Monday, August 18, 2014

Spring ’14 Conference Recap | CA STUDENT UNION

Spring ’14 Conference Recap |:



Spring ’14 Conference Recap

10154321_309192869230860_4063146372293016088_nFor all of you beautiful people unable to attend the Spring ’14 CA Student Union Conference, below is a quick recap about what went down. A big thanks goes out to everyone who made the conference possible — from attendees, to volunteers, to presenters, to donors, it took all of us to make this an educational, inspirational, and productive experience. :)
About the Conference
This two day conference focused on building student power on our campuses via structures of direct/participatory democracy (i.e. all students are involved in the decision-making process), solidifying relationships across the state based on issues important to us, and planning a statewide action together for Fall 2014 around our common interests in fighting the student debt, attack on workers’ rights, cuts to departments/services, killing of shared governance/democracy, human rights’ violations, and student repression that stem from the continued privatization of our educations and our futures.
Action Planning — Top 4 Demands:
  1. Follow the $ (Privatization)
  2. Freedom of Speech (Repression)
  3. Diversity Education (Diversity)
  4. No to Napolitano (Democratization)
Action Planning — Timeline:
  1. Petition
    1. First draft due by end of June 2014
    2. Delegated to Statewide Coordinating Cmte
  2. Regional Meetings
    1. Schedule for September 2014
    2. Delegated to Regional Groups
  3. Outreach Tour
    1. Go to each other’s campuses and help build awareness and capacity for Week of Action
    2. Dates and details to be determined at Regionals
    3. Plan according to what makes most sense to regional campuses
    4. Include a traveling art piece that people can contribute to and incorporates demands
    5. Zine proposed — delegated to Outreach & Education Cmte
  4. Flyer
    1. Prep for Week of Action and to Contribute to Zine Submissions
    2. Due by the end of June 2014
    3. Delegated to the Outreach & Education Cmte and Research Working Group
  5. Week of Action
    1. October 13-17, 2014
    2. Each campus to determine date and action that works best for them
    3. Distribute finalized Zine during actions
Want to get involved with bottom-lining the above plan of action? Join the Committee or Working Group that strikes your interest and let’s get busy this summer!
Want to plug your campus into the Week of Action but not necessarily bottom-line the behind the scenes Spring ’14 Conference Recap |:

8-18-14 Living in Dialogue - Part One: Past as Prelude in the Still Troubled South

Home | Living in Dialogue:





Part One: Past as Prelude in the Still Troubled South

by Paul Horton. Part one of three.  My son and I took our annual road trip last week. We listen to books on tape and blues as we travel. He is learning to drive so, for the first time, he was able to take the wheel for hours at a time while I bit my fingernails and chewed my gum. On the morning of our arrival to the Delta that most Chicago south and west siders call home, he put on his Levi’s jean


8-17-14 Living in Dialogue
Home | Living in Dialogue: Activist instrumental in bringing the $15.00 minimum wage to Seattle speaks at Educating Gates rallyTeacher and council member Kshama Sawant, who was instrumental in bringing the $15.00 minimum wage to Seattle, speaks at the Educating Gates rally, on organizing for change. Read about Kshama here. The post Activist instrumental in bringing the $15.00 minimum wage to Seatt




Newark residents sue to stop “One Newark,” create integrated school district within Essex County | Bob Braun's Ledger

Newark residents sue to stop “One Newark,” create integrated school district within Essex County | Bob Braun's Ledger:



Newark residents sue to stop “One Newark,” create integrated school district within Essex County

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Attorney Robert Pickett announces lawsuit against state-operated school district and Cami Anderson
Attorney Robert Pickett announces lawsuit against state-operated school district and Cami Anderson
The five children of George Tillman stood with him in front of what had once been known—and, to some in Newark’s South Ward, will always be known—as the Bragaw Avenue School. Above their heads, newly installed air conditioners hummed quietly and, from a discreet distance, armed private  security guards warily kept watch on a hundred or so city residents. The scene is from the new Newark, the strange new world where faraway strangers with private money determine the future of public education. Tillman’s five children are being dispersed to five different schools. The state-operated school district waited until Bragaw was awarded to a privately-operated charter school before it installed air-conditioning. And the armed security guards illustrate just how far from the people neighborhood schools have become.
It might have been a thoroughly sad and depressing scene—except that it was here on noon Monday that Newark’s residents, parents, and employees began to fight back against the racist regime imposed on the city’s public schools by Gov. Chris Christie, his education commissioner David Hespe, and Cami Anderson, the soulless, tone-deaf woman who would destroy a city for her private ambitions.
George Tillman, father of five children in five different schools because of Cami
George Tillman, father of five children in five different schools because of Cami
“We are going to go where others have not wanted to go,” said Robert Pickett, a lawyer with years of experience in the city. “We are going to talk about what Newark residents sue to stop “One Newark,” create integrated school district within Essex County | Bob Braun's Ledger:

Steve Barr Tries to Bridge Union-Reformer Divide in Reboot of California's 'Democrats for Education Reform' - On California - Education Week

Steve Barr Tries to Bridge Union-Reformer Divide in Reboot of California's 'Democrats for Education Reform' - On California - Education Week:



Steve Barr Tries to Bridge Union-Reformer Divide in Reboot of California's 'Democrats for Education Reform'

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By David Menefee-Libey and Charles Taylor Kerchner
Steve Barr has organizing in his DNA.  The first time we saw him decades ago, he was standing in front of a school with a big container of Starbucks chatting up parents as he poured coffee.  As a college student he started "Rock the Vote."  While he is best known for starting Green Dot charter schools, he's returning to his organizer roots as he looks to revive and reinvent the controversial California branch of Democrats for Education Reform.
In its last incarnation, California DFER was led by former state senator Gloria Romero, who ran for superintendent of public instruction in 2010.  The teachers unions loathed her, supported her opposition, and she didn't make it into the runoff against Tom Torlakson, the current
superintendent.  In 2012, she endorsed Proposition 32, the business-sponsored initiative that would have sharply limited union power in the state's politics.  In response, Barr, a strongly pro-union Democrat, resigned from the organization's advisory committee.  Romero left DFER shortly afterwards, and the California chapter went dormant.

Barr is not a prototypical DFER state leader.  The organization is aggressively pro-charter, as Barr is, but DFER often demonizes unions.  In both Southern California and New York City, the schools Barr has started are unionized.  The California Green Dot schools are affiliated with the California Teachers Association (CTA), and the charter he started in the Bronx was undertaken in cooperation with AFT president Randi Weingarten.
In the rebooted Cal-DFER, Barr is partnering with Joe Boyd, the retired executive director of the Teacher Association of Long Beach, a CTA/National Education Association affiliate. "I wanted to get into the space where people can work together about things they agree on," he told us in an interview.  "This is about the politics of collaboration."
Boyd said he retired early from the CTA to take on this new effort.  While stopping well short of saying that the state teachers union endorses his association with DFER, he noted, "I have an open line of communication with Joe Nuñez (the CTA executive director.)"
Union leaders have always been suspicious of DFER, and most recently AFT president Weingarten expressly challenged it, launching Democrats for Public Education.  Given their past association, it will be interesting to see how she responds to Barr's and Boyd's new Steve Barr Tries to Bridge Union-Reformer Divide in Reboot of California's 'Democrats for Education Reform' - On California - Education Week:


What Bill Gates Learned From Washington State's Teacher of the Year | EdSurge News

What Bill Gates Learned From Washington State's Teacher of the Year | EdSurge News:



What Bill Gates Learned From Washington State's Teacher of the Year

Big billandkatie 1408410047

From the minute you meet Katie Brown, you get the feeling she’s an amazing teacher. Her intelligence and passion jump out. You immediately think: I would love for my kids to be in her classroom. It’s no surprise to learn she was named the 2014 Washington State Teacher of the Year.

Katie has had a busy summer meeting with policymakers, connecting with colleagues across the country, and even attending Space Camp with the top teachers from other states. So I really appreciated her taking the time to stop by my office last week.

Katie teaches at Shuksan Middle School in Bellingham, a couple hours north of Seattle. Shuksan is a low-income school where two thirds of the students get free or reduced-price lunches. It used to be the kind of school that parents tried to keep their kids from going to, she told me. But in the past few years, things have really turned around. There’s now a waiting list for students to get in. Katie said they have kids who cry on the last day of school—they just don’t want to leave.

A turnaround like that doesn’t happen overnight, of course, and there’s no one factor that causes it. Katie said it started when a strong new superintendent and principal came in and started changing the culture. It’s more collaborative now, and the school has created “a culture of high expectations, balanced with high affection.” There’s also a new focus on data. Shuksan’s teachers start every school year with a “data walk-through,” where they get together and pore over every bit of information about their classes that they can find—from test scores to attendance records and student perception reports—so they can see which areas they need to work on. “You can’t argue with a graph,” she told me. (For a data person like me, that was music to my ears.)

In addition to working with ELL students—kids who are learning to speak English—Katie spends a lot of time coaching her fellow teachers. I was curious about that work, because I think one of the keys to improving education is to help more teachers learn from the very best. Katie had an insight that really struck me: She said we’ve known for a long time that most students won’t learn if you just stick them in a classroom and make them listen to a lecture. They have to put the learning to use and make it relevant to their own lives. And yet most teachers still get their professional development at seminars and conferences, where they sit listening to lectures. “We would never do that with kids,” Katie said, “but we still do it with teachers.”

So she has taken a different approach to coaching teachers at Shuksan. It breaks down into four key areas, as Katie explains in this video:





The approach she describes requires a lot of collaboration, which is easier said than done. For example, opportunities for teachers to work together have to be embedded in the school day: As Katie said, “We can’t expect teachers to seek out other teachers at night, from home.”

We also had a great discussion about the use of standardized test scores. Katie said she’s not opposed to testing students to see whether they’ve mastered the material—in fact, it provides important data that guides her work as a teacher. But we have to be careful how we communicate those results to the kids and their parents.

Katie told me about one recent student of hers, a boy whose family had just moved here from another country. He started the year speaking no English at all—not even “hello”—What Bill Gates Learned From Washington State's Teacher of the Year | EdSurge News:

Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms named in FBI probe | Early & Often

Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms named in FBI probe | Early & Often:



Concept Schools headquarters in Des Plaines.

Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms named in FBI probe



CONtractors facing scrutiny in an ongoing federal investigation of Concept Schools have been paid nearly $1 million over the past three years for work at three Chicago Public Schools-funded campuses run by the Des Plaines-based charter operator, records show.
In June, the FBI raided 19 Concept Schools locations in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, including the group’s Des Plaines headquarters. Search warrants showed they were seeking records concerning Concept’s use of the federal “E-rate” program and companies hired under that program, which helps pay for high-tech upgrades.
The agents also were looking for records regarding top Concept officials, the Chicago Sun-Times reported last month.
No one has been charged. The FBI has said only that the investigation is a “white-collar criminal matter.”
The CPS-funded work done by the contractors named in the FBI search warrants has ranged from selling Concept computers and uniform polo shirts to organizing professional-development seminars.
Concept operates three schools in Chicago. All rely almost entirely on public funding.
Concept’s Chicago Math and Science Academy in Rogers Park — one of the schools the FBI raided June 4 — was approved by CPS officials 10 years ago.
The charter operator’s Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park at 2845 W. Pershing Rd. and Horizon Science Academy Belmont at 5035 W. North Ave. have been open for a year after being initially rejected by CPS because of questions regarding student performance at CMSA.
Concept appealed to the Illinois State Charter School Commission, which overrode CPS, ordering them to finance the two schools with tax dollars.
The three Chicago Concept schools have paid more than $283,000 since the start of 2011 to Advanced Solutions in Education of Schaumburg, records show. The company and its founder and former chief executive, Ozgur Balsoy, were named in FBI search warrants served at
Concept’s headquarters and at its schools in Rogers Park and Peoria.
ASE was a consultant for Concept on its applications for federal E-rate funding. The company also was hired to do other work for Concept, including organizing seminars for school administrators and teachers.
Balsoy previously was an administrator at a Concept school in Columbus, Ohio. He formed ASE in Ohio in 2009, expanding to Illinois Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms named in FBI probe | Early & Often:

solidaridad: Robert D. Skeels guest appearance on MPC Presents The Blk Grrrl Show! 08-14-14

solidaridad: Robert D. Skeels guest appearance on MPC Presents The Blk Grrrl Show! 08-14-14:



Robert D. Skeels guest appearance on MPC Presents The Blk Grrrl Show! 08-14-14








Be sure to watch the whole show, I speak truth to power from the 5:45 to 34:15 marks. Host Teka Lark Fleming had us discussing the recent LAUSD District 1 election. I mention 2014 LAUSD Special Election third place finisher Sherlett Hendy Newbill's brave defense of Dorsey High School from the privatizers, and the Honorable José Lara's Ethnic Studies resolution in ERUSD. We tackled a range of topics regarding neoliberal corporate edreform, and the resistance against it.
Her other guest, artist Lili Bernard, was so compelling, that I sat in the studio to watch her interview. I have high hopes that this show will continue to speak truth to power and educate the community.

When illusion becomes delusion, children and their schools fail, teachers are fired… | Reclaim Reform

When illusion becomes delusion, children and their schools fail, teachers are fired… | Reclaim Reform:



When illusion becomes delusion, children and their schools fail, teachers are fired…

When illusion becomes delusion, children and their schools fail, teachers are fired, and poverty is treated as a crime.
Name one failing school in an affluent community. One. In all of America.
New Trier
The propaganda about failing schools being due to bad teachers is promoted by the vast power, wealth and influence of wealthy (not merely affluent) Corporate Education Reform organizations and foundations via corporate owned media.
American schools, removing scores from poverty afflicted communities, are among the best in the world. American education is NOT failing. (All schools in all countries need, of course, to continue efforts to improve and update. This is not the issue.)
The surge of propaganda claiming that those who fail (children, schools, teachers, etc.) are “undeserving” is blatant illusion.
America has the recurring cruel habit of punishing the poor for being poor.
In 1936 a famous French writer, Vladimir Pozner, wrote about his visit to America in the depths of the Great Depression.
“The News of Englewood reports that a hundred poor families of this rich Jersey City suburb eat straight from the trash cans, concluding: ‘This is a state of affairs that must be rectified at once, a state of affairs that any red-blooded citizen will want to put a stop to, even if it costs him his bottom dollar. The necessary amount must be raised immediately to build a waste incinerator that will put an end to these revolting practices.'”When illusion becomes delusion, children and their schools fail, teachers are fired… | Reclaim Reform:

Nite Cap 8-18-14 #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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Morning Wink 8-18-14 AM Posts #edchat #edreform
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Experts: K-12 Population Shift Toward Students of Color Will Shed Light on Resource Inequalities - Higher Education
Experts: K-12 Population Shift Toward Students of Color Will Shed Light on Resource Inequalities - Higher Education: Experts: K-12 Population Shift Toward Students of Color Will Shed Light on Resource Inequalities by Ronald Roach Deborah Santiago is chief operating officer and vice president for policy at the Washington-based Excelencia in Education advocacy organization.For the first time ever, n
8-17-14 @ The Chalk Face
@ 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 archives every Tuesday and Thursd
8-17-14 Wait What? - Jonathan Pelto: Gubernatorial Candidate and A Really Nice Guy
Wait What?:   Wait What? Pelto/Murphy 2014 You call this a Democracy?During the next week or so, Connecticut’s Secretary of State will determine whether the Jonathan Pelto/Ebony Murphy ticket will appear on the 2014 ballot for governor. Over the last eight weeks, hundreds of volunteers sent countless hours collecting more than the 7,500 signatures necessary to ensure that voters have an option oth
Official leading shooting probe pledges solidarity with Ferguson community | MSNBC
Official leading shooting probe pledges solidarity with Ferguson community | MSNBC: Capt. Ronald Johnson (R) of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was appointed by the governor to take control of security operations in the city of Ferguson, greets demonstrators on Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. Scott Olson/GettyOfficial leading shooting probe pledges solidarity with Ferguson community FERGUSON
Just like the Crayons in our logo, NPE recently became more colorful | Cloaking Inequity
Just like the Crayons in our logo, NPE recently became more colorful | Cloaking Inequity: Just like the Crayons in our logo, NPE recently became more colorfulI am honored to serve on the Network for Public Education Board of Directors. The Network for Public Education is an advocacy group whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve and strengthen our public school system, an essential institution
NYC Public School Parents: The evidence accumulates not to trust data from NY State Education Department
NYC Public School Parents: The evidence accumulates not to trust data from NY State Education Department: The evidence accumulates not to trust data from NY State Education DepartmentOn Friday afternoon I got a call from the Daily News reporter Stephen Rex Brown, who told me that the NY State Education Department had provided him with data purporting to show that this spring, more than 22,000 NYC
Nite Cap 8-17-14 #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 CAPBlue Jersey:: Newark Parents to Chris Christie: We demand a town hall in NewarkBlue Jersey:: Newark Parents to Chris Christie: We demand a town hall in Newark: Newark Parents to Chris Christie: We demand a town hall in Newarkby: Rosi EfthimSun Au





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