Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blogging Makes Better Teachers

Blogging Makes Better Teachers

Blogging Makes Better Teachers

Writing your own blog, as well as reading the blogs of others will make you a better teacher. To an experienced teacher/blogger this is self-evident. However, to so many others, this is a call to take ownership of your professional development and growth as an educator.

New Orleans Marks 50th Anniversary of Public Schools’ Desegregation | The Defenders Online | A Civil Rights Blog

New Orleans Marks 50th Anniversary of Public Schools’ Desegregation | The Defenders Online | A Civil Rights Blog

New Orleans Marks 50th Anniversary of Public Schools’ Desegregation

By The Editors
With exhibits, panel discussions and other commemorative gatherings, New Orleans this weekend marked the 50th anniversary of one of the landmark events of American history: the desegregation of the New Orleans public schools.

The Answer Sheet - Testing scandal claims Atlanta schools superintendent

The Answer Sheet - Testing scandal claims Atlanta schools superintendent

Testing scandal claims Atlanta schools superintendent

Atlanta Schools Supt. Beverly Hall today bowed to calls for her to step down following a standardized-testing scandal, saying she would not return next school year. A statement from her office said that Hall, who has been superintendent for 11 years, had notified school board members that she won't seek another contract when her current contract expires June 30. Calls for her resignation had been growing louder because of a scandal reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the latest scores on the state's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. The newspaper reported that many increases in state scores reported in districts across the state seemed “statistically improbable.” According to the newspaper, 33 of 35 local school systems resolved questions regarding alleged 2009 CRCT test tampering, and they referred 72 employees to the state for possible disciplinary action.

Schools Matter: Bloomberg Is Not Tone Deaf: He Simply Doesn't Give a Rat's Ass About What the Public Thinks

Schools Matter: Bloomberg Is Not Tone Deaf: He Simply Doesn't Give a Rat's Ass About What the Public Thinks

Bloomberg Is Not Tone Deaf: He Simply Doesn't Give a Rat's Ass About What the Public Thinks

With the appointment in jeopardy for the Prince's personnel-slashing expert, the only plutocratic thing to do: stack the State panel to make sure there is no wavering on the dreaded waiver vote for Cathy Black. From the NYTimes:
New York State’s top education official on Friday named an advisory panel of eight experts, at least half of them with strong connections to the Bloomberg administration, to help him decide whether to approve Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s controversial choice to run the city’s school system.

Three panelists selected by David M. Steiner, the state education commissioner, worked as senior

Economists want to stop teachers' degree bonuses - Boston.com

Economists want to stop teachers' degree bonuses - Boston.com

Economists want to stop teachers' degree bonuses

By Donna Gordon Blankinship
Associated Press / November 20, 2010
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SEATTLE—Every year, American schools pay more than $8.6 billion in bonuses to teachers with master's degrees, even though the idea that a higher degree makes a teacher more effective has been mostly debunked.

Despite more than a decade of research showing the money has little impact on student achievement, state lawmakers and other officials have been reluctant to tackle this popular way for teachers to earn more money.

That could soon change, as local school districts around the country grapple with shrinking budgets.

Just this week, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the economy has given the nation an opportunity to make dramatic improvements in the

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Saturday coffee. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Saturday coffee. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Saturday coffee.

At 3:30 yesterday afternoon I drove home after a long two weeks of three twelve-hour days because of parent conferences, battles with administration as well as with my state union leadership.

The Friday afternoon commute on the weekend before Thanksgiving week is brutal. Walking in the front door at 4:30, I let Ulysses out, poured myself a glass of Lillet on the rocks with a twist of lemon (the first of several), put Silvio Rodriquez and Santana on the CD player, lit the fireplace, put my feet up and sat there fairly comatose for

Old School.

Ben E. King.

NYC Public School Parents: Does the secret meeting of Steiner's waiver committee violate the state Open Meetings law?

NYC Public School Parents: Does the secret meeting of Steiner's waiver committee violate the state Open Meetings law?

Does the secret meeting of Steiner's waiver committee violate the state Open Meetings law?

The Times points out today that three members out of the eight appointed to a panel to advise Commissioner Steiner on whether to grant a waiver to Cathie Black to become NYC Schools Chancellor used to work for the DOE under Klein; several more are at institutions that receive city funds and/or have benefited from Bloomberg's personal largesse.

Even more troubling, the panel will meet in secret on Tuesday, showing that the rushed and closed process that has marred Black's selection from the beginning continues unabated.

Yet it seems apparent that the meeting of this committee should be subject to the NY State Open Meetings law. See here, from the
NY Dept. of State FAQ on the law:

Who is covered by the Law?
The Open Meetings Law applies to "public bodies." That term is defined to include entities consisting of two or more people that conduct public business and perform a governmental

Blog U.: Campus and Community Violence - The Education of Oronte Churm - Inside Higher Ed

Blog U.: Campus and Community Violence - The Education of Oronte Churm - Inside Higher Ed

BlogU

  • Campus and Community Violence

    By Oronte November 20, 2010 2:00 pm EST

    The university held a Town Hall Meeting on Campus Safety here last weekend, which, for better or worse, coincided with Dads Weekend. Parents with distinguished-looking silver hair, wearing New Balance running shoes and the most expensive versions of school-pride parkas, lined up before the meeting to buy pumpkin spice lattes, hot chocolate, and cranberry scones from the coffee shop in the union. Several hundred folding chairs had been set up for them in the small courtyard a few feet away, and the cappuccino steamer loudly hissed and bubbled as technicians tried to do sound checks from the media platform at the back of the room.

    The meeting began with a statement by a Vice Chancellor, who introduced a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, the Director of Housing, and the University Police Chief. A half-dozen of her officers stood around the room.

    The occasion for the town hall meeting was the recent rise in the number of assaults and other crimes on campus, especially what’s being called “sport” beatings of young male students by two or more other men, some of them in broad daylight. More specifically, it seems, the meeting was a reaction to news of those crimes, reported in accordance with the federal Clery Act, which requires collection and publication of crime statistics in

Natomas school district, teachers at labor impasse - Sacramento City News - sacbee.com

Natomas school district, teachers at labor impasse - Sacramento City News - sacbee.com

Natomas school district, teachers at labor impasse

Published: Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 - 10:27 am

The Natomas Teachers Association plan to file opposition papers to bring the school district back to the bargaining table after both failed to reach an agreement this week.

The Natomas Unified School District declared an impasse Thursday, which means they're

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/11/20/3200285/natomas-school-district-teachers.html#ixzz15qxd0xfL
POPULAR COMMENT
Hate to tell you 2 m0rons but if you take a look at the election results in Sac City Unified and Natomas School Board, ESPECIALLY SCUSD, the notion of non-union charter schools was soundly defeated by the voters, Kevin Johnson's candidates for the Sac City School Board were defeated, 2 were thoroughly embarrassed. Voters, especially in Area 2 want and deserve a regular public high school so they can have a CHOICE, just like the parents who send their children to a charter or private school have their choice as well. Voters should also be very concerned about the proposed charter schools that will be coming before the County Board of Education January 18th, this will result in further degradation of our public schools. Voters should really be contacting their elected representatives in oppopsition to this plan. You can deny it all you want, the facts are CLEAR, REFORM DISGUISED AS CHARTER SCHOOLS IS UNWANTED IN SACRAMENTO. NO MAYORAL INVOLVEMENT IN OUR SCHOOLS. PLEASE, JUST GO AWAY. JUNE 2012 YOU WILL BE HISTORY

-- The_Ghost_of_Belle_Cooledge



Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/11/20/3200285/natomas-school-district-teachers.html#ixzz15qxlLSYR

Regents vote to cut services to special ed students under guise of “cost containment” | United Federation of Teachers

Regents vote to cut services to special ed students under guise of “cost containment” | United Federation of Teachers

Regents vote to cut services to special ed students under guise of “cost containment”

Despite months of protest, tens of thousands of letters and e-mails and passionate testimony by parents and educators, the New York State Board of Regents voted on Nov. 16 to implement a series of “cost containment” proposals that affect some of the most vulnerable students.

The service cuts will allow schools to place more than 12 students with IEPs in integrated co-teaching (CTT) classes, eliminate minimum frequency and duration requirements for speech therapy services (currently two 30-minute sessions a week) and eliminate certain instructional services for students with autism.

“These changes are being made solely for purposes of saving money, regardless of the widely acknowledged harm they will do to students with disabilities,” said Carmen Alvarez, UFT vice president for special education. “This is a sad day for the children of New York. UFT members and

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: SUPERINTENDENT CORTINES’ “ALL EMPLOYEES” LETTER OF NOV. 18: ‘As truly harsh as this year has been …2011-2012 will be an even more difficult year.’

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: SUPERINTENDENT CORTINES’ “ALL EMPLOYEES” LETTER OF NOV. 18: ‘As truly harsh as this year has been …2011-2012 will be an even more difficult year.’

SUPERINTENDENT CORTINES’ “ALL EMPLOYEES” LETTER OF NOV. 18: ‘As truly harsh as this year has been …2011-2012 will be an even more difficult year.’

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DENY WAIVER TO CATHLEEN BLACK

DENY WAIVER TO CATHLEEN BLACK

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Mayor Bloomberg has appointed Cathleen Black as the new NYC Schools Chancellor to succeed Joel Klein. Ms. Black is a corporate executive and magazine publisher who has no education experience, did not attend public school herself, and sent her children to private boarding schools in Connecticut. Her background does not qualify her to lead a school system of 1.1 million public school students.

NY state law requires that candidates for school superintendency who do not meet minimal requirements must receive a waiver from Education Commissioner David Steiner. This waiver is to be issued only to persons “whose exceptional training and experiences are the substantial equivalent of such requirements and qualify such persons for the duties of a superintendent of schools.” Ms. Black has no “exceptional

The Answer Sheet - Why teaching experience really matters

The Answer Sheet - Why teaching experience really matters

Why teaching experience really matters

By Valerie Strauss

Bill Gates, who appears to be running for shadow education secretary,just urged states and school districts to pay teachers according to “value-added based” merit systems that inevitably use standardized test scores to judge how well a teacher is doing, despite criticisms that there is no evidence such systems work.

Experience in teaching doesn’t matter much, nor do advanced education degrees, Gates said in a speech to the Council of Chief State School Officers' annual policy forum in Louisville on Friday.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the same argument about advanced education degrees two days earlier in a speech, and many times previously had backed eliminating experience as a criterion for judging and compensating teachers.

(In their speeches this week, both men called for districts to consider raising class size. A coincidence, no doubt.)

Actually, experience in the classroom does matter.

The following was written by Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. This post

‘We know how to teach black kids’ — Joanne Jacobs

‘We know how to teach black kids’ — Joanne Jacobs

‘We know how to teach black kids’

We know how to teach black kids – and other disadvantaged students — but we don’t do it, writes John McWhorter in The Root.

Starting in 1968, a huge federal study called Project Follow Through compared different methods of teaching at-risk K-3 children: Direct Instruction (DI), a scripted phonics program using repetition and student participation, worked much better than anything else for all students, but especially low-income black students. DI has continued to work where ever it’s been used, McWhorter writes.

In 2001, students in the mostly black Richmond district in Virginia were scoring abysmally in

Seattle Public Schools community blog: The Story isn't the Story

Seattle Public Schools community blog: The Story isn't the Story

The Story isn't the Story

This past week we saw something I had never seen before, a complaint about Board-adopted materials, Brave New World as a 10th grade Language Arts text.

Dorothy, Mel and I were in the auditorium and heard the presentation by both sides, the Board's questions and the answers. Phyllis Fletcher from KUOW was also there.

I had gone over to Ms Fletcher when she entered the room and congratulated/thanked her for her story on the matter from that morning. The story described the problem at the root of the matter and fairly and accurately represented the perspectives of each side.

That contrasts starkly with other stories written about the situation.

The story in the Times didn't misrepresent the situation, but didn't explain it either. Consequently there were 207 comments about PC or totalitarian efforts to "ban" the book before I posted a comment that stated the actual situation.

The story in the P-I, however, was just plain wrong. The headline read: "Parent seeks to ban 'Brave New Worl

My Skepticism About State Standards | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

My Skepticism About State Standards | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...


Larry Ferlazzo

My Skepticism About State Standards

Filed under school reform

I’ve just written a post in my other blog, Engaging Parents In School, about new state standards Tennessee has approved for parent involvement.

I thought readers here might be interested in one paragraph I wrote sharing my thoughts about them:

I’m personally skeptical about the effect any kind of state standards actually have “on the ground” in schools and in the classroom, but these do sound good. The only way they can hurt, though, is if it leaves people who publish

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