Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wanted: districts interested in being early adopters of new science standards | EdSource Today

Wanted: districts interested in being early adopters of new science standards | EdSource Today:



QUICK HITS (USE THIS!!!)The California Science Teachers Association and the nonprofit education research and development agency WestEd are seeking a half-dozen school districts to take the lead in implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.
In exchange for committing to making science a core subject and participating in a new K-8 California Next Generation Science Standards Early Implementation Initiative, the districts would receive funding to train teams of teachers and administrators in the new standards over the next four years. Those interested must file apreliminary application to WestEd by April 30.
“This is an exciting opportunity for districts that are ready to move forward with the new standards,” said Laura Henriques, who chairs the science education department at California State University, Long Beach and is president of the state science teachers association. “It’s also important to the state for early adopting districts to serve as models.”
Last fall, the State Board of Education adopted the new K-12 standards, which are the science counterpart of the Common Core standards in English language arts and math; they emphasize science concepts over rote knowledge and the application of science processes to solve problems and think critically.
The Next Generation Science Standards are a states-guided initiative undertaken by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have adopted them so far. However, many California districts have not yet begun to phase in the new standards, and the state is at least several years away from holding districts accountable for them. The State Board of Education is just starting a two-year process that will lead to the adoption of the curriculum Wanted: districts interested in being early adopters of new science standards | EdSource Today:

Peg with Pen: The Charade of Prompt Writing

Peg with Pen: The Charade of Prompt Writing:



The Charade of Prompt Writing

A quick thought I posted on FB:



Most writing in today's schools is prompt writing. This is typically worthless writing because the student had no input in the topic, etc. Prompt after prompt after prompt wears on a child's soul.

And when students aren't engaged, the student work you are looking at is WORTHLESS. Without engagement, the student work is not authentic - these writing prompts, etc. do not demonstrate what the child is truly capable of doing. When someone asks me to look at a child's piece of writing, the first thing I ask is - did this child choose the topic? If the child has no ownership in the topic, I already know that the sample is most likely not the child's best work and therefore it is a waste of time to evaluate it.

Yet, we have teachers determining teaching points based on poor writing samples. Therefore, any teaching points created as a result of these evaluations are low level and worthless. What's left? Mediocre teaching that produces mediocre learning that is not engaging and not even 
Peg with Pen: The Charade of Prompt Writing:

Time, money, learning: The PSSAs strike out every time | Parents United for Public Education

Time, money, learning: The PSSAs strike out every time | Parents United for Public Education:



Time, money, learning: The PSSAs strike out every time





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It was an honor to appear on Radio Times and speak about high-stakes standardized testing. In preparing for the show, I used a lot of information that had helped me to decide to opt out of the PSSA (Pennsylvania State Standardized Assessment) test for my own children. What I realized is that 15 minutes was not enough time to fully speak to the issue. Here’s what I wanted to say if more time was permitted.
I am not against all standardized testing. I feel that there needs to be a standard that ensures that kids in the US have education equality. However, the PSSA is a poorly constructed instrument that is not reliably or validity tested. It has predetermined failure rates of 35-45% even before the test begins. The writing assessments are being scored by temporary workers who respond to newspaper classified ads and are paid per test. They are not experts and are given only one metric to grade the test. There is no way that a student will perform well if the identical metric is not written. There is no room for original thought of expression. There is no time for students to develop their message by re-writing the response. Their first draft is the final. Is this how we want our children to learn, by using only a template and learning that there’s only one way to do this? Why has Pennsylvania continued to adopt this as the sole standard to demonstrate student achievement? There are better tests that are actually reliably and validity tested – the WIAT III is one that has been highly recommended as a nationally normed test.
The PSSA do not take into account the very real challenges of poverty that as many as 80% of our students face. Students come to school with additional stress, hunger, unmet basic needs, and violence due to poverty. This test does not address the needs of English Language Learners who must take the tests in English without interpretation services. Students with special education needs may not have their IEPs followed and are expected to perform on grade level with their same age peers. The PSSAs are extraordinarily harmful to these Time, money, learning: The PSSAs strike out every time | Parents United for Public Education:

Rand Paul, Anti-Immigrant and Tea Party Advocate, to Speak at St. Anthony’s on Wednesday | Larry Miller's Blog: Educate All Students!

Rand Paul, Anti-Immigrant and Tea Party Advocate, to Speak at St. Anthony’s on Wednesday | Larry Miller's Blog: Educate All Students!:



Rand Paul, Anti-Immigrant and Tea Party Advocate, to Speak at St. Anthony’s on Wednesday

Filed under: Immigration,Vouchers — millerlf @ 8:21 pm 

Sponsored by Latinos for Choice



Dear friends,
The Milwaukee Journal published the following article announcing that Rand Paul and Rachel Duffy will be the speakers at an event of St. Anthony’s School next Wednesday, April 23.
This is truly amazing! Rand Paul, together with a few other influential republicans in the US Senate and House, have been the stumbling block preventing immigration reform in this country. Senator Paul, in particular, has been hateful and inhumane in his references to the undocumented, and has even made proposals to take citizenship away from children born in this country to undocumented parents. Constitutionally, he can’t. But that is the type of disgusting rhetoric from the mouth of this incredibly nasty and inhumane libertarian politician. Rand Paul, elected into office with the push of billionaires and the Tea Party, is definitely among this party’s most extreme and insensitive members.
Paul has also been a leader in the movement to reverse Obamacare, and return to a time when the health and insurance industries depraved 48 million Americans of insurance and health care. Senator Paul has been an advocate of the rich, and is known to promote racist thinking against civil rights legislation. In other words: Senator Rand Paul is horrible on Latino and Black issues, a racist, and an enemy of immigrants, so why bring to Milwaukee?
We have stood by to see the growth of vouchers in the Latino community and Latinos for Choice, but  we can not allow insults and the manipulation of poor and working class Latinos. Most Latinos who enroll their children in voucher schools do not know that they are being used by Latinos for Choice to promote to power extremists that work against important immigration reform, health reform, necessary safety nets for the needy, and Latino empowerment.
Since yesterday there has been a huge reaction in the Latino community by many who see this as offensive! Senator Paul’s coming to Milwaukee must not be treated as an expression of “another” point of view by some in the Latino community. Persons with dignity and true concern for Latinos in this country take offense to Paul’s presence and presidential campaigning. Frankly, no one in their right mind should support this racist, insensitive anti-immigrant person –and this is an objective point of view. We urge you to let people know that this is totally Rand Paul, Anti-Immigrant and Tea Party Advocate, to Speak at St. Anthony’s on Wednesday | Larry Miller's Blog: Educate All Students!:

Barnidge: Common Core is coming to public schools, whether your like it or not - ContraCostaTimes.com

Barnidge: Common Core is coming to public schools, whether your like it or not - ContraCostaTimes.com:



Barnidge: Common Core is coming to public schools, whether your like it or not

By Tom Barnidge Contra Costa Times Columnist
POSTED:   04/20/2014 04:06:06 PM PDT0 COMMENTS| UPDATED:   ABOUT 4 HOURS AGO








Craig Cheslog can recite a litany of reasons why the Common Core standards will be good for public education.
"They teach 21st century skills," he said. "They teach the ability to communicate, to adapt, to work in teams and solve problems, to analyze and conceptualize, to manage one's self, to create, innovate and criticize."
Goodbye, teacher lectures and rote memorization. Hello, student engagement and critical thinking. What took educators so long?
Cheslog concedes, however, not everyone has embraced the new teaching platform that is sweeping through California schools. He would know. He's the principal adviser to Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public education, and spends a fair amount of time promoting -- and defending -- the new standards.
That's what he was doing last week in Walnut Creek at a meeting of the Democratic Club of Diablo Valley, where he was greeted by about two dozen nodding heads and several sets of furrowed brows.
"I suspect some of you are skeptical," he said before setting out to convert them.
He said Common Core focuses on concepts: how answers are found more than what they are. He said mastery of foundational skills will replace recitation of facts soon forgotten after tests.
He said the need for Common Core standards was best explained by education Professor Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University: Barnidge: Common Core is coming to public schools, whether your like it or not - ContraCostaTimes.com:

“Progressive Education” followed by subverting the “Standardistas” and the “Testingnazis” | Bill Ayers

“Progressive Education” followed by subverting the “Standardistas” and the “Testingnazis” | Bill Ayers:



“Progressive Education” followed by subverting the “Standardistas” and the “Testingnazis”

By my brilliant colleague Bill Schubert





The heart and soul of progressive education is much more than simple catering to the surface interests of children. It taps the desire of every human being to imagine and create meaningful lives. We all wonder what is worth needing, knowing, experiencing, doing, being, becoming, overcoming, sharing, and contributing. Children are no exception to such wondering, questioning, and constructing who they are. It is reflected in the essence of their play which is their serious and joyful work. Progressive education affords opportunity for learners and teachers to extend this wondering on journeys to become more fully human and contribute to the betterment of the world. Concepts such as more fully human and betterment of the world are not settled, always problematic, and always in the making. Thoughtful reflection on them with others builds community. To pursue such questions requires development of skills and knowledge. So the basics are surely part of a progressive education. However, they are not learned in advance and later applied; rather, they are learned because it becomes clear to learners that skills and knowledge are essential to the quest – the journey of growth.

Some say that a progressive orientation requires a separate curriculum for each student and is therefore impractical. However, when students learn that they can consider together paths to becoming better human beings, their efforts often coalesce around great human concerns: birth, love, death, success and failure, justice, prejudice, anxiety, angst, tradition, beauty, goodness, and more. In such concerns shared interest is discovered. Projects emerge and are pursued by individuals “Progressive Education” followed by subverting the “Standardistas” and the “Testingnazis” | Bill Ayers:

Some N.O. charters begin exploring teachers unions | News | The New Orleans Advocate

Some N.O. charters begin exploring teachers unions | News | The New Orleans Advocate:



Some N.O. charters begin exploring teachers unions

Advocate staff photo by John McCusker -- Tiana Nobile, co-president of the teachers' union at Morris Jeff Community School in New Orleans, hands out papers in her first grade class.






 Mark Quirk is like a lot of veteran teachers in New Orleans. He thinks of his job as more of a calling than a career, has watched the growing emphasis on test scores with dismay and worries that teachers have lost important rights concerning pay and job security in the privately run charter schools that have taken over public education in New Orleans.

So he and his fellow teachers at Benjamin Franklin High School, which is both a charter and a magnet school with selective admissions, have done something that is typically thought of as anathema at charters: They formed a union.
“Our hope is that if this is done right, and we ask for reasonable, fair things, and the administration works with us, then we could be a model for other schools,” Quirk said. “We’re not out here trying to get rich. Many of us feel like this is a mission in life, to teach young people, to help society be a better place.”
For New Orleans, the debate over charter schools and teachers unions has always been an either-or proposition. The Orleans Parish School Board voided the city’s union contract after Hurricane Katrina, and charter schools began taking over rapidly thereafter, free of the constraints typically imposed by unions on pay, working hours and other policies. Many point to that kind of flexibility as one reason test scores are up and dropout rates are down.
Now, New Orleans is beginning to find out if this hard divide between charters and unions is really necessary, or if the two can somehow learn to coexist. The city already has one charter, the Morris Jeff Community School, with unionized teachers. Ben Franklin will be next if the Some N.O. charters begin exploring teachers unions | News | The New Orleans Advocate:

Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents - Yahoo Finance

Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents - Yahoo Finance:



Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

'Just Do It'? Brand names within NY standardized tests raise suspicions of product placement

Associated Press 
Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents
.
View photo
FILE- In this June 21, 2013 file photo, Nike Shox running shoes are displayed in Tampa, Fla. Nike Inc.’s copyrighted phrase “Just Do It” has shown up on standardized tests given to New York students in grades three to eight in April 2014. Some parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York’s Common Core standardized English tests. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — "Just Do It" has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but some parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York's Common Core standardized English tests.
Brands including Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers showed up on the tests more than a million students in grades 3 through 8 took this month, leading to speculation it was some form of product placement advertising.
New York state education officials and the test publisher say the brand references were not paid product placement but just happened to be contained in previously published passages selected for the tests.
Some critics aren't so sure and questioned why specific brand names would be mentioned at all.
"It just seems so unnecessary," said Josh Golin, associate director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which monitors marketing directed at children.
"It would be horrible if they were getting paid for it," he said. "But even if they're not, it's taking something that should not be a commercial experience and commercializing it."
The test questions have not been made public, and teachers and principals are barred from discussing them. But teachers posting anonymously on education blogs have complained that students were confused by the brand names, which were accompanied by trademark symbols.
The Nike question was about being a risk taker and included the line, "'Just Do It' is a registered trademark of Nike," according to students who took the test.
Sam Pirozzolo, of Staten Island, whose fifth-grader encountered the Nike question, said there was apparently Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents - Yahoo Finance:

4-20-14 Seattle Schools Community Forum

Seattle Schools Community Forum:







Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, April 22nd"Open Mic Night" on Special Education, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Rainier Beach High School, 8815 Seward Park S. Families of Seattle Public Schools are invited to join experts from Louisiana State University and the TIERS Group (Teams Intervening Early to Reach all Students) during two Open Microphone Nights to give feedback on Special Education services. Seattle Public Sc
4-19-14 Seattle Schools Community Forum Week
Seattle Schools Community Forum:Seattle Schools Community ForumFriday Open ThreadPrinceton University has come to the conclusion that we don't really live in a democracy but that we are basically an oligarchy.  No real surprise there - the rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the people in-between worry about that their children won't even live at the same standard as they do.  Jus


empathyeducates – Do We Protect Our Children?

empathyeducates – Do We Protect Our Children?:



    Do We Protect Our Children?

    Introductory Essay By Betsy L. Angert | Originally Published at EmpathyEducates.
    'It's spring. The weather is beautiful. Everything is blooming with life. And all I think about is death,' Sam says. ~ Columbine Survivor Heads Back to the School 15 Years Later
    On this the fifteen anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting it is time to remember what became our nations mission; we must protect our children. For Sam and his fellow survivors, it happens every year; it happens daily. The wave of emotions rushes in. He will always remember, as do we, what we experienced when we were overwhelmed. That sense of disbelief and grief occurs daily. For most of us, mass carnage is not the catalyst. The sun shines brightly. It is a clear day. Spring might be in the air, or possibly it is winter. Any trigger might stir us to remember…Children playing. Couples cooing. A song. A place. A marathon race.
    In the month of April we have many reminders. The Oklahoma City bombing. The Columbine High School shooting. Virginia Tech. The Boston Marathon. In April, we see much killing. But these tragic episodes barely touch on what is brewing. The magnitude of mayhem is everywhere, even in our homes. In truth, what happens where we live can leave a long and lingering memory.
    Thoughts of what was and is our daily routine might not seem sensational. Surely what occurs in our homes cannot compare to countless episodes of mass killing [or does it?] Bear in mind suicides.
    In January 2011, at a sidewalk event in Tucson, Arizona ten persons were shot. Six people lost their lives, Chief Judge John Roll Gabe Zimmerman, and a nine-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green are now among the dearly departed. The then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords too was critically injured. The Newtown school shooting occurred in Connecticut in a mid-December. Between 1982 and 2012 six mass killings occurred in empathyeducates – Do We Protect Our Children?:

    Nite Cap 4-20-14 #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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    YESTERDAY

    Choosing Democracy: The Illusion of Public Higher Education
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    Nite Cap 4-19-14 #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 CAPMarie Corfield: An open letter to Rowan University President, Dr. Ali A. HoushmandMarie Corfield: An open letter to Rowan University President, Dr. Ali A. Houshmand: An open letter to Rowan University President, Dr. Ali A. HoushmandDear Dr. Housh





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