Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Middle school key to college, career pipeline | EdSource

Middle school key to college, career pipeline | EdSource:



Middle school key to college, career pipeline



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Students lined up in police cadet uniforms.
CREDIT: COURTESY OF JOHN WHITE
Most of the graduates of the Reseda High School Police Academy Magnet program got their start at a junior police academy at William Mulholland Middle School in Los Angeles. The middle school program introduces students to careers in law enforcement.
By the time he’d graduated middle school, Kalin Pont-Tate already had two apprenticeships on his résumé – one at Internet search engine Ask.com and a second at Oakland-based Rockbot, creator of a social media jukebox music app.
The 14-year-old Oakland student was mentored by company CEOs and learned how to build a website, but he also emerged from the experiences with something less tangible, but more important: He learned the value of school.
“Before (the apprenticeships), I didn’t realize that all the classes I had were that important or beneficial to anything I wanted to do,” Kalin said. “What does math have to do with anything? But I realized I had to put my best foot forward to do what I want to do.”
As California focuses on education reforms intended to ensure that students graduate from high school with the skills to succeed in college and careers, Kalin is a case study in closing what some educators say is a crucial gap in the pipeline – middle school matters, and it matters a lot.
“Career awareness has only been given lip service in middle schools, from my point of view,” said John White, a retired middle school principal who is now an education consultant and sits on the board of the California League of Middle Schools. “Kids (in middle school) are at their most advantageous mental state of acquiring languages, acquiring skills, doing things. We’re trying to make them all Einsteins so they can go to college, but we don’t offer enough career stuff … nothing that students can really go out and do.”

Crucial engagement

While much of the college and career efforts in California focus on high school students, sixth through eighth grade is a crucial time for students, research shows. Grades, attendance patterns and engagement at the middle school level are among the strongest predictors of Middle school key to college, career pipeline | EdSource:

Evolution vs. creationism: Does this cartoon belong in Grady... | Get Schooled | www.ajc.com

Evolution vs. creationism: Does this cartoon belong in Grady... | Get Schooled | www.ajc.com:



Evolution vs. creationism: Does this cartoon belong in Grady High School biology class?  


Grady High biology class
Students at Grady High School were shown this anti evolution cartoon in a biology class PowerPoint, leading to complaints to the principal. The school's newspaper did a good story on the controversy.
A reader sent me a note about this anti-evolution cartoon, which was shown to a freshman biology class at Atlanta's Grady High School as part of a PowerPoint presentation.
"I just can't believe that this didn't hit the media in a bigger way. I'm pretty horrified by the idea that my children heading off to Grady might experience this. I think it needs to be addressed by the larger community," wrote the reader.
The Grady High student newspaper, the Southerner, did an excellent job reporting on the cartoon and the fallout.Grady High student journalists Josh Weinstock and Archie Kinnane invested a lot of time into their careful reporting. I'm disappointed Atlanta Public Schools did not respond when approached by the Southerner reporters in May. Someone from the district should have explained to the Southerner and the greater Grady High community why this cartoon was in an APS file-sharing database for teachers.
I reached out to APS Wednesday, recognizing, that while this occurred before the watch of brand new APS superintendent Meria Carstarphen, parents and students were still hoping for a response.
And APS responded:
 "It appears that this science lesson plan was not properly vetted prior to being uploaded to the district’s SharePoint website last summer. When the district learned of the PowerPoint Evolution vs. creationism: Does this cartoon belong in Grady... | Get Schooled | www.ajc.com:

empathyeducates – What You Need To Know About Charter Schools

sympathetically



    What You Need To Know About Charter Schools

    Parents, pundits and politicians, did you get what you expected? If you thought you would get the biggest bang for the buck by pouring taxpayer dollars into charter schools and devoting yourself to public school disinvestment might it be time for a reassessment? After years of being embroiled in myriad contentions – education management organizations versus a public community school education. Do teachers need experience and credentials or are barely trained individuals sufficient? And what of their commitment? Today we see that the diversion plan is not all it was promised to be and we have to ask ourselves a question. Did we blindly trust? Were we helpless in the face of power? Did the “big guns” such as the Gates and Walton Foundations have us over a barrel? Given time and greater perspective, let us look at the assertions and possibly, reject them.

    What You Need To Know About Charter Schools

    By Annie Baxter | Originally Published at National Public Radio. Marketplace. July 1, 2014
    Every year, hundreds of new charter schools open in the U.S. – largely in low-income, urban neighborhoods. This fall, Sejong Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota, will be one of them. The Korean-immersion school for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade will be located just a few miles from the nation’s very first charter school, which opened in St. Paul in 1992.
    A big idea behind charters, which now educate roughly 2.5 million kids in the U.S., is to try out concepts that traditional public schools typically wouldn’t, like focusing on the outdoors, Korean language immersion – or even yoga.
    Sejong Academy’s founders hope their curriculum will appeal to a big population of Korean adoptees in the Twin Cities. Plus, they think non-Koreans might like learning another language. Board chair Grace Lee, herself Korean-American, thinks Sejong will offer richer cultural lessons than your typical public school might.
    “I think of course a lot of schools will say, ‘Oh, we promote global diversity.’ But how are they demonstrating that? Are they just having some ethnic food at an open house, or something like that?” she says.
    The real battle between charter schools and their traditional counterparts is far more pitched. One of the contentious aspects is that the roughly 6,500 charter schools in the country are public schools, and they get taxpayer dollars. But they’re run independently, meaning that in many states they are not subject to the same rules and regulations as are traditional public schools. Each school is overseen by a so-called sympathetically

    A Unified Victory for Philadelphia’s Schools | Parents United for Public Education

    A Unified Victory for Philadelphia’s Schools | Parents United for Public Education:



    A Unified Victory for 





    Philadelphia’s Schools


    Parents United for Public Education praises the work of public education advocates, parents, teachers, students, members of the Philadelphia delegation, Mayor Michael Nutter, and countless Philadelphians who called, wrote letters, made legislative visits, and even sat in at the state capitol to win the passage of HB 1177. This was a unified victory for Philadelphia schools.
    While we acknowledge this work, we have serious concerns about amendments which may have been inserted into HB 1177, the language of which has never been reviewed by the public. Despite the passage of HB 1177, Pennsylvania’s children were still shortchanged in the FY 15 budget. The state failed to enact a fair funding formula, and school districts across the state will be forced to raise taxes to make up for Pennsylvania’s refusal to fund schools responsibly. Philadelphia is no exception. Even with the funds raised by the cigarette tax, the School District of Philadelphia is still $45 million short of last year’s inadequate status quo. This is unacceptable.
    We call upon the Mayor and City Council to formally reconvene this summer to address this gap and to restore essential staff, primarily guidance counselors, nurses, and teachers. We will not endure another year like last year. The City must seriously explore a revenue shift to the schools as well as call upon the Philadelphia Parking Authority to devote revenues from the pending sale of taxi cab licenses to the schools. While high praise is due to the hard work of a host of advocates for Philadelphia schools, our work is not yet done.

    Empowered Educators Raise Their Hands for Student Success | NEA Today

    Empowered Educators Raise Their Hands for Student Success | NEA Today:



    Empowered Educators Raise Their Hands for Student Success

    July 2, 2014 by twalker  
    Filed under Featured NewsTop Stories
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    By Mary Ellen Flannery
    More than 1,000 innovative, empowered educators put their heads and hearts together during NEA’s “Raise Your Hand: Empowered Educators Day” on Wednesday, sharing the awesome and inspiring ways they use their power to make a difference for every child in the nation.
    “Every one of you is a leader. Every one of you is using your power and expertise for students,” said Bill Raabe, director of NEA Center for Great Public Schools, to the crowded theater in Denver’s Colorado Convention Center. “This day is about helping you to do that work.”
    Co-sponsored by the GE Foundation and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and co-hosted by professor and MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, the events of Empowered Educators Day typify the work that NEA and its members have undertaken to lead their profession and focus on the success of students. (You can join these efforts by taking part in the NEA Great Public Schools Network atgpsnetwork.org, a gathering place for teachers, parents, and education support professionals to share ideas and resources.)
    Daniela Robles speaks during the NEA Raise Your Hand event in the Bellco Auditorium, Denver Convention Center, Wednesday, July 2, 2014 in Denver Colorado. Photo by Rick Runion
    “Proceed until apprehended!” exhorted NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. While he has said those three words hundreds of times before, they seemed especially applicable in a room packed with educators working on issues of teacher leadership, community collaboration, and student success. Now is the time, Van Roekel said, for educators to make sure that public schools remain an “essential element of our future,” and that “we can’t deprofessionalize the people who deliver it.”
    The day began with a panel dedicated to the development of leadership. “Always ask yourself, ‘Is this good for students?’” advised Iowa State Education Association President Tammy Wawro. (The panel discussion is archived online:http://www.gpsnetwork.org/welcome/ra2014/2014-nea-ra-live-stream-video-archive/) And it continued through numerous showcases of the outstanding work being done by NEA members, their local and state unions, and their allies.
    In Milwaukee, for example, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Association Education (MTEA) has taken charge of members’ professional development through a member-led center of teaching and learning. MTEA has Empowered Educators Raise Their Hands for Student Success | NEA Today:

    To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap | Linda Darling-Hammond

    To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap | Linda Darling-Hammond:



    To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap



     For years now, educators have looked to international tests as a yardstick to measure how well U.S. students are learning 21st-century skills compared to their peers. The answer has been: not so well. The U.S. has been falling further behind other nations and has struggled with a large achievement gap.

    Federal policy under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Department of Education's 'flexibility' waivers has sought to address this problem by beefing up testing policies -- requiring more tests and upping the consequences for poor results: including denying diplomas to students, firing teachers, and closing schools. Unfortunately, this strategy hasn't worked. In fact, U.S. performance on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) declined in every subject area between 2000 and 2012 -- the years in which these policies have been in effect.
    Now we have international evidence about something that has a greater effect on learning than testing: Teaching. The results of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), released last week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), offer a stunning picture of the challenges experienced by American teachers, while providing provocative insights into what we might do to foster better teaching -- and learning -- in the United States.
    In short, the survey shows that American teachers today work harder under much more challenging conditions than teachers elsewhere in the industrialized world. They also receive less useful feedback, less helpful professional development, and have less time to collaborate to improve their work. Not surprisingly, two-thirds feel their profession is not valued by society -- an indicator that OECD finds is ultimately related to student achievement.
    Though it has been conducted since 2008, 2013 was the first time the United States participated in TALIS, which surveyed more than 100,000 lower secondary school To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap | Linda Darling-Hammond:

    Charter School Alternative Form 2013-14 - Financial Reporting (CA Dept of Education)

    Charter School Alternative Form 2013-14 - Financial Reporting (CA Dept of Education):



    Charter School Alternative Form 2013-14

    Download the 2013-14 Charter School Unaudited Actuals Financial Report Alternative Form as well as instructions on how to complete the form.

    Reporting Unaudited Actuals

    For the period July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, the submission of charter school financial data to the California Department of Education (CDE) is required by Education Code Section 1628 External link opens in new window or tab. and by Education Code Section 42100 External link opens in new window or tab. (as amended by Assembly Bill 1994). Charter schools must submit the completed forms to their authorizing agencies by September 15, 2014. The authorizing agencies will submit the forms to their county offices of education, who will submit the forms to the CDE by October 15, 2014.
    Charter schools that do not report in the Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) format must use this Alternative Form. This version contains the components necessary to prepare the 2013–14 unaudited actuals.
    Alternative Form User Guide (DOC) Please refer to the "General Information" and the "Accounting Guidance" sections of the user guide for more detailed instructions on how to use and submit the Alternative Form.
    For assistance with the Alternative Form, charter schools should call their authorizing agency or county office of education. County offices may call the California Department of Education, School Fiscal Services Division, Office of Financial Accountability and Information Services, 916-322-1770, or e-mail sacsinfo@cde.ca.gov.

    Helpful Links

    Financial Reporting Calendars

    Questions:   Financial Accountability & Information Services | sacsinfo@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-1770

    White, BESE “Special Counsel” Subject to Attorney General Approval | deutsch29

    White, BESE “Special Counsel” Subject to Attorney General Approval | deutsch29:



    White, BESE “Special Counsel” Subject toAttorney General Approval

    July 2, 2014


    If I learned anything from the July 01, 2014 BESE meeting, it is that Louisiana State Superintendent John White has latched onto the word clarity. Not that he offers any. Just that he spewed the word numerous times in the meeting.
    What is “clear” is that White is situating a lawsuit against Governor Bobby Jindal. To do that, he will need to retain special counsel.
    On July 02, 2014, the Times-Picayune published an article stating that White might need to get Jindal’s approval to “hire” special counsel.
    In this post, I would like to offer a little–ahem–clarity on the Times-Picayune article. 
    If White, Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) President Chas Roemer, and their BESE-majority entourage want to “retain special counsel” as per BESE member James Garvey’s motion at the July 01, 2014, BESE meeting, based upon the Louisiana Code RS 42:263, the attorney general will need to approve such action even if the retained counsel offers to do so pro bono:
    §263.  Resolution requesting special counsel
    A.  No parish governing authority, levee board except as provided in Subsection B hereof, parish school board, city school board, or other local or state board shall retain or employ any special attorney or counsel to represent it in any special matter or pay any compensation for any legal services whatever unless a real necessity exists, made to appear by a resolution thereof stating fully the reasons for the action and the compensation to be paid.  The resolution then shall be subject to the approval of the attorney general and, if approved by him, shall be spread upon the minutes of the body and published in the official journal of the parish.
    It seems that the BESE board was aware of this; BESE member Jane Smith reported as much to me when we spoke on the evening of July 01, 2014, regarding Garvey’s motion. According to the “services” as defined in the Louisiana Procurement Code (LPC), BESE’s retaining special counsel does not fall under the jurisdiction of White, BESE “Special Counsel” Subject to Attorney General Approval | deutsch29:

    UPDATE: teacherken Something of which I am proud + Charles M. Blow on "Barack the Bear"

    Something of which I am proud:



    Charles M. Blow on "Barack the Bear"
    In this op ed for tomorrow's New York Times the columnist decides to build upon the President's recent self references, which he notes in case the readers missed them: During a walk a few weeks ago from the White House to the Interior Department, the president proclaimed, “The bear is loose.” At a Minneapolis town hall last week, Obama said: “With Secret Service, I always tease them, I’m like a ca



    even as I acknowledge that it comes from a place of sadness  
    the sadness is because of the promise of a dream that has never been fully achieved
    Coy Barefoot runs a radio program in Charlottesville, on which I have been a periodic guest:  I got to know Coy when he was on staff at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and I was in the 2008 cohort of their flagship program, the political leaders program.
    On August 28 of last year I was his guest because 50 years earlier I had attended the March on Washington.  
    This link will take you to the just under 13 minutes of that radio appearance.  Why I am proud of it is my ability to put things into a larger context than most people applied either to the March then, King's speech, or what it means for us today.
    13 minutes is not so long.
    Perhaps you might find it of some use.
    Peace.

    What the battle over birth control is really about
    reposting another older piece I believe is very relevant, especially in light of the Hobby Lobby decision.  This is from February 2012 can be seen clearly in a piece at Alternet by trained futurist and good friend Sara Robinson.  It is titled Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control -- And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now, and it's subtitle makes the thrust
    Worth saying again: I'm from the government and I'm here to help you
    originally posted in April 2010, but I think still very relevant, particularly at a time when some are out trying to dismantle the government a teacher a fireman a policeman/state trooper an ambulance driver a soldier/sailor/airman/Marine/Coastguardsman an air traffic controller a public librarian a curator at the Smithsonian I have your check from Social Security Medicare Medicaid the Veterans Ad

    Nite Cap 7-2-14 #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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    Geaux Teacher!: For Louisiana Board of Education Failure Was the Only Option!: For Louisiana Board of Education Failure Was the Only Option!Retired teacher Mike Deshotels offers a pretty darn good synopsis of the June 1 BESE meeting.  If you missed it or want to spend a few hours witnessing an incredibly juvenile and idiotic display, you can watch the archived video when and if LDE makes it availa
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    Morning Wink 7-2-14 AM Posts #edchat #edreform
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