Tuesday, December 6, 2011

John Thompson: Diane Ravitch and the History That "Reformers" Do Not Know

John Thompson: Diane Ravitch and the History That "Reformers" Do Not Know:

John Thompson

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Diane Ravitch and the History That "Reformers" Do Not Know

Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch has again done the seemingly impossible. She prompted Education Sector's Kevin Carey to take a glance at the history of education. Even so, Carey's piece in The New Republic, "The Dissenter," indicates that he did not read carefully.

Carey wrote that Ravitch "left a polarized history profession in her wake," as if she did not enter the field at a time when traditional historians were under siege. During the sixties, history was dominated by class-based analyses of theories on the oppressiveness of various power structures. History was dominated by genres, ranging from the New Social History to the various Marxist schools of thought, that sought evidence for or against ideological orthodoxies. Too many fell under the umbrella of "history with the people left out."

Ravitch dissented and wrote richer, eclectic narratives on a broader canvass. Rather than claiming that history "proved" their theories, more balanced historians, like Ravitch, still practiced the approach that Carey condemns as using "historical narrative in illustrating various points." These historians also assumed that in the end, "there will be heroes, villains, naive collaborators, [and] rigid ideologues." They appreciated a world of contradictions.

Today's historians have largely embraced Ravitch's position that history does not tell us what

SCAPEGOAT REASONS « Teachers Fight Back

SCAPEGOAT REASONS « Teachers Fight Back:

SCAPEGOAT REASONS

Some readers disagree that teachers are scapegoats and have asked why I have that opinion.

Here we go:

When parents fail to prepare their preschool age children for school and then blame the teacher when the child falls behind in school, that’s scapegoating.

When parents have allowed their children to grow up without any sense of discipline and self-control, and then blame the teacher when their child has discipline problems in school, that’s scapegoating.

When government officials set unrealistic test standards, and then blame the teachers when the students fail to

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Teachers Of Los Angeles, Introducing Education4Excellence's Princess Sydney Morris

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Teachers Of Los Angeles, Introducing Education4Excellence's Princess Sydney Morris:

Teachers Of Los Angeles, Introducing Education4Excellence's Princess Sydney Morris

Hello teachers and educators of Los Angeles. This pastSaturday, December 3, Little Evan Stone, co-founder and co-chief executive officer was profiled in these pages. Tonight in the promise to share all we know here at SBSB about Educators4Excellence with our Los Angeles brethren we would like to introduce the Left Coast to the other brain behind E4E, the other co-founder, the other co- chief executive officer, Princess Sydney Morris. Of course any teacher can go to the E4E bio of Princess Sydneyand read her bio, but we here at SBSB believe that one should at the very least not embellish their accomplishments and stay away from cliches.

The first embellishment of Sydney's bio lies in the first ten

Leonie Haimson on CNN’s American Morning on class size « Parents Across America

Leonie Haimson on CNN’s American Morning on class size « Parents Across America:

Leonie Haimson on CNN’s American Morning on class size

Carol Costello interviewing Leonie Haimson on CNN’s American Morning. Here’s an accompanying article from the CNN blog. Despite the claims made in this piece about Forest Hill HS, only 38% of their graduates are college ready, according to DOE, meaning they will probably need remediation. I’m sure that even this relatively successful school could do [...]

School Tech Connect: Those Terrible Teachers

School Tech Connect: Those Terrible Teachers:

Those Terrible Teachers

I can't add anything to Sharon's lovely, sad piece about the AUSL infomercial on the 29th at Morton. I occasionally read commentary from so-called reformers to the effect that nobody is attacking teachers, so stop saying that reformers are attacking teachers. Well, the mayor of Chicago is attacking teachers. It's his M.O.

These parents who were rounded up to slam the teachers from the pre-AUSL Morton, let me just say this about them. I've worked at private schools with $20k tuition, I've worked in two of the "best" districts on the North Shore, and I've worked at struggling public schools in poverty-impacted Mesa, Arizona. At any of these places,

CA Dem chair John Burton (bleeping) kills on The Daily Show (VIDEO) | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog

CA Dem chair John Burton (bleeping) kills on The Daily Show (VIDEO) | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog:

CA Dem chair John Burton (bleeping) kills on The Daily Show (VIDEO)

On the day after Gov. Brown proposed a tax-raising ballotmeasure, “The Daily Show” did a hilarious — but ultimately, for those of us who live here, sad – take Monday on California’s messed up initiative process. The star of the bit was California Democratic Party chair John Burton.

It was even better than when Burton told Shaky Hand Productions that someone could take “a dump in my salad for $78,000.”

The Chairman was in better-than-prime form, dropping f-bombs with such abandon that correspondent John Oliver said, “You curse more than a West Coast rapper.”

“A whaaaa?” Burton replied. We haven’t seen that look on The Chairman’s face since his fabled joint appearance with former CA GOP chair Ron Nehring on Shaky Hand Productions.

The story revolved around the state’s brawl over the “Amazon tax.” Burton said that his daughter gave him a Kindle for his birthday but he’s so mad at “those goddam people at Amazon” that he refuses to use it. So he goes to his local bookstore and buys a book instead.

“I can read it taking a crap as opposed to looking at a Kindle or a computer taking a crap,” Burton said.

Oliver is genius in this bit, as well. He drills conservative Assemblyman Tim Donnelly who says the initiative process is all about “freedom.” Also he attempts to gather signatures for a ballot measure to prevent people from gathering signatures. Now there’s an idea…

Key moment for Burton aficionados: When he even dusts off the used-only-by-him phrase: “What the s—.”

Enjoy:

And for old times sake, here’s Burton’s “dump-in-my-salad” masterpiece:

Nancy Pelosi provides Newt Gingrich ethics report | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog

Nancy Pelosi provides Newt Gingrich ethics report | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog:

Nancy Pelosi provides Newt Gingrich ethics report

In case you haven’t been watching cable TV, two former House Speakers named Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich are having a bit of a fracas related to all that Gingrich baggage about which GOP primary voters in Iowa appear to be blissfully ignorant.

Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat and now House minority leader, promised to release records that are public but haven’t seen much sunshine lately about the congressional ethics investigation of Gingrich back in the day.

Gingrich said that would be foul play and promised to retaliate, claiming Pelosi was threatening to disclose non-public information. But Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said Pelosi was “clearly referring to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware.”

Hammill helpfully provided public links and we provide them here.

Here’s the 1280 pages of the Ethics Committee report.

In a thumbnail, Congress accepted the committee report, which found that Gingrich used tax exempt contributions for political purposes and then attempted to mislead the Ethics Committ

Robert Reich (The Most Important Economic Speech of His Presidency)

Robert Reich (The Most Important Economic Speech of His Presidency):

The Most Important Economic Speech of His Presidency

The President’s speech today in Osawatomie, Kansas — where Teddy Roosevelt gave his “New Nationalism” speech in 1910 — is the most important economic speech of his presidency in terms of connecting the dots, laying out the reasons behind our economic and political crises, and asserting a willingness to take on the powerful and the privileged that have gamed the system to their advantage.

Here are the highlights (and, if you’ll pardon me, my annotations):

For most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded. Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of our economy actually benefitted from that success. Those at the

Loss of Memory and Reform-driven Policymakers | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Loss of Memory and Reform-driven Policymakers | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Loss of Memory and Reform-driven Policymakers

In 1975, Neurologist Oliver Sacks saw a hospitalized patient by the name of Jimmy R. (see “Lost Mariner” inwife-hat-2)

Jimmie was a fine-looking man, with a curly bush of grey hair, a healthy and handsome forty-nine year-old. He was cheerful, friendly, and warm.

‘Hiya, Doc!’ he said. ‘Nice morning! Do I take this chair here?’ He was a genial soul, very ready to talk and to answer any questions I asked him. He told me his name and birth date, and the name of the little town in Connecticut where he was born…. He spoke of the houses where his family had lived—he remembered their phone numbers still. He spoke of school and school days, the friends he’d had, and his special fondness for

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: SAN DIEGO SCHOOL EMPLOYEES WARNED OF CUTS, LAYOFFS: Superintendent sends letter to 14,000 outlining financial problems

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: SAN DIEGO SCHOOL EMPLOYEES WARNED OF CUTS, LAYOFFS: Superintendent sends letter to 14,000 outlining financial problems:

SAN DIEGO SCHOOL EMPLOYEES WARNED OF CUTS, LAYOFFS: Superintendent sends letter to 14,000 outlining financial problems

WRITTEN BY MAUREEN MAGEE |SIGNON DAN DIEGO.COM/SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE| HTTP://BIT.LY/TD9EQ9

7:40 p.m., Dec. 2, 2011 :: San Diego city schools chief Bill Kowba issued a sobering letter to some 14,000 employees Friday, warning about grim finances and layoff notices set to land in mailboxes before the holidays under the threat of midyear cuts.

Documents »


From: Smolens, Michael
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 5:01 PM
To: Smolens, Michael
Subject: FW: First Interim Report and Mid-Year Budget Cuts
Attachments: image001.jpg; image002.jpg


Dear District Employee:

The purpose of this email is to provide you with a “heads up” about a public
discussion that will take place over the next few weeks about the district’s
first interim financial report and mid-year cuts. At the Board meeting on Dec.
6, 2011, I will present budget reduction recommendations to accommodate an
estimated mid-year cut of approximately $26-30 million. At the same time,
there will be an initial reading of draft first interim report budget
solutions to balance a $91-97 million budget shortfall in 2012/13. On Dec. 13,
2011, there will be a second reading of the first interim report budget
solutions.

First Interim Financial Report
As background, every year the district is required to submit a first interim
financial report to the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) by Dec.
15. This report highlights information on our financial condition for the
first four months of the current fiscal year and a projection of our financial
position for the next two years. With the submission of the report, the Board
certifies the district’s ability to meet all financial commitments. Per SDCOE
guidance, in this year’s first interim, we are required to assume that the
State will impose a mid-year cut to K-12 funding and that we will not receive
a Cost of Living Funding Adjustment (COLA) in 2012/13. As a result of these
two assumptions and other fiscal planning factors, we have calculated a budget
shortfall in 2012/13 of $91-97 million. To address the mid-year cut and next
year’s shortfall, the first interim report will require the submission of a
preliminary list of budget reductions for both scenarios. At this point, the
list of reductions cannot include any assumption of negotiated budget savings
from collective bargaining that may or may not materialize in the coming
months.

Mid-year Cut Reductions and Timing Issues The State budget approved in June
included a legal provision that automatically imposes funding cuts on K-12
education should state revenues fall below targeted projections by more than
$2 billion. Under this provision, the Governor must consider the more positive
of two revenue assessments, one from the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) and
the other from the Department of Finance, in making a trigger decision. The
LAO projection, released before Thanksgiving, estimated a state revenue
shortfall of $3.7 billion, which, if confirmed by the Finance Department
projections, would result in a mid-year General Fund reduction for San Diego
Unified of approximately $26-30 million. The projection from the Finance
Department will not be released until Dec. 15, after the district’s deadline
to submit the first interim report to the County. Simply stated, we must act
on a mid-year budget cut strategy before the Governor has the required
financial reports that will determine if the mid-year cut trigger must be
implemented.

At the Dec. 6 Board meeting, I will present recommendations to the Board to
mitigate the mid-year cut by obtaining monies in the following areas:

* $22M – Projected year-end fund balances,
* $4.5M – Real estate sale proceeds,
* $1.7M – Mid-year classified staffing reduction savings, and
* $1.5M – Hiring freeze savings.
I will be initiating a strategic hiring freeze on all non-essential positions
for the remainder of this fiscal year to help replenish our year-end balance
and mitigate the scope of the 2012/13 deficit. In order to achieve the needed
budget reductions in this fiscal year, the classified staffing reduction must
be initiated this month to provide impacted employees with the required 45-day
notice. Unfortunately, the timing of the mid-year cuts requires that the Human
Resources Department begin the notice preparation process before the winter
break.

2012/13 Budget Development
Like the mid-year cut scenario, the 2012/13 $91-97 million reduction situation
must be addressed before the Governor has acted. In this case, the Governor
will not release his draft 2012/13 budget until early January 2012. The first
interim report must also include a list of solutions to address the projected
deficit without negotiated employee concessions. After five years of
significant budget reductions totaling more than $450 million, it is extremely
difficult to achieve budget adjustments of this magnitude without drastic
staffing reductions. Consequently, this list of budget solutions will include
recommendations for significant layoffs touching all stakeholder groups,
programs, and organizations in the district.

As the new year opens, we will be increasing our advocacy efforts in
Sacramento and consulting with our employee groups about concessions that can
mitigate the drastic staffing reductions that must be included in the first
interim report submission to the County Office.

I believe that we can weather this storm if we continue to work together
collaboratively and creatively on a range of solutions. Advocacy with our
elected representatives must be ongoing to urge them to find revenue solutions
for the California budget crisis that can stave the tide of devastation
hitting public education in California.

Thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to our students as we
continue to face this unprecedented economic crisis.

[Kowba Signature]
Bill Kowba
Superintendent



Teachers are safe from midyear job cuts under state law that

Obama Administration Officials to Honor Great Teaching at White House Event | U.S. Department of Education

Obama Administration Officials to Honor Great Teaching at White House Event | U.S. Department of Education:

Obama Administration Officials to Honor Great Teaching at White House Event

Roundtable Discussions at U.S Department of Education to Follow

Contact:
Sara Gast, (202) 401-1989, sara.gast@ed.gov


Event Date 1: December 07, 2011 09:30 am - 11:00 am
Event Date 2: December 07, 2011 02:30 pm - 03:00 pm

White House Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Obama Administration officials will celebrate and honor the newest group of Nationally Board Certified teachers tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the White House. The event can be watched live online atwww.whitehouse.gov/live and will be archived on the site later.

During the event, officials will congratulate the teachers and engage in a discussion about transforming the teaching profession and how to best support teachers as leaders in the classroom. National Board Certification is the most advanced professional credential available to American teachers.

Following the morning event, the Nationally Board Certified teachers will come to the U.S. Department of Education to continue the conversation in roundtables facilitated by the Department's Teaching Ambassador Fellows. The roundtables will cover a range of topics including student learning, career growth, compensation and retirement, and student perspectives on quality teaching. The conversation at the Department will be open to press at 2:30 p.m.

Media who are interested in attending the event at the U.S. Department of Education are asked to RSVP to press@ed.gov by no later than noon on Wednesday.


Event 1
Who :

White House Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Nationally Board Certified Teachers

What :Event to celebrate great teaching and congratulate the newest group of Nationally Board Certified teachers
When :9:30-11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 7
Where :www.whitehouse.gov/live
Event 2
Who :

Department of Education senior officials
Nationally Board Certified teachers
Teacher Ambassador Fellows

What :Roundtable discussions about transforming the teaching profession
When :2:30-3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 7; RSVPs due by noon
Where :

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, D.C.

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