December 21

With Christmas next week and the New Year’s holiday following, the news cycle in education tends to slow a bit.  For that reason, the “Ed News” will take a short break.  Look for the next edition on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.  May 2013 be your BEST year ever! 
Winter arrived at 3:12 a.m. this morning. 
[Ed. note:  I wanted to get this edition out ASAP in case the
Mayan calendar is right and the world is to end today.]
Fran Lebowitz “In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra. ”

Fran Lebowitz

   And now to the news.  Would you feel safer if your fellow teaching colleagues and administrators were allowed to carry concealed weapons on your campus?  That, believe it or not, is what one state legislator is proposing in Oklahoma.   THINK PROGRESS has the scary details:  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/18/1350591/oklahoma-will-consider-law-allowing-teachers-to-bring-guns-to-school/  Pedro Noguera has taken over from Diane Ravitch the “Dear Deborah (Meier)” portion of the “Bridging Differences” column for EDUCATION WEEK.  In this entry he tackles the somber question “What to do About School Shootings:”  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2012/12/what_to_do_about_school_shooti.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BridgingDifferences+%28Education+Week+Blog%3A+Bridging+Differences%29  NPR station KPCC takes a look, in this brief segment, at security measures already in place at two southern California elementary school districts:  http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2012/12/17/11587/shooting-school-districts-evaluate-security/  LAUSD schools’ chief John Deasy promises to review security measures at district schools in light of last Friday’s shooting in Connecticut:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/12/la-schools-safety-review.html  In her blog Valerie Strauss reprints the joint statement from the two giant national teachers’ unions NEA and AFT responding to suggestions that educators on school campuses be allowed to carry arms:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/12/20/teachers-unions-reject-arming-educators-in-schools/?wprss=rss_education  The National Rifle Association (NRA) issued a defiant call today to have armed guards on all school campuses as their solution to prevent shootings like the one at Sandy Hook reports the L.A. Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-nra-newtown-20121221,0,4915261.story
   No wonder LAUSD never has any money for raises, benefits or class size reduction.  They are too involved in child abuse cases that can run into the millions of dollars  (would you believe one for $6.9 million?) as outlined in this story from Wednesday’s Times:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lausd-molest-20121219,0,2183360.story  The district announced earlier this month that it plans to settle by the end of January over 180 claims against the Miramonte Elementary teacher accused of lewd conduct last year:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/12/la-unified-aims-to-settle-miramonte-lawsuits-by-end-of-january.html
   An editorial in yesterday’s Times opined on the drawn-out process for firing teachers in California.  It offered some suggestions for speeding up the procedures while maintaining fairness and due process:  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-teacher-firing-20121220,0,7793141.story
   This blog from THE Nation magazine offers a top 10 gift wish list for education:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/171843/today-poverty-education-wish-list
   U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was named, along with a several other cabinet members, to a White House task force in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School according to this story from EDUCATION WEEK:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/12/secretary_duncan_to_serve_on_w.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CampaignK-12+(Education+Week+Blog%3A+Politics+K-12)
   Ed Source reveals some sobering statistics that you probably already know regarding the number of school counselors in schools in this state.  California ranks near the bottom among all states in counselors per student:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/california-near-bottom-in-numbers-of-school-counselors/24557#.UNSTBHPjnDK
   Diane Ravitch, in her blog, lauds a Baltimore Sun editorial that hails the adults who died at Sandy Hook as the “Heroes of Newtown.”  The newspaper continues by saying the country owes a debt of gratitude to all of America’s educators for the difficult job they do and the lack of respect they seem to get for doing it:  http://dianeravitch.net/2012/12/21/the-baltimore-sun-joins-the-honor-roll/
   And finally, the UCLA IDEA Friday (and last of the year) “Themes in the News”  glances back at a difficult year for education in California but looks forward to a cautiously hopeful 2013 (if the Mayans are wrong and the world doesn’t end today):  http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=cdf0d2cc27&e=f7d7cb8d5d
See you in 2013!

 

Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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