Saturday, August 2, 2014

NYC Educator: Only UFT-Unity Can Represent All Six Boroughs

NYC Educator: Only UFT-Unity Can Represent All Six Boroughs:



Only UFT-Unity Can Represent All Six Boroughs

A lot of city teachers bellyache about how UFT leadership is inept. They say, "Oh, how come I have to wait until 2020 to get the money most city workers got five years ago?" And then they're all, "How come Mulgrew will punch you in the face and rub it in the dirt for Common Core, but doesn't get upset when there's no contract for six years?" And then, they're like, "How come I only get one day to defend my livelihood if I'm an ATR teacher?" Some of them are even, "How come I'm an ATR teacher instead of going somewhere I can actually work?

Lots of them these days are supporting this upstart caucus called MORE, which doesn't support that. Here's the thing, though. MORE may think that due process should apply to everyone. They may think Common Core doesn't merit any defense, let alone a violent one. They might advocate that, since we always took the city pattern when it was a piece of crap and had to give back to better it, that we shouldn't accept givebacks for a contract that's definitely inferior to the pattern.

But will they represent all six boroughs? Sure, there are MORE members in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. But ask yourself this--how many MORE members are there in Florida? Can you name one? Neither can I. On the other hand, there are plenty of Unity Caucus members in Florida. Not only that, but there's also a UFT office in Florida.

So next time there's a union election, you'd better believe Michael Mulgrew will be there in Florida making sure everything is hunky-dory for the UFT retirees. Do you think there will be any MORE presence there? Think again. Everyone in MORE is probably working in a classroom or something. How the hell are they gonna get to the Sunshine State without getting fired? Despite what Campbell Brown may think, people who NYC Educator: Only UFT-Unity Can Represent All Six Boroughs:

Fordham’s Michael Petrilli: Manufacturing “Emotion” for Common Core | deutsch29

Fordham’s Michael Petrilli: Manufacturing “Emotion” for Common Core | deutsch29:



Fordham’s Michael Petrilli: Manufacturing “Emotion” for Common Core

August 2, 2014
I am sitting in my easy chair on this Saturday afternoon, and I am trying not to write any posts. I know that I need a rest. Sure enough, though, I come across Common Core State Standards (CCSS) promotional slant from the brand-spanking new, non-teacher-practitioner president of the Gates-funded Fordham Institute, dedicated think tanker Michael Petrilli.
gadfly
I plan to keep this post brief and get back to my chair.
On the eve of his first day as Fordham Institute president, Petrilli wrote this piece in which he dismisses the idea that anti-CCSS sentiment has “momentum,” one reason being that 42 states still have CCSS.
He states that only Oklahoma has really been “knocked off” of CCSS.
No insignificant event there, Petrilli.
The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, serves as the chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), one of the two organizations that own CCSS. At its annual meeting in Nashville in July 2014, NGA conceded that CCSS has “become divisive”; the Wall Street Journal notes that both political parties are “internally split” over CCSS. Therefore, NGA, one of two organizations that has been actively promoting CCSS since 2008is taking no official position on CCSS in 2014.
Uh, oh.
Now, Petrilli does admit that he and others promoting CCSS “are getting our butts kicked… in the conservative media.” This acknowledgement is noteworthy since CCSS promotion is well funded with Gates money. In fact, Susan Berry of Brietbartnotes that CCSS has a fresh infusion of $10.3 million from Gates for a “PR blitz that supporters hope will promote similar ‘emotional’ fervor for the standards initiative.”
Here is that $10.3 million Gates grant, paid in May 2014 to the New Venture Fund:
New Venture Fund
Date: May 2014 
Purpose: to support the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards and related assessments through comprehensive and targeted communications and advocacy in key states and the District of Columbia  [Emphasis added.]
Amount: $10,300,300
Comprehensive and targeted communications– and New Venture Fund is to do the job Fordham’s Michael Petrilli: Manufacturing “Emotion” for Common Core | deutsch29:

Legislatures taking state education into their own hands - The Washington Post

Legislatures taking state education into their own hands - The Washington Post:



Legislatures taking state education into their own hands

Janet Barresi, center, state superintendent of Oklahoma schools, speaks about the state’s plan to develop new state education standards, part of a backlash against the Common Core. (AP/AP)


  August 2 at 9:52 PM  

The backlash against the Common Core has prompted lawmakers in at least 12 states to get more involved in setting their own K-12 academic standards, injecting politics into a process usually conducted in obscurity by bureaucrats.
In several states, legislators have placed new restrictions on state boards of education, which typically write and update academic standards. In others, lawmakers have opened up the development of standards to greater scrutiny, requiring that proposals receive public vetting.
And in Oklahoma, which has embarked on an extreme makeover of its standards process, lawmakers passed a law that lets them rewrite any standards they don’t like.
Oklahoma lawmakers in May voted to scrap the Common Core State Standards, the national academic standards that were set to take effect in the coming school year, which begins there in two weeks. The legislature sent its state board of education back to the drawing board with directions to write entirely new standards by 2016.
“It’s just completely an overreaction for state legislatures to believe they can develop and manage and implement academic standards,” said Reggie Felton of the National School Boards Association, which represents school boards around the country and opposed the changes in Oklahoma. “They don’t have the technical capacity to do that.”
Politicians shouldn’t set academic standards, Felton said.
“The greater concern is that various organizations, through their own lobbying efforts or simply because they have the right money behind them, Legislatures taking state education into their own hands - The Washington Post:

Concerned Citizen Kane: Murdoch Delves Into For-Profit Education | Blog | Media Matters for America

Concerned Citizen Kane: Murdoch Delves Into For-Profit Education | Blog | Media Matters for America:



Concerned Citizen Kane: Murdoch Delves Into For-Profit Education


Last week, nearly one thousand representatives from business groups, education departments, state legislatures, and free-market think tanks descended on San Francisco's Palace Hotel to strategize a revolution in American education. Focused on state-level politics and driven by marketing buzzwords like "blended learning" and "customized online instruction," it was not the kind of policy powwow that typically draws national media attention.
But education reform is a hot topic these days, and interest in the two-day "Excellence in Action" summit was further heightened by the controversial presence of the summit's keynote speaker: News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, whose recent foray into for-profit education has focused a spotlight on an increasingly confident and ambitious movement to privatize and digitize American K-through-12.
The debate over the reforms endorsed at "Excellence in Action" has been steadily intensifying. Reform boosters -- a mix of (mostly) Republican state lawmakers, for-profit education companies and their lobbyists, and libertarian ideologues -- maintain that creating a competitive hi-tech education marketplace will make U.S. students more competitive internationally and close the much-lamented achievement gap. Critics suspect an agenda that has more to do with smashing teachers unions and turning tax dollars into profits. Since entering the education reform fray, Murdoch has become a vocal reform booster and unlikely spokesperson for "our children." As he has several times before, he used his time in San Francisco to argue forcefully that what public education needs is a good dose of free-market innovation. "Put simply we must approach education the way Steve Jobs approached every industry he touched. To be willing to blow up what doesn't work or gets in the way."
Among those Murdoch and his fellow reformers seem to view as "getting in the way" are the majority of associations comprised of actual educators. More than one hundred of these teachers and their allies protested Murdoch's presence with placards declaring, "Our Schools Are Not for Profit." Among the marchers was Matthew Hardy of the United Educators of San Francisco. "I think we should be very concerned that the folks inside this hotel are looking at our schools as untapped profit centers," he said. "Schools are there to educate kids, not make money for corporations. Murdoch and the rest of them aren't just going after teachers unions, but the idea of public schools in general."
Inside the conference hall, hecklers interrupted Murdoch's address as he took the podium. "Equality in education, not privatization!" one yelled. "Corporations own the media, why not education?" asked another before security escorted him out.
This question -- "Why not education?" -- is one Murdoch takes seriously. His answer, it seems: Why not indeed? The mogul bluntly explained his late interest in education while announcing News Corp.'s acquisition of the Brooklyn-based school-performance tracking firm Wireless Generation in November of 2010. "When it comes to K-through-12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed." Murdoch was only slightly more discreet the previous month during a speech in Washington D.C., when he couched his concern for Why Johnny Can't Read by waxing nostalgic about the American Dream as understood by the non-rich -- those Americans, including those protesting outside the Palace Hotel, who have begun to refer to themselves the "99 percent."
"Upward mobility in America is in jeopardy unless we fix our public schools," the billionaire told the Washington D.C. audience shortly before the launch of News Corp.'s Education Division. The situation was so critical, Murdoch warned, "Our middle-class way of life may disappear."
Murdoch crafted his keynote message last week in similar terms of supremely enlightened self-interest, as if a spike in his own bottom line was just a happy byproduct of his crusade to save the middle-class. Even in his new incarnation as Concerned Citizen Kane, Murdoch had precious little use for sentimentality in San Francisco, and held no fear of sounding overly brash in discussing a field he knows almost nothing about.
"I'm speaking today as a businessman. So let me come right to the point," Murdoch said after the hecklers had been removed. "We need to tear down an education system designed for the 19th century -- and replace it with one suited for the 21st."
Murdoch argued that digitizing America's classrooms and viewing K-through-12 as a business marketplace will better serve underperforming students -- "the human toll of our complacency." It was left to others to spell out the other potential beneficiaries. According to summit participant and ex-D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, a Democrat, following the "Roadmap for Reform" unveiled in San Francisco would result in "a huge flow of business to the private sector." But getting there, Fenty stressed, was a bipartisan effort, requiring Democrats to "get past the teachers unions."
For Murdoch, the prize sitting beyond the teachers unions resembles a glowing Apple display window more than a brick and mortar public school. In one of several references to Apple Inc. products in his keynote, Murdoch imagined American schools one day resembling Apple stores (which are publically traded and non-unionized) and compared contemporary public education to the Big Brother of George Orwell's 1984, as represented in Apple's iconic commercial that ran during the 1984 Superbowl.
"Let's be clear: Technology is never going to replace teachers," Murdoch stated in response to a recent New York Times article that threw some cold water on the promises of digital education. But Murdoch's reassurance didn't jibe with the views of other influential speakers at the conference. "We're too labor intensive, we have more teachers than agriculture workers," huffed James Guthrie of the George W. Bush Institute. Guthrie argued that sweeping education reform would add "trillions to the economy" and future federal budgets, which would ultimately translate into money for "the people." But a return to fiscal health won't mean hiring more teachers. "We need to inject technology forcefully into the equation," he stressed.
It is revealing that the financial crisis that has hit the middle class so hard was heartily welcomed in San Francisco, Murdoch's newfound concern for the institutions of middle-class upward mobility notwithstanding. A major theme of the conference was summed up in a strategy session entitled "Don't Let a Financial Crisis Go To Waste." Speakers urged lawmakers to seize the moment to push through reforms and defenestrate their best-organized critics -- the teachers unions. "The budget cuts are the best thing that ever happened to us and are [allowing us to] structurally change public education," said a Republican policymaker from Indiana. "We've limited collective bargaining rights of teachers to wages and cut out the garbage."
Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Secretary-Designate for Public Education and former CEO of Laying the Foundation, said that a 25 percent cut to education budgets was an opportunity to for districts to get a better "return on investment" with their education dollars. Florida State Senator Don Gaetz argued that by turning "schools into businesses" and augmenting personal instruction with digital programs, districts could save as much as $2,000 per student while improving "outcomes." (Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones recentlyexamined these outcomes and found the early results inconsistent with the reform hype.)
In line with the anti-union animus of Murdoch's media outlets, organized labor was the villain at the summit he headlined. By the last panel on the schedule, Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa felt the need to sheepishly preface a comment by saying, "I'm going to be controversial, but I'm pro-union." Chris Cerf, the New Jersey Commissioner of Education and former CEO of Sangari Global Education, expressed the more common view that political combat with unions was a blood sport vital to the success of the movement. "I'm so glad to be talking to legislators," he said. "This is 100 percent about political courage -- a knife fight in a dark room."
If they win their knife fight, the model Murdoch and his education reform allies have in mind is not the best of the state university systems of the past -- affordable, well funded, a symbol of the great middle-class expansion of the twentieth-century -- but rather the scandal-plagued for-profit online education industry of the twenty-first. Not the University of California at Berkeley, but the University of Phoenix. The "Roadmap to Reform" unveiled by summit chair Jeb Bush offered state lawmakers a blueprint for enlarging the space for remote Concerned Citizen Kane: Murdoch Delves Into For-Profit Education | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Establishing your SYSTEM for back to school | Connected Principals

Establishing your SYSTEM for back to school | Connected Principals:



Establishing your SYSTEM for back to school

green-zone-bagd_1302889849This week we had our C&I administrative retreat to help kick off our back to school season.
Our superintendent began with an illustration and an explanation.
The green zone is an area in Baghdad. It is heavily fortified and known as the “safe place” for any journalists, travelers, and US citizens. The Green Zone is completely surrounded by high concrete blast wallsT-Walls and barbed wire fences with access only available through a handful of entry control points, and has been referred to as “the bubble.”  He went on to say that if civilians ventured out of the “green zone”, military support couldn’t guarantee your safety. 
The assistant superintendent then crystallized the meaning behind our district “system”. Dr. Stone walked us down memory lane, and what steps had been taken to arrive at the place where we are now. There is a system in place. It has been thought through, fought for, and put into place to help everyone within it. In the same way the walls around the green zone protect the US citizens in Baghdad, the SYSTEM we work in is designed to protect us. She held up an egg. Imagine if we, or one of our students, were this fragile egg. The day to day green boxdecisions, are like sheets of paper, dropped against that egg. They aren’t deal breakers, they aren’t enough to harm you. But big decisions? Boulder tough decisions? You need a SYSTEM to keep you safe. She brought out the most simple of illustrations, a green tool box, and inside, placed the egg.  No matter what fell against that box, the egg was safe. The system keeps you safe, the system protects you. You still have freedom within that box, but are protected from the outside factors, complications or obstacles that aren’t clear.
Please note, in a year where the Dallas Morning News published an article stating that STAAR scores across the state were stagnant, ours saw an increase. Our system is working. 
I had goosebumps. The concept paralleled the environment that we WANT to see at our schools. Our campuses are the green zone. Our environment, our structure, is all built around the predication that we want our students to feel “in theEstablishing your SYSTEM for back to school | Connected Principals: 

Nite Cap 8-2-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT



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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Education Research ReportTHIS WEEK'S EDUCATION RESEARCH REPORTPostsecondary Tuition, Fees and DegreesBetween 2011-12 and 2013-14, the average tuition and required fees at 4-year public institutions (after adjusting for inflation) increased more for in-state students (4 percent increase) than for out-of-state students (3 percent increase). During that same time period, 4-year nonprofit institutions
8-2-14 Schools Matter All Week
Schools Matter:  Schools Matter All WeekSchool Board Says No to Lily-White CharterFayette County, Georgia is over 70 percent white and its median household income is almost twice the state average.  But that is still not white enough or rich enough to suit some Fayette Countians who want their home-schooled or privately-educated children now supported with state funds intended children who choose
All Week 8-2-14 @ THE CHALK FACE
@ THE CHALK FACE : All Week @ THE CHALK FACE About the radio showJoin Drs. Shaun Johnson and Tim Slekar LIVE Sundays at 6PM EST and Wednesdays at 7PM EST on Blog Talk Radio for progressive, pro-public education talk radio. Call in to speak live with Tim and Shaun during the show, (805) 727-7111. You can also listen to our Monday "Sunday-Replay" at 7PM EST, and re-broadcasts of the archiv
LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONG Diane Ravitch's blog 8-2-14 #thankateacher #EDCHAT #P2
Diane Ravitch's blogLISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONGDIANE RAVITCH'S BLOGJersey Jazzman, Stephen Colbert, and Campbell BrownJersey jazzman has another great piece about tenure. He writes: “I can only hope that Campbell Brown’s appearance last night on The Colbert Report is typical of what she is going to bring to the debate over school workplace protections. Because if this is the best the ant

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Campbell Brown Exposed by Stephen Colbert southbronxschool
http://www.southbronxschool.com: Campbell Brown Exposed by Stephen ColbertEarlier in the week when I heard thatCampbell Brown was to appear on The Colbert Report I kind of cringed.I am not a fan of Stephen Colbert's schtick on the show (Though there are some bits I have enjoyed), though I do like him, and more of a fan of The Daily Show. But two things had be concerned.One was how would Colbert's
Teacher Shortages? No Surprise. | Live Long and Prosper
Teacher Shortages? No Surprise. | Live Long and Prosper: Teacher Shortages? No Surprise.BLAMING TEACHERS“Reformers” love to talk about “failing schools.” In America, “failing schools” are most often schools filled with students who were born into poverty.Test Scores, Students and Learning: Our overall scores are unspectacular because of our high rate of child poverty. (WSJ)When researchers control
Pretty Campbell Brown and Her Ugly, Misguided Anti-Due-Process Crusade | deutsch29
Pretty Campbell Brown and Her Ugly, Misguided Anti-Due-Process Crusade | deutsch29: Pretty Campbell Brown and Her Ugly, Misguided Anti-Due-Process CrusadeAugust 1, 2014Over the past several weeks, I have read only a little on the situation of former CNN news anchor Campbell Brown’s sudden interest in forming a nonprofit in order to advance a lawsuit in New York purportedly to “save” public school
Common Core For An Uncommon Nation | WagTheDog
Common Core For An Uncommon Nation | WagTheDog: Common Core For An Uncommon NationExpecting students to spend countless hours trying to solve Common Core math word problems is not the same as helping them to become more effective problem solvers.Insisting students think critically about text that they must stay “connected to” is not the same as helping them to develop critical thinking skills.That
St. Hope taps Michelle Rhee as board chair, removes superintendent - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee
St. Hope taps Michelle Rhee as board chair, removes superintendent - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee: St. Hope taps Michelle Rhee as board chair, removes superintendentBy Loretta Kalblkalb@sacbee.comPublished: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 - 8:01 pmSt. Hope Public Schools has named Michelle Rhee, the controversial former Washington, D.C., schools chief and charter schools advocate, as its new board chairwo
PAA honors Leonie Haimson | Parents Across America
PAA honors Leonie Haimson | Parents Across America: PAA honors Leonie HaimsonPAA was delighted to spend an evening with members and friends in Washington DC honoring the amazing work of our co-founder, Leonie Haimson, at the first annual Parent Voice Award dinner.The beautiful Atrium at the NEAOur hosts at the National Education Association provided a beautiful atrium setting for the dinner. PAA f
Mother Crusader: Campbell Brown's Ties To Billionaire "Vulture Fund" CEO
Mother Crusader: Campbell Brown's Ties To Billionaire "Vulture Fund" CEO: Campbell Brown's Ties To Billionaire "Vulture Fund" CEOThe interwebs have been aflutter all day with analysis of Campbell Brown's Colbert Report appearance last night. You can read about it here, here and here. One of the big questions that has surfaced is "Why won't Brown reveal her donors?".Wh
8-1-14 Wait What? - Jonathan Pelto: Gubernatorial Candidate and A Really Nice Guy
Wait What?: Wait What?: Pelto/Murphy 2014If you haven’t signed the Pelto/Murphy 2014 Petition- here are locations and times to sign More locations to be added so check back regularly  Saturday, August 2nd Starbucks Manchester: 172 Deming Street, Manchester (9 – 10am) South Windsor Farmers Market:  150 Nevers Rd, South Windsor (10 -11am) Taste of the Caribbean Festival, Riverfront Plaza, Hartford (
Nite Cap 8-1-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT
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 CAPsolidaridad: Upcoming radio show appearancessolidaridad: Upcoming radio show appearances: Upcoming radio show appearancesMost of you know that I'm a frequent guest on KPFK's Politics or Pedagogy with John Cromshow. This month I'm happy to announc




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