Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to fix our schools

How to fix our schools

How to fix our schools
Richard Rothstein
October 14, 2010

Read Issue Brief #286 in printer-friendly PDF format

Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City public school system, and Michelle Rhee, who resigned October 13 as Washington, D.C. chancellor, published a “manifesto” in the Washington Post claiming that the difficulty of removing incompetent teachers “has left our school districts impotent and, worse, has robbed millions of children of a real future.” The solution, they say, is to end the “glacial process for removing an incompetent teacher” and give superintendents like themselves the authority to pay higher salaries to teachers whose students do well academically. Otherwise, children will remain “stuck in failing schools” across the country.{i}

Klein, Rhee, and the 14 other school superintendents who co-signed their statement base this call on a claim that, “as President Obama has emphasized, the single most important factor determining whether students succeed in school is not the color of their skin or their ZIP code or even their parents’ income — it is the quality of their teacher.”

It is true that the president has sometimes said something like this. But in his more careful moments, he properly insists that teacher quality is not the most important factor determining student success; it is the most important in-school factor. Indeed, Mr. Obama has gone further, saying, “I always have to remind people that the biggest ingredient in

A Cup of Coffee and Old School 4 Fred Klonsky's blog

Fred Klonsky's blog




Top Posts of the Week � Student Activism

Top Posts of the Week � Student Activism

Top Posts of the Week

The top ten most-read posts of the week just ended:

1. Sex Tourist Professor Scrubs His Site

My tour through the sex tourism website of CSU Northridge professor Kenneth Ng, as cited in my most recent Huffington Post piece.

2. 28-Year-Old Congressional Candidate Krystal Ball Fights Back

A young candidate refuses to apologize for photos that caused a scandal.

3. Reports: Rutgers Student Killed Himself After Roommate Videotaped Him In Gay Encounter

My first and most widely read post on the Tyler Clementi tragedy.

4. Yale Frat Apologizes For Rape Chant

Yale’s DKE fraternity was caught on

Randi Weingarten: Don't scapegoat America's teachers

Randi Weingarten: Don't scapegoat America's teachers

Randi Weingarten: Don't scapegoat America's teachers

By Randi Weingarten
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Last week in these pages, a group of school superintendents -- two of whom, Chicago Public Schools chief executive Ron Huberman and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, have just announced their resignations -- laid out a "manifesto"for fixing America's schools. Although lofty in its stated aim to set a course for improving public education, the manifesto offered few concrete solutions, with one notable exception: shifting the sole responsibility to teachers. Sadly, such a view ignores both the full extent of the superintendents' own responsibilities and the reality that many factors affect

Daily Kos: Public Education: Stop the Attacks and Fund Quality Education for All

Daily Kos: Public Education: Stop the Attacks and Fund Quality Education for All

Public Education: Stop the Attacks and Fund Quality Education for All

Share24 13

Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:59:17 AM PDT

That is the title of this Convention Resolution of the United Electrical Workers which was adopted at their September 2009 Convention and it holds until 2011.

It begins as follows:

One of the first demands of early labor organizations was universal quality education. At a time when only the rich could attend decent schools, labor leaders saw that access to publicly-funded schools was the only way that the working class and the poor could achieve basic literacy skills. Labor leaders knew that education was tied to the ability to organize and exercise political power.

Note in particular in that last sentence that education was tied to the ability to organize and exercise political power. At a time when teachers' unions, among the last large major unions, a

This Week In Education: Weekend Reading: Abolishing The USDE, Charter Repeaters

This Week In Education: Weekend Reading: Abolishing The USDE, Charter Repeaters

Weekend Reading: Abolishing The USDE, Charter Repeaters

ScreenHunter_04 Aug. 16 19.20Why does Rand Paul hate the Department of Education? Salon: The thing is, it was created by Jimmy Carter, which makes it bad... It's Not the Teachers' Unions The American Prospect: Is it possible, though, to praise teachers and oppose teachers' unions? Repeat Performance The American Prospect: Schools in charter hotspots like New York and Houston report retention rates as high as 23 percent... Class Swap NYT: The switch was approved, but within a week I discovered that many of the sophomores had severe difficulties — some were on medication; some were being treated by psychiatrists — and should be taught by a specialist... The other Blind Sides Slate: In

The Diane Ravitch Live Conversation: The Death and Life of the Great American School System - The Educator's PLN

The Diane Ravitch Live Conversation: The Death and Life of the Great American School System - The Educator's PLN

The Diane Ravitch Live Conversation: The Death and Life of the Great American School System

On Tuesday, October 19, at 4pm EDT/ 1pm PST (Convert To Your Local Time Here), members of the EDU PLN Ning and participants of #Edchat will have the unique opportunity to join Diane Ravitch in a conversation about education transformation. Diane Ravitch has graciously agreed to take questions from members of the Ning. Tom, Shelly, and Steven Anderson will choose a handful of questions that we will then ask to Diane Ravitch during a 1 hour Elluminate session.

You can leave your questions below
.

**When writing your question please include your first and last name, Twitter name and location.

The Eastern Echo Mobile

The Eastern Echo Mobile

Spirit Day to honor recent homosexual suicide victims

Published: 10/10 8:59pmBy: Kyle Wackrow

Carina Ice / THE STATE NEWS

In response to recent suicides, Spirit Day aims to raise awareness of harassment against the LGBT community. Supports are urged to wear purple on Oct. 20.

In the wake of several suicides by gay teens, a teenage girl from Canada sent out a call for a worldwide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Spirit Day. Posted and re-posted from blogs to Facebook to other social networking sites, her call for remembrance spread across the Internet in a matter of days.

With the use of her Tumblr account, the announcement asks people to wear purple on Oct. 20 in memory of those bullied and harassed for their sexual orientation.

“On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the seven gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months, many of them due to homophobic abuse in their homes or at their schools,” Brittany McMillan said. “Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality.” __ Tumblr is like the Twitter of the blogging world where users are able to post text, photos, quotes, audio, and video with speed and ease. Using her account, McMillan was able to spread her request with chain-letter like speed.

The Tyler Clementi tragedy at Rutgers University was the most widely reported of the suicides. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge three days after footage of Clementi’s sexual encounters from a webcam were streamed across campus.

Sex advice columnist Dan Savage, will be visiting the Student Center Ballroom Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

“There are accomplices out there: uncaring teachers, criminally negligent school administrators, classmates

Amazon.com: Building Parent Engagement in Schools eBook: Larry Ferlazzo, Lorie Hammond: Kindle Store: Reviews, Prices & more

Amazon.com: Building Parent Engagement in Schools eBook: Larry Ferlazzo, Lorie Hammond: Kindle Store: Reviews, Prices & more

Building Parent Engagement in Schools [Kindle Edition]

Larry Ferlazzo , Lorie Hammond
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Digital List Price:$35.00 What's this?
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Kindle Price:$19.25 & includes wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save:$15.75 (45%)

Signs of N.J. Gov. Christie’s emerging social agenda - NorthJersey.com

Signs of N.J. Gov. Christie’s emerging social agenda - NorthJersey.com
Signs of N.J. Gov. Christie’s emerging social agenda
Sunday, October 17, 2010
LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY OCTOBER 17, 2010, 9:48 AM
STATE HOUSE BUREAU
STATE HOUSE BUREAU

Two weeks ago, the federal government awarded Governor Christie’s administration nearly $4.7 million for teenage pregnancy prevention programs. But one-fifth of the money comes with one unbreakable string attached.

 In his first year in office, Christie also drew attention from social advocates by cutting funding to historically protected programs like public schools, health programs for working poor people and legal aliens, and family planning clinics.
AP FILE PHOTO
In his first year in office, Christie also drew attention from social advocates by cutting funding to historically protected programs like public schools, health programs for working poor people and legal aliens, and family planning clinics.

Nearly $1 million must be spent teaching kids to say no to premarital sex.

New Jersey had not sought abstinence funding since shortly after Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine took office in 2006, and he stopped competing for it the following year, said Michele Jaker, executive director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey. "We were among the first states to stop," she said.

The decision to pursue abstinence funding didn’t get much attention as Christie carved himself a national reputation as a fiscal

Year-Round School � My Island View

Year-Round School � My Island View

Year-Round School

One suggestion for education reform has been to extend the school year. This sounds like a simple plan. If kids spend more time in school, they will receive more education. Well, I find myself somewhat in agreement with this idea, but there are a few considerations that might add a few layers of complication to this simple plan.

It has always been my belief that in the history of American public Education, our school calendar was adopted to accommodate the needs of farmers, so that they could have their children and children of others to work in fields right through harvest time. After the kids helped with the harvest, they could return to the rigors of the classroom. I was always appreciative of the sacrifice those farm kids made for me every summer. I was not a farmer’s kid, so I could hang out at the beach in the summer while they worked the fields an awaited the harvest.

The academic year that I am familiar with is one of four quarters, each being approximately ten weeks in length. That leaves about ten weeks of vacation, or farm work. This summertime has become a good, fun part of our

“Randi Weingarten: Don’t scapegoat America’s teachers” | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

“Randi Weingarten: Don’t scapegoat America’s teachers” | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

The Answer Sheet - Rothstein: Why teacher quality can't be only centerpiece of reform

The Answer Sheet - Rothstein: Why teacher quality can't be only centerpiece of reform

Rothstein: Why teacher quality can't be only centerpiece of reform

Richard Rothstein is a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. This appeared on the institute's website. It is long, but worth the time. By Richard Rothstein Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City public school system, and Michelle Rhee, who resigned October 13 as Washington, D.C. chancellor, published a “manifesto” in The Washington Post claiming that the difficulty of removing incompetent teachers “has left our school districts impotent and, worse, has robbed millions of children of a real future.” The solution, they say, is to end the “glacial process for removing an incompetent teacher” and give superintendents like themselves the authority to pay higher salaries to teachers whose students do well academically. Otherwise, children will remain “stuck in failing schools” across the country. Klein, Rhee, and the

University World News - US: California vetoes university transparency bill

University World News - US: California vetoes university transparency bill
US: California vetoes university transparency bill
Roisin Joyce and Ramin Namvari*
17 October 2010
Issue: 143



California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have required foundations and other auxiliary groups tied to California's main universities, California State University and the University of California, to open their list of donors to the public, Inside Higher Education reported on 1 October.

Schwarzenegger said the bill would not "provide sufficient protection for many who rightfully deserve a level of privacy as part of their giving". The University of California and California State University claimed that the bill would have a "chilling effect" on private donations.

The bill had been proposed by Senator Leland Yee, a frequent critic of university governance and spending pract

Do schools need more leaders like Rhee?

Do schools need more leaders like Rhee?
Do schools need more leaders like Rhee?

By Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk

Do America's public schools need more leaders like Michelle Rhee? Rhee, the controversial chancellor of Washington, D.C.'s public schools announced her resignation Wednesday, after three contentious years working to turn around a system plagued by low test scores, high dropout rates, poverty and violence.

Rhee is featured prominently in Davis Guggenheim's new school-reform documentary, "Waiting for Superman,'' which pits school reformers and charter schools against teachers unions and a hidebound public education establishment. But Rhee's "no excuses" approach to reform won as many enemies as friends, including the Washington Teachers Union and many parents who thought she was more interested in publicity than listening to their concerns.

Is Rhee the sort of no-nonsense leader America's schools need? Or does school reform require more give-and-take and compromise? Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, weigh in.

Ben Boychuk

No question, Michelle Rhee changed the terms of the school reform debate in the

Rhee-form should teach education lesson - The Denver Post

Rhee-form should teach education lesson - The Denver Post

Rhee-form should teach education lesson

By The Denver Post

The impending resignation of Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is a great loss for that troubled school district and a stark illustration of the rough and tumble nature of school reform.

Rhee had the subtlety of a bulldozer in how she took on an entrenched bureaucracy, making no small number of enemies along the way.

Despite rising student test scores, she became the lightning rod in a contentious mayoral election, which concluded with her patron losing.

Rhee fought the good fight, and absorbed the sort of shock and anger that is to be expected when you upend a recalcitrant organization.

We hope her three-year tenure provides both inspiration and lessons for those who see what is wrong in



Read more:Rhee-form should teach education lesson - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_16350196#ixzz12cjUjb71

Teacher contract rejection disappointing but not dispiriting - baltimoresun.com

Teacher contract rejection disappointing but not dispiriting - baltimoresun.com

Keep talking

Our view: The Baltimore teachers union vote against a landmark contract proposal may be only a temporary setback if both sides can say focused on what's best for kids

Baltimore teachers' rejection of a proposed union contract that would have tied advancement — and pay — to effectiveness in the classroom was disappointing but by no means reason to despair of meaningful school reform. Many of the teachers who voted against the contract objected to the short time they had to digest a wholesale change in the way they would be compensated, and they complained that many of the details of the evaluation system that would be key to making the contract work remained unspecified. Those are reasonable objections, but they are not insurmountable.

The final vote was 58 percent against the contract and 42 percent in favor, with less than half the district's 6,500 teachers turning out. That's a solid but not overwhelming rebuff of the proposal negotiated by union leaders, and the fact that most teachers didn't turn out to vote might suggest that many of them may had simply assumed the

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LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
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