique. She failed to grasp my comic genius, and I received a fairly fierce paddling, there, in front of the class, so that it was painful, and embarrassing, plus I had to keep from showing how much it hurt.

The paddling itself was not terribly influential. But what stuck with me was what came next, which was nothing. She didn't treat me any worse because i had screwed up. I was not forever after branded a Bad Kid. I misbehaved, I received a consequence, and then the incident was over and done. For me, it was the beginning of understanding that "I disagree with you" or "I think you've done wrong" were not synonymous with "I hate you" or "You are a terrible human being."

I carried that into my classroom, and always tried to keep "No, that's wrong" and "I need you to knock that off right now" separate from "You suck" or "I want you to get off the planet." I was pretty explicit about it, too, because I wanted students to be able to hear the difference between CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: What She Taught Me




In this Teacher Appreciation Week, Fair Pay Would Show Our Teachers They Really Are Appreciated | janresseger

In this Teacher Appreciation Week, Fair Pay Would Show Our Teachers They Really Are Appreciated | janresseger

In this Teacher Appreciation Week, Fair Pay Would Show Our Teachers They Really Are Appreciated


In 1962, when my mother taught first grade in Havre, Montana, she felt appreciated as a teacher even though the rule was that she had to take the kids outside for recess unless it was below 15 degrees below zero. (Remember that wind chill as a term hadn’t been invented in those days.) She wasn’t paid particularly well, but school did close for an hour at midday, while everybody went home for lunch. She saw her students’ parents all the time in the grocery store, however, and she knew that her opinions and her expertise were valued.
This week has been formally designated as the 2019 Teacher Appreciation Week. But teachers these days aren’t really appreciated. While the Washington Post reports that, merely to sit on Boeing’s board of directors, Caroline Kennedy and Nikki Haley are paid $324,000 annually in cash and stock to attend a day-long meeting every-other-month, school teachers’ salaries haven’t been keeping up at all.
The Economic Policy Institute’s Sylvia Allegretto and Lawrence Mishel just released a report about persistent growth in a teacher wage penalty, which reached an all time high in 2018: “(R)elative teacher wages, as well as total compensation—compared with the wages and total compensation of other college graduates—have been eroding for over half a century.  These trends influence the career choices of college students, biasing them against the teaching profession, and also make it difficult to keep current teachers in the classroom.”
Allegretto and Mishel explain the trend: “(W)omen teachers enjoyed a wage premium in 1960, meaning they were paid more than comparably educated and experienced women workers in other fields. By the early 1980s, the wage premium for women teachers had transformed into a wage penalty… The mid-1990s marks the start of a period of sharply eroding teacher weekly wages and an escalating teacher weekly wage penalty.  Average weekly wages of public school CONTINUE READING: In this Teacher Appreciation Week, Fair Pay Would Show Our Teachers They Really Are Appreciated | janresseger
Image result for TEACHER PAY

Louisiana’s Voucher Program Featured on New Orleans Public Radio for the Failure It Is | deutsch29

Louisiana’s Voucher Program Featured on New Orleans Public Radio for the Failure It Is | deutsch29

Louisiana’s Voucher Program Featured on New Orleans Public Radio for the Failure It Is


Louisiana’s school voucher program has received yet another hefty dose of realistic attention for the utter failure that it is.
There have been local articles calling out the failure of the program in the past (I reference a number of such articles in this July 2016 post), but this May 07, 2019, extensive piece by WWNO New Orleans Public Radio, entitled, “The Cost of Choice: How Louisiana’s Voucher Program Steered Families into D and F Private Schools,” lays bare Louisiana’s school voucher program to such a degree that even “State Education Superintendent John White declined repeated requests for an interview.”
john white 8
John White
Multiple local news outlets were involved in the investigation:
‘The Cost of Choice’ is the result of a reporting collaboration between NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, WVUE Fox 8 News, WWNO and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
Some summary highlights from the article, including Betsy DeVos’ involvement:
Politicians promised the Louisiana Scholarship Program would offer low-income students a way out of bad public schools. Instead, the program steered families into low-performing private schools with little oversight.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal beamed with pride in April 2012, as he signed into law one of the most sweeping school choice expansions in the nation.
The law was lauded by the American Federation for Children, then chaired by future Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and other school choice advocates. Like Jindal, they said it would free countless lower-income children from the worst public schools by allowing them to use CONTINUE READING: Louisiana’s Voucher Program Featured on New Orleans Public Radio for the Failure It Is | deutsch29



Badass Teachers Association Blog: Classroom Teachers are the Real Scholastic Experts – Not Education Journalists by Steven Singer

Badass Teachers Association Blog: Classroom Teachers are the Real Scholastic Experts – Not Education Journalists by Steven Singer

Classroom Teachers are the Real Scholastic Experts – Not Education Journalists by Steven Singer

When you want an expert on health, you go to a doctor.
When you want an expert on law, you go to a lawyer.
So why is it that when the news media wants an expert on education they go to… themselves!?
You’ll find them writing policy briefs, editorials and news articles. You’ll find them being interviewed about topics like class size, funding and standardized tests.
But they aren’t primary sources. They are distinctly secondary.
So why don’t we go right to the source and ask those most in the know – classroom teachers!?
According to a Media Matters analysis of education coverage on weeknight cable news programs in 2014, only 9 percent of guests on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News were educators.
This data is a bit out of date, but I couldn’t find a more recent analysis. Moreover, it seems pretty much consistent with what I, myself, have seen in the media.