Friday, June 24, 2016

Karen Wolfe: In smoothing over co-locations, did LAUSD give away the farm? — PS connect

In smoothing over co-locations, did LAUSD give away the farm? — PS connect:

In smoothing over co-locations, did LAUSD give away the farm?

The LAUSD Board voted late on Tuesday to direct the Superintendent to either more transparently assist privately operated charters in the takeover of district-owned, public facilities, or to create a fairer process, depending on what is to be believed.

George McKenna and Scott Schmerelson, both retired principals, voted against the motion, which was brought by PUC charter founder Ref Rodriguez and fellow charter champion Monica Garcia. 

Garcia’s opponent in the upcoming school board election, parent Carl Petersen of Change the LAUSD, spoke up on behalf of neighborhood schools, calling Rodriguez’s bluff in the motion’s claim that Prop 39 presents an opportunity for district and charter schools to collaborate.

“I’ve never heard a parent say, ‘Gee, I really hope a charter co-locates on our campus next year.”

He said the situation reminded him of a song lyric from his youth: “You say it’s raining, but you’re pissing down my back.”
Petersen represented parents throughout the district whose children attend co-located schools when he called on LAUSD’s charter division to look for alternatives that put protecting neighborhood public schools ahead of accommodating charters.

But with the exception of McKenna, none of the board members seemed to view the measure in the context of the threat by the charter groups to privatize the school district. Although they reassured each other that the polcy would remain in their hands, not the superintendent's. In discussion, Monica Ratliff acted like a mediator, trying to find a way to get unanimous approval for a measure she said lays out a 
In smoothing over co-locations, did LAUSD give away the farm? — PS connect:


CURMUDGUCATION: Do Interim Tests Help?

CURMUDGUCATION: Do Interim Tests Help?:

Do Interim Tests Help?

You know the drill. We have to take the Big Standardized Tests in the spring, so in the fall and winter, maybe multiple times, we're going to take the pre-test, or practice test, or interim test, or testing test test.




The plan is that this will get the students ready for the BS Test (because it is such an artificial, inauthentic task that it doesn't resemble any other activity except taking similar inauthentic pre-test practice interim testy test tests). Even more importantly, in some schools, it will let us target the students based on how likely they are to make us look bad come test time.

Procedures vary by school, but a popular approach is to sort students into three categories: Don't Have To Worry About Them, Hopeless, and Maybe If We Really Hammer These Kids We Can Get Them To Squeak Through. The first two groups get little or no attention, and the third group gets "extra attention" which may take the form of anything form extra drill in math and language class all the way up to being pulled out of non-test classes so that their whole day can be devoted to test prep.

There is a cottage industry in pre-test practice interim testing tests. My district used to use the 4sight tests, until we noticed that their ability to predict BS Test results was only slightly better than reading the bumps on a dancing toad under a full moon. These days we're dabbling in NWEA voodoo, so we'll see.

Well, maybe we'll see. After a decade of interim testing, plenty of teachers have an opinion about 
CURMUDGUCATION: Do Interim Tests Help?:



With A Brooklyn Accent: Misplaced Priorities in Bronx Schools

With A Brooklyn Accent: Misplaced Priorities in Bronx Schools:

Misplaced Priorities in Bronx Schools


I am not an expert on pedagogy. I am not an expert on curriculum. I am not conversant with standards, testing, or graduation requirements.
However, as product of the New York City public schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade, and as someone who has interviewed more than 100 people about their experience in Bronx schools from the 1940's through the 1960's I know this- school teams, school bands and orchestras, school newspapers, theater programs and arts programs change lives, especially for young people coming from poor and working class families.
Programs like this not only inspire young people in and of themselves, and create strong relationships among students, and between students and teachers, they build confidence and make everything else that goes on in school more tolerable.
Given this observation, why is it that so many schools in the Bronx today look upon teams and arts programs as extraneous to the "real business" of school, which is getting students to acquire basic skills and pass tests? Don't they realize that eliminating creative outlets for students will ultimately undermine their quest to improve test results? That it will drive up drop out rates? Make students disillusioned with formal education?
There is something really destructive taking place right now, especially when it comes to sports. During the past five years, I With A Brooklyn Accent: Misplaced Priorities in Bronx Schools:


John Lewis was the hero of the House sit-in. This comic book tells his origin story. - Vox

John Lewis was the hero of the House sit-in. This comic book tells his origin story. - Vox:

John Lewis was the hero of the House sit-in. This comic book tells his origin story.



On Wednesday, Georgia Rep. John Lewis led his fellow Democrats in a dramatic sit-in on the floor of the US House to demand they be allowed to vote on gun control legislation. It felt a little like the climax of a superhero movie: At long last, someone came along with the moral fiber and purity of vision to demand action (even if that action might not make a meaningful dent in the problem). And although the sit-in wrapped on Thursday afternoon without achieving a vote, it provided an important symbol of Democrats’ willingness to close the gun control enthusiasm gap, in part because of the legitimacy provided by civil rights superhero John Lewis.
And like all superheroes, Lewis has a comic book backstory.
March is a series of graphic memoirs written by Lewis and his staffer Andrew Aydin, illustrated by the award-winning graphic artist Nate Powell. Books one and two were released in 2013 and 2015, and the third volume will come out on August 2.
March chronicles Lewis’s long history in the civil rights movement, detailing how he became one of its so-called Big Six leaders. But it starts early. In book one, set in the 1950s, we meet young Lewis, the son of share-croppers, dreaming of preaching the social gospel like Martin Luther King and practicing baptisms on his parents’ chickens.
Lewis went to college in Nashville, where he began to attend Jim Lawson’s workshops on nonviolent protest. In March, the workshops look harrowing: Participants alternate screaming racial slurs and threats at one another, their shadowy faces dominating the John Lewis was the hero of the House sit-in. This comic book tells his origin story. - Vox:
 

[Sponsored Message] Five Signs Of A Privatized Charter School

[Sponsored Message] Five Signs Of A Privatized Charter School:

Five Signs Of A Privatized Charter School



MOST CHARTER SCHOOLS are governed private boards – in many cases, these private boards set their own rules and by-laws with no direct public oversight whatsoever.




In 2009, Kevin O’Shea and Rosemary DiLacqua were charged with defrauding the Philadelphia Academy Charter School (“PACS”). DiLacqua, as PACS’ board president, authorized the quick rise of O’Shea, who had no educational qualifications, from facilities manager for the school, to its CEO, earning $200,000. The malfeasance included using approximately $710,000 to buy a building with the aim of reselling it to another charter school for a $1 million profit; demanding kickbacks from PACS vendors; using approximately $145,000 to outfit offices for themselves with posh amenities including at-screen televisions, executive bathrooms and granite countertops; submitting for reimbursement at least $40,000 in fraudulent invoices for personal meals, entertainment, home improvements, and gas and telephone bills; billing approximately $50,000 worth of home repairs to PACS; collecting approximately $34,000 in rent from entities using PACS facilities, attempting to destroy computer evidence to obstruct the investigation against them, and ling a false tax return.




MANY CHARTER SCHOOL BOARDS further hire distant school management companies that are either for-profit or not-for-profit corporations.



In Ohio, dozens of charter school boards turn about 96 percent of their taxpayer funding over to White Hat Management Company, a for-profit EMO. White Hat takes in more than $60 million in public funding annually for its charter school management services, yet refused to comply with requests from the governing boards [Sponsored Message] Five Signs Of A Privatized Charter School:


 

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Is This What We Want for Children at School?

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Is This What We Want for Children at School?:

Is This What We Want for Children at School?


From a mom in Michigan (via Facebook, bold mine):
 
I took this picture because initially I thought it was funny. I was going to send it to my husband to show what our mischievous little three-year-old was up to. However, The moment she told me what she was doing I broke down. She was practicing for a lockdown drill at her preschool and what you should do if you are stuck in a bathroom. At that moment all innocence of what I thought my three-year-old possessed was gone.

Politicians - take a look. This is your child, your children, your grandchildren, your great grand children and future generations to come. They will live their lives and grow up in this world based on your decisions. They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats. I do not know what will be harder for them? Trying to remain quiet for an extended amount of time or trying to keep their balance without letting a foot slip below the stall door? No one thinks gun control will be 100% crime control. But maybe, just maybe, it helps 1% or 2% or 50%? Who knows unless we try? Why on earth are there not universal background checks? Where is a universal registration database? Why are high capacity magazines ever permitted to be sold to anyone other than direct to the military? Is that really necessary to protect yourself or hunt for that matter? What about smart guns, where are they? C’mon techies! 
 
The 2nd Amendment is a beast to battle and wiping out the right to bear arms is not on the table. Does anyone really think that will be accomplished? Because it won’t. Amended to some extent? Maybe. But how many decades will that take? Where’s the evolution of our so called “living document” for this subject matter? A document that originally allowed slavery and prevented women from voting? NRA, are you even trying? Let’s talk mental health. Where is the $500 million that the Obama administration put into the budget for approval…did it go through? Is it being implemented or just sitting there? Where is the access to care for those struggling with mental illness? Politicians, I ask you...how can I help?

Banning together, signing petitions, rallying to get your voice heard is good, but is it actually doing anything or just making us feel better about the current 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Is This What We Want for Children at School?:


High Test Scores At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost? : NPR Ed : NPR

High Test Scores At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost? : NPR Ed : NPR:

High Test Scores At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost?





Since its inception nearly a decade ago in Silicon Valley, Rocketship has been among the most nationally applauded charter networks, hailed as an innovative model of blended learning.
Founder John Danner, who made a fortune in Internet advertising, originally envisioned enrolling 1 million students by 2020, relying on the strength of three pillars — "personalized learning" with software, excellent teachers and parent involvement — to raise the achievement of underserved students.
Today there are 13 Rocketship schools, with 6,000 students, in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nashville, Tenn., and Milwaukee, with one scheduled to open in Washington, D.C., this fall. The students, largely low-income and Hispanic, outperform their peers on state tests.
The school has impressed parents like Letty Gomez, who grew up in East San Jose and whose first-grader attends Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep there.
She says from her very first visit, what she saw was, "Every single teacher and administrator ... motivated the students. They were encouraging the students. I have never seen that on any other campus [where] I myself went to school or that my children had attended." The company says that 91 percent of families return each year.
Students and teachers at Fuerza Community Prep dance during their daily morning assembly.
Students and teachers at Fuerza Community Prep dance during their daily morning assembly.
Preston Gannaway for NPR
Yet despite its successes, as Rocketship has pushed to expand, some parents, teachers and community members have objected in public meetings, raising concerns about the school's tech-heavy instruction model, student-teacher ratio, and student health and safety.
In interviews over the past two months, current and former employees at Rocketship Schools emphasized the pressures on employees and students. They recounted High Test Scores At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost? : NPR Ed : NPR:
 

Fisher II got it right on Race and Affirmative Action – Cloaking Inequity

Fisher II got it right on Race and Affirmative Action – Cloaking Inequity:

Fisher II got it right on Race and Affirmative Action


As a nation, we are fortunate that the Supreme Court ruled that the University of Texas admission plan “clearly reconciled the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity.”
In Fisher v. University of Texas, the court considered the case of Abigail Fisher, who claims she didn’t get in to UT because the school preferred non-white candidates. Critics of affirmative action in admissions often frame the matter like that: as a rule that says when two exactly equal candidates apply for a spot in a university, the minority candidate is chosen each time. This is a gross and purposeful simplification of what actually occurs.
In their ruling Thursday, the justices didn’t buy Fisher’s argument. “Drawing all reasonable inferences in her favor,” Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, “petitioner has not shown by a preponderance of the evidence that she was denied equal treatment at the time her application was rejected.”
At UT-Austin, the Top Ten Percent plan has filled about 75 percent of the places in the freshman class. However, recent adjustments by the Texas Legislature has meant that to be admitted under this category, a student must actually finish in the top seven or eight percent of his or her class.
After the admissions from the Top Ten Percent Plan are finished, UT-Austin adopts an approach similar to the one used by the University of Michigan Law School (and affirmed in the Grutter case). For the remaining 25 percent or so of an incoming class at UT-Austin, Kennedy wrote, race is only a “factor of a factor of a factor.”
towerIn essence, the secondary admission process is a “holistic-review calculus” of many factors. The majority opinion that the consideration of race at UT-Austin “is contextual and does not operate as a mechanical plus factor for underrepresented minorities.”
Not discussed in the current ruling, but I believe relevant, is that Fisher did not fall below a bright line by which Whites were rejected and minorities admitted. As reported in The Nation, UT-Austin offered admission “to some students with lower test scores and grades than Fisher. Five of those students were Black or Latino. Forty-two Fisher II got it right on Race and Affirmative Action – Cloaking Inequity:


State Says Los Angeles Schools Must Spend More on Poor Students and English Learners | janresseger

State Says Los Angeles Schools Must Spend More on Poor Students and English Learners | janresseger:

State Says Los Angeles Schools Must Spend More on Poor Students and English Learners

Telecommunications manufacturer David Welch and his organization, Students Matter, the group that brought the original anti-teacher-tenure lawsuit Vergara v. California, and Campbell Brown, the former CNN anchor whose Partnership for Educational Justice has been bringing copycat anti-tenure lawsuits across the country, allege that schools are failing to serve their poorest students because tenure is protecting tired, old, lazy teachers and assigning such teachers to the schools that serve children in poor neighborhoods.  Never mind that what seems to be happening instead is that very poor children are being assigned the least experienced teachers.  And never mind that a shortage of dollars in big city school districts really does seem to be a primary problem.
year-old report from Bruce Fuller and other researchers at the University of California at Berkeley explains that in Los Angeles,  “Sacramento cut spending on K-12 education by one-fifth statewide in the years following 2008—in the wake of the Great Recession.  The impact on LAUSD (the Los Angeles Unified School District)…  was immense, losing approximately $2.7 billion between 2009 and 2013.  But the state has instituted a new Local Control Funding Formula for the purpose of supporting the education of poor children and children learning English.  And it turns out there are serious questions about how the new money is being spent by the Los Angeles Unified School District, which needs to address years’ of unmet needs.
The California Department of Education just sided with Public Advocates, a California public interest law firm, which had filed a complaint against LAUSD on behalf of the Community Coalition of South Los Angeles, a complaint charging that the school district is not investing, as required by the new state funding formula, enough new dollars in the education of very poor children and English learners.  The complaint says the district has claimed to be increasing spending on vulnerable students while it has instead been counting special education State Says Los Angeles Schools Must Spend More on Poor Students and English Learners | janresseger:
This shows the distribution of high-need students, defined under the formula as low-income children, students learning English and foster youths, by county. They are most heavily concentrated in Imperial, Monterey and Yolo counties and counties in the Central Valley. Disparities between high-need and wealthy schools within districts are most prevalent  in the Bay Area and Orange County.
 

Malloy’s blindness and lack of leadership leads to chaos at UConn - Wait What?

Malloy’s blindness and lack of leadership leads to chaos at UConn - Wait What?:

Malloy’s blindness and lack of leadership leads to chaos at UConn


Although Governor Dannel Malloy has consistently ducked his responsibility as the statutory President of the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, the buck actually does stop on his desk…. Even while he pretends it doesn’t
Back in January 27, 2016, the UConn’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA), the non-teaching professional staff at UConn.
No member of the UConn Board of Trustees voted against the contract.  All voted yes, except for one of the two alumni representatives, who abstained.
Then, as the concerns were raised about the contract by the Connecticut General Assembly, Governor Dannel Malloy suddenly become critical of the agreement – despite the fact that, by law, Malloy is the President of the UConn Board of Trustees, Malloy appoints the majority of the members of the Board and Malloy’s own personal representative on the Board had missed 12 of the last 15 monthly meetings, including the Trustee meeting in January when the contract was approved.
Malloy’s personal representative has missed every meeting since then, having now missed 15 of the last 18 UConn Trustee meetings.
Malloy pretended like it all occurred on someone else’s watch and demanded the contract Malloy’s blindness and lack of leadership leads to chaos at UConn - Wait What?:


North Carolina Teachers Arrested After 20-Mile March To Governor's Office

North Carolina Teachers Arrested After 20-Mile March To Governor's Office:

North Carolina Teachers Arrested After 20-Mile March To Governor’s Office

This is the state of our public education system. Students deserve more







Students Deserve More.
Over 100 North Carolina teachers, public school workers, and parents tried to present to Governor Pat McCrory at the end of their 20-mile march to his office on June 14 and 15. After a decade of budget cuts and a general lack of resources, the teachers and parents have had enough.
The group, formed by Organize 2020, a NC Public Schools grassroots organization, wanted to address a few points with McCrory. Namely, that he expand Medicaid, spend the budget surplus on students, and repeal HB2. 
Although McCrory knew of the requested meeting in advance, the Capitol building was shut down early and he refused to meet with the group citing a “previous engagement.” The group, demanding to be heard, took to the streets. When the police came and threatened arrests, everyone dispersed to the sidewalks except for 14 teachers who linked arms and formed a line across the road. 
The 14 were eventually arrested and released. Many of the arrested teachers wrote their own perspectives on why they refused to give up the line, which I encourage you to read. These stories are moving, powerful, and may just be one of the most important things you read all day. This is the state of our public education system from the soldiers on the front lines.
“I used to look at the daily mug shot reports in the online versions of the local paper, but I had to stop because seeing my [students] photos every day became less grounding and sobering and more depressing and angering.” 
-Bryan Proffitt, President of the Durham Association of Educators
 North Carolina Teachers Arrested After 20-Mile March To Governor's Office:

Dear schools: Here's how not to body shame girls next year

Dear schools: Here's how not to body shame girls next year:

Hey schools: Stop body shaming girls

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Hey, school administrators and teachers, we have to talk about something.
You uphold antiquated, strident, unbalanced and frankly sexist standards when it comes to female students and how they dress at school. That's a problem.
It's time to stop body shaming your female students (and hey, even some of your male students) over their fashion choices.
Don't get us wrong, there are certain things that may be too risqué for the classroom. Students have to also choose to be respectful and professional around peers and colleagues while expressing their individual style. And that's okay.
But what we're talking about here is when a female student wears perfectly normal outfits to school and is told to cover up or go home. It affects their own academic standing as well as makes them feel personally embarrassed or attacked.
We're talking about Aniya Wolf's dapper prom suit.
We're talking about Kaitlyn Juvik, the braless warrior
We're talking about Amy Steverson's lacy, yet respectable, prom gown.
None of these girls were wearing their shorts too short, their shirts too cropped or walking around topless. Instead they were shamed for not conforming to gender norms, dressing comfortably and not having stick-thin bodies. The same is likely true for other girls whose stories didn't go viral.
If you're still confused as to why these young women should not have been body shamed, here are some helpful tips on making your female students feel safe and comfortable in your school.


1. Accept that these students have bodies — large, small, pear-shaped, hour glass, etc. And they can't change that.
Embrace the body positivity movement, starting with not making comments about a student who is overweight. You do not know how much they exercise, how much they eat, or how high their blood pressure, blood sugar or any other health marker is. Look beyond their weight and remember that overweight people can be healthy.
On the flip side, if a student noticeably loses weight or maintains a low weight — it's not your business to comment on it as a school administrator unless you truly feel the student is causing harm to themself. Calling attention to weight loss, even if it's to say they look great, can put anDear schools: Here's how not to body shame girls next year:

Charter schools must take out loan to sever ties with Newpoint Education Partners

Charter schools must take out loan to sever ties with...:

Charter schools must take out loan to sever ties with management company

San Jose charter schools to end contract with Newpoint Education Partners





JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The board of two local charter schools decided Thursday night it would take out a loan with their management company, Newpoint Education Partners, to cover a portion of the money the company said the schools owe.
The loan would allow San Jose Academy and San Jose Preparatory High School to officially end their contract with Newpoint, which was indicted last month on charges of grand theft, money laundering and aggravated white-collar crime.
Newpoint initially came up with the option, loaning the schools $100,000 and having them pay a 6 percent interest rate for the next three years, and in exchange, the management contract would be terminated. But the schools would also have to announce the agreement publicly per Newpoint's specific language. 
It's money that's highly contested, yet board members said they aren't looking to fight.
"Why does the board want to enter into a $100,000 loan with a company that's accused of stealing money in another county? I would say, as you heard Gary say, not agree to do that. And then spend the next six months, two years in litigation over trying to end the arraignment and not have that. And in the end, the schools aren't going to make it through that," said Bonnie Arnold, board chair of San Jose Charter Schools. 
According to WFLA-TV, two schools formally managed by Newpoint near St. Petersburg have struggled financially to keep their doors open after the company left them in such financial chaos that they could not keep a balanced budget. Thursday, they had to end their fight to keep the schools and will most likely close, WFLA-TV reported.
In Jacksonville, Newpoint claims San Jose owes about $500,000 in payroll, management and other fees. That's why the board said it has decided to take the loan.
"You know, in many issues around the state, there were expenses accruing and fees on that that had not come before boards to be approved. So those were forgiven in that document. And we agreed to $100,000 that will be paid over a 36-month or 3-year period at 6 percent," Arnold said.
As part of the agreement from June 30, the board will have to publicly address the termination per a certain script Newpoint has written up, which includes saying, "Newpoint provided our schools with financial support, including advancing cash to cover payroll when needed and deferring their management fees, all to ensure the school would survive and then thrive as we have done."
Arnold said she doesn't disagree with that statement. 
"They really did a lot for us when we first opened. They were here a lot, and I didn't realize all that goes on behind opening up, doing an application, finding a facility, arraigning for all the renovation that goes Charter schools must take out loan to sever ties with...:
 


BS BS BS POSER STORY:School vouchers work, why aren't more available? | TheHill

School vouchers work, why aren't more available? | TheHill:

School vouchers work, why aren't more available?



new analysis of 19 research studies examining 11 school choice programs across the globe shows there are “statistically significant achievement effects” related to “using school vouchers.” The meta-analysis was published in May by a group of researchers at the University of Arkansas’ School Choice Demonstration Project.
Although school voucher programs vary significantly, they typically give parents the ability to receive a voucher (sometimes referred to as a “scholarship”) that can be used to pay for a variety of approved education-related expenses. Voucher amounts are almost always much lower than what it costs for a student to attend a traditional public school, and many voucher programs allow parents to use the funds to pay for tuition, transportation expenses, books, and other costs.
According to a press release announcing the findings, “The results of the meta-analysis indicate that voucher programs appear to work well globally, perhaps particularly in countries with more of a private-public gap in school quality,” although the researchers acknowledge additional randomized controlled trials are still needed.

Findings are new, but they’re not surprising
Although this study, according to the authors and the study’s press release, is “the first time a meta-analysis of international randomized controlled trials evaluating the achievement effects of vouchers has been conducted,” many studies have already been conducted showing the success of school voucher programs.
For instance, in 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas — who is also a part of the research team conducting the new study — found the Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program produced tremendous results for those D.C. children who were able to take advantage of the program. According to Wolf’s research, those who received vouchers had graduation rates of 91%, compared to only 56% for those students who had applied for the voucher program but wasn’t accepted.
According to A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice,authored by Greg Forster and published in May by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, of the 18 studies examining achievement of school choice participants studied by the author, 14 found school choice programs have a positive impact. Of the 33 empirical studies on school choice programs’ effect on public school students’ academic outcomes, 31 found choice actually improves public schools.
If choice works, why aren’t there more choice programs?
Only 13 states and Washington, D.C. have state-funded school choice voucher programs, and in virtually all of those states, only certain students — usually impoverished students or those with some sort of a learning disability — are able to apply for a choice program. Policy advocates, however, have been pushing for school choice programs for decades, so why hasn’t more progress on this front been made?
Misinformation, a lack of journalistic integrity and media bias, and politics all play a significant role, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing: money.
In a time when the power of public and private labor unions is at 100-year low, teachers unions remain the last truly influential labor group. Unlike in other industries, where jobs and markets transform over time, the structure of public education has remained relatively the same over the past century, and there never stops being consumers (students and parents). There are over 49.5 million public school students in the United States today, and there are over 3 million teachers — many of whom earn salaries significantly higher than the average college graduate, even in failing school districts.
For instance, the average teacher in Providence, Rhode Island’s public schoolsearns more than $63,000 per year, and teachers in Newark, New Jersey earn $68,000. It’s not uncommon for School vouchers work, why aren't more available? | TheHill:

Big Education Ape: Is Funding Transparency Enough to Prevent Billionaire Influence in Education Journalism? - Living in Dialogue - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/is-funding-transparency-enough-to.html

Big Education Ape: More Questions for The Post and Courier: “Necessary Data” or Press-Release Journalism? – the becoming radical - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/more-questions-for-post-and-courier.html



Students opting out of state standardized test doubles in Springfield, Bethel districts | Local | Eugene, Oregon

Students opting out of state standardized test doubles in Springfield, Bethel districts | Local | Eugene, Oregon:

Students opting out of state standardized test doubles in Springfield, Bethel districts

Eugene district also sees bump in numbers



The number of students who chose to “opt out” of the state’s standardized Smarter Balanced tests in the Bethel and Springfield school districts more than doubled between the 2015-16 school year and the previous year, district officials say.
The number of students who opted out in the Eugene School District also increased, although not as dramatically.
In the Bethel district in west Eugene, 123 students were excused from the test after their parents signed an official, state-issued opt-out form. In the Springfield district, 225 students chose not to complete the tests and in the Eugene district 927 students opted out.
The numbers reported by each district do not include students in district-sponsored charter schools, nor the number of students who chose not to take the test but failed to turn in the paperwork informing the district of that decision.
State-mandated testing has been a controversial topic in the Eugene-­Springfield area, and other parts of the state, for several years. Earlier this month, the Springfield School Board may have been the first in the state to actively encourage parents to opt their children out of taking the tests.
The total number of students who did not participate in the Springfield, Eugene and Bethel districts, and across the state, won’t be known until late July after final tallies are counted, Oregon Department of Education officials said this week.
The increases are probably due in part to the fact that this school year was the first in which students could be dismissed from the test, with a parent’s permission, without providing a specific reason.
The Oregon Legislature last June passed House Bill 2655, which gives parents the right to opt their child out of the state tests for at least the next six years. It also requires schools to notify parents and students of that right via a state-issued opt-out form, at least 30 days prior to administering the tests.
Prior to this school year, parents had to check a box indicating that their child either had a disability or a religious belief that would prohibit them from taking such tests.
The standardized assessments are designed to evaluate students’ knowledge of the Common Core standards, a set of learning goals for each grade level that most states, including Oregon, have adopted. The tests are required for all students in grades three through eight, and 11th grade. The 2015-16 school year was the second year students in Oregon completed the Smarter Balanced tests.
In November, the state education department issued the opt-out form and described how the tests provide the state with student data. A short paragraph at the end of the form, located just above where parents were directed to sign, cautioned them of potential negative consequences associated with approving the opt-out, stating that parents could lose “valuable information” about their child’s academic progress.
The paragraph also warns parents that having their child opt out of the state tests could affect their school’s and district’s Students opting out of state standardized test doubles in Springfield, Bethel districts | Local | Eugene, Oregon:
 

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