Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

It’s now official, at least according to Pennsylvania’s premier education specialist and Secretary of Education (no degree in education) Ronald Tomalis and his highly credentialed (no degree in education) press secretary Tim Ellis.

Increased test security caused test scores in Pennsylvania to drop (Even though the committee that did the investigation said they were not able to draw that conclusion from the data).

“But the chairwoman of the advisory committee on Thursday said the committee never reached those conclusions. She said Tomalis may have exaggerated the results of the committee’s statistical analysis of scores.”

You see, after the cheating scandal in Philadelphia was revealed, Secretary Tomalis put new security measures in place to stop those pesky teachers from cheating on NCLB tests.  And a year later Pennsylvania’s test scores dropped—confirming that teachers in the Keystone state suck—and panic continues to spread throughout the commonwealth.

This non news event however…

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Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

In many states, the influence of Federal and state departments of education is considerable. In contrast to how universities are “supposed” to work, it seems as if a lot of state DOE’s want colleges to work for them. Additionally, there is this assumption that since surrounding school systems hire former teacher candidates, then schools of education owe them something, namely producing exactly the kinds of teachers they and administrators want. But what administrators want is not necessarily in the interests of education, per se.

The IU School of Education, my most recent alma mater, appears to be kowtowing to pressures from the IDOE to grade teacher education programs in the state. Or, from what I gather, Dean Gonzalez was rather critical of IDOE, but he is not tempering his criticism, as long as an A-F grading system for teacher education is a collaborative effort.

Is this once again evidence…

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Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

Over the past few weeks author and journalist Paul Tough and his new book How Children Succeed:  Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character have been making a splash in the world of education reform.  The book has been highlighted in the New York Times, on NPR, and on various other news outlets.

And then there was Education Nation.  Brian Williams seems to have a major crush on all things Tough.  And as always, the charter school franchise KIPP is mentioned in nearly every segment as a school “beating the odds”. This year, all the hype was about KIPP’s character education program.  Williams later went on the do a Rock Central segment called “True Grit: Teaching Character in the Classroom“.

Tough’s book centers on the idea that critical non-cognitive skills, which he calls “character”, can be hindered due to poor parenting and the stresses of…

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Originally posted on Seattle Education:

 

 

Highly recommended.

On this program you will hear from real parents who are active in education.

“Won’t Back Down”: Corporate Education Reform and the Rhetoric of Fiction

In the past weeks, we have watched with renewed energy and hope as the teachers, parents, students and community members of Chicago have shown us the power of solidarity. Their resistance to the privatization of public education and their demand to reclaim the classroom from hedge fund managers, real estate tycoons, venture philanthropists and their political stooges, is shifting the narrative from one of blaming teachers, students, parents and unions to naming the lies behind corporate ‘reform’ efforts.

This impressive and inspiring ‘actual event’ stands in sharp contrast to the most recent attempt by corporate deformers to manipulate the narrative about schools, teachers, students, parents and where the battle lies in education. Set for release on Sept. 28, Won’t Back Down…

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Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

For this monthly* post of cartoons, I have selected images about the impending Common Core curriculum standards in math and English for K-12 students. While many countries have a national curriculum, the U.S. does not. Since the Common Core standards have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. will soon have a national–not federally mandated–one.

According to a recent analysis of the Common Core standards there are two justifications for states adopting the standards (Brookings Study of Common Core):

1. Because current state standards vary greatly across the country resulting in unequal access to knowledge and skills, Common Core standards will be higher, uniform, and equitable for all students. When tests of those common standards are implemented in 2014-2015,  the quality of teaching and learning will improve. Students will then score far better on international achievement tests and the U.S. economy will grow.

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Originally posted on Jigsaw Learning:

Leaders exploring or operating within a Collaborative Response Model (or any PLC framework for staff collaboration) need to have a solid understanding of Change Theory.  What can we expect to be on the horizon for our schools and teams engaging in meaningful change, change that ultimately shifts the culture of how we approach our work of ensuring student success?

One aspect of Change Theory that often can be the death knell for establishing a new model for how we work collaboratively in a school in the phenomenon of the Implementation Dip.  As described by Fullan (2011),

“For a long time, we have been finding that when organizations try something new, even if there has been some preimplementation preparation, the first few months are bumpy.  How could it be otherwise?  New skills and understanding have a learning curve.  Once we brought this out in the open, a lot of people immediately…

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Originally posted on Mini.T:

Why is ‘x’ the symbol for an unknown? In this short and funny talk, Terry Moore gives the surprising answer. Terry Moore is the director of the Radius Foundation, a forum for exploring and gaining insight from different worldviews

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Originally posted on Sow. Cultivate. Bloom.:

I just started the last quarter of the school year here in Costa Rica. It has been an adjustment getting on the year-round schedule and I still don’t have a verdict about its supposed superiority to the United States school year. I’ve found it to be really tiring in a different way than my former schedule. I feel it has been more taxing mentally without a month and a half of straight time off (although I was always still working during those summer breaks in the States!). One thing has become clear. Living without No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has been a much welcome relief and wildly different from what I’d grown accustomed to.

Curriculum and Pacing Guides

Little did I know how reliant I’d become on the district telling me what to teach and when to teach it (and in the end there…how to teach it). I used to…

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Originally posted on Anderson Cooper 360:

Gary Tuchman reports on a sixth grade teacher in Minnesota who is accused of putting black and special needs students in the back of his classroom. Timothy Olmsted was placed on leave this past January, and then resigned two months later. But, he’s still getting paid.

“He separated me from the white kids and sent me to the other side of the room where all the black kids were,” a 12-year-old girl said. Black students told their parents and grandparents that Olmsted repeatedly called them “stupid, sloppy, and disgusting.”

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Daniel Barnz, the director of “Won’t Back Down,” continues to insist in various forums, most recently in an article he wrote for Huffington Post, that the movie is not anti-union. It’s just a good story. It has no political agenda. It has nothing to do with the rightwing sponsored “parent trigger” law that it celebrates. It is not a vehicle for union-bashing and privatization of public education. It is nothing like the anti-union documentary (“Waiting for ‘Superman'”) that his producer sponsored two years ago.

The review of the film in the New York Times, written by a regular movie reviewer, not a union shill or an angry parent, calls the movie for what it is:

…“Won’t Back Down” ultimately has no use for nuance, and its third act is a mighty cataract of speechifying and breathless plot turns that strip the narrative down to its Manichaean core. Once teachers…

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

I will see “Won’t Back Down” soon, I promise.

I don’t want to, but I will do it because I have to.

Meanwhile, movie reviewers are rendering their judgment.

They say it is a lousy movie.

The best lines so far are in the review in the Los Angeles Times:

That’s because unions turn out to be the most pernicious of all the obstacles to healthy schools, worse even than the stick-in-the-mud school board. While no one, not even unions themselves these days, denies that there are things that must be changed about how they operate, the notion of them as total evil only makes perfect sense to companies that believe in unionless, private charter schools that increase profits by paying teachers whatever they can get away with…

Though the film’s pernicious propagandistic bias is irritating and misleading, it can’t be overemphasized that what is really wrong with this…

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File this under: what the $%^& is wrong with people? #netDE

From yahoo!: http://news.yahoo.com/north-carolina-teacher-allegedly-cuts-disabled-students-hair-183657279–abc-news-topstories.html

The North Carolina mom of a 7-year-old girl with Down Syndrome is accusing a teacher of cutting off several inches of her daughter’s beloved hair without her consent.

“Most of the time, she’s always brushing her hair, always doing something with her hair,” Jesslyn’s mother, Jessica Stirewalp, told ABC News’ Charlotte affiliate, WSOC-TV.

Stirewalp claims that a Millbridge Elementary School teacher in Rowan County, N.C., cut Jesslyn’s hair in class on Friday.

“Her assistant teacher calls me and says, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I cut your daughter’s hair because she got food in it,'” Stirewalp said. “Of course, I got mad, but I asked her how much, and she said four inches.”

Stirewalp says that she was shocked when Jesslyn got home from school.

“Instead of four inches, it was more [like] eight inches. And when she walked in the house, you could tell that she thought she was in trouble,” Stirewalp told WSOC. “I mean, it hurts my feelings, and I know it hurts her feelings.”

 

The mom said that she has heard conflicting explanations for why Jesslyn’s hair was cut. She said the teacher initially told her on the phone that it was because of food in Jesslyn’s hair. But a letter from the teacher said that Jesslyn wouldn’t stop taking her hair down, so the teacher trimmed it, Stirewalp said.

Truthout: Rahm lost.

h/t Nancy Willing: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11790-subliminal-message-rahm-lost

Mayor Emanuel “knows he lost” in the recent showdown with the teachers union “and finds it necessary to rehabilitate himself,” political analyst Don Rose told Newstips last week.

That’s his take on the TV ad blitz by an arm of Democrats for Education Reform – which has cost “an astronomical amount of money,” according to a campaign finance analyst.

With only 19 percent thinking he handled the situation well – “the first time the mayor has been upside down in any polling” – Emanuel “believes he needs damage control,” Rose writes in a letter to the Sun-Times on Tuesday.

Originally posted on Fred Klonsky:

Educator and EdWeek blogger Anthony Cody writes about Rahm’s billionaire buddy Bruce Rauner’s attempt to split teachers from their unions.

Cody quotes Rauner,

The critical issue is to separate the union from the teachers. They’re not the same thing. … The union basically is a bunch of politicians elected to do certain things–get more pay, get more benefits, less work hours, more job security. That’s what they’re paid to do. They’re not about the students. They’re not about results. They’re not about the taxpayers.

I won’t even bring up my years as local union president – unpaid, no release time and the hours of time I and hundreds of other local union leaders around the country give to their colleagues, students and profession.

CTU President Karen Lewis makes the point,

…we purposely tried to change the culture of union so that the union is about education, is about empowering teachers…

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Originally posted on Sports:

TIME’s Sean Gregory spoke this morning with Jerry Frump, a longtime college-football referee who served as a replacement ref during the recent NFL labor dispute. A complete transcript is now live at Keeping Score.

For now, here’s a brief excerpt from the interview, focusing on Frump’s training and his colleagues:

Sean Gregory:Where were you the night before your first preseason game, and how did that go?

Jerry Frump: It was certainly a little bit of tension and a little bit of nervousness, but — I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but — I remember I made the transition from Division III to Division I, and it was a huge adjustment. [Frump had previously refereed in Division I-AA, a step below the highest college level, which is now known as the Football Championship Subdivision.] You hear people in baseball and other sports say, “You…

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Originally posted on Seattle Education:

As I mentioned in a previous post, A look at KIPP, Michael Feinberg, NCTQ and Bill Gates, Michael Feinberg is in New Zealand trying to sell his wares. Fortunately, folks in New Zealand are not buying this snake oil.

Check out what New Zealand thinks of KIPP:

What this portrays is a hideous caricature of education which would be anathema to most New Zealand parents. KIPP has overall dropout rates of 30% before Year 9 – which rises to 40% (sic) for African American male children – and this would never be tolerated in a New Zealand school.

From Current News, Quality Public Education Coalition:

The charter-mongers

Tonight, Mike Feinberg will speak at a public meeting in Christchurch about the amazing success of his KIPP schools. The ‘Knowledge is Power Programme’ runs 125 schools across the US enrolling 40,000 students. It was mentioned by John Banks as the kind…

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Bebe Coker embarassingly plays the race card in inserting herself into school governance vote. #netDE

Ms. Coker in today’s NJ:

Christina School District Board of Education has again denied membership to longtime school advocate and former board member, attorney George Evans. Placement of his name for membership resulted in an embarrassing tie vote.

With all due respect to the current membership, attorney Evans is undeniably more qualified for membership than any persons currently seated. His verified history of educational advocacy is apparent in more than 29 years of service to the CSDB. He has years of service to regional and national boards of education and expertise with initial and continuing legal matters relative to desegregation and Delaware’s Neighborhood Schools Act.

Mr. Evans has worked with the National Boards Association’ Policy and Resolutions Committee and held offices with the National Caucus of Black School Board Members. Christina is home to the largest number of urban African-American children in Delaware, yet its new board has no member reflective of this demographic. The one black member lives in Bear. And yet the board gives no reason for its denial of Mr. Evans membership, making it “appear” that something other than legitimate qualifications is in force.

Additionally Christina has the largest numbers of African-American children of all the four city districts. It would appear that logic and common sense would welcome such skilled, volunteer, urban minority board representation. As a community advocate for education and parent, who successfully navigated her children through Delaware’s public schools system with constant vigilance and involvement, I caution young parents to do the same: Be vigilant, aware, visible, and by any means necessary – involved.

Bebe Ross Coker

Wilmington

Apparently, memories are short in Wilmington (I’ll translate for Ms. Coker: It “appears” Mr. Evans was defeated by a margin greater than 4-1 in his failed 2010 electoral rebuke at the hands of CSD voters):

Who am I to undo what the voters OVERWHELMINGLY did? This is an electoral process and I will not be intimidated by your public shaming tactics Ms. Coker. The people of Wilmington Christina spoke and I am honoring their wishes. Mr. Evans can pursue pressure tactics, lawsuits by proxy, or any other method he wishes. Personally, I suggest the ballot box in May as the only way to legitimately re-install Mr. Evans.