Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How Effective Family Engagement Makes a Difference : NEA Today

How Effective Family Engagement Makes a Difference : NEA Today:

How Effective Family Engagement Makes a Difference

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By Cindy Long

If it hadn’t been for parental involvement at Glendale Middle School, a large group of girls would be failing gym class for one simple reason – they couldn’t wear the uniform.

Nearly a quarter of the student population at Glendale is Muslim, and for religious reasons, Muslim girls are unable to wear short-sleeved t-shirts or shorts, the standard uniform at the Salt Lake City school. But thanks to Glendale’s Refugee Task Force – a group of families who fled their country because of political turmoil and settled in here – the girls are now able to participate in P.E.

Glendale Middle School students in science class.

The task force was formed last year, and they meet monthly with the staff at Glendale to discuss concerns and strategies for increasing their involvement in the school.

Glendale is a target site of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which works to transform low performing schools through a number of measures, including developing family and community partnerships. Research shows that parent, family, and community involvement in education correlates with higher academic performance and school improvement. When

DIANE RAVITCH AND THE SELF-DEFEATING PUBLIC EDUCATION NO DIRECT ACTION AGENDA - Perdaily.com

DIANE RAVITCH AND THE SELF-DEFEATING PUBLIC EDUCATION NO DIRECT ACTION AGENDA - Perdaily.com:

DIANE RAVITCH AND THE SELF-DEFEATING PUBLIC EDUCATION NO DIRECT ACTION AGENDA

Diane Ravitch 2.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post)

One year ago Diane Ravitch spoke at Immanuel Presbyterian Church across from the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) headquarters. Her analysis of how the corporate agenda was proceeding unimpeded for privatizing public education and in the process getting rid of a professional teacher corp was impeccable. Again yesterday she made another insightful speech on the abysmal state of American public education, which she offered without honorarium in solidarity with teachers and in recognition of the fact that there is no rational basis for anything that the educational establishment and their political and corporate supporters continue to do in complete derogation of the public education reality Ravitch knows so well.

That being said, I must say that her presentation only succeeded in depressing me even more than I already was

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Really? We're Winning? It Doesn't Seem Like It

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Really? We're Winning? It Doesn't Seem Like It:

Really? We're Winning? It Doesn't Seem Like It

Reader Caroline commented on this post by Alexander Russo at This Week in Education (late December, 2011). It's a pretty funny lament over how the ed reformers can't seem to sell their message. These two lines made me laugh:

In contrast, reformy folks have lacked a SWAT team of feisty and prolific school-level champions defending articulating their message.

The now middle-aged reform movement seems to have relied on institutional and organizational voices -- Arne

Schools Matter: Save Ethnic Studies

Schools Matter: Save Ethnic Studies:


Save Ethnic Studies

Amigos,


This information is being sent to you by Roger & Norma Cazares . . . PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY! If you want someone to address this issue further at any gathering, let us know.


As you may know, Arizona has banned the teaching of ethnic studies, specifically targeting Mexican-American Studies in the Tucson Unified School District. Eleven TUSD teachers, administrators and students are suing the state to bring back Ethnic Studies.


To fight blatant discrimination and the spread of this civil/human rights violation to other states, join us for a fundraiser ($10, but hope you can donate more!) for:


SAVE ETHNIC STUDIES
Saturday, February 25, 2012
2:00 p.m.
Lincoln High School
4777 Imperial Avenue
San Diego, 92113


Attached you'll find the flyer for the Save Ethnic Studies event.


Here's the link to the trailer for Precious Knowledge


Here's the link to the description of the ethnic studies program:


Please encourage everyone to register at Eventbrite. com for SAVE ETHNIC STUDIES Fundraiser at Lincoln High School.


Add Your Name to the Save Ethnic Studies Petition


The Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District is facing the real threat of being shut down. The program successfully keeps otherwise-disengaged students motivated to learn and go on to college by using curriculum with which they culturally identify to teach critical thinking skills and empower the students to be strong leaders in their communities.


Despite all of the benefits of the program, in May 2010 Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill (HB 2281) into law that aimed to ban ethnic studies in Arizona schools. This law went into effect at the beginning of 2011 and prohibits schools from offering classes that are designed for students of a certain ethnic group. As a result, the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, which has contributed to a 97% decrease in the dropout rate, is now facing a serious threat to its existence, while African American, Native American, and Asian American Studies programs are all allowed to continue.


An independent audit commissioned by the state found the program to be fully in compliance with Arizona’s ban, and recommended that the program be maintained as part of the core curriculum for high schools. Despite these findings, State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal has threatened to withhold $15 million of state funding from the school district.


Join the 11 teachers and administrators from the Mexican American Studies program and two of its students to defend the program. Sign the Save Ethnic Studies petition below to show your support and we’ll keep you updated on the progress of the lawsuit against the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.


Learn more! Watch the trailer of Precious Knowledge, which documents the program and the battle to save it. The full program will be shown at the fundraiser.


We the undersigned support the effort to save ethnic studies in the Tucson Unified School District. The Mexican American Studies program poses no threat to the state of Arizona or its education system. On the contrary, it provides a proven-effective method to educate students and motivate them to stay in school and become productive leaders in their community.


We stand in opposition to State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal’s attempt to withhold $15 million of state funding from the school district. This action is completely unwarranted given the results of the independent audit commissioned by the state, which found the program to be fully in compliance with Arizona's ethnic studies ban. In fact, the audit recommended that the program be maintained as part of the core curriculum for high schools in the district.


The Mexican American Studies program should be applauded and replicated for its success, not destroyed by a pointless ban.


Here's an interesting interview by Anderson Cooper interviewing Tom Horne and the great sociologist Michael Dyson.

School Tech Connect: On Data, and Fundamentalism

School Tech Connect: On Data, and Fundamentalism:

On Data, and Fundamentalism

I stopped teaching kids English at the end of the of the 2004-2005 school year to become a testing coordinator and media specialist, and then administrator and finally, a computer guy. I'm trying to think of a time in the classroom or after when there was a data point generated from testing that surprised me or highlighted a trend I couldn't guess from working with kids all day long.

I don't recall a single instance of that. Not one.

I do recall that during the furtive, illegal instances when I would actually look at the tests my students were taking, I was appalled at the questions my kids were being asked to answer in order to assess their "reading comprehension." It was like some kind of game, is all I can say. A game that you would definitely have to prep kids for, intensely. There were always two questions on pronoun/antecedent agreement--- I even made a

Paulo Freire’s book, ‘A Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ banned in Tucson: A note from Bill Bigelow and ReThinking Schools | Dailycensored.com

Paulo Freire’s book, ‘A Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ banned in Tucson: A note from Bill Bigelow and ReThinking Schools | Dailycensored.com:

Paulo Freire’s book, ‘A Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ banned in Tucson: A note from Bill Bigelow and ReThinking Schools

Dear Rethinking Schools friends,

Did you see the news last week? On Friday, we learned that our book Rethinking Columbus was banned — along with other books used in Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program, including Paulo Freire’s A Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Rodolfo Acuña’s Occupied America, and Elizabeth Martinez’s 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures. So we’re in good company.

School authorities confiscated the books during class—boxed them up and hauled them off. As one student said, “We were in shock … It was very heartbreaking to see that happening in the middle of class.”

This is the latest chapter in the rightwing attempt to ban ethnic studies

Geaux Teacher!: REFORM OR BUST - JINDAL STYLE!!!

Geaux Teacher!: REFORM OR BUST - JINDAL STYLE!!!:

REFORM OR BUST - JINDAL STYLE!!!

http://theadvocate.com/newsletters/breakingnewsnewsletter/1826105-77/jindal-gives-education-specifics.html

Governor Jindal finally "revealed" his agenda for the demise of true public education today. The full article can be found at the URL above and a concise FACT SHEET as distributed to the press is below. I'll try to address each point in separate blogs - I guess you could call it a translation or transliteration - because the language and syntax Jindal uses is deceptive.

Jindal will need the legislature to pass laws to institute most of this policy. It is up to educators, parents, and concerned taxpayers to contact your legislators to let them know you will hold them accountable for intended

All Things Education: Opportunity to Expand Choice (Maybe)

All Things Education: Opportunity to Expand Choice (Maybe):

Opportunity to Expand Choice (Maybe)

I've been busy responding to my governor's education agenda. On Monday, I wrote about the initiative to advance literacy. On Tuesday, I wrote about possible implications of repealing the Kings Dominion Law. Today will be a much meatier post about choice. I want to take a minute to acknowledge that school choice is a very thorny and complex issue; I do my best to approach it as such. To read a sampling of related posts on my blog, please gohere.

In "Expanding Educational Options for Virginia's Students," McDonnell talks about virtual learning, charter schools, university lab schools, and granting tax credits to businesses that contribute to private school scholarships for low-income students. Many of these ideas seem to have been borrowed from Florida. One

Seattle Schools Community Forum: More Leadership Voices Speaking Out Against Charter Legislation

Seattle Schools Community Forum: More Leadership Voices Speaking Out Against Charter Legislation:

More Leadership Voices Speaking Out Against Charter Legislation

Braving the snow day, the president of WSSDA (Washington State School Directors' Association), Mary Fertakis, testified today before the Senate committee hearing testimony about SB 6202, the charter schools bill.

Here's a link to the story at the Seattle Education blog. It is clear from her testimony that she has read this bill thoroughly and spotted several of the issues I saw as well. From the SE blog story:


In her testimony, Fertakis pointed out the association’s concerns that the bill may fall short of its stated objective to serve students who struggle to achieve due to poverty, racial and ethnic diversity, and special needs. She referenced Section 105 of the bill, which allows charter schools to be set up for educationally

Seattle Schools Closed Thursday, January 19th

From the district:

“We hoped that students and staff could return to school on Thursday, but forecasts right now are showing continuing severe weather, including the potential for icy roads,” said Dr. Susan Enfield, Interim Superintendent. “We want to err on the side of caution, and also give families enough time to plan for another snow day.”

Please note that the 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19 School Board Committee of the Whole meeting has not been

Big Education Ape: 1-18-12 PM Who speaks for the children? The Governor, the Mayor, or their parents? EDition #edreform

Big Education Ape: Ed News Now:
Big Education Ape: Ed News Now

Published by Coopmike48 – 8 news spotters today

So much for freedom of speech… « GFBrandenburg's Blog

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coopmike48 The Washington Teacher: Vote For The Washington Teacher Blog's Fascination Award!: The Washington Teacher: ... bit.ly/zHo6NM #edu21 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

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K12NN Via @EdWeek; "The controversial ESEA draft bill recently issued by House Republicans continues to divide...fb.me/1obJ9monZ13 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

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leoniehaimson Total chaos & huge anger at admin from patents& teachers at pep6 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

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leoniehaimson Charters r stealing from one set of children to go to another2 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

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