Sunday, August 24, 2014

UPDATE: empathyeducates – Wisdom from Ferguson’s Children

empathyeducates – Wisdom from Ferguson’s Children:


    Wisdom from Ferguson’s Children

    “To teach is to learn twice.”
    ~ Joseph Joubert (Moralist. Essayist)
    What is education? Is it testing? Teaching? Is it the Common Core Curriculum? Is it the possibility of opting-out? Is education the search for wisdom? And what about the children? Where might they be in this equation? Educators, reply; “A Whole Child education is essential.” But what does that mean? How is it seen not only in classrooms, but also in pedagogical discussions, even those we read online??
    Many facebook groups are devoted to education. Let’s take a peek. Hmmm. On innumerable pages, the whole child conversation looks bleak. Yes, there is talk of play and the need for recess. But what about the lessons learned at home or on the streets? In Ferguson, New York City, Los Angeles, and in Detroit, children meet – Young kids meet the police. This too is a lesson. But in facebook education groups it seems to be a breach. The mere mention is often followed by a question. “What does this have to do with education?” It is not about Common Core. It is not about testing. It is about our children, their wisdom, and how we can learn from what our youth teach.

    Wisdom from Ferguson’s kids: ‘They shouldn’t shoot people for protesting’
    How will five black brothers ever trust the police or this violent city ever again? How can anyone

    The cops are supposed to ‘serve and protect’ citizens like the Jones boys, but now they have more questions than answers. Photograph courtesy of Shonta Jones
    By Steven W Thrasher in Ferguson | Originally Published at The Guardian. August 18, 2014 07.15 EDT |
    When I asked six-year-old Amor, who wants to be a firefighter and who lives here in Ferguson, Missouri, what he thinks of the police, he said, “They shoot people.”
    The children of Ferguson have an especially painful – and unfairly adult – task before them: they must make sense of the death of one of their peers, Michael Brown, and deal with the fallout from the protests, violence and militarized police presence that has, in many ways, quickly come to define their young lives in the week since Brown’s violent death at the hands of a local police officer.
    The police response to protests in Ferguson has affected children as much as the death itself. Amor’s 11-year-old brother, Tavier, told me, “They shouldn’t shoot people for protesting.” Sitting over pizza just a few blocks from the Ferguson Police Department, he added, “As I was getting older, I thought police were nice people, and as I’m getting older, I’m thinking they’re so-so. They’re still good people, but they’re judging us now.”
    Children cope with tragedy in myriad ways – and many of the younger kids in Ferguson are using sidewalk chalk in public spaces. At the now infamously torched QuickTrip convenience store, empathyeducates – Wisdom from Ferguson’s Children:

    Standardized Lying | Crazy Crawfish's Blog

    Standardized Lying | Crazy Crawfish's Blog:



    Standardized Lying

    Posted on August 24, 2014


    Student performance in Louisiana is dropping rapidly. The decline started just about the time John White became superintendent of Education and has accelerated rapidly with the introduction of Common Core in Louisiana schools. Based on a sample analysis of the very meager data LDOE finally released under threat of lawsuit it is clear that not only is student performance not increasing or staying steady, it Is in fact declining, and being masked by a lowering of the number of correct answers required to pass LEAP and iLEAP tests. Please refer to this post by Mike Deshotels and the analysis provided by Herb Bassett for the details. Below is an excerpt from Mike’s blog.
    Here is the table supplied by the LDOE as a result of my public records request:
        scores
    Notice that for 4th grade ELA, 4th grade Math, and 8th grade Math, there was a significant lowering of the percentage of correct answers needed to get a rating of basic. The Science and Social Studies percentages were changed very little from 2013 to 2014.
    Would you like to know why such a high percentage of our students (64%) were able to reach the level of Basic this year on a more difficult 8th grade Math test? Herb Bassett calculates that using the same method of guessing described above, 8th grade students this year on the average would need to know only 20.2% of the math material on the test to reach the level of Basic.


    What this means is simple terms is that Louisiana students are about 18% less prepared now in 4thgrade in English Language Arts, and 28% percent less prepared in Math by the time the reach 8thgrade than they were before John White and Common Core started being used in Louisiana schools. 8th grade ELA seems to be about the same. (My guess is this ability evened out as children read more books outside of school. That’s actually how I acquired my skills.) 4th Grade Math takes about a 10% hit in 4th grade, and children’s abilities seem to deteriorate going forward based on the 8th grade results.
    This data actually matches up with information being supplied by teachers and parents. I can see why John White would have been so reticent to release this information except under court order and legal proceeding. This is not a local phenomenon. New York has discovered the same subterfuge in their state.
    I don’t have magical powers, but I can confidently predict this is something you will find and see happening across the nation, especially in education Reformer infested territories. There is nothing standardized about the testing of Common Core, the only standardization comes in in the Standardized Lying | Crazy Crawfish's Blog:

    Seattle Times’ Gates-funded Education Lab Blog Experiment | deutsch29

    Seattle Times’ Gates-funded Education Lab Blog Experiment | deutsch29:



    Seattle Times’ Gates-funded Education LabBlog Experiment

    August 24, 2014
    Bill Gates lives in Seattle.



    His money buys experiments there, too.
    In October 2013, the Seattle Times announced that it had “sought” a grant from the Gates Foundation for a year-long “project” in partnership with Solutions Journalism Network– a blog called the “Education Lab”:
    Education Lab, a partnership between The Seattle Times and Solutions Journalism Network, will explore promising programs and innovations inside early-education programs, K-12 schools and colleges that are addressing some of the biggest challenges facing public education.
    The yearlong project is funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
    As part of a “Q and A” on the grant money and the project, Seattle Times offers the following:
    The project has received $530,000 in foundation funding — $450,000 from the Gates Foundation and $80,000 from the Knight Foundation, a foundation that supports journalism excellence and media innovation.
    The Seattle Times will receive $426,000 during an 18-month period. The bulk of its funding will pay for the salaries of two education reporters, allowing us to expand our education team; an editor and photographer primarily dedicated to the project; and a newly hired community-engagement editor. The funds will also be used for community outreach and public forums, creation of a blog and design and data work. …
    The Seattle Times would neither seek nor accept a grant that did not give us full editorial control over what is published. Generally, when a grant is made, there is agreement on a specific project or a broad area of reporting it will support. … The foundation had no role in deciding which stories we choose to pursue or how we report those stories. It also does not review stories before publication. … 
    Beyond agreeing to fund the project, the foundations have not asked for and will not have any input into the reporting of stories or into any of the content that will emerge from the project. The foundations will not be aware of specific stories we are working on or review them before publication. …
    There will be no direct relationship between the foundation’s education advocacy and the reporting for Education Lab. It is possible the project will analyze and report on efforts that the Gates Foundation supports and those it does not. In determining the focus of the reporting in the project, the support of the Gates Foundation, or lack thereof, will play no role. Throughout the 
    Seattle Times’ Gates-funded Education Lab Blog Experiment | deutsch29:

    Check Out Alex Nazaryan's Provocative "Teacher Wars" Review

    Check Out Alex Nazaryan's Provocative "Teacher Wars" Review:



    Check Out Alex Nazaryan’s Provocative “Teacher Wars” Review



    Alexander Nazaryan, a journalist and former teacher, has written a sharp, intelligent, and kind review of my book for the Times Arts section, for which I am extremely grateful:
    Ms. Goldstein’s book is meticulously fair and disarmingly balanced, serving up historical commentary instead of a searing philippic. A hate-read is nigh impossible. (Trust me, I tried.) … The book skips nimbly from history to on-the-ground reporting to policy prescription, never falling on its face. If I were still teaching, I’d leave my tattered copy by the sputtering Xerox machine. I’d also recommend it to the average citizen who wants to know why Robert can’t read, and Allison can’t add.
    One of the adventures of writing a work of history was knowing that because the past is so rich and complex, people from across the political spectrum would find, within the book, evidence to bolster their own beliefs. Nazaryan focused in his essay on the shortcomings of teachers unions, which I do cover honestly in the book. Ultimately, however, I think my take on the unions is far more sympathetic than Nazaryan suggests. I hope you will buy the book and draw your own conclusions!

    Vermont’s Enlightened State Board of Education |

    Vermont’s Enlightened State Board of Education |:



    Vermont’s Enlightened State Board of Education





     The Vermont State Board of Education recently released a more than reasonable “Statement on Assessment and Accountability” that I certainly wish would be read and adopted by other leaders across other states.

    They encourage their educators to “make use of diverse indicators of student learning and strengths,” when measuring student learning and achievement, the growth of both over time, and especially when using such data to inform their practice. The use of multiple and diverse indicators (i.e., including traditional and non-traditional tests, teacher-developed assessments, and student work samples) is in line with the professional measurement and assessment standards. At the same time, however, they must also “document the opportunities schools provide to further the goals of equity and [said] growth.”
    As per growth on standardized tests in particular, and particularly in the case of value-added models (VAMs), they write that such tests and test uses cannot “adequately capture the strengths of all children, nor the growth that can be ascribed to individual teachers. And under high-stakes conditions, when schools feel extraordinary pressure to raise scores, even rising scores may not be a signal that students are actually learning more. At best, a standardized test is an incomplete picture of learning: without additional measures, a single test is inadequate to capture a years’ worth of learning and growth.” This too aligns with the standards of the profession.
    They continue, noting that “the way in which standardized tests have been used under federal law as almost the single measure of school quality has resulted in the frequent misuse of these instruments across the nation.” Hence, they also put forth a set of guiding Vermont’s Enlightened State Board of Education |:

    NYC Educator: New York's Passion for Crap in Education Means No Flexibility in APPR

    NYC Educator: New York's Passion for Crap in Education Means No Flexibility in APPR:



    New York's Passion for Crap in Education Means No Flexibility in APPR

    Over at Perdido Street School he's pierced the bazillion-dollar Capital NY paywall and discovered that Arne Duncan's flexibility with APPR does not extend to states that have already begun Common Core testing. For those of you who are dancing in the streets because it will be two years before you can be rated ineffective based on these particular tests, be advised that there are multiple other ways junk science can take you down. Apparently, since we were brilliant enough to start testing early, junk science rules in NY.

    If you want to sent a thank you card, you can start with our union leaders, all of whom adore Common Core. AFT President Randi Weingarten says it's the implementation and high-stakes that are the problems. NYSUT's Karen Magee, who specifically ran against Common Core, now claims we need Common Core or we'll be reduced to utter anarchy. And UFT Prez Mike Mulgrew will punch you in the face and push you in the dirt if you lay your stinking hands on his Common Core.

    And of course, we helped every step of the way to fail 70%, and, in a great victory for Reformy John King, now only 65% of our children. How many "attaboys" would your principal be sending your way if you failed 65% of your kids? And make no mistake, UFT President Mulgrew was proud as Moses bearing the Ten Commandments when he came down to us with New York's junk science law. Oddly, he supported Karen Magee and Revive NYSUT as they blamed Dick Iannuzzi for it all over New York State.

    And now, despite Revive NYSUT's bold opposition, thus far followed up with a whole lot of nothing except covering their own pensions, we seem to be stuck with this. I traveled all over the state last year and met many local presidents who'd negotiated reasonable APPR plans, but the one in NY is so complicated that the people I know who best understand it barely understand it at all. I hear that upstate cities also have awful NYC Educator: New York's Passion for Crap in Education Means No Flexibility in APPR:

    Upcoming Webinar: AP History Standards Written by The College Board Delivering FACTS That David Coleman Won’t Divulge. | Missouri Education Watchdog

    Upcoming Webinar: AP History Standards Written by The College Board Delivering FACTS That David Coleman Won’t Divulge. | Missouri Education Watchdog:



    Missouri Education Watchdog


    Upcoming Webinar: AP History Standards Written by The College Board Delivering FACTS That David Coleman Won’t Divulge.

    apush mom
    From the video: Without state push-back, this new APUSH Curriculum Framework will go into effect this fall (2014). Without state push-back, APUSH teachers may have to ignore their own state’s U.S. History standards if they hope to prepare their students for success on the new APUSH exam – which will NOT cover material outside the new Framework. (MEW note: This mom, who receives no special interest money to advocate for this new test, made a side by side comparison of previous tests and the current David Coleman inspired test)
    The Advanced Placement United States History Course (APUSH) has come under intense scrutiny on the changes for 2015.  The College Board (headed by David Coleman, chief architect of the Common Core State Standards) has redesigned the test to reflect its alignment to the CCSS:

    apush and common core
    Who is opposing this shift?  Those on the left may believe the opposition is summed up only from the right as it complains about the discrepancy between state mandated curriculum vs the AP curriculum taught:


    An analysis of 600 released APUSH multiple-choice questions reveals that they cluster around such important and universally taught topics as judicial review, the Monroe Upcoming Webinar: AP History Standards Written by The College Board Delivering FACTS That David Coleman Won’t Divulge. | Missouri Education Watchdog:

    The UFT Fool Follows Al Sharpton southbronxschool

    http://www.southbronxschool.com:



    The UFT Fool Follows Al Sharpton

    I have been away for a week. Went on a little baseball road trip with the family.

    So a lot has happened in the last week. The UFT not only supported Rev. Al's march in Staten Island, but was paying for buses to transport marchers to Staten Island.

    Oh, and the UFT soon hid it's support on Facebook by deleting the posts in support of the march after several hundred pissed off comments.

    Firstly, what happened in Staten Island was wrong. Do I think that people of color are treated differently by than others my some NYPD officers? Yes. Does this effect the way the community interacts with NYPD? Yes. Should the UFT have supported this march? No way.

    The UFT showed it's hypocrisy in supporting the march for the act of one police officer. We as teachers are broad brushed day in and day out by the acts of a very few. We are railed against, beaten down and left on an island without any support. By making this march about the UFT's involvement we have put the 99% of officers of the NYPD who do the right thing in the shoes we don't like being forced to wear by outsiders.

    At a time when we as teachers and a union need all the support and backing we can get to show a lack of support to our union brethren is not right. Yes, it's been said that the NYCPBA has done squat for us, well someone has to step up and do squat first, why not the UFT?

    And, how can we support anything the Rev. Al is leading? Let's not forget his Wall Street Journal articlehe co-wrote with Joel Klein. Or his traveling roadshow with Newt Gingrich and Arne Duncan. Or what he truly feels about charters. And lest we forget some of the silly things Rev. Al has said in the past. Or the tax evasion, being an FBI informant, or Steven Pagones.

    The UFT could have showed it's support for the community in other ways than endorsing this march.

    We as teachers could have been asked or encouraged to go out into that Staten Island community and found common cause with the citizens. We as teachers have been subject to heavy handed tactics by http://www.southbronxschool.com:

    Nite Cap 8-24-14 #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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