Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Arrogance and Education Reform | Mr. Teachbad's Blog of Teacher Disgruntlement

Arrogance and Education Reform | Mr. Teachbad's Blog of Teacher Disgruntlement

Arrogance and Education Reform

Here is what bugs me about education reform. It is arrogant, ahistorical, and willfully dishonest.

Arrogant:

Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, and any number of millionaires, billionaires, short-time former-teacher-reformers and really just about anybody at all now feels free to opine about what is wrong with American education and how to fix it. (Surprise! Turns out the problem is teachers in districts where hardly anybody knows who their dad is. Just by chance.)

The arrogance of the movement is they a bunch of people who do not work in classrooms somehow know exactly what teachers need to do in order for students to be successful. (And by “successful” we mean performing well on standardized tests. Make no mistake.)

The arrogance manifests itself in many ways. In my school, teachers are told:

1) What their professional goals are;
2) What must hang in their rooms;
3) How many parent contacts must be made per advisory;
4) How, exactly, an objective must be written;

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: Compton Trigger/Takeover: McKINLEY PARENTS ALLEGE INTIMIDATION, MICHELLE RHEE COMES TO TOWN

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: Compton Trigger/Takeover: McKINLEY PARENTS ALLEGE INTIMIDATION, MICHELLE RHEE COMES TO TOWN

Compton Trigger/Takeover: McKINLEY PARENTS ALLEGE INTIMIDATION, MICHELLE RHEE COMES TO TOWN

SANDRA POINDEXTER, BEN WELSH LOS ANGELES TIMES | HTTP://LAT.MS/I8COB7

December 14, 2010 | 7:39 pm | Several parents who are working to have a charter company take over a low-performing Compton elementary school alleged Tuesday that they and their children are being threatened and intimidated by teachers and other school personnel.

McKinley Elementary

14431 Stanford Ave., Compton, 90220

  • Public school in the Compton Unified district.
  • Grades K-3
  • 517 students
  • 26 faculty membersMcKinley Elementary

Source: California Department of Education

The allegations come in the wake of an effort organized by the nonprofit reform group Parent Revolution to force the Compton Unified School District to bring in a charter operator to run McKinley Elementary School, which has struggled for years to raise student test scores.

Charters are independently run, publicly financed schools that are mostly non-unionized.

Last week, supporters presented the district with a petition signed by 62% of McKinley parents in the first use of

The 2010 Edublog Awards Winners Announced! | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

The 2010 Edublog Awards Winners Announced! | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

The 2010 Edublog Awards Winners Announced!

The awards ceremony was just completed for the 2010 Edublog Awards Winners.

You can see the winners here, and it’s quite an impressive group. It’s a gold mine for learning about top-notch blogs, twitterers, and other social media resources.

I was honored to be named Second Runner-Up for Best Individual Blog. Thanks for your support!

Union may take effort to stop school closures to Albany | GothamSchools

Union may take effort to stop school closures to Albany | GothamSchools

Union may take effort to stop school closures to Albany

UFT President Michael Mulgrew speaks to teachers gathered outside DOE headquarters at Tweed Courthouse to protest the city's plan to close 26 schools.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew speaks to teachers gathered outside DOE headquarters at Tweed Courthouse to protest the city's plans to close 26 schools.

In the opening shot of this year’s battle over the city’s plan to close 26 schools, teachers union chief Michael Mulgrew vowed to take the fight all the way to Albany.

State law gives the city ample leeway to close schools, and the union’s successful lawsuit that last year blocked the city from closing 19 schools was based primarily on process questions rather than a policy

District settles with feds on South Philly HS | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

District settles with feds on South Philly HS | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

District settles with feds on South Philly HS

by Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 15 2010 Posted in Latest news

The School Reform Commission today approvedsettlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission agreeing to take steps to correct “severe and pervasive” racial harassment and bias against Asian students at South Philadelphia High School.

The Department of Justice agreement states that the District violated the equal protection rights of Asian students “by remaining deliberately indifferent to known instances of severe and pervasive student-on-student harassment of Asian students based on their race, color and/or national origin.”

On Dec., 3, 2009, more than 30 Asian students were attacked in a series of attacks inside and outside the school by mostly African American schoolmates. Thirteen were hospitalized. The incident led to state and federal investigations andnational and international publicity.

Asian leaders had complained about harassment in the school since 2007, but the District took little action. After the incident Superintendent Arlene Ackerman

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NEW PARENT POLICY: MEDIA REPORTS ON CALENDAR CHANGE + SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMS INSTEAD

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NEW PARENT POLICY: MEDIA REPORTS ON CALENDAR CHANGE + SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMS INSTEAD

SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NEW PARENT POLICY: MEDIA REPORTS ON CALENDAR CHANGE + SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMS INSTEAD

Could that be because parents feel they were not engaged or listened-to on any of it, just informed?

TODAY’S LAUSD HEADLINES FROM GOOGLE NEWS: 15 DEC 2010

LAUSD votes to start school year 2 weeks early

DAILY BREEZE

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education tonight approved a proposal to start the school year about two weeks earlier than usual in hopes...

LAUSD Approves Corporate Sponsorship for Programs

LAIST - LISA BRENNER, LINDSAY WILLIAM-ROSS

Calling it a "new and creative approach in raising revenue for the general fund," Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines is ...

LAUSD approves earlier start date for students

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS - CONNIE LLANOS

Los Angeles Unified officials approved an earlier start to the year for all schools Tuesday, while also changing district ...

LAUSD to vote on earlier academic calendar

ABC7.COM

As part of a test run for the proposal, 18 LAUSD schools began operating under

Clashing views aired on student counts | EdNewsColorado

Clashing views aired on student counts | EdNewsColorado

Clashing views aired on student counts

Worries and hopes about changing the way student enrollment is counted were laid bare Wednesday at a meeting of panel that’s studying the issue.

Justin Silverstein

Consultant Justin Silverstein did a lot of listening during the Dec. 15 meeting of the Average Daily Membership Advisory Committee.

The debate among members of the Average Daily Membership Advisory Committee spotlighted the divide between school administrators and school reformers on the issue and also highlighted the political difficulty of making any change in student counting during a time of declining state financial support for schools.

Colorado’s current enrollment counting system basically involves adding up the students who are in school on

Meeks wants vouchers for 50,000 students - Chicago Sun-Times

Meeks wants vouchers for 50,000 students - Chicago Sun-Times

Meeks wants vouchers for 50,000 students

Story Image

12-15-10 the Chicago Board of Elections hearing on whether Rahm Emanuel's name should be on the ballot resumes with Lori Halpin, who with her husband Rob Halpin, rented Emanuel’s house from him after he went to Washington to work for the president. Halpin was called to testify....Rich Hein/Sun-Times

ARTICLE EXTRAS

Arguing that Chicago Public Schools are “broken’’ and that parents deserve a “choice,’’ mayoral challenger James Meeks said Wednesday he would offer $4,500-a-year vouchers to 50,000 low-and-middle-income Chicago families to use toward private school tuition.

If he is elected mayor, Meeks said he would also offer full-day kindergarten and character education in all Chicago Public Schools and double the time spent on reading and math in first through third grades. Full-day kindergarten would be financed in part by cutting bonus pay for teachers with master’s degrees.

The 90 minutes of daily reading time — up from 45 minutes currently — is designed to make certain that students read at a third-grade level by the time they finish third-grade.

The Chicago Teachers Union would be given one year to develop a policy “with teeth” to “identify and dismiss” teachers who are not performing. If the union cannot or refuses to meet that deadline, Meeks said he would ask

Parents Group PURE Pickets Chicago School Board Over Charter Schools Plan

Parents Group PURE Pickets Chicago School Board Over Charter Schools Plan

Group PURE Pickets CPS Over Charter Schools Plan

Updated: Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010, 12:33 PM CST
Published : Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010, 11:07 AM CST

By Patrick Elwood, FOX Chicago News

Chicago - They are picketing at the Chicago School Board Wednesday morning. A group calling itself Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) is upset with the plan to add more charter schools to the CPS system.

Wednesday morning, a group of about 25 picketed in front of the Chicago Public Schools Headquarters.

PURE feels that CPS should stop putting money into that form of education and instead direct funds toward community schools.

Wanda Hopkins, a PURE organizer, said CPS is creating a two-tier system of really good schools and really bad

Ed Reform Committee To Consider Teacher Strike Ban | Progress Illinois

Ed Reform Committee To Consider Teacher Strike Ban | Progress Illinois

Ed Reform Committee To Consider Teacher Strike Ban

Tomorrow kicks off Illinois' latest battle over school reform. Members of the Illinois House Special Committee on Education Reform, formed just weeks ago, will convene in Aurora on Thursday and Friday for two legislative hearings, both of which are expected to be controversial.

Last week, we reviewed some of the topics members are likely to discuss, including changes to teacher tenure rules and performance evaluations. In a characteristically useful primer, Catalyst Chicago got its hands on the "confidential draft" bill now circulating among the members. According to their reporting, the right for teachers to strike is also on the table. "The proposal," the magazine notes, "does not outlaw teacher strikes, but it puts in place a process that would appear to make them almost impossible." Champions of strike bans like Advance Illinois, Stand for Children, and the Tribune argue that it would "stop teachers union leaders from holding kids hostage to their bargaining demands." Teachers

Rick Scott’s bold education plan draws bevy of critics - Yahoo! News

Rick Scott’s bold education plan draws bevy of critics - Yahoo! News

Rick Scott’s bold education plan draws bevy of critics

By Liz Goodwin

Newly elected Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making waves with his proposal that all children should receive education vouchers they can use to attend private, public or charter schools.

"The parent should figure out where the dollars for that student are spent," the Republican governor-elect told the St. Petersburg Times. "So if the parents want to spend it on virtual school, then spend it on virtual school. If they want to spend it on, you know, whatever education system they believe in, whether it's this public school or that public school or this private school or that private school, that's what ought to happen."

The idea has previously won backing from the late Nobel-laureate economist Milton Friedman and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as a way to foster competition among schools and give parents more choice in their children's education. But there is one major hitch: The Florida Supreme Court has ruled private-school vouchers unconstitutional, concluding that they endanger the free public school system. And, it turns out,

National Board Certified Teachers - Year 2010 (CA Dept of Education)

National Board Certified Teachers - Year 2010 (CA Dept of Education)

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Congratulates California
Teachers Who Received Prestigious National Certification

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today announced the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has granted National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT®) status to 349 California teachers.

"Teachers earning this prestigious distinction have demonstrated great skill in teaching after going through a demanding process to obtain NBCT status," said O'Connell. "I congratulate all teachers who have earned this status for their hard work, passion, and dedication to the art of teaching. Their leadership in the classroom is needed to help close the achievement gap and prepare all students for success in the future."

National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize great teachers, reward them, and increase their skills. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills, and practices. The certification process typically takes between one and three years to complete. As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes, and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching, including evidence of fairness, equity, and access in meeting student needs. Teachers are also assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

California's 349 newly certified teachers bring the statewide total of NBCTs to 4,913 or about 2 percent of the state’s teaching force. Nationwide, there are 91,000 NBCTs or about 3 percent of the nation’s teaching force. With the addition of these new dedicated and talented teachers, California comes closer to the national average. Additionally, California ranks fifth in the nation with the total number of these accomplished teachers. The top five California school districts with newly named NBCTs are:

School District

Number of
New NBCTs

Total NBCTs

Los Angeles Unified

139

1,542

San Francisco Unified

33

200

Long Beach Unified

18

165

San Diego Unified

15

180

Folsom-Cordova Unified

10

44

For information about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and a listing of districts that have NBCTs, please visit its Web site at National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (Outside Source). [http://www.nbpts.org/]To see if a teacher in your area has received NBCT status, please visit the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: NBCT Directory (Outside Source).


Afternoon Update: Education Week: From the Wires

Education Week: From the Wires

FROM THE WIRES

L.A. OK's Corporate Sponsors in Schools, Shorter Summers\

December 15, 2010 - McClatchy-Tribune

December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
California's fiscal crisis and its toll on classrooms has jeopardized the state's ability to prepare and retain teachers, according to a new report from the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.
December 15, 2010 - Teacher
December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
December 15, 2010 - AP
In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, mobsters are demanding that teachers hand over their Christmas bonuses or face the possibility of an armed attack on themselves—and even their students.
December 15, 2010 - Teacher

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