Archive | June 2014

Schneider: What Bill Gates Told the Washington Post About Common Core

So, let’s end the argument about how “voluntary” these inappropriate standards are or even WHY they are inappropriate. They ARE inappropriate because they don’t represent the will of THE PEOPLE. They are a corporate-driven, Gates-led, anti-democratic bunch of controlling words written primarily by non-educators who don’t really “give a sh!t” (David Coleman’s words, not mine) about what kids think or feel. And all of it is based on the lie that our schools are in crisis based on international test scores.

Our schools are only in crisis insofar as poverty is on the rampage and privatizers are being allowed to target those schools, many of which are also filled with mostly students of color, so they can justify closing them and handing them over to the profiteers who will show everyone how to make a fortune while bamboozling (VAMboozling, if you are a teacher) the American public and laughing all the way to their off-shore banks.

Where are all the fair-paying jobs that will help families alleviate their poverty-stricken circumstances that suppress their ability to focus, concentrate and learn? Oh, that’s right. The priority hasn’t BEEN jobs. It has been budget-cutting austerity measures that we’ve been told are necessary. Those cuts have crippled our schools making them desperate for additional funding any way they can get it. It was no coincidence that Race to the Top grant competition came along at the same time as the corporations and banks crashed our economy in 2008, further crippling our schools. It was also not clear the average American citizen that the Common Core $tate [sic] $tandards weren’t even finished being written when states who wanted to compete for the limited (not enough for everyone) funding required them to agree to adopt the standards, sight-unseen, regardless of winning the grant competition or not. THAT is how 46 states initially got misled into signing on the dotted line.

So enough of the madness. It’s time to slay this dragon and promote sanity by giving our schools back to the communities they belong to, led by the teachers who know how to teach.

Read all about what Gates did/said here:

Schneider: What Bill Gates Told the Washington Post About Common Core.

REBLOG of Dear Teacher: Shut Up or I’ll Starve Your Children

REBLOG of Dear Teacher: Shut Up or I’ll Starve Your Children

I have a friend.

She was a great teacher.

She taught in an inner city high school in Indianapolis, Indiana.

She had been teaching there for 8 years.

Her students worked hard.

She helped them excel.

Then she lost her job.

Why? What could possibly have led to this decision? Well, you’ve heard Rahm Emanuel use “decreased enrollment” as his catch-all phrase/reason for closing Chicago public schools down, right? Well, have you every heard of “decreased enrollment” in ONE CLASS? Me neither.

These kinds of things shouldn’t happen, but they do. They are becoming more and more commonplace. Our public schools ARE under attack.

Read on and see how it happened to THIS teacher. Find out what happens to good teachers, not just the so-called “bad” ones in the current political climate we, teachers, find ourselves in.

Then, join us in the fight of our lives — to save American public schools from being closed down and/or turned around, and made into Common Core factories that push out standardized workers for the future corporate workforce.

Don’t let the corporate money mongers suck the life blood out of our schools AND bleed our taxpayer pocketbooks dry!

 

I worked too damn hard to earn my tenure to have it taken away.

teaching work of heart

This is a story of how one man decided to turn his life upside down to find meaning and purpose. He and his family sacrificed mightily to make it happen. He did something that he came to find that he had a passion for and was really at: He became a TEACHER!!!

He’s right about so much in his tale of his path to becoming a teacher, meaning that as a teacher myself, I recognize the truths that he tells. I also recognize what he calls the NEED for teachers to begin to share their stories so that the general public will begin to understand who we are.

I agree. I will begin working on mine now.

Opine I will

I have worked too hard, much too hard to earn my tenure as a teacher to just sit back and watch ideologues and so called reformers snatch it away from me. Tenure should only be defined as an employee’s right to due process as defined by state law.

When a failed journalist like Campbell Brown uses her name to drive her husband’s education reform agenda  and claims to have the legal backing to eliminate tenure in New York, it becomes instant news. Why is it that eliminating tenure is news while earning tenure is ignored?

I worked too damn hard to earn my tenure, as an elementary school teacher. I will not sit back and watch Brown and her corporate backers rip my due process rights away from me. I struggled and my family sacrificed so that I may enjoy a fulfilling career as a teacher. Now Brown and her cohorts believe…

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The Vergara Trial Teachers Were Not “Grossly Ineffective”

A big “Thank You” to Diane Ravitch for digging into the facts of this trial to uncover the politics behind plaintiff’s case.

It is INCREDIBLY troublesome when a case so full of holes can make it through a court system that is supposed to be just and fair. What was fair about this outcome?

If the appeal fails to throw out this verdict, we need to fill the streets of this country in protest. I, for one, do not intend to live in a country where corruption and lawlessness are a way of life. That is NOT what our founders envisioned and not what we can let happen to OUR country. It belongs to WE, THE PEOPLE, not to the monied profit-mongers who want to throw good people under the bus in order to take over our schools, our neighborhoods and our civil society.

Let’s all follow this case and publicize it from the point of view that demands FACTS to find justice!

Diane Ravitch's blog

I was curious to learn whether the plaintiffs in the Vergara trial actually had “grossly ineffective teachers.” The answer is “no, they did not.”

Not only did none of them have a “grossly ineffective” teacher, but some of the plaintiffs attended schools where there are no tenured teachers. Two of the plaintiffs attend charter schools, where there is no tenure or seniority, and as you will read below, “Beatriz and Elizabeth Vergara both attend a “Pilot School” in LAUSD that is free to let teachers go at the end of the school year for any reason, including ineffectiveness.

It turns out that the lawyers for the defense checked the records of the plaintiffs’ teachers, and this is what they found (filed as a post-trial brief in the case): (See pp. 5-6).

“Plaintiffs have not established that the statutes have ever caused them any harm or are likely to do…

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