Novemer 2

EVENT REMINDERS:  With Halloween now passed it’s time to remind you about the general election Tuesday, Nov. 6.  Be sure to vote!                                    
                                                                           
The ALOED book club is Wednesday, Nov. 7.  For information and to register:  http://alumni.oxy.edu/s/956/index1col.aspx?sid=956&gid=1&pgid=1543&crid=0&calpgid=300&calcid=869
                                                                                                             
   Here’s a feel-good story to begin this edition.  A group of 104 students from the Montebello Unified School District were given a second chance to graduate from high school and last week they were able to participate in a fall graduation ceremony to celebrate their accomplishment.  Tuesday’s L.A. Times has the uplifting details:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fall-graduation-20121030,0,3058386.story
   Gov. Jerry Brown is pleading with voters to get them to support Prop. 30 to help finance schools in the state according to this item in the Contra Costa Times:  http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21901181/gov-brown-pleads-votes-his-struggling-prop-30?source=rss  The L.A. Daily News details the cuts that LAUSD would have to make if the proposition fails to pass on Tuesday:  http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_21900039/lausd-bracing-severe-cuts-if-prop-30-loses?source=rss    What if Prop. 30 fails on Tuesday?  This survey from Ed Source looks at what kinds of cuts are anticipated by the 30 largest districts in the state.  Check out the chart at the end of this piece for the number of possible furlough days that will be implemented if the measure fails.  It’s not pretty:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/big-districts-divided-over-cutting-school-year-if-prop-30-fails/22323#.UJQKCGnuUl–   The UCLA IDEA Friday “Themes in the News” looks at the ramifications of Prop. 30 passing or failing:  http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=8050dce4b0&e=f7d7cb8d5d  Besides Propositions 30 and 38 on the Nov. 6 ballot there are a number of local measures related to education that voters will decide.  NPR station KPCC has the details:  http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2012/10/31/10808/education-ballot-measures-you-need-know-about-voti/
   Here’s an interesting idea.  An educator from Indiana who is fed up with the overemphasis on standardized testing has created a “Just Let Me Teach” wristband that’s he’s distributing on FaceBook.  Check out Valerie Strauss’ blog for all the details:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/01/just-let-me-teach-arm-bands-taking-off/
   Yesterday’s L.A. Times “Business Section” has a story about teachers who supplement their meager incomes by selling lesson plans and other educational materials online:  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-teachers-pay-teachers-20121101,0,642753.story
   The Times is reporting that the LAUSD is going to go ahead and apply for a $40 million grant for Race to the Top funds despite the fact that UTLA is not on board:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1102-lausd-grant-20121102,0,4869100.story  Today’s Times weighs in on the subject with a sharply worded editorial that spreads the blame around for the failure to reach an agreement on applying for the grant:  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-lausd-grant-20121102,0,3465452.story
   Do you ever feel so frustrated or angry with teaching or education in general that you just want to QUIT?  Diane Ravitch forwards an impassioned letter from a veteran educator who was so disgusted with the profession that he decided to give up:  http://dianeravitch.net/2012/10/27/nc-teacher-i-quit/
   Parents are highly critical of the former administration of Short Ave. Elementary School and the LAUSD after it was the only school in the state to be stripped of it’s API rating for the second-year-in-a-row for alleged cheating and other irregularities on standardized tests.  This article also includes links to a list of all 23 schools that lost their API rating this year and the actual forms listing the “irregularities”  that were reported for each school:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/parents-criticize-school-officials.html
   And finally, can student achievement be assessed in ways other than standardized tests?  Valerie Strauss reprints a blog that offers just such an alternative:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/02/an-alternative-to-standardized-testing-for-student-assessment/
Keep in mind that this is the last weekend
for those persistent paid political announcements!!!


Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar
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