Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sacramento City Schools Superintendent Aguilar Takes a Big Pay Increase While Schools Closed - California Globe

Sacramento City Schools Superintendent Aguilar Takes a Big Pay Increase While Schools Closed - California Globe

Sacramento City Schools Superintendent Aguilar Takes a Big Pay Increase While Schools Closed
Teachers union angry over Aguilar’s pay increase while refusing to pay substitute teachers



In March 2019, California Globe reported Sacramento City Unified School District  Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and seven other administrators spent more than $35,000 to attend a six-day conference at the Harvard Business School, while the district teetered on the verge of insolvency, and under the threat of state takeover as it struggled with a $35 million budget gap.


SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. (Photo: SCUSD.org)

Flash forward one year and SCUSD is still faltering; the district threatened to pink slip teachers right before the March 3 Primary Election. This is likely how the school district managed to convince voters within the Sacramento school district to vote to authorize the district to sell $750 million of bonds to improve schools’ facilities.
While this infusion of funding may stave off the bleeding for now, the Sacramento City Teachers Association just reported, “Superintendent Aguilar has taken a significant pay increase after stating last year that he would not accept a salary increase while the District had significant financial issues.”
In a March 25 email sent to union members titled, “SCUSD to Present Its Draft Plan for Distance Learning Tomorrow (Thursday)District Refuses to Pay Day-to-Day Subs, as the Superintendent Takes His Pay Increase,” the union questions district priorities.

Notably, the district is refusing “to pay short-term, day-to-day substitutes as required by Governor Newsom’s March 13 Executive Order,” during the shutdown of schools over the coronavirus crisis, which SCTA says is “saving the District $44,000 per day or more than $800,000 per month. We asked the District what it intended to spend the money on and received no response.”

SCTA: ‘The financial crisis must be over’

According to documents provided by the Sacramento School District, Superintendent Aguilar’s total compensation climbed CONTINUE READING: Sacramento City Schools Superintendent Aguilar Takes a Big Pay Increase While Schools Closed - California Globe


NYC Public School Parents: A model Google contract that has strong student privacy protections

NYC Public School Parents: A model Google contract that has strong student privacy protections

A model Google contract that has strong student privacy protections


Slightly modified from Parent Coalition for Student Privacy blog.

We have received many questions from parents and teachers over the last few weeks concerned about the privacy practices and policies of the various ed tech tools and programs being adopted hurriedly by schools and districts in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. One of the most widely used programs, even before many schools were shut down, was Google classroom or G-suite.

We just received a copy of the model G-suite contract that upstate NY administrators negotiated this fall with Google that complies with NY State's student privacy law, Education § 2-d. Because of the relative strength of this law, New York state received a B-, the second highest grade of any state in our state privacy report card, .

Parents in NYC and elsewhere in the state should ask their districts for a copy of their contract with Google Suite to see if it includes the same or similar privacy-protective provisions. If not, ask why, and whether their district can't simply opt into this one.

If your NY district refuses to make available the contract upon request, you should remind them that they are required to post all contracts online that allow for the disclosure of student data, according the regulations promulgated by NY State Education Department in January.

BOCES model contract with Google – G Suite 19-20 

BOCES district Opt-In – Erie1 9.3.19




NYC Public School Parents: A model Google contract that has strong student privacy protections

Not All Schools Can #KeepLearning — ProPublica

Not All Schools Can #KeepLearning — ProPublica

Not All Schools Can #KeepLearning
While educators promote online learning as coronavirus spreads, some Illinois students aren’t equipped with the broadband to even notice.


This investigation is a collaboration between ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune.
ProPublica Illinois is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to get weekly updates about our work.
To encourage learning while schools are shut down, Illinois education officials have gathered online tools for educators and promoted the hashtag #keeplearning.
Some students in Illinois, however, won’t be able to watch their teacher conduct live science experiments or download a story time video. They don’t have a computer or high-speed internet at home, or a cellphone data plan that would support it.
A Chicago Tribune-ProPublica Illinois analysis found digital inequities across the state, the effects of which will be exacerbated as families are isolated inside their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. In more than 500 of the state’s roughly 3,100 census tracts, there were fewer than 600 quality connections per 1,000 residents, accounting for a significant portion of Illinois geography. At least 54 census tracts had even lower rates of connectivity as of the end of 2017, the analysis showed.
The Federal Communications Commission surveys the nation’s fixed internet service availability by collecting data through internet service providers twice a year. It defines fixed high-speed internet connections as those with adequate bandwidth to upload or download. So if a provider offers service at least that fast for at least one household on a census-defined block, the entire area is considered served. The most recent data about individual connections is from the end of 2017 and was released last year; providers may have improved speeds and access since then.
The Tribune-ProPublica Illinois analysis of FCC data, combined with estimates of households per census tract, showed that in a high-poverty tract of St. Clair County, about 250 miles southwest of Chicago, there were fewer than 200 quality internet CONTINUE READING: Not All Schools Can #KeepLearning — ProPublica
6 Common Copy Machine & Printer Problems and the Path to Resolution

When the State Shifted to E-learning, This Rural School Superintendent Shifted to the Copy Machine — ProPublica - https://www.propublica.org/article/coronavirus-schools-illinois-trico-district-176-superintendent-larry-lovel#180960 via @propublica

We Are Just Trying to Protect Our Own | Teacher in a strange land

We Are Just Trying to Protect Our Own | Teacher in a strange land

We Are Just Trying to Protect Our Own


At least three times in the past week, I’ve heard some variant of this statement:

I’ve noticed that those who are community-spirited and positive about life have become even more so, reaching out to organize helping systems and cheer people up—and those who are naturally whiny, critical and self-involved have now gone into overdrive.
It’s mostly true. Crisis brings out not just true strength of character, but leadership. Crisis also alerts you to who you wouldn’t want to be stuck with in, say, a bomb shelter.
Crisis has also laid bare the vast and growing distance between those whose primary goals center around more for me and mine—and those who mind the community.
If you’re an educator, you’re familiar with that gap. Maybe you work in a stressed school where lack of qualified staff, supplies and leadership is an ongoing predicament, while well-outfitted schools 25 miles down the road are passing out Chromebooks like peppermints to kids already connected at home. Or maybe your work life is a series of conversations with parents who want special treatment—for their child only.
One education professor I know calls this belief—that some kids are inherently more worthy of educational perks than others— ‘deservingness.’  There are other words: Privilege. Entitlement.
Since the founding of the nation, we have wrestled with the tension between mythic CONTINUE READING: We Are Just Trying to Protect Our Own | Teacher in a strange land

Jersey Jazzman: Ten Years of Jersey Jazzman

Jersey Jazzman: Ten Years of Jersey Jazzman

Ten Years of Jersey Jazzman


I'll keep this short, I promise...

Ten years ago, I found myself increasingly frustrated by the nonsense I kept reading and hearing about schools, teaching, and public finance.

Here in New Jersey, a newly elected Republican governor began what was to become an eight year war against my profession, the union that represented me, and public education in general. This governor had run on an explicit promise he made to the state's teachers: "I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor."

That, of course, turned out to be the first in a string of betrayals against public workers -- and, specifically, teachers -- by Chris Christie, a governor who would go on to become, at the end of his term, the least popular in America.

Ten years ago, Christie was just beginning his crusade against those of us who chose to pursue a career that would never make us rich, but would at least command some level of respect among the public and politicians. A few months into his first term, it was increasingly obvious that Christie's casual relationship with the truth, massive self-regard, and belligerent rhetoric (remind you of anyone else these days?) would plunge teacher morale to uncharted depths in the Garden State.

And so, this angry teacher started a blog. At first, I thought its only purpose was to save my marriage ("Would you please stop yelling about editorials in the Star-Ledger?!"). I honestly didn't expect anyone would read anything I had to say about how badly public CONTINUE READING: 
Jersey Jazzman: Ten Years of Jersey Jazzman

NANCY BAILEY: Will Online Instruction Replace Brick-and-Mortar Schools After the Covid-19 Crisis?

Will Online Instruction Replace Brick-and-Mortar Schools After the Covid-19 Crisis?

Will Online Instruction Replace Brick-and-Mortar Schools After the Covid-19 Crisis?


While parents shelter-in-place maintaining a sense of normalcy for their children, those critical of public education won’t stop criticizing public schools. They believe that technology should replace teachers and brick-and-mortar schools. They imply that after this difficult period ends, we will move from brick-and-mortar schools to online instruction.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

In her recent talk about the Covid-19 crisis, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said:
I’ve always believed education funding should be tied to students, not systems, and that necessity has never been more evident (4:23).
Joy Hofmeister the school chief in Oklahoma may have put this best. She told me school isn’t a building. It’s students, teachers, and families working together to advance learning. She’s right and that’s our shared mission (5:52).
Hofmeister’s state has been using four online programs: CONTINUE READING: Will Online Instruction Replace Brick-and-Mortar Schools After the Covid-19 Crisis?

SB 117 COVID-19 LEA Response Funds Fiscal Year 2019–20 (CA Dept of Education)

Ltr1-19: SB 117 (CA Dept of Education)


Dear County Superintendents of Schools:

First Apportionment for the
SB 117 COVID-19 LEA Response Funds
Fiscal Year 2019–20

This apportionment, in the amount of $100,000,000, is made from the General Fund as provided by Section 9 of Senate Bill 117 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2020) to local educational agencies (LEAs) in support of the SB 117 COVID-19 LEA Response Funds (SB 117 Funds). This apportionment reflects 100 percent of available funds.
Funding is allocated to each county office of education, school district, and charter school (both local and direct funded) on the basis of average daily attendance (ADA), excluding charter school nonclassroom based (NCB) ADA, funded as of the 2019–20 First Principal Apportionment. Each state special school is funded on an ADA equivalent factor equal to 97 percent of each state special school’s total enrollment count certified in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) as of the 2019–20 Fall 1 Submission. Each LEA, excluding charter schools that generate 100 percent NCB ADA, received a minimum funding allocation of $250 and had to be operational as of March 4, 2020.
SB  117 Funds are allowed to be used for costs associated with maintaining nutrition services, cleaning and disinfecting facilities, personal protective equipment, and materials necessary to provide students with opportunities for distance learning. The priority for these funds is health and safety needs for LEAs, including for student meal access, during COVID-19 closure periods. Due to the emergency nature of these funds, the funding allocation formula and allowable uses of funds contained in this letter may not closely align with the appropriation language in Section 9 of Senate Bill 117, but are in concurrence with the Department of Finance and the Legislature. Clean-up language will be forthcoming in future legislation.
County superintendents of schools were notified of this apportionment by email via their CDEfisc email addresses. The California Department of Education (CDE) requests that the CDEfisc email be forwarded to all school districts and charter schools in each county. A link to this letter and the accompanying apportionment schedule is posted on CDE’s Categorical Programs web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/, under the program title “SB 117 COVID-19 LEA Response Funds.”
Warrants will be mailed to each county treasurer approximately one week from the date of this letter. For standardized account code structure coding, use Resource Code 7388, SB 117 COVID-19 LEA Response Funds, and Revenue Object Code 8590, All Other State Revenue.
If you have any questions regarding this apportionment, please contact Julie Klein Briggs, Fiscal Consultant, Categorical Allocations and Audit Resolution Office, by email at jbriggs@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Dearstyne, Director
School Fiscal Services Division
ED:th

antiracismdsa: Provide Aid To Farm Workers

antiracismdsa: Provide Aid To Farm Workers

Provide Aid To Farm Workers


wrapper


What would Cesar Chavez say? E-mail your Congressmembers today.
The 3 trillion dollar COVID-19 stimulus package was signed last week. These funds will help many families, but leaves many farm workers out. There are 9.5 billion dollars headed for the agricultural sector and it's unclear if any of those funds will support farm workers taking risks to put food on our tables. At least 50% of farm workers are undocumented, so they won't get the relief payment most other households will. Most are still laboring in the fields, feeding America during this pandemic. They are facing huge new economic burdens and risks. Please take action to help them.
Undocumented farm workers pay taxes, but they are left out of the stimulus check the rest of us are eligible to receive. Even their US citizen children are left out. 
They are told they are essential workers, but they are not receiving essential benefits. They are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis by going out to the fields harvesting our food. Many are unable to practice social distancing as it is not possible with their work. Because of COVID-19, masks are a rare commodity, so some farm workers are put at additional risk of Valley Fever or other illnesses by not having masks that are supposed to be provided.
These low wage workers are being forced to deal with huge economic expenses. Childcare for one. For farm worker families, both the mother and father are usually working just to break even. All of a sudden they need to face the economic challenge of their children being home instead of in school. This means many of these low wage workers, who are exempt from “Stay at Home” orders, have to pay for unexpected childcare. One vegetable worker shared his child care costs went from $100/week to $220/week, as besides his 4-year-old he now has to pay for childcare expenses for his 6, 9, and 11-year-olds. When you are making $500 a week and live in one of the most expensive counties in CA, this additional expense is overwhelming. Not only that, but there is the burden of home schooling and the cost of school supplies for their children. 
Farm workers are also dealing with panic buying. Because farm workers are working in the fields during the day, they can't stand in line when the stores open. By the time farm workers get to the store at the end of the day, the store is often out of basic foods. The alternative is local small stores which often price gouge and force farm workers to pay even more to keep their families fed.
In addition, farm workers are facing extra transportation costs. Some companies are requiring workers not to carpool during COVID-19. Plus many workers desperately want to social distance vs. being in an enclosed and crowded car or bus. 
Something has to be done. We are depending on farm workers to keep our supermarket shelves full. It's time that Congress take care of the farm workers who are keeping us fed. Tell Congress to provide hazard pay for these workers who are now working in a dangerous environment and dealing with huge additional expenses. 
As Cesar Chavez said, "It's ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables, and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves." Essential workers deserve essential benefits. Please take action today. 

PS: After you take action you can also share this campaign on Facebook & Twitter

Congressman Garamendi, 
Thank you for your work on the recent Covid-19 stimulus bill. 
These funds will help many families, but  also leaves many farm workers out. There are 9.5 billion dollars headed for the agricultural sector and it's unclear if any of those funds will support farm workers taking risks to put food on our tables. At least 50% of farm workers are undocumented, so they won't get the relief payment most other households will. Most are still laboring in the fields, feeding America during this pandemic. They are facing huge new economic burdens and risks. Please take action to help them.
Undocumented farm workers pay taxes, but they are left out of the stimulus check the rest of us are eligible to receive. Even their US citizen children are left out. They are told they are essential workers, but they are not receiving essential benefits.They are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis by going out to the fields harvesting our food. Many are unable to practice social distancing as it is not possible with their work. Because of COVID-19, masks are a rare commodity, so some farm workers are put at additional risk of Valley Fever or other illnesses by not having masks that are supposed to be provided.
We are depending on farm workers to keep our supermarket shelves full. It's time that Congress take care of the farm workers who are keeping us fed. Please develop legislation to provide these essential workers with hazard wages,  these workers are now working in a dangerous environment and dealing with huge additional expenses. 
As Cesar Chavez said, "It's ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables, and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves." Essential workers deserve essential benefits. 
Cordially,
Dr. Duane E. Campbell, 
For LULAC Council 2862. Sacramento area. 
PO box 162790, Sacramento,  95816
www.sacramentolulac.org

Take action now! urge NY legislators not to cut education funding for next year! | Class Size Mattersr information on class size & the proven benefits of smaller classes

Take action now! urge NY legislators not to cut education funding for next year! | Class Size Matters 

Take action now! urge NY legislators not to cut education funding for next year!




Please contact your legislators now, urging them NOT to cut education funding next year as Gov. Cuomo threatens to do,  by clicking here.
Our full legislative agenda is below.





Take action now! urge NY legislators not to cut education funding for next year! | Class Size Matters 

How to safeguard your family’s health while they use screens and digital devices | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

How to safeguard your family’s health while they use screens and digital devices | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

HOW TO SAFEGUARD YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH WHILE THEY USE SCREENS AND DIGITAL DEVICES



by Cindy Eckard, reposted from Screens and Kids
Some basic measures could help protect your family from avoidable aches, strains, eye health impacts and sleep disruptions while using the schools’ digital devices at home. Some of the following suggestions also relate to the potential for these devices to cause fires. Be careful.
This is not to be construed as medical advice. Consult your device manufacturer for explicit safety warnings and instructions.
However, the following suggestions have been culled over several years from a variety of professional sources identifying a broad number of associated health risks:

CURMUDGUCATION: Career And Technical Education Deserves A Resurgence. Let’s Not Mess-- Oh, Hell

CURMUDGUCATION: Career And Technical Education Deserves A Resurgence. Let’s Not Mess-- Oh, Hell

Career And Technical Education Deserves A Resurgence. Let’s Not Mess-- Oh, Hell

Amidst all his slashing of the education budget, Donald Trump has proposed an enormous spending increase for one area—career and technical education. 
The Trump budget includes an increase of $900 million in spending on CTE. Of that, $680 million would be directed through the Carl D. Perkins program, the main conduit for moving federal money into high school and post-high school CTE programs, the kinds of programs that produce workers to fill the skilled labor jobs that keep a country functioning. The program is long overdue for a boost; the last twenty years of education reform have emphasized college preparedness over blue-collar work. This may be the rare Trumpian budget item that survives Congress.
CTE has been allowed to languish in some school systems, but the district in which I taught is part of a consortium that has run a seven-district vocational-technical school (the old-fashioned name for CTE) for decades. It has been a vibrant and valuable part of the education system, an important choice within the system that has served many of students well. I taught those students for most of my career; I cannot overstate the value of a good CTE program.
But as with all educational ideas, it is possible to do CTE badly. And, it turns out, one can even disrupt it entirely. Since this originally ran at Forbes.com, most schooling in the country has shut down. There has been a huge amount of discussion of whether or not the wave of forced distance learning can properly serve students with special needs-- but what about CTE students? How is a CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Career And Technical Education Deserves A Resurgence. Let’s Not Mess-- Oh, Hell

NYC Public School Parents: Special guest on Wednesday's "Talk out of School" - Randi Weingarten of the AFT

NYC Public School Parents: Special guest on Wednesday's "Talk out of School" - Randi Weingarten of the AFT

Special guest on Wednesday's "Talk out of School" - Randi Weingarten of the AFT



Join us on Wednesday from 10-11AM on WBAI 99.5 FM or at WBAI.org for "Talk out of School" when I'll interview Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers,  about what schools should and should not be trying to do during the time of coronavirus, and how to prevent remote instruction from overstretching and over stressing the capabilities of teachers and families.  Also, how the crisis threatens to lead to more education cuts, to further undermine student privacy and more.  
Please also call in with your questions at 212-209-2877.
NYC Public School Parents: Special guest on Wednesday's "Talk out of School" - Randi Weingarten of the AFT

You Are Invited: A Webinar about the Koch Machine | Diane Ravitch's blog

You Are Invited: A Webinar about the Koch Machine | Diane Ravitch's blog

You Are Invited: A Webinar about the Koch Machine


A valuable website called “Unkoch My Campus” is offering a webinar where you can learn how to identify the tentacles of the Kochtopus.
Charles Koch and his late brother David
have subsidized anti-government, anti-public school policies and think tanks for decades. They underwrote the voucher campaign in Arizona and other states. They work closely with the DeVos family foundations to promote their views. The Koch’s have established centers to advocate libertarian ideas on more than 300 campuses. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, we see how necessary it is to have a functioning federal government. At times of crisis, we understand that we need an effective public sector. The Koch movement has worked hard to reduce the ability of governments to protect their citizens.
This is a message from “Unkoch My Campus.”
We’re building a movement against the most intricate infrastructure of political influence in the country.
The bad news? This means having to track and expose hundreds of Koch-funded university programs, think- CONTINUE READING: You Are Invited: A Webinar about the Koch Machine | Diane Ravitch's blog

We Want To Hear Your Stories Of Teaching At Home During The Coronavirus Shutdown – Los Angeles Education Examiner

We Want To Hear Your Stories Of Teaching At Home During The Coronavirus Shutdown – Los Angeles Education Examiner

We Want To Hear Your Stories Of Teaching At Home During The Coronavirus Shutdown

The headline says it all. We’re looking for stories from parents, students and teachers about what they are doing to keep our kids on track during the Coronavirus shutdown.
I have two kids, ages 7 (1st grade) and 10 (4th grade). Even though they go to the same school, their teachers are employing different strategies to educate the kids. I’ll be writing about those experiences sometime next week.
If you’re interested in sharing your story, please drop a line to me (damien@la-edex.org) or Sara (sara@la-edex.org). If you’re interested in writing down your story, that would be great. If not, but you still have something to add that would benefit the community, we’ll figure out a way to get your story out there.
Thanks everyone, and stay safe.


We Want To Hear Your Stories Of Teaching At Home During The Coronavirus Shutdown – Los Angeles Education Examiner

Teacher Tom: Teachers Are the Leading Experts on Education

Teacher Tom: Teachers Are the Leading Experts on Education

Teachers Are the Leading Experts on Education
We live in uncertain times. No one, even pandemic experts, knows what's going to happen. Yet, all day, every day, we're being offered advice, warnings, admonitions, and opinions, some of which are spot on, but most of which are, at best, partially based on incomplete knowledge, while a huge percentage of it is pure BS, including much of what's coming from the mouths of our elected leaders.


How do we know who to listen to? We check credentials, we research their backgrounds, we assess their motivations, and we check with other experts for comparison. Just the other day, I shared an opinion piece on Facebook from a well respected media outlet that offered a narrative on our current Covid-19 crisis that seemed to offer a way forward while minimizing the economic impact. Immediately after sharing it, I decided to do some quick research into the doctor who wrote it. The first four search engine search results used the word "quack" to describe him. At best he's a controversial figure, so I removed the post. I should have done the research before sharing it in the first place.

What hooked me was that what he wrote sounded perfectly reasonable to my non-expert ears. It played into some of my hopes and fears, shining with the veneer of some of the things I'd already been thinking, but done so with some CONTINUE READING: 
Teacher Tom: Teachers Are the Leading Experts on Education