Sunday, December 29, 2013

#edreform Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap






Rhee-lated $tory: Michelle Rhee answers Ravitch in New Book

Q & A: Transforming toxic school cultures | EdSource Today

Q & A: Transforming toxic school cultures | EdSource Today:

Anthony Muhammad, author of The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach: Transforming Schools at Every Level
Anthony Muhammad, author of The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach: Transforming Schools at Every Level
For Anthony Muhammad, a widely recognized expert on school culture, the success of California’s big push to improve public schools rests on the ability of administrators and teachers to put aside blame, learn to talk to each other and work together to support their belief that every student can be successful – which is his definition of a healthy school culture.
Muhammad grew up in Flint, Mich., where he said he learned first-hand how teachers can subtly encourage or discourage their students. A former teacher and middle school principal, he is the co-author of “The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach: Transforming Schools at Every Level” and the author of“Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division.”He has presented his work on creating healthy school cultures to improve student achievement to many schools, districts and educational organizations, including Vallejo City Unified School District, Region 4 of the California Regional System of District and School Support, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Hanford, and the Santa Clara County Office of Education.
Muhammad talked to EdSource by phone from Michigan about school reform, “toxic” school cultures and how administrators and teachers can have tough conversations. Excerpts of the interview are below.
EdSource: As you know, California is in the midst of a momentous change in how it funds education, with more money intended to go to schools that have a high concentration of kids with low incomes. At the same time, Common Core State Standards are being introduced. Many people are excited about new possibilities, but some might say, “Oh, yet another effort to reform.” What 

V.A.M.: Value Added Measure: What's In A Name, Or A Title?

V.A.M.: Value Added Measure: What's In A Name, Or A Title?:

What's In A Name, Or A Title?




Once you label me, you negate me                Søren Kierkegaard

Who wouldn’t want to quote both Wayne’s World and a great 19th century Danish philosopher? 

So, what does it really take to become a leading voice in the 21st century educational reform movement? Well, while sitting in my kitchen; overlooking the Atlantic, it dawned on me. Suddenly the answer materialized, an epiphany, my satori, I realized what it is that I’m missing if I’m ever to be a serious educational reformist.

Now, I can provide a simple answer, or I could go on some longwinded and highly tangential screed, a tirade where I primarily lambast all of the men and women (et al Nitwits) that comprise the great educational reform movement, complete with their grand design and best intentions to restore America’s school system to that exemplar of excellence that it once held within the pantheon of all the other trailblazing nations that have pioneered educational gains and milestones. (That sentence will rack up a myriad of *lexile points) However, I have very little interest in ridiculing the many unrealistic, pedantic and all too tiresome excuses put forth by the deformation of the reformation.  
*See Lexile Dysfunction V.A.M. (12/16)

I have decided instead, to allocate all of my resources to discovering what it is that makes someone become an elite reformer. I’ve racked my brain just trying to figure out what 

The Educated Reporter: EWA National Awards for Education Reporting: Tips and Tools From Past Winners

The Educated Reporter: EWA National Awards for Education Reporting: Tips and Tools From Past Winners:

EWA National Awards for Education Reporting: Tips and Tools From Past Winners




EWA is now accepting entries for our 2013 National Awards for Education Reporting. You can find all the pertinent details here. We've added some new categories this year, including data journalism and education organizations and experts. I thought this would be a good opportunity to look back at some of thewinners of the 2012 contest, who were featured at our 66th National Seminar at Stanford University in May. Today's guest blogger is education reporter and editor Cathy Grimes of the Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va. 

Think your sources are slow responding to your FOIA requests? Try waiting more than 12 years for the data you need to tell an important story about truant students. David Jackson and Gary Marx, of the Chicago Tribune, were among five reporters and writers who shared the challenges, strategies and rewards of their prize-winning stories during a session at EWA’s National Seminar.

Jackson and Marx won the 2013 Fred. M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Reporting for their series “An Empty-desk Epidemic,” an investigation of 

De Blasio Is Said to Choose Schools Chancellor - NYTimes.com

De Blasio Is Said to Choose Schools Chancellor - NYTimes.com:

De Blasio Is Said to Choose Schools Chancellor


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Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will appoint Carmen Fariña, a former top official of the New York City Education Department, as the next schools chancellor, a person with knowledge of the decision said on Sunday.
Ms. Fariña, 70, is a veteran of the school system, having served as a teacher, principal and district superintendent, and retired as a deputy chancellor in 2006. She met Mr. de Blasio in the late 1990s while he was serving as a school district board member in Brooklyn and emerged as an influential adviser on education during his bid for mayor. Ms. Fariña shares Mr. de Blasio’s skepticism of standardized testing and his focus on early education.
Aides to Mr. de Blasio did not respond immediately to a request for comment late Sunday. Reached at her home on Sunday night, Ms. Fariña declined to comment.

NYC DOE Investigator Lawrence Scott Texts Privates to Teacher He Is Investigating for Corporal Punishment

http://www.southbronxschool.com:

NYC DOE Investigator Lawrence Scott Texts Privates to Teacher He Is Investigating for Corporal Punishment

OSI Investigator Lawrence Scott
Another "Wow! moment" in the annals of the New York Post, the DOE, it's investigative process, and Uncle Mike's Reign of Terror.

The Post outed OSI investigator Lawrence Scott in not only telling Natalya Sokolson Gordon, a
computer and fifth-grade teacher at PS 329 in Coney Island, that her;
 “I have the power to get rid of you just like that,” she said he told her, snapping his fingers, “or I can make everything go away.”
Nothing earth shattering really with that revelation my pal and all around first-rate blogger Chaz shared how the investigative process works over 5 years ago.

But worse, even more degrading is that Investigator Lawrence Scott sent Ms. Gordon; scores of X-rated texts, a photo of his penis and explicit demands for sex 

Obviously he has some serious Freudian issues here. 

Soon Investigator Scott told Ms. Gordon that he "likes it dirty" and to call him when she gets the 

Glenda Ritz, Gov. Mike Pence education tussle spills over to cyberspace

Glenda Ritz, Gov. Mike Pence education tussle spills over to cyberspace:

Glenda Ritz, Gov. Mike Pence education tussle spills over to cyberspace




 
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Analysis by Star reporters and columnists of state, local and federal government decision-making
Another sign of the education struggle between state schools chief Glenda Ritz and Gov. Mike Pence’s administration emerged online last week.
When viewers went to the State Board of Education web page,http://doe.in.gov/stateboard, it was no longer functional on the state Department of Education’s website.
That’s because it’s been moved to the website of Pence’s new education agency, the Center for Education and Career Innovation, known as CECI (http://www.in.gov/ceci/).
Guess the governor’s new agency figured that since the board was “officially” under the auspices of CECI, that its website should be, too. The board’s funding and staff have been under this new agency since it was created by executive order in August. The agency has no statutory power, but Ritz, who chairs the board, contends it’s chipping away at the responsibilities of her administration.
However, a CECI spokeswoman points out the board’s website still can be linked to 

Inequity and BYOD | Connected Principals

Inequity and BYOD | Connected Principals:

Inequity and BYOD


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Tim & Selena Middleton
Often when speaking to groups about technology and “Bring Your Own Device” initiatives, I will have someone challenge the thinking and say, “Well…what about inequity?”  To break down this question, what is often meant is that you will really shine a negative spotlight on the kids who do not have devices and they will feel worse about their situations.
Sometimes I feel that this argument is a reason to not even try by some that are making it.  But for some, it is a legitimate concern.
Here are my thoughts…
If we are really wanting to help these kids that might be coming from poor situations, we need to rethink the practices that we already have in our schools to provide for them.  For example, many schools have “computer labs” where we take kids once or twice a week, to do something with technology or allow them to type out an essay for us.  This is not a good use of technology anymore and we should know better now.  Technology should be at the point of instruction and be as accessible in learning as a pencil; it shouldn’t be an event. How many pencil labs do you have in your school?
So why are we not taking those labs apart and using those devices for the kids that don’t have the technology readily 

12-29-13teacherken at Daily Kos: Brothers and Sisters at Daily Kos - an Orthodox Wedding

Daily Kos: Brothers and Sisters at Daily Kos - an Orthodox Wedding:

Yes, I know my last name is Bernstein
28 years ago today Leaves on the Current and I got married in an Orthodox Wedding.
It was a Sunday afternoon.
It was not an Orthodox synagogue, because I was not religiously Jewish.
It was at St. Mark Orthodox Church in Bethesda, MD, part of of the Orthodox Church in America.
This will post automatically at 8 PM.  Since it is our wedding anniversary, I apologize for not being here to attend it, as we will be at a favorite restaurant in the Virginia countryside for our anniversary dinner.
Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
Please keep reading as I explore the Orthodox wedding service, remembering back almost 3 decades ago.
The ceremony is, as one might expect, full of Biblical texts and references, both from the 

teacherken at Daily Kos This Week 12-28-13
teacherken at Daily Kos:teacherken at Daily Kos This WeekCharles M. Blow on Greeting the New YearThis is the time of year when many, especially pundits, either look back at the year ending, or look ahead with resolutions, or both. There is some of each in this New York Times column this morning, but the focus is primarily forward, with four resolutions Blow offers as his commitment for the forthco

12-29-13 Seattle Schools Community Forum

Seattle Schools Community Forum:




End of the Year Stories about Students
Out of Florida via Ed Week:A new Florida bill would ensure that the state's high school students have a little more time to catch up on their sleep. Filed by state Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, the bill would make it impossible for any Florida high schools to begin the school day before 8 a.m. starting with the 2014-2015 school year, reports the Tampa Tribune.A recent Education Week story highlig

Ed Reform and NY State
New York State, and in particular, NYC, is a great place to consider what has happened and what changes may be coming for ed reform.  Call it the ghost of ed reform today, the future and, of course, the past.   NYC - the ghost of ed reform in the futureNaturally, all the change in how NYC will based on new mayor-elect, Bill de Blasio.  Here's a selection of what he pledged during the campaign from

12-28-13 Seattle Schools Community Forum Week
Seattle Schools Community Forum:Seattle Schools Community ForumTalking about Teaching MathFirst, a link to a great interview in the NY Times with Liping Ma, a former teacher and principal in China, who writes about the differences in how China and the US teach math.  Important reading if you care about math instruction (thanks to reader Dan Dempsey).The writing below is from a member of the SPS ma


12-29-13 Ed Notes Online

Ed Notes Online:








Skynet is Coming: On the movie "Her", artificial intelligence, neural networks and The Terminator
In coming years, the approach will make possible a new generation of artificial intelligence systems that will perform some functions that humans do with ease: see, speak, listen, navigate, manipulate and control.  NY Times The scary thing is that I actually understood today's NY Times front-page story "Brainlike Computers, Learning From Experience." In the late 80s I really did study th
NY Post Points to Corruption in OSI, DOE Investigations Unit?
In a meeting at his office on Nov. 14, 2012, Gordon said, Scott boasted that he could get teachers fired — or off the hook. “I have the power to get rid of you just like that,” she said he told her, snapping his fingers, “or I can make everything go away.” The scandal undermines the integrity of the DOE’s Office of Special Investigations, where Scott worked for three years... NY PostUPDATE FROM PO

12-28-13 Ed Notes Online Week
Ed Notes Online: Ed Notes OnlinePaul Krugmam on the imbalanced boss-worker power relationship applied to NYC principals and teachersThe massive power imbalance between principal and teacher in NYC is not due to a weak economy but to a weak union. Let me expound on this point....employment generally involves a power relationship: you have a boss, who tells you what to do, and if you refuse, you may



Troubling Stories That Broke During Holidays about Education in Denver and D.C. | janresseger

Troubling Stories That Broke During Holidays about Education in Denver and D.C. | janresseger:

Troubling Stories That Broke During Holidays about Education in Denver and D.C.

The holidays are a busy time.  It is easy to miss important news, and it is also a good time for unsavory news to be released quietly.  Here are two tidbits you may have missed in the past week.
DENVER—According to the Denver Post and Denver’s ABC Channel 7 News, on Christmas Eve, a judge in Colorado ruled that the Douglas County School District (Denver, Aurora, Boulder) violated campaign laws when white papers were commissioned to praise the school board’s conservative, so called “corporate school reform” practices in the lead up to the November school board election.
Rick Hess, education policy staffer at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), was hired to “‘research, create and publicize’ a white paper that would describe the district’s reforms, explain what made them unique, and ‘describe some of the advantages of the model.’”  Hess and AEI were paid $30,000—half from the school district’s public funds and the other $15,000 from the Douglas County School District Foundation, a 501(C)(3).  The school district circulated Hess’s paper to 85,000 subscribers.  According to Channel 7 News, “The final report uses superlatives like, ‘unusually ambitious,’ ‘remarkable,’ ‘bold,’ ‘illuminating’ and ‘cage-busting leaders,’ to describe the reform agenda.”
The judge also found against the school district for inducing the Douglas County School District Foundation to pay former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett $50,000 to produce 

Helen Gym: Agitator for School Reform

Helen Gym: Agitator for School Reform:

Helen Gym: The Agitator

Fiery Helen Gym has been the bane of school reformers. Is she eyeing the mayor’s office next?

Helen Gym Parents United P.A.
Photograph by Colin Lenton
Helen Gym advances, and Mayor Nutter inches warily back. She waves a thick stack of papers at him, each sheath a complaint lodged by parents lamenting the calamitous conditions in Philadelphia’s reeling public schools. There’s the kid with dangerous asthma at the school without a nurse on hand. The dyslexic, orphaned high-school senior applying for colleges with no counselor to lean on. The bullying victim who fled Overbrook High only to find it impossible to enroll at another school.
“This is what we’re fighting against,” Gym tells Nutter. The Mayor is just a few yards from his office door, but he’s the one shifting his feet, looking to get away.
Minutes earlier, Gym had wrapped up a news conference in the ornate Mayor’s Reception Room, where, with the assistance of City Council, she’d usurped a podium usually used by Nutter and his invited guests. Gym and her allies were there to tout their latest pressure tactic: written complaints designed to compel the state to meet basic education standards and shake loose some badly needed dollars for the district.
“It would be nice to have your support, Mayor,” Gym tells him. Nutter issues a few noncommittal mumbles, cleans his glasses, and back-steps for the stairway. Gym shrugs. Powerful figures often look for the exits when she approaches.
That’s what happens when you develop a rep as perhaps Philadelphia’s preeminent public agitator. Relentless, whip-smart, meticulously prepared and utterly fearless, Gym—a private citizen who works without the heft of any meaningful institutional support—has managed to 

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