Monday, February 8, 2016

Most Charter Schools are Public Schools in Name ONLY | gadflyonthewallblog

Most Charter Schools are Public Schools in Name ONLY | gadflyonthewallblog:

Most Charter Schools are Public Schools in Name ONLY

charterart
Charter schools are public schools.
But are they?
Really?
They don’t look like a duck. They don’t quack like a duck. Do you really want to serve them confit with a nice orange sauce?
Sure, charters are funded by tax dollars. However, that’s usually where the similarities end.
They don’t teach like public schools, they don’t spend their money like public schools, they don’t treat students or parents like public schools – in fact, that’s the very reason they exist – to be as unlike public schools as possible.
Advocates claim charters exist as laboratory schools. They are free to experiment and find new, better ways of doing things. Once they’ve proven their successes, these improved practices will eventually trickle down to our more traditional houses of learning.
At least, that’s the ideal behind them. But to my knowledge it’s never happened.
As a public school teacher, I can never recall being at a training where charter operators taught us how to do things better with these time-tested strategies. I do, however, recall watching excellent co-workers furloughed because my district had to Most Charter Schools are Public Schools in Name ONLY | gadflyonthewallblog:


Ex-principal of Franklin Towne charter files whistle-blower suit

Ex-principal of Franklin Towne charter files whistle-blower suit:
Ex-principal of Franklin Towne charter files whistle-blower suit



 A federal whistle-blower suit claims an elementary principal at the Franklin Towne Charter School in Bridesburg was hired under false pretenses and then terminated after he raised serious concerns about its operations.

Todd A. Dupell alleges that he was wrongfully dismissed as principal last August after he complained to the board chair that the charter was billing the Philadelphia School District for full-day kindergarten even though the program was not full day; the charter was awash in nepotism; and the school was paying the wife of a former board member $80,000 for a nonexistent job because otherwise her husband could "make noise."
Dupell also alleged that the charter was violating state law because it was not providing required services to students who were learning English.
He is suing Franklin Towne Charter School, its board and several officials, including CEO Joseph M. Venditti; chief academic officer Patrick Field, and Cynthia A. Marelia, longtime board chair.
"It's always important that whistle-blowers in public- school settings not be punished and retaliated against," said Patrick J. Whalen, Dupell's lawyer.
James A. Rocco 3rd, Franklin Towne's longtime lawyer, said: "We cannot comment on anything that's in active litigation."
Franklin Towne, which is based at the former Frankford Arsenal, operates a high school with 1,200 students and an elementary school with 900 K-8 students. The high school opened in 2000; the elementary school opened nine years later.
Dupell's suit, filed in federal court in New Jersey last month, contends that Franklin Towne officials and a firm it hired approached him in 2014 and encouraged him to leave his job as principal of Morrisville Elementary School in Bucks County.


According to the complaint, the officials said the job was open because Field had been promoted to a post at the high school. And after being assured that he could have a long future with the charter, Dupell left his position in Morrisville, where he had been granted tenure.
Within days of his arrival, Dupell said, staffers told him Field had been removed as principal in response to an outcry from parents over allegations of improper behavior,
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20160208_Ex-principal_of_Franklin_Towne_charter_files_whistle-blower_suit.html#G44LZ2B8v5AdwMDP.99





More Transcribed Interactions from USDOE CIO Danny Harris’ Hearing | deutsch29

More Transcribed Interactions from USDOE CIO Danny Harris’ Hearing | deutsch29:

More Transcribed Interactions from USDOE CIO Danny Harris’ Hearing



On February 08, 2016,  I published transcribed excerpts from the February 02, 2016, Congressional Oversight Committee Hearing of US Department of Education (USDOE) Chief Information Officer (CIO) Danny Harris.
CIO Harris  
Danny Harris
In this post, I continue my transcription of select discussion from the three-hour hearing.
Let’s just jump right back in.
Regarding Harris’ receiving continued annual bonuses despite his department’s receiving an F for cyber security– and for his apparently never having achieved such security during his tenure as CIO– Harris had this to say (minute 45:30):
I’d also like to put my job as CIO in context, if I may.
Cyber security is absolutely critical to the federal government. However, it is only one of the mission-critical responsibilities under my leadership. Uh, for example, I run the entire financial management platform. Uh, we have received 13 clean audit opinions. We have an incredible IT investment management program. We have the best grants management system in the federal government.
One, I think, should look at the totality of my leadership and not just cyber– even though I agree the Department had a poor record–but again, it is only one aspect of my job– though it is a critical aspect.
Sooo, cyber security is critical, and Harris has never delivered on cyber security as CIO, but somehow, that should be excused (as should his over $200,000 in bonuses) because other aspects of his job have shown better results.
No.
At minute 1:08:45, Rep. Fahrenhold addressed Harris as follows:
Uh, yeah. My concern is that you guys have pretty much every student’s 
More Transcribed Interactions from USDOE CIO Danny Harris’ Hearing | deutsch29:


Credentialing commission considers slowing rotation of substitute teachers | EdSource

Credentialing commission considers slowing rotation of substitute teachers | EdSource:

Credentialing commission considers slowing rotation of substitute teachers

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing this week will consider whether to create a new teaching permit in place of a decades-old permit that limits the amount of time substitutes can fill in for teachers on medical and other legally required leave.
The time limits expose students unnecessarily to a string of rotating substitute teachers, which educators have long complained interrupts classroom instruction and exposes students to  instructors with a range of teaching styles and with varying levels of competence and expertise.
The issue is attracting additional attention because school districts throughout California are increasingly having to rely on substitute teachers without full credentials to blunt the impact of a growing teacher shortage in almost every subject area.
But that strategy has been complicated by an “Emergency 30 Day Substitute Teaching Permit” created by the credentialing commission more than three Credentialing commission considers slowing rotation of substitute teachers | EdSource:


In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids - The Washington Post

In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids - The Washington Post:
In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids


As U.S. public schools have grown increasingly segregated by race and income, there is a growing number of school districts and charter schools striving for greater balance among their students, according to new research released Tuesday by the Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank.
Researchers identified 91 school districts and charter school chains serving more than 4 million students — including the District of Columbia and Chicago Public Schools — that are using tools such as magnet schools, weighted lotteries, and changes in school attendance zones to create more balance between white students and those of color, and between low-income and more affluent children.
That is more than double the number employing such tactics in 2007, according to Halley Potter, a fellow at the Century Foundation and one of the authors of the report.
The new methods, which rely on choice and incentives, are a far cry from the forced busing policies that were a hallmark of early desegregation efforts. In many cases, school districts are focused on integrating children of different economic backgrounds, as opposed to race, though the two are inextricably linked, Potter said.
“Part of the growth of these socioeconomic strategies is a reflection of the legal environment for racial desegregation, which just continues to get trickier,” she said. “Communities serious about tackling integration find that these tools are the best way.”
U.S. public schools are more racially segregated now than they were in the 1970s. More than one-third of all black and Latino students attend schools that are more than 90 percent non-white, according to the Century Foundation. For white students, the image is flipped: more than one-third attend schools that are nearly all white.
Research shows that children from low-income families — a group that is proportionately more African American and Latino — perform better academically when they attend schools that are not majority-poor. Segregated, high-poverty schools tend to have fewer experienced teachers, fewer challenging courses, inferior facilities, less access to private funding and In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids - The Washington Post:


Ed Notes Online: MORE Co-Sponsors: Lois Weiner at CUNY Tuesday 5-7PM

Ed Notes Online: MORE Co-Sponsors: Lois Weiner at CUNY Tuesday 5-7PM:

MORE Co-Sponsors: Lois Weiner at CUNY Tuesday 5-7PM

Unions must act on the principle that if it's a social justice issue, it's a labor issue.



 Join Dr. Lois Weiner in her presentation of New Jersey City University’s



Tuesday, February 9th
5pm - 7pm
Room 6304.01 at the CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue in Manhattan
(Please bring ID to enter the Graduate Center)

Unions must act on the principle that if it's a social justice issue, it's a labor issue.

The aim of the New Jersey City University's Urban Education and Teacher Unionism Policy Project is to apply research, explained in accessible language, to address those very hard issues that divide teacher unions from communities of color and support strong alliances.

Dr. Lois Weiner, Project Director of the Urban Education and Teacher Unionism Policy Project, is an internationally-known scholar in urban teacher education and teacher unionism.

This event is sponsored by the GC Urban Education Program, GC Critical Psychology Program, Public Science Project, Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, Professional Staff Congress (PSC) Graduate Center Chapter, Teachers Unite, and the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE)

Flyer attached.
Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/138552853189425/


CURMUDGUCATION: VA: Stupid Lawmaker Tricks

CURMUDGUCATION: VA: Stupid Lawmaker Tricks:

VA: Stupid Lawmaker Tricks

Mark Obenshain is a lawyer/legislator in Virginia who has all sorts of cool ideas for laws to pass.

Back in 2009, he proposed a law that would require all women who had a miscarriage while not right near a doctor to report that miscarriage within twenty-four hours. He was reportedly trying to respond to a case in which a woman threw her dead child in a dumpster; he wanted a law that would allow her prosecution, but he came up with something so broad and ill-considered that it was untenable.

Not thinking things through seems to be an Obenshain specialty. He ran for Attorney General and lost. His "Support Team Obenshain" website hasn't had a new post since August, 2015, when he happily announced his gig as Virginia Campaign Chairman for Scott Walker. Oopsies.

Obenshain also likes to take a hard-right swing at education. Like any good conservative values politician, he would like to strip local school boards of their power, so he's proposed a charter school law that would give the state board of education the power to authorize charters. But local school districts already have that power, and the state of Virginia just isn't clamoring for charters-- it's almost as if they find their public system plenty okay. Putting authorization of charters out of local hands of course creates issues for local taxpayers-- someone else puts up a charter school in your community and you have to pay for it whether you want it there or not. And actual conservatives have a soft spot for local control. Obenshain is apparently not one of those conservatives.




But also at the top of his Haven't Really Thought This Through list is SB 737. This is a pretty straightforward bill:

Payment of public employees for time away from their official duties; employee organizations; penalty. Prohibits public employers from paying leave or benefits to any public 
CURMUDGUCATION: VA: Stupid Lawmaker Tricks:





CURMUDGUCATION: CAP: The Promise of Testing

CURMUDGUCATION: CAP: The Promise of Testing:
CAP: The Promise of Testing



CAP is back with another one of its "reports." This one took four whole authors to produce, and it's entitled "Praise Joyous ESSA and Let a Thousand Tests Bloom." Ha! Kidding. The actual report is "Implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act: Toward a Coherent, Aligned Assessment System."

The report is sixty-some pages of highly-polished CAP-flavored reformster baloney, and I've read it so you don't have to, but be warned-- this journey will be neither short nor sweet. But we have to take it in one shot, so you can see the entirety of it. 

Who is CAP, again?

The Center for American Progress is billed as a left-leaning thinky tank, but it has also served as aholding tank for Clintonian beltway denizens. It was formed by John Podesta and run by him between his gigs as Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, and has provided food and shelter to many Clinton staffers who didn't want to have to leave DC while waiting for their next shot at the Big Show.

CAP loves the whole privatizing charterfying profiteering common core cheering reformster agenda. In fact, CAP's deep and abiding love for the Common Core has burned brighter than a thousand stars and longer than even Jeb! Bush's willingness to keep saying that name. CAP has stymied me, taxing 
CURMUDGUCATION: CAP: The Promise of Testing:



Russ on Reading: The Common Core and the "Stuff" Curriculum of E. D. Hirsch

Russ on Reading: The Common Core and the "Stuff" Curriculum of E. D. Hirsch:

The Common Core and the "Stuff" Curriculum of E. D. Hirsch



In many ways, I see the adoption of the Common Core State Standards as the ultimate victory of E. D. Hirsch and his idea of "cultural literacy." I do not think that it is a coincidence that Hirsch advocates for a "core knowledge" curriculum while the standards are called the Common "Core."

I am far from the only one to make that connection. A while ago, Politico came out with its list of  50 "thinkers, doers, and dreamers who really matter", and there at number 8 was Hirsch side-by-side with the "chief architect" of the Common Core, David Coleman. Over at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Common Core cheerleader, Robert Pondiscio notes that while you won't find Hirsch's name on the Standards "his thumbprints are there, if you care to look." Pondiscio thinks this is a good thing. I don't.

Those Hirschian thumbprints that Pondiscio finds on the Common Core are perhaps most clearly found in the percentages of non-fiction texts that are prescribed at each grade level, and in Common Core "aligned" curriculum 
Russ on Reading: The Common Core and the "Stuff" Curriculum of E. D. Hirsch:

Oregon Save Our Schools: Teacher Input: What would it really look like?

Oregon Save Our Schools: Teacher Input: What would it really look like?:

Teacher Input: What would it really look like?

Putting the Public Back in Our Public Schools!
It’s an election year and we’ve just been provided with a plan through the Governor’s office asking for nominations to the new Governor’s Council on Educational Advancement.  The Council’s mission is to provide oversight to programs managed and funded through the Network for Quality Teaching and Learning established by the legislature.  The Network is in charge of and funds various programs including:  Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluations tied to high-stakes standardized testing, professional development, teacher mentoring, best practices for closing the achievement gap, early learning partnerships, recruitment of a diverse teaching force, and English Language Learners’ success.
            
Will educators finally be listened to, or will they be provided the usual “seat at the table” where they once again share in the poison wine?  

I would like to offer some suggestions as to what such a committee would look like:

·      Meetings should take place at a time where teachers can actually attend without having to plan for a substitute and incur personal costs and unpaid leave.

·      The majority of voting members of the 15-member council would be Oregon Save Our Schools: Teacher Input: What would it really look like?:



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