Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Alert From the Sacramento Comprehensive High School Coalition


From the Sacramento Comprehensive High School Coalition:
An update is in order for anyone hopeful that the Sac High campus might be reclaimed for use as a pedestrian-friendly comprehensive high school. A sizable group of families from the West Campus community oppose any move that re-locates, or significantly expands their campus and culture. When combined with St. HOPE's vigorous defense of the Sac High campus, it would appear that the "swap" option faces two very well-organized, and determined opponents. 

For residents in "Central City" neighborhoods that formerly attended Sac High, the absence of a "swap" option leaves two outcomes as the likely scenarios for Board approval: 1) nothing changes; or, 2) Sutter moves to Kit Carson, and a high school is established at Alhambra and J Streets. (A third option, Sutter stays put, and a HS is established at Kit Carson has been studied at length, and determined infeasible due to environmental concerns. Likewise, co-location of a public high school at the campus occupied by St. HOPE as been studied, and determined unworkable).

Of these two remaining options, "change nothing" certainly offers the path of least resistance. Yet it comes with its own set of consequences which will dramatically affect families with YOUNGER children in the Sac High attendance area. Issue #1 is the District's looming deficit, which Darrel Woo suggested may be as high as $35M next year. That deficit could severely curtail inter-district transfers. Your child may no longer have the option of fleeing this district to attend High School in other districts, as 624 students did last year. Without inter-district transfers, waiting lists at West Campus and HISP would certainly grow, and become more competitive, as those two programs are already maxxed-out in their current configuration. Which leads, inevitably, to Issue #2: St. HOPE, as the only campus with facility enough to accommodate more students, would become the "defacto" comprehensive high school for the Central City, competing against Hiram Johnson and Rosemont as the only options for full-scale public high schools.

We believe the SCUSD School Board, and District 2 representative Jeff Cuneo, are about to make a decision with tremendous, long-term consequences to Central City residents. If you are a property owner, a parent, or an educator in this community, we urge you to attend Wednesday 6:30 meeting at David Lubin Elementary, to voice your concerns about this issue. Our Coalition remains committed to the "swap" as the solution that best addresses the economic, educational, environmental, and social challenges facing this District. We need all the support we can get to make this cause a success.

Today's Big Education Ape - PostRank Top Early Evening Posts #ows #edreform


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The Failure of Desegregation in Baltimore City Schools: An Interview with Morgan State's Ray Winbush · Stories · Baltimore Fishbowl

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Support PURE! PSAT for 11-29-11: Support PURE!

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Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for World Revolution #ows

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School Tech Connect: Fun With Standards

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Today's Big Education Ape - PostRank Top Afternoon Posts #ows #edreform

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Today's Big Education Ape - PostRank Top AM Posts #ows #edreform

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Remainders: Bronx school tells parents to stop airing its issues | GothamSchools

Remainders: Bronx school tells parents to stop airing its issues | GothamSchools:

Remainders: Bronx school tells parents to stop airing its issues

  • P.S. 24 in the Bronx told families to stop telling the school’s troubles to the press. (Bronx Press Politics)
  • A teacher discovers an error in an automatically graded Regents grade from last year. (NYCDOENuts)
  • A teacher reports with glee that social studies exams might be resurrected. (Mr. D’s Neighborhood)
  • Mike Petrilli: Though sometimes wrong, Diane Ravitch’s arguments are not personal. (Flypaper)
  • First-year students at Broome Street Academy Charter High School talk about their school. (YouTube)
  • A look at the three schools in Harlem that are on the DOE’s chopping block this year. (Insideschools)
  • A teacher explains how he differentiates by grouping without groups. (Mr. Foteah)
  • Analysis of the evidence — there isn’t much — that teachers have worsened over time. (Shanker Blog)
  • Parents at a citywide gifted school are worried about the co-located school’s expansion. (SchoolBook)

Response: Several Ways Teachers Can Create A Supportive Environment For Each Other - Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo - Education Week Teacher

Response: Several Ways Teachers Can Create A Supportive Environment For Each Other - Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo - Education Week Teacher:

« How Can Teachers Create A Supportive Environment For Each Other? | Main

Response: Several Ways Teachers Can Create A Supportive Environment For Each Other

S.H. asked:

Our school culture has a growing sense of [unhealthy] competitiveness. I believe a lot of this stems from the fact that our administration does not recognize (or maybe they do and simply don't voice) teacher expertise using specific, positive praise. We do receive thanks yous - but they tend to be blanket statements and pretty general. (For example, "Thank you Ms. _____ for helping your team out.")

This appears to have led to some teachers to measure themselves against others. Rather than feeling grateful that the students in our school are being taught by many talented teachers, it has become a zero-sum game and fed rivalries and pettiness.

It's sad for me to admit this, but I don't think there's a ton of hope in my administration changing their ways. I guess my question is, how can teachers create a sincere, supportive environment for each other?

I've asked Bill Ferriter and Parry Graham, co-authors of Building a Professional Learning Community at Work: A Guide to the First Year, to provide guest responses to this tricky question, and also include some excellent reader responses later in this post.

I think they offer excellent specific suggestions. The one thought I'd like to contribute is that a challenge to many of us -- whether it is how we operate as teachers with our colleagues or

Schools Matter: Got 4K? Start Teaching Today--in Texas

Schools Matter: Got 4K? Start Teaching Today--in Texas:

Got 4K? Start Teaching Today--in Texas

Online and for-profit teacher "preparation," another innovative job creating strategy from the job creators who created Rick Perry. A clip from the Hechinger Report:
iteachTEXAS, begun in 2003, is the first for-profit, non-university based alternative certification program to expand across state lines, with the newly created iteachU.S. operating programs in Louisiana and Tennessee. Additional offshoots will soon come to Michigan and at least two other states.

Diann Huber, president of iteachU.S., said the program’s goal is to provide a new career opportunity for people who have been laid off in other industries, like auto workers in Michigan, who may be able to use their knowledge to teach high-need subjects like math and science.

Texas began experimenting with alternative certification programs in the mid-1980s. Then, the

Is Relentless Test Prepping a Constructive Response? « City School Stories

Is Relentless Test Prepping a Constructive Response? « City School Stories:

Is Relentless Test Prepping a Constructive Response?

Teacher Stories

Submitted by Teacher Man on November 29, 2011

My principal recently made it very clear to me that the only written works produced by my 7th and 8th grade students worthy of display, are their constructed responses. In the Philadelphia School District and in my school especially, children are regularly expected to write these limiting and repetitive responses per the direction of our central leadership. According to my principal, it is vitally important that students score the maximum amount of points allowed for the opened-ended responses on the PSSA test. He

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