Monday, June 17, 2019

Two Communities Fight Against “Carpetbagger” Charter School | Capital & Main

Two Communities Fight Against “Carpetbagger” Charter School | Capital & Main

Two Communities Fight Against “Carpetbagger” Charter School
For many California charter schools, co-location is everything.

Editor’s Note: Few issues have proven more contentious in the already heated debate over California’s charter schools than that of school “co-location,” the process by which charter schools are allowed to occupy the classrooms, libraries and playgrounds of traditional public schools when those spaces are not in scheduled use. This policy, according to the state’s education code, compels school districts to provide “reasonably equivalent” facilities to charters whenever possible.
The arguments against co-location include the charge that charters are draining funds from public schools to begin with, and through co-location are creating schools within schools — and two-tiered student bodies. Charter school advocates counter that co-location ensures the optimum use of resources at a time when many California public schools, particularly in Los Angeles, are experiencing declining enrollments. Today Larry Buhl reports on the latest storm swirling around a charter academy’s attempt to co-locate at a local public school.
This story is part of our “Grading Charter Schools” series examining the impact of privatized education in California.


On a sunny afternoon in early April, in the working-class Los Angeles suburb of Carson, well over a hundred students, parents, teachers and community members gathered with a mission: to extol the virtues of Catskill Avenue Elementary School. But it wasn’t entirely a feel-good gathering. They were sounding an alarm that the Catskill campus was slated to share its space with GANAS Academy Charter School in the fall of 2019.
Days after the rally, teachers and parents, backed by the United Teachers Los Angeles union, petitioned the Carson City Council to keep GANAS out of Catskill. Last Friday the council CONTINUE READING: Two Communities Fight Against “Carpetbagger” Charter School | Capital & Main
Big Education Ape: TBT: Wizard of Oz Lollipop Guild Gets Update for Trumplandia - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/12/tbt-lollipop-guild-gets-update-for.html

About Gates’ New, Lobbying Nonprofit: Don’t Kid Yourself. Bill Gates Already Lobbies. | deutsch29

About Gates’ New, Lobbying Nonprofit: Don’t Kid Yourself. Bill Gates Already Lobbies. | deutsch29

About Gates’ New, Lobbying Nonprofit: Don’t Kid Yourself. Bill Gates Already Lobbies.


On June 13, 2019, The Hill published a piece about billionaire Bill Gates’ intention to start a lobbying nonprofit.
Whereas the idea of Gates paying individuals to lobby to alter policy in line with his billionaire preferences, the public should realize that Gates already has an oversized influence on legislators and other elected and appointed officials.
For example, from 2002 to 2018, the Gates Foundation has paid the National Governors Association (NGA) $33.2M for Gates-approved initiatives, mostly affecting K12 education.
Shall we pretend that Gates’ steadily funding an association of state governors to promote Gates goals does not sway these governors? I think not.
From 2002 to 2018, Gates has also paid $122M to the state education superintendent organization, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) on his K12 education preferences.
Both NGA and CCSSO were key organizations in promoting Common Core (see here and here, for example). Common Core is a Gates pet; he has been shelling out his billionaire bucks on it for years, even trying to tie it to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Gates has even paid grants to the US Department of Education: $858M (2013 – 2016). Wrap your mind around that one.
But there’s more.
Big Education Ape: TBT: Wizard of Oz Lollipop Guild Gets Update for Trumplandia -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/12/tbt-lollipop-guild-gets-update-for.html

CURMUDGUCATION: WV: Did Trump Just Kick Betsy DeVos (plus, Hidden Donor Shenanigans)

CURMUDGUCATION: WV: Did Trump Just Kick Betsy DeVos (plus, Hidden Donor Shenanigans)

WV: Did Trump Just Kick Betsy DeVos (plus, Hidden Donor Shenanigans)

Is it hyperbole to suggest, as Huffington Post does, that West Virginia's Senate has gone to war with teachers (again). I'm always reluctant to use combat metaphors, but at a bare minimum, the West Virginia Senate is showing teachers a big fat middle finger.

It's not just the Senate is making its third attempt to implement the same policies that prompted two previous teacher strikes. On top of trying to jump start charters and vouchers, the bill also aims to beat teachers into submission by closing the loophole used previously and threatening their jobs. The loophole was simple-- strikes are already illegal in the state, but in anticipation (and in some cases in sympathy with) the previous walkouts, superintendents canceled school. If school isn't in session, it's not a strike. The bill forbids superintendents to pull any such shenanigans in the future. And if teachers still walk out, they can be fired. This is not policy; it's punitive.

Where does the Senate get the giant brass cojones for this?


You stand up to Betsy. Or for her. Whose side am I on, again?
Well, Betsy DeVos piped up to throw her weight behind the reform bill, saying that the legislature should get it done. And today, Trump decided he would enter the fray by tweeting his support for the governor, typing in part, "Keep up the great work, @WVGovernor Big Jim Justice - I am with you!"

That's a curious choice for cheerleading, because Big Jim Justice has been a little testy with both DeVos and his fellow GOP legislators. He in effect told DeVos to back off and characterized her call to "get it done" as her getting "way, way, way over her skis." At a town hall last week he expressed a great deal of frustration with the Senate. Recall that the last CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: WV: Did Trump Just Kick Betsy DeVos (plus, Hidden Donor Shenanigans)




Your opinion matters and The Floor is Yours - Education Votes #StrongPublicSchools #NEARAHouston19

The Floor is Yours - Education Votes

The Floor is Yours



Your opinion matters

Join NEA President Lily Eskelsen García and educators across the country in challenging the candidates to take a stand for students.

How it Works

Take out your phone, record a video asking your question, and upload it to your favorite video sharing service or using the form below.

Make sure these candidates are focusing on the issues that matter most to educators.

NEA will choose the most impactful videos to use during our Presidential interview process.

Tips

State your name, school, and position at the beginning of the video.

Speak loudly and clearly, and if possible, use an external microphone.

Keep it short and to the point.

And don’t forget to hold your phone horizontally for a better framed video!

Ready? Submit your Question: The Floor is Yours - Education Votes

Big Education Ape: NEA Announces #StrongPublicSchools Presidential Forum - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/06/nea-announces-strongpublicschools.html




Supreme Court to Consider Hearing School Choice Case on June 20

Supreme Court to Consider Hearing School Choice Case on June 20

Supreme Court to Consider Hearing School Choice Case on June 20

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider hearing the Montana School Choice case on Thursday, June 20, according to the Institute for Justice in Arlington, Virginia.
Attorney for the Institute of Justice Erica Smith provided a brief history of the case through a press release.
‘In May 2015, Montana enacted a scholarship program after the Legislature decided all parents—regardless of their income—should be able to select their children’s schools. The program provides a modest tax credit (up to $150 annually) to individuals and businesses who donate to private scholarship organizations. Those scholarship organizations can then use the donations to give scholarships to needy families who want to send their children to private schools.
But the Montana Department of Revenue enacted an administrative rule that prohibited scholarship recipients from using their scholarships at religious schools. Nearly 70 percent of Montana’s private schools are religiously affiliated and excluding them severely limited the choice of families.
In December 2018, the Montana Supreme Court went even further, and ruled 5-2 that the entire scholarship program was unconstitutional under the Montana Constitution because of the inclusion of religious options. The court held that because families may choose to use the scholarships at religious schools, the program provided indirect payments to aid religious institutions, making the entire program unconstitutional under Article X, section 6 of the Montana Constitution. The Court refused to permit the private scholarship organizations to award scholarships to families choosing secular options, although the ruling leaves the Legislature free to re-enact a new program only for CONTINUE READING: Supreme Court to Consider Hearing School Choice Case on June 20

Big Education Ape: If The Supreme Court Hears This Case, It Could Change The Face Of Public Education - https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/06/if-supreme-court-hears-this-case-it.html

LGBTQ, immigration issues cross paths in our nation's public schools - Education Votes

LGBTQ, immigration issues cross paths in our nation's public schools - Education Votes

LGBTQ, immigration issues cross paths in our nation’s public schools

By Saul Ramos, this is part of NEA’s series Voices of Pride: The LGBTQ Experience in Schools 50 Years After Stonewall.
For the LGBTQ+ students who are undocumented, refugees, or newly-arrived to this country, the president’s rhetoric about brick walls, detention centers, and incarceration inspires nothing but fear.
“Will I be deported?”
“Can I stay in school?
“What did I do wrong?”
“Are my parents safe here?”
These are just a sampling of questions I’m asked by the immigrant LGBTQ+ students I work with as a paraeducator at Burncoat High School in the Worcester Public School system in Massachusetts. The questions started hitting me the day after President Trump was elected. As I walked into our classroom, I could see the fear in the eyes of my students.
Like many in the nation on that cold November morning in 2016, they were asking, “What just happened?”
At a Gay Straight Alliance club meeting that afternoon, some students were in tears. Trump’s election and subsequent policies regarding immigrants, transgender youth, and transgender men and women in the military, for example, have caused much internal conflict for students who are at that unique intersection of marginalized identities.
Even though intersectionality is being more talked about these days, it is a life-or-death CONTINUE READING: LGBTQ, immigration issues cross paths in our nation's public schools - Education Votes

John Thompson: 'Blame game' intensifies on Classen SAS school name

'Blame game' intensifies on Classen SAS school name

‘Blame game’ intensifies on Classen SAS school name

Litigators live for the moment when a witness “opens the door” to cross examination on issues the attorney could not raise before they were mentioned. But it is unusual for such a tactic to be employed at the beginning of an Oklahoma City Public Schools board meeting, especially when everyone knows the evening is bound to be acrimonious.
That’s what happened at the OKCPS board meeting Monday, June 10. As soon as OKCPS chief of staff Rebecca Kaye completed her presentation on preparations for the next school year, board member Charles Henry, an attorney, cited some of Kaye’s words as the grounds for raising a tense issue: the name of Classen School of Advanced Studies High School, which will be moving into the Northeast Academy building. Some alumni of Northeast want the school to be called Northeast Classen SAS, while some alumni and parents of Classen SAS argue the existing name carries weight with nationally renowned universities. They believe the proposed “Classen SAS High School at Northeast” name better preserves the branding of the district’s flagship application school.
As I sat in the audience, I thought the ensuing anger was the predictable result of the board’s expansion of the Pathways to Greatness plan beyond the necessary pain of school closures and into an effort to advance data-driven governance. In addition to unpredicted challenges of dealing with their computer system’s recent hacking, the need to take over Seeworth Academy and the need to address graduates’ college remediation rates, OKCPS is also reorganizing its administration.
On the other hand, hope for a compromise emerged during the evening, and maybe the CONTINUE READING: 'Blame game' intensifies on Classen SAS school name

Florida: Politicians Fund Anti-LGBT Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: Politicians Fund Anti-LGBT Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: Politicians Fund Anti-LGBT Schools

In Florida, the Governor and legislators proclaim their love of “equality,” as they funnel millions of public dollars to religious schools that openly discriminate against LGBT students. 
The state currently spends $1 billion a year on vouchers and the Legislature recently voted to expand them.
During pride month, Florida politicians love talking about their passion for equality.
They’re much less eager to talk about the anti-equality programs they fund the rest of the year — specifically millions of public dollars they send to schools that discriminate against LGBT families and even expel students who say they’re gay.
At one of Florida’s approved voucher schools in Brevard County, for example, being gay is actually the only expellable offense listed in the school’s “ethics” policy.
Lying, cheating and destruction of school property are also bad, according to the Merritt Island Christian School student handbook — but only to the extent that they’re listed as “Class II infractions” worthy of punishments like a five-day suspension.

Ed Notes Online: Support Class Size Matters - Skinny award" dinner - Wed. June 19 at 6 PM

Ed Notes Online: Support Class Size Matters - Skinny award" dinner - Wed. June 19 at 6 PM

Support Class Size Matters - Skinny award" dinner - Wed. June 19 at 6 PM


1. Just a quick note to remind you all that our annual "Skinny award" dinner honoring NY Attorney General Tish James and NYC Kids PAC is this Wed. June 19 at 6 PM. Please reserve your ticket now and enjoy a three-course meal, a glass of wine and great conversation and camaraderie.
Ed Notes Online: Support Class Size Matters - Skinny award" dinner - Wed. June 19 at 6 PM

Bill & Melinda Gates Launch a Political Lobbying Organization to Wield Greater Influence | Diane Ravitch's blog

Bill & Melinda Gates Launch a Political Lobbying Organization to Wield Greater Influence | Diane Ravitch's blog

Bill & Melinda Gates Launch a Political Lobbying Organization to Wield Greater Influence


Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates apparently feel they are not winning enough battles in the court of public opinion, so they have created a lobbying organization to promote their ideas in Congress and state legislatures. 
Will the Gates lobby push for Common Core? For more high-stakes testing? For more federal funding for charter schools? For evaluating teachers by the test scores of their students? For more technology in the classroom?
These are but a few of Bill Gates’ failed education initiatives. Has he learned from failure or will he use his C4 lobby to push his failed ideas even more?
Bill and Melinda Gates have launched a lobbying organization to advocate for issues in health, education, and poverty, The Hill reported on Thursday.
The Gates Policy Initiative, which was announced on Thursday, will work with lawmakers on issues such as global health, global development, moving people from poverty to employment, and education for black, Latino, and rural students. The initiative, which will be a 501(c)(4) organization under the US tax code, is independent from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the billionaire couple’s philanthropic organization.
Rob Nabors, the director of the Bill and Melinda Gates CONTINUE READING: Bill & Melinda Gates Launch a Political Lobbying Organization to Wield Greater Influence | Diane Ravitch's blog

For the Poorest Rust Belt School Districts in 2019, June Is the Cruelest Month | janresseger

For the Poorest Rust Belt School Districts in 2019, June Is the Cruelest Month | janresseger

For the Poorest Rust Belt School Districts in 2019, June Is the Cruelest Month

States continue to impose punitive school closures and state takeovers on school districts that serve the poorest children.  While the Ohio Senate tinkers with language to embed a new state takeover plan for struggling school districts into the FY 2020-2021 biennial state budget, Michigan plans to shut down Benton Harbor’s high school before June 30, the date when the state is slated to lose control over this district which Michigan’s state-appointed managers have failed to turn around.
Ohio’s Senate pretends it is eliminating a four-year failed experiment in the state takeover of school districts, in which top-down, state-appointed despots have created chaos by wielding unlimited power to reconstitute schools and shake things up. But the substitute plan (buried in the Ohio Senate’s proposed state budget) merely inserts a local committee into the process and calls the new czar a School Improvement Director instead of a CEO. This new overseer, whose responsibility would be to enforce a plan already reviewed and approved by what would be a new Ohio School Transformation Board, would have the power to replace school administrators; assign employees to schools and approve transfers; hire new employees; define employee job descriptions; establish employee compensation; allocate teacher class loads; conduct employee evaluations; reduce staff; set the school calendar; create the budget; contract services for the district; modify policies and procedures established by the district’s elected board; establish grade configurations of the schools; determine the curriculum; select instructional materials and assessments; set class size; and provide staff professional development. The School Improvement Director would also represent the elected school board during any contract negotiations.
What is happening in Michigan is also about a state’s imposed governance, but Michigan’s pending action comes much later in the process.  Michigan has been imposing state governance on school districts and municipalities for years now. In Benton Harbor this June, we are watching what happens when years of state control have failed to accomplish what CONTINUE READING: For the Poorest Rust Belt School Districts in 2019, June Is the Cruelest Month | janresseger

Now That’s What I Call Achievement! | Real Learning CT

Now That’s What I Call Achievement! | Real Learning CT

Now That’s What I Call Achievement!

In a recent post, I wrote about Jacob Fialkoff singing the national anthem, unrehearsed and before a large audience, as an example of an achievement that made Jacob aware of both his capabilities and possibilities. I then recommended that we replace standardized tests with that kind of opportunity for all students and, by doing so, redefine student achievement.
In this post, I want to do more than suggest; I want to offer a blueprint for redefining student achievement. The blueprint is a set of criteria to assess high school students at the conclusion of a course. It begins with setting goals for the development of the students as learners and thinkers and then giving them the strategies for developing in the ways we determined are best for them and then, at the end of the course, seeing if they can pull it all together and create something new with both those strategies we have taught them and the content we have explored. A surefire result of what the students produce is that they amaze us, just as Jacob amazed his audience.
An excellent veteran teacher ran into my office after administering his first exams with  that set of criteria and exuberantly proclaimed, “I can’t believe CONTINUE READING: Now That’s What I Call Achievement! | Real Learning CT

In Classrooms: Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Part 5) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

In Classrooms: Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Part 5) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

In Classrooms: Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Part 5)

Brenda Arias teaches chemistry first period of the day—from 8:30 to 10:21. First period of the day is longer than other classes that run about an hour and a half). This is her fifth year at Social Justice Humanitas Academy (SJHA). While she taught physics the first four years, she is now teaching chemistry.  (Earlier posts about SJHA are hereherehere, and here.)
The 31 students—the largest class I have observed at SJHA–are mostly 10thgraders. They are having breakfast at the beginning of the first period of the day. Two students had gone to the cafeteria and brought back milk, juice, cereal, and egg sandwiches to class. Students picked what they wanted and they spread out among lab tables to eat and talk. This occurs every morning across the school.
After breakfast, students toss trash in a can and pick up Chromebooks to take back to their lab tables. All tables holding 2-3 students face the white board and teacher desk—also a lab table. As Arias takes roll, I look around the room and see the “Habits of Mind” and “Common Core Mathematical Practice Standards,” college banners and the obligatory Periodic Elements chart for a chemistry room. A teacher aide is in the room because there are a half-dozen students with disabilities that will need help with the lesson. He circulates and talks to particular students about the tasks they have to work on.
Arias tells class what’s due today and during the week. “I need you to look at me,” she says. “I need you to focus.” Most of the class will be taking a 20-minute practice test for a later exam that will improve their low scores the first time they took the test. All of the practice questions and answers are loaded on the CONTINUE READING: In Classrooms: Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Part 5) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice



NYC Public School Parents: Disappointing budget as far as our public schools and class size are concerned

NYC Public School Parents: Disappointing budget as far as our public schools and class size are concerned

Disappointing budget as far as our public schools and class size are concerned


Some  news links: NY TimesNY PostNY Daily NewsChalkbeat and Brooklyn Eagle
The new NYC budget deal was announced between the Mayor and the City Council on Friday.
In terms of our public schools, it included $41M more to hire about 200 new social workers for schools, especially those with lots of homeless kids and $857,000 for seven additional Title IX Coordinators to handle complaints of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.  The budget will also put $250M into an overall city budget reserve to be used during economic downturns that now totals $6 billion. 
The education budget will  include  another $25 million  for the Mayor’s top education priority: 3K expansion into 14 new districts, bringing the cost to around $100M.  If the pattern of previous years holds, the DOE will continue to draw kids out of existing preK centers run by Community Based Organizations  and pushing them into already overcrowded public schools, which in turn will contribute to higher class sizes for kids in grades K-5.
What the education budget doesn't include: any increase in Fair student funding (with many schools are currently at only 90%), no dedicated funding for class size reduction, and no amount to achieve CBO pay parity for preK teachers -- though the Council says they got a commitment from the Mayor to address this disparity though negotiations by the end of the summer.
The only elementary school initiative that I know of is the 2nd grade literacy coach program in high needs schools, which is  now in its third year, funding 242 coaches in 305 elementary schools, according to the DOE website.  The program is supposed to produce two-thirds of students reading on grade level by the end of second grade by 2022, and CONTINUE READING:NYC Public School Parents: Disappointing budget as far as our public schools and class size are concerned


Dads and Children With Disabilities

Dads and Children With Disabilities

Dads and Children With Disabilities


Happy Father’s Day!
There’s little research on the role of fathers when it comes to raising children with disabilities. This underrepresentation has meant that most questionnaires about this topic have reflected the mother’s point of view. But that’s changing.
In honor of dads today, I decided to study some of the research that’s out there and give them a round of applause. Being committed to raising children as a dad, trying to do it right, is no easy feat in today’s world. Having a child with disabilities is difficult, but, the research shows, and I’ve learned from knowing some great dads, that for many fathers it’s a rewarding experience where they find great joy!
A recent study in the Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability found that mothers and fathers who cared for a child with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) spent more time on caretaking, and needed time for themselves, especially as their child grew older. A support system tailored to the unique needs of their family was recommended.
Moms and dads shared positive and negative experiences raising their child with CONTINUE READING: Dads and Children With Disabilities