Friday, October 4, 2013

Under pressure, charters nix cash-for-applicant tactic | GothamSchools

Under pressure, charters nix cash-for-applicant tactic | GothamSchools:

Under pressure, charters nix cash-for-applicant tactic


A city charter school network abruptly abandoned a recruiting effort today that would have paid families cash rewards for bringing new students to its schools. The retraction happened two and a half hours after Ireported the effort on Twitter earlier today.
Screen shot 2013-10-04 at 9.20.17 PM
A screenshot of the bulletin posted to Girls Prep charter school’s web site, offering cash to parents who recruited students. Girls Prep’s network later removed the page after canceling the program.The network, Public Prep, yanked an bulletin for the offer on the website of two of its charters.
The tweet caused a “firestorm,” said Public Prep CEO Ian Rowe, and even prompted a worried call from the Department of Education. ”Given the way it’s been framed and received, we decided to pull it,” he said.
The cash reward was available at two Girls Prep Lower East Side schools, which have vacant seats in their kindergarten through sixth grades. Public Prep promised to give current parents a $100 cash card and a $100 contribution to a college savings plan if they found students to enroll at the schools and stay for at least three months.
Rowe said the program was part of an aggressive recruiting strategy required by the Lower East Side’s competitive school marketplace. Besides attracting students, he said, another goal was to “incentivize ou

Remainders: Tips for helping neighborhood schools get better

  • A parent who wants to help her zoned school get better receives tips about where to start. (Insideschools)
  • New York education officials looked to Kentucky when predicting Common Core test scores. (Capital NY)
  • A 50CAN staffer is heading back to work at the New York State School Boards Association. (Eduwonk)
  • Arne Duncan had to cancel his “Education Nation” date due to the government shutdown. (Politics K-12)
  • A Queens middle school teacher describes realizing that he had gotten through to a student. (Edwize)
  • A city teacher advocates for teaching with one’s door open, both literally and figuratively. (Jose Vilson)
  • A Florida student was briefly held back after falling one point short of passing a state test. (Answer Sheet)
  • A quarter of Detroit students got prizes for showing up on Michigan’s “Count Day.” (Joanne Jacobs)

Diane Ravitch: ‘Schools are not doing well because our society is not doing well’ — All In with Chris Hayes MSNBC

Diane Ravitch: ‘Schools are not doing well because our society is not doing well’ — MSNBC:

Diane Ravitch: ‘Schools are not doing well because our society is not doing well’

Parent Teacher Home Visit Project

Parent Teacher Home Visit Project:

missionstmt
THE PARENT/TEACHER HOME VISIT PROJECT
is an inexpensive and easily replicated model of family engagement that has been proven to end the cycle of blame between families and school staff by building trust and respect, instilling cultural competency and increasing personal and professional capacity for all involved.
The increased communication, trust and support between families and teachers via home visits result in:
  • Increased student attendance rates.In Past Year
  • Increased student test scores.
  • Decreased suspension and expulsion rates.
  • Decreased vandalism at school site.
Home visits also provide a positive opportunity to meet federal and state mandates that families be meaningfully informed of their child’s academic standing.
This model began in Sacramento, California but has since been adopted and adapted by schools and districts in eleven other states.



MATT DAMON JOINS DIANE RAVITCH TOUR

Matt Damon Diane Ravitch book tour Reign of ErrorAfter a stop in Sacramento last week where she shared the stage with CTA Secretary-Treasurer Mikki Cichocki , Diane Ravitch continued her tour promoting her new book Reign of ErrorWednesday Night at CSU Northridge. Matt Damon, whose educator mother was in the audience, brought some Hollywood star power to the event, introducing Ravitch and lauding her stands on major education issues.
Ravitch wasted no time in her hour-long presentation, exposing what she calls hoaxes being perpetrated on the public and on the education community, largely by corporate and billionaire so-called reformers. "America is not falling behind," noted Ravitch, sharing recent data that ties the US with Finland, a nation often ranked at the top in education. Among her other targets:
  • No Child Left Behind:  Ravitch said her former boss Lamar Alexander admitted that NCLB’s target of 100% of US children being proficient by 2014 wasn’t possible to reach, but that it was “good to have a goal.” Ravitch rightly pointed out that thousands of American schools were being called “failures” and people were getting fired for not reaching that “good” goal.
  • Charter schools: While acknowledging there are excellent charters, Ravictch deplored the “risk management” strategy of some that cherry-pick higher achieving students. She had especially harsh words for online charter schools raking in millions of tax dollars with little overhead to spend it on, and pointed out that on average charters do just about as well as traditional public schools.
  • Abolishing tenure: Ravitch defended tenure laws, saying that all they do is allow teachers due process and to be heard if they are dismissed. Ravitch attacked the whole “get rid of bad teachers” strategy as a ridiculous way to improve schools. Quoting Linda Darling-Hammond, she observed, “You can’t fire your way to Finland.”
  • Parent Trigger laws: Ravitch sees them as a way to trick parents into turning public institutions over to private profiteers. She compared such efforts to a group of unhappy public bus passengers seizing the bus and giving it a private bus company. Citing such public entities as belong to the entire community whether they have children or ride the bus, she said of those who try to seize control, “It’s not their bus and it’s not their school,” she said.
  • Attacks on teacher unions: Ravitch pointed out that the same people who want to evaluate teachers on test scores are usually the same people who attack unions. She said those same people find it hard to reconcile that the nation’s top achieving states have unionized teachers.
Reign of Error is available in stores and online. Be sure to follow Diane Ravitch for her latest posts and commentary on the education reform landscape.
Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Daily Sundial

America's Kids Start Learning Way Before Kindergarten | Jim Steyer

America's Kids Start Learning Way Before Kindergarten | Jim Steyer:

America's Kids Start Learning Way Before Kindergarten




 Much of my work during the past decade has involved helping parents better understand the problems of unfettered media and technology access to their kids. But this doesn't mean that my colleagues and I oppose children using media and the latest digital content and tools. Rather, there are many positives that can come from the appropriate use of high-quality media and technology. Moreover, when used widely, and with appropriate supervision from parents and teachers, kids can learn a ton from those mobile videos, apps and programs that saturate their lives 24/7.
The bottom line is clear: children learn from everything and everyone around them. Research makes it evident that early learning begins well before kids start walking and talking. Indeed, more than 80 percent of a child's brain develops before age 5. This means that much of the critical learning that will mold that child's brain and help her become successful later in school starts with the early efforts of her parents.
Everyone recognizes that a parent is a child's first teacher. As community members, each of us has a moral and economic responsibility to ensure that these early teachers have all of the resources they need so that their children get their best shot at success. Unfortunately, 

10-4-13 Rethinking Schools

Rethinking Schools:




NEW PUBLICATIONS
Superheroes Not Waiting
Illustration: Michael Duffy
We are NOT Waiting for Superman! Join us
at NOTwaitingforsuperman.org
or on Facebook


Cover Story:

Of Mice and Marginalization

By Michelle Kenney
Under pressure from parents, a high school English teacher assigns a classic: Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Her students' reactions lead her to a deeper understanding of what's wrong with “the canon.”
– ALSO FEATURED –

Standing Up for Tocarra

By Tina Owen
When a homophobic minister preaches about the “sin” of a transgender student at her funeral, a teacher leads her students to focus instead on the beautiful spirit of the young woman they loved.

The Mystery of the 3 Scary Numbers

By Bill Bigelow
A classroom mixer prepares students to study “Global Warming's Terrifying New Math.”

Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education

By Stan Karp
Charter schools began as educator-initiated, local efforts to provide alternative approaches to education. What role are they playing now? And what is the impact on public education?
Founded in 1986 by activist teachers, Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit, independent publisher of educational materials.

We advocate the reform of elementary and secondary education, with a strong emphasis on issues of equity and social justice.

10-4-13 Jersey Jazzman

Jersey Jazzman:







RIP Jean Anyon
Anyon was a scholar who documented the most obvious thing in the world: Professor Anyon, who died on Sept. 7 at 72, was one of the first people to study that landscape in detail — and among the first to assert that without accompanying social reforms like job creation, antipoverty initiatives and urban renewal, the problems of education in urban, poor areas would never be surmounted. “The struc




10-3-13 Jersey Jazzman
Jersey Jazzman: Another Reformy Practice Not Grounded in Research: SGOsLike all teachers around New Jersey, I have been attending workshops and working with my administrators and colleagues on a new, reformy project: Student Growth Objectives. My SGO will count for 15% of my annual evaluation - a percentage mandated by state code - because I teach an "untested" subject: in other words, I

Children are going without food or education. In Somalia, Syria and the USA. | Reclaim Reform

Children are going without food or education. In Somalia, Syria and the USA. | Reclaim Reform:

Children are going without food or education. In Somalia, Syria and the USA.

Children are going without food or education. In Somalia, Syria and the USA. Yes, the USA. Now. Today and tomorrow and… Sequestration is another name for unnecessary austerity. Closing down the government is destructive for all Americans. Why are media headlines repeating the propaganda and political infighting as our children are denied food and education?
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Since the sequestration began, over 57,000 children have been denied Head Start education. In addition over 3,200 children have lost it since the government shut down began. Read the Think Progress article HERE.
stossel close more
In Arkansas alone, 85,000 people, many of whom are infants and children, are losing nutritional assistance (food) -in spite of Bill Kristol’s media assurances that the government shut down isn’t hurting anybody. What is the reality? “The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will not issue new payments to states, meaning that any state that has already spent all its federal 

Charter school operator sentenced to prison as industry group fights on his behalf | Pass / Fail | 89.3 KPCC

Charter school operator sentenced to prison as industry group fights on his behalf | Pass / Fail | 89.3 KPCC:

Charter school operator sentenced to prison as industry group fights on his behalf

People vs. Selivanov and Berkovich

Annie Gilbertson/KPCC

Judge Stephen Marcus complained that there were far to many lawyers involved. A total of six spoke during Friday's sentencing hearing.
At the end of a four hour hearing, a Los Angeles judge sentenced the founder of a San Fernando Valley charter school on Friday to 4 years and 8 months in state prison for embezzling school funds, money laundering and filing a false tax return. His wife, and co-founder, received 45 days in the county jail, probation and community service.
The case was unusual - in part because the California Charter School Association has been heavily involved and spent nearly the entire four hours Friday arguing that a jury's conviction of Yevgency "Eugene" Selivanov and Tatyana Berkovich ought to be thrown out.
"Certain money that goes to charter schools at some point no longer becomes charter schools," said defense attorney Jeffrey Rutherford, citing what he said is the California Charter School Association's position. "That these charter schools are not considered districts."
An investigation by the L.A. District Attorney's office found that Selivanov and Berkovich bought personal items and teacher gifts from the checking account of Ivy Academia Charter Schools with campuses in Woodland Hills, Winnetka, West Hills and Chatsworth. Selivanov and Berkovich owned the facility where the school was housed and hiked the rent up $25,000 per year. The couple also lent money to the 

Jesse Hagopian & Monty Neill | California Father

Jesse Hagopian & Monty Neill | California Father:

California Father


Jesse Hagopian & Monty Neill

by  on October 4, 2013 · Leave a Comment

 Here are two great voices in the testing reform movement.  I saw them at a recent United Teacher’s of Los Angeles Event hosted.  Thanks to all the new friends I made there.

 

“It’s Not a School Problem” | Texas Monthly

“It’s Not a School Problem” | Texas Monthly:

“It’s Not a School Problem”

DIANE RAVITCH USED TO BE A STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF EDUCATION REFORM. NOT ANYMORE.
Photograph by Ryan Dorsett
JAKE SILVERSTEIN: You are famous for having made a dramatic public reversal on the subject of education. As a historian and as somebody who was involved in the policy making process as a member of George H. W. Bush’s Department of Education, you were a supporter of some of the elements of what is now known as reform—high-stakes testing, accountability, competition, school choice. And then three years ago you broke with that movement and became one of its fiercest critics. Was it difficult to admit you’d been wrong?
DIANE RAVITCH: Writing a book is a very public way of saying I was wrong, and it was very important to say I was wrong. I won’t say it was easy because I alienated a lot of people with whom I’d been very friendly, and I had to break a lot of longtime associations with organizations and friends, and that was hard. The easy part was saying, “This is wrong. I’m sorry that I had anything to do with it, and I want to do whatever I can to reverse it.”
JS: In your new book, Reign of Error, you say that the well-meaning people who support these reforms—and presumably these are the people who used to be your allies—have “allied themselves with those who seek to destroy public education.” You really think the result of the reform movement will be the destruction of public education?
DR: I think that’s the direction we’re heading in. First of all, I have a lot of trouble with the word “reform” being attached to what’s happening right 

Nite Cap 10-4-13 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2 #Cheats4Change


James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP

TODAY

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10-4-13 Wait What?
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Hearing On Hostile Takeover of MPS Buildings To Be Held Wednesday October 9 in Madison | Larry Miller's Blog: Educate All Students!
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Movement to Raise Teacher Voices Goes Global | NEA Today
Movement to Raise Teacher Voices Goes Global | NEA Today: Movement to Raise Teacher Voices Goes GlobalOctober 4, 2013 by twalker  Filed under Featured News, Top StoriesLeave a CommentBy Tim WalkerIn July, NEA launched “Raise Your Hand,” a national campaign to empower educators across the nation to lead the charge for students and quality public education. A loud and strong teacher voice, however,
CDE urges cautious administrators to spend LCFF money SI&A Cabinet Report – News & Resources
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10-4-13 Seattle Schools Community Forum
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Stop This Madness
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Cali Education Headlines Friday, October 4, 2013
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Morning Wink 10-4-13 AM Posts #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2 #Cheats4Change
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10-4-13 Schools Matter
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YESTERDAY

Special Late Nite Cap UPDATE 10-3-13 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2
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AFT Human Rights Conference
AFT Human Rights Conference: AFT Human Rights ConferenceOver the last 30 years, the AFT has organized a series of biennial Civil, Human and Women’s Rights conferences addressing a wide range of social justice issues.
This year’s conference, organized in collaboration with the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, the National Education Association, and Communities for Public Education Reform, co
Nite Cap 10-3-13 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2 #Cheats4Change
James Baldwin said it best: "For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAPTODAYAssembly Bill 484 Questions and Answers + $7.5 Million to Linked Learning ProgramsAssembly Bill 484 Questions and Answers - Assessment Information (CA Dept of Education): Assembly Bill 484 Questions and AnswersQuestions and answers regarding





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