Thursday, May 29, 2014

5 Lessons From My First Year As Site Principal | Connected Principals

5 Lessons From My First Year As Site Principal | Connected Principals:



5 Lessons From My First Year As Site Principal

Just a few days ago, we celebrated graduation. The next day we wrapped up with professional development and teacher check-out.image
When I arrived home that night, I felt both exhausted and exhilarated.
It was a few hours later when I received the call that two of our students had been in a wreck.
When I made my way to the hospital emergency room, I talked to one of the boys who had a broken arm. The other was in surgery and in critical condition–they had placed him in a drug induced coma for the next few days as doctors monitored his head trauma.
Twenty five or so other students with family members were also waiting together with anxious faces and teary eyes. Later I heard that students who couldn’t make it to the hospital had organized a gathering in a parking lot near the school to circle up and pray for their friend.
No matter how long you are in education, even when school is out, you are never exempt from the real life challenges that still happen. Thankfully, the toughest times also remind us of what’s most important.
Recent Podcast Interview
This has definitely been a year of learning for me.
image
Jethro Jones, Principal and host of Transformational Leadership, graciously posted an interview of me on his podcast for school leaders where I shared some of those lessons.
To hear the whole conversation I had with Jethro Jones, here is adirect link to the audio recording.
Lessons Learned
As Jethro so succinctly explains in his show notes, the lessons learned this year were many:
1. What it was like moving from the Assistant Principal to the Principal at my school.
2. Bonuses our team offers students who pass all required assessments.
3. What skills I had to learn as an educational leader that I wasn’t taught in school.
4. Key Responsibilities Areas from Entreleadership that help staff know who is in responsible for each area. (For more insights, read my post on Using KRA’s To Increase Effectiveness.)
5. How my school dealt with student loss from student deaths we faced earlier in the year. (See my post on 8 Ways To 
5 Lessons From My First Year As Site Principal | Connected Principals:

Common Core School Standards Face a New Wave of Opposition - NYTimes.com

Common Core School Standards Face a New Wave of Opposition - NYTimes.com:



Common Core School Standards Face a New Wave of Opposition

Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has not decided whether to sign a bill that would withdraw her state from the Common Core standards. Similar legislation is on governors’ desks in Missouri and South Carolina. CreditSue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Opposition to the Common Core, a set of reading and math standards for elementary, middle and high school students that were originally adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, has gathered momentum among state lawmakers in recent weeks.

The governors of Oklahoma and South Carolina are considering signing bills to repeal the standards and replace them with locally written versions. In Missouri, lawmakers passed a bill that would require a committee of state educators to come up with new standards within the next two years.

Although the Common Core, developed by a coalition convened by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, was initially backed by a group of Republican governors, the Obama administration also lent its support. For the past year, conservative Republicans, seizing on the administration’s backing, have argued that the standards amount to a federal takeover of public schools.

Jason Nelson, a Republican state representative from northwest Oklahoma who sponsored the bill to withdraw the state from the Common Core, said he and his colleagues wanted to “break any kind of nexus where any private organization or the federal government would exert control over our standards.” The bill passed the Oklahoma House overwhelmingly last week, and this week it passed the Senate, 31 to 10.

The pushback from the right has been fueled by an unlikely alliance with critics on the left, who are upset by new standardized tests and the high stakes associated with them, including teacher performance reviews.

But teachers unions say that those who are calling for a full rejection of the Common Core are exploiting the broader discontent about the rollout of the standards and new tests.

“The Tea Party is using the frustration with the implementation as the guise to eliminate standards in schools and to destabilize public education,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second-largest teachers union. Its executive council recently passed a resolution supporting “the promise and potential of the Common Core State Standards.”

In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, is meeting with educators and parents before deciding whether to sign the bill. “She has been a supporter of high standards in education and has said that Common Core is one pathway to achieving high standards,” said Alex Weintz, a spokesman for the Common Core School Standards Face a New Wave of Opposition - NYTimes.com:

#EducatingGatesRally June 26th | Seattle Education

#EducatingGatesRally June 26th | Seattle Education:



#EducatingGatesRally June 26th

educating Gates
There’s a lot of issues about governance, whether its school boards or unions, where you want to allow for experimentation, in terms of pay procedures, management procedures, to really prove out new things. As those things start working on behalf of the students, then I believe the majority of teachers and voters will be open-minded to these new approaches. And so we have to take it a step at a time. They have to give us the opportunity for this experimentation. -Bill Gates, 2008.
Our children are not to be experimented on. -Dora Taylor, 2014
Big plans are brewing for a rally and march to the Gates Foundation in protest of Gates’ influence on public education with zero input from parents, students or educators, the real stakeholders in public education.
5:00 pm on Thursday, June 26th
 Westlake Center Outdoor Mall
400 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101 
March to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
500 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Should one man’s foundation control public education?
We say NO! We say…
                          Billions of dreams, not billionaires’ dreams
                          Billions of plans, not billionaires’ plans
                          Billions of thoughts, not billionaires’ thoughts
                          Billions of gifts, not billionaires’ gifts…
Fact: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation use their wealth and power to influence public education policy through non-research based experiments without the consent of professional educators, parents, students, local school boards, or community members.
Fact:  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation operate in collaboration with the United States Department of Education without consideration of public influence or accountability to the public.
Fact: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has designed and invested billions of dollars into non-research based experiments for public schools that they do not impose on their own children.
Who are we?
We are the Educating Gates Foundation Coalition started by the Washington Badass Teachers Association, Washington Save Our Schools, and Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates.  We are working to return democracy to our public schools and communities by building a #StopGatesCoalition Movement. 

Purpose of the #EducatingGatesRally in Seattle on June 26th:
  1. Educate and activate the public about our vision of public education.
  2. Educate and activate the public about the damaging influence of corporate education reform as promoted and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  3. Expose the hoax of corporate education reform, privatization, Common Core, high stakes tests, and “school choice”.  Identify the real problem and the real solutions.
  4. Build a coalition of groups and organizations who want to work with us to become free from the policies imposed by the investments of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  5. To demand that the Gates Foundation stops undermining and destabilizing public schools through their misguided corporate reforms.
What do we demand from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?
WHEREAS the public school experience for students is increasingly dictated by corporate interests and the monetary influence of this foundation and its creator,
WHEREAS the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that the legislature failed to amply fund basic education,
WHEREAS educators, parents, voters, and especially students are rendered voiceless and have been denied the opportunity to take part in making decisions that affect their public schools,
WHEREAS the negative impacts of large class sizes and childhood poverty must not continue to be denied in favor of illogical restraints, draconian consequences, and overly simplistic solutions to the highly complex practice of teaching and process of learning,
WHEREAS all students’ learning experiences must not center on preparing for and passing high-stakes tests, but rather curriculum that includes rich experiences in art, music, physical education, history, civics, and vocational training,
THEREFORE, be it resolved that we reject this foundation’s influence in deciding upon the practices and accountability measures for public education in Washington State and all other states in our nation. Further, we proclaim that programs and practices supported by this foundation, such as Common Core State Standards and accompanying standardized testing practices, charter schools, and Teach for America are harmful to children, to the equal availability of high-quality public education for all, and to our country’s democracy.  Support public education, don’t destroy it!
The coalition assembled at this event stands behind this resolution.
Who will be speaking at our event?
Anthony Cody will be a keynote speaker.  Anthony  created a dialogue with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2 years ago. Recently he agreed to be our keynote speaker at our #EducatingGatesRally and wrote this blog post:  “What will it take to educate the Gates Foundation?”asks Anthony.
Anthony writes: Bill Gates has made it clear that this was an experiment from the start. What he did not seem to allow for in his scenario was the possibility that his experiment would not succeed. And there was an impatient imperative in his demands—”They have to give us the opportunity for this experimentation.”
We, the citizens, students, parents, and educators were not asked nor allowed to vote on this. Bill Gates and his allies decided this was needed, and they made it happen, using the levers of power within their control….
The only question remaining is how long Gates and his employees and proxies will remain wedded to their ideas, and continue to push them through their sponsored advocacy, even when these policies have been proven to be ill-founded and unworkable.
Part of the problem with market-driven reform is that when you introduce the opportunity to make money off something like education, you unleash a feedback loop. Companies like the virtual charter chain K12 Inc can make tremendous profits, which they can use to buy off politicians, given our Supreme Court’s “Corporations are people and money is speech” philosophy. There are no systemic brakes on this train. The only way turn this around is for people to organize in large enough numbers, and act together in ways that actively disrupt and derail the operation.
Morna McDermott will also be speaking at our event.   Morna is a co-founder of United Opt Out:  The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform.
How do you sign up to attend the rally?  
  • Sign up HERE at the #EducatingGatesRally website!
How else can you stay connected and informed?
Want to be involved in organizing our event?  Contact us on Facebook or Twitter on the links above!
Do you know other organizations who would like to build a coalition? Share their information with us on the links above!
Want to organize an event in your area?  Share your event with us on the social media links above!
What are we FOR?  YES to:
  • Creativity!
  • Small Class Sizes!
  • Civics! Science!
  • Music!
  • Art!
  • Drama!
  • Physical Education!
  • Parent Involvement!
  • Libraries!
  • Counselors!
  • Nurses!
  • Experienced Teachers!
  • Learning Through Play!
  • Project Based Learning!
  • Learning Support Staff!
  • Parent & Educator Voice!
  • Adequate Compensation!
  • Democratic Governance of Schools!
  • Relevant Educator Training!
  • Less Testing and More Learning!
  • Transparent Decision Making!
  • Equitable Funding For Every Child!
  • Recognizing Each Student’s Potential!
  • Culturally & Developmentally Responsive Curriculum!
  • Supporting, not closing struggling schools!
  • Fixing POVERTY, not blaming schools!
What are we AGAINST that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation promote for our children, but not for their own children?
NO to:
  • Closing schools!
  • Over Testing!
  • Race To The Top!
  • Teach For America!
  • Ignoring Poverty, blaming schools!
  • Class Size Increases!
  • Charter Schools!
  • Data-Piracy Sharing!
  • Union Busting!
  • Narrowing Curriculum!
  • Ignoring Parent Voice!
  • Value Added Measures!
  • Appointed School Boards!
  • Privatizing Public Schools!
  • Treating Kids As Test Scores!
  • Replacing Teachers With Screens!
  • For-profit Business Model Policy!
  • Tying Funding to Test Scores!
  • Outsourcing Education to Private Vendors!
  • High Stakes Testing!
  • Common Core State Standards!
  • Using our children, teachers, and schools for billionaire’s experiments!

Missouri uses flawed data to penalize poor, minority students : Stltoday

Missouri uses flawed data to penalize poor, minority students : Stltoday:



Missouri uses flawed data to penalize poor, minority students

140520 CA normandy 11
Gwendolyn Buggs, center, wearing a white headband, attends a meeting where Missouri State Board of Education members voted on the fate of the Normandy School District on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia. Buggs was recently elected as a school district board member. Photo by Catalin Abagiu

oncerning Normandy’s suit against the Missouri Board of Education, it’s absolutely necessary to point out the elephant in the room: The method for evaluating school districts and thus removing accreditation and ultimately dissolving a district is based on faulty data that discriminate against poor children and especially minority children.
It’s not as if we couldn’t see this coming. What did the state do with the schools and students in Wellston when that district was dissolved? They were merged into Normandy. And now the state wants to dissolve Normandy. What’s wrong with this picture? What district do the vultures want to pick off next?
Elisa Crouch and Walker Moskop’s well-written story on May 18, “The grade divide,” about the struggle to educate children in poverty, clearly revealed the problem that children from low-income families do poorly on standardized tests. Not that they don’t or can’t learn, but that their test scores are low.
Studies show that the test format itself and especially the conditions under which the test is administered increase the odds that children in minorities will get low scores (see “Stereotypes and the Achievement Gap: Stereotype Threat Prior to Test Taking,” Markus Appel, Nicole Dronberger, Education Psychology Review, 2012.) In that study the Austrian researchers tested African-American students in the United States, Turkish students in Eastern Europe and others with “an immigration background” that labored under negative stereotypes. They found that if the tests were presented to such students as having high stakes — and what could be higher than branding an entire school as deficient? — performance went down even further.
I see three problems here: Evaluation of districts is based on faulty, discriminatory data; the state is using that faulty data to penalize poor children by attacking their schools, especially school districts that have a majority of African-American students; that attack has resulted in the dissolution of one district already, the attempted dissolution of a second district and the threat to continue until all school districts with minority majority enrollments and a majority of poor children have been taken away from their constituents and handed over to for-profit (i.e., charter) operations.
This is a racially tinged class struggle. Let’s quit talking about transportation costs and get to the point: This accreditation Missouri uses flawed data to penalize poor, minority students : Stltoday:

How Will Market Forces Transform Teacher Preparation? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

How Will Market Forces Transform Teacher Preparation? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:



How Will Market Forces Transform Teacher Preparation?

This week I have published interviews with three leaders in the field of teacher preparation. They shared a common vision regarding the responsibility they take on when preparing teachers to enter the classroom. This IS rocket science - teaching is a profession that requires tremendous skill and dedication, and the programs that are successful recognize this, and demand commitment and intense work from all who are involved. 
The sort of teacher preparation Kevin KumashiroFrancisco Rios and Tim Slekar described will not be long for this world if corporate reformers have their way. For the past few years, reformers have had their eyes on teacher preparation, and are following a familiar playbook. Appoint your own set of umpires, issue reports and "grade" the programs, find the ones not aligned with your ideology to be faulty, and erect market-driven alternatives to replace them. This is the path taken by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), the Gates-funded advocacy organization thatappointed itself the arbiter of quality for teacher preparation, and last year issued a report based largely on their review of course catalogs for the programs being rated. This was the set-up. Because in order to replace these programs, they must first be discredited.
new research paper by Ken Zeichner and Cesar Peña-Sandoval describes the upsurge in interest in marketizing teacher preparation. 
They point out the activist role now being played by corporate philanthropists:
Unlike educational philanthropy of the past--before the entry into teacher education of individual venture capitalists and large funders like the Gates and Walton Foundations--current educational philanthropy in teacher education has taken a more hands-on approach and openly political role in pushing particular policies through their allocations of funds. This new wave of philanthropy supports policies that create conditions favorable to establishing a teacher 
How Will Market Forces Transform Teacher Preparation? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

Nite Cap 5-29-14 #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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Mother Crusader: Maya Angelou: Be The Possible, Be The True, Be The Miracle: Maya Angelou: Be The Possible, Be The True, Be The MiraclePlease read this. Please.What might yearly failures on forced college and career readiness assessments have done to a young Maya Angelou? What messages would today's increasingly rote education system, and her likely inability to submit to such a system, have impri
Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: In the 'Post-Racial Era': The Pre-school-to-Prison Pipeline
Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: In the 'Post-Racial Era': The Pre-school-to-Prison Pipeline: In the 'Post-Racial Era': The Pre-school-to-Prison PipelineManual Arts Senior High School student Damien Valentine, 16, worked with community groups to pass a proposal last year that bans suspensions of defiant students in L.A. Unified. (Christina House / For The Times)Black children make up 18% of preschoo

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GUEST: Top Newark student says time to speak is now | Bob Braun's Ledger
GUEST: Top Newark student says time to speak is now | Bob Braun's Ledger: GUEST: Top Newark student says time to speak is nowJordan ThomasToday’s guest blog was written by Jordan Thomas, a senior at Newark’s University High School where he is valedictorian and earned a 4.5 GPA. He was admitted to Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Rutgers and will attend Princeton in the fall. He plans to go to law sch
The Weekly Update: More on the Common Core, push back and opting out of high stakes testing, the FTC steps in to protect student privacy, a gag order on teachers and more | Seattle Education
The Weekly Update: More on the Common Core, push back and opting out of high stakes testing, the FTC steps in to protect student privacy, a gag order on teachers and more | Seattle Education: The Weekly Update: More on the Common Core, push back and opting out of high stakes testing, the FTC steps in to protect student privacy, a gag order on teachers and moreLet’s start off with this gem:Annual K
5-28-14 Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | …For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL
Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | …For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL: “What Are We Losing By Eliminating Arts From the Curriculum?” Is Topic Of My Latest BAM! Radio ProgramWhat Are We Losing By Eliminating Arts From the Curriculum? is the topic of my latest BAM! Radio program. Virginia McEnerney and David Booth are my guests as we have a ten minute conversation. They have also contributed wri
Charles M. Blow offers a tribute to Maya Angelou
Charles M. Blow offers a tribute to Maya Angelou: Charles M. Blow offers a tribute to Maya AngeloubyteacherkenFollow    Email  3 Comments / 3 NewThe news of Maya Angelou’s death arrived with the abruptness of a great twister — violent, without warning, tearing things up and flipping things over.I ached the way the soul aches in the world when a great soul is lost from it.So begins a magnificent co
Will Governor Cuomo Come in and Save the UFT Contract? southbronxschool.com
http://www.southbronxschool.com: Will Governor Cuomo Come in and Save the UFT Contract?So today is the day all the votes for the new contract must be in. The ballots have been checked, the envelopes licked and sealed, and the UFT telling us the sky will fall if we don't ratify this contract.Yes, we'll have to get to the back of the line if we fail to ratify this contract. Well, if it means getting
empathyeducates – Do Drivers Discriminate Against Minorities at Crosswalks?
empathyeducates – Do Drivers Discriminate Against Minorities at Crosswalks?: Do Drivers Discriminate Against Minorities at Crosswalks?Perhaps, if we are to truly understand what we see in our schools, we must learn from the streets. We know that societal norms enter the classroom. What is implicit can often be seen. Witness what occurs at crosswalks and ask yourself, is education policy borne out
Nite Cap 5-28-14 #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 CAPSchool Choice Fact Sheet from Statewide StudySchool Choice Fact Sheet from Statewide Study: School Choice Fact Sheet from Statewide StudyLEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF FLORIDA -FACT SHEET-STATEWIDE STUDY ON SCHOOL CHOICEI.  Private School Florida Tax




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