A Parent-Teacher in Lee County to the Board: “Seize the Day”…Don’t Back Down!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The Lee County school board will meet tomorrow at 8:30 am, a time that will exclude many parents, students, and educators. Public meetings should be scheduled when the public is not at work or in class.

This letter was written by a parent and teacher who can’t attend the meeting because she will be working. It is a plea to the board not to back down.

Regarding Lee County School Board decision to opt out of high stakes, state tests:

I am the parent of a fifth grader in Lee County. I am also an 8th grade Language Arts teacher for the district.

During public comments at the Wednesday night’s Lee County School Board Meeting, a speaker said, “Seize the day.” I agree.

We have waited long for this day. We have fought long and hard to end the over testing of our kids. This was not a rushed decision…

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* High functioning kids on the autism spectrum #1

Originally posted on Teachezwell Blog:

Meet Charles.  He is a kindergarten student who moved here from another state with a preschool diagnosis and special education label of autism.  Times have changed, so if he arrived today, he might be labeled as having a pervasive developmental disorder.  Anyway, Charles was a challenge to his excellent teacher.  He ran up the slide while everyone else went down.  Literally and figuratively.  He had great academic skills but his social interactions were a disaster.  If he had been the only kid at any classroom center, things would have gone well.  Same for recess.  Charles was oblivious to social norms if they interfered with his personal goals.  If he saw something he wanted, he would take it.  He bit other kids if they objected to his claim of ownership.  As the year progressed and our social skills work made a dent, he dropped the physical contact and substituted trickery and…

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A Message to Democrats (and Republicans too) about Education Reform

Originally posted on Cloaking Inequity:

Because I am California bound, I had to cancel an engagement to speak with the Sun City Democrats about education reform. To make up for it, I taped a message to them and answered their questions. I pasted the YouTube response below. Here are the questions:

  1. We read, in the Austin Statesman, that one of the major problems for the Texas public school system is an influx of poor, uneducated, children who do not speak English. There is an old adage, when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. Would not a halt to the immigration of these children mitigate the problem? If yes, would you advocate a halt?
  2. What measures are necessary to recruit the best teachers? What incentives are needed to keep them? What makes for an effective teacher?
  3. Can charter schools provide effective alternative educational models? In Texas these schools…

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The big fail of Common Core Standards

Originally posted on Seattle Education:

common-core

In the state of Washington, the math standards have been lowered by accepting the Common Core Standards. Before the state legislature even knew what the new standards would be, the legislators in their divine knowledge, accepted Race to the Top money not knowing all of the ramifications. This happened around the country.

Peter Greene lays out the reasons for the big fail of the Common Core Standards in his post:

Why Did the Core Have a Bad Year?

Support for the Core among teachers dropped like a stone, from 76% in 2013 to 46% in 2014. That’s a lot of love lost. Now, as we move from the “Holy schneikies!” phase into the “Got some splainin’ to do” phase, we’ll start to ask the big question.

Why?

Over at The Fordham, Mike Petrilli hopes he knows why– Note the phrase, “they will be used to hold public schools accountable for…

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To Amanda Ripley: A Second TIME Article on Rhee is Long Overdue

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

Michelle Rhee has failed as a test-driven education reformer.

Rhee taught for three years (1992-95) in Baltimore as part of Teach for America (TFA). By her own admission, her first year was terrible. She taped students’ mouths and made them bleed, and she dropped a student off after a field trip at an unverified residence. For her second and third years, she taught as part of a team. Her students’ test scores were very low (Rhee’s first year: 20th percentile in reading and math on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills–CTBS; second year: reading, 15th percentile, and math, 38th percentile; third year, with notably fewer test takers than other district schools: reading, 45th percentile, and math, 55th percentile).

Contrast this to Rhee’s bragging that she raised 90 percent of student scores to the 90th percentile.

All of the above on Rhee is documented in chapter four of my book, A…

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