April 16

“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”  ―    Theodore Roosevelt
   An attempt by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to close up to 13% of the campuses in that system is not being taken sitting down.  This article outlines how different groups including the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) are fighting back:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/15660-chicagoans-fight-for-education-and-against-standardized-testing
   The final vote count for the Glendale School Board was posted late last week and was certified yesterday.  ALOED’s own Jennifer Freemon placed a close fourth (out of seven candidates) for the 3 available seats.  The complete official results are here.  Scroll down to the GUSD Governing Board chart:  http://www.glendalevotes.org/
   Nancy Kuechle found this op-ed piece from Saturday’s New York Times (it appeared on their web site on Friday) after it was posted on Natalie Kolodinski’s Facebook page who got it from her mom Janice Kolodinski.  Jill Asbjornsen also sent it to the “Ed News.”  It looks at ways to truly reform education with a focus on the professionalization of the teaching profession:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/opinion/teachers-will-we-ever-learn.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&emc=eta1
   In the aftermath of the recent primary election for 3 seats on the LAUSD school board, yesterday’s L.A. Times identified some of the movers and shakers who contributed large amounts of money to the various races.  These donors far surpassed the amount of dollars injected into previous races by outsides sources:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-adv-lausd-money-20130415,0,6947986.story?utm_source=feedly
   Thanks to Randy Traweek for forwarding this article from The New York Times.   It reports that an NPR correspondent has uncovered a memo warning of widespread cheating on standardized tests in the Washington, D.C. schools, in 2008 during the tenure of Superintendent Michelle Rhee.  Ms. Rhee, in a statement claimed she couldn’t recall receiving the memo.  Your can sort out the details here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/education/hearing-on-test-cheating-claim-in-washington.html?src=recg&_r=0
   Over the weekend, delegates to the St

ate Democratic Party Convention blasted several groups including StudentsFirst (led my Michelle Rhee) and Democrats for Education Reform as being fronts for Republican attempts to privatize/voucherize public education.  Yesterday’s L.A. Times covers the issue:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-democrats-20130415,0,2919125.story
   Erik Eckholm (Oxy ’71) reports in The New York Times what several critics have discovered: “With Police in Schools, More Children [end up] in [the] Court System:”  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/education/with-police-in-schools-more-children-in-court.html?pagewanted=1&hp
   The L.A. Daily News has a piece about how LAUSD Supt. John Deasy has become a lightning rod for both critics and supporters of his program to reform the district:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-democrats-20130415,0,2919125.story
   One of the prime movers behind recent “parent-trigger” takeovers of schools in California and other states is a Los Angeles based advocacy group called “Parent Revolution.”  An extensive expose by Frying Pan News [Ed. note: That is their name.  This is a newly discovered source for the “Ed News.”] looks at the leaders of the group, where their funding comes from (Walton and Gates Foundations among others) and what their agenda is:  http://fryingpannews.org/2013/04/02/public-schools-private-agendas-parent-revolution/
   Are Teach for America (TFA) candidates qualified to work with ELLs under California state law?  The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is scheduled to take up that issue and vote on the matter later this week.  Anthony Cody on his blog for EDUCATION WEEK reports, in detail, on the story:  http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/04/tfa_faces_a_california_showdow.html
   The ever expanding granting of charter applications by the State Board of Education is drawing the scrutiny of California lawmakers who are interested in whether there is proper oversight of these charters which have grown in numbers from 8 three years ago to more than 30 today.  Local school districts and county school boards also have the ability to grant charter applications according to this article from the SI&A CABINET REPORT:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=2768
   The “Ed News” doesn’t usually feature the obituaries.  However, today’s L.A. Times has an extensive look at the life and death of LAUSD Social Studies teacher Sal Castro who died yesterday at age 79.  He was one of the leaders of the Eastside “blowouts” in 1968 when students from 5 high schools marched off their campuses to protest poor conditions for Latino students:  http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-sal-castro-20130416,0,6720373.story
   In a story the “Ed News” previewed last week, the LAUSD board today will take up a measure by member Tamar Galatzan to deal more quickly  and fairly with teachers who are charged with misconduct and placed in “teacher jails.”  UTLA is supporting the effort but has a few reservations regarding the details.  This item is also in today’s Times:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-jail-20130416,0,5155435.story  This graphic appeared in a related story on the Times website this morning:
In a related matter to this one, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is seeking to change and clarify procedures for school districts to refer disciplinary actions against teachers to the CTC.  This comes in light of the LAUSD sending over 600 cases of teacher misconduct to the Commission in a 3 month span last year which swamped the system and led to long delays.  The SI&A CABINET REPORT provides the story:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=2770
    An editorial in the same paper supports a proposal before the LAUSD board today to deal with students who are “wilfully defiant” in ways other than outright suspension from school:  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-suspensions-lausd-20130416,0,4313965.story
   Valerie Strauss follows-up on a blog she posted in December (and featured by the “Ed News”) in which a teacher in Florida was evaluated using test scores of students and subjects she didn’t teach.  Now that teacher and 6 others have filed suit against that practice:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/15/lawsuit-stop-evaluating-teachers-on-test-scores-of-students-they-never-taught/
   And finally, in 2011 the LAUSD began a program to serve daily breakfasts in elementary classrooms around the district.  UTLA conducted an online poll among teachers regarding the practice and found a number of complaints according to this piece in the L.A. Times:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-classroom-breakfasts-20130415,0,6454842.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+(L.A.+Now)  You can check out the survey results from the UTLA website here:  http://www.utla.net/bicsurveyresults  Click on the graph to see results for each question asked and click on the chalkboard to read individual teacher comments about the program.  You can also view a video (6:21 minutes) about the poll.

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