Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Agony of Being a First Time Undecided Voter | gadflyonthewallblog #DNC

The Agony of Being a First Time Undecided Voter | gadflyonthewallblog:

The Agony of Being a First Time Undecided Voter

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Is there anyone else out there like me?
I’ve never been an undecided voter before. I’ve always known early which candidate I’m supporting and why.
But this election has my head spinning. One minute I’m ready to vote for Hillary Clinton to stop Donald Trump. The next I can’t live with myself if I do that and am willing to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein even though she has very little chance of winning.
And so on back-and-forth, hour-to-hour. The only thing I’m certain of is that I will never EVER vote for Trump.
Is there anyone else out there like me?
This seems to be the new reality.
I’d rather have Hillary as President than Trump, but I’d rather have another option than either one.
It’s agonizing. I can’t sleep. I toss and turn.
I hop into bed thinking I’ll just vote Hillary and then wake up passed midnight The Agony of Being a First Time Undecided Voter | gadflyonthewallblog:


Watch Hillary Clinton Break The Glass Ceiling #DNC #DemsInPhilly

Watch Hillary Clinton Break The Glass Ceiling:

Watch Hillary Clinton Break The Glass Ceiling

“I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.”








The Democratic National Convention began Tuesday night with Hillary Clinton becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, and ended with Clinton breaking the glass ceiling. Sort of.
After showing a montage of the 43 men who have served as president, Clinton addressed the convention via live video, with her face emerging through shards of shattered glass on the video display.
Clinton acknowledged the historical significance of the occasion.
“What an incredible honor that you have given me,” she said in the video. “I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. Thanks to you and to everyone who has fought so hard to make this possible. This is really your victory, this is really your night.
“And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.”Watch Hillary Clinton Break The Glass Ceiling:






A Conversation With a Teacher Who Decided to Go on Strike - The Atlantic

A Conversation With a Teacher Who Decided to Go on Strike - The Atlantic:

A Conversation With a Teacher Who Decided to Go on Strike


Last September, the public-school teachers in Seattle, Washington, voted to go on strike on the first day of school. The most high-profile reason for striking was the teachers’ pay: Between 1999 and 2012, salaries for public-school teachers in Washington declined by 4.5 percent. Since the strike, they have successfully bargained on issues including pay, support and funding for special education, and removing standardized-testing scores from teacher evaluations.

Noam Gundle has taught biology and oceanography at Ballard High School in Seattle for more than 15 years, and was a participant in the strike. His interests in activism—from climate change to education reform—along with his desire to mentor led him to a career in education. I spoke with Gundle about his job, some major shifts in the world of education, and the impact he hopes to make on his students. The following transcript has been lightly edited for length and clarity.


Adrienne Green: How does your interest in the environment and your proximity to the ocean affect how you teach your students?
Noam Gundle: I do a lot of project-based learning. I've done a lot the last few years on the Elwha River recovery—which is a really amazing story about two dams being put in almost a hundred years ago that stopped all salmon migration, and created a bunch of natural lakes and sediment movement. They took out the dams through a long process: It took a lot of research, work, and collaboration from a lot of different people. It’s an example of what we can do in our society to make things better.

For many years, we would make biodiesel in class to demonstrate biodiesel chemistry and alternative fuels. There are a lot of organizations in Seattle, like Climate Solutions and Seattle Chill, that are super amazing and do projects with kids or I could take to their spots for field trips.

Green: How has teaching biology and oceanography changed for you since you started teaching?

Noam Gundle, a biology teacher in Seattle, Washington
Gundle: In a couple of different ways. We know a lot more about genetic technology and climate change now than we used to. Climate change wasn't something that I was keyed into when I was a student in high school, or even in college. We talked about environmental issues all the time, but it wasn't something that was front and center. It A Conversation With a Teacher Who Decided to Go on Strike - The Atlantic:




A Critical Vote for Clinton - Living in Dialogue #DNC #DemsInPhilly

A Critical Vote for Clinton - Living in Dialogue:

A Critical Vote for Clinton


By Anthony Cody.
The Democratic National Convention has been painful to watch. In the days prior, we had the revelation of emails which demonstrated what Sanders supporters had felt throughout the primary – that the DNC was biased towards Clinton, and was acting to enhance her candidacy despite their claims of neutrality. Most significantly, as Matt Taibbi explains here, Clinton was using the apparatus of the DNC to extract money from wealthy donors in amounts up to $353,400 each. This allowed the Clinton campaign to stay competitive at a time when Sanders was buoyed by millions of small donations.
But Sanders took the stage Monday night and guided us towards candidate Clinton in spite of this. It is a bitter pill to swallow – to see someone cheat in a contest and be awarded the prize nonetheless. But as Sanders pointed out, this is the world we live in. The job of creating a better one still lies before us.
We are seeing great attention paid to the misdeeds and corruption of Donald J. Trump, and that is as it should be. We have learned of his past as a discriminatory landlord. We know about the fraudulent Trump University.  And most of all, we know he has run a campaign fueled by xenophobia and racism. He is a truly frightening authoritarian who could cause great harm.
There are several different ways to support Clinton’s candidacy. One would be to downplay or smooth over A Critical Vote for Clinton - Living in Dialogue:

Jersey Jazzman: Who Is Running America's Charter Schools? A Data Correction

Jersey Jazzman: Who Is Running America's Charter Schools? A Data Correction:

Who Is Running America's Charter Schools? A Data Correction



 For some time now, I've been posting this graph on the blog:



This graph is incorrect, and it's my fault. Let me explain:

Last year, I made a dataset that merged the work of education researchers Gary Miron and Charisse Gulosino with a school database from the US Department of Education. The dataset was for an academic paper on for-profit charter management organizations (CMOs) that is still undergoing peer review. I used the Miron-Gulosino directory of CMOs as a base, made some changes on my own, and then combined this directory with the federal data to analyze patterns in school spending. 

My co-author, Bruce Baker, made the graph above with my dataset. Unfortunately, while most of the state-level datasets used for this pie chart were correct, one -- Illinois -- was not. At the risk of going way into the weeds, what happened was that several CMOs in the Chicago area were over-counted, so that the total number of students enrolled by the CMO were multiplied by the number of different campuses in the Miron-Gulosino directory.

This is entirely my mistake: Bruce and Gary and Charisse had nothing to do with it. I apologize to them for misrepresenting their work, and I apologize to all of you for missing the error.

Here is a corrected version of this graph (click to enlarge).*



As you'll notice, the shares of students enrolled in Chicago-area charter schools -- Noble, UNO, Distinctive, etc. -- are way lower. Nobel's own annual report for 2011-12 put their enrollment at "more than 6,300," which means they and others move into the "less than 10K" category.

Which actually reinforces a point Bruce made in his post:
At least a handful of studies on high profile charter operators have yielded substantive, positive results, at least with respect to growth on narrowly measured student achievement outcomes, and in some cases on college acceptance/matriculation. Of course, even these studies, like Jersey Jazzman: Who Is Running America's Charter Schools? A Data Correction:

TBFURMAN: Hendrik Reviews The Gulen Movement's Structure

TBFURMAN: Hendrik Reviews The Gulen Movement's Structure:

Hendrik Reviews The Gulen Movement's Structure



There is really nobody better at explaining this phenomenon than Joshua Hendrick, who is interviewed over in Huffpo.


What does it mean to be a Gulenist or follower of Gulen?There are different variations of participation. At the top are the core loyalists, who are the directors of Gulen’s institutions and the people in Pennsylvania. Then there are the “friends,” who donate to Gulen’s institutions, but mostly for their own interests. Then there are sympathizers, who appreciate the movement but are not part of it, like sympathetic journalists or people who say that it is peaceful, or “moderate” version of Islam. Finally, the largest group are the many consumers of Gulen institutions’ products. By going to school or reading a newspaper, their actions are contributing to the movement. They have the weakest ties to the movement, but are the most important to its functioning.  
When you participate in the Gulen movement, there is no ID card. There are some ritualistic practises that members take part in, the most common of which is the sohbet.  Traditionally, this refers to the communication between a sheikh and their disciples ― which the Gulen movement has repurposed as a reading group, where people come together to read Fethullah Gulen and other religious scholars. It often starts out in a student house, and there’s someone in each company that organizes the sohbet. It starts out as a reading group and then becomes a group of peers who get together informally to discuss their sphere of business. Another practise of the movement is a religious donation called himmet.
I'm pretty sure these faux board that I'm looking at--- the CMSA and the Concept boards--- are comprised of a strategic mix core loyalists, friends, and sympathizers. The sympathizers seem to be people whose have some previous massaging through the dialogue centers, or trips, or dinners or what have you.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I get about a million emails a day asking me to sign some petition to extradite Gulen.

As if.

I have no interest in signing petitions related to the extradition of Gulen. I don't know whether Gulen should be extradited or not--- it's a whole area of law that I haven't learned in my TBFURMAN: Hendrik Reviews The Gulen Movement's Structure:

 

Big Education Ape: The Gulen Movement’s Collision Course With The Turkish State - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-gulen-movements-collision-course.html

Big Education Ape: US Commander Campbell: The man behind the failed coup in Turkey - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/us-commander-campbell-man-behind-failed.html

Big Education Ape: Turkey’s Failed Coup Puts Spotlight on a Rural Pennsylvanian Town - WSJ - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/turkeys-failed-coup-puts-spotlight-on.html

Big Education Ape: TBFURMAN: Who's Running These Schools? Part 3 - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/tbfurman-whos-running-these-schools_24.html

Big Education Ape: Turkish rivalry comes to San Jose amid allegations about Magnolia charter schools - Mercury News - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/turkish-rivalry-comes-to-san-jose-amid.html

Big Education Ape: Apple Education Services Posts Its Privacy Policy… in Latin | deutsch29 -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/apple-education-services-posts-its.html

Big Education Ape: What Would it Take for US to Extradite Muslim Cleric to Turkey? -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/what-would-it-take-for-us-to-extradite.html

Big Education Ape: Yo Campbell Brown Cat got your tongue? I Guess There is NO Talking Turkey w/ YOU! -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/yo-campbell-brown-cat-got-your-tongue-i.html

Big Education Ape: TBFURMAN: Who's Running These Schools? -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/tbfurman-whos-running-these-schools.html

Big Education Ape: Video shows Gülen urging followers to secretly infiltrate Turkish state institutions - Daily Sabah - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/video-shows-gulen-urging-followers-to.html

Schedule & Speakers | Wednesday, July 27th | 2016 Democratic National Convention #DNC #DemsInPhilly

Schedule & Speakers | Wednesday, July 27th | 2016 Democratic National Convention:

Schedule & Speakers | WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 2016 Democratic National Convention



WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 118C

Ethnic Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 120ABC

AAPI Caucus

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 118A

Native American Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, TERRACE I & II

Black Caucus

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, TERRACE IV

Hispanic Caucus

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 119AB

Disability Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 122B

Small Business Owners Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET - PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION CENTER 114 – MICHAEL A. NUTTER THEATER

Youth Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 120ABC

Veterans and Military Families Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 118ABC

Labor Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET - PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER, 121ABC

Faith Council

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is home to many important official party events, including caucus and council meetings. These caucus and council meetings are open to the general public.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | 4:30 PM ET - WELLS FARGO CENTER

Gavel In

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | WELLS FARGO CENTER

Erica Smegielski

Erica’s mother Dawn was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and was killed while trying to protect her students. Since then, Erica has become an outspoken advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Erica was featured in the ad, My Mom.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | WELLS FARGO CENTER

Felicia Sanders & Polly Sheppard

Felicia and Polly are two of the three survivors of the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, SC.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | WELLS FARGO CENTER

Jamie Dorff

Jamie’s husband was Patrick Dorff, an Army helicopter pilot from Minnesota who died while on a search and rescue mission in northern Iraq. As a senator, Hillary worked with Republicans and Democrats to increase the gratuity paid to family members of fallen veterans from $12,000 to $100,000.

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | WELLS FARGO CENTER



Vice President Joe Biden

 SPEAKER: Vice President Joe Biden




WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | WELLS FARGO CENTER

President Barack Obama

 SPEAKER: President Barack Obama

WEDNESDAY JULY 27 | WELLS FARGO CENTER

Gavel Out



 Schedule & Speakers | Wednesday, July 27th | 2016 Democratic National Convention:

NEA President on School Reform: 'The Corporate Model Is Crumbling' - Politics K-12 - Education Week

NEA President on School Reform: 'The Corporate Model Is Crumbling' - Politics K-12 - Education Week:

NEA President on School Reform: 'The Corporate Model Is Crumbling'

DRD_1873.jpg
Philadelphia
The nearly eight years of the Obama administration haven't exactly been a cakewalk for the National Education Association. But the union's president, Lily Eskelsen García, thinks things are looking up
First, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, which seeks to broaden accountability beyond tests and bars the federal government from interfering with teacher evaluations, school turnarounds, and more. And now the Democrats have nominated Hillary Clinton, a candidate that Eskelsen García believes will be in the union's corner. 
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"She's going to listen to a lot of people. But we're going to be in her ear first, talking about things like what English-language learners need, what students in special education need, and what a test measures and what it doesn't measure," Eskelsen García told me as she bounced from one event to another here.
The union will no longer be "sitting at the children's table, after the adults, or the people that think that they're the adults, the decision and then we're the first to know about it," she added.  
Over the past eight years, NEA has had to swallow a slew of policies it didn't really like, especially teacher evaluations based on test scores, and work with former U.S. Secretary of Education  Arne Duncan, whom some NEA members here have described as "trainwreck." 
But Eskelsen García thinks that the Democrats who supported many of those ideas—teacher merit-pay, charter schools, alternative routes into the teaching profession—are in a tight spot these days.
DRD_1824.jpg"The corporate model is crumbling of its own absurdity," EskelsenGarcía said."Now the [Democrats for Education Reform] are in town and they are having a real hard time this time making any kind of case. ... It's all about vouchers and charter schools and Teach for America. ... They can't point to one success. Wherever they've said 'This will move the needle,' it didn't." 
Of education reformers, she said, "their balloon is pffft!" (she made a deflating sound) and then joked "I'm not sure how you're gonna spell that." (Probably unsurprisingly, Education Reform Now, the non-profit think tank affiliated with DFER, a political action committee, sees all these things very differently. Check out what it had to say here.)

Endorsement Drama

That's not to say the Democratic National Convention is all sunshine and puppies for the NEA. A vocal contingent of delegates remain really, really unhappy with the union's decision to endorse Clinton early, without giving her primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a chance to catch fire, or at least to extract more policy promises from Clinton.
And the American Federation of Teachers, the other national teachers' union, is feeling some of the same heat. Case in point: Mindy Rosier, a 10-year special education teacher in New York City NEA President on School Reform: 'The Corporate Model Is Crumbling' - Politics K-12 - Education Week:

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Who has the Authority to Make What Decisions?

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Who has the Authority to Make What Decisions?:

Who has the Authority to Make What Decisions?


Seattle Public Schools, as an institution, has a lot of issues around the scope of authority. There's a world of confusion about what a teacher can decide independently and what are the limits of that authority? What can a principal decide and what is the scope of a principal's authority? What falls inside and outside the limits of a BLT's authority? What decisions can an Executive Director of Schools have authority to make? What about District Staff? Do they have any authority? Surely there are some decisions that are up to the Superintendent and some that are up to the Board, but what are they?


The simple answer is that Board Policy and the Superintendent Procedures provide all of the answers to these questions. There is a clear answer in these governing documents that defines the scope of authority for each person. Granted, a lot of the policies and procedures are so poorly written that they are neither actionable nor enforceable.

The real answer, however, is much more fluid. The real answer is: "Whatever you can get away with."

This is the hallmark of a dysfunctional organization. This is a facet of the culture of lawlessness.
The Board writes policy, but if they do not enforce it, then they have failed to set policy. The current Board, like every Board before them, refuses to enforce policy. The Board Directors may not care for that characterization. They may claim that they have no process for enforcing policy, that they can only request the superintendent's compliance but, unless the non-compliance gets so bad that it makes them want to fire him, they have no method for coercing that compliance. That's true, but who's job is it to develop a policy enforcement process? I have no sympathy for people who complain that their dinner is Seattle Schools Community Forum: Who has the Authority to Make What Decisions?:



School improvement requires win-win policies - NonDoc

School improvement requires win-win policies - NonDoc:

School improvement requires win-win policies

school improvement


The contemporary school-reform movement was based on the theory that, as long as educators were held accountable for school improvement that raised test scores, the answer to poverty could be found within the four walls of classrooms. This supposedly required teachers to cede their professional autonomy to administrators, as the school boards, education schools and teachers’ unions were “blown up” by “disruptive innovation” so that “transformative” change would be unleashed.
Meanwhile, there was a large body of social and cognitive science that explained why this test-driven, competition-driven experiment couldn’t work, but Silicon Valley venture philanthropists insisted that the creation of incentives and disincentives would attract non-educators who would reinvent schools. Big Data would supposedly drive a technocratic process to “build a better teacher.” Teachers’ compliance would be mandated. Mass school closures would undermine union power and allow the “exiting” of thousands of teachers who weren’t fully on board or “on the same page” with data-driven, teach-to-the-test instruction.
This social engineering degenerated to the point where young teachers were taught to avoid the word “please.” They had to shut down class discussions to keep up with the mandated pacing schedule for covering testable standards.
Charter schools, run by national charter-management organizations (CMOs), would be the cadres that scaled up the “turnarounds,” “transformations” and closures of schools School improvement requires win-win policies - NonDoc:

CURMUDGUCATION: Vocabulary and the Assessment Problem

CURMUDGUCATION: Vocabulary and the Assessment Problem:

Vocabulary and the Assessment Problem


The teaching of vocabulary is a good microcosm of some of the biggest problems of education.

We know how to teach vocabulary badly. It's a process that has been refined and perfected over decades, and even if you don't use it as a teacher, you probably knew it as a student. The basic outline looks something like this:

1) Get list of vocabulary words
2) Go through the motions of some sort of practice activity
3) Cram words* into your brain
4) Take test
5) Forget words completely

* If teacher is prone to matching or multiple choice tests based on the teacher's one and only acceptable version of the word definition, you need only cram enough to recognize the definition when you see it, which requires minimal brain space. Recognition is not full fluency, as witnessed by everyone who still retains enough high school French to understand what they hear, but can no longer speak it.

Nobody on God's green earth believes that this process produces students with larger, more effective vocabularies.


But teachers still do it (and for years I was one of them) because it's quick and efficient and simple and, best of all, it's a system that students can quickly learn to game, which means that we can point to all our test result data and declare, "Look at how successful I am!" Meanwhile, students get good papers to put up on the fridge. It's the oldest bad deal in the annals of education. You help me look like I'm teaching something, and I will help you look like you're learning something.

The heart of the problem lies with the definition of "success."

The definition of successfully teaching vocabulary is that students use the new words correctly in the 
CURMUDGUCATION: Vocabulary and the Assessment Problem:


The Gardener and the Carpenter
Earlier this month, Dr. Alison Gopnick appeared in the Wall Street Journal plugging some thoughts from her soon-to-be-published book The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Gopnick's point is about parenting, but it has direct implications for the teaching world as well. Gopnick argues that modern paren
This Non-Standardized Country
Two weeks, 5800 miles, and about 16 states (it's a stretch to count Colorado). Plus several days with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. I don't usually do photo essays here, but I want to show you just some of what I saw. This is home. This is what we're used to seeing. Here's downtown Cleveland, where a railroad era central building makes a backdrop for a modern monument. Off to our right is

K12 Inc - The Pride of Wall Street - Wait What?

K12 Inc - The Pride of Wall Street - Wait What?:

K12 Inc – The Pride of Wall Street


Writing in their 2015 Annual Report, K12 Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel Davis said;
Our strategy is simple: optimize student success, support market expansion in collaboration with current and future partners, and pursue targeted revenue growth.
Hyping their status as the leader in the for-profit corporate education reform industry, the company reported added;
The U.S. Market for K-12 education is large and online learning is gaining greater acceptance.
The notion that the country’s public school children are little more than lucrative profit centers for Wall Street investors has been growing since Rupert Murdoch famously called America’s public schools, a $500 billion untapped economic opportunity.
And by way of explaining the pro-charter environment and their ongoing success collecting public money, K12 Inc. explained;
Many parents and educators are seeking alternatives to traditional classroom-based education for a variety of reasons.  Demand for these alternatives is evident in the expanding number of choices available to parents and students.  For example, public charter schools emerged in 1988 to provide an alternative to traditional public schools and, have seen enrollments grow by 225% over the past 10 years….and there are approximately 6,400 public charter schools operating in 42 state and the District of Columbia with an estimated enrollment of over 2.5 million students.
While much of the attention related to education reform has focused on charter schools, the Common Core and the Common Core testing frenzy, Internet based, online virtual K12 Inc - The Pride of Wall Street - Wait What?:

Why I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton | Diane Ravitch's blog #DNC #DemsInPhilly

Why I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Why I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton


I cast my first vote in 1960, when I was 22. That was before 18-year-olds were allowed to vote. I voted for John F. Kennedy, and I worked in his campaign. I was thrilled when he visited campaign headquarters, and I got to shake his hand. He was exciting and dynamic.
At the time, critics said he was no better than Richard Nixon.
They talked about his father, his money, his privilege, his Roman Catholicism; rumors swirled about his private life but were never reported by the media.
Public opinion was so divided about JFK, even among Democrats, that Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. felt compelled to write a short book called“Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference?” Of course, he argued that Kennedy was infinitely preferable to Nixon. Kennedy was elected by a razor-thin margin. Some people said that the corrupt Daley regime in Chicago put him over the top.
Democrats were even more divided in 1968 when Hubert H. Humphrey ran against Nixon. Liberals were angry at Humphrey because he had loyally served as LBJ’s vice-president and had not spoken against the war in Vietnam. I worked in the Humphrey-Muskie campaign and organized an event on October 31, 1968, in Manhattan. We didn’t have much money, so we rented a big, shabby labor hall on West 34 street in Manhattan. It was a ragtag affair with a lineup of wonderful speakers: John Kenneth Galbraith, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Herman Badillo, and a parade of other liberal notables of the time. Vice-Presidential candidate Ed Muskie was supposed to drop in. Actress Shelley Winters moderated. In the middle of Galbraith’s endorsement of the Democratic ticket, two people in the front row jumped up, took off their raincoats, and ran stark naked onto the stage, where they presented Galbraith with the head of a pig. Shelley Winters threw a pitcher of water at them. The one security officer on duty began chasing them around the stage, and it was like a scene out of the Keystone Kops. Meanwhile, in the back of the room, about 15 protestors marched in, carrying a North Vietnamese flag, banging a drum and chanting “Ho Ho, Ho Chi Minh, Viet Cong are gonna win!”
By the time the protestors moved out, the rally collapsed, Muskie didn’t drop in.
Nixon was holding his own rally across the street at Madison Square Garden, and he had no protestors. Security was tight, and no one got in without credentials.
Our event was a debacle. I knew that night in my heart that Nixon would win.
Fast forward to today.
There are two major party candidates for the presidency, and one of them will be elected in November.
I am an idealist and I fight for what I believe in, but I am also a realist. Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be elected president.
I will support and vote for Hillary Clinton. I am not telling anyone else how to vote. I am telling you why I am voting for Hillary.
To begin with, I think that Donald Trump is the most unqualified person in my lifetime to be a major party candidate. I think that a presidential Why I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Convention delegates want to know if Clinton would mirror Obama on K-12 | PBS NewsHour #DNC #DemsInPhilly

Convention delegates want to know if Clinton would mirror Obama on K-12 | PBS NewsHour:

Convention delegates want to know if Clinton would mirror Obama on K-12

President Barack Obama stands with Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a Clinton campaign event in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters
President Barack Obama stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a Clinton campaign event in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, loves to tell voters that her administration would pick up the policy baton from President Barack Obama.
But, with the Democratic National Convention under way this week, it’s tough to say how true that will be when it comes to K-12 education. That’s an area where Obama has antagonized many of the teachers that make up the Democratic Party base during his first six years in office, by tying teacher evaluation to test scores, encouraging districts to turn their low-performing schools into charters and more.
Clinton, who was never a fan of those policies when she ran for president in 2008, has worked hard to distance herself from them on the campaign trail this go-round, too. Instead, she’s talked about building on Obama’s legacy on the set of issues he’s talked about more in his second term, including expanding access to early-childhood education, pairing academics with health and other services and broadening school accountability beyond test scores.
Still, the perception that Clinton and Obama are on the same K-12 page could hurt Clinton here as she tries to win over delegates who supported her opponent in the primaries, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“I think we need to work on her,” said Jonathan Singer, a member of the Colorado General Assembly who introduced a bill to dramatically reduce testing in the Centennial State, and a Sanders delegate. “She has to make it very clear that we have to start investing in teachers and showing that we trust them.”
Democratic Party Priorities
Adding to Clinton’s challenges on K-12: She will be looking to soothe worried fans of education redesign who might think she’s too cozy with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
Both unions gave Clinton an early endorsement over Sanders, despite big pushback from their members. And Clinton told them earlier this month that they’d always “have a seat at the table” if she wins the White House.
“The worry is that what they hear is that the table is going to have only two seats,” said Charles Barone, the director of government relations for Democrats for Education Reform, which supports Democrats who favor charters, performance pay, high standards and more.
But he said, he gets why Clinton has released very specific proposals on college access and expanding access to early-childhood education, while she has yet to specifically outline her K-12 vision. “I think it’s politically understandable you’d want to focus on the Convention delegates want to know if Clinton would mirror Obama on K-12 | PBS NewsHour:


Who’s Teaching Your Student? Questions to Help You Find Out

Who’s Teaching Your Student? Questions to Help You Find Out:

Who’s Teaching Your Student? Questions to Help You Find Out

portrait of caucasian teacher and blackboard

It’s hard to believe that it’s time for school to start again. As parents and children visit schools with anticipation, parents might want to ask their student’s teachers about their instructional backgrounds.
School districts used to be fairly vigilant about ensuring teachers had the right state credentials. That may no longer be the case. But a parent has the right to know who’s teaching their child.
All around the country, school districts are reporting teacher shortages. Orlando is the latest. The fear is that quality teachers have left, and schools will resort to hiring inexperienced and unprepared individuals with little understanding of the needs of students.
Students spend between 175 and 180 days in school, and/or between 900 and 1,000 hours in the classroom, with teachers. This is a long time during formative years. One bad teacher or crummy school year can have a lasting effect.
I would ask a teacher about their qualifications in elementary, middle and high school. I’d even find out what kind of child development preparation my preschool teacher had Who’s Teaching Your Student? Questions to Help You Find Out:

Latest News and Comment from Education

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
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