Sunday, February 9, 2014

Oakland middle school’s 9-hour school day is model program | EdSource Today

Oakland middle school’s 9-hour school day is model program | EdSource Today:



Andres McDade, an 8th grader at Elmhurst Community Prep in Oakland, plays a percussion drum in the school's expanded learning program. Photo courtesy of Citizen Schools.
Andres McDade, an 8th grader at Elmhurst Community Prep in Oakland, plays a drum in the school’s expanded learning program. Credit: Citizen Schools.
On a recent Thursday afternoon in Ashur Bratt’s class in Oakland, about 20 middle school students stood tall on chairs and tables and flung their arms out from their sides, looking very pleased with themselves.
“How do you feel?” Bratt asked as students raised their arms, competing to be called on. “Ecstatic!” one boy answered. It turns out, Bratt told his class, if you expand your body for a couple of minutes, it helps you feel better and think bigger.
Thinking bigger is part of the culture at Elmhurst Community Prep, a middle school in East Oakland that has expanded the school day to 5 p.m. with a variety of after-school offerings, such as Bratt’s class on building self-confidence. Students can choose robotics, music or dance. They can make collages, dissect fetal pigs or create apps. They visit well-known companies such as Google and Pandora.
“We’re not just cookies and basketballs,” said Principal Kilian Betlach, who keep tabs on his students as he roams the halls with a baseball bat (“It’s a prop”) and a sense of humor. “We have a real moral imperative to provide kids from low-income backgrounds with the services and opportunities that middle-class kids get. We don’t do just hard academics. We offer access and opportunities.”
The school of 375 students – in the middle of a tough Oakland neighborhood where the shooting of a 13-year-old boy on New Year’s Day was the city’s first homicide – has been promoted as a national model for how to create and finance an after-school program that supports both enrichment activities and academic success.
Every student at Elmhurst, in the Oakland Unified school district, attends the expanded learning program, making it part of their normal school day. Classes begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., at least two hours after most other Oakland students are done for the day.
ExpandedLearningTimeFinal-copy-150x1503.jpgPart of the school’s uniqueness is the way it blends the regular school day and the after-school program.
Rodzhaney Sledge, dressed in the light-blue school uniform, is new to the school as a 6th grader, but she already understands how the after-school part of the program supports her academic work. For example, she took a class called Tools for Peace, where she learned to meditate. 

Common Core Opponents Rally in Georgia | Truth in American Education

Common Core Opponents Rally in Georgia | Truth in American Education:



Common Core Opponents Rally in Georgia

There has been a concerned push over the last week to rid Georgia of the Common Core State Standards.  Northwest Georgia News covered a rally that was held last Tuesday at the Georgia State Capitol building.  The rally sponsored by Concerned Women for America of GeorgiaLegislative Action and American Principles in Action.
Tuesday’s rally included parents with children in tow and Tea Party activists rallying in support of legislation by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, that would require the state to end its three-year use of the standards. It is likely to come up for a vote in the Senate Education Committee next week.
"This is not a Republican-versus-Democrat issue. This is not a conservative-versus-liberal issue. It is not a right-versus-left issue," said Julianne Thompson, leader of the Georgia Republican Assembly. "This is a right-versus-wrong issue."
Parent Tammy Slaton told the crowd that her children’s math homework convinced her that the standards were watered down.
"If these new standards are rigorous, that is certainly not the word I would choose," she said.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce and its spinoff the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education held a rally in support of the Common Core the next day.
Let’s look at this contrast here.  First the Stop Common Core rally.
Sen. Ligon

2-9-14 Schools Matter

Schools Matter:









The Party's Over
One of the great political feats of the late 20th Century was the manufacture by billionaires of a right-wing cabal of crackpots-under-contract so unabashedly fascist that anyone sane and still voting would be left with a single alternative, which, of course, is the now-familiar brand of corporate, anti-democratic dramaturgy known as the Democratic Party.It's time for something else, and in the sh




2-8-14 Schools Matter All Week
Schools Matter:  Schools Matter All WeekPortland Teachers Vote To Strike / Time To Get Rid Of Testing And Hire More TeachersPortland teachers are leading the way, people.Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, teachers, parents and students are united.http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/06/us-usa-teachers-portland-idUSBREA1507V20140206Portland, Oregon, teachers vote to authorize strikeBY TERESA CARSON

Are Corporate Education Reformers Like Young Earth Creationists? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

Are Corporate Education Reformers Like Young Earth Creationists? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:



Are Corporate Education Reformers Like Young Earth Creationists?

Last week a commenter calling himself DrSpector posted a response to John Thompson's essay about the Gates Foundation's Imaginary World of School Reform.In part, DrSpector said this:
I think the rhee-formers are the equivalent of the so-called "creationists" and so-called "intelligent design" supporters - they believe what they believe and NO amount of evidence will EVER change their minds, no matter how incorrect and misguided they are.
This echoes a post I wrote last fall, "Is Education Reform a Faith-Based Belief System?
In the spirit of the recent debate between science educator Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham, let's take a look at the central points of belief for corporate education reform, and see if there is evidence.
Reformer Belief Number One: Poverty can best be overcome by excellent schools, and this is proven by the exceptional schools that they highlight as examples of what can be done.
Evidence: It would be great if this were true, but these miracle schools almost always are revealed to be fairly ordinary when we look more closely. And the data shows that poverty exerts a strong downward pressure on student achievement. It is time to stop pretending that our schools can somehow repair the income gap. 
Reformer Belief Number Two: Preparing larger numbers of children for college will significantly reduce poverty.
The belief carries within it the assumption that middle class jobs await those who graduate with 

Deasy v. Deasy: The Two Faces of L.A.’s School Superintendent | MyFDL

Deasy v. Deasy: The Two Faces of L.A.’s School Superintendent | MyFDL:



Deasy v. Deasy: The Two Faces of L.A.’s School Superintendent



Last week’s testimony in the Vergara v. California trial raised many an eyebrow when Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John E. Deasy testified on behalf of plaintiffs in a lawsuit whose defendants had originally included LAUSD.

Despite its supporters’ protests to the contrary, Vergara is widely seen as a frontal attack against statutory guarantees of due process and seniority rights for state teachers. The suit is the brainchild of Students Matter, a Bay Area nonprofit created by wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch and partly financed by L.A. billionaire Eli Broad.
Under friendly direct examination by plaintiff attorney Marcellus McRae, the superintendent offered testimony that supported the suit’s contentions that the way in which teachers are fired, laid off and granted tenure has an adverse impact on the overall quality of the teacher workforce and illegally discriminates against low-income and minority students.
At one point Deasy’s apparent eagerness to anticipate McRae drew an instruction from Judge Rolf M. Treu for the superintendent to wait for the question before supplying the answer.
Deasy readily agreed that due process laws complicated dismissals of “grossly ineffective teachers” and damaged the morale of the profession. “Morale is absolutely affected,” Deasy insisted, before attacking the state’s teacher seniority policies.
He also denied any connection between student performance and poverty. “I believe the statistics correlate,” he said, “but I don’t believe in causality.”
Deasy’s performance as a friendly witness should not have come as a complete surprise, however. The day after the suit was originally filed against the state and the L.A. school district in 2012, then-defendant Deasy took the unusual step of issuing a press release endorsing the lawsuit’s aims. (Deasy, through a spokesperson, declined to comment for this article.)
For the city’s public school teachers and longtime education policy observers, the spectacle of the L.A. school chief siding with a lawsuit against the very system he is paid to uphold has become a familiar feature of Deasy’s fractious, two-and-half year tenure.
Vergara is merely the latest in a series of major lawsuits that include Reed v. California and Doe v. Deasy, and that have been described as a “new front” in the efforts by education-privatization forces to 

Nite Cap 2-9-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2

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



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National African American Parent Involvement Day Monday aims to address achievement gap | MLive.com
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Inspiring post of the day: North Carolina and the Rev. Dr. William Barber are delivering THE message of our times | Parents United for Public Education
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Morning Wink 2-9-14 AM Posts #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2
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LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 2-9-14 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all
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YESTERDAY

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Nite Cap 2-8-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2
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 CAPAre Education Conferences Relevant? | My Island ViewAre Education Conferences Relevant? | My Island View: Are Education Conferences Relevant?February 8, 2014 by tomwhitbyI am very fortunate to be able to attend a number of Education Conferences e

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