Tuesday, November 10, 2020

DOE Report: Acellus Online Curriculum Violated Religion, Discrimination Policies - Honolulu Civil Beat

DOE Report: Acellus Online Curriculum Violated Religion, Discrimination Policies - Honolulu Civil Beat
DOE Report: Acellus Online Curriculum Violated Religion, Discrimination Policies
The Hawaii Department of Education’s internal review of the remote learning tool found the inappropriate content in lessons to be “severe, pervasive and persistent.”



The controversial distance learning program used by hundreds of Hawaii public schools this year discriminated against protected classes based on race, national origin, gender, religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, according to a Hawaii Department of Education review of Acellus Learning Accelerator.

The 140-page report, drafted last month but just posted to the DOE website on Monday, reveals the program violates the state Board of Education’s anti-harassment, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policy against students by employees.

“Viewed through the lens of BOE Policy 305-10 … the identified discriminatory content rises to the level of being severe, pervasive and persistent,” the report says.

Additionally, the report found Acellus program content promotes religion in the public schools in violation of a BOE policy that prohibits religion in the schools.

The DOE had released a five-page condensed report on Acellus in mid-October but the comprehensive report released this week offers a much fuller and more detailed picture of the extent to which Acellus has featured harmful material to scores of public school students in Hawaii.

Although the full report had been available for more than a month, it’s not clear why the DOE took as long as it did to post the full review. Hawaii Board of Education members were publicly calling for its release as far back as at an Oct. 15 meeting.

Civil Beat had also requested the report on Oct. 19 via the Uniform Information Practices Act. After several follow-up emails, the DOE replied last Thursday by referencing a proclamation by Gov. David Ige that suspended UIPA deadlines due to COVID-19.

At its Oct. 15 meeting, the Board of Education voted to discontinue Acellus by the end of the school year. While some DOE schools have independently chosen to yank the online curriculum from their menu of distance learning tools, other schools are choosing to CONTINUE READING: DOE Report: Acellus Online Curriculum Violated Religion, Discrimination Policies - Honolulu Civil Beat

White voters, Donald Trump and the white achievement gap

White voters, Donald Trump and the white achievement gap
Donald Trump and the white achievement gap
White Trump voters either put aside what they learned in school to vote for the president — or they never learned it at all


There is a learning gap that is threatening economic and social productivity in the U.S. that must be addressed. The untreated white achievement gap continues to tear our country apart.

Voting can be considered a test of sorts for assessing our knowledge and comprehension of the world around us. Voting data gives us insight into how people put into practice the information, facts and teaching they’ve received.

Exit polls conducted by the research firm Edison Research show that President Donald Trump received 57 percent of the total number of ballots cast by white voters. They voted for a man who has denigrated established science, supported racist conspiracies and spewed the racist assertion that four U.S. congresswomen of color “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” He struggled throughout his term to renounce white supremacist groups. And as the election returns came in last week, he spun a web of lies about how the American democratic process works.

By their votes, the vast majority of Black and Brown citizens showed themselves to be proficient judges of character and political leadership. This achievement is saving the country.

Millions of people, most of them white, either put aside what they learned in school to vote for the president — or they never learned it at all. Racism is illogical, and the irrationality it produces leads to policies and actions that are dangerously wrong for individuals and the country as a whole. While we so often wring our hands about the lagging educational achievement of Black, Latino and Native students, this election reminds us CONTINUE READING: White voters, Donald Trump and the white achievement gap

Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part One | Blue Cereal Education

Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part One | Blue Cereal Education
Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part One




I’m discovering as I continue to draft a follow-up to “Have To” History: Landmark Supreme Court Cases that it’s more and more difficult to keep things succinct as subject matter nears the 21st century. There’s so much relevant context for each case and potential applications are far more immediate… it’s difficult at times to know what’s essential and what’s not. 

I’m sharing a few rough drafts along the way partly in hopes a few of you, my Eleven Faithful Followers, might find them interesting, and partly because nothing highlights the problems in a text like posting it live for all the world to see. Some version of this material will likely be in the upcoming book. Chances are good, however, that the final results will be considerably more succinct – which is both necessary and a tiny bit sad. 

Getting Hasidic With It

Three Big Things:

1. In an effort to accommodate a particularly insular community of Hasidic Jews (the Satmars), the State of New York created a neighborhood and later a publicly funded neighborhood school tailored to their precise boundaries. Most children attended CONTINUE READING: Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) – Part One | Blue Cereal Education

Teachers often pay out of pocket for remote teaching tech

Teachers often pay out of pocket for remote teaching tech
Teachers forced to “MacGyver” their own tech solutions
When states don’t reimburse teachers for supplies, they have to figure out ways to make remote teaching work and how to pay for it


Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Future of Learning newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every other Wednesday with trends and top stories about education innovation. Subscribe today!

When Audrey Green, a middle school teacher in Broward County, Florida, began the year working remotely with her students, she had a lot to think about.

She had to establish a personal connection with students she’s never seen face to face and help children develop tools to cope during a pandemic. And she had to handle emotionally heavy issues, like the student who hung around after class online because she said she didn’t want to be alone. All of that while also ensuring they were being challenged academically.

But before she could do any of the hard work of teaching students through a screen, she had to solve another problem. How would she set up those screens in the first place?

Teachers have long spent their own money to outfit their classrooms — on average, teachers spend $459 out of pocket on school supplies annually, according to an analysis of 2011-12 data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics. Some teachers get some of that money back: Several states provide at least partial reimbursement for these expenses and the federal government allows a $250 tax deduction, according to Alyssa Evans, a policy researcher at the Education Commission of the States.

But the national economic crisis means that teachers might be out of CONTINUE READING: Teachers often pay out of pocket for remote teaching tech

Remote Learning Isn’t the Only Problem With School - The Atlantic

Remote Learning Isn’t the Only Problem With School - The Atlantic
School Wasn’t So Great Before COVID, Either
Yes, remote schooling has been a misery—but it’s offering a rare chance to rethink early education entirely.




The litany of tragedies and inconveniences visited upon Americans by COVID-19 is long, but one of the more pronounced sources of misery for parents has been pandemic schooling. The logistical gymnastics necessary to balance work and school when all the crucial resources—time, physical space, internet bandwidth, emotional reserves—are limited have pushed many to the point of despair.

Pandemic school is clearly not working well, especially for younger children—and it’s all but impossible for the 20 percent of American students who lack access to the technology needed for remote learning. But what parents are coming to understand about their kids’ education—glimpsed through Zoom windows and “asynchronous” classwork—is that school was not always working so great before COVID-19 either. Like a tsunami that pulls away from the coast, leaving an exposed stretch of land, the pandemic has revealed long-standing inattention to children’s developmental needs—needs as basic as exercise, outdoor time, conversation, play, even sleep. All of the challenges of educating young children that we have minimized for years have suddenly appeared like flotsam on a beach at low tide, reeking and impossible to ignore. Parents are not only seeing how flawed and glitch-riddled remote teaching is—they’re discovering that many of the problems of remote schooling are merely exacerbations of problems with in-person schooling.


It’s remarkable how little schools have changed over time; most public elementary schools are stuck with a model that hasn’t evolved to reflect advances in cognitive science and our understanding of human development. When I walked into my 10-year-old son’s fourth-grade classroom a year ago, it looked almost exactly like my now-28-year-old son’s classroom in 2001, which in turn looked strikingly like my own fourth-grade classroom in 1972. They all had the same configuration of desks, cubbies, and rigidly grade-specific accoutrements. The school schedule also remains much the same: 35 hours of weekly instructional time for about 180 days. The same homework, too, despite the growing wealth of evidence suggesting that homework for elementary-school children (aside from nightly reading) offers minimal or no benefits. Elementary education also values relatively superficial learning that’s too focused on achieving mastery of shallow (but test-friendly) skills unmoored from real content knowledge or critical thinking. School hours are marked by disruptions and noise as students shift, mostly en masse and in age-stratified groups, from one strictly demarcated topic or task to another. Many educators and child-development experts believe that some of the still-standard features of pre‑K and elementary education—age and ability cohorts, short classroom periods, confinement mostly indoors—are not working for many children. And much of what has changed—less face time with teachers, assignments on iPads or computers, a narrowed curriculum—has arguably made things worse.

As distance learning has (literally) brought home these realities about how we educate young children, an opportunity to do things better presents itself—not just for the CONTINUE READING: Remote Learning Isn’t the Only Problem With School - The Atlantic

Biden Promised Education Justice: It's Up to Us to Make Him Deliver | Schott Foundation for Public Education #EDJUSTICE

Biden Promised Education Justice: It's Up to Us to Make Him Deliver | Schott Foundation for Public Education
Biden Promised Education Justice: It's Up to Us to Make Him Deliver



While the sacred obligation of democracy must be honored by counting every last ballot, it’s clear that Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris have won the presidential election. The results this year are historic: the first woman of color elected Vice President and  the highest voter turnout in our nation’s history.

The urgency of the moment cannot be overstated. The challenges facing the new administration are monumental. More than 200,000 Americans — disproportionately Black and Latinx — have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This public health disaster has shuttered businesses, schools, and places of worship while draining the coffers of the very state and local agencies on the front lines combating it. The open wound of racist police violence demands a proper reckoning. The impact of these and other tragedies was needlessly magnified by the failures of the federal executive branch.

Two things are certain, as this most uncertain year draws to a close. One, the moment demands a new vision of racial, gender, and economic justice for America. Two, the public school — which this year shined in the roles of emergency shelter, food bank, hospital, and polling place — must be the centerpiece of that new vision.

The crises we face today are in large part a result of the inequities and injustices we’ve carried unresolved for generations. Long before the era of Zoom classrooms, a student’s race and zip code could tell you how likely they were to graduate, or face CONTINUE READING: Biden Promised Education Justice: It's Up to Us to Make Him Deliver | Schott Foundation for Public Education

For families interested in learning more about distance learning and school reopening efforts... - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM

For families interested in learning more about distance learning and school reopening efforts... - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM
For families interested in learning more about distance learning and school reopening efforts…



I wanted to share some updates. Please share this information with other interested families. The SFUSD Board of Education will be introducing a Resolution 2011-10A1 SFUSD Return to School Safely tomorrow, during the Regular Board Meeting on November 10 at 3 PM. You can learn more about how to sign up for public comment by clicking this link.

I can say right off the top I am very supportive of this resolution and plan to support its implementation as soon as possible. I also have some specific questions I’d like to ask which may also lead to additional amendments before it is officially approved, hopefully next week. (Stay tuned for dates/times.)

Additionally, I encourage folks to join me during today’s, November 9th Curriculum Committee Meeting at 3 PM. I have a standing item on all Curriculum Committee Meeting agendas to discuss family communication and supports for Distance Learning and love to hear directly from families and students where staff can continue to improve. There will also be an update on a partnership with the SF Public Library.

Most notably, we will be discussing staff efforts to address disproportionate outcomes for Black students in SFUSD related to overidentification for special education programming and discipline. The presentation contains some really heartbreaking yet honest analysis of conditions many Black CONTINUE READING: For families interested in learning more about distance learning and school reopening efforts... - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM

Teacher Tom: "We're Not Digging to China"

Teacher Tom: "We're Not Digging to China"
"We're Not Digging to China"



The two boys were digging a hole in the sand pit. It was a large hole, wide and deep. I made a comment about digging to China, a destination to which my own playmates and I had aspired lo those many years ago.

"Teacher Tom, we're not digging to China."

"Oh, where are you digging?"

"We're not digging anywhere! This is a trap!"

"No, it's not a trap. It's a hole!"

The boys bickered for several minutes, finally agreeing that it was a "very deep hole-trap."

"We're going to dig it all the way to the molten core."

"We can't dig to the molten core! It's full of lava!"

"No, it's full of magma."

"Well, it'll be too hot. We'll get dead."

They resumed digging in silence for a time, before one of CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: "We're Not Digging to China"

Board Has Wall Street Wolves Guarding LAUSD Henhouse – Los Angeles Education Examiner

Board Has Wall Street Wolves Guarding LAUSD Henhouse – Los Angeles Education Examiner
Board Has Wall Street Wolves Guarding LAUSD Henhouse



It’s high time to be paying closer attention to the $14.7b (p. 31) of taxpayer’s money that Covid19 has left in essentially the sole charge of our LAUSD Superintendent, Austin Beutner.

On March 10, 2020 under Covid19, the LAUSD’s publicly elected school board signed over sweeping authority for fiscal and management decisions to Superintendent Beutner, a former investment banker who remarks that the “guiding principle in my career, … is to put myself in uncomfortable positions and take risks.”

The emergency powers relinquished the board’s fiduciary responsibility to stakeholders regarding oversight and regulation, policy and budget, with no sunset date attached. The breathtaking subrogation was to a Superintendent appointed by a former board, chaired at the time by a member charged with and subsequently convicted of felony campaign misconduct, indebted to a different, neoliberal and privatizing ideology of public education.

At next Tuesday’s LAUSD board meeting some more fallout from this power shift will become evident. To date a tremendous amount of emergency spending has been brought to the board as simply courtesy, for ratification rather than actual approval. And the circumstances of this spending is fraught; criticism – even questioning – is awkward at best, difficult in practice. Feeding the hungry during this health and economic emergency is crucial; keeping our community safe is vital. But what happens in the long CONTINUE READING: Board Has Wall Street Wolves Guarding LAUSD Henhouse – Los Angeles Education Examiner

CCFP Roundtable Virtual Conference 2020–21 - Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

CCFP Roundtable Virtual Conference 2020–21 - Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)
CCFP Roundtable Virtual Conference 2020–21


Are you aware of the upcoming annual Child Care Food Program (CCFP) Roundtable Conference being held virtually on November 16–18, 2020? The CCFP Roundtable is offering 20 sessions to provide you with the training and inspiration you need during these unprecedented COVID-19 times. It doesn't matter what part of the Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) you work within, including At-risk afterschool programs, child care centers or family day care homes, they have thoughtfully curated content for you.

Sessions

The session categories are:

  • Policy and Advocacy
  • The Pandemic and the CACFP
  • Racial and Social Justice
  • Business Management and Technology

Don’t miss the California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Service Division’s (NSD) session regarding updated meal record policies, procedures, and resources! Did you know that as of October 1, 2020, menu production records (MPR) are no longer required to be maintained by child and adult day care centers. Instead of maintaining MPRs, these agencies are only required to maintain menus with serving sizes. The NSD will provide an overview of this new policy and direct you to resources and information for compliance. This session will also help you prepare for an upcoming review in the 2020–21 program year.

Computer Set Up

You will not need special computer equipment to attend the CCFP Roundtable Conference. The platform is available on computers with an internet connection, and a webcam is suggested (for networking sessions) but not required. However, attendees must use the Google Chrome browser on a computer. Please ensure that Google ChromeExternal link opens in new window or tab. is installed on your computer in advance of the event.

Registration

To register, visit the CCFP Roundtable 2020 Conference web pageExternal link opens in new window or tab.. To learn about becoming an active member of the CCFP Roundtable, visit the CCFP Roundtable Membership web pageExternal link opens in new window or tab..

Program Year 2020–21 CACFP Mandatory Training

The preconference 2020–21 CACFP Mandatory Training will not be offered this year as part of the CCFP Roundtable Conference. Instead, the 2020–21 CACFP Mandatory Training will only be available through the CDE website beginning mid-November 2020. Stay tuned for more details.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact Elyse Homel Vitale, CCFP Roundtable Conference Executive Director, by phone at 858-449-3597, or by email at coordinator@ccfproundtable.org.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609

CURMUDGUCATION: Donors Choose Mondays At The Institute

CURMUDGUCATION: Donors Choose Mondays At The Institute
Donors Choose Mondays At The Institute




It sucks that Donors Choose exists. For those unfamiliar, it's basically a Go Fund Me for classrooms instead of medical problems.

Like all such charities, it occasionally pops up in the news because some celebrity and/or business decides to sponsor a bunch of projects (like that time with Katy Perry and Staples) and we get a bunch of warm fuzzy stories and I just hate that stuff, because we shouldn't be celebrating the fact that schools are so underfunded that teachers have to depend on charity to help get the job done. 

But here's the thing. We are where we are. I think the custom of tipping food servers is stupid and terrible and should be done away with yesterday. But if I refuse to tip my server because I disagree with the system, I'm just being a jerk. I don't like enabling a system that's failing classroom teachers, but we are where we are, and especially now that I'm comfortably retired, I'm okay involving the institute in small time philanthropy. Donors Choose makes it easy for someone like me who is out in rural small town America to help. And what we've been through in the last month or four years or so has sort of reminded me that it's important to take active steps to make the world marginally better.

And yes, some of what turns up on Donors Choose makes me scratch my head and ask, "Really??" But then, I can still choose.

So here's what I'm going to do. Mondays, I'll be looking at Donors Choose to find a cause that speaks to me, and I will share a link here. I invite you to join me in helping somebody's modest classroom CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Donors Choose Mondays At The Institute