Monday, February 28, 2011

Executive board motions on Brown budget, tax extensions:

NBI #2 from 2/-6-11: I move that consistent with the position taken by the March 2nd coalition statewide—and OEA’s position taken unanimously by the Executive Board on February 2—the OEA opposes Jerry Brown’s proposed budget and regressive tax extensions. Brown’s proposal pits different social services and different parts of the education community against one another, and even were the regressive tax extensions to pass, there would still be $12.5 billion in cuts. We call instead for taking the revenues necessary to provide full social and educational services from corporate and bank profits, and from taxes on millionaires and billionaires, and that this is the message the OEA brings to Sacramento on March 2. (Mandel/Gordon) MOTION PASSES 8-6. (In Favor: Neat, Airgood, Kappner, R. Brown, Mandel, Gordon, De Leeuw, K. Brown. Opposed: Olson-Jones, Lopez, Thomas, Green, Swensen, Apaydin. Members Not Present: Elmore. Not present in room: Ellis.)

2.     At the February 28 Executive Board meeting, a motion was made to reconsider NBI #2 of 2-16-01. It passed. In its place, NBI # 1 was moved: I move that the basic themes for the OEA’s mobilization to Sacramento be: (1) Opposition to cuts in education, pre-K to college, and in social services, (2) the need for progressive means of taxation to fully fund education and social services. (De Leeuw/Apaydin) MOTION PASSES 10-0-3. (In favor: Olson-Jones, Lopez, Thomas, Neat, R. Brown, Gordon, De Leeuw, Apaydin, K. Brown, Elmore. Abstaining: Airgood, Kappner, Mandel. Members not present: Green, Swensen, Ellis)
a.     Airgood, Kappner, and Mandel abstain with the comment that they do not disagree with contents of motion, but rather with its intent to replace the more strongly worded 02-16-2011 EBoard NBI # 2

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Parents Support Teachers


I just created a petition entitled
 Prevent ANY teacher layoffs and protect the seniority rights of teachers! because I care deeply about this very important issue. 
To send a message to the Governor and your state legislators, click here: 

It'll just take a minute. 

Meanwhile, our other petition, against any budget cuts to schools now has 598 signers; you could be the 600th!

Once you're done, please ask your friends to sign both petitions and spread the word. 

Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters

Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Open Letter from Newer Teachers of New York State

 February 21, 2011
Dear parents, students, colleagues, school administrators, elected officials, and members of the public,

Currently, New York State's seniority rule protects experienced teachers from layoffs, a policy sometimes known as "last in, first out." In recent budget negotiations, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Black have pressured Governor Cuomo to overturn this rule. We, the undersigned teachers who have been teaching in New York State for five years or less, stand in solidarity with our more experienced colleagues and strongly support maintaining the seniority rule. 

As newer teachers, we rely on our more senior colleagues for guidance and support.  Senior teachers offer us their advice, their formal mentorship, and their connections with communities.  Without more senior teachers, we would lose our bridge to lessons learned through years of dedicated work in the school system.

In addition, the rates of black and Latino new teacher hires in New York City have steadily declined since 2002, while the vast majority of New York City public school students are black and Latino. Opening up more senior teachers to layoffs would risk further decreasing the already sparse ranks of teachers of color.  These teachers provide guidance for younger teachers of all backgrounds, and play an important role in the lives of our students.

We also believe that Bloomberg and Black’s so-called “merit-based” system for retaining teachers will foster competitive, fearful school cultures that are detrimental both to teachers' professional development and to student learning. In addition, Bloomberg and Black seek to measure teacher performance by student test scores, an imperfect measure at best, and one that encourages narrowly test-focused curricula.

Finally, Bloomberg and Black's arguments against the seniority rule are based on the fact that newer teachers work for lower salaries than our more experienced peers; allowing experienced teachers to be laid off would therefore reduce the total number of necessary layoffs.  This argument, however, fails to account for the true cost of professional development and adequate support for
newer teachers.  It also ignores the fact that teacher experience is one of the most reliable predictors of student learning.  If student achievement is the priority, then experienced teachers are more than worth their cost.

Ultimately, the debate over who to lay off is a distraction from the root causes of inequity that continue to affect our profession and the lives of our students; budget cuts should not include any teacher layoffs.  Education is an investment in our future, and cuts to education are ultimately short-sighted.  We reject political tactics that raise the specter of massive teacher layoffs in efforts to divide the workforce and pit parents against teachers.  In the interest of our students, we stand with senior teachers in supporting the seniority rule.

Newer Teachers of New York State 
Click below to add your name:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Please join us as we stand with our senior teachers to fight to uphold the seniority rule and other union-won protections.

New York City Teacher Unite!

Dear colleagues,
 In the current budget negotiations, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Black are pressuring Governor Cuomo to overturn the teacher seniority rule, known as “last in first out,” which would eliminate protection in the law for more senior teachers.  Attached is a letter from newer teachers (who have taught in New York State for five years or less), expressing our opposition to overturning seniority rights.  In addition to the reasons outlined it the text of the letter, we support upholding the seniority rule for the following reasons:

·      We recognize the importance of hard-won teacher job protection measures –including the right to due process in job evaluation. 

·      We value the irreplaceable knowledge of experience in honing the craft of teaching and the importance of more senior role models for newer teachers.

·      Bloomberg and Black wish to measure teacher performance, for the purpose of determining who should be laid off, by student test scores.  Turning the classroom into a stressful test-preparation zone restricts the space we have to learn about the real needs of our students and how to respond to those needs with all the creativity and rigor that the media extol us for.

·      The new teacher programs (New York City Teaching Fellows, Peace Corps Fellow, Teach for America, and others) by which many of us came to work in New York City public schools often shortchange teacher development.  These programs place inexperienced teachers directly in the classroom, often in new schools that are not organized enough to provide us with beneficial support. Thus many of us commence our careers under extremely stressful working conditions which contribute to a high new teacher turnover rate. The resulting “revolving door” of newer teachers may, ironically, facilitate the budgetary number crunching of our financially stressed superiors, as alternative certification programs provide a constant pool of entry-level faculty who are less expensive to employ. We reject top-down reforms which treat us as cheap labor without building in the true cost of professional development and adequate collaboration time for new teachers.

·      Even if we were to be kept on now thanks to a merit system that undermines seniority protection, this does not mean we will be able to practice our work into the future without constantly being required to prove our worth as educators according to the popular evaluation rubric of the day. 

·      Bloomberg and Black’s plea for “flexibility” in deciding who to lay off is, ultimately, a strategy to weaken teachers’ power to collectively organize and advocate for more support for all teachers.

Please join us as we stand with our senior teachers to fight to uphold the seniority rule and other union-won protections.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Defending Unions and Public Education!

 Wisconsin! We support you!! 

OEA Executive Board Moves to Support Wisconsin Workers!!


Click on each link below for more information OR go to the OEA EVENTS page. 

OEA Executive Board Moves to Support Wisconsin Workers

At our recent Executive Board meeting we moved to:

1.  (1) condemn the recent actions taken by the governor of Wisconsin against collective bargaining rights, public education, and public services; and  
      (2) recommend to the crisis committee that they approve a $500 donation from the OEA crisis fund to the appropriate and corresponding fund of the Wisconsin teachers' union. (Neat/Brown) MOTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.  

2.  Express our support and admiration for the workers of Wisconsin for their courageous and massive fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposed elimination of collective bargaining for Wisconsin public worker unions. We urge NEA and AFL-CIO to provide material support as well as organize mass publicity and support rallies. (Mandel/Gordon) MOTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.

Oakland Education Association
272 E. 12th Street
Oakland, California 94606

Monday, February 21, 2011

Religious Voices Enter Wisconsin Union Debate

Religious Voices Enter Wisconsin Union Debate

By Nicole Neroulias
Religion News Service 

Wisconsin Religion Groups

The pro-union rallies in Wisconsin have a retro feel to them -- particularly for people of faith.
Clergy and faith-based groups were historically on the front lines of the American labor movement, but priorities shifted with the rise of the religious right and the weakening of unions. In the Wisconsin protests over the governor's budget proposal to reduce collective-bargaining rights for teachers and other public-sector employees, however, religious voices have re-entered the fray.

Groups like Faith in Public Life and Interfaith Worker Justice have mobilized coalitions that include Protestants and Muslims, in addition to the Catholics and Jews that dominated pro-union efforts in previous generations. Clergy have led invocations and prayer vigils throughout Wisconsin, written letters and sent delegations to meet with Republican lawmakers. An Illinois church and synagogue even offered sanctuary to the 14 Democrat state senators who fled on Feb. 16 rather than vote on Gov. Scott Walker's bill. (None of them had turned up at the houses of worship, as of Feb. 23.)
Interfaith Worker Justice has compiled statements affirming the right to organize from more than a dozen denominations.

"We're making this a bigger issue than just the workers involved. We're making it a moral issue, and that it's more than just fighting over pensions," said Rabbi Renee Bauer, director of Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin. "We're hoping that if lawmakers hear from religious leaders, it'll help them have a change of heart."

While some conservative Christians have used biblical language to oppose labor demands, the traditional role of religion is to support the rights of workers, said Thomas C. Kohler, a Boston College professor of labor law.

"Catholics and Jews have always taken the notion of work as being far more than instrumental," he said. "As the rabbis taught, God starts creation, but humans are given the gift of completing it. Work is a holy thing."

David L. Gregory, executive director of the Center for Labor and Employment Law at St. John's University, agreed, said that the blurring of lines between social and fiscal conservatives has eroded some religious support for unions.

"Anybody identified with the Judeo-Christian tradition is making a commitment to social justice dimension, but it depends on whether they're operating primarily according to their faith or according to politics," Gregory said. "Many evangelicals have increasingly been moving to the right side of the political spectrum."

The religious-labor bond began to weaken during the Vietnam War and the civil rights conflicts of the 1960s, Kohler said. Among Catholics in particular, political efforts since then have focused on abortion and other "life issues," he said.

By the time Interfaith Worker Justice formed in 1996, the ties between religion and labor had all but unraveled, said Kim Bobo, the group's founder and executive director. But as the economic downturn has taken a toll on middle-class congregations, clergy have become more aware of the need to protect fair wages and benefits. Bobo said her Chicago-based group can mobilize those sentiments into action, in Wisconsin and other states considering union-busting budget measures.

"This attack is so vicious and so wrong that we're seeing people step forward to support workers, and it has galvanized people in the religious community," she said. "It's a huge resurgence."
Yet John Huebscher, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, said Catholic leaders have consistently maintained the church's commitment to labor and economic justice. For example, he said, in 2008, the conference published guidelines on "Dignity of Work & The
Rights of Workers."

In a Feb. 16 statement on the Wisconsin situation, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee upheld the "legitimate rights of workers," citing both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict as supporters of unions.
"The bishops feel it's a teachable moment, with this kind of attention on the issue, to draw attention to Catholic teachings on the rights of workers," Huebscher said. "This statement reminded everybody that the Catholic tradition says that workers have rights, and those rights don't disappear in difficult economic times."

Gregory concluded that clergy are uniquely positioned to serve as mediators between labor leaders and Republicans -- in Wisconsin and across the country.
"People have to be willing to break bread together and be willing to talk to each other, with a rational conversation," he said. "Faith leaders can play a role here."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Problems With Test-Driven Education Reform

The Problems With Test-Driven Education Reform   Huffington Post 
Educators from across the country will be meeting this week with Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Denver to discuss Advancing Student Achievement Through Labor-Management Collaboration at a conference cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the mounting nation's top education unions.

Ironically, our meeting to discuss paths to renewed cooperation will be taking place at a time when governors and municipal leaders throughout the nation are rolling back the rights and benefits of public employees. These politically charged campaigns have a lot in common with the assault on educators already underway by so-called business-model school reformers who impede the much-needed improvements in public service -- in our case, public schools.

In both the assault on public employee pensions and the blame-the-educators movement, the failures of elected officials and their corporate benefactors are projected onto the victims of these failures -- and public schools have certainly been among those victimized.

When federal experiments with school curricula fall short, the thrust of the attack on educators and students is to label them "failures" when the experiments themselves have failed largely as a result of excluding front-line educators from the design of reforms.

And when poorly designed data-driven tests are adopted by Democrats as well as Republicans as a panacea, it's difficult not to conclude that the same corporate interests that now dominate both parties are dominating the debate about the best way to educate our children.

Any question about how the corporate sector is dominating Washington policymakers was laid to rest recently when it was revealed the administration is enlisting the help of 30 major corporations in pushing the Education Department's reforms on Congress.

The data-driven business model "reformers" champion vouchers and charter schools, with the professed goal of restoring world-class performance among U.S. school children. In fact, there is growing evidence that their motivation is to ensure that 10 percent of school children perform to globally competitive standards, while the rest are dismissed as "failures" without much, if any, regard for the social consequences.

America is scouring the urban centers for what W.E.B. DuBois would refer to as its "yeast." In his essay, The Talented Tenth, he writes, "All men cannot go to college but some men must; every isolated group or nation must have its yeast, must have for the talented few centers of training where men are not mystified and befuddled by the hard and necessary toll of earning a living, as to have no aims higher than their bellies."

The corporate reformers' singular focus on college readiness and obsession with STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), often to the exclusion of arts and humanities, raises serious questions about whose needs they seek to serve since these preoccupations are at odds with the jobs the federal government projects will grow most in the coming years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the greatest number of new jobs in the U.S. labor market between now and 2018 will be food preparers and servicers (3.1 million), customer service representatives (2.7 million), long haul truck drivers (1.8 million), nursing aides and orderlies (1.7 million), receptionists (1.3 million), security guards (1.2 million), construction workers (1.18 million), landscapers and groundskeepers (1.12 million), and home health aides (1.05 million).

"Few of these jobs," writes political scientist Jacob Hacker, "will call for college credits, and their pay is unlikely to vary much from current medians." Political leaders and their corporate backers who insist on making STEM courses the centerpiece for curriculum appear to be advocating an untenable system of "natural selection" in which the survival of the academically fittest is advanced, while the rest of students are labeled "failures."

The last thing we want to do is to set up children for failure. We need to guide students in the disciplines of discovery and creativity that are the pathways to independent thinking, seldom an attitude cherished by corporate views of education. For children's sake -- and the nation's -- we can't afford to demand teaching to tests as if something has actually been "learned." And in the words of DuBois, "We cannot mistake the means of living for the object of life."

To be successful in reforming public education, we must teach with an expectation of learning, not with the presumption of achievement by some and remediation among the rest.

We need to be guided by the examples of our own experience as children and students. I don't know what my test scores were when I was in school or what my IQ was, but I know that my parents told me I could achieve whatever I wanted if I worked at it. Now you're told, "If you don't get these test scores, you're not going to be anything." You're labeled a failure. So, students accept what their leaders tell them. They sit back and say, "I guess we have failed."

For schools whose performance falls short, we must turn them around. And we need curricula that challenge students -- all students -- with rigor. But we need to do so by creating an expectation of achievement that addresses the disparate skills of students and the differing paces at which they learn.

Only when programs are designed to equip all children with the skills to exercise sound, independent judgment as workers and citizens will they be successfully educated, whether they're prepared to drive a long haul truck across country or drive a smart bargain with an investor halfway across the globe.

Chicago Public School Students: 'When Will We Ever Be Good Enough?'

'When Will We Ever Be Good Enough?' Chicago Students Ask  Huffington Post

"You want a real school turnaround? Invest in us!"
That's the heartwarming (and heartbreaking) message from Chicago Public Schools students who have been speaking out forcefully in the last few days, calling on public officials to stop looking down on them and start working for all students, not just some.

 Last week, a YouTube video produced by a group of students from Sullivan High School on Chicago's North Side took on mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel's debate comment that "If you take out Northside, if you take out Walter Payton (both test-in schools), the seven best performing high schools are all charters."

The students thought that didn't sound right, so they did some research and found out that, in fact, NONE of the top performing high schools in Chicago were charter schools.
According to Don Moore, head of local education advocacy group Designs for Change, as reported by NewsTips:
Not only are no charters among Chicago's top-ranked high schools; not one charter is among the twelve Chicago high schools with 50 percent or more of students meeting standards. Unlike charters, eleven of the top performing schools are governed by Local School Councils, which select their principals for four-year performance contracts. (The twelfth, Rickover Military Academy, has an advisory LSC.) Also unlike charters, all twelve are staffed by unionized teachers.
Newstips adds:
Beyond that is a concern that school policy will be based on prejudices rather than facts. Emanuel's misstatement "shows that the people that people think know everything aren't really looking into the problems they say they want to fix," said Christina Henriquez.
Christina, that problem goes all the way up to the federal level, where the Blueprint for Education Reform has been found to be based on very little real evidence, too.

South Shore student's letter
Catalyst magazine printed a letter from a student at South Shore, Makyla Bell, asking why the current students were not going to be allowed to move into the brand spanking new high school building, which now sits mostly unused across the street from the current old high school facility.
I have been impacted greatly by the board's decision to not allow us into the "new" South Shore school. I'm not going to act like we don't know why. It is said to us every day that we aren't allowed to go to the new school because we aren't good enough, or we don't deserve it....It just adds more to the overwhelming pile of nay-sayers saying we aren't good enough. When will we ever be good enough? When will we ever deserve anything? When will anyone ever help us? Maybe they'll decide when it's too late, or maybe when our future has already been mapped out for us to fail. With everything going on in our environment, we still come to school every day and are prepared for our short and very dim, expected-to-be unsuccessful journeys. And once again, still we stand, mentally tarnished and physically worn out.
Earlier this week, the local CBS affiliate did a news story about the handful of students who are having to walk over to the new building for one class per day just to allow the district to meet local occupancy rules (more here). The cruelty of this plan was only compounded by the fact that the sidewalks had not been shoveled, so students had to walk out in the street.

I dare anyone to look into the eyes of the Sullivan students in their video, or to read Makyla's letter, and not feel deeply ashamed about what we are doing to some of our most promising young people. This has got to stop.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Robin Reynolds Barre: An Open Letter to New Teachers and Those Wishing to Become Teachers

One of the many letters I received more than a year ago addressed to President Obama was from a teacher in Washington state named Robin Reynolds Barre. Today, she offers us these thoughts.

Robin Reynolds Barre

I write to you as an elder of sorts in the profession. I have been in the field for over 15 years now, a baby by some standards. But for those of you just beginning, I feel this is enough time under my belt, enough time spent in the trenches that I can share some words of wisdom. I am aware that many of you are preparing to teach in a public education system that has, for the last 10 years, been heavily influenced by the policies of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Thus many of you are products of this influence. This is an important fact and one that warrants an awareness of that perspective. I believe that as new teachers you have a responsibility to educate yourself on what system you came out of, how it has informed your beliefs and assumptions, and to begin critically assessing the influences of NCLB. A responsibility. To step willy-nilly into the classroom where you will be responsible for the educational welfare of dozens of students, without a critical eye to your own history as a student is irresponsible at best.
profile photo-1.jpg

I believe, too, that as new teachers you have a responsibility to articulate why you want to teach; what is it you are hoping to achieve, what are the goals you have in mind for your students.
And then critically question those as well. Where do these desires, hopes, and dreams for students come from? What voices whisper behind the curtain urging you on? Are they from your own experiences as a student? Do these voices come from the policy makers? The media? College boards? The parents of the children you teach? And from where and whom do these entities gather their beliefs and assumptions?

While I have my own ideas about education, the purposes of, where we've come from, where we're going, the damage to our children and public education perpetrated by the NCLB Act, and the damage that's waiting around the corner as the Obama administration and Arne Duncan's education cabinet tout their Race to the Top reform policies, I will not try to convince you of these opinions. I simply want to say that you have a responsibility to step into the profession of education with your eyes as wide open as possible. You must research, read as many opinions and reports as you can regarding the ongoing educational reform debates, talk with or listen to teachers who've been in the field for more than 5 years and from as many educational settings as possible - charter schools, private schools, inner city public schools, early childhood education all the way up to higher education. And talk with the children, the direct consumers of this institution we call public education.

To walk blindly into a classroom without arming yourself with the knowledge of the political, philosophical, pedagogical, and ideological conversations being held regarding public education is to walk into a landmine where the victims include yourself, your communities, and most heartbreaking of all, your students. In 1997 I did this very thing. It has taken many years of educating myself to come to the realization that I was woefully unprepared for the world I was walking into. My teacher education program was adequate, focused on serving inner city populations and the underserved, for which I was grateful. However, it wasn't until years later that I could look back and appreciate how naïve I was, how that naivete did not allow me to serve my students effectively. Hindsight taught me that much was left out of the teacher ed curriculum that should have been included.

I offer here names, issues, titles, and links that you are obligated to look at. Yes, I am presumptuous enough to say "obligated." I'll use my own story as an example. Let's imagine that you go to school for 12-24 months preparing to step into a rural middle school classroom. You have been taught curriculum development, laws and ethics, positive discipline, instructional methods, assessment, child and adolescent development, and a healthy dose of student teaching in real life settings. Then you step into your own classroom for the very first time and wham! It hits you. This is real life - children living in poverty with no dictionaries, scissors, glue, computers, or newspapers in the home. Children who are being abused and neglected. Children who come to school with no breakfast and go home to no dinner. Children with ADHD, oppositional children, shy and withdrawn children. You make your first child protective services report and think your heart will break. Several years later, you get the news that one of your former students has committed suicide. And the list goes on.

They don't teach you in teacher education programs what to do under these circumstances. What is the job of the teacher when a student commits suicide? When a child comes to you with tomato juice in her hair because she is homeless, lives in the woods, and her tent was sprayed by a skunk? When your student doesn't come to school for several days and then when she does, she tells you she was raped? What is your job? These are my stories. I am sure if you ask any teacher in education today, any teacher worth their weight, any teacher paying attention, they can tell you other such stories. What is your responsibility under these circumstances?

The website for the college where I received my teacher certification states that "Teachers have an immediate, direct, and positive impact on the common good . . . Discover how education can be a powerful vehicle for social change." That is what I went into teaching for. I would imagine that most of you also have this dream. Or perhaps you want your students to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, creative contributing members to their communities. If any of the above are true, you must educate yourself regarding the issues schools are facing today before you begin educating your students.

Below are many links for you to begin this research. While I have included a few that stand on the other side of the issue from where I stand, the list is fairly biased, I admit. But it's a start. You can watch Waiting for Superman or The Lottery, read any of Michelle Rhee's articles and those of her supporters, or look to the current educational trends in Arizona and Texas to get a picture of the side on which I do not stand. But from my experience, these views are a dime a dozen. They're everywhere. It's the information that mainstream media does not spout, the information that gets swept under the corporations' big money rugs that I offer you here.

It is your responsibility to the democratic right to a public education, to our communities, and most of all to our children to educate yourself and research these issues. Otherwise, what are you doing in the classroom?

No Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top
* original NCLB act
* The Obama administrations' revision of NCLB
* information regarding Race to the Top
* criticism regarding Race to the Top (RTTT)
* article which compares NCLB and RTTT

Diane Ravitch
Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. In addition, she is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. From 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program.
* In this article she responds to PISA
* letter to Florida lawmakers as they geared up to vote in 2010 on merit pay for teachers based on testing scores of their students
* criticism against Ravitch's views, though I was confused as the blogger first accuses Ravitch of neoliberalism and then a few paragraphs down accuses her of neoconservatism.

Michelle Rhee
* Students First page about her
* from a Teach for America alumn (one of the programs that Rhee supports for reforming education)
* criticism against Rhee's position as DC chancellor of schools

Waiting for Superman and Race to Nowhere
* map showing connections between big money and education reform
* critique of Waiting for Superman
* regarding the involvement of private investors in education
* more about the involvement of big business
* Race to Nowhere - interview with Abeles

Today's Education Reform Movement and Teachers

* link to my FB note "Response to education article in Newsweek"
* link to article by a teacher ed professor addressing school leaders and policy makers regarding new teachers
* "When Did Teachers Become Bums?"
* "We're living in the darkest times for teachers that I've ever seen in my life."
* Marion Brady on teacher accountability
Repercussions of the Education Reform Movement and our Children
* link to my FB note "The Travesty We Call Public Education"
* repercussions of today's public education system's "movements"
* what this is doing to our children
* a short video about and by students
* on creativity
* the story behind Chinese students' outstanding test scores
Sir Ken Robinson

follow this link and there are other videos by this engaging speaker

Henry Giroux
Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department. He has taught at Boston University, Miami University of Ohio, and Penn State University. Routledge named Giroux as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period in 2002.
* Henry Giroux writes about Freire and the education plutocracy
Paulo Freire
I have no links, though be sure to check out Wikipedia's information on this towering figure in education. Books that are on the shelves of the responsible teacher are:

  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed
  • Pedagogy of the Heart
  • Pedagogy of Hope
  • We Make the Road By Walking
  • Teachers as Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare to Teach

Other texts for the responsible teacher
The Moral Dimensions of Teaching, editors Goodlad, Soder, Sirotnik
The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools by Berliner and Biddle - a response to A Nation at Risk, a document prepared by a committee under the direction of Reagan's secretary of education

What do you think of Robin Reynolds Barre's advice? Her list of articles and books? Is there anything you would add?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Unsafe Working Conditions? OSHA wants to hear from you!

 Unsafe Working Conditions? 
OSHA wants to hear from you!


Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools

The cost of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy—where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision—investing in education yields great bang for the buck.   READ MORE in dissent magazine