September 21

Fall begins tomorrow at 7:49 a.m. PDT.  Say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn!

    And now to the news.  Thanks to Nancy Kuechle for sending along this excellent op-ed from The New York Times.  In light of the teachers strike in Chicago the author looks at what’s really needed to help improve (not just reform) education.  As Nancy pointed out, his comments have great relevance to what we are trying to do with the Oxy credential program.  Don’t miss this one: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/opinion/nocera-how-to-fix-the-schools.html?smid=fb-share&_rmoc.semityn.www
   It didn’t take Diane Ravitch long to comment on the end of the Chicago teachers strike and what it means: http://dianeravitch.net/2012/09/18/chicago-teacher-strike-ends/   An article from The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/09/14/us/how-the-chicago-public-school-district-compares.html?ref=education) apparently tried to make the point that Chicago teachers were overpaid. This response claims that the Times used flawed data to reach its conclusions: http://truth-out.org/news/item/11592-new-york-times-teacher-pay-comparisons-are-way-out-of-line  What were some of the issues agreed to when the CTU and CPS reached agreement?  Were there any “winners” in the strike?  This blog provides some answers:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/11641-chicago-teachers-union-ends-strike-calls-victory-for-public-education  Finger-pointing and scapegoating are not going to solve the problems faced by education today.  Using the strike in Chicago as a backdrop, this blog urges collaboration among political leaders and teachers’ groups as the key to successful reform:  http://www.nationofchange.org/top-takeaway-teachers-strike-we-need-collaboration-fix-public-schools-1348148376
   The rate of black-male high school graduation inched upward but still trailed, significantly, the rate for white males according to a report released on Wednesday that was highlighted in this story from Education Week.  It includes a link to the full report (56 pages) titled “The Urgency of Now:”  http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/09/19/05boys.h32.html?tkn=QWPFNa%2BRC64rhc2mtstVFihveJyEyUF0kGhz&cmp=clp-edweek
   The pro parent-trigger, anti teacher union film “Won’t Back Down” is scheduled for release a week from today.  The “Ed News” has been warning you about it for some time now.  The authors of this blog from Common Dreams take an extensive and highly critical look at the movie,the personalities behind it and how it was funded.  It includes an excellent primer on parent-trigger laws and where they came from and where they might be headed and why:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/09/19-5
     Ever get the impression that “education reform” has actually turned into teacher bashing?  This blog makes that point quite clearly: http://www.nationofchange.org/teacher-bashing-inequality-psychology-1347976036
   A new analysis of data by the U.S. Dept. of Education based on a report released Wednesday by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA finds that many minority students still attend schools that are highly segregated by race and income.  This article from the Huffington Post contains a link to the full report (122 pages) titled “E Pluribus . . . Separation, Deepening Double Segregation for More Students:”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/american-schools-still-he_n_1901583.html?utm_hp_ref=education
   Another new study finds that California is helping its English language learners to gain proficiency in the language faster.  It is highlighted in this article from Ed Source.  The report was published by a group called “Californians Together” and is titled “Secondary School Courses Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term English Learners:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/california-leads-effort-to-boost-english-learner-success/20360
   With Pres. Obama’s first term drawing to a close The Washington Post takes a took at what his K-12 policies for public schools have achieved:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/rethinking-the-classroom-obamas-overhaul-of-public-education/2012/09/20/a5459346-e171-11e1-ae7f-d2a13e249eb2_story.html
   And finally, the UCLA IDEA Friday “Themes in the News” looks at the state takeover of the Inglewood Unified School District and places it in the larger context of the financial crisis facing many districts in California:  http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=960cbb30cc&e=f7d7cb8d5d
Welcome to the space shuttle Endeavor and its final home here in Los Angeles!

 

Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar
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