Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Teacher Shortage - The New York Times

The Teacher Shortage - The New York Times:

The Teacher Shortage






Educators cite low pay, lack of respect and support, and high-stakes tests as causes.
To the Editor: Re “Across Country, a Scramble Is On to Find Teachers” (front page, Aug. 10):
We applaud you for shining a light on the economic forces that helped create the national teacher shortage: low pay, higher student loan debt and recession-linked layoffs. But if you ask teachers why young people are shunning the profession, and why so many abandon it after just a few years, you’ll get an earful.
We have always asked teachers to be a combination of Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Mom and Dad. Now, we judge them by a faulty, narrow measure — one standardized test in English and one in math — and then blame them for not being saviors. Teachers are used to the pressure cooker but are stressed out because they aren’t getting the support, resources, time and respect they need to do their jobs.
Educators have been hit with a barrage of new mandates but given little or no support or training to make them work. Think of the debacle in New York: testing kids on content covered under the new Common Core standards before giving teachers the time, curriculum or latitude to actually teach that content, and then using those tests as the basis of teachers’ evaluations.
Thanks to our test-and-punish fixation, high-stakes test prep has eclipsed teaching and learning and is sucking the creativity and joy out of classrooms. New and seasoned teachers want careers that allow them to make a difference, grow and effect change. Sadly, for too many, the profession today appears not to offer these essentials.
Nationally, we must get our priorities straight and do what’s necessary to recruit, support and retain great teachers — in good economic times and bad.
RANDI WEINGARTEN
President, American Federation of Teachers
Washington
To the Editor: I am an elementary school teacher. I love working with children. I considered my vocation constructive, honorable and a necessary part of building our democracy. While I would like to be paid better, I have taught for 20 years despite being poorly paid. And while I would like to be able to use the bathroom when I need it and have uninterrupted lunch breaks, lack thereof has not prompted me to seek another career. It’s not even being the scapegoat for so many social problems or continually set up to fail that make me want to leave. I can, however, tell you why I don’t want to teach anymore.
I am unable to see individual children as data points as required by the corporate reform movement. We are being forced to subject students to an inordinate number of tests that do not enhance their learning or childhood. These tests provide profit for corporations, and the results are used to ruin teachers. Children are collateral damage.
I do not like my professional value to be determined in a profoundly unfair manner through standardized tests and through observations by people whom I do not respect or trust.
I know I have made a difference for thousands of children. It breaks my heart to seek employment outside of what I consider my calling, but I cannot stay in a system that is motivated by money, not by what’s best for kids.
URSULA ANN KELLY
Corrales, N.M.
To the Editor: Gov. Chris Christie says he wants to punch the teachers’ union in the face. Time magazine publishes a cover story about efforts to make it easier to fire teachers. And yet The New York Times sees The Teacher Shortage - The New York Times:

The strange case of Newark’s vanishing principal. Who just reappeared. | Bob Braun's Ledger

The strange case of Newark’s vanishing principal. Who just reappeared. | Bob Braun's Ledger:

The strange case of Newark’s vanishing principal. Who just reappeared.






Nothing more dramatically shows the contempt the state-operated school district obviously feels for the residents of Newark than the way its leaders–first Cami Anderson and now Christopher Cerf–keep parents uninformed about even dramatic changes in their schools. Consider the strange case of H. Grady James, the on-again, off-again, vanishing principal of the Hawthorne Avenue School. Who has now reappeared.
James, by all accounts a successful principal at Hawthorne, didn’t show up for work one day last March–itself an odd occurrence for a man who rarely missed a day and usually was the first one at school in the early morning hours. But then the mystery really deepened because James didn’t show up for a second day. Or a third. Or a fourth….
Spoiler alert–James did finally show up last week to attend the annual principals’ leadership institute run by the state-operated school district and is now back as principal of the Hawthorne Avenue School. Or what’s left of it.
“There’s never been an explanation,” said a teacher at Hawthorne who asked for anonymity because, well, school employees have a habit of disappearing. Especially if, like James, they have committed the infraction of being known.
H. Grady James, he's back.
H. Grady James, he’s back.
Ok, so we all know that the state-operated school district, under Anderson as well as Cerf, doesn’t comment on what it calls “personnel” issues. But this goes quite a ways beyond that.
Imagine a suburban school–oh, let’s just pull one out of the air for the sake of argument–like the Hartshorn Elementary School in Short Hills. Fine school. But imagine the stir if Mr. Ken Frattini, its principal,  suddenly disappeared and never returned–and nobody but nobody The strange case of Newark’s vanishing principal. Who just reappeared. | Bob Braun's Ledger:

Seattle Schools Community Forum: FTC Seeks Public Comment on Parental Consent for Children's Online Privacy

Seattle Schools Community Forum: FTC Seeks Public Comment on Parental Consent for Children's Online Privacy:

FTC Seeks Public Comment on Parental Consent for Children's Online Privacy




The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on a proposed verifiable parental consent method that Riyo has submitted for Commission approval under the agency’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.

Under the rule, online sites and services directed at children must obtain permission from a child’s parents before collecting personal information from that child. The rule lays out a number of acceptable methods for gaining parental consent, but also includes a provision allowing interested parties to submit new verifiable parental consent methods to the Commission for approval.

In a Federal Register notice to be published shortly, the FTC is seeking public comment about the proposed Riyo verifiable parental consent method including whether the proposed method is already covered by existing methods under the rule and whether it meets the rule’s requirement that it be reasonably calculated to ensure that the person providing the consent is actually the child’s parent. The Commission also seeks comment on whether the program poses a risk to consumers’ information and whether that risk is outweighed by the benefits of the program. The comment period will last until Sept. 3, 2015.

Notice from the FTC.

To file comments.

How this might work:


Riyo’s method: “Face Match to Verified Photo Identification” (FMVPI)

Riyo would verify parental consent by using facial recognition technology to compare a parent’s face to a verified photo ID (this is based on a process that is already in use). First the parent takes a picture of their photo ID with their phone’s camera or webcam and it is authenticated. Then the parent is directed to take a picture of his or her own face. The two images are compared. They also use something called “Liveness Detection” which will detect whether the person is living by identifying slight facial movements (prevents a child trying to take a photo of a static image). https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-seeks-public-comment-riyo-proposal-parental-verification-method-under-coppa-rule/150731riyoapplication.pdf
This "Riyo" policy is of questionable use.  From an e-mail that a concerned parent sent in:

A video describes "Face  Match  to  Verified  Photo  Identification" Seattle Schools Community Forum: FTC Seeks Public Comment on Parental Consent for Children's Online Privacy:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/15/15


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM



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