Sunday, August 21, 2011

Michelle Rhee Eager for Spotlight, but Not in Cheating Scandal - NYTimes.com

Michelle Rhee Eager for Spotlight, but Not in Cheating Scandal - NYTimes.com

Eager for Spotlight, but Not if It Is on a Testing Scandal

WASHINGTON — Why won’t Michelle Rhee talk to USA Today?

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Michelle Rhee has refused to talk to USA Today reporters about a schools scandal.

Related

Ms. Rhee, the chancellor of the Washington public schools from 2007 to 2010, is the national symbol of the data-driven, take-no-prisoners education reform movement.

It’s hard to find a media outlet, big or small, that she hasn’t talked to. She’s been interviewed by Katie Couric, Tom Brokaw and Oprah Winfrey. She’s been featured on a Time magazine cover holding a broom (to sweep away bad teachers). She was one of the stars of the documentary “Waiting for Superman.”

These days, as director of an advocacy group she founded,

What Back to School is Like for An Unschooler :: IDEA

What Back to School is Like for An Unschooler :: IDEA

What Back to School is Like for An Unschooler

by Sara Schmidt in Uncharted Parenting

For unschoolers like us, there is no back to school. There is continual learning, all of the time. We don't buy a bunch of supplies (unless we find something incredible on sale, like my new $4 planner), we don't buy school clothes (we tend to get messy in whatever we wear, to be honest with you), and we definitely don't need Kindermats or other special, expensive items. I always have to laugh at the people who tell me that homeschooling must be expensive; most of what we do is free, save for special classes like taekwondo, which kids in school do, too.

I've been finding myself in rather hostile territory--or, perhaps, I am just hostile. All of these parents are posting pictures of their children next to buses or with their new teachers, and though I'm not feeling left out, when I joined in with our own participatory photos in "Not Back to School" activities recently, I was met with a little bit of defensiveness. Why can all of these teachers and parents be so proud and open about what they are doing, while I have to keep explaining over and over again why we chose this "lifestyle," what issues we have with public schools, etc. etc. It is as if they automatically think that we think we are better than them or something, rather

Sunday links. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Sunday links. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Sunday links.

Diane Ravitch interviews the teacher union hating Steve Brill on CSPAN.

Running late with the post today. Enjoyed my last summer Sunday with the grand kids.

Tim Furman features a youtube video of Robin Steans on speed.

The Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky with another tale of a Chicago teacher. This should piss you off big time.

“Standardized tests keep kids from learning,” says my pal Gabe Lyon who heads up Project Exploration in Chicago.

There is big trouble for the hypocrite from Ohio, the Republican Governor John Kasich. That’s what happens

My Shifted Learning Interview 2011 | The Jose Vilson

My Shifted Learning Interview 2011 | The Jose Vilson

My Shifted Learning Interview 2011

On Friday, August 19th, I did an interview with Julia Fallon and John Pederson as part of their Shifted Learning podcast. The whole interview is right here on their website if because you’d like to catch it. You don’t want to miss it! Let me know what you think soon after you take a listen!

Jose, who can’t believe there’s only two weeks left …

You Cannot Afford Not to Become a Digital Leader! | Connected Principals

You Cannot Afford Not to Become a Digital Leader! | Connected Principals

You Cannot Afford Not to Become a Digital Leader!

Do you ever Google yourself? If you don’t, why not? If you do, what do you see? If something about you does not come up on the first page, something is wrong. Your learning community needs to know what you believe is important. Your voice and ideas need to be read and heard! If you are not blogging or putting out a digital newsletter on your school or district website, you are missing golden opportunity to communicate with staff, parents, students, and the stakeholders of your community. Most students and parents are using digital media to communicate with friends and family using websites like Facebook or Google +. If you or your school community are not using these digital mediums to communicate your story, you are missing out, and what is worse, people may be telling your story for you and you might not like their version! As

Can Teachers Alone Overcome Poverty? Steven Brill Thinks So « Larry Miller's Blog

Can Teachers Alone Overcome Poverty? Steven Brill Thinks So « Larry Miller's Blog

Can Teachers Alone Overcome Poverty? Steven Brill Thinks So

By Dana Goldstein | The Nation – Wed, Aug 10, 2011

Steven Brill, the journalist and media entrepreneur, has come a long way since he helicoptered onto the education beat in 2009.

That’s when The New Yorker published Brill’s exposé of the New York City “rubber rooms,” where the Department of Education parked the one-twentieth of 1 percent of the city’s 80,000 public school teachers—about forty people—who had been accused of gross negligence and removed from the classroom. As they awaited the due process hearings guaranteed in their union contracts, rubber room teachers received full pay and benefits, sometimes for up to three years.

The article sparked outrage among readers, who were appalled that millions of tax dollars were spent annually paying the salaries and arbitrating the cases of teachers who came to work inebriated or practiced corporal punishment. Despite the fact that the Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers shared

New Del. law toughens scrutiny of charter schools

August 19, 2011 AP
DOVER, Del.—Board members at Delaware’s charter schools will have to undergo criminal background and child abuse registry checks under a bill being signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell. The bill Markell is signing Friday also prohibits individuals who have felony convictions or convictions for a crime against a child from serving on a charter school board.
Charter school board members also will be required to disclose any financial interest they may have in the


Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… - New Libya Resources

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… - New Libya Resources

Dallas Morning News Rips Arne Duncan’s Texas Gaffe as a “Politically Motivated Distortion” | Scathing Purple Musings

Dallas Morning News Rips Arne Duncan’s Texas Gaffe as a “Politically Motivated Distortion” | Scathing Purple Musings

Dallas Morning News Rips Arne Duncan’s Texas Gaffe as a “Politically Motivated Distortion”

Dallas Morning News editorial writer Robert Scott has had it with Arne Duncan:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s insult to Texas public education was a politically motivated distortion that doesn’t become a federal official in his position.

What a load this guy is.

We shouldn’t hear lies come out of the mouth of the nation’s top education official (photo at right) when he discusses the record of millions of students
and dedicated educators.

People work too hard to have their work dismissed with his pathetic statement about feeling “very,

Jersey Jazzman: School Ranking Fail

Jersey Jazzman: School Ranking Fail

School Ranking Fail

Every year, the Washington Post's Jay Matthews ranks America's high schools. His system makes things easy for him: he simply takes the number of AP or IB tests a school gives each year and divides it by the numbers of seniors. He doesn't bother with the actual results of the tests; too complicated, I guess.

Since I'm a Jersey guy, I thought I'd look up the Jersey schools. #1 is Dr. Ronald E. McNair in Jersey City, which is a magnet school and, I understand, outstanding. I thought Matthew's rules would have excluded it, because competitive schools like Stuyvesant in New York City with high concentrations of the best and the

Missouri Education Watchdog: Should Public Schools Focus on One Culture, Philosophy or Interest?

Missouri Education Watchdog: Should Public Schools Focus on One Culture, Philosophy or Interest?

Should Public Schools Focus on One Culture, Philosophy or Interest?

The comment section is abuzz in the St. Louis Dispatch article "New City School Blends Learning with African Cultural Flavor" regarding the opening of a school with a cultural focus:

Pamoja Preparatory Academy @ Cole opened Monday as an African-centered school - a place where reading, math, and science are taught alongside African values, customs and culture. Among those values are self-control, respect toward elders and giving back to community.

The school is the first with an African focus in the St. Louis public school system, a district where about 80 percent of the students are black. It's also one of more than a dozen public schools in the city - traditional and

Riots and Disaffected Youth

Riots and Disaffected Youth

Riots and Disaffected Youth

I read about the riots in Great Britain and wondered when disaffected youth might do the same here. As I thought about this, and read some of the analyses, I decided youth in America won’t riot because they are not united by any single issue that would cause them to rise up against authority and establishment.

It would be tough to be young today. Economic stagnation has dimmed job prospects for many. The high cost of a college education drives many young people to either not go to college, or to think of college more as job training,

Mike Haridopolos, Demagoguery and Teacher Derangment Syndrome | Scathing Purple Musings

Mike Haridopolos, Demagoguery and Teacher Derangment Syndrome | Scathing Purple Musings

Mike Haridopolos, Demagoguery and Teacher Derangment Syndrome

From blogging colleague Education Matters comes this link to Polk County online publication NewsChief.com. It seems that NewsChief was at a speaking engagement of Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos. The former US Senate hopeful offered up this red meat for the let’s demonize teachers crowd.

“Every teacher should not have a guaranteed, lifetime job”

NewsChief didn’t let him get away with it either and took the opportunity to, um, teach the president of the Florida Senate about the job security that teachers actually have.

It is an interesting comment because teachers never have had a guaranteed life time job.

Schools Matter: Childhood Well-Being: A Mirror of the American Character

Schools Matter: Childhood Well-Being: A Mirror of the American Character

Childhood Well-Being: A Mirror of the American Character

It is a dangerous and potentially failed thing to manipulate an audience by evoking our tendency to be compassionate for children. I have often used the documentary The Corridor of Shame, concerning the inequity in school funding in my home state of South Carolina, in my education courses both to highlight the corrosive power of poverty in the lives and learning of children and to confront the dishonesty of emotional appeals that do more to harm a valid message than reinforce it.

With that acknowledgement in mind, I was struck by the 60 Minutes piece on childhood poverty in the U.S.especially as we place this report in the context of two recent reports on child well-being: the State of America’s

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast: Guest Anthony Krinsky

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast: Guest Anthony Krinsky

Next South Bronx School Internet Radio Cast: Guest Anthony Krinsky

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bronx-teacher/2011/08/24/the-mind-of-a-bronx-teacher

We return to Tuesday nights this week, August 23, 2011 at 9 PMEDT, 6 PMPDT as we welcome another resident of California and Harvard Graduate Anthony Krinsky.

Anthony, an education deformer from Los Angeles is a solutions architect (whatever that is) and is active in the deform movement along with Ben Austin and Bill Grundfest with the controversy filled

School Tech Connect

School Tech Connect

Ed Reform Idol?

How did I ever miss this?

I was reading Rachel Levy's thoughtful piece on Defending 21st Century Teaching from Education Reform when I ran into this bizarre video from the Fordham Institute. Just watch the whole thing--- what I've posted here is a clip. It's actually quite nauseating now that I reflect on it, but I realize that some things are just a matter of taste.

Anyway, here's the unelected queen of Illinois education, Robin Steans. It's worth watching-- I never knew she could talk so fast. It's appropriate, because she's like an auctioneer of bullshit. Anyway, in the clip below, she's trying to win an Education Reform Idol

Charles Johnson on Free-Market Anti-Capitalism - Forbes

Charles Johnson on Free-Market Anti-Capitalism - Forbes

Charles Johnson on Free-Market Anti-Capitalism

If you’ve ever been to Kevin Carson’s blog, you’ll have noticed its title – Mutualist Blog: Free-Market Anti-Capitalism. This may strike some as puzzling. What is capitalism, after all, if not an embrace of the free market?

Well actually it can be quite a lot of different things, as Charles Johnson explains.

Johnson notes four different concepts of ‘capitalism’: (1) free markets; (2) corporatism; (3) wage-labor economics; and (4) consumerism. These are all different, though not necessarily mutually exclusive (save for the first two), concepts and different people depending on self-interest, politics, and so forth may think of capitalism in one or more of these terms. (Johnson goes into some detail on each, but it’s too much to excerpt here.)

Free markets are how many libertarians and anarcho-capitalist types have come to think of capitalism, but free

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: EDUCATION BUDGET CUTS IMPERIL REFORM :: CEP Report: Strained Schools Face Bleak Future

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: EDUCATION BUDGET CUTS IMPERIL REFORM :: CEP Report: Strained Schools Face Bleak Future

EDUCATION BUDGET CUTS IMPERIL REFORM :: CEP Report: Strained Schools Face Bleak Future

Districts Foresee Budget Cuts, Teacher Layoffs, and a Slowing of Education Reform Efforts

4LAKids embraces all technologies. This report came to us by snail mail last week.

FROM THE CENTER ON EDUCATION POLICY | | HTTP://BIT.LY/PANJMF

In this Huffington Post blog, posted on June 30, 2011, Jack Jennings discusses the findings from the CEP report, Strained Schools Face Bleak Future: Districts Foresee Budget Cuts, Teacher Layoffs, and a Slowing of Education Reform Efforts:

As the United States struggles to recover from the financial collapse of 2008-10, the newest casualty may be the promising reforms taking root in public schools across the country. The irony is that business leaders are calling with greater urgency for improvements in schooling, which they see as a precondition to rejuvenating our sputtering economy. But instead of accelerating, reform is slowing

When Test Results are the Only Thing That Matter | Scathing Purple Musings

When Test Results are the Only Thing That Matter | Scathing Purple Musings

When Test Results are the Only Thing That Matter

Florida’s education system has been test-based for as long as any state’s. So much so that parents have begun to accept that fact that it’s the only thing that matters. And who can blame them when they become incredulous over the results?

Writes parent and widely read columnist, Wendy Victora in the Northwest Florida Daily News:

When I told my family I was moving to Florida 15 years ago, my brother questioned why anyone would want to move to here.

The father of two young girls at the time, my brother pointed out the reputation of Florida’s education system as well as the heat and humidity that are a fact of life here.

I ignored him and his opinions. And I still believe that my children are getting a good education in

Loony Charles Koch thinks he's helping society

Teamster Nation: Loony Charles Koch thinks he's helping society

Loony Charles Koch thinks he's helping society

Here's one of the Kochs' 'nonprofits': The Tea Party
Almost makes your head spin, doesn't it?

You may recall that Warren Buffett, the third richest man in the world, begged the U.S. last week to raise his taxes. In a New York Times op-ed, Buffett wrote,
OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-

Schools Matter: Jim McIntyre: The Tip of Eli Broad's Corporate Education Spear in East Tennessee

Schools Matter: Jim McIntyre: The Tip of Eli Broad's Corporate Education Spear in East Tennessee

Jim McIntyre: The Tip of Eli Broad's Corporate Education Spear in East Tennessee

(Photo by Sheena Patrick for MetroPulse shows McIntyre (far right) seated next to Gov. Bill Haslam. At left is former TFA cult leader and current TN Education Commissioner, Kevin Huffman)

In March 2008 Broad Academy alumnus, Jim McIntyre (Class of '06), was selected by a 5-4 vote as Superintendent of Schools for Knox County. This followed backroom machinations by then-Mayor Bill Haslam, who last year bought his way to the Governor's Office in Nashville and has since become Gates's and Broad's chief edu-stooge among Southern governors.

In fact, McIntyre was Haslam's choice for Superintendent in early 2008, as expressed here in a letter by Pilot

School Tech Connect: The Fall of NCTE

School Tech Connect: The Fall of NCTE

The Fall of NCTE

There isn't any better, more prolific critic of the self-marginalization of NCTE than Susan Ohanian. I myself don't understand the purpose of NCTE any more. I think that if by some freak chance, the Taliban took over the United States and issued a one-title reading list for public schools, the NCTE would have worksheets ready in about five

Modern School: Homework and Student Stress

Modern School: Homework and Student Stress

Homework and Student Stress

The following was submitted to the San Francisco Chronicle in response to their Sunday opinion piece onstudent stress and homework on 8/14 and printed in their Sunday paper on 8/21.

Thanks for drawing attention to the issue of student stress and homework. I’ve been teaching in the Bay Area for 14 years and the problem does seem to be getting worse. The main causes, however, are structural and political, not teachers assigning busy work.

The high stakes testing mandated by NCLB, for example, takes class time away from content, increasing pressure on teachers to cram more content into fewer days. Combined with the overwhelming number of standards teachers must cover each year, students often have to pick up some content at home through reading and other assignments. Sadly, some schools now require test preparation and homework for kindergartners,

When Will the Bubble Burst? Student Loan Debt Swells 511 Percent - Education - GOOD

When Will the Bubble Burst? Student Loan Debt Swells 511 Percent - Education - GOOD

When Will the Bubble Burst? Student Loan Debt Swells 511 Percent

bubble.burst
It's no secret that American students are being crushed by student loans. We're on track to cross the $1 trillion mark in total student debt, exceeding household credit card debt, sometime later this year. That sounds pretty

After Words with Steven Brill - C-SPAN Video Library

After Words with Steven Brill - C-SPAN Video Library

C-SPAN | BookTV
The founder of The American Lawyer magazine and Court TV tells the story of a coalition of unlikely allies in the fight to change a school system that many parents believe is failing the nation's children. He debates .. Read More
59 minutes | 186 Views

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LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
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