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Mercedes Schneider: When TFA Cares About Experience

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Mercedes Schneider did some digging into Teach for America’s budget and promotional activities on Capitol Hill and discovered some fascinating facts.

She writes:

“According to its 2013 990, TFA’s end-of-year total assets were $494 million, with $73.5 million of its 2013 revenue designated as “government grants” and $31.6 million of its 2013 revenue earmarked as “service fees revenue….

“For eight hours of work per week, TFA chair Wendy Kopp drew a 2013 salary of $176,657. Co-CEOs Matt Kramer and Elisa Villanueva Beard drew salaries of $381,946 for 42 hrs/wk (Kramer) and $342,134 for 40 hrs/wk (Beard).

“TFA began as a Peace Corps-like temp agency that sends college graduates outside of the field of teaching into classrooms for usually two years. However, by 2001, TFA had established a second goal: To move former TFA corps members into positions of influence in education, business, and politics in order to solidify and expand…

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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

The Common Core State Standards: A Thing Of The Past

Lloyd Lofthouse:

I strongly suggest that you watch the 2 minute video and do it now—-do not put it off. A strong case explaining quickly why the Common Core agenda is totally wrong—all it will do is profit a few who are already very wealthy.

Originally posted on Real Learning CT:

The Common Core State Standards, which promise to make all students college and career ready are way behind the times and will not give our students what they need for their future. At the end of the two-minute video, which I invite you to watch, the competencies that will really make students “college and career ready” are quickly flashed on the screen. Not one of those competencies is a Common Core Standard for English Language Arts.

The competencies are:

  • Exploration
  • Creativity
  • Responsibility
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Collaboration
  • Accountability
  • Problem Solving
  • Innovation
  • Civic Engagement
  • Productivity
  • Communication
  • Initiative
  • Leadership

We English teachers know how to develop those competencies. Let’s do it. Reject the Common Core.

If you cannot see the video,  click here.

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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

The REAL College and Career Readiness

Originally posted on Real Learning CT:

The Secretary of Education says it. The New York Times says it. The President of the United States says it. So it must be true.

But it isn’t.

They all say that the Common Core State Standards will make graduates of our K-12 schools “college and career ready”

But they won’t.

I know the 42 Common Core Standards for English Language Arts really well.

For reading, those standards and the tests that assess those standards ask high school students to know the information in what they read, to objectively summarize what they read, to recognize elements of fiction such as plot, character, setting, point of view, and theme, to recognize elements in informational texts such as claims and evidence for the claims, to recognize structure in both kinds of texts, and to see how source materials influence later texts.

For writing, those standards and the tests that assess those…

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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Watch L.A’s Steve Zimmer Take Down the Billionaire Boys Club

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Steve Zimmer, a 17-year-veteran teacher in Los Angeles (he began via Teach for America), was recently elected President of the LAUSD school board.

In this speech to the AFT, he describes the many millions spent to defeat him.

I have known Steve for a few years, and I have always thought of him as soft-spoken. He is definitely NOT soft-spoken in this video. He goes after the billionaires who hope to privatize public schools, and he fights back, with a roar.

He unapologetically defends teachers. He is a firebrand fighting for collaboration.

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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

ALEC: Vouchers for the Middle-Class, Not the Poor

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The hoax is at last coming to light. Vouchers were sold as a way to “save poor black and brown kids from failing schools,” but that was always a sleight of hand. Vouchers are about privatization.

ALEC has on its current agenda a presentation titled: “entitled: “Problems in Suburbia: Why Middle-Class Students Need School Choice, Digital Learning and Better Options.”

Jonas Perrson of PR Watch writes:

School vouchers were never about helping poor, at-risk or minority students. But selling them as social mobility tickets was a useful fiction that for some twenty-five years helped rightwing ideologues and corporate backers gain bipartisan support for an ideological scheme designed to privatize public schools.

But the times they are a-changin’. Wisconsin is well on its way toward limitless voucher schools, and last month, Nevada signed into law a universal “education savings account” allowing parents to send their kids to private or religious schools…

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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Losing Ourselves

Originally posted on Losing Ourselves:

How an expectation for perfection and a college-geared definition of success has prevented us from using high school as a time to figure out what we love and who we are.

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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Lacey Slekar – our Newest Student Hero

Lacey Slekar  – our Newest Student Hero

Originally posted on Poetic Justice:

On May 22, 2015, 12 year old Lacey Slekar stood in front of the Board of Education in her school district and tried to convince the adults in the room that standardized testing is bad for children. Her speech was eloquent, well-organized, and very persuasive. She is a hero for writing and delivering a speech that truly presented the student point of view.

Her father, Tim Slekar who writes the Busted Pencils:Fully Leaded Education Talk blog and pod-cast, was not aware his daughter was even researching this topic. As Tim writes in his own blog post,

“Lacey wrote a research paper about standardized testing. We had no idea she was doing this until she asked Tim for some advise. She felt very strongly about sharing her findings with the school board. Her teachers encouraged her to read it, so she did. Wow, very proud of our BustED Pencils Student…

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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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