Sunday, March 08, 2009

Education Summit: Sacramento

Education Summit
Monday, March 9. Sacramento. Summit to be held at the California Museum of History, Women and the Arts.
Major Speakers at the summit have not improved the schools.

Sponsored by Mayor Kevin Johnson. The Rev. Al Sharpton will give the opening talk. The Rev. Sharpton has founded a group, Education Equity Project.
Followed by Chancellor Joel Klein, of the NYC Education Dept. and Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the Washington D.C. Schools. And Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

These speakers will congratulate each other and praise each other for getting tough on schools. This is school reform by press release rather than improving schools.

What do these speakers have in common?
They each direct major school systems where the Mayor is in charge. They are in strong mayor cities.
In the case of Joel Klein, if I were asked, I would work at improving the quality of schools in my own city prior to traveling around the country giving advice to other cities.

A brief on Joel Klein.
The administration of Joel Klein as Chancellor of New York City Schools is representative of a particular rigid approach to school change promoted by NCLB which we oppose. Rather than take the advice of educators, Chancellor Klein repeatedly championed and implemented policies that support corporate interests as opposed to children. The NY City Department of Education under Joel Klein has been run like a ruthless dictatorship – with no input from parents or educators. Teachers have not been respected, consulted, nor listened to. And little thought has been devoted to how the policies he has imposed on our schools have been destructive to the children and their futures. 
To lay at the door of schools the many problems the of society—and particularly those that afflict people of color and low income—as does Joel Klein, is a transparent media manipulation of complex issues. While focusing on test scores, he has consistently ignored the crisis of overcrowding in New York schools. Thousands of children are being given special services in hallways or in closets. 
Rather than face the complex nature of student achievement and to work for substantive school improvement, Chancellor Joel Klein has joined with others to blame teachers unions and to bash teachers. 
He has, at the same time, refused to reduce class size, despite repeated audits and reports from the New York State Comptroller’s office and the State Education Department . 
Joel Klein has repeatedly demonstrated that his primary goal is improving test scores even when these policies produce cheating and a focus on test preparation. The rise in state test scores that has resulted is not matched by improvements in the more reliable national assessments called the NAEPs. In fact, NYC was 11th out of 12 urban school districts in New York in terms of its gains in the NAEPs over the course of his administration, and there has been no closing of the achievement gap in any subject tested. The available data New York City does not support the claims of improved school achievement under this administration.

Michele Rhee
Michele Rhee serves California schools and Sacramento schools well. She directs the Washington D.C. schools and provides one of the few districts, along with Mississippi and Louisiana, where students consistently score below those of California. If Washington D.C. were not there, California and Sacramento would have the worst reading scores and among the worst drop out rates in the nation.
Michele Rhee has served as a part of the faculty recruitment team for Sacramento High- a Charter School. You can judge her success by looking at the turnover of faculty and administrators at Sac High and the significant decline in enrollment of students and see below on funding of Washington D.C. schools.

Stimulus to Help Retool Education, Duncan Says
By Bill Turque and Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 5, 2009; "D.C. has had more money than God for a long time, but the outcomes are still disastrous," Duncan said in an interview with Washington Post editors and reporters. He said the unprecedented influx of cash, which will begin to flow in the next 30 to 45 days, would target states, local school systems and nonprofit organizations willing to adopt policies that have been proven to work.” Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
The stimulus law, which will channel about $100 billion to public schools, universities and early childhood education programs nationwide, will help prevent teacher layoffs, overhaul aging schools and educate low-income children. But it also gives Duncan unusual power to shape change.

Some speakers at the summit, such as Mike Feinberg of Knowledge is Power Program ( KIPP) have improved school achievement.

Institute for Democracy and Education – SACRAMENTO.
http://sites.google.com/site/democracyandeducationorg/
Dr. Duane E. Campbell. Available for commentary.
Author: Choosing Democracy: a practical guide to multicultural education.
4th. edition. 2010. Allyn and Bacon.
916- 361-9072
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