Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Overtime scandal in Newark schools–union demands ouster of personnel chief | Bob Braun's Ledger

Overtime scandal in Newark schools–union demands ouster of personnel chief | Bob Braun's Ledger:

Overtime scandal in Newark schools–union demands ouster of personnel chief

Rodriguez--both the school board and the teachers' union want her out.
Rodriguez–both the school board and the teachers’ union want her out.


The Newark Teachers Union and its president, John Abeigon, have filed a legal action asking the state’s education commissioner to fire the so-called “chief talent officer” of the state-operated Newark district, Vanessa Rodriguez, contending she lacks the proper qualifications and licensing for the position.
The petition was filed just hours before the Newark school board–which had once tried to fire Rodriguez–forced the personnel chief to read a document that publicly revealed problems involving the overpayment of overtime to city school administrators. Rodriguez’s boss, state-appointed superintendent Christopher Cerf, had tried to play down the document that admitted some school employees had received tens of thousands of dollars in unearned overtime.
The revelations come just as Cerf has cut back on funds used by schools to provide books, materials, supplies, and support services. The school year began with the state-operated schools more than $60 million in the hole, but Cerf contends he has reduced the shortfall to less than $13 million.
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Abeigon, in revealing the administrative petition filed with state Education Commissioner David Hespe, called Rodriguez a “quack” who had visited “misery and damage” on Newark children, parents, and school employees.
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The union and its president also asked Hespe to set aside “all personnel decisions she had made, tenure charges she certified, and layoffs of employees that she approved.”
Rodriguez had been one of the highest-paid administrators in the district, making $185,000 annually.
She was a close confidante of Cami Anderson, once a political  operative for former Mayor–now US Sen.–Cory Booker;  Anderson was named  state-operated superintendent  four years ago by Gov. Chris Christie. Christie fired her in June and replaced her with Christopher Cerf, a former state education commissioner and Overtime scandal in Newark schools–union demands ouster of personnel chief | Bob Braun's Ledger:

Massachusetts Dumps MCAS for PARCC-stuffed “MCAS 2.0” | deutsch29

Massachusetts Dumps MCAS for PARCC-stuffed “MCAS 2.0” | deutsch29:

Massachusetts Dumps MCAS for PARCC-stuffed “MCAS 2.0”

broken pencil 3


On November 12, 2015, the PARCC consortium announced that it will now offer several “testing options,” which amounts to little more than PARCC now becoming a test item vendor by degrees.
Weeks before, on October 19, 2015, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester proposed that DESE create a hybrid of the state’s current assessment, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and PARCC.
He called it “MCAS 2.0.”
It should come as no surprise that on November 17, 2015, Massachusett’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) voted 8-3 fr what amounted to a set-up: either a revised MCAS (i.e., now PARCC-stuffed MCAS 2.0) or full-blown PARCC.
So, the DESE choice was actually Sort of Hidden PARCC or Obvious PARCC.
And in typical, corporate-reform “urgency,” MCAS 2.0 is supposed to be constructed, Massachusetts Dumps MCAS for PARCC-stuffed “MCAS 2.0” | deutsch29:

ESEA Reauthorization Moving Forward: House Appoints Conference Committee Members | deutsch29

ESEA Reauthorization Moving Forward: House Appoints Conference Committee Members | deutsch29:

ESEA Reauthorization Moving Forward: House Appoints Conference Committee Members

congress




House, Senate, and, likely, White House negotiations regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) have been happening behind the scenes since roughly late September. It seems that a single bill has been negotiated out of the House version, the Student Success Act (SSA) and the Senate version, the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), both of which were passed in July 2015.
Word is that the negotiated version looks more like ECAA than SSA. One of the major differences between the two bills involves the issue of opting out of federally mandated standardized testing. SSA declared the right of parents to opt out; ECAA leaves it up to states to decide upon opt out rules.
In July 2015, I wrote about opt out language in both SSA and ECAA. However, I will not comment further on the now-negotiated, SSA-ECAA version until I am able to see the text. Moreover, that negotiated version will next go before a House and Senate conference committee, where it could be further modified before heading to both houses for a vote. (In this July 2015 post, I offer more discussion regarding the issue of the conference committee process.)
And that conference committee is moving forward. According to this November 17, 2015, House Education and the Workforce press release, House Speaker Ryan has made the committee appointments:
House Moves Toward K-12 Education Conference Committee
Speaker Ryan appoints House Republican conferees
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives approved a motion to go to conference on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Actand Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) appointed House Republican conferees:Today, the House took an important step forward in our effort to improve K-12 
ESEA Reauthorization Moving Forward: House Appoints Conference Committee Members | deutsch29:

Attention: Aurora Public School Families; Atención: Familias de alumnos de las Escuelas Públicas de Aurora - UNITED OPT OUT

Attention: Aurora Public School Families; Atención: Familias de alumnos de las Escuelas Públicas de Aurora - UNITED OPT OUT: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform:

Attention: Aurora Public School Families; Atención: Familias de alumnos de las Escuelas Públicas de Aurora








Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, Colorado, recently posted their Opt Out guidance notice on their website, as required by state law. Each school is required to send home a letter to parents to inform them of their parental right to refuse state assessments. Each school is also required to inform parents of all testing that is occurring, while specifying which assessments are for the state and which are for the district.
The Aurora District doc can be read in its entirety here: Aurora Public Schools Assessment Information .  It is incredibly difficult to find it if searching on the website – it is listed under District Policies here: http://aurorak12.org/about-aps/district-policies/section-i/ and the title is IKA -Grading/Assessment Systems.
Key points for parents from the document include:
Parent/Guardian Request for Exemption
A parent/guardian who wishes to exempt his or her child from a particular state assessment or assessments shall make this request in accordance with this policy’s accompanying regulation. In accordance with state law, the district shall not impose a negative consequence upon a student
whose parent/guardian has requested an exemption from a state assessment or assessments. This policy’s exemption process shall apply only to state assessments and shall not apply to district or classroom assessments.
Please know that parents also have the right to refuse additional assessments which are being used to rob Aurora’s children of important instructional time.
The state tests: PARCC (also called CMAS) English, Math and CMAS  Social Studies, Science end of year tests must be refused. These tests are all developmentally inappropriate and create a fear-based environment in our schools – for teachers and students. School is meant to be a safe place for children to learn and take risks as learners.
However, in addition,  we recommend refusing the following assessments:  PALS, Acuity, and TS Gold. Each of these assessments rob Aurora’s teachers of valuable instructional time and none of the assessments are used to inform authentic instruction. These assessments are used to teach to the test and skill/drill children – all of which decreases opportunities for meaningful learning experiences for Aurora’s children. Finally, these assessments gather immense amounts of data on children – data that ultimately will be used to profit the corporations who create the tests. Each of these assessments take teachers away from their teaching.  And last of all,imagine what our schools would be like if all this money were used to hire nurses, librarians, counselors, purchase more resources, create smaller class size, hire more teachers, and create community centers within each school to provide additional supports for Aurora’s families?
The Aurora document also states:
Additional Assessment Information for Parents/Guardians
In accordance with state law and this policy’s accompanying regulation, the district shall distribute an assessment calendar and related information to parents/guardians on an annual basis to inform them about the state and district assessments that the district plans to administer during the school
year.
If you have not received the calendar please call your school and request it immediately. 
Regarding procedures for refusing assessments they state:
Parent/Guardian Request for Exemption
In accordance with the accompanying policy, the parent/guardian of a student enrolled in the district may request that his or her child be exempt in participating in one or more state assessments. It is strongly encouraged that parents/guardians have a consultation with their school prior to requesting exemption.
1. The request for exemption must be submitted in writing to the school principal.
2. The parent/guardian will not be required to state the reason for asking for the exemption,
3. The request for exemption may apply to all or specific state assessments administered to the
student during the school year.
4. A request for exemption will be valid for one school year. Requests for exemption from state
assessments in subsequent school years require a new written request.
5. Parents/guardians are encouraged to submit their requests for exemption at the earliest
possible date each school year so that the district may plan accordingly
We do not recommend having a consultation. It is our experience that consultations are used as a tactic to persuade parents to allow children to take unnecessary tests. If no one took these tests, we could begin to rebuild and improve our schools by directing our time and our tax dollars to our children’s learning needs rather than the corporations’ pockets. It is up to the parents to demand more for their children. Our children and our public schools are not for profit. If we can answer questions or assist in any way, including translation of opt out letters, please email us at unitedoptoutnational@gmail.com . 
Sincerely,
Spanish Translation:
Las Escuelas Públicas de Aurora en Aurora, Colorado publicó recientemente una notificación de como Rechazar Pruebas en su página web, como se requiere por la ley estatal. Cada escuela tiene la obligación de enviar a casa una carta a los padres para informarles de su derecho a rechazar las evaluaciones estatales. Cada escuela también tiene la obligación de informarlos de todas las pruebas que se dan, mientras que especificar cuáles evaluaciones son del Estado y cuáles son para el distrito.
El documento del Distrito de Aurora se puede leer en su totalidad aquí: Aurora Public Schools Assessment Information. Es increíblemente difícil encontrar si uno busca en la página web -aparece en Las Políticas del Distrito aquí: http://aurorak12.org/about-aps/district-policies/section-i/ y el título es IKA -Grading / Evaluación Sistemas.
Puntos claves para los padres del documento incluyen:
Solicitud del padre/tutor de la Exención
Un padre/tutor que desea exceptuar a su hijo de una(s) evaluación(es) deberá hacer esta solicitud, de acuerdo con la regulación de acompañamiento de esta política. De acuerdo con la ley estatal, el distrito no impondrá ninguna consecuencia negativa sobre un estudiante cuyo padre/tutor ha solicitado una exención de una(s) evaluación(es) estatal(es). El proceso de exención de esta política se aplicará únicamente a las evaluaciones estatales y no se aplicará a las evaluaciones del distrito ni del salón de clase.
Favor de saber que los padres también tienen el derecho de rechazar las evaluaciones adicionales que se están utilizando para robar a los estudiantes de Aurora el tiempo importante de instrucción.
Los exámenes estatales: PARCC (también llamados CMAS) Inglés, Matemáticas y pruebas del fin del año Estudios Sociales y Ciencias de CMAS deben ser rechazados. Estas pruebas son inapropiadas para el desarrollo del niño y crean un entorno basado en el miedo en nuestras escuelas – para los maestros y los estudiantes. Se intenta que la escuela sea un lugar seguro para los niños endonde aprenden y toman riesgos como estudiantes.
Sin embargo, recomendemos el rechazo de las siguientes evaluaciones: PALS, Acuity, y TS Gold. Cada una de estas evaluaciones roban de los maestros de Aurora el tiempo valioso para enseñar, y ninguna de las evaluaciones se utilizan para informar la instrucción auténtica. Se resulta el enseñar a la prueba y para la habilidad/perforación – todo lo cual disminuye las oportunidades de las experiencias significativas de aprendizaje para los niños de Aurora. Por último, estas evaluaciones se reúnen enormes cantidades de datos sobre los niños – los datos que se utilizarán para beneficiar a las corporaciones que crean las pruebas. Cada una de estas evaluaciones les quita a los maestros de la enseñanza. Y por último, imagínense lo que nuestras escuelas serían si todo este dinero se utilizara para contratar a enfermeras, bibliotecarios, consejeros, para reducir el número de estudiantes en cada clase, para contratar más maestros, adquirir más recursos, y crear centros comunitarios dentro de cada escuela para proporcionar apoyos adicionales para las familias de Aurora?
El documento Aurora también dice:
Información adicional de la Evaluación para los Padres/Tutores:
De acuerdo con la ley estatal y la regulación de acompañamiento de esta política, el distrito distribuirá un calendario de evaluación e información relacionada a los padres/tutores anualmente para informarles acerca de las evaluaciones estatales y del distrito que el distrito planea administrar durante año escolar.
Si usted no ha recibido el calendario por favor llame a su escuela y solicitarlo inmediatamente.
Con respeto a los procedimientos del rechazo de las evaluaciones se dice:
Solicitud del padre/tutor de la Exención
De acuerdo con la política de acompañamiento, el padre/tutor de un estudiante matriculado en el distrito puede solicitar que su hijo sea exentado de participar en una o más evaluaciones estatales. Se recomienda que los padres/tutores consulten con su escuela antes de solicitar la exención.
  1. La solicitud de exención deberá ser presentada por escrito al director de la escuela.
  2. No se requiere que el padre/tutor indique el motivo para solicitar la exención,
  3. La solicitud de exención puede aplicarse a todas o determinadas evaluaciones estatales administradas al estudiante durante el año escolar.
  4. Un solicitud de exención tendrá una validez de un año escolar. Las solicitudes de exención de las evaluaciones del estado en los años escolares siguientes requieren una nueva solicitud por escrito.
  5. Se recomienda que los padres/tutores presenten los solicitudes de exención en la fecha más temprana posible de cada año escolar para que el distrito pueda planificar en consecuencia
No recomendamos tener una consulta. Es nuestra experiencia que las consultas se utilizan como una táctica para convencer a los padres a que los niños tomen pruebas innecesarias. Si nadie tomara estas pruebas, podríamos comenzar a reconstruir y mejorar nuestras escuelas dirigiendo nuestro tiempo y nuestros impuestos a las necesidades de aprendizaje de nuestros hijos en lugar de los bolsillos de las corporaciones. Corresponde a los padres a exigir más para sus hijos. Nuestros hijos y nuestras escuelas públicas no son para los fines de lucro. Si podemos responder a las preguntas o ayudar de cualquier manera, incluida la traducción de sus cartas del rechazo de los exámenes, por favor envíenos un email a unitedoptoutnational@gmail.com.
Sinceramente,
UOO Equipo

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 11/17/15



CORPORATE ED REFORM





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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 11/16/15
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