Friday, September 6, 2013

In 10 states, family income not a factor for students to eat free | Nation & World | The Seattle Times

In 10 states, family income not a factor for students to eat free | Nation & World | The Seattle Times:

In 10 states, family income not a factor for students to eat free

Boston’s public-school system has joined a federal program in 10 states and the District of Columbia that offers students two free meals every school day, whether or not their families can afford them.
The Associated Press
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BOSTON — Some students toted lunchboxes to the first day of school in Boston this week, but district administrators are expecting that could become a more unusual sight as parents learn about a federal program that is providing all public-school students in the city with free breakfast and lunch.
The nation’s oldest school system has joined a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that has spread to 10 states and the District of Columbia that offers students two free meals every school day, whether or not their families can afford them.
“It’s one less weight and one less burden for parents,” said Joshua Rivera, whose son is a second-grader at the Maurice J. Tobin School in Boston’s Roxbury section.
Officials say that serving more children saves them money.
The program, the Community Eligibility Option, is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that authorized $4.5 billion in new program funding.

Lack of Communication | JD2718

Lack of Communication | JD2718:

Lack of Communication

SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 PM30 11:40 PM


100 schools in New York City report that their principal does not “encourage open communication on important school issues.”
Trailing all, not a single teacher responding to the survey at Bushwick Ascend Charter School agreed that their principal encourages communication. Foundations Academy high school in Brooklyn, where no one trusts the principal, no surprise that over 80% doesn’t think the principal communicates openly, either. Over 80% of the teachers CS102 in District 12 in the Bronx (also topping the no trust list) and the Urban Assembly Unison middle school in Brooklyn (what?  the Unison School?) also claim their principals don’t encourage open communication.
The other 100+ are scattered across the city – all levels, almost all districts. The full list follows.
Now, I don’t place much stock in these surveys. The flip, all positive answers from a school, are 

Investigation finds that Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles violated district policy — and helped craft an administrator’s resignation letter that bashed his bosses | Education Blog

Investigation finds that Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles violated district policy — and helped craft an administrator’s resignation letter that bashed his bosses | Education Blog:

Investigation finds that Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles violated district policy — and helped craft an administrator’s resignation letter that bashed his bosses

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An investigation of Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles found he violated a district policy and the terms of his employment contract — both of which are cause for his termination, according to a copy of the investigative report obtained Friday by The Dallas Morning News.
The report clears Miles of any wrongdoing in the initial complaint, which questioned the handling of a service contract for parent education services. But it found that he violated a district policy by talking to witnesses during the district’s initial internal investigation into the contract.
The investigation also found that Miles helped write a top administrator’s resignation letter — which slammed the board of trustees but praised his leadership — and is believe to have leaked it to the media. The report said that action violated his contract, which states Miles must maintain an effective working relationship with trustees.
Miles used the resignation letter “as an opportunity to generate positive publicity for himself and negative publicity for the board,” the report said.
The report wraps up a six-week investigation by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins, who was hired in July by the board of trustees. Investigators interviewed 30 people and analyzed more than 411,000 emails from 23 employees.
“We found no violations of any laws, civil or criminal,” the report states. “However, we determined that Superintendent Miles violated board policy DH (Local) and his employment contract on two occasions by contacting witnesses and discussing facts relevant to the pending OPR investigation.”
Trustees received the report Friday afternoon and are scheduled to discuss it in private on Thursday. It’s not immediately clear what impact the investigation could have on Miles’ job. His support among trustees has faded since he arrived last year, and the report could further diminish their relationship.
Board president Eric Cowan declined to comment Friday. Trustees have instructed Miles not to discuss it. However, Cowan and Miles are scheduled to deliver a state of the district speech Tuesday at a Da

Sneak Attack: The War on Unions and Pensions – Sept. 6, 2013 | Reclaim Reform

Sneak Attack: The War on Unions and Pensions – Sept. 6, 2013 | Reclaim Reform:

Sneak Attack: The War on Unions and Pensions – Sept. 6, 2013

“The participants in the closed-door meeting were Republicans and Democrats, and included public officials and representatives of numerous foundations and think tanksintent on reducing pensions for public employees.
sneak attack
When? This particular meeting was May 22, 2013. The incident was uncovered and reported by the Huffington Post on September 6, 2013.
“Both the Reason Foundation and Pacific Research Institute are allied with the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has been writing corporatist model legislation for about 30 years. More locally, however, the nexus for pension-cutting is the Tustin-headquartered California Public Policy Center, a conservative nonprofit led 

First Trial Ends in Acquittal in School Scandal in Atlanta - NYTimes.com

First Trial Ends in Acquittal in School Scandal in Atlanta - NYTimes.com:

First Trial Ends in Acquittal in School Scandal in Atlanta


ATLANTA — The first Atlanta school administrator to face trial in the largest school cheating scandal in the country was found not guilty on Friday.
Phil Skinner/AJC, via Associated Press
Tamara Cotman, a former Atlanta schools administrator, after she was acquitted Friday.

The case, heard by a Fulton County Superior Court jury, centered on whether Tamara Cotman, a former administrator, influenced a witness during the investigation of widespread cheating in the 52,000-student district.
That investigation resulted in 65 indictments against 35 teachers and administrators, among them Beverly Hall, the superintendent once highly regarded for her work turning around a district plagued by poor academic performance.
Ms. Cotman’s three-week trial was narrowly focused, and it was far from clear whether the acquittal could be counted as an indicator of how the broader case, scheduled to start next spring, would fare.
Prosecutors hope to prove that a group of educators conspired to falsely raise scores on Georgia’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, then covered up the cheating and retaliated against people who tried to report it.
Bonuses, federal money and Dr. Hall’s national reputation were tied to higher test scores, and thus the motivation for cheating, the indictment alleges.
Prosecutors said Ms. Cotman, who oversaw 21 Atlanta schools, influenced witnesses and advised principals under investigation to essentially rebel against state investigators.
Benjamin Davis, her lawyer, said during the trial that the case was not about cheating and that his client never witnessed any criminal behavior and did not try to block the investigation.
Prosecutors tried to portray Ms. Cotman as an operator in an atmosphere of deceit that 

‘Who is going to help me?’ In Philly schools, life without counselors — MSNBC

‘Who is going to help me?’ In Philly schools, life without counselors — MSNBC:

‘Who is going to help me?’ In Philly schools, life without counselors

Waiting for Guggenheim: any value added in “Teach”? | InterACT

Waiting for Guggenheim: any value added in “Teach”? | InterACT:

Waiting for Guggenheim: any value added in “Teach”?

SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
For the third time in his documentary film career, Davis Guggenheim turns his lens towards education, this time in “Teach” – airing on CBS tonight (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).
Guggenheim’s first education-related film focused on teachers in their first year in the classroom. His next ed-flick was “Waiting for Superman” – a film that blurred the propaganda/documentary lines by adopting a rather uncritical stance of the education “reform” storyline that glorifies charter schools, vilifies unions, and puts inordinate pressure on teachers for accountability that policymakers and the general public are often able to shirk. To make that storyline seem even more emotional, Guggenheim manipulated the audience by distorting the connection between a mother and the charter school she was touring.
But Guggenheim promises us – he loves teachers. Honestly, I don’t need his love. I don’t think we need teacher-as-hero narratives – though they’re better than the opposite approach. I just 

Secretary Duncan says integration can’t be forced and there is need “to do more” | EdSource Today

Secretary Duncan says integration can’t be forced and there is need “to do more” | EdSource Today:


Charter Schools - Dividing Communities since 1991

This week U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan took on a subject – ever so briefly – that has virtually fallen off the nation’s education reform agenda: integrating its public schools.
His comments came against a backdrop of increasing racial and ethnic segregation in the nation’s schools, including in California, as I wrote in this commentary on the 50th anniversary on the March on Washington last month.
Asked on a “Back to School” program Sept. 4 on the Diane Rehm Show on WAMU about a racial integration lawsuit in Louisiana, Duncan emphasized the positive impact of attending racially diverse schools on students, especially white ones like himself. He said he could not have done his job as secretary of education without that experience. “You want children to grow comfortable and confident with other people who come from different backgrounds from them,” he said.
Here are Duncan’s complete comments on the issue:
I fundamentally think the need for integration and more integrative schools is very real, and there are things that we can do. Obviously, there are housing patterns that present 

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