Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Online Instruction for All | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Online Instruction for All | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Online Instruction for All


Even the most fervent advocate for online instruction would be surprised. For those who predicted 20 years ago that remote instruction will take over public schooling, the future has arrived. And for the true believers in online instruction as the best, efficient (read: less expensive) way of teaching and learning, Nirvana has arrived.
Covid-19 has upended naysayers who opposed expanded use of online instruction, seeing it as a pale substitute for in-person instruction. For the fall semester in schools across the nation, complete or partial online instruction (I avoid the word “learning”) is nearly universal.
Since March 2020 when nearly all public and private schools were closed to halt the spread of the coronavirus, face-to-face classroom instruction has largely disappeared from large urban districts. With the continued spread of the virus into rural, suburban, and urban communities, virtual instruction has become the only way of re-opening schools—except for those districts in states that have paid only lip service to guidelines for protection from the virus or where the incidence of infections are low, according to health authorities. In those places, hybrids of remote and in-person or full in-person schooling have been announced for the fall semester.
But for most students , they will sit and face screens daily. As a result, many district administrators have been scrambling to insure that every student has the hardware and software necessary to enable a K-12 program to be brought into every kitchen and living room. And teachers unused to teaching from their CONTINUE READING: Online Instruction for All | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

NANCY BAILEY: Stop Covid-19 Career Comparison Guilting! Teachers Aren’t Flight Attendants Or . . .

Stop Covid-19 Career Comparison Guilting! Teachers Aren’t Flight Attendants Or . . .

Stop Covid-19 Career Comparison Guilting! Teachers Aren’t Flight Attendants Or . . .



Every job faces its own Covid-19 difficulties, but there should be no comparison guilting. Every job is different. Teachers face comparison attacks, with no consideration of the uniqueness found in the school environment.
Teachers are not taking an extended vacation. They’re working around the clock to teach children safely whether in school or remotely.
Some parents and critics are expressing frustration and scapegoating teachers, but it’s the virus they should be worried about.
Several op-eds and professional groups have put fuel on the fire with such comparisons. They’re demanding that schools should open, and teachers should quit complaining, put on their masks, and get back to work.
Here are few jobs that have been compared to teaching.

Pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatricians initially said teachers should return. They backed away somewhat, but still say schools should open safely.
Because they’re doctors that specialize in the health of children, we expect them to CONTINUE READING: Stop Covid-19 Career Comparison Guilting! Teachers Aren’t Flight Attendants Or . . .

6 Reasons Why Educators Are Excited About Kamala Harris - NEA Today

6 Reasons Why Educators Are Excited About Kamala Harris - NEA Today

6 Reasons Why Educators Are Excited About Kamala Harris



On August 11, Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to be his Vice Presidential running mate. Biden promised to nominate a woman vice president during the final Democratic presidential debate in March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic came into full view across the country. Biden’s historic selection of Harris reinforces the forward-thinking leadership and strength of character on the ticket and adds a deeply capable governing partner to help unite the nation and clean up the mess that Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos have created.
As a first term United States Senator from California, Harris earned a final grade of “A” from the NEA for her focus on attracting and maintaining educators in neighborhood schools, and for understanding how this translated to the success of students in every zip code at a time when America is in the midst of a nationwide teacher shortage.
“Educators know Joe Biden is a tireless advocate for public education and is the partner who students and educators need in the White House. Now, with Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate, we have another proven leader who will continue being a champion for our students and public schools. And, with Dr. Jill Biden, an educator and longtime NEA member, as First Lady, educators will have a friend and colleague in the White House,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Biden’s selection of Harris further reinforces his commitment to building an administration that looks like America, one that will reflect the great diversity of our country and work to unite our country and build a better future for all Americans.”
Additionally, she has continued to advocate for all students, including students of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students, low income students, and others who face barriers to education. At the NEA Representative Assembly in 2019, Harris called the federal government’s failure to fully fund special education “immoral,” and in June 2020, Harris urged Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to rescind Title IX CONTINUE READING: 6 Reasons Why Educators Are Excited About Kamala Harris - NEA Today

Congressional Negotiations for Second COVID-19 Relief Bill Collapse. Nothing Is Forthcoming to Repair State Budgets or Help Local School Districts | janresseger

Congressional Negotiations for Second COVID-19 Relief Bill Collapse. Nothing Is Forthcoming to Repair State Budgets or Help Local School Districts | janresseger

Congressional Negotiations for Second COVID-19 Relief Bill Collapse. Nothing Is Forthcoming to Repair State Budgets or Help Local School Districts




The prospect of a second coronavirus relief bill devolved into chaos over the weekend as the White House/Congressional negotiations disintegrated, and President Donald Trump offered to replace Congressional action with executive orders and executive memoranda which are reported to be of questionable constitutionality. Left out entirely was federal assistance to support public school reopening and to keep state and local government services fully staffed and functioning.
Not only has chaos ensued, but the President has actively politicized the situation. On Monday morning at 9:10 AM, President Trump tweeted“So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were ‘hardliners’, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!”
In the real world where the rest of us reside, school districts—trying to figure out how to reopen as the pandemic rages or provide additional access to online learning— face huge costs, which many school districts are clearly unable to afford.  I was stunned on Sunday night by an NBC news report that the Collier County Public Schools in Florida—a geographically large district covering Naples on the Gulf Coast, the Everglades, and agricultural communities like Immokalee—had spent $26 million ($578 per student) to make its schools safe for 45,000 public school students to return.  It is wonderful that this school district is able to support such preparations, but most school districts cannot afford adjustments amounting to $578 per student.
Over the weekend, Trump promised through executive action to provide an unemployment benefit supplement of $400 per week with 25 percent of the money coming from state governments. The President’s allegation is that states have lots of CARES Act money (from the first stimulus bill passed in March) left over.  Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike DeWine had already slashed his state’s FY 2020 state budget by $775 million before the end of the fiscal CONTINUE READING: Congressional Negotiations for Second COVID-19 Relief Bill Collapse. Nothing Is Forthcoming to Repair State Budgets or Help Local School Districts | janresseger

OPC vs jd – who would you choose? | JD2718

OPC vs jd – who would you choose? | JD2718

OPC vs jd – who would you choose?



So pretend for a moment that you are an NYCDoE principal and that you need to get September ready and you can have an outside helper, and you have it narrowed down to the Overpaid Private Consultant (OPC) that the DoE uses, or me (JD)… and all you have to go on are these little bits that each of us wrote about entry into buildings. Read on, and prepare to make your choice.

Overpaid Private Consultant

Checklist for General Student Entry Procedures

(from the 2020 – 2021 School Year | Reopening Playbook for Principals)

playbook-for-principals-2020-2021-school-reopening – p22

      •   Yes, our school entry procedures align with health and safety measures related to temperature checks. Yes, I have referred to Health Policy for up-to-date guidance on temperature check protocols.
      •   Yes, our school (and campuses if applicable) has assigned sufficient staffing to accommodate multiple points of entry should identify these multiple points of entry, ensure that students report to classrooms, and avoid shared spaces at the beginning of the day.
      •   Yes, sufficient staff to ensure that students are supported in maintaining physical distancing and using PPE supervises each point of entry.
      •   Yes, this includes staff presence outside the school building to support students and families lining up for entry.
      •   Yes, either I, as school principal, and/or the Building Response Team (BRT) Leader in CONTINUE READING: 
      • OPC vs jd – who would you choose? | JD2718





NYC Educator: Class with Instructional Lunch

NYC Educator: Class with Instructional Lunch

Class with Instructional Lunch



The chancellor had a flash of inspiration one day, and decided that he needed to maximize learning in schools. Now I'm just a lowly teacher, so I have no idea exactly what inspiration looks like on that lofty plain, that hallowed ground of the old Tweed building, named for the crookedest politician of all time (pre-Trump, of course).

That's why it's hard for me to fathom exactly what the thinking was behind this particular revelation. Consider the following--NY State opening guidelines state the following on page 29. You can check
 Turn desks (including teachers) to face in the same direction rather than facing each other to reduce transmission caused by virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing); 
Given that we can't even face one another because it's too risky, given that talking is listed as something we ought not to be doing while facing one another, how on earth is it okay for us to be sitting in the same classroom and eating?

I can't speak for all my colleagues, but if I were in a class with instructional lunch, I'd be wearing an N95 mask, a facial shield, a hairnet, and an entire body covering. That's what my doctor wore when she examined me a few weeks back. I would not consider eating, not for a moment. 

I'd advise students not to eat either. Perhaps this is conceived for younger students rather than high school students, but it would make no difference to me. 97,000 children just tested positive for Coronavirus, and this idea is a rebellion against common sense. 

As if that's not enough, who on earth wants to brush up on calculus while eating lunch? Back before the apocolypse, I used to eat lunch with a group of teachers. We had a table. There were generally two science teachers, a Spanish CONTINUE READING: NYC Educator: Class with Instructional Lunch

Pandemic Ed: What If the Wireless Is Out? | deutsch29

Pandemic Ed: What If the Wireless Is Out? | deutsch29

Pandemic Ed: What If the Wireless Is Out?


Interesting situation today.
I have been creating assignments suited to online learning, which basically means that I have to rethink my teaching and create an entirely new, pandemic-adjusted, English IV course. I am trying to get a number of such assignments ready to go prior to my return to school on August 20, 2020. Since students are not slated to return until September 08, 2020, I will have theoretically have some time to work on this online-based curriculum for some weeks prior to hving students. However, I am not sure what to expect between August 20 and September 08, so I do not want to count on having that time to work on assignments.
Today, I decided that it flexible due dates will have to be the “new normal.”
My phone line was dead, which meant I had no internet in my home.
This is the third time such has happened in the past year, but it is the first time since the pandemic hit.
I can’t just walk into Starbucks and settle in for several hours. Needless to say, now, it’s much more complicated.
I drove to a Starbucks near me, and I planned to sit in my car and tap into their wireless. Nope. Even though Starbucks is allowing customers to enter the store to purchase coffee, apparently, they have shut off their wireless (likely in an effort to discourage congregating in their shops).
So, I tried a nearby McDonalds. It worked, sort of. I was able to access the free wireless from my car (and I am glad to have a car to safely sit in because it started raining), but I could not access my school email because my browser did not like McDonalds’ unsecured wireless, and I could not reply to email from my CONTINUE READING: Pandemic Ed: What If the Wireless Is Out? | deutsch29

CURMUDGUCATION: AEI: Previewing New Reformy Rhetoric

CURMUDGUCATION: AEI: Previewing New Reformy Rhetoric

AEI: Previewing New Reformy Rhetoric



Over at AEI, Robert C. Enlow and Jason Bedrick have some thoughts for new, improved rhetoric for pushing school choice. It's worth a look to see where the argument is headed in the year ahead.

Enlow is the president/CEO of EdChoice (formerly the Milton Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice). Bedrow is the director of policy at EdChoice, as well as a scholar the Cato Institute.

Given their background and affiliation, there is no surprise with their kick-off premise, which is that conservatives should still keep choice at the heart of their education agenda. This is framed as a resolution to the tension between choice and accountability, which has indeed always been a problem with reformster rhetoric--it's hard to create a world in which schools are held tightly to standards and test-centered accountability but certain schools are also free to do whatever.

Accountability has been doomed as a reformy cause for a while now. For one thing, it has already accomplished the task of cementing the narrative that public schools are "failing," and for another, charters haven't turned out to be any better at the accountability game than public schools. And CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: AEI: Previewing New Reformy Rhetoric

Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: DCPS proves once again tells teachers they are not important

Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: DCPS proves once again tells teachers they are not important

DCPS proves once again tells teachers they are not important



This is going to be a little inside baseball. DCPS decided to scrap it's ESE curriculum based on 24 responses to a survey given during a pandemic. That's a problem; the bigger one though, is the district continues to treat its teachers like afterthoughts.

So last spring, they introduced a program called Teach Town to supplement our main ESE program ULS. I didn't care for it, but I may not be a great barometer as I usually don't like new things.

So fast forward to our return, and I was told we are scraping ULS for Teach Town. Um, what?!?

So I wrote the director of ESE and said is this a good idea, you may have noticed there was a pandemic going on, and maybe this was not the time to stress everyone out with such a big change.

She responded and said they did a survey in the spring, and people overwhelmingly wanted to switch to Teachtown.

A survey? I looked in my inbox, clutter, and trash, and I did not receive it. I asked my four-person team if they had received it and what they thought about Teach Town. Like me, they did not remember the survey, and like me, they did not care for Teach Town. It was to one on one and way to low for a lot of our kids, and I want to remind everyone I work at a center school for intellectually disabled children.

So I asked to see the results of the survey.

151 people responded.

ULS was popular though not overwhelmingly.

Teach Town was crazy popular by almost three to one.

See, the director of ESE education said, we are right, and you are wrong.

Except, take a look at these two slides,




CONTINUE READING: Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: DCPS proves once again tells teachers they are not important

What you need to know about Zoom for Education | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

What you need to know about Zoom for Education | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ZOOM FOR EDUCATION



Zoom for Education has been adopted by thousands of schools nationwide. Zoom began marketing to K-12 schools in November 2019, prior to the  Covid pandemic.  Zoom also created a website specific for education:  https://zoom.us/education.  Zoom has referred to its education platform as a Zoom for K-12 service  but apparently rather than face data privacy and transparency requirements for contracted school service providers in Colorado law,  Zoom NOW claims they are not a school service.  More on this below, but first we’ll focus on Zoom’s third party data sharing and cookies.
When you visit the Zoom for Education webpage, you will see a pop-up box asking if you want to opt-out of third parties using your information–DON’T IGNORE THIS WHEN YOU SEE IT; this alert doesn’t appear every time you visit the page.   Every parent and school district, education official should click More Info and review the cookies on the Zoom for Education website.    WHY?  Because Zoom allows third parties to access student data. In fact, prior to July 2020 and  Zoom’s most recent update to its K-12 privacy policy, Zoom apparently allowed third-party advertising cookies on its Zoom for Education platform.  Common Sense Media actually warned about Zoom’s third party  targeted advertising in April 16, 2020.  Common Sense stated,
“…there are still privacy issue areas where Zoom falls short, including its limited, but still targeted, use of advertising and CONTINUE READING: What you need to know about Zoom for Education | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

Scores of Education Experts Call on Schools to Reject Screen-Saturated Return to Learning | Common Dreams News

Scores of Education Experts Call on Schools to Reject Screen-Saturated Return to Learning | Common Dreams News

Scores of Education Experts Call on Schools to Reject Screen-Saturated Return to Learning
"Now is the time for parents and teachers to come together and demand what children really need."




As school districts across nation make plans for the fall semester—with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing varying degrees of reliance on remote learning—scores of education experts on Tuesday sounded the alarm over the very real threat to students posed by increased screen time.
The warning comes in a new statement (pdf) that cites risks to student privacy, the potential entrenchment of controversial educational technology (EdTech), and students' need for authentic and human engagement.
"Our children and our nation deserve nothing less than safe schools and low-tech, child-centered, educator-driven learning."
—Education experts' joint statement
"With no end in sight to the pandemic, school leaders would do well to remember that remote learning does not have to equal online learning, and to emphasize offline approaches to support children's wellbeing and learning," said Faith Boninger, Ph.D. of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder's School of Education.
Boninger is one of 70 experts that signed onto the statement authored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood's (CCFC) Children's Screen Time Action Network. The call is also backed by three dozen advocacy groups including the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Badass Teachers Association, Boston Teachers Union, and ParentsTogether.
The groups say their message applies "whether school is in-person, remote, or some combination thereof" and suggest educators eye with suspicion claims from the companies that sell educational technology under the guise of personalized learning.
As the joint statement explains:
Seizing an opportunity to capture a larger portion of the $10 trillion global CONTINUE READING: Scores of Education Experts Call on Schools to Reject Screen-Saturated Return to Learning | Common Dreams News

Latest update on NYC school reopening plans; and why many parents still appear undecided | Class Size Matters

Latest update on NYC school reopening plans; and why many parents still appear undecided | Class Size 

Latest update on NYC school reopening plans; and why many parents still appear undecided



Dear friends–
On Friday, the NYC Department of Education posted the latest version of their reopening plans. It contained two big revisions from the one previously released: Now schools will be able apply for exemptions from having to provide any in-person learning , and/or give preference to certain vulnerable populations to receive this opportunity.
Many public health experts and epidemiologists agree that NYC schools seem to be in the best position of any large district in the country to offer in-person learning, with a COVID positivity rate of only about one percent – the lowest we are likely to see for a year or more, until there is an effective and widely available vaccine.
However, many parents still have legitimate concerns, including the substandard ventilation in many schools and the city’s inadequate testing regime, with results taking up to 15 days.
Despite the Mayor’s spin today that more than 700,000 students chose to engage in some form of in-person learning in the fall, it appears that fewer than half NYC parents registered any preference on the online survey, with 264,000 parents opting into remote learning and 131,000 blended learning. Many families seem to be waiting to see what the plan is for their own children’s schools before making a final decision.
Principals are supposed to finalize their own plans and school schedules by August 14, in consultation with their School Leadership Teams.
In any case, the Mayor should be giving more support to schools to allow for safer outdoor learning, and the Governor should be purchasing testing kits to enable faster results than the ones currently available.
More discussion and analysis on all these issues on our blog.  Please feel free to comment there on what you’ve chosen to do, and if you’re still undecided, what information or new developments might help you make a choice.
Yours, Leonie
PS For a thoughtful, phase-in plan to reopen schools that could serve as a potential model for others, see this proposal from the Urban Assembly Maker Academy.
Latest update on NYC school reopening plans; and why many parents still appear undecided | Class Size 

A VERY BUSY DAY 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


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


Online Or In The Classroom, It’s Important To Pronounce Student Names Correctly!
Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay As we enter a new school year, just a reminder: We teachers have to correctly pronounce our students’ names! If you don’t think it’s important, or you need help with strategies on how to get them right, check out The Best Resources On The Importance Of Correctly Pronouncing Student Names.
Listen: Radio Interview With…Me, On Remote Teaching With ELLs
Tumisu / Pixabay Rosa Isiah interviewed me on her great radio show about “Preparing for the Increased Demands of Hybrid Teaching With English Language Learners.” In case you’re interested, she also had previously interviewed me about Myths and Misconceptions About ELL s. I’m adding it to the “About Me” section of this blog .
“Lessons Learned From ‘Quaranteaching'”
Lessons Learned From ‘Quaranteaching’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey (co-authors of “The Distance Learning Playbook”), Dr. Isabel Morales, and Kiera Beddes share lessons they have learned from the spring, including the need for “empathetic feedback” and community-building. Here are some excerpts:
The “International Day Against Nuclear Tests” Is On Aug. 29th – Here Are Teaching & Learning Resources
WikiImages / Pixabay The United Nations has declared August 29th to be the International Day Against Nuclear Tests . There are several specific resources you might be interested in: The Best Sites For Learning About The Marshall Islands – we have a lot of Marshallese students at our school, and the legacy of nuclear testing in their home is a terrible one. There are a number of resources on that
Four “Must-Read” Articles On Reopening Schools In The Fall
geralt / Pixabay Here are new additions to THE BEST POSTS PREDICTING WHAT SCHOOLS WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FALL : Some remarkable pictures of kids in schools around the world is from The Washington Post. ‘Like saying I don’t love her’: Parents torn as some schools face greater reopening risks is from USA Today. The New School Suspension: Blocked From Online Classrooms is from Huff Post and, unfortun
Google Education Updates Galore!
Simon / Pixabay Google announced a bunch of updates to its education offerings today. See much of them at Go back to school with Google . One of the many updates is supposedly the ability to generate a link instead of code for Google Classroom, though it doesn’t show up for me, yet. Google Assignments is supposed to make Grading made easy with Assignments, an app for your LMS . Here’s a new video
Fun Video “Ad” For A Library
LubosHouska / Pixabay I’m adding this fun video to The Best Fun Videos About Books & Reading :
This Week’s Resources To Support Teachers Coping With School Closures
Wokandapix / Pixabay I have a number of regular weekly features (see HERE IS A LIST (WITH LINKS) OF ALL MY REGULAR WEEKLY FEATURES ). This is a relatively new addition to that list. Some of these resources will be added to The Best Advice On Teaching K-12 Online (If We Have To Because Of The Coronavirus) – Please Make More Suggestions ! and the best will go to The “Best Of The Best” Resources To
“‘Don’t Forget to Breathe’ During Distance Learning”
‘Don’t Forget to Breathe’ During Distance Learning is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. Five educators share recommendations for effective distance learning, including limiting the number of online tools teachers use with students and not assuming that caregivers will be around to help with schoolwork. Here are some excerpts:
Tuesday’s Three “Must-Read” Articles & One “Must-Watch” Video On Reopening Schools In The Fall
geralt / Pixabay Here are new additions to THE BEST POSTS PREDICTING WHAT SCHOOLS WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FALL : School reopenings are being touted as good for students’ well-being, but that’s wrong appeared on NBC News. Teachers Across the Country Worry About a Rush to Reopen Schools is from The New Yorker. The Woeful Inadequacy of School-Reopening Plans is also from The New Yorker.
Here’s How I’m Setting-Up My iPhone As A Doc Cam
Free-Photos / Pixabay The Internet is awash with ways teachers can turn their iPhone into a document camera. Here’s how I’ve done it – I can’t guarantee it’s the cheapest, but I would be surprised if anyone found an easier way. I found the video below, which explains it very well. I downloaded EpicCam from the app store. Then downloaded this software for my desktop. Then I bought this cellphone h
Illinois District Models What We SHOULDN’T Be Doing: It Creates Distance Learning Dress Code, Including No Pajamas
Really? Should we really be trying to control what students wear in their own homes? Apparently, school district leaders in Springfield, Illinois think they should. You can read about it at the NY Times article, No Pajama Pants 
Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007