Sunday, October 24, 2010

One rich guy who wants to pay higher taxes: Bill Gates Sr. | McClatchy

One rich guy who wants to pay higher taxes: Bill Gates Sr. | McClatchy

One rich guy who wants to pay higher taxes: Bill Gates Sr.

Bill Gates Sr., the retired lawyer and wealthy father of the Microsoft co-founder, thinks Washington state's tax system is out of whack and needs repair.

The poor pay too much tax, the rich pay too little, Gates says. And the school system, which is such a springboard for future economic growth in high-tech Washington, suffers with too little funding because the wealthy aren't paying their fair share of the investment, he says.

Gates' solution — an income tax on adjusted earnings that exceed $400,000 a year per couple or $200,000 for an individual — is drawing protest from Washington business leaders and owners, as well as anti-tax allies such as Tim Eyman, who says the phrase "income tax" is politically toxic in Washington.

Initiative 1098 would give tax credits to an estimated 80 percent of Washington-based businesses and would cut the state share of property taxes by 20 percent for businesses and homeowners. Critics say I-1098 would harm

Read more:

Focus Walk

Top Posts of the Week � Student Activism

Top Posts of the Week � Student Activism

Top Posts of the Week

It was a light week’s posting this week, as I spent a bunch of time preparing for my three speaking engagements (each of which, by the way, was a huge amount of fun). So it’s not so surprising that a lot of the top slots were taken up by older posts.

Google is becoming ever more important in how people find this site. In part, I think, that’s a reflection of the higher profile that student issues have in the culture at large — more and more people who aren’t engaged with the student movement (or this site’s social media appendages) are interested in campus issues, and using Google to inform themselves.

Yet more evidence that the zeitgeist is shifting, I think.

1. Reports: Rutgers Student Kille Himself After Roommate Taped Him in Gay Encounter

My first post on the Tyler Clementi tragedy.

2. The University of California Abandons an Ideal

With undergraduate “fees” topping $10K a year, the UC system is preparing to acknowledge that it charges tuition. As I said on Twitter, this reminds me more than a little of Pope John Paul II acknowledging that Galileo was right about the earth orbiting the sun.

3. Yale Frat Apologizes for Rape Chants

The campus’s DKE chapter sent its pledges out to shout “No Means

Student Teacher Fired for Saying He's Gay Gets Job Back - ABC News

Student Teacher Fired for Saying He's Gay Gets Job Back - ABC News

Student Teacher Fired for Saying He's Gay Gets Job Back

Seth Stambaugh Told Fourth Grader He Wasn't Married Because He Was Gay

An Oregon student-teacher who said he was removed from a suburban Portland school because he told a fourth grader he was gay was given his job back and could be back in the classroom this week.

Seth Stambaugh was fired for answering a student about why he wasn't married.

Seth Stambaugh, 23, was banned from the Beaverton School District in September after he responded candidly to a question from a student at the Sexton Mountain Elementary School.

"The student asked me if I was married. I indicated that I was not," Stambaugh said at a news conference on Friday.

"He asked me if it was because I wasn't old enough. I told him no, that it would be because I would choose to marry another man," he said. "And he asked if I liked to hang out with other guys, and I said,

The Answer Sheet - Saving public education: the 'Dolly Solution'

The Answer Sheet - Saving public education: the 'Dolly Solution'

Saving public education: the 'Dolly Solution'

This was written by Richard Slettvet, a special education teacher in Washington State. Prior to entering the teaching profession he worked as a U.S. Navy officer and for two Fortune 500 companies. He believes that many school reform advocates in government and industry would have a tough time surviving a single year as a classroom teacher in a public school. By Richard Slettvet I am proposing the Dolly Solution as an alternative to Charter Schools Secretary Arne Duncan’s “Race to the Top” (AKA, Grovel for Lucre) reform initiative, which, if other federal education programs are any guide, is destined to end in a muddle of red tape, unfunded mandates, and unintended consequences. The Dolly Solution refers to Dolly the Sheep, country-music superstar Dolly Parton’s namesake, not to Ms. Parton’s 2002 cover of Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Dolly the Sheep, you may recall, emerged in 1996 from a surrogate ewe

Schools Matter: Everything Bold Deformers Never Wanted to Know About Education

Schools Matter: Everything Bold Deformers Never Wanted to Know About Education

Everything Bold Deformers Never Wanted to Know About Education

A hundred years ago the first "scientific" generation of bold reformers set out to right America's education ship. White, male, Protestant and business class all, they were armed with the new behaviorist psychology, the new principles of scientific management, and the new pseudo-science of eugenics. They created the perfect sorting machine based on intelligence testing and other standardized measures, where poor children at age 5 or 6 were slotted into industrial training schools or vocational prep if they were lucky. The high scorers went on to high school and college.

Today's education deformers, weaponized with the same antique armaments, advocate for no such distinctions in their education crusade. Everyone should go to college. And besides, there aren't any vocations anymore to require vocational training.

Old habits are hard to break, however, and the evidence for it can be found in the fact that we still use the same primitive sorting devices we used then to do a similar sort of sorting, except now we pretend that poverty is not an excuse for scoring poorly. Back then we just assumed the poor deserved to be poor because of defective

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Collabaorative Planning

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Collabaorative Planning

Collabaorative Planning

He forgot to say, "Value-added"

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and brother Fred for forwarding this video.

Deborah Fleck: Education the star at NAACP gala | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Coppell

Deborah Fleck: Education the star at NAACP gala | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Coppell

Deborah Fleck: Education the star at NAACP gala

11:47 AM CDT on Sunday, October 24, 2010


Mostly adults were at the head table of the 10th annual Freedom Fund Gala. But seated next to Irving Superintendent Dana Bedden was a very poised youngster named Journey Woolfolk.

A fifth-grade student at Townsell Elementary School, Journey introduced Bedden, who was the keynote speaker at the Irving-Carrollton Branch NAACP's luncheon.

The new superintendent talked about "Education: A Responsibility of Society."

"We need the courage and heart to do what is right for our children," Bedden said. "We need to reverse the small numbers getting a good education. And reach out to all children."

Following Bedden's address, Ruby Walker presented four awards.Clarence Saunders received the Business Owner of the Year Award.

Opinion: 9 to 5 NJ schools? -

Opinion: 9 to 5 NJ schools? -
Opinion: 9 to 5 NJ schools?
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Alan R. Sadovnik is professor of education, sociology and public affairs and co-director of the Institute on Education Law and Policy and Newark Schools Research Collaborative at Rutgers University in Newark. Send comments about this article to |Peter Grad, Op-Ed Page editor, at

SHOULD WE increase the number of hours and days students attend school each year?


The proposal has recently gained traction as educators, celebrities and a movie have embraced the concept.

Before his departure last month, former state Education Commissioner Bret Schundler expressed support for extended time, saying it has the potential to increase student achievement, especially in low-income districts. He made his comments at the Robert Treat Academy, one of the most successful charter schools in the state, with both an extended school day and year. And noted Washington, D.C., Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee recently called extended school days and years vital to improving urban student achievement.

Coming soon after the release of the movie “Waiting for Superman,” where Rhee is

Killer instinct vs. relationships � Failing Schools

Killer instinct vs. relationships � Failing Schools

Killer instinct vs. relationships

OCTOBER 24, 2010
by mariasallee

I suppose there are fields in which a certain ruthlessness is beneficial to an organization. Corporations based on acquisition, say, or some types of law firms probably need people who are willing to forget about the human cost as they make decisions based on the bottom line. I just can’t make a case for this type of approach benefiting school systems where relationships are such an essential part of the equation. For example, a teacher’s ability to establish a connection with students can make all the difference in transforming a disengaged student into an active and enthusiastic participant in the learning process. We, well, those of us who actually educate, understand that with children, some level of buy-in is important. Kids aren’t as likely to do the work if they don’t somehow feel connected to it, or at least to the teacher asking them to do it. Teachers aren’t all that different from the students in that regard. We also generally prefer to be actively involved in the process of addressing the needs of our students and problem-solving the

The one best system… � JD2718

The one best system… � JD2718

The one best system…

was the title of a book about American urban public education. It sits on my shelf, partially read.

My education “shelf” is actually quite short – a quarter of a shelf out of 30 something. There’s Small Schools by Mike and Susan Klonsky (read and reviewed), So Much Reform, So Little Change by Charles Payne, untouched, I really should read it. Pillars of the Republic by Carl Kaestle, great book about the early history of public education in America. Teacher Man, McCourt, unread. Accountability Frankenstein, Sherman Dorn, barely started. Playing for Keeps, Deb Meier et al, skimmed through. The Death and Life of the Great American School System, carried on many a trip, cover still not cracked. Diane Ravitch. An Incar pamphlet in defense of public education in Connecticut that I must have picked up 30 or so years ago. The Pressures of Teaching, a highly readable anthology of short essays by real teachers, edited by Maureen Picard Robins (so ok, I’ve only read a couple of the essays). It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages, by Miss Mimi, adorable, and between the blog and the book I’ve read most of it.

And that’s it. I’m not counting guides to the standards (THE standards? Ha!) Or Ed Psych books, or any of that

Parents’ Banner Praises ‘Super’ Teachers at Bay Area High School Slighted in ‘Waiting for Superman’ Film - California Teachers Association

Parents’ Banner Praises ‘Super’ Teachers at Bay Area High School Slighted in ‘Waiting for Superman’ Film - California Teachers Association

Parents’ Banner Praises ‘Super’ Teachers at Bay Area High School Slighted in ‘Waiting for Superman’ Film

Contact: Mike Myslinski, CTA, 408-921-5769; Woodside High Teacher Gregory Gruszynski, 415-264-1798 (cell).

Woodside High teacher Gregory Gruszynski, left, says teachers greatly appreciate the banner effort, which parent Anne Kopf-Sill launched.

Woodside -

In a public show of support for teachers at a San Mateo County school slighted in the flawed “Waiting for Superman” documentary that offers an incomplete picture of public schools, parents at Woodside High School this week put up a huge banner on a fence in front of the high-achieving campus that praises educators.

The defiant banner reads: “Woodside High School Teachers – Man, You’re Super! Thank you for teaching ALL the students in our community!” It’s prominent and hard to miss by drivers onWoodside Road who pass by the campus, home of the Wildcats, at 199 Churchhill Ave., in Woodside.

Woodside High parent Anne Kopf-Sill organized the push for donations for the banner (designed by parent Amber Ramies) over her concerns with all the negative national publicity for Woodside from the emotional film, which tells the stories of a handful of students’ journeys to get into charter schools that use a lottery system to pick students. One of the students fights to avoid Woodside High and ends up in a nearby charter.

Kopf-Sill is not criticizing charters, just the way the film slights the diverse school her two sons attend,

Sunday links. � Fred Klonsky's blog

Sunday links. � Fred Klonsky's blog

Sunday links.

Larry Ferlazzo warns you to be prepared to laugh with tears when watching this video. I find it frightening that someone has turned my last week into animation.

And Ken Robinson has some interesting insights into changing educational paradigms in another one of those clever RSA animations.

Chicago State Senator Ricky Hendon speaks the truth: “I’ve never served with such an idiotic, racist, sexist, homophobic person in my life,” Hendon said before introducing Gov. Quinn. “If you think that the minimum wage needs to be three dollars an hour, vote for Bill Brady. If you think that women have no rights whatsoever, except

Conn. tech schools mark 100-year anniversary -

Conn. tech schools mark 100-year anniversary -

Conn. tech schools mark 100-year anniversary

October 24, 2010
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HARTFORD, Conn.—The Connecticut vocational trades education program whose earliest schools opened during William Howard Taft's presidency is marking its centennial.

The Connecticut Technical High School System is celebrating its 100th anniversary with activities statewide, including an event Friday in Southington with speeches and awards.

The system currently has 17 high schools, but started in 1910 with trade schools in New Britain and Bridgeport.

Students had eight-hour school days Monday through Saturday, year around. Classes ranged from clockmaking to hat finishing, focusing on businesses


Respect on both sides in Natick iPod debate

A vote this week by the Natick School Committee to ban the use of MP3 players in academic areas of the high school was a disappointment to students who lobbied against the policy, the student who spearheaded the lobbying effort said. (By Megan McKee, Globe Correspondent)

City program is honored at White House

A Boston program aimed at reducing the dropout rate for city public school students who are not fluent in English was one of 15 programs nationwide to receive the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award yesterday. (By Cara Bayles, Globe Correspondent)

Newton’s Russian school and Kumon classes prepare math students

Manny Daphnis, a Bristol Community College professor from Brockton, makes the hourlong drive to Newton every week to bring his 6-year-old son, Hakeem, to the Russian School of Mathematics. (By Erica Noonan, Globe Staff)

Man stabbed outside MIT student center

An argument between two restaurant workers inside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology student center turned violent yesterday afternoon, when one man stabbed the other in the stomach, Cambridge police said.(By John M. Guilfoil, Globe Staff)

Quinsigamond Community College, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School explore partnership

Aiming to bring more higher education options to the Marlborough region, Quinsigamond Community College and Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School are exploring a partnership to share space and curriculum offerings. (By Erica Noonan, Globe Staff)




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