Latest News and Comment from Education

Monday, March 9, 2020

California districts complain proposed state budget won’t cover expenses | EdSource

California districts complain proposed state budget won’t cover expenses | EdSource

California districts complain proposed state budget won’t cover expenses
Cost of living adjustment is smaller than they had assumed.


A fraction of 1 percent is creating stress for school superintendents.
California districts have been building their budgets for next year under the assumption they’ll get a 3 percent cost of living adjustment. Instead, Gov. Gavin Newsom has included an adjustment of only 2.29 percent for K-12 schools in 2020-21.
Districts are complaining that the difference — while less than three-quarters of 1 percent — is compounding an already financially fraught year, in which there’s not enough money to cover basic operating expenses. They argue they’re already facing steadily rising employee pension expenses, higher special education costs and the impact of an increase in the minimum wage. And half of the state’s districts have experienced a decline in enrollment over the past decade, compounding their dilemma, since revenue is tied to student attendance.
For a district like Elk Grove Unified, the state’s fifth-largest with about 60,000 students, the gap between the COLA that districts expected and what they’ll likely receive is $4.5 million. Statewide, it’s an average of $72 per student. To make up that $72 difference and a larger revenue shortfall, districts like Elk Grove that have squirreled away enough funding will likely deficit spend and draw down reserves. (For now, Elk Grove has a more immediate challenge. On Saturday, it became the first district to cancel school, for a week, after  family members but no students had tested positive to the virus and were placed in quarantine.)
Some of those without adequate reserves are giving preliminary layoff notices to CONTINUE READING: California districts complain proposed state budget won’t cover expenses | EdSource

30,000 Kids in Puerto Rico Are Going Back to School Monday — in Tents - VICE

30,000 Kids in Puerto Rico Are Going Back to School Monday — in Tents - VICE

30,000 Kids in Puerto Rico Are Going Back to School Monday — in Tents
“Even though the ground isn’t shaking, sometimes you feel like it is, and you get scared.”




PENUELAS, Puerto Rico — About 30,000 students in Puerto Rico’s southern region are going back to school Monday after a two-month delay caused by January’s earthquake. But with a high chance of another quake and the schools a long way from being rebuilt, students will be starting their semester in tents.
In the wake of the Jan. 7 earthquake that devastated the island’s south and damaged 84 schools — roughly 10 percent of the island’s public schools — classes across the island were put on indefinite hold. Week by week, the Department of Education opened schools that hadn’t been damaged. But in Pe√Īuelas, a city on the island’s southern coast where schools were severely damaged, teachers couldn’t wait for their schools to be repaired.
Odette B√°ez, a local school principal, and the teacher’s union set up La Escuela P√ļblica Vive, a volunteer-led initiative run in a park that is meant to engage students while school is out of session.
“We wanted them to continue with their educational processes and at the CONTINUE READING: 30,000 Kids in Puerto Rico Are Going Back to School Monday — in Tents - VICE

LeBron James produces docuseries about Akron’s I Promise School set for release in April on Quibi - cleveland.com

LeBron James produces docuseries about Akron’s I Promise School set for release in April on Quibi - cleveland.com

LeBron James produces docuseries about Akron’s I Promise School set for release in April on Quibi




AKRON, Ohio -- LeBron James’ media company has produced a documentary series about the I Promise School in Akron that is set for release in April on the Quibi app.
“I Promise” details the first academic year inside the I Promise School, which was opened in 2018 by Akron Public Schools and the LeBron James Family Foundation as a public school for some of Akron’s most at-risk third- and fourth-graders.
“The series will explore the day-to-day trials, triumphs and life-changing impact of the school staff, students and families working together in a unique, family-first educational environment that embraces the trauma and challenges many face in Akron,” the LeBron James Family Foundation said in a news release.
The foundation funds year-round social services for the students and their families, including GED programs, legal aid, medical and mental-health resources, job and family services, financial literacy programs and unlimited access to a pantry stocked with food and other essentials.
“When you grow up in the inner-city, in the projects, no one cares about you,” James says in the series trailer. “I didn’t know how to create a school, but let’s figure it out. Let’s learn together.”
The series is produced by James’ SpringHill Entertainment - which is named after the public housing complex in Akron where James grew up - and he is one of the executive CONTINUE READING: LeBron James produces docuseries about Akron’s I Promise School set for release in April on Quibi - cleveland.com


John Ogozalek: What Teachers Can Do to Help During Epidemic Crisis | Diane Ravitch's blog

John Ogozalek: What Teachers Can Do to Help During Epidemic Crisis | Diane Ravitch's blog

John Ogozalek: What Teachers Can Do to Help During Epidemic Crisis


John Ogozalek teaches in rural upstate New York.
He writes:
Let’s hope we dodge this bullet as a nation.
But it sounds like the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to go sideways.
What if schools close for weeks -if not months?
What will teachers do during this time off? (Assuming we’re not taking care of family in our own homes.)
And, let’s face it, the idea of teaching online just isn’t going to last long if at all for many K-12 schools. Seriously.
Here’s the thing…
Teachers represent an already organized, very locally based force -across the entire nation.
Instead of waiting for the federal government’s response to get organized (which under Trump’s leadership seems like a disaster in the making as valuable time slips by) perhaps our unions and school districts can get moving on this challenge right now.
Hopefully, we won’t be needed. But why not get ready to help?
I do not want to sit around my house if school is closed.
Could I volunteer with a local doctor? Check on shut ins?
At the minimum, schools can have meetings right now to make sure teachers and staff have accurate contact information including alternate means to communicate in case the internet is stressed. What happens to families who are lacking child care? And, those kids who rely on school lunch?
We can start to organize and at least offer our volunteer assistance to the government. A sort of “Teacher Force” at the ready for those of us who can lend a hand.
By moving forward without fear and working together maybe we can create a model for other groups? And, most importantly, offer some help to the children in our communities.
You have contact with people in charge of things in this country, especially union leaders.
I think this idea might get off the ground pretty quickly if an organization like NYSUT, for example, gets local presidents on it. Of course, we’d include administrators and anyone else in the school who wants to pitch in. We’d need a thoughtful template to respond effectively…a plan informed by public health experts. A package of possible options that local schools can consider and perhaps choose from.
Just an idea, Diane. Maybe the higher ups somewhere are already thinking in this direction?
If not, maybe we should….

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... 
A VERY BUSY DAY 
 The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post or two containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here. You might also be interested in THE BEST RESOURCES ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION IN 2019 – PART TWO. Here are this week’s picks: 3 Ways This I Believe Essays Support Writing Instruction is from The National Writing Project. I’m adding it to Tons Of Resource
Pins Of The Week

I’m fairly active on Pinterest and, in fact, have curated 20,000 resources there that I haven’t shared on this blog. I thought readers might find it useful if I began sharing a handful of my most recent “pins” each week (I’m not sure if you can see them through an RSS Reader – you might have to click through to the original post). You might also be interested in MY MOST POPULAR PINS OF 2019 The f


Get Any Cognito Forms Plan Free for 14 Days.
Create great-looking website forms that do real work. Intuitively add complex calculations, automations and integrations.
Research Studies Of The Week

I often write about research studies from various fields and how they can be applied to the classroom. I write individual posts about ones that I think are especially significant, and will continue to do so. However, so many studies are published that it’s hard to keep up. So I’ve started writing a “round-up” of some of them each week or every other week as a regular feature . By the way, you mig
This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy Issues

Here are some recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues (You might also be interested in THE BEST ARTICLES, VIDEOS & POSTS ON EDUCATION POLICY IN 2019 – PART TWO ): A fairer way to judge high schools? This state is trying to find out which schools really help students graduate. is from Chalkbeat looks pretty interesting. ATTENDANCE PLAYBOOK: SMART SOLUTIONS FOR REDUCING CHRONI
Ed Tech Digest

Eight years ago, in another somewhat futile attempt to reduce the backlog of resources I want to share, I began this occasional “” post where I share three or four links I think are particularly useful and related to…ed tech, including some Web 2.0 apps. You might also be interested in THE BEST ED TECH RESOURCES OF 2019 – PART TWO , as well as checking out all my edtech resources . Here are this
Valuable NY Times Column On The Importance Of Compromise

The Simple Reason the Left Won’t Stop Losing is the headline of a NY Times column by David Leonhardt. It’s pretty simplistic, and omits some important points, but it’s main message is an important one that progressives – and everyone else – needs to hear. It’s important to be able to compromise. During my nineteen year career as a community organizer, that was always our practical goal, and which
Making Lessons Relevant To Students’ Lives Is Focus Of My Latest BAM! Radio Show

To Connect Teaching and Learning to Real-World Impact, Do This, Not That is the topic of my latest ten-minute BAM! Radio Show. Denise Krebs and Rebecca Mieliwocki join me in the discussion, and they have also contributed written commentaries in my Ed Week Teacher column. I’m adding this show to All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions . By the way, the show is now available on iHeartRadi
Have Students Classify Images Of ‘Galactic Interactions’ In Cool Citizen Science Project

Galaxy Cruise sounds cool: “GALAXY CRUISE” is a Citizen Astronomy project (citizen science project in astronomy) run by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). This project utilizes the data from a large-scale survey program using Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) , the world’s best wide-field imaging camera mounted on the Subaru Telescope. We hope that, while exploring the Universe captured
Edublogs Has Just Posted THE Guide For Online Learning Caused By School Closures

I’ve shared quite a few resources at The Best Advice On Teaching K-12 Online (If We Have To Because Of The Coronavirus) – Please Make More Suggestions! However, there is nothing better than a guide just published by Edublogs called RESOURCES FOR TEACHING ONLINE DUE TO SCHOOL CLOSURES: You’ll learn about: Options for structuring your school day Setting up a virtual home base or online platform All
‘Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy Honors the Humanity & Identity of Young People’

is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. Five educators provide recommendations on how to incorporate culturally sustaining pedagogy in the classroom, including offering a four-step process and encouraging teachers to start with educating themselves about their students. Here are some excerpts:


Video: “Why Do We Celebrate International Women’s Day? A Look Back At The History”

Dulcey Lima Today is International Women’s Day! I’m adding this new video from Newsweek to The Best Sites For Learning About Women’s History .
Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007