Will Brave Tulsa Teachers Lose Their Jobs?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Two Tulsa teachers risked their jobs by refusing to administer state tests to their first grade students, reports John Thompson.

Karen Hendren and Nikki Jones hereby join the blog’s honor roll as heroes if American children, defending the rights and childhood of their students.

He writes:

“These first grade teachers, Miss Karen Hendren and Mrs. Nikki Jones were featured in a front page Tulsa World and the United Opt Out web site. They wrote an open letter to parents documenting the damage being done by testing and the new value-added evaluation system being implemented by the Tulsa schools under the guidance of the Gates Foundation.

“Miss Hendren and Mrs. Jones explain how this obsession with testing “has robbed us of our ethics. They are robbing children of their educational liberties.” Our poorest kids are falling further behind because they are being robbed of reading instruction. By Hendren’s and Jones’ estimate…

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U.S. Department of Education Cracks Down on Education Schools

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

According to Politico.com, the U.S. Department of Education will cut federal funding to education schools whose graduates have students who get low scores. This could incentivize education schools to direct their students away from urban districts with high poverty, or from teaching children with disabilities and English-language learners. Researchers have repeatedly warned about the danger of over reliance on test scores for high-stakes decisions. It is always wise to think about unintended consequences.

TEACHER PREP IS – FINALLY – HERE: The long-delayed rules, released by the Education Department on Tuesday, would punish low-performing programs by cutting students’ access to federal TEACH grants they could use to pay for school. And it would compel every state to collect more information and evaluate their programs by several key metrics, including how many graduates lock in jobs, how many stay in the profession and whether teachers are boosting student learning. The timeline…

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What Do We Really Know about Ted J. Morris, Jr.? An Update.

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

Ever since the Democrat and Chronicle published on November 23, 2014, its article praising the newly-NY-Regents-approved, 22-year-old Ted J. Morris, Jr., for the 2015 approval of his Greater Works Charter School, much Morris-induced (mis)information has been flying through cyberspace on this man.

Ted Morris

Indeed, with the new information that has come my way in the last 24 hours regarding Morris’ credentials and experience, my post dated November 24, 2014, has been updated numerous times, and still the information comes.

Even the Democrat and Chronicle (D&C) has attempted to straighten out the story on Morris. However, much of the information in that “update” lacks verification.

So, what do we know about this young man who persistently petitioned NY Regents beginning in 2010 to start a charter school?

First, even though he told D&C that he graduated from Rochester’s Schools Without Walls (SWW), one day after being called…

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NY: 22-Year-Old Charter Founder Did Not Graduate from Rochester High School

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The 22-year-old who received a charter from the New York Board of Regents said he graduated Rochester’s School Without Walls when he was 16, received an online bachelor’s degree at 18, then earned a master’s and doctorate in four years.

The following email just arrived:

Hi Diane.

I was the principal of Rochester, New York’s School Without Walls from 1987 to 2010. Ted Morris, the young man awarded permission to open a charter school in Rochester, NY, and claiming to be a graduate of School Without Walls in 2008, attended SWW for less than a year and then voluntarily left to be home schooled. He never graduated nor received a diploma from School Without Walls.

Dan Drmacich

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November 25, 2014 – NATIONAL PARFAIT DAY – SHOPPING REMINDER DAY

Originally posted on National Day Calendar:

National Parfait Day - November 25 Image Credit: www.foodbeast.com

National Parfait Day – November 25
Image Credit: http://www.foodbeast.com

National Parfait Day

Usually served in a specially styled glass, parfaits are what this day is all about as we all celebrate National Parfait Day.  Each year on November 25th, people fill their glasses with layers of their choice of ingredients anywhere from ice cream and chocolate to yogurt, fruit and nuts.

A French word that literally means “perfect”was originally used to describe a kind of frozen dessert beginning in 1894.

Served differently in other countries, in the United States, parfait refers to either the traditional French parfait or to a popular variant, the American parfait, which is made by layering parfait cream, ice cream and/or flavored gelatin or puddings in a tall, clear glass topped with whipped cream, fruit and/or liqueurs. 

The Northern United States expanded on the parfait and began to use yogurt layered with nuts or granola and/or…

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FairTest: Demand to Limit Testing Escalates

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In his weekly report on testing reform and resistance, Bob Schaeffer of FairTest finds widespread sentiment to reduce the time devoted to testing, the frequency of tests, and the high stakes attached to them.

Here is his summary of the testing and anti-testing activities:

Want more proof that the assessment reform movement is exploding across the nation? Check out this week’s stories from 22 (!) states along with several great commentaries.

As always, let FairTest know how we can help you keep the heat on at the grassroots.

Arizona District Seeks Exemption From New State Test

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-northern-az/lake-havasu/havasu-schools-seek-to-exempt-some-from-new-test

Education Groups Seek Delay of California Test-Based School Ratings

http://edsource.org/2014/school-groups-ask-to-delay-api-scores-another-year/70029#.VGuAZnvvcZy

Thousands of Colorado High School Students Refuse to Take State Tests

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/us-usa-colorado-education-idUSKCN0IY2HO20141114

Is Colorado Student Opt-Out a Harbinger of Broader Protests?

http://takingnote.learningmatters.tv/?p=7361

Coloradans Launch Petition to Overturn Test-Based Teacher Evaluation

https://www.change.org/p/the-colorado-legislature-repeal-senate-bill-191-linking-standardized-test-scores-to-teacher-pay-and-performance

High-Stakes Testing Pressure Drives Experienced Teachers Out of Florida Classrooms

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20141108/ARTICLE/141109731

More…

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Is This the Best Anti-Testing Video?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

This video was made by NYC public-school parent and film-maker Michael Elliot. It is a powerful video that expresses the views of parents and students.

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