May 10

 “A state that does not educate and train women is like a man
who only trains his right arm.”   ―     Jostein Gaarder,     Sophie’s World    
   The two candidates for mayor of Los Angeles, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti, both came out in favor of making teacher evaluations PUBLIC!  They enunciated that position in a debate on Tuesday at the Petersen Automotive Museum.  Wednesday’s L.A. Times reports the story:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-mayor-education-20130508,0,4477206.story
   Both Susie Smith (prior to the broadcast) and Dave Carpenter (after it was on) mentioned that PBS has a new series, hosted by John Legend, called “TED Talks Education” airing on Tuesday evenings at 10 p.m. on station KOCE.  The first segment (55:31 minutes) aired this week and included several educators, students and other prominent figures talking about various subjects and topics:  http://video.pbs.org/video/2365006219
   Revelations regarding the sexual misconduct of a teacher at De La Torre Elementary School (LAUSD) in Wilmington continue to be made public. An internal district document has surfaced according to this item in Wednesday’s L.A. Times that indicates district administrators knew of the charges 3 years prior to the teacher’s arrest:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lausd-abuse-20130508,0,2231596.story
   For a number of reasons the University of California is taking a much slower approach to online courses than other systems explains The San Diego Union-Tribune:  http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/07/uc-classes-easing-into-online-world/?utm_source=feedly
   The Louisiana Supreme Court, by a 6-1 vote, ruled Tuesday that the funding formula for the voucher system violates the state constitution.  Valerie Strauss comments on this decision and how it compares to a very different court ruling on vouchers in Indiana:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/07/louisiana-supreme-court-rules-school-voucher-funding-unconstitutional/?wprss=rss_national&utm_source=feedly
   Earlier this year the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recommended the closing of 54 under-performing schools to help save money for the cash-strapped district.  The outcry from the community and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) was immediate.  This week a group of independent hearing officers questioned the inclusion of 14 schools slated for closure.  The Huffington Post provides some of their reasons why:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/cps-school-closures_n_3230455.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123
   The “Ed News” has highlighted articles about all sorts of schools and systems of education–public, private, charter, parochial, etc.  It has rarely, if ever, focused on the home school movement.  This item from the GuardianUK takes a careful look at Christian fundamentalist home schooling and what it’s true agenda may be.  Former students who were taught at home offer some insights into what their experiences were like:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/08/christian-home-schooling-dark-side
   California is attempting to change its K-12 school accountability system to include more factors than just the API.  The State Board of Education (SBE) is raising some major concerns about the proposed changes reports this story from the SI&A CABINET REPORT:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=3804
   The Common Core State Standards are on schedule to be introduced in California in 2014-15 and the assessments that accompany them are also ready to go.  Some states have come to grief with their exams but the consortium developing them here assures The Golden State that things are moving ahead smoothly.  EdSource describes how things are progressing and what to expect as to how the tests will be administered:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/common-core-test-is-on-track-state-board-told/31768#.UYwxu__n-ov  Most of the Common Core assessment items will be machine scored according to a presentation made to the State Board of Education on Wednesday.  This SI&A CABINET REPORT item has the details for you:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=3803
   A recent edition of the “Ed News” highlighted an article that urged the implementation of the Common Core Standards be delayed to insure that schools and teachers were thoroughly and properly prepared to introduce them.  Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Michael Kirst, President of the State Board of Education (SBE), co-authored an op-ed in The SACRAMENTO BEE on Sunday that argued against any delay:  http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/05/5393851/resist-urge-to-delay-common-core.html
   Is criticism of standardized testing a recent phenomenon?  W. James Popham wrote an article in March, 1999, for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) that did just that.  The Friday UCLA IDEA “Themes in the News” reminds you of what he said and applies it to today:  http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=4d3e1a9168&e=f7d7cb8d5d  If you’d like to see his original piece titled “Why Standardized Tests Don’t Measure Educational Quality” you can find it here.  It makes for some very interesting reading when you realize it was published over 14 years ago:  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar99/vol56/num06/Why-Standardized-Tests-Don%27t-Measure-Educational-Quality.aspx
   And finally, as National Teacher Appreciation Week wraps up today the “Ed News” would like to leave you with a series of quotes collected by Valerie Strauss regarding the noble profession of teaching.  For all you teachers out there, past, present and future, these are for you.  May they brighten your day and weekend and beyond:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/09/appreciating-teachers-for-a-change/
 
Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar
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