Sunday, September 11, 2011

NJ Spotlight | Education Commissioner Refines the Rules for Charters

NJ Spotlight | Education Commissioner Refines the Rules for Charters:

Education Commissioner Refines the Rules for Charters
Increased accountability, broader student access top the list in Cerf's edict

With the administration expected to announce a new class of charters in the coming weeks, acting education commissioner Chris Cerf has detailed steps that are intended to improve the oversight of new and existing schools.

But questions remain about the capacity of the state to meet its promises. And the announcement stops short of some of the measures that Democratic legislators have asked for to amp up accountability even more.

Cerf released a letter sent to all charter school heads on Friday. It starts with praise for the opportunities and education that the experimental schools have provided students.

But it continues in a more critical tone:

"Not all charter schools are serving students at the levels they deserve," Cerf wrote, mentioning that

Re-Imagining Lennon's "Imagine" by Timothy Riley |

Re-Imagining Lennon's "Imagine" by Timothy Riley |:

Re-Imagining Lennon’s “Imagine” by Timothy Riley

John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a haunting, powerful song I’ve loved since I first heard it. It challenges the listener to question bedrock assumptions about religion, country, and ownership. In contrast, Timothy Riley’s revamp of “Imagine” is not nearly as challenging. Think about it. He asks only that you imagine recalling Scott Walker. Scott Walker is just a man. Below is an instrumental to play and lyrics for “Re-Imagining Lennon’s ‘Imagine’”. Sing along. I hope a few artists will pull together their own videos of themselves performing this song to share. (Thank you to covfrog of YouTube for the beautiful piano playing, here.) Imagine no more Walker it isn’t hard to do No one to bash the unions and no suppression too; Imagine we the people showing him the door Imagine

In Oral History, a Young Kennedy Widow Speaks Candidly - NYTimes.com

In Oral History, a Young Kennedy Widow Speaks Candidly - NYTimes.com:

In Tapes, Candid Talk by Young Kennedy Widow

Stan Tretick/United Press International

President and Mrs. Kennedy in 1961.

In the early days of the Cuban missile crisis, before the world knew that the cold war seemed to be sliding toward nuclear conflict, President John F. Kennedy telephoned his wife, Jacqueline, at their weekend house in Virginia. From his voice, she would say later, she could tell that something was wrong. Why don’t you come back to Washington? he asked, without explanation.

Multimedia
Cecil Stoughton/John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library

President and Mrs. Kennedy in 1962.

Readers’ Comments

“From then on, it seemed there was no waking or sleeping,” Mrs. Kennedy recalls in an oral history scheduled to be released Wednesday, 47 years after the interviews were conducted. When she learned that the Soviets were installing missiles in Cuba aimed at American cities, she begged her husband not to send her away. “If anything happens, we’re all going to stay right here with you,” she says she told him in October 1962. “I just want to be with you, and I want to die with you, and the children

Jersey Jazzman: The "Passionate" Bill Gates

Jersey Jazzman: The "Passionate" Bill Gates:

The "Passionate" Bill Gates

Jiminy Christmas...
A passionate believer in education reform, Bill reviews Steven Brill’s book, Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools, a well-written account of the people, politics, and policies involved in the effort to improve teaching and learning.
Well, if he's "passionate," he must be right...
Brill clearly took the time to learn about some complex issues, like how charter schools compare and what the federal No Child Left Behind program did to the education system in

Daily Kos: 105 Years ago today - a different kind of Anniversary

Daily Kos: 105 Years ago today - a different kind of Anniversary:

105 Years ago today - a different kind of Anniversary

This was originally posted in 2006, with the title and the text at that time talking about 100 years ago. I received a request to repost this today. I have attempted to update the references to reflect that this is now 2011, not 2006.

Today is an anniversary of many things besides the obvious. In 1789 Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as the First Secretary of the Treasury. In 1962 the Beatles made their first recording, "Love Love Me Do." In in 1906 a lawyer of Indian extraction in South Africa led his first non-violent protest. Mohandas K Gandhi began his public career 105 years ago today.

Below the fold I will offer a few other events that occurred today, as important events occur every day. I will also

This is Life or Death | Connected Principals

This is Life or Death | Connected Principals:

This is Life or Death

I attended a student’s funeral last Friday. She was a tenth grader, a fifteen year old, and a young woman just beginning her life. She was murdered, shot in the head, while out after midnight in her neighborhood.

I believe it’s important to use this blog as a platform to share my experiences as an inner-city educator as we work to improve our school and our community. I wish I could share how exciting it has been to meet my students and the staff at our school. I’d love to say the first week went off without a hitch. But the truth is the first full week was

MPS Board Moves to Put Voucher Tax Amount on Property Tax Form « Larry Miller's Blog

MPS Board Moves to Put Voucher Tax Amount on Property Tax Form « Larry Miller's Blog:

MPS Board Moves to Put Voucher Tax Amount on Property Tax Form

MPS fast-tracks proposal to make ‘voucher tax’ transparent

By Karen Herzog of the Journal Sentinel Sept. 10, 2011 |(137) Comments

A proposal that Milwaukee taxpayers be told on tax bills exactly how much of their money is going to private schools through the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program is on the fast track for school board consideration.

During a special MPS board meeting Saturday morning to discuss the district’s long-range master plan for buildings, board member Larry Miller asked that his “voucher tax” transparency proposal be discussed at a school board committee meeting Tuesday, rather than wait to be introduced at the board’s next regular meeting

Obama’s speech to Congress; so why am I skeptical? « Parents Across America

Obama’s speech to Congress; so why am I skeptical? « Parents Across America:

Obama’s speech to Congress; so why am I skeptical?

Obama’s speech last week to Congress has been described as a “wake up call”—with its aggressive and ambitious proposals to boostspending on education – including $30 billion to avoid further teacher layoffs, and $30 billion more to renovate school facilities. These funds that are desperately needed as more than 2/3 of states and districts are suffering big cutsand increases in class size this fall- with nearly a quarter million fewer school staff employed in June 2011 compared to two years before. As the President said:

Pass this jobs bill, and thousands of teachers in every state will go back to work. These are the men and women charged with preparing our children for a world where the competition has never

Wisconsin’s School Funding Cuts Highest in Nation « Larry Miller's Blog

Wisconsin’s School Funding Cuts Highest in Nation « Larry Miller's Blog:

Wisconsin’s School Funding Cuts Highest in Nation

School Funding in 2011-12 Compared with 2010-11

Some of the deepest reductions to K-12 formula funding since the onset of the recession have occurred in the past year, as federal aid intended to sustain state education spending has expired, rainy day funds have been exhausted, and states have resisted raising additional taxes to offset the need for cuts. After adjusting for inflation between last year (fiscal year 2011) and the current 2012 fiscal year:

  • Almost all states for which data are available — 21 of the 24 states — have cut per student education funding.
  • Seventeen of the 24 states have cut per student funding by more than two percent.
  • Eleven of the 24 states have cut per student funding by more than five percent.
  • Of the states surveyed, the three states that reduced per student funding the most since last year are Illinois, Texas, and Wisconsin. Illinois cut per student spending by 13 percent, while Ohio and Texas imposed cuts of about 10 percent.

These cuts are occurring at a time when schools face demands from parents, employers and civic leaders to bring more and more students to higher levels of academic proficiency, in large part because workers will increasingly need higher levels of educational attainment to thrive in the workforce.

Milwaukee Taxpayers to Subsidize Schools Outside of Milwaukee in Voucher Program « Larry Miller's Blog

Milwaukee Taxpayers to Subsidize Schools Outside of Milwaukee in Voucher Program « Larry Miller's Blog:

Milwaukee Taxpayers to Subsidize Schools Outside of Milwaukee in Voucher Program

Following is the initial list of schools outside of Milwaukee that plan to participate in the Milwaukee voucher program. This means these schools will be subsidized by Milwaukee taxpayers:

Cedarburg – First Immanuel Lutheran School

Fox point – Hillel Academy

Brookfield – Immanuel Lutheran School

Racine – St. John Fisher Academy

Franklin – Saint Martin of Tours

Rise Above | The Jose Vilson

Rise Above | The Jose Vilson:

Rise Above

This morning, I remember thinking that telling my 9/11 story would engage people in my perspective of what this day means and what it might mean for people of my “like” mind. Other people seem to have the same ideas, woke up much earlier than I did, and got their stories out early and often. The streams of people sharing where they were on 9/11 came rushing through my screen like a tidal wave of tears streaming from the faces of those mourning for their loved ones lost that fateful day. This set of cliches made my throat clench, my fingers clutch, and my eyes squint. This mix of heightened patriotism and self-aggrandizing only made me push my laptop closed. While I wanted to entertain others’ thoughts on the day, I couldn’t help but see certain peoples’ faces run swiftly through the back of my eyelids: George W. Bush’s listlessness, Dick Cheney’s aggressive sneer, Donald Rumsfeld’s egotastical smile, and terror and weariness of hundreds and thousands of armed forces, local safety agents, and citizens. Where once faces and souls held comfort that the United States would always protects its own, we saw the facade exposed for all of us to see, like going to dinner with a few people you thought were

Damn it, Jim, I’m a teacher, not a statistician! « Cooperative Catalyst

Damn it, Jim, I’m a teacher, not a statistician! « Cooperative Catalyst:

PHILOSOPHICAL MEANDERINGS

Damn it, Jim, I’m a teacher, not a statistician!

I don’t care about my provincial diploma exam results. There, I’ve said it.

Every year around this time, I get a little booklet slipped into my mailbox at school detailing how well my students did on their English 30 diploma exams, worth 50% of their final mark. I’ve always felt a bit nervous as I open up these booklets, perhaps as nervous as the students themselves as they open their own envelopes and look at their own grades. I look at my top students and see how they did on the diploma, and my weaker students to see how they did. Inevitably there are some surprises (“He got an 80?!? I thought he slept through my class!”) and some not-so-surprises (“Yep. 62%. That’s about right.”)

The booklet also talks about which of the 120 standards are met in each of the 70-odd multiple-choice questions

Implementing Standards-Based Grading in my Social Studies Class, Finally « Outside the Cave

Implementing Standards-Based Grading in my Social Studies Class, Finally « Outside the Cave:

Implementing Standards-Based Grading in my Social Studies Class, Finally

This year, I am going 100% SBG in my senior Social Studies course, which combines government and economics.

Background

I wrote a whole series (scroll down to the bottom) on my plan to do a form of Standards Based Grading in my history class last year. It sort of happened, sort of didn’t. I was thinking about SBG, but the experience for my students did not change: they still saw grades for individual assignments, though there were performance standards attached to writing assignments. There were three major problems, two of which I knew going in, one which I realized very quickly:

  1. In a survey history course that ends in a high-stakes, content-based exam, it is necessary to track how

Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Dan Meyer was right…

Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Dan Meyer was right…:

Dan Meyer was right…

One change since I left the classroom is our district has adopted a new mathematics text, California Mathematics from Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. In just one week with the text, and already I’m complaining. The text in it’s ambition to be helpful, engaging and entertaining, is constantly focused on the non-pertinent, and telling kids what they should be able to figure out themselves. It’s a beautiful proof for Dan Meyer’s admonition to “be less helpful.”

Don’t get me wrong, I have no love for Saxon Math, the text it replaced, which was at the opposite side of the entertainment spectrum (the only illustrations were line drawings), way too opaque, and moved around in a seeming random fashion from one topic to the next (they called it spiraling — I called it confusing and

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: My Open Response To AJ Duffy's Response

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: My Open Response To AJ Duffy's Response:

My Open Response To AJ Duffy's Response

Last night I noticed that AJ Duffy, former president of the UTLA and now current charter school management organization front man, left a comment on the posting I wrote on September 2, "Et Tu, AJ Duffy?" The crack team wishes to thank AJ for taking the time to respond so politely and succinctly. However, I still have some opinions about what he wrote. What did you expect, me to keep my mouth shut?

What you are about to read is my account to clarify the facts surrounding my move to become Executive Director of Apple Academy Charter

Jeffrey N. Golub: Common Core Standards Leave Teachers Out of the Equation - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

Jeffrey N. Golub: Common Core Standards Leave Teachers Out of the Equation - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

Jeffrey N. Golub: Common Core Standards Leave Teachers Out of the Equation

Guest post by Dr. Jeffrey N. Golub.

The story goes that, some years ago, a Midwestern university decided to build a new library on its campus. So an architectural firm was commissioned to design and build the building. Within weeks after its opening, however, the new library began to sink into the ground. Seems the architects had not factored in the weight of the books.Thumbnail image for Golub.jpg

Oops!

This tale, it turns out, is actually an urban-legend that has been circulating among students on college campuses and elsewhere for years and years. The situation never actually happened, but I mention this story anyway because it seems a pertinent analogy to describe the problem that plagues the Common Core Standards that have only recently been 'built'. They, too, are not 'well-

Big Education Ape: 9-11-11 PM Who is the liar? EDition

Big Education Ape: Ed News Now:

Published by Coopmike48 – 4 news spotters today

Who is the liar? « Fred Klonsky's blog

preaprez.wordpress.com - When it was reported that four Chicago schools had voted to bend to the Mayor’s pressure and accept the longer day, you would have thought from the news reports that a cure for cancer had been disc...

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Chicago Shopping

chicagotribune.com - The woman who once promised a boxing match with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the rights of teachers and the hearts of Chicago's public school children is getting up off the mat. Bullied and bludgeoned by...

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Gullibility Begins at Home

fair.org - The collapse of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001 spewed an estimated 1.2 million tons of toxic and caustic dust into the air, enveloping thousands in a billowing cloud conta...

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coopmike48 Reader photos: Southern California Moments, Day 254 - latimes.com -http://t.co/yVIwSzg7 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

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Rick Perry's "Ultimate Justice" or Why Words Matter |

bluecheddar.net - There’s been a lot of talk about Rick Perry’s stance on the death penalty. He expressed his opinions on it during the recent presidential debate. The entire transcript of the debate can be found he...

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I was America | Being Latino Online Magazine

beinglatino.wordpress.com - From the editor… I was once land of the free, home of the brave. I was a pillar of strength.I welcomed and nurtured you, though none of you were my own. I brought you up to have pride, to build a l...

coopmike48

Blog U.: Parenting in a time of crisis - Mama PhD

insidehighered.com - By Susan O'Doherty September 11, 2011 2:41 pm EDT On the morning of September 11, 2001, I walked Ben to school as usual. On the way, also as usual, we met other kids in his class and their caregive...

coopmike48

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The Guardian: The Kochs' Keystone clique exposed

kochwatch.org - Only the Koch brothers' club of billionaires and political cronies will profit if the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline goes ahead-by Robert GreenwaldSeptember 8, 2011- Charles Koch, one of our co...

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Talking to your kids about 9/11

ednewsparent.org - Q. My son has many questions about Sept. 11. He’s hearing all about it at school and I think he’s been scanning our newspapers. He’s only 7, and I’m not sure how much to share with him. Any suggest...

coopmike48

Scott Walker's Third World Wisconsin

uppitywis.org - As a consultant who works with developing nations, I regularly refer to the GINI Coefficient when examining the unequal distribution of income and wealth in developing nations. Stable and successf...

coopmike48

Aspie Blogs – Water Sensitivities

edusped.com - This is caused by a sensory disorder that coincides with Autism Spectrum Disorders.Article by Rachel Evans When it comes to diagnosing autism, there are many different factors that need to be consi...

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Who is the liar? « Fred Klonsky's blog

bigeducationape.blogspot.com - Who is the liar? « Fred Klonsky's blog:Who is the liar?by Fred KlonskyWhen it was reported that four Chicago schools had voted to bend to the Mayor’s pressure and accept the longer day, you would h...

coopmike48

Still Committed to Us and No Them | Lefty Parent

bigeducationape.blogspot.com - Still Committed to Us and No Them | Lefty Parent:Still Committed to Us and No Themby Cooper ZaleWith the remembrances today of the events of 9/11 a decade ago, I want to call out something that I t...

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