Tuesday, May 5, 2020

New York to work with Gates Foundation to 'reimagine' schools: governor | News | 1450 99.7 WHTC

New York to work with Gates Foundation to 'reimagine' schools: governor | News | 1450 99.7 WHTC

New York to work with Gates Foundation to 'reimagine' schools: governor


(Reuters) - New York will work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to "reimagine" the state's school system in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, part of a broader reform of society, Governor Andrew Cuomo told a daily briefing on Tuesday.
Cuomo also pushed back against comments by U.S. President Donald Trump, who in an interview with the New York Post dismissed the idea of giving federal funds to states financially crippled by the crisis, saying it would amount to bailing out Democratic governors who had mismanaged their states.
Calling on Trump to take a non-political approach, Cuomo said blocking funds to states hit hardest by the pandemic would prove to be "self-defeating" because it would lead to gridlock in Congress and hold back key engines of economic growth.
"If you starve the states, how do you expect states to fund this entire reopening plans," said Cuomo, who has estimated New York was facing a $10 to $15 billion budget shortfall. "If you go down this path of division you will defeat all of us."
Cuomo also spoke about rebuilding the healthcare system so it can better handle future crises and laid out a broad vision for improving society, noting reforms made after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
"We want to build back better," Cuomo said.
Cuomo said New York would work with the foundation of Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and his wife as part of an effort to "reimagine" education including through the better use of technology. He did not provide specifics on that cooperation.
New York's education system, like others in the country, has struggled to teach children remotely, especially those in poorer areas without access to the internet or computers.
As hospitalizations and deaths have trended lower in recent weeks, Cuomo has turned his attention to reopening the state. On Monday he provided an outline for which industries and regions might get back to work first.
(reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut and Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)
New York to work with Gates Foundation to 'reimagine' schools: governor | News | 1450 99.7 WHTC

COVID-19 "CARES Act" Bankrolls AI Post-Human Education | Dissident Voice

COVID-19 "CARES Act" Bankrolls AlI Post-Human Education | Dissident Voice

COVID-19 “CARES Act” Bankrolls AlI Post-Human Education

DeVos, Thiel, Phase 2 of Project BEST



In 1982, former Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement for the US Department of Education, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, blew the whistle on the Reagan Administration’s Project BEST (Better Education Skills through Technology): a techno-fascist plan to privatize the American school system by selling it out to Big Tech corporations that deliver B. F. Skinner’s operant-conditioning method of “programmed instruction” through computerized “teaching machines.” Almost thirty years later, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” is primed to pump a flood of federal education funds into online charter school corporations, such as K12 Inc., KIPP, and Connections Academy, which deploy “adaptive learning” software that replace human teachers with artificial-intelligence courseware programmed with “Skinner-box” cognitive-behavioral algorithms geared to condition students for workforce training.
The CARES Act Cares about Robots
As teachers and students are forced to convert their coursework to online platforms during the COVID-19 lockdown, the CARES Act is creating deregulatory loopholes to expand the federal funding of adaptive-learning courseware delivered by online education corporations such as K12 Inc. (which was bankrolled by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos) and Connections Academy (which is owned by the globalist Pearson Education PLC: the “world’s largest education company”).
According to a press release from the US Department of Education, “[t]he new flexibilities, authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, allow schools to repurpose existing K-12 education CONTINUE READING: COVID-19 "CARES Act" Bankrolls AlI Post-Human Education | Dissident Voice

Students Go Weeks Without Schoolwork as ‘Distance Learning’ Standards Vary – NBC Bay Area

Students Go Weeks Without Schoolwork as ‘Distance Learning’ Standards Vary – NBC Bay Area

Students Go Weeks Without Schoolwork as ‘Distance Learning’ Standards Vary
The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit analyzed distance learning guidelines for dozens of school districts across California and found education standards vary from district to district, creating a learning gap for some students.







It’s been seven weeks since the coronavirus forced most California schools to shut down for the year and many students have learned to adapt to the new normal of Zoom classrooms and virtual assignments. But parents and educators tell NBC Bay Area some students haven’t learned much of anything since school closed, causing those students to fall behind their peers.
Right now, the state is allowing each local school district to develop a distance learning plan that works best for their communities and has canceled all standardized tests to help reduce stress on kids. The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit reached out to more than 70 school districts across the state and asked to see their education plans during the shelter-at-home to compare what students are learning. More than half responded and our review found significant inconsistencies from district to district, creating a potential learning gap for students.
Many districts developed their plan within the first two weeks after closing and require teachers to:
  • Assign reading and math lessons daily
  • Make lesson plans available to administrators for quality review
  • Interact with students and set-up regular office hours
  • Track attendance to identify students who need more help
Other districts took more than a month to create a plan and issued contradictory guidelines for teachers which include:
  • No content requirements
  • No assessment or review of teacher lesson plans
  • Discourage teaching through live video lessons or speaking to students 1on1
  • No attendance tracking or student assessment
LEARNING LOSS
Students Go Weeks Without Schoolwork as ‘Distance Learning’ Standards Vary – NBC Bay Area

Teachers: Older teachers may not return to school for a while - The Washington Post

Teachers: Older teachers may not return to school for a while - The Washington Post

Trump: Teachers over age 60 may ‘have to sit it out for a while’ when schools reopen, but students should be ‘in great shape’


President Trump was asked by a student during his Sunday virtual town hall with Fox News anchors at the Lincoln Memorial about how she could feel safe going back to school during a second wave of covid-19. He told her he thought she would be “in great shape” but that “a bigger problem” was older teachers being in their classrooms.

Trump answered questions from Fox’s Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum as well as from Americans about his government’s response to the covid-19 pandemic and other issues.
Responding to Rebekah Johnson from Minneapolis, in light of experts warning that covid-19 is not going away, he said schools need to reopen and that students would be fine, although they “may wear masks for a while.”
He also said teachers who are 60 or 65 may have to stay home when schools open. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those at high risk for severe illness from covid-19 are people 65 years and older, and people of any age with specific underlying medical conditions, including those with chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma and diabetes.
The percentage of America’s teachers who are 60 and older is not precisely known. The latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics says that in 2012 about 23 percent of America’s teachers were between the ages of 50 to 59 in 2012 and more than 7 percent were over 60. But since then, many teachers have left the profession, and others have joined.
There are teacher shortages in most school districts around the country, which would probably be exacerbated if older teachers don’t return to schools when they reopen.
Trump said in answer to Rebecca::
So when you go back — and you have one problem that is a bigger problem, and that’s teachers over 60 or 65 years old — the teachers. Because I think that Kristin [another student] or Rebecca are going to be in great shape, and they may wear masks for a while and they may be separated further than what they’re used to. And I think they’re going to be in great shape.
He was also asked by an educator why he uses “bullying words” when he speaks. CONTINUE READING: Teachers: Older teachers may not return to school for a while - The Washington Post

Schools Re-Opening in Other Countries | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Schools Re-Opening in Other Countries | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Schools Re-Opening in Other Countries


As most of the 13,000 districts in the U.S. plan for re-opening schools, a few photos of re-opened ones in other countries may give readers a sense of what’s in store for American parents preparing to send their sons and daughters to school.
Schools re-open in different parts of China.


TOPSHOT – Students sit in a classroom as grade three students in middle school and high school return after the term opening was delayed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, in Huaian in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on March 30, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

In Vietnam:



In Israel:


Israeli students at the Orot Etzion school in Efrat wear protective face masks as they return to school for the first time since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. 1st-3rd graders returned to school this morning, with keeping social distance inside of hte classrooms, CONTINUE READING: Schools Re-Opening in Other Countries | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Tennessee: Details About the Ruling Against Vouchers | Diane Ravitch's blog

Tennessee: Details About the Ruling Against Vouchers | Diane Ravitch's blog

Tennessee: Details About the Ruling Against Vouchers


Judge Strikes Down Tennessee School Voucher Law
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Public school children in Tennessee won today when Davidson County Chancellor Anne C. Martin struck down the state’s private school voucher law, known as the Education Savings Account (ESA) Pilot Program. Because the law applies only to students in Davidson and Shelby counties, Chancellor Martin ruled that it violates the Home Rule provision of the Tennessee Constitution, which prohibits the General Assembly from passing laws that target specific counties without local approval.
The rulings are a milestone victory for the plaintiffs challenging the voucher law in two separate cases: public school parents and community members in Nashville and Memphis, who sued in McEwen v. Lee, and Davidson and Shelby County governments, in Metropolitan Government of Nashville v. Tennessee Department of Education.
The voucher law was enacted in May 2019 over the strong objections of legislators from both counties. The voucher program was originally intended to begin in the 2021-2022 school year, but Governor Lee accelerated the timeline with plans to issue vouchers starting this fall.
In March, the plaintiffs in McEwen v. Lee filed a lawsuit to challenge the voucher law in Davidson County Chancery Court. The lawsuit argues that the voucher law violates several provisions of the Tennessee Constitution, CONTINUE READING: Tennessee: Details About the Ruling Against Vouchers | Diane Ravitch's blog

Media Contacts:
Ashley Levett, SPLC, ashley.levett@splcenter.org / 334-296-0084
Sharon Krengel, ELC, skrengel@edlawcenter.org / 973-624-1815, x24
Lindsay Kee, ACLU-TN, communications@aclu-tn.org / 615-320-7142

Christopher Wood, Robbins Geller, cwood@rgrdlaw.com / 615- 244-2203

Mike Turzai is Willing to Sacrifice Pennsylvania’s Students and Families to the Economy | gadflyonthewallblog

Mike Turzai is Willing to Sacrifice Pennsylvania’s Students and Families to the Economy | gadflyonthewallblog

Mike Turzai is Willing to Sacrifice Pennsylvania’s Students and Families to the Economy


Why is the highest ranking Republican in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives so angry with the state Secretary of Education?
Rivera said the Commonwealth’s public schools, which have been closed since mid March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, would not reopen until it was safe to do so.
If that means schools don’t reopen on time in the Fall, so be it.
Specifically, on Wednesday, Rivera said:
“At the end of the day, we’re going to make sure that the health and welfare of our students is first and foremost, front and center. And we’re not going to allow and ask students to return to school in an unsafe environment. We’re preparing for the best, but we’re planning for the worst.”
Turzai was so infuriated by this statement that he wrote a letter to Rivera – which CONTINUE READING: Mike Turzai is Willing to Sacrifice Pennsylvania’s Students and Families to the Economy | gadflyonthewallblog

Russ on Reading: Why Johnny Can't Read. Part 3: Racism and Segregation

Russ on Reading: Why Johnny Can't Read. Part 3: Racism and Segregation

Why Johnny Can't Read. Part 3: Racism and Segregation


The United States of America, legendary land of opportunity, has never come fully to grips with systematically denying opportunity to a significant portion of its population. I am talking, of course, of our African American population, brought here in literal chains and held in metaphorical chains ever since. One of the links of these chains has been the denial of  literacy.
Any school child can tell you the story of how slave holders denied the slaves access to literacy out of fear that a slave who could read would be harder to control. The fear was well founded, of course. Literacy is the enemy of tyranny. Literacy opens up the world to all people. Some slaves managed to become literate, of course, including Frederick Douglass, abolitionist, and one of the leading American intellectuals of the 19th Century.
Woman arrested for trying to read a book in public library, Albany, GA, 1962
What may not be as obvious is how the denial of literacy continued after the Civil War ended slavery. The South, determined to maintain a system that favored white over black, instituted a series of Jim Crow laws intended to segregate all aspects of public life. So we had separate public restrooms, separate hotels, separate restaurants, separate seating on buses, and, of CONTINUE READING: Russ on Reading: Why Johnny Can't Read. Part 3: Racism and Segregation

On Teacher Appreciation Day, Parents Are More Grateful Than Ever

On Teacher Appreciation Day, Parents Are More Grateful Than Ever

On Teacher Appreciation Day, Parents Are More Grateful Than Ever


Surreal. Rollercoaster. Mayhem. Those are just a few of the words parents have used when describing their homeschooling experience.
Respect. Grateful. Heroes. Those are the words they use to describe their kids’ teachers.
But this year as we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, parents are finding that words can’t accurately express the gratitude they feel for their schools’ heroes.
“There are countless stories of educators going far beyond the call of duty for their students and their communities,” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Never have all of our nation’s educators been more appreciated and seen—even as they work with students from a distance.”
For decades, the first full week of May has been National Teacher Appreciation Week. But this year, with students not in school buildings as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and educators working in new ways to teach from a distance, deliver meals, and more, the occasion is more meaningful than ever.
This is Kyle Washington’s first year teaching and his first Teacher Appreciation Week. He was only two and a half months into his position as a fourth grade CONTINUE READING: On Teacher Appreciation Day, Parents Are More Grateful Than Ever

Headlines: LAUSD Says Back to Class on August 18, More Battles Over Charter Co-Location, and Let’s Appreciate All School Employees – Los Angeles Education Examiner

Headlines: LAUSD Says Back to Class on August 18, More Battles Over Charter Co-Location, and Let’s Appreciate All School Employees – Los Angeles Education Examiner

Headlines: LAUSD Says Back to Class on August 18, More Battles Over Charter Co-Location, and Let’s Appreciate All School Employees


Earlier today, LAUSD announced that the 2020-2021 school year will begin on August 18, as originally planned. Despite some early reporting that this meant the campuses themselves would re-open, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner made clear that campuses may still be closed, and this could just be the day that remote learning begins for the new school year. Maybe it would help if we all made social distancing hats for our kids.
There have been plenty of false starts and confusion over just when LAUSD would re-open its campuses in the past two months. Even in the past week, Governor Gavin Newsom opined that schools “may re-open” in July, causing UTLA and others to point out that such an opening would be a huge financial hit to districts. Later in the week, President Donald Trump urged states to consider re-opening schools for the rest of the current school year.
Sadly, this affirmation of the school year start date is not the only COVID-19 related news. School districts, LAUSD among them, are warning that massive cuts may be coming as a result of decreased revenue caused by the COVID-19 slowdown. Even as children struggle with distance learning and upheaval in their home lives as parents are laid off or furloughed, school districts could be seeing massive cuts even as Congress seems (maybe – the story is complicated and evolving) to have found money to bail out cruise ships headquartered in other countries and another $500 billion in no-strings-attached “loans” to big businesses.