Sunday, February 6, 2011

Modern School: TEACHERS’ UNIONS IN HARD TIMES

Modern School: TEACHERS’ UNIONS IN HARD TIMES

TEACHERS’ UNIONS IN HARD TIMES

What is the relationship between strikes and teachers salaries and working conditions? Well, according toWilliam Boyd, David Plank, and Gary Sykes, it is a pretty direct link:


In the 1970s and 1980s, teachers’ unions in Michigan and Pennsylvania were among
the most powerful in the United States. They won rapid and substantial gains for their members,
in large part because of their readiness to send teachers out on strike, and they played a
dominant role in school politics and state politics more generally. With the election of activist
Republican Governors in both Michigan and Pennsylvania in the 1990s, however, the power of
the teachers’ unions began a precipitous decline. They now find themselves in an extremel

On Being a Critical Friend (And Not A Hater) | The Jose Vilson

On Being a Critical Friend (And Not A Hater) | The Jose Vilson

On Being a Critical Friend (And Not A Hater)

Yes, Really.

9 out of what?!” I yelled out in the middle of a spoken word competition after I vehemently disagreed with both the poets and audience who sought it fit to give a tawdry poem about city life high marks. That was two years ago, and I thought I got rid of the hater bug by then, but I obviously didn’t. I wasn’t offering any constructive feedback, but felt the urge to sting the innocuous audience for the compliance with this insult to my time, money, and poetic senses. We elitists take our poetry far too seriously.

All joking aside, this little episode offered me a lens into what I believe about criticism and the functions of

Eight Look 4s When Observing a Classroom: What the Teacher Teaches - What the Students Learn - Copy / Paste by Peter Pappas

Eight Look 4s When Observing a Classroom: What the Teacher Teaches - What the Students Learn - Copy / Paste by Peter Pappas

Eight Look 4s When Observing a Classroom: What the Teacher Teaches - What the Students Learn

School deskI rarely quote at length from a blog or news article, but I think this time I'll break my rule. I first met Mel Riddile a few years ago when we co-presented at a conference. Since then we stay in touch via Twitter and by following each others' blogs. Mel blogs on policy and practice for NAASP at The Principal Difference and tweets at @PrincipalDiff.

His recent blog post "Tests: Will they improve learning?" is a thoughtful response to the recent Science Journal study that concluded that "practicing

What We’ve Missed, What’s Coming Up « Student Activism

What We’ve Missed, What’s Coming Up « Student Activism

What We’ve Missed, What’s Coming Up

Posting remained light this last week, due to a number of factors — the start of my new semester teaching, the Egypt crisis crowding out other news, a couple of personal issues. But I’m lining up posts for tomorrow and after right now, and there’s a lot to cover. Here are some highlights:

  • Eleven students at the University of California at Irvine — the Irvine 11 — have been indicted on misdemeanor conspiracy and disruption charges in connection to their alleged involvement in an action at a campus speech by an Israeli official one year ago. This is a huge story, and one which I’ll be covering in depth in the days and weeks to come.
  • I’ll also be doing my best to add useful content to discussions around the current uprisings in the Arab world. I won’t always have much to contribute, and when I don’t, I’ll tend to just keep my mouth shut, but

Consejos para solicitar ayuda financiera estudiantil - Educación Secundaria | Consejos útiles | Univision.com

Consejos para solicitar ayuda financiera estudiantil - Educación Secundaria | Consejos útiles | Univision.com
Consejos para solicitar FAFSA
Cómo agilizar el trámite


Thinkstock LLC/Picture Quest
Univision.com


Llenar solicitud sin ayuda y lo antes posible
Mejor llenar solicitud por Internet

WASHINGTON/ PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE / -- Es quizás el primer examen de muchos estudiantes de educación postsecundaria y lo toman antes de entrar a un salón de clase. Desafortunadamente para algunos, la calificación no siempre es una "A".

El "examen" es llenar la solicitud gratuita de ayuda federal para estudiantes, o FAFSA, por su sigla en inglés. Y "pasar" significa llenarla sin errores, omisiones y cumpliendo los diversos plazos y fechas límites.

Marianella García conoce bien los retos de llenar esta solicitud de 100 preguntas que determina si el estudiante

Modern School: AJ Duffy: Union Fighter or Just Another Hack?

Modern School: AJ Duffy: Union Fighter or Just Another Hack?

AJ Duffy: Union Fighter or Just Another Hack?


Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons
A.J. Duffy, the outgoing boss of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), is one of three candidates for Vice President of the California Teachers Association (CTA). He is being portrayed as an outsider and true fighter. Compared with his opponents he would certainly seem to be. Yet in 2009, Duffy, along the rest of theprogressive slate that had won leadership of UTLA, voted to chicken out of a one-day strike in support of the 3,500 teachers being threatened with layoffs.


Superintendent Ramon Cortines went to court to stop the strike and won a restraining order against UTLA. Superior Court Judge James Chalfont cited student safety as his justification, a rationale that would justify blocking all teacher strikes under all circumstances. It was also a cynical, idiotic rationale when compared with the much longer term impact on student safety that would result from the sudden dismissal of 3,500 teachers. The judge also ruled that the work stoppage was a

Michael Mulgrew’s alternative to the current direction in the NYC Dept of Ed « JD2718

Michael Mulgrew’s alternative to the current direction in the NYC Dept of Ed « JD2718

Michael Mulgrew’s alternative to the current direction in the NYC Dept of Ed

This speech deserves a close read. Breaks new ground? I don’t think so. But it synthesizes some ideas that he’s put forward, and it chooses a different emphasis. It answers, at least partially, the question, “if you don’t agree with Bloomberg, what do you want to do instead?” And it answers with greater specificity than I am used to hearing from our leaders. It is posted on the UFT Website. I’ve reposted it here in hopes of generating some discussion.

Note carefully what he proposes around

New Research Examines Link Between Poverty and Latin Americans' Unauthorized Immigration to the US - Hispanically Speaking News

New Research Examines Link Between Poverty and Latin Americans' Unauthorized Immigration to the US - Hispanically Speaking News

New Research Examines Link Between Poverty and Latin Americans’ Unauthorized Immigration to the US

New Research Examines Link Between Poverty and Latin Americans’ Unauthorized Immigration to the US

Despite unprecedented levels of U.S. government spending on guarding the border with Mexico, unauthorized or illegal immigration into the United States continues. Here, there are millions of jobs that legal workers do not fill—even in times of recession. Poverty and hardship are the main drivers pushing Latin Americans to search for better lives in the United States. New research from Bread for the World Institute, “Development and Migration in Rural Mexico,” examines the links between poverty and inequality in rural Mexico and unauthorized immigration.


“Hunger and poverty, the driving forces of unauthorized migration to the United States, are often overlooked in the immigration debate,” said Andrew Wainer, immigration policy analyst for Bread for the World Institute. “In order to comprehensively address immigration reform policies, the United States needs to implement foreign

Sunday links. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Sunday links. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Sunday links.

The above poster, and more, can be found at Just Seeds Artist Cooperative.

Michael Bloomberg thinks he’s Hosni Mubarak and Brooklyn is Liberation Square. Maybe he’s right.

Oy. Can’t we leave Ronald Reagan out of this?

A young teacher with a beer and the word “bitch” on Facebook gets canned. Without my union you can pretty much figure out what they would do to me.

I asked an old friend here in Cairo, a woman with Western tastes that include an occasional glass of whiskey, whether the Muslim Brotherhood might be bad for peace. She thought for a moment and said: “Yes, possibly. But, from my point of view, in America the Republican Party is bad for peace as well.” Nicholas Kristoff

Happy Birthday Ronnie. Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post suggests our national obsession with the

The Wall.

Tahrir Square, Cairo.

Mulgrew: stop paying to recruit teachers when there are no vacancies « JD2718

Mulgrew: stop paying to recruit teachers when there are no vacancies « JD2718

Mulgrew: stop paying to recruit teachers when there are no vacancies

It’s not the same as my call to stop recruiting TfA in NYC, ever, period.

I propose … to eliminate … the $5 million it spends on the New Teacher Project to recruit teachers even when there are no vacancies.
- Michael Mulgrew, January 26, 2011, Center for New York City Affairs

But in the flurry of activity these last two weeks around snow storms and school closings, I missed that line fromMulgrew’s speech at the Center for NYC Affairs, on January 26. (Actually, I missed a lot. That speech contains a wealth of proposals, some I like, some I recoil from, but it bears careful review. It was new, and provides some vision going forward.)

TfA is the bigger problem. They leave by design. The City pays a premium to recruit them. In general they don’t

Seattle Public Schools community blog: Science Curriculum Alignment

Seattle Public Schools community blog: Science Curriculum Alignment

Science Curriculum Alignment

What the heck is going on with the curriculum alignment in Science?

I can't make heads or tails of it.

Originally, the science curriculum was supposed to be aligned first along with the math curriculum, but then the alignment of the science curriculum was deferred as the state was revising the science Standards and GLEs.

The new state Standards have been set, so the alignment of the science curriculum can now go forward. There is a timetable for the work on the District web site, but it doesn't appear that the District is sticking to the timetable.

The members of the high school science materials adoption committee have been named.

Other than that, it's unclear if anything else on the timetable has actually been done.

Why Teachers Need Their Unions

Why Teachers Need Their Unions

Why Teachers Need Their Unions

If ever there was a reason why teachers need their unions it became clear watching CBS Sunday Morning earlier today. A teacher was forced to resign when an anonymous letter was received pointing to the teacher’s Facebook page where she was shown holding a beer and a glass of wine while on a trip to Europe (on her own time and without students). She also had participated in a Facebook game with the word Bitch in it.

According to the young teacher, she had set her Facebook privacy settings to limit access to her closest friends. She felt she had done what she needed in

The Answer Sheet - Ronald Reagan's impact on education today

The Answer Sheet - Ronald Reagan's impact on education today

Ronald Reagan's impact on education today

By Valerie Strauss

In the category of "the more things change the more they stay the same," it is interesting to look back at Ronald Reagan's education views on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The issues that were controversial back then -- merit pay, standardized testing, vouchers -- remain so today.

Reagan may best be known for his oft-stated desire to eliminate the Department of Education. What some may forget is that he changed his mind. Here are some of his positions on education issues:

Department of Education

Eat the Rich - Page 1 - Columns - New York - Village Voice

Eat the Rich - Page 1 - Columns - New York - Village Voice

Eat the Rich

The rich are richer than ever, but don't ask them for help

If you want a true picture of New York's current economic plight, take a look at a remarkable graph showing the share of income going to the top 1 percent of earners over the past 100 years.

Morgan Schweitzer

The chart is the product of the Fiscal Policy Institute, the labor-backed group that is one of the lone voices trying to be heard over the ever-growing roar demanding that wages and benefits for workers be knocked down as low as possible.

If you look at this chart for a while, an image comes to mind: It is a long hammock with a slumbering tycoon stretched out in blissful repose. His head is tucked comfortably on the years right before the Great Depression when he and his pals controlled almost 25 percent of all income earned. His back and posterior then slide down in a long graceful arch from the late '40s through the '70s. This is the period

Diary of a Social Art-tivist Mommy: Open letter to Mayor Gray on Education

Diary of a Social Art-tivist Mommy: Open letter to Mayor Gray on Education

Open letter to Mayor Gray on Education

Dear Mayor Gray,
As a parent of a child in the District as well as a teacher working for the District I feel a renewed sense of hope in that DC has what it takes to unite teachers, administrators and District efforts towards one common goal, and in making the District a top elementary school system in the country and even the world.

I absolutely agreed with Kaya Henderson in that you can teach using any platform across the academic spectrum, yet, if the kids can't do the basics in the end it's no good. I also agree that accountability needs to happen in some form to insure top quality service is being provided to the children. Where I see a disconnect happening is that in trying to sift out the bad teachers the good ones are getting trampled, and from what I'm seeing, great

Del Valle for Mayor | For All Chicago For Every Neighborhood: Take Action

Del Valle for Mayor | For All Chicago For Every Neighborhood: Take Action

Take Action

JANUARY 18, 2009










Join the Grassroots Campaign to Elect a Mayor for Every Neighborhood.

The Answer Sheet - Where Super Bowl players went to school

The Answer Sheet - Where Super Bowl players went to school

Where Super Bowl players went to school

Which school is most represented on the Super Bowl teams? Which conference? Mike Huguenin, the college football editor for Rivals.com, allowed me to reproduce his findings from his blog. Here's the run-down for the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers: *The Southeastern Conference will be the most-represented conference in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Schools Matter: Not just Cleveland

Schools Matter: Not just Cleveland

Not just Cleveland

Poverty is the major factor everywhere, not just Cleveland.

Sent to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Feb. 5, 2010

When discussing the Cleveland schools, Brent Larkin understands that it is hard to improve school achievement in the presence of "abject poverty" ("Peter Raskind starts atop bottomed-out Cleveland public schools," Feb. 5). But when Larkin discusses American students' performance on international tests, he appears to be unaware that the same factor is at work.

On the recent PISA tests, American 15-year-olds attending schools with less than 10% of students living in

School Vouchers for All May Be Governor Scott's Plan | TheLedger.com

School Vouchers for All May Be Governor Scott's Plan | TheLedger.com

School Vouchers for All May Be Governor Scott's Plan

Governor's advisers propose massive expansion; critics say it's too much.

Published: Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 11:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 11:18 p.m.

The struggling economy dropped enrollment to just 48 students at Port Charlotte Adventist School last year, leading worried officials to aggressively promote a state voucher program for low-income students.

The marketing worked: An influx of children using the state's $4,100 voucher increased enrollment by 27 students. The private religious school had to hire a new teacher and an aide to accommodate the growth.

Few schools grow by 56 percent in one year, but Port Charlotte Adventist's experience could become much more common if an unprecedented propo

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