Friday, October 8, 2010

Respect My Vote! Hip Hop Caucus and Women of Labor United for the Vot Hip Hop Caucus

Hip Hop Caucus

This November 2nd, we as young people, workers, and communities of color have the power to help define the direction of our nation with our votes. That's why we re-launched the Respect My Vote! campaign. Diverse communities are standing with us to ensure that the voices of our nation's young people are seen and heard.

The Hip Hop Caucus recently teamed with American Rights at Work, who has organized prominent women of color in the labor movement to show their support for young people's participation in these 2010 mid-term elections. These powerful and awesome women leaders have something important to say about the importance of standing up and speaking out in political process, and in the workplace.

Check out this video highlighting some of the leading voices in the labor movement!


Nation & World | 1 Ohio school, 4 bullied teens dead by suicide | Seattle Times Newspaper

Nation & World | 1 Ohio school, 4 bullied teens dead by suicide | Seattle Times Newspaper

1 Ohio school, 4 bullied teens dead by suicide

Sladjana Vidovic's body lay in an open casket, dressed in the sparkly pink dress she had planned to wear to the prom. Days earlier, she had tied one end of a rope around her neck and the other around a bed post before jumping out her bedroom window.

Associated Press Writer

MENTOR, Ohio —

Sladjana Vidovic's body lay in an open casket, dressed in the sparkly pink dress she had planned to wear to the prom. Days earlier, she had tied one end of a rope around her neck and the other around a bed post before jumping out her bedroom window.

The 16-year-old's last words, scribbled in English and her native Croatian, told of her daily torment at Mentor High School, where students mocked her accent, taunted her with insults like "Slutty Jana" and threw food at her.

It was the fourth time in little more than two years that a bullied high school student in this small Cleveland suburb on Lake Erie died by his or her own hand - three suicides, one overdose of antidepressants. One was bullied for being gay, another for having a learning disability, another for being a boy who happened to like wearing pink.

Now two families - including the Vidovics - are suing the school district, claiming their children were bullied to death and the school did nothing to stop it. The lawsuits come after a national spate of high-profile suicide

School Beat: Forget Superman | California Progress Report

School Beat: Forget Superman | California Progress Report

School Beat: Forget Superman

By Lisa Schiff

I haven’t seen the movie “Waiting for Superman” and I may never. Universal high student achievement and quality public education should be shared goals throughout our society and something that we discuss and work at constantly. But, it’s questionable how the particular viewpoint of skilled filmmakers really advances a deep, rich discussion on those topics, a discussion that should be grounded in rigorous analysis and solid, reliable, transparently produced data.

Certainly the film has raised the profile of a corner of the education reform debate. Interestingly, that attention seems to have amplified the attitudes and approaches embedded in No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which is still our current though very worn-out federal education policy. Strategies like a steady increase in privatization, the longing and praise for individual heroes, and an incessant Taylorization of all aspects of education are still where we’re at years later.

read more

Machete 7: Peter Darbee’s Dog of an Initiative: 3 Tapeworms Eating Away at the Internal Logic of Prop. 16




First Thoughts on the October 7 National Day of Action � Student Activism

First Thoughts on the October 7 National Day of Action � Student Activism

First Thoughts on the October 7 National Day of Action

At my last count yesterday, I had word of 76 actions in 25 states for the Day of Action to Defend Public Education. That number was incomplete — I’ve already learned about a major action in New Orleans that flew under my radar, and I’m sure there were plenty of other smaller ones too.

But if we figure that 76/25 is in the ballpark, and that what we’ve heard about the nature of yesterday’s actions is representative, we can draw some conclusions about the day. Here are my initial thoughts…

October 7 was smaller than March 4, but that was to be expected. Student protest follows an annual rhythm, and barring a huge spark it grows slowly over the course of the year. (This chart, from a workshop at a USSA Congress a while back, tells the story.)

Yesterday’s events also tended to be less confrontational than March 4′s. No campuses were shut down, no

School closings may not ease woes - The Boston Globe

School closings may not ease woes - The Boston Globe

School closings may not ease woes

Group foresees revenue shortfall

Students left the Hyde Park Education Complex yesterday. The three high schools within the complex would be closed under a proposal from Boston’s public schools superintendent, Carol R. Johnson.Students left the Hyde Park Education Complex yesterday. The three high schools within the complex would be closed under a proposal from Boston’s public schools superintendent, Carol R. Johnson. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)
By James Vaznis
Globe Staff / October 8, 2010

As parents, students, and educators across Boston mounted campaigns yesterday to keep their schools open, a financial watchdog group warned that Superintendent Carol R. Johnson’s proposal to shutter six schools falls short of solving the district’s money troubles.

The proposal, which also calls for the merger of two other schools that share a building, would save between $7.7 million and $8.7 million annually in operational costs, school officials say.

But the reduction would do little to cover a potential $60 million revenue shortfall for the next school year, according to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, a nonpartisan financial watchdog group. The $60 million reflects the increase in spending necessary next year to maintain the same level of education the district is providing this year.

Calling the proposal’s estimated savings “inadequate,’’

NCTQ: We’re sure it will work! Even if research says it doesn’t! � School Finance 101

NCTQ: We’re sure it will work! Even if research says it doesn’t! � School Finance 101

NCTQ: We’re sure it will work! Even if research says it doesn’t!

Last spring, I had the pleasure of presenting on teacher labor market research in the same conference session in which a very interesting paper on mutual consent teacher contract changes was also presented (by Bethany Gross). This paper is a product of an organization I’ve poked fun at in the past (Center for Reinventing Public Education) but this one is good stuff, by credible authors. The methods are relatively tight, but it is a bit tricky to figure out the implications of the findings – discussed blow. This study fits into the broader topic and policy concern of “how do we get a better balance of teacher quality across poorer and less poor schools in the same district?”

Now, pundits (not these researchers) like those from Center for American Progress, Education Trust, some from

Education Reform - California Teachers Association

Education Reform - California Teachers Association

EDUCATION REFORM

This past month has seen a great deal of discussion about "education reform" in the national media.Oprah. NBC. Bill Gates. Even Mark Zuckerberg. Everyone seems to have an idea about how we should improve our public education system. Waiting for Superman has shaken the public awake, offering a glimpse into some of the problems with our system, but it does so at the expense of public school teachers, our union and our students. It ignores the vast majority of the realities in order to focus on charter schools. Traditional public schools - along with their students and their teachers - are strangely absent.

Day in and day out educators are doing their best for their students with far fewer resources and overcrowded classrooms. Instead of pointing the finger and casting stones, especially when research proves these "reforms" ineffective, we should be working together to not only reform our public schools, but to improve our public schools.

"Stop Trashing Teachers!" says education expert Diane Ravitch on dailybeast.com

Learn where we stand on the controversial LA Times test score database

NEA’s Waiting for Superman Resources

Education Technology News: Free Teacher-Developed K-12 Open Source Curriculum

Education Technology News: Free Teacher-Developed K-12 Open Source Curriculum

Free Teacher-Developed K-12 Open Source Curriculum

By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor


Eleven K-12 teachers have been recognized for their work by Curriki, as part of its 2010 Summer of Content challenge. The teachers have developed an instructional unit in science, technology, and math, and ELL/ESL for K-12 grades under this challenge. Cash awards have been awarded to the teachers by Curriki for the same. K-12 open source curricula are created and shared by the online community.


Teachers across the world can use or adapt these new instructional units to enhance their existing curriculum. These will not only save valuable time for teachers but also provide interactive and new ideas.

Instructional units, which included support material for teachers, were granted the 2010 Summer of Content awards. The support material provided was in the form of activities,

Mike DeBonis on Local Politics - Fenty says education reform cost him re-election

Mike DeBonis on Local Politics - Fenty says education reform cost him re-election

Fenty says education reform cost him re-election

fenty_fathersday.jpg

Since the day after losing his re-election bid, Mayor Adrian Fenty has kept a relatively low media profile, holding only a handful of press conferences and making one national TV appearance, on an NBC-hosted "Education Nation" panel.

But Monday he taped his first one-on-one interview since the election -- a 15-minute talk with Jonathan P. Hicks, a former New York Times reporter who's now a fellow at the DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy in New York. The interview appeared on "Urban Focus," which is available as a podcast and on cable TV in Brooklyn.

Much of the discussion revolved around education, and Fenty made the case that he was a martyr to his own education reforms -- that he paid the price for being on "the leading edge of a movement."

"If it's a war," he said, "someone's got to be at the front of the lin

Newark students protest unsafe school environment � Failing Schools

Newark students protest unsafe school environment � Failing Schools

Newark students protest unsafe school environment

OCTOBER 8, 2010
by Sabrina

Yesterday, while well-heeled so-called school leaders published a…manifesto (don’t worry, I’ll get into it today ;) ), and some of us closer to home debated the wisdom of spending millions of dollars on new teacher evaluation systems, students at Barringer High School in Newark, NJ walked out to protest the unsafe, unsanitary, and unstructured conditions in which they’d been forced to go to school. Kudos to them for standing up for themselves– here’s hoping more of us

The Answer Sheet - Still trying to make sense of NBC's Teacher Town Hall

The Answer Sheet - Still trying to make sense of NBC's Teacher Town Hall

Still trying to make sense of NBC's Teacher Town Hall

This was written by Elizabeth Stein, a special education teacher from Long Island, N.Y. She was invited to attend the NBC's Teacher Town Hall — broadcast Sept. 26 as part of the network's week-long “Education Nation” events. Stein, a 10-year teaching veteran who holds National Board Certification in literacy, is a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. By Elizabeth Stein I consider myself lucky to have been one of the teachers in the live audience at NBC’s Teacher Town Hall event. But two weeks later, I’m still trying to make sense of the experience. I actually experienced a full range of emotions. It was exciting to be around so many educators with a mission. It was exciting to speak with many teachers and get involved in some meaningful discussions. And I have to say, the energy in the place was riveting. However, frustration wins as my emotional theme for the

Newark high school students protest conditions - Boston.com

Newark high school students protest conditions - Boston.com

Newark high school students protest conditions

October 8, 2010
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NEWARK, N.J.—Two weeks after Newark schools received a $100 million donation from the founder of Facebook, students in one high school there used the social networking site to stage a protest.

On Thursday, students at Barringer High School in Newark walked out of class in protest, saying their school is unsafe and unsanitary.

Students tell The Star-Ledger of Newark there are rats, mice, cockroaches, spiders, guns and fights in the hallways.

During the afternoon protest, students left the building in waves of 10 or 20, but some said security guards blocked doors to prevent anyone from

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Schundler: Christie nixed compromise with union | APP.com | Asbury Park Press

Schundler: Christie nixed compromise with union | APP.com | Asbury Park Press

Schundler: Christie nixed compromise with union

BY MICHAEL SYMONS • STATEHOUSE BUREAU • OCTOBER 7, 2010

TRENTON — Stung by criticism that he'd caved to the teachers' union after feuding with it for nearly a year, Gov. Chris Christie abandoned the state's best chance to win a $400 million grant rather than appear to compromise, former Education Commissioner Bret Schundler said today.

Schundler — subpoenaed to testify before the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee — said he made few, inconsequential changes to the state's Race to the Top application in order to gain support from the New Jersey Education Association for the state's bid for a federal education reform grant.

But Christie ordered him to abandon the changes, some of which were made with his staff's knowledge,

Latest News and Comment from Education

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
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