Monday, September 22, 2014

Providing teachers that reflect the students

The Sacramento Bee published a good story on Saturday  by Lorett Kalb and Phillip Reese  on a group of teachers at McClatchy High working together in a colectivo to recruit students to get a college education and return to McClatchy as teachers.  Here.

However, the story misses  an important issue. 
Mc Clatchy used to get many minority teachers, both Asian and Latino from the Bilingual Multicultural Education Department at Sac state, before that program  was eliminated in 2012.  The major minority teacher recruitment program in Northern California was quietly shut down.  I was the first Chair of that department.
By 2007, BMED was recruiting and placing minority teachers in the region such that between 30 and 36 % of all new teachers at Sac State were Latino. We did this for over 18 years.  We trained over 600 teachers, most of them minority and most of them local.
Now that has been re- organized out of existence under the disguise of low enrollment.  Current enrollment in teacher preparation at Sac State is about 6-8 % Latino.  This data is available in publicly available sources. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Call Governor Brown- Support English Learners

What's the issue?
SB 1174 (Lara) repeals current law requiring English Only placement for English Learners while still maintaining English language development, access to all content areas and providing program opportunities for all students to become multiliterate.
Urge Governor Brown to sign this bill, so all students will be given access to a critical 21st Century skill; the ability to speak, read and write more than one language proficiently, including English!
Why is SB 1174 (Lara) important?
SB 1174 (Lara) removes a barrier created by Proposition 227 preventing English learners from participating in the most effective programs by repealing the English Only placement requirement.
SB 1174 (Lara) supports preparation for students to effectively participate in our state's diverse and global economy by encouraging school districts to provide programs that promote multiliteracy for all students.
What do you need to do ?
Take action by contacting Governor Brown
1.)   By phone:  Call the Office of Governor Brown at 916-445-2841
         between 9 a.m. and 5p.m. weekdays. Ask to speak to the
         Legislative Representative assigned to SB 1174 (Lara) and state: 

     " Hello, my name is _____ and I am a (parent/educator) and I support
       SB 1174 (Lara) English Language Education. I urge Governor Brown to sign
       SB 1174 (Lara) because it will provide all of our children/students with a 
       critical 21 Century skill, that of speaking, reading and writing proficiency 
       in one or more languages in addition to English. The knowledge of languages
       will empower our children/students to effectively participate in our diverse 
       state and global economy. "

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Four Flimflams of the Common Core Movement

Award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York was once a supporter of the Common Core but came to be a critic after her state began to implement the initiative. (You can read some of her work on the botched implementation  in New York here,  here, here and here.)  Burris was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010,  tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. In this post she looks at what she calls the “Four Flimflams of the Common Core.”
By Carol Burris
The cheerleaders for the Common Core are on a “happy tour.” Anthony Cody explains here how the Gates Foundation is now financing a public relations offensive in response to the growing opposition to national standards. Recently, a professionally produced YouTube video depicted Common Core critics as misinformed Archie Bunkers who have no rational reason for their critique. The video was abruptly taken down when criticism appeared on Twitter, but you can see a screen shot of it here. Expect to see more affronts to the sincerity and intelligence of Core critics in the coming months.
The public relations campaign started because a majority of Americans  (60 percent in one poll) now oppose the Common Core. Although conservatives lead the way, in the bluest of states, California and New York, more people now disapprove than approve of the standards. Perhaps most telling of all, in one year national teacher support for the Common Core has dropped 30 points. The Common Core has shifted from theory to practice, and like the lemon it is, it is breaking down on the highway of implementation.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

California Children Living Below the Poverty line

New Census Data Show That More Than One in Seven Californians -- One-Third of Them Children -- Lived in Poverty in 2013

SACRAMENTO -- Census Bureau data released today show that the share of all Californians with incomes below the federal poverty line in 2013 remained significantly higher than in 2006, the year before the Great Recession began. More than 5.6 million Californians -- over one in seven -- had incomes below the poverty line in 2013. California's overall poverty rate of 14.9 percent in 2013 is down significantly from 16.9 percent in 2011, but is still much higher than the pre-recession level of 12.2 percent in 2006.

Nearly 2 million California children were living in poverty in 2013, accounting for one in five children in the state (20.3 percent). Although this child poverty rate is down significantly from that in 2011 (24.3 percent), children still account for an outsize share of Californians living in poverty. Californians under age 18 were less than one-quarter of the total state population (23.9 percent) in 2013, but they accounted for nearly one-third of those living in poverty (32.5 percent). 

"The new Census poverty figures highlight the fact that many Californians are being left behind by our economy, even several years after the Great Recession ended," said Alissa Anderson, senior policy analyst with the CBP. "The child poverty rate is especially troubling, since children who grow up in poverty are more likely to remain in poverty as adults."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Story on SCUSD Superintendent that the Bee will not tell you.

Thank you Cosmo Garvin for writing what the Bee will not report on.
Cosmo Garvin. Sacramento News and Review. 9/11/2014. Page 15.
The Bee is clearly still sore about the loss of the previous superintendent, Jonathan Raymond. Raymond seemed to enjoy sticking it to teachers (and the occasional principal) and generally followed the playbook for corporate-ed reform.
He left quite suddenly during the last school year. The public reason was that he wanted his kids to be closer to their grandparents back in Boston. Surely a tough decision, to leave what he described as his “dream job.” But family comes first.
This summer, Raymond took a job as president of an education nonprofit called the Stuart Foundation—in San Francisco.
The Stuart Foundation is a major funder of something called the California Office to Reform Education. You may recall that Raymond committed Sac City schools to participate in the CORE, to help fund it, and to tie teacher evaluations to student test scores as part of the deal.
This was intensely controversial—and done without public input or any vote of the Sac City school board. The board only reversed Raymond’s decision after he had bailed, and after protests from teachers, parents and community groups.
It’s not so surprising that a plum job for Raymond was waiting on the other side of the revolving door. But what about the family thing?
Carol Ting, the Stuart Foundation’s chief operating officer, told Bites, “That was his plan. But then the recruiter came along and offered him his dream job.”
Dream job, huh? Anyway, Raymond slipped out the back door in a hurry, to take a dreamier job, or to escape whatever nightmares had cropped up here in Sacramento. Either way, even in his absence he was an important presence at the school-board-candidates forum held in Oak Park last Sunday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

U.S. Teachers Work Really Hard

American teachers work hard. Like, really hard.
Rebecca Klein
This year's education report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development outlines the state of education in the world's most developed countries. It finds that American elementary school teachers spend more hours actually teaching students than peers in any other surveyed country.
The graph below details how much time elementary school teachers spend in front of the classroom:

American middle school and high school teachers spend more time educating students than peers in every OECD country except Chile, according to the report. In addition to classroom time, U.S. teachers are required to be at school for more hours than most of their international peers.
Despite the long hours, American teachers aren't well compensated, Andreas Schleicher, OECD director of education and skills, explained in a call with reporters Monday. While U.S. raw teacher salaries are high compared with the rest of the world, the pay lags behind that of similarly educated American workers.
“Teacher pay relative to other countries, in absolute terms, is quite competitive in the United States," said Schleicher. "But when you look at this relative to the earnings of other people with college degrees, actually the United States is pretty much at the end of the scale."
The OECD graphic below shows how teachers' salaries compare with other college-educated workers in each country. The report found that teachers are paid more than comparably educated workers in only seven countries.

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