EVENT REMINDER: ALOED book club tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.. Come even if you haven’t read the book. Nancy Kuechle’s chili is well worth the drive over! For all the details: http://alumni.oxy.edu/s/956/index1col.aspx?sid=956&gid=1&pgid=1543&crid=0&calpgid=300&calcid=869
And now to the news. The Master Plan for Education made California the envy of the nation. Now, according to Steve Lopez’s column in Sunday’s L.A. Times, the idea is in tatters as evidenced by the plight of the state’s community colleges: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1104-lopez-glendalecollege-20121102,0,3891925.column
The same paper reports that public school K-12 campuses are not just for students. Parent Centers at several LAUSD schools aim to promote more adult involvement in their local schools: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-parent-centers-20121104,0,5180823.story
A Thousand Oaks parochial school won a world championship mock trial competition in Brooklyn on Monday and then had to ride out Hurricane Sandy: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/team-wins-mock-trial-championship-survives-sandy.html
Here’s one you should read carefully, bookmark on your computer, clip on your bulletin board or place a copy in your wallet/purse. Linda Darling-Hammond co-wrote an excellent op-ed piece in yesterday’s Times titled “A Better Way to Grade Teachers.” She makes a succinct case against the use of value-added results in evaluating teachers and offers some well-developed alternatives: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-darling-teacher-evaluations-20121105,0,650639.story
Today is election day which means the rash of ads on television and radio and mailers to your mail- and in-box will cease. How much money has been spent in favor and against Props. 30 and 38? Ed Source tabulates the totals and they are quite astounding. One has to wonder what impact all those dollars might have had if they were just donated to the schools to begin with: http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/campaign-spending-to-promote-props-30-and-38-exceeds-100-million/22501#.UJf2wmnuUl– [Ed. note: This cartoon is not exactly education related but may represent how many voters are feeling today. Just be thankful we don’ live in one of those swing states where they were inundated with ads seemingly 24/7].
What if Prop. 30 is defeated? Is there a possible “plan B’ in the works to mitigate the drastic cuts that have been outlined? The Sacramento Bee takes a look at the ramifications: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/03/4959803/is-there-a-plan-b-for-the-state.html#mi_rss=Top%20Stories#storylink=cpy
Would the creation of a master teacher credential in California help to improve the profession? Gov. Brown recently vetoed a bill that would have gotten the ball rolling. SI&A CABINET REPORT says interest is still around: http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=2606
Pedro Noguera has apparently replaced Diane Ravitch in the “Bridging Differences” dialog with Deborah Meier at Education Week. Today he makes the case for the reelection of Pres. Obama for a number of reasons related to education: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2012/11/whats_at_stake_in_this_electio.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BridgingDifferences+%28Education+Week+Blog%3A+Bridging+Differences%29
Here’s a (not too) farfetched suggestion. The author of this blog on the Huffington Post wants to know what it would be like if teachers moderated presidential debates: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-kahne/teachers-debate-moderators_b_2026666.html
Valerie Strauss tackles the dicey issue of how much influence private concerns have over public school “reform.” If private companies can get even a toe-hold in education today they stand to make a lot of money. Is that what’s driving their agenda? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/06/the-tangled-webs-of-private-influence-on-public-school-reform/?wprss=rss_answer-sheet
And finally, the “Ed News” recently reported on the lack of agreement between the LAUSD and UTLA over the application for a $40 million Race to the Top grant. In Fresno, the teachers’ union went along with the districts proposal as detailed in yesterday’s L.A. Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1105-fresno-schools-20121105,0,375963.story
Happy election day!
Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar