Friday, June 20, 2014

Education Roundup for Week Ending June 20, 2014 - Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education)

Education Roundup for Week Ending June 20, 2014 - Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education):



Education Roundup for Week Ending June 20, 2014



SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education (CDE) today issued this week's roundup of education-related announcements of public interest.
CDE Moves Forward with Implementing State's Education Technology Plan
California is moving a step closer to implementing a plan to provide the 21st century education technology tools students need to prepare for college and careers, with the addition of Karen Holst, who will serve as an Education Technology Fellow.
Holst will work on recommendations made by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson's Education Technology Task Force in its report, Empowering Learning: California Education Technology Blueprint, 2014 – 2017  (PDF). The recommendations address improving teaching and learning with the help of technology, concentrating on learning, teaching, assessment, and infrastructure.
Holst has 15 years' experience as an education technology executive and innovator. She cofounded an Internet company, MyEdu (now acquired by Blackboard, Inc.), which served millions of students nationwide. She also led strategic partnerships, operated large-scale data organizations, information technology, marketing, communications, and new business development within the public and private sectors.
Prior to this, Holst worked as a teacher. She also serves on several nonprofit boards and cofounded Colin's Hope to help underserved youth. 
Holst earned a Bachelor of Science degree in corporate communications from the University of Texas at Austin. Her appointment fulfills the Ed Tech Blueprint's recommendation to create a senior-level position within CDE for education technology.
New Federal Smart Snacks in School Rules Issued
Starting next month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will require schools to make snacks healthier as part of the new Smart Snacks in School External link opens in new window or tab. (SSIS) regulations.
These SSIS regulations create national nutrition standards that limit fat, sugar, and sodium in foods and beverages sold to students as snacks. These standards do not affect the foods and beverages sold through the federally reimbursable meal program, brought from home, given away (e.g., classroom parties or rewards), or sold after school hours. The new national rules only affect those schools that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The changes are part of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
California has led the nation in its work to make schools healthier environments, including banning soda sales at school. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson started his Team California for Health Kids initiative to encourage children to eat nutritious meals, be physically active, and drink plenty of water in and out of school. Research shows healthy kids learn better and are more likely to graduate and go to college.
The CDE has held trainings and Webinars for schools on the new rules, as well as reached out to the community. If schools need further assistance in complying with the new SSIS regulations, contact Michael Danzik in CDE's Nutrition Services Division at 916-445-7346 or mdanzik@cde.ca.gov.
# # # #
Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100


State Board of Education approved nonclassroom-based funding determinations for Fiscal Year 2013-14.




On the Vergara ruling and the war on teachers - Bites - Sacramento News & Review -

Sacramento News & Review - On the Vergara ruling and the war on teachers - Bites - Opinions - June 19, 2014:



On the Vergara ruling and the war on teachers

Here’s the question for reasonable people who believe seniority and due process are the problem: What should they be replaced with?

By  
cosmog@newsreview.com

Read 2 reader submitted comments


This article was published on .

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Many readers know Bites columns on education come from a particular point of view—that of the spouse of a teacher who has spent nearly two decades working in high-poverty schools in Oak Park and south Sacramento.

This offers at least some insight into what it might feel like to be a teacher in Sacramento, and to open the paper every morning wondering how teachers will be denigrated and scapegoated that day.

There was a lot of that in Sacramento last week, following the Vergara v. Californiadecision. Vergara was funded by a Silicon Valley millionaire named David Welch, one of many rich guys pushing to diminish the influence of teacher unions in education. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled that California’s rules on tenure and teacher dismissal are unconstitutional, because they effectively stick poor kids with bad teachers.

Treu’s ruling delighted foes of teacher unions everywhere. Critics say his decision is thin, and likely to be overturned on appeal. Nothing changes until then, either way.

The real problem in education, of course, isn’t teacher tenure. It’s poverty, income inequality and segregation.

Still, reasonable people can disagree on how much teacher protection is enough. Bites has seen a lot of commentary around Vergara on how “crazy” California’s tenure system is, allowing teachers full due-process rights after just two years. Due process means a teacher can’t be fired without cause, and is entitled to defend their job at a hearing.

California is one of a handful of states with a two-year-probationary period. A handful of states have four- or five-year waiting periods. The large majority of states have a three-year probationary period. So, yeah, bananas.

California’s “last in, first out” rules means that when layoffs happen, the pink slips go first to the teachers with the least classroom experience. The plaintiffs in Vergara argue LIFO leads to firing lots of young, good teachers and keeping lots of bad, old teachers who happen to have more seniority.

That’s a red herring. Layoffs are an extremely blunt instrument—not the right tool to address Sacramento News & Review - On the Vergara ruling and the war on teachers - Bites - Opinions - June 19, 2014:

Nite Cap 6-20-14 #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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