September 11

Are successful charter schools really “educating” students or are they just turning pupils into highly efficient test-takers?
This blog from the Campaign for America’s Future uses results from several high-performing charters in Minnesota to answer that question:
   The 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) went on strike against the Chicago Public School (CPS) as of 12:01 a.m. yesterday morning.  The main issues are succinctly discussed by Valerie Strauss.   Stay tuned for updates as this story unfolds:  A front page story in today’s L.A. Times discusses the wider implications of the strike beyond the city of Chicago.  This article contains a short (1:52 mins) video about the strike:,0,1301512.story  The Chicago Tribune filed this report at 4:12 p.m. today with the latest details of day 2 of the strike.  It contains a main video (2:44 mins) and several other short ones about the strike:,0,4057997.story
   The LAUSD teachers’ union, UTLA, gets involved in a lot of education-related issues.  Now, Sunday’s L.A. Times reports, they are raising concerns about a program that offers students free classroom breakfasts in the morning.  If you think this sounds like overreaching, read about some of the logistical problems the union is worried about:,0,6729407.story
   Gov. Brown signed SB 1291 into law on Friday.  It allows laid-off teachers to get unemployment benefits if they are taking classes to earn a credential in math, science or special education according to this SI&A CABINET REPORT:
   An extended editorial in yesterday’s L.A. Times is highly critical of the Adelanto School Board’s attempt to skirt a court order to allow parents to set up a charter school under the “parent-trigger” law at Desert Trails Elementary:,0,2512229.story
   A report released Monday by a blue ribbon committee appointed by California Supt. Of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson  and the State Commission on Teacher Credentialing recommends more rigorous teacher training, efforts to support the retention of teachers and it rejected the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations.  You can read the Department’s “News Release” about the report here.  It contains a link to the full report (90 pages):
   An editorial in today’s L.A. Times urges the LAUSD to create a new teacher evaluation that incorporates student test scores and suggests the district not make it an issue that can be collectively bargained with UTLA:,0,2298348.story
   How bad have school budget cuts become?  The San Francisco Chronicle describes one high school in Union City that has eliminated library use for its students:
   Friday’s L.A. Times had an op-ed piece titled “Romney’s Radical Vision for Education” that describes his voucher plan for public schools and how it differs from traditional voucher proposals:,0,244938.story  Three letter-writers responded to the item in today’s paper:,0,3512131.story
   And finally, today is the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.  This item from the San Diego Union-Tribune explains what some teachers are doing to present the events of that day to their classrooms:

Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar

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