Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dawn of the Dumbest Data…or | Mr. Teachbad's Blog of Teacher Disgruntlement

Dawn of the Dumbest Data…or | Mr. Teachbad's Blog of Teacher Disgruntlement

Dawn of the Dumbest Data…or

Data Driven Dimentia…or

Data: It Keeps Teachers Busy

Take your pick. But these cats at my school really have to be stopped.

As you may suspect, we here at my school are “data-driven”. That’s right. There is no substitute for data. And the best thing about it, from an administrator’s point of view, must be that you don’t have to worry about how long it takes teachers to collect the data or if it is really of any value in the first place. Just collect that data, tell everybody you are collecting it, and that you are using it to make data-driven decisions….for the kids. The rest, my friend, will fall into place. No worries.

Here is an example from my school, which has always been stupid and intermittently enforced. But it has taken on a new dimension to make it an even greater waste of time. I’m not sure if it makes it any more useless. You

Dissent Magazine - Winter 2011 Issue - Got Dough? How Billion...

Dissent Magazine - Winter 2011 Issue - Got Dough? How Billion...

Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools

THE cost of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy—where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision—investing in education yields great bang for the buck.

Hundreds of private philanthropies together spend almost $4 billion annually to support or transform K–12 education, most of it directed to schools that serve low-income children (only religious organizations receive more money). But three funders

Score Card on Kids' Health Care Ranks California 44th - The Bay Citizen

Score Card on Kids' Health Care Ranks California 44th - The Bay Citizen

Score Card on Kids' Health Care Ranks California 44th

A Commonwealth Fund survey compares the states on childrens' health care access and treatment

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By ANNETTE FUENTES on February 2, 2011 - 4:30 p.m. PST
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A child receives a vaccination at a health clinic

California does poorly by its children when it comes to health care, ranking 44th among the states for a slew of indicators, according to a survey released today by a national health care foundation.

“State Scorecard on Child Health System Performance, 2011” takes a state-by-state look at how well the health care system serves kids, looking at 20 indicators, including insurance coverage, affordability of care and access to treatment. Massachusetts ranks first.

Many states have made strides over the last decade in increasing the number of kids and their parents who have health insurance and care—especially in the last few years of recession, when job loss has translated into

School Strikes for Dummies - voiceofsandiego.org: Plain-talk

School Strikes for Dummies - voiceofsandiego.org: Plain-talk

School Strikes for Dummies

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Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 7:11 am | Updated: 12:37 pm, Wed Feb 2, 2011.

So the news is that at least one teacher union in San Diego County is considering a strike action because they are not satisfied with the potential layoffs, reductions in service, class size, pay and other working conditions in their district. There will be much more saber rattling in the next few months as school districts confront the massive cost increases of doing business and the lack of state funds. Just wait!

In order to understand how all this works, one must have some idea of the rules of engagement that apply in California. Collective bargaining is addressed by the Rodda Act. The act outlines processes for contracts between the school district and its employee unions. In California there are two main teachers unions and some hybrids. In San Diego County, the major K-12 teacher unions are affiliates of CTA (The California Teachers Association), except for Poway, which is represented by PFT (The Poway

End Run around Community: County board OKs charter petition - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

County board OKs charter petition - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

County board OKs charter petition

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 - 1:02 pm

Sacramento County Office of Education trustees approved Margaret Fortune's charter school system aimed at improving the academic achievement of African American students in Sacramento County.

After an eight hour meeting Tuesday, the board approved the creation of five charter schools to be opened over the next five years, with the final five charter schools subject to a renewal process. Board trustees voted 4-1 with two abstaining



Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/02/3370472/race-key-issue-in-charter-schools.html#ixzz1Cqq4ptme

Financial productivity: The next leg of the school reform movement | The Education Front Blog | dallasnews.com

Financial productivity: The next leg of the school reform movement | The Education Front Blog | dallasnews.com

Financial productivity: The next leg of the school reform movement

Circling back to the school finance conference I attended last week, here's what I think is the most important aspect of the meeting:

For the last 20-plus years the education reform movement has focused on the academic output of schools. The attention has resulted in numerous reforms, like a greater emphasis on math and science, getting more kids ready for college and ramping up the quality of teachers and principals.

The academic bottom-line focus is not going away, but the reform movement is now adding a new slant: financial accountability. The movement is looking at how schools can get the most bang for their bucks.

Schools Matter: Vonnegut & suggestion for NCTE policy

Schools Matter: Vonnegut & suggestion for NCTE policy

Vonnegut & suggestion for NCTE policy

Here is what Kurt Vonnegut and his friend Bernard O'Hare told a German soldier when they were liberated from a POW camp after World War II: "… America … was going to try harder to give everyone work to do, and to ensure that our children, at least weren't hungry or cold or illiterate or scared to death." (Timequake, p. 142).

This is precisely our position (Krashen-Ohanian NCTE policy suggestion, re-posted below): Try to end poverty and meanwhile protect children from the effects of poverty.




The NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) invited suggestions for its policy platform for

Questions for myself. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Questions for myself. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Questions for myself.

An interview with myself on a snow day.

Question: Egypt?

Answer: I’m very concerned. Egypt isn’t Tunisia. It’s strategic importance to the U.S. and Israel is huge. The world has heard largely from the urban middle class and students. I fear for the next few days and weeks.

Question: Oscars?

Answer: I’ve really grown to dislike The King’s Speech more each day since I saw it. By Oscar night, I will hate

NYC Public School Parents: Last night's Panel for Educational Policy meeting

NYC Public School Parents: Last night's Panel for Educational Policy meeting

Last night's Panel for Educational Policy meeting

As predicted, the PEP (Panel of Eight Mayoral Puppets plus borough appointees) voted to approve ten school closings and several co-locations and expansions of Success Academy Charters into public school space.

See video of the Caped Real Reformers (parents and teachers ) singing "What a Wonderful World it would be" and students at Metropolitan Corporate Academy, one of the schools being closed, perform, ""DOE don't care about us" at last night's PEP meeting. More video, including Cathie Black's annoyed response to the vociferous crowd, at NY1.


Some lyrics:

They don’t know how to teach history,

To Really Learn, Quit Studying And Take A Test

To Really Learn, Quit Studying And Take A Test

Schools Matter: The Problem with Those Who Defend School Segregation at the Beginning of Black History Month

Schools Matter: The Problem with Those Who Defend School Segregation at the Beginning of Black History Month

The Problem with Those Who Defend School Segregation at the Beginning of Black History Month

It doesn't surprise me to see one of the "thought leaders" from Education Sector, that neoliberal chop shop for bad ideas, offer an undisguised apologia for segregated schools, but it does raise even my eyebrow to see that Kevin Carey chose the first day of Black History to post his prosaic word chiseling entitled "The Trouble with Desegregation."

As pressure builds among civil rights groups for the Obama Administration (Kevin serves on one of Arne's Committees) to do something for those deemed too poor to matter even as Team Obama panders to those too big to fail, Carey has been sent out to make the case that no one at his sludge think tank or anywhere else knows what to do about segregated schools. Here's his utterly unimaginative and ignorant premise:
. . . .the lack of attention to education-based desegregation strategies doesn’t stem from a lack of

THE PERIMETER PRIMATE: Grannan: Powerful “Parent” Trigger operators target vulnerable school; attack misfires

THE PERIMETER PRIMATE: Grannan: Powerful “Parent” Trigger operators target vulnerable school; attack misfires

Grannan: Powerful “Parent” Trigger operators target vulnerable school; attack misfires


Guest post by Caroline Grannan -- P.P.

The current hot story in education reform is California's Parent Trigger law and its deployment against high-poverty McKinley Elementary school in disadvantaged Compton, near Los Angeles.

The simplified description of this law, which the state Legislature passed last year, is that it mandates radical change at a school if petitions are turned in bearing the signatures of more than 50 percent of the parents at the school (and for middle and high schools, of parents at feeder schools, a situation undoubtedly as unwieldy as it sounds).

In the McKinley Elementary situation, as with other complex education reform issues, reading through the press

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