Removing Superman's Cape



    The Real Facts About Waiting for Superman, prepared by Mass. Citizens for Public
    Schools and FairTest - available as a flyer in pdf and in text below so you can adapt
    it for your own use.

    The Real Facts About Waiting for Superman

    Waiting for Superman may be good melodrama, but the movie fails the test of accuracy, and its purported solutions will not improve education.

    We agree: Too many young people, mostly low-income, do not graduate from high school or get a strong education. The questions are why, and what can be done about it. Waiting for Superman and its unprecedented hype risk leading us dangerously astray from real solutions to real problems by making a number of misleading or factually incorrect claims in a number of important areas:

    Public school quality: The most recent Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup poll found that 77% of Americans would give the public school their oldest child attends an A or a B. Does this suggest our public schools are failing across the board, as WFS says? In international comparisons, most of our middle class schools do well. Under resourced schools that serve low-income kids who are disproportionately African American, Latino, or recent immigrants, do far less well. However, they face challenges that schools, alone, can never address adequately.  Improving schools is part of the solution - but the changes must help all children obtain a high-quality education.

    Poverty:
    Poverty matters a lot – and the movie shows that it does, even while trying to tell us it does not. The Harlem Children’s Zone spends heavily to provide services to needy children and their families, services the government does not provide. Two-thirds of HCZ funding is private, not public – making it like a well-funded private school. Who will pay for these services for all the children who need them?

    Unions: States with the most unionized teachers do better than states with weaker or fewer unions, and countries with strong educational systems mostly have strong teacher unions. WSF’s demonization of unions ignores the real evidence.

    Tenure:
    Tenure says you cannot be fired without due process and a good reason: you can’t be fired because the boss wants to hire his cousin, or because you are gay (or black or…), or because you take an unpopular position on a public issue outside of school. A recent survey found that most principals agreed they could fire if they needed to. While WSF may have its own opinions on the value of tenure, it may not have its own facts.

    Charter schools: Charter schools get public money but are run by private groups, which means there is less public oversight. The most extensive national study found that 46% of charters did about the same as regular public schools, 37% did worse, and only 17% did better. Meanwhile, charters routinely accept fewer students with disabilities and fewer English language learners. Since charters only serve 4% of the nation’s K-12 students, they represent a distraction and a drain from the focused work needed to renew quality schools for all children. They are not a solution.

    Using standardized tests like MCAS to evaluate teachers: The National Research Council and many other researchers say that evaluating teachers based on student test scores is inaccurate and unfair. Several reports found that some 20-25% of teachers in the bottom groups one year are in the top groups the next - and vice versa. This is because many more things affect student learning or teacher's rankings than just the teacher's own efforts.

    Using standardized tests to tell us if schools are successful: Most test score differences are not due to what schools do, but to the kids’ ZIP codes. As opportunity, health and family wealth increase, so do test scores. When schools focus on boosting scores on tests like MCAS, they ignore important subject areas and teach to the test, leaving children less prepared for the future. We need a lot more than test scores to know if schools are doing well and to help schools improve.

    How students learn: Most people know what science confirmed years ago: learning is an active process. Pouring disconnected information into kids’ heads, as the movie shows, has no lasting value, and it does not educate students for citizenship, college, lifelong learning or employment. Why didn’t the movie show us what excellent teaching looks like?

    Competition: There is no evidence for the claim that competition will improve education. Teachers competing against each other will endanger cooperation among teachers and reduce their ability to help children most in need.

    Since No Child Left Behind, the rate of school improvement has declined!  This film pushes for another generation of failed reforms.

    Don’t wait for Superman. Take the time to inform yourself, to find out the real stories from teachers, parents and principals.  Get the real facts on which to base your opinion, and consider how you can make a difference by doing what is right and good for children, not what “Superman” tells you to do.
    Citizens for Public Schools and FairTest

    For more information and genuine ways to improve schools, see http://www.citizensforpublicschools.org and http://www.fairtest.org.
    AttachmentSize
    Real Facts about waiting for superman.pdf92.42 KB

Post Title

Removing Superman's Cape


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/removing-superman-cape_30.html


Visit kings avenue tattoo for Daily Updated Wedding Dresses Collection

Removing Superman's Cape



    The Real Facts About Waiting for Superman, prepared by Mass. Citizens for Public
    Schools and FairTest - available as a flyer in pdf and in text below so you can adapt
    it for your own use.

    The Real Facts About Waiting for Superman

    Waiting for Superman may be good melodrama, but the movie fails the test of accuracy, and its purported solutions will not improve education.

    We agree: Too many young people, mostly low-income, do not graduate from high school or get a strong education. The questions are why, and what can be done about it. Waiting for Superman and its unprecedented hype risk leading us dangerously astray from real solutions to real problems by making a number of misleading or factually incorrect claims in a number of important areas:

    Public school quality: The most recent Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup poll found that 77% of Americans would give the public school their oldest child attends an A or a B. Does this suggest our public schools are failing across the board, as WFS says? In international comparisons, most of our middle class schools do well. Under resourced schools that serve low-income kids who are disproportionately African American, Latino, or recent immigrants, do far less well. However, they face challenges that schools, alone, can never address adequately.  Improving schools is part of the solution - but the changes must help all children obtain a high-quality education.

    Poverty:
    Poverty matters a lot – and the movie shows that it does, even while trying to tell us it does not. The Harlem Children’s Zone spends heavily to provide services to needy children and their families, services the government does not provide. Two-thirds of HCZ funding is private, not public – making it like a well-funded private school. Who will pay for these services for all the children who need them?

    Unions: States with the most unionized teachers do better than states with weaker or fewer unions, and countries with strong educational systems mostly have strong teacher unions. WSF’s demonization of unions ignores the real evidence.

    Tenure:
    Tenure says you cannot be fired without due process and a good reason: you can’t be fired because the boss wants to hire his cousin, or because you are gay (or black or…), or because you take an unpopular position on a public issue outside of school. A recent survey found that most principals agreed they could fire if they needed to. While WSF may have its own opinions on the value of tenure, it may not have its own facts.

    Charter schools: Charter schools get public money but are run by private groups, which means there is less public oversight. The most extensive national study found that 46% of charters did about the same as regular public schools, 37% did worse, and only 17% did better. Meanwhile, charters routinely accept fewer students with disabilities and fewer English language learners. Since charters only serve 4% of the nation’s K-12 students, they represent a distraction and a drain from the focused work needed to renew quality schools for all children. They are not a solution.

    Using standardized tests like MCAS to evaluate teachers: The National Research Council and many other researchers say that evaluating teachers based on student test scores is inaccurate and unfair. Several reports found that some 20-25% of teachers in the bottom groups one year are in the top groups the next - and vice versa. This is because many more things affect student learning or teacher's rankings than just the teacher's own efforts.

    Using standardized tests to tell us if schools are successful: Most test score differences are not due to what schools do, but to the kids’ ZIP codes. As opportunity, health and family wealth increase, so do test scores. When schools focus on boosting scores on tests like MCAS, they ignore important subject areas and teach to the test, leaving children less prepared for the future. We need a lot more than test scores to know if schools are doing well and to help schools improve.

    How students learn: Most people know what science confirmed years ago: learning is an active process. Pouring disconnected information into kids’ heads, as the movie shows, has no lasting value, and it does not educate students for citizenship, college, lifelong learning or employment. Why didn’t the movie show us what excellent teaching looks like?

    Competition: There is no evidence for the claim that competition will improve education. Teachers competing against each other will endanger cooperation among teachers and reduce their ability to help children most in need.

    Since No Child Left Behind, the rate of school improvement has declined!  This film pushes for another generation of failed reforms.

    Don’t wait for Superman. Take the time to inform yourself, to find out the real stories from teachers, parents and principals.  Get the real facts on which to base your opinion, and consider how you can make a difference by doing what is right and good for children, not what “Superman” tells you to do.
    Citizens for Public Schools and FairTest

    For more information and genuine ways to improve schools, see http://www.citizensforpublicschools.org and http://www.fairtest.org.
    AttachmentSize
    Real Facts about waiting for superman.pdf92.42 KB

Post Title

Removing Superman's Cape


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/removing-superman-cape.html


Visit kings avenue tattoo for Daily Updated Wedding Dresses Collection

Building a Man Cave: A Tale of a Forty Six Inch Tub of Hummus

    I'm a trial and error guy. Sort of a throw it up against a wall and see what sticks attitude. And that was often the way I taught - which I think may be a bit taboo today since T&E takes a lot of time. When faced with a problem - a math problem, fixing something or a social situation, I often just try something and see if it works, most often a disaster in the latter situation.
    I often applied T&E in teaching - which made me an awesome teacher at times and  awful teacher at others. Probably not the best way to bring stability to a classroom, but it certainly kept the kids on their toes - and somewhat engaged in a guessing game of "what's coming at us next?"

    When it comes to home projects, living with someone who is the exact opposite - who needs all the answers before tackling a problem – can be a bit of a challenge. And therein lies a tale.

    I was out in Cedarhurst yesterday getting a special pair of computer glasses made up by my pals at Central Vision Care - maybe I will no longer have to stagger around half blind - a serious problem when you are about to drive. On the way back I stopped off at Costco to buy gum and a tub of hummus.

    I've been looking for a 42" set to put in my work area while writing and doing video - guaranteed to make me even less productive than I am. Also a room for my buddies and I to watch Jet games without being disturbed. My Man Cave. I convince my wife to go for the 42. She measures and measures to make sure it will not be too big. I mean she is exact. She finds an Ikea TV cabinet that will be just the right height for the TV- to the exact quarter inch. I'm rolling my eyes. Just get anything and I'll do T&E and figure out how to make it fit. No dice.

    First, I had to get a new carpet - it is the only room in the house with a carpet because it is over the garage and gets pretty cold in the winter. This part of the project took over a year. But with the old carpet turning green - and not with envy - my wife finally made the move and we ordered from Costco - a nice lady came to the house and the arguments started breaking out with the first sample. She wants a deeper pile. Hmmm. A good idea - she couldn't see all the the broken taco chips that get buried. But, no, better to just fess up and vacuum every 6 months.

    Then comes the color argument. She wants light. I want the carpet to be the color of salsa so you don't see the stains. I win this one when the carpet lady pulls out a nice shade my wife likes. So we wait weeks and finally this past Tuesday the carpet guys come and do the installation. (Three hours late of course, which almost makes me late for Leonie's Parents Across America press conference at NBC's Education Shmation.) Carpet looks fabulous. So next on the list is the TV.

    I always take a run by the TV sets at Costco but never buy. I've been researching this LG 42LD550 with internet access. Cheapest price was at Amazon for $750. So I'm strolling down the aisle and there it is. For the same price. Quick decision. Wrestle it into the cart. Is there still room for the humus and gum (and the special jumbo franks for my dad-  almost 93 and eating freakin Hebrew National crap, God bless him)?

    Okay. Go grab the other stuff I need - phone calls are coming in with new additions to the list. Do I need 2 carts?" Buy a white shirt for the wedding this Saturday," (sorry all you guys going to DC on Oct. 2. I am really partying.) "What size am I?" Okay, you ladies, I know what you are thinking. And you are right. "I'll go look and call you back," she says. I want to get that LG sucker home so I get shirts with 2 possible sizes and will return the one that doesn't fit. T&E baby.

    I'm on the checkout line when I notice the TV box. "46LD550." 46 inches? For $750? I assumed at that price it was a 42 so I never looked carefully. What to do? Ahhh, buy it and take it back if it doesn't fit. T&E.

    So, I wrestle the humus and TV upstairs. And the battle begins. Out comes the tape measure. "Go look up the dimensions. I measured exactly and it won't fit." Oh, boy. "Why don't we just set it up and see if it works?" T&E. Nooooo. Printing dimensions for the 42 and 46. It comes to maybe an inch difference in the height. "I'll raise the shelves," I scream! Okay. That gets settled.

    Then it's off to Ikea to buy the stand. That's another story altogether.

    How am I going to put this sucker together? Don't need no stinkin' directions. T&E baby. T&E.

    Right now I am surrounded by cabinet parts all over the salsa colored carpet. I'd take a picture and show you but if you know me, there's plenty of time. It will look the same in a week.

    Update: Sat. Oct. 2: It's hummus, stupid
    I knew something was missing when I tasted the humus. It was an "m". But just eat the stuff, not look at labels.

Post Title

Building a Man Cave: A Tale of a Forty Six Inch Tub of Hummus


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/building-man-cave-tale-of-forty-six_30.html


Visit kings avenue tattoo for Daily Updated Wedding Dresses Collection

Building a Man Cave: A Tale of a Forty Six Inch Tub of Hummus

    I'm a trial and error guy. Sort of a throw it up against a wall and see what sticks attitude. And that was often the way I taught - which I think may be a bit taboo today since T&E takes a lot of time. When faced with a problem - a math problem, fixing something or a social situation, I often just try something and see if it works, most often a disaster in the latter situation.
    I often applied T&E in teaching - which made me an awesome teacher at times and  awful teacher at others. Probably not the best way to bring stability to a classroom, but it certainly kept the kids on their toes - and somewhat engaged in a guessing game of "what's coming at us next?"

    When it comes to home projects, living with someone who is the exact opposite - who needs all the answers before tackling a problem – can be a bit of a challenge. And therein lies a tale.

    I was out in Cedarhurst yesterday getting a special pair of computer glasses made up by my pals at Central Vision Care - maybe I will no longer have to stagger around half blind - a serious problem when you are about to drive. On the way back I stopped off at Costco to buy gum and a tub of hummus.

    I've been looking for a 42" set to put in my work area while writing and doing video - guaranteed to make me even less productive than I am. Also a room for my buddies and I to watch Jet games without being disturbed. My Man Cave. I convince my wife to go for the 42. She measures and measures to make sure it will not be too big. I mean she is exact. She finds an Ikea TV cabinet that will be just the right height for the TV- to the exact quarter inch. I'm rolling my eyes. Just get anything and I'll do T&E and figure out how to make it fit. No dice.

    First, I had to get a new carpet - it is the only room in the house with a carpet because it is over the garage and gets pretty cold in the winter. This part of the project took over a year. But with the old carpet turning green - and not with envy - my wife finally made the move and we ordered from Costco - a nice lady came to the house and the arguments started breaking out with the first sample. She wants a deeper pile. Hmmm. A good idea - she couldn't see all the the broken taco chips that get buried. But, no, better to just fess up and vacuum every 6 months.

    Then comes the color argument. She wants light. I want the carpet to be the color of salsa so you don't see the stains. I win this one when the carpet lady pulls out a nice shade my wife likes. So we wait weeks and finally this past Tuesday the carpet guys come and do the installation. (Three hours late of course, which almost makes me late for Leonie's Parents Across America press conference at NBC's Education Shmation.) Carpet looks fabulous. So next on the list is the TV.

    I always take a run by the TV sets at Costco but never buy. I've been researching this LG 42LD550 with internet access. Cheapest price was at Amazon for $750. So I'm strolling down the aisle and there it is. For the same price. Quick decision. Wrestle it into the cart. Is there still room for the humus and gum (and the special jumbo franks for my dad-  almost 93 and eating freakin Hebrew National crap, God bless him)?

    Okay. Go grab the other stuff I need - phone calls are coming in with new additions to the list. Do I need 2 carts?" Buy a white shirt for the wedding this Saturday," (sorry all you guys going to DC on Oct. 2. I am really partying.) "What size am I?" Okay, you ladies, I know what you are thinking. And you are right. "I'll go look and call you back," she says. I want to get that LG sucker home so I get shirts with 2 possible sizes and will return the one that doesn't fit. T&E baby.

    I'm on the checkout line when I notice the TV box. "46LD550." 46 inches? For $750? I assumed at that price it was a 42 so I never looked carefully. What to do? Ahhh, buy it and take it back if it doesn't fit. T&E.

    So, I wrestle the humus and TV upstairs. And the battle begins. Out comes the tape measure. "Go look up the dimensions. I measured exactly and it won't fit." Oh, boy. "Why don't we just set it up and see if it works?" T&E. Nooooo. Printing dimensions for the 42 and 46. It comes to maybe an inch difference in the height. "I'll raise the shelves," I scream! Okay. That gets settled.

    Then it's off to Ikea to buy the stand. That's another story altogether.

    How am I going to put this sucker together? Don't need no stinkin' directions. T&E baby. T&E.

    Right now I am surrounded by cabinet parts all over the salsa colored carpet. I'd take a picture and show you but if you know me, there's plenty of time. It will look the same in a week.

    Update: Sat. Oct. 2: It's hummus, stupid
    I knew something was missing when I tasted the humus. It was an "m". But just eat the stuff, not look at labels.

Post Title

Building a Man Cave: A Tale of a Forty Six Inch Tub of Hummus


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/building-man-cave-tale-of-forty-six.html


Visit kings avenue tattoo for Daily Updated Wedding Dresses Collection

Hedge Fund Pair o Dice - Another Rap Inspired by Real Reformers

    This just came in over the transom. Real Reformers: Get out those capes.
    Inspired by the Real Reformers calling BS on all those slim shadies. As Tom Lehrer used to say, "Every revolution needs a folk song.... Ready, Aim, SING."

    Best,
    Schoolio
     _________

    Hedge Fund Pair o Dice
    -- Schoolio

    As I walk through the city and my mind is bereft,
    I take a look at my grades,
    And mediocrity’s left.
    'Cause I've been tested and messed with so long,
    That even Obama thinks that my mind has gone.
    And his homeboy Arne Duncan said we need a Katrina,

    To overhaul the schools, or he’ll squeeze us like sardines, yo.

    To the suits in the news we need nuthin’ but charters,

    To them an inner city kid’s political barter.

    They act like there ain’t nuthin’ to rampant co-location,

    But damn if you’d see their Muffy in a bowl-shit situation.

    Don’t gimme EIP’s -- how’s an IEP gonna fit, son?

    Fool, I’m the kinda G that little homie’s wanna be like,

    On my knees in the night,

    Prayin’ for a “3” in the street light.



    [Chorus]
    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.


    Proficiency ain’t suffient, see?

    Excellence be gettin’ hell away from me.

    In my situation, a graduation proclamation,

    No regents scholar, diploma and a buck can’t even buy a dollar.

    Remedial classes just to fit in with the masses,

    Credit recovery, where’s the class room that I didn’t see?

    Where’s MY Campaign for Frickin’ Equity?

    My mama brought the suit, and still there’s nothing left for me!

    My passion is my destiny.

    I know the truth, now which of you all fakers got the guts to say I’m free?

    I scored a “2” yo, will I live to see a “4”?
    I need recalibratin’, if I’ma raise my score.



    Tell me why are some still blind to see,

    Their only move -- blame the UFT.
    - Show quoted text -


    [Chorus]
    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.


    Power in the money, money in the power,
    Pay me for my test score! hour after hour.
    Everybody's cramming, but half of them ain't booking.
    It's going on in Tweed,
    Where School Prog Reports are cooking.
    They say I gotta learn,
    Sent an intern here to teach me.
    If they can't understand me, how can they reach me?
    I guess they’re tryin,
    But inside I’m dyin.
    They blame it all on tenure,
    But that’s Bloomberg manure!

    [Chorus]
    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.


    [Refrain – and Retain]
    Tell me why are some still blind to see,

    Their only move -- blame the UFT.

    Tell me why are some still blind to see,

    Their only move -- blame the UFT.


    -- Schoolio

Post Title

Hedge Fund Pair o Dice - Another Rap Inspired by Real Reformers


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/hedge-fund-pair-o-dice-another-rap_30.html


Visit kings avenue tattoo for Daily Updated Wedding Dresses Collection

Hedge Fund Pair o Dice - Another Rap Inspired by Real Reformers

    This just came in over the transom. Real Reformers: Get out those capes.
    Inspired by the Real Reformers calling BS on all those slim shadies. As Tom Lehrer used to say, "Every revolution needs a folk song.... Ready, Aim, SING."

    Best,
    Schoolio
     _________

    Hedge Fund Pair o Dice
    -- Schoolio

    As I walk through the city and my mind is bereft,
    I take a look at my grades,
    And mediocrity’s left.
    'Cause I've been tested and messed with so long,
    That even Obama thinks that my mind has gone.
    And his homeboy Arne Duncan said we need a Katrina,

    To overhaul the schools, or he’ll squeeze us like sardines, yo.

    To the suits in the news we need nuthin’ but charters,

    To them an inner city kid’s political barter.

    They act like there ain’t nuthin’ to rampant co-location,

    But damn if you’d see their Muffy in a bowl-shit situation.

    Don’t gimme EIP’s -- how’s an IEP gonna fit, son?

    Fool, I’m the kinda G that little homie’s wanna be like,

    On my knees in the night,

    Prayin’ for a “3” in the street light.



    [Chorus]
    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.


    Proficiency ain’t suffient, see?

    Excellence be gettin’ hell away from me.

    In my situation, a graduation proclamation,

    No regents scholar, diploma and a buck can’t even buy a dollar.

    Remedial classes just to fit in with the masses,

    Credit recovery, where’s the class room that I didn’t see?

    Where’s MY Campaign for Frickin’ Equity?

    My mama brought the suit, and still there’s nothing left for me!

    My passion is my destiny.

    I know the truth, now which of you all fakers got the guts to say I’m free?

    I scored a “2” yo, will I live to see a “4”?
    I need recalibratin’, if I’ma raise my score.



    Tell me why are some still blind to see,

    Their only move -- blame the UFT.
    - Show quoted text -


    [Chorus]
    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.


    Power in the money, money in the power,
    Pay me for my test score! hour after hour.
    Everybody's cramming, but half of them ain't booking.
    It's going on in Tweed,
    Where School Prog Reports are cooking.
    They say I gotta learn,
    Sent an intern here to teach me.
    If they can't understand me, how can they reach me?
    I guess they’re tryin,
    But inside I’m dyin.
    They blame it all on tenure,
    But that’s Bloomberg manure!

    [Chorus]
    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Playing with a hedge fund pair o dice.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.

    They’re spreading edu-lies,

    Living in a hedge fund paradise.


    [Refrain – and Retain]
    Tell me why are some still blind to see,

    Their only move -- blame the UFT.

    Tell me why are some still blind to see,

    Their only move -- blame the UFT.


    -- Schoolio

Post Title

Hedge Fund Pair o Dice - Another Rap Inspired by Real Reformers


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/hedge-fund-pair-o-dice-another-rap.html


Visit kings avenue tattoo for Daily Updated Wedding Dresses Collection

The Real Reformers Stood Up: Video of the Rap at the Waiting for Superman Gap

    Here is a compilation of the performances Will the Real Reformers Please Stand Up at the Loews Lincoln Square movie theater at the Waiting for Superman premiere on Sept. 24, 2010. It includes a brief section of the Real Reformers running into Michael Moore on the street (It was opening night at the NY Film Festival.) See press release below.





    Press Release                                  
    Date:  Wednesday, September 29, 2010   
    Contact: Norm Scott: 917-992-3734

    Parents and Teachers, the Real Reformers, Organize Response to “Waiting for Superman”

    On Friday, September 24th, parents and teachers participated in a demonstration outside of the premier of “Waiting for Superman”.  The film, which has garnered significant publicity in recent days, has taken the lead in framing the conversation regarding education reform.  A grass roots group, The Real Reformers, reject this framework and offered an alternative voice to the conversation.

    Explaining the impetus for Friday night’s actions and the development of a forthcoming grassroots documentary, Julie Cavanagh, a teacher in Red Hook, Brooklyn said, “We felt compelled to demonstrate a resistance to a film that can be described only as propaganda.  The film continues to propagate myths about the so-called crisis in education and further espouses false claims about supposed reforms and reformers that are garnering much of the media’s attention right now.  It is time for Real Reformers to stand up, and lead the conversation on what works in our public schools, and the policies needed to improve our public schools.  There are no easy answers.  Viewing charter schools as a silver bullet and blaming teachers, the vast majority of whom work tirelessly for students and families every day, is part of a larger movement to privatize public education.  We must be vigilant in protecting, while improving, true public education, the pillar of our democracy.”

    Lisa Donlan, a public school parent and President of Community Education Council One added, “For too long now our children have been the pawns of powerful politicians and their handpicked bureaucrats who paint themselves as reformers while they reinforce the status quo, depriving our neediest children of the quality education that is their birthright. No man, not even Superman can alter the sad reality: the achievement gap persists, our schools and communities are segregated and less money is spent on students despite tripled budgets.  In the words of Frederick Douglass in 1857:  "If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

    Outside of the Loews Lincoln Square movie theater, the Real Reformers stood up and presented their vision for real education reform.  The Grassroots Education Movement provided two pieces of literature including:  “The Inconvenient Truth About Waiting for Superman” which outlined information regarding misleading and factually inaccurate claims in the movie and “The Truth About Charter Schools”, a brochure that outlines “myths” and “truths” about charter schools.  The group also released the trailer for their upcoming documentary, “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman”, which will be shown in New York City neighborhoods, and across the country, this fall.  The trailer for this film is posted at http://www.waitingforsupermantruth.org/.
    Parents and Teachers also engaged in a flash mob performance of “Will the Real Reformers Please Stand Up”.  (The video of this performance and the movie trailer can be found at (see the trailer at:  www.waitingforsupermantruth.org).

    Various groups were represented at Friday night’s event.   Attendees expressed a myriad of objections to the film, while joining in a shared mission to expose the narrow lens with which Guggenheim tells his story. 

    Mona Davids, President of the New York Charter Parents Association commented, “The so-called education reformers consisting of hedge fund millionaires and billionaires do not respect parents and the communities of color they serve.  Charters in NYC have been denying parents their civil rights by vehemently opposing PA/PTA's in charters.  NYCPA in it's one year of existence has brought about charter reform including charters serving special education and English Language Learners; PA/PTA's in every charter in NYC; audits by the state comptroller; public lotteries; monthly board meetings, stronger conflict of interests requirements and the ban of for-profit charter schools, to name a few.  These reforms should have been enacted 10 years ago.  It's hypocritical of the charter lobby and education reformers to say this is the civil rights issue of our time when they are refusing to comply with the revised charter law requiring PA/PTA's in charters and violating the civil rights of charter parents.  Apparently, their children attending private schools can have PA/PTA's but not the children of color attending publicly funded privately run charter schools.  Charter parents don't matter. Just the per pupil funding does!”

    Sam Coleman, a teacher in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and member of Grassroots Education Movement and NYCORE, had another take, “The insinuation that teachers and teacher unions are to blame for what ails public education is insulting to teachers and distracts from the real issues. Talk to students who are getting police records for school hallway scuffles about what is stopping them from graduating and getting a job. Talk to high school students who are also parents and are forced to drop out because there is no childcare in their schools. Talk to immigrant students who cannot go to college because of their immigration status, or to queer youth who are bullied and pushed out of school. Ask any of them; their stories reveal the complexity of what ails our educational system. Let’s stop blaming teachers and teacher unions. Let’s give control of education to communities and educators. Let’s fund communities equitably and let the corporate lawyers hold bake sales to buy their shredders."

    Visit:  www.waitingforsupermantruth.org for more information


    Additional Contacts:
    Lisa Donlan, Parent: 917-848-5873
    Mona Davids, Parent: 917-340-8987
    Sam Coleman, Teacher:  646-354-9362
    Julie Cavanagh, Teacher: 917-836-6465

Post Title

The Real Reformers Stood Up: Video of the Rap at the Waiting for Superman Gap


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/real-reformers-stood-up-video-of-rap-at_29.html


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The Real Reformers Stood Up: Video of the Rap at the Waiting for Superman Gap

    Here is a compilation of the performances Will the Real Reformers Please Stand Up at the Loews Lincoln Square movie theater at the Waiting for Superman premiere on Sept. 24, 2010. It includes a brief section of the Real Reformers running into Michael Moore on the street (It was opening night at the NY Film Festival.) See press release below.





    Press Release                                  
    Date:  Wednesday, September 29, 2010   
    Contact: Norm Scott: 917-992-3734

    Parents and Teachers, the Real Reformers, Organize Response to “Waiting for Superman”

    On Friday, September 24th, parents and teachers participated in a demonstration outside of the premier of “Waiting for Superman”.  The film, which has garnered significant publicity in recent days, has taken the lead in framing the conversation regarding education reform.  A grass roots group, The Real Reformers, reject this framework and offered an alternative voice to the conversation.

    Explaining the impetus for Friday night’s actions and the development of a forthcoming grassroots documentary, Julie Cavanagh, a teacher in Red Hook, Brooklyn said, “We felt compelled to demonstrate a resistance to a film that can be described only as propaganda.  The film continues to propagate myths about the so-called crisis in education and further espouses false claims about supposed reforms and reformers that are garnering much of the media’s attention right now.  It is time for Real Reformers to stand up, and lead the conversation on what works in our public schools, and the policies needed to improve our public schools.  There are no easy answers.  Viewing charter schools as a silver bullet and blaming teachers, the vast majority of whom work tirelessly for students and families every day, is part of a larger movement to privatize public education.  We must be vigilant in protecting, while improving, true public education, the pillar of our democracy.”

    Lisa Donlan, a public school parent and President of Community Education Council One added, “For too long now our children have been the pawns of powerful politicians and their handpicked bureaucrats who paint themselves as reformers while they reinforce the status quo, depriving our neediest children of the quality education that is their birthright. No man, not even Superman can alter the sad reality: the achievement gap persists, our schools and communities are segregated and less money is spent on students despite tripled budgets.  In the words of Frederick Douglass in 1857:  "If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

    Outside of the Loews Lincoln Square movie theater, the Real Reformers stood up and presented their vision for real education reform.  The Grassroots Education Movement provided two pieces of literature including:  “The Inconvenient Truth About Waiting for Superman” which outlined information regarding misleading and factually inaccurate claims in the movie and “The Truth About Charter Schools”, a brochure that outlines “myths” and “truths” about charter schools.  The group also released the trailer for their upcoming documentary, “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman”, which will be shown in New York City neighborhoods, and across the country, this fall.  The trailer for this film is posted at http://www.waitingforsupermantruth.org/.
    Parents and Teachers also engaged in a flash mob performance of “Will the Real Reformers Please Stand Up”.  (The video of this performance and the movie trailer can be found at (see the trailer at:  www.waitingforsupermantruth.org).

    Various groups were represented at Friday night’s event.   Attendees expressed a myriad of objections to the film, while joining in a shared mission to expose the narrow lens with which Guggenheim tells his story. 

    Mona Davids, President of the New York Charter Parents Association commented, “The so-called education reformers consisting of hedge fund millionaires and billionaires do not respect parents and the communities of color they serve.  Charters in NYC have been denying parents their civil rights by vehemently opposing PA/PTA's in charters.  NYCPA in it's one year of existence has brought about charter reform including charters serving special education and English Language Learners; PA/PTA's in every charter in NYC; audits by the state comptroller; public lotteries; monthly board meetings, stronger conflict of interests requirements and the ban of for-profit charter schools, to name a few.  These reforms should have been enacted 10 years ago.  It's hypocritical of the charter lobby and education reformers to say this is the civil rights issue of our time when they are refusing to comply with the revised charter law requiring PA/PTA's in charters and violating the civil rights of charter parents.  Apparently, their children attending private schools can have PA/PTA's but not the children of color attending publicly funded privately run charter schools.  Charter parents don't matter. Just the per pupil funding does!”

    Sam Coleman, a teacher in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and member of Grassroots Education Movement and NYCORE, had another take, “The insinuation that teachers and teacher unions are to blame for what ails public education is insulting to teachers and distracts from the real issues. Talk to students who are getting police records for school hallway scuffles about what is stopping them from graduating and getting a job. Talk to high school students who are also parents and are forced to drop out because there is no childcare in their schools. Talk to immigrant students who cannot go to college because of their immigration status, or to queer youth who are bullied and pushed out of school. Ask any of them; their stories reveal the complexity of what ails our educational system. Let’s stop blaming teachers and teacher unions. Let’s give control of education to communities and educators. Let’s fund communities equitably and let the corporate lawyers hold bake sales to buy their shredders."

    Visit:  www.waitingforsupermantruth.org for more information


    Additional Contacts:
    Lisa Donlan, Parent: 917-848-5873
    Mona Davids, Parent: 917-340-8987
    Sam Coleman, Teacher:  646-354-9362
    Julie Cavanagh, Teacher: 917-836-6465

Post Title

The Real Reformers Stood Up: Video of the Rap at the Waiting for Superman Gap


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/real-reformers-stood-up-video-of-rap-at.html


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Diane Defends Detroit - Advice From Ravitch and Nancy Flanagan: Never Stop

    Nancy Flanagan writes: 
    I asked Ravitch how teachers can organize to preach our own experienced truth, if our unions have been rendered toothless and the media juggernaut has overwhelmed reason and research.

    Oh--never stop, she said. Teachers need to build their own networks of social capital. Form and join groups. Read good books to arm yourself with information. (She recommended Richard Rothstein, Daniel Koretz and Linda Darling-Hammond.) [see http://www.amazon.com/Grading-Education-Getting-Accountability-Right/dp/0807749397/ref=pd_sim_b_2 ] Know that the struggle will last for a long time. Refer to other high-achieving nations as models--countries that have systemically designed their public schools and their teaching profession as long-term investments in civic excellence. It can be done. So don't give up.

     -----
    [Flanagan closes with] In education policy, we are witnessing a power grab of epic proportion; the very folks we hoped would lead us toward equity and opportunity have decided that it's easier to rely on the market. Oh well. Never give up. Never give up.
    So, yes. Follow Diane's and Nancy's advice. Don't give up. Blog. Join groups. We have choices here in NYC. Last night's GEM meeting was packed with a bunch of new teachers, mostly young, who we met through our action at the Superman opening. Will they stay? Let's hope so. Join them. GEM's next meeting is Oct. 26 and will focus on closing schools. 

    And look for our new video of the rally coming out today on ed notes, gem and the inconvenient truth behind... blogs.

    I posted Nancy's full piece at Norms Notes. Here is the original link:

    From Teacher Magazine - Education Week's Blog, Teacher in a Strange Land, Saturday, September 25, 2010. See http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teacher_in_a_strange_land/2010/09/diane_does_detroit.html



Post Title

Diane Defends Detroit - Advice From Ravitch and Nancy Flanagan: Never Stop


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/diane-defends-detroit-advice-from_29.html


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Diane Defends Detroit - Advice From Ravitch and Nancy Flanagan: Never Stop

    Nancy Flanagan writes: 
    I asked Ravitch how teachers can organize to preach our own experienced truth, if our unions have been rendered toothless and the media juggernaut has overwhelmed reason and research.

    Oh--never stop, she said. Teachers need to build their own networks of social capital. Form and join groups. Read good books to arm yourself with information. (She recommended Richard Rothstein, Daniel Koretz and Linda Darling-Hammond.) [see http://www.amazon.com/Grading-Education-Getting-Accountability-Right/dp/0807749397/ref=pd_sim_b_2 ] Know that the struggle will last for a long time. Refer to other high-achieving nations as models--countries that have systemically designed their public schools and their teaching profession as long-term investments in civic excellence. It can be done. So don't give up.

     -----
    [Flanagan closes with] In education policy, we are witnessing a power grab of epic proportion; the very folks we hoped would lead us toward equity and opportunity have decided that it's easier to rely on the market. Oh well. Never give up. Never give up.
    So, yes. Follow Diane's and Nancy's advice. Don't give up. Blog. Join groups. We have choices here in NYC. Last night's GEM meeting was packed with a bunch of new teachers, mostly young, who we met through our action at the Superman opening. Will they stay? Let's hope so. Join them. GEM's next meeting is Oct. 26 and will focus on closing schools. 

    And look for our new video of the rally coming out today on ed notes, gem and the inconvenient truth behind... blogs.

    I posted Nancy's full piece at Norms Notes. Here is the original link:

    From Teacher Magazine - Education Week's Blog, Teacher in a Strange Land, Saturday, September 25, 2010. See http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teacher_in_a_strange_land/2010/09/diane_does_detroit.html



Post Title

Diane Defends Detroit - Advice From Ravitch and Nancy Flanagan: Never Stop


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/diane-defends-detroit-advice-from.html


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Real Reform on Front Page of NY Times - HUH?

    Yes, kiddies, on the very front page of the NY Times we see some example of Real Reformers at work at the giant Brockton HS in Massachusettes. (4,100 Students Prove ‘Small Is Better’ Rule Wrong.)

    It took real teachers without interference from administrators. Union teachers who followed the contract to a tee. And one of these teachers became the principal instead of the 30 day wonders who know nothing about education. And it has taken over a decade.
    What makes Brockton High’s story surprising is that, with 4,100 students, it is an exception to what has become received wisdom in many educational circles — that small is almost always better.
    That is why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade breaking down big schools into small academies (it has since switched strategies, focusing more on instruction).
    The small-is-better orthodoxy remains powerful. A new movie, “Waiting for Superman,” for example, portrays five charter schools in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere — most with only a few hundred students — as the way forward for American schooling.
    Brockton, by contrast, is the largest public school in Massachusetts, and one of the largest in the nation.
    Ooooh! Is that a smash mouth directed at Bill and Melinda?
    At education conferences, Dr. Szachowicz — who became Brockton’s principal in 2004 — still gets approached by small-school advocates who tell her they are skeptical that a 4,100-student school could offer a decent education.
    “I tell them we’re a big school that works,“ said Dr. Szachowicz, whose booming voice makes her seem taller than 5-foot-6 as she walks the hallways, greeting students, walkie-talkie in hand.
    She and other teachers took action in part because academic catastrophe seemed to be looming, Dr. Szachowicz and several of her colleagues said in interviews here. Massachusetts had instituted a new high school exit exam in 1993, and passing it would be required to graduate a decade later. Unless the school’s culture improved, some 750 seniors would be denied a diploma each year, starting in 2003.
     Wow! Teacher driven. And the teacher who led it became the principal.
    Fear held some teachers back — fear of wasting time on what could be just another faddish reform, fear of a heavier workload — and committee members tried to help them surmount it.
    “Let me help you,” was a response committee members said they often offered to reluctant colleagues who argued that some requests were too difficult.
    Brockton never fired large numbers of teachers, in contrast with current federal policy, which encourages failing schools to consider replacing at least half of all teachers to reinvigorate instruction.
    You mean they didn't fire the entire staff? What would Obama/Duncan say?
    Teachers unions have resisted turnaround efforts at many schools. But at Brockton, the union never became a serious adversary, in part because most committee members were unionized teachers, and the committee scrupulously honored the union contract.
    An example: the contract set aside two hours per month for teacher meetings, previously used to discuss mundane school business. The committee began dedicating those to teacher training, and made sure they never lasted a minute beyond the time allotted.
    “Dr. Szachowicz takes the contract seriously, and we’ve worked together within its parameters,” said Tim Sullivan, who was president of the local teachers union through much of the last decade. 
    Union rules strictly followed. My goodness.

    So why not try a radical idea? See what students think:
    ..the school retained all varsity sports, as well as its several bands and choruses, extensive drama program and scores of student clubs.
    Many students consider the school’s size — as big as many small colleges — and its diverse student body (mostly minority), to be points in its favor, rather than problems.
    “You meet a new person every day,” said Johanne Alexandre, a senior whose mother is Haitian. “Somebody with a new story, a new culture. I have Pakistani friends, Brazilians, Haitians, Asians, Cape Verdeans. There are Africans, Guatemalans.
    “There’s a couple of Americans, too!” Tercia Mota, a senior born in Brazil, offered. “But there aren’t cliques. Take a look at the lunch table.”
    “You can’t say, those are the jocks, those are the preppy cheerleaders, those are the geeks,” Ms. Mota said. “Everything is blended, everybody’s friends with everyone.”
     So, let's sum up: unionized teachers, contract followed, experienced teacher in same school becomes school leader, takes a decade, teachers not fired but won over, large school with a full range of activities and services you can't find in small schools. And the kids seem to love it.

    Now, here's my caveat. The article talks only about the narrow judgement through the lens of test scores and data. There's probably more to this story. I do believe it is possible to have an impact even when money remains the same. Due to the unique relationship between the teachers and the admin - one of them ended up leading the school - I believe it is absolutely crucial that teachers have a major role - along with parents - in choosing the school leader. As a matter of fact, though it is ignored in the article, it just may be the missing ingredient.

    So, okay Bill Gates, let's funnel some of that cash for a true reform that would work- teachers and parents elect the principal.

Post Title

Real Reform on Front Page of NY Times - HUH?


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/real-reform-on-front-page-of-ny-times_28.html


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Real Reform on Front Page of NY Times - HUH?

    Yes, kiddies, on the very front page of the NY Times we see some example of Real Reformers at work at the giant Brockton HS in Massachusettes. (4,100 Students Prove ‘Small Is Better’ Rule Wrong.)

    It took real teachers without interference from administrators. Union teachers who followed the contract to a tee. And one of these teachers became the principal instead of the 30 day wonders who know nothing about education. And it has taken over a decade.
    What makes Brockton High’s story surprising is that, with 4,100 students, it is an exception to what has become received wisdom in many educational circles — that small is almost always better.
    That is why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade breaking down big schools into small academies (it has since switched strategies, focusing more on instruction).
    The small-is-better orthodoxy remains powerful. A new movie, “Waiting for Superman,” for example, portrays five charter schools in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere — most with only a few hundred students — as the way forward for American schooling.
    Brockton, by contrast, is the largest public school in Massachusetts, and one of the largest in the nation.
    Ooooh! Is that a smash mouth directed at Bill and Melinda?
    At education conferences, Dr. Szachowicz — who became Brockton’s principal in 2004 — still gets approached by small-school advocates who tell her they are skeptical that a 4,100-student school could offer a decent education.
    “I tell them we’re a big school that works,“ said Dr. Szachowicz, whose booming voice makes her seem taller than 5-foot-6 as she walks the hallways, greeting students, walkie-talkie in hand.
    She and other teachers took action in part because academic catastrophe seemed to be looming, Dr. Szachowicz and several of her colleagues said in interviews here. Massachusetts had instituted a new high school exit exam in 1993, and passing it would be required to graduate a decade later. Unless the school’s culture improved, some 750 seniors would be denied a diploma each year, starting in 2003.
     Wow! Teacher driven. And the teacher who led it became the principal.
    Fear held some teachers back — fear of wasting time on what could be just another faddish reform, fear of a heavier workload — and committee members tried to help them surmount it.
    “Let me help you,” was a response committee members said they often offered to reluctant colleagues who argued that some requests were too difficult.
    Brockton never fired large numbers of teachers, in contrast with current federal policy, which encourages failing schools to consider replacing at least half of all teachers to reinvigorate instruction.
    You mean they didn't fire the entire staff? What would Obama/Duncan say?
    Teachers unions have resisted turnaround efforts at many schools. But at Brockton, the union never became a serious adversary, in part because most committee members were unionized teachers, and the committee scrupulously honored the union contract.
    An example: the contract set aside two hours per month for teacher meetings, previously used to discuss mundane school business. The committee began dedicating those to teacher training, and made sure they never lasted a minute beyond the time allotted.
    “Dr. Szachowicz takes the contract seriously, and we’ve worked together within its parameters,” said Tim Sullivan, who was president of the local teachers union through much of the last decade. 
    Union rules strictly followed. My goodness.

    So why not try a radical idea? See what students think:
    ..the school retained all varsity sports, as well as its several bands and choruses, extensive drama program and scores of student clubs.
    Many students consider the school’s size — as big as many small colleges — and its diverse student body (mostly minority), to be points in its favor, rather than problems.
    “You meet a new person every day,” said Johanne Alexandre, a senior whose mother is Haitian. “Somebody with a new story, a new culture. I have Pakistani friends, Brazilians, Haitians, Asians, Cape Verdeans. There are Africans, Guatemalans.
    “There’s a couple of Americans, too!” Tercia Mota, a senior born in Brazil, offered. “But there aren’t cliques. Take a look at the lunch table.”
    “You can’t say, those are the jocks, those are the preppy cheerleaders, those are the geeks,” Ms. Mota said. “Everything is blended, everybody’s friends with everyone.”
     So, let's sum up: unionized teachers, contract followed, experienced teacher in same school becomes school leader, takes a decade, teachers not fired but won over, large school with a full range of activities and services you can't find in small schools. And the kids seem to love it.

    Now, here's my caveat. The article talks only about the narrow judgement through the lens of test scores and data. There's probably more to this story. I do believe it is possible to have an impact even when money remains the same. Due to the unique relationship between the teachers and the admin - one of them ended up leading the school - I believe it is absolutely crucial that teachers have a major role - along with parents - in choosing the school leader. As a matter of fact, though it is ignored in the article, it just may be the missing ingredient.

    So, okay Bill Gates, let's funnel some of that cash for a true reform that would work- teachers and parents elect the principal.

Post Title

Real Reform on Front Page of NY Times - HUH?


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/real-reform-on-front-page-of-ny-times.html


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Brian Jones Made Sure to Touch on Ruelas Suicide on Education Nation Forum

    Boy I bet they are sorry they allowed the fox into the pen. Standing all alone (don't count Randi on his side), among all the other points, Brian Jones made sure to bring up the suicide of Rigoberto Ruelas toward the end of the forum on MSNBC's ed deform fest.
    People have been asking for links but I can't find any. Since Brian's points dominated the discussion, they probably burned the tapes.

    We will be at Rockefeller Plaza today at 4pm with Leonie Haimson, Mona Davids, Julie Cavanagh and others - Parents Across America, Class size matters - CAPE, GEM and NY Charter Parents Association - to let them know what we think about this sham. map here.
    After Brian brought up the story, LA Teachers Union President AJ Duffy called out from the audience to confirm the story about a well respected teacher being so distraught over the embarrassment of having been publicly identified as a poor teacher. For most people it is hard to imagine but when a teacher goes so far beyond the call like Ruelas seems to have done, the devastation must have been intense. (See Brian's panel here: http://tiny.cc/wf4jh).


    Sunday night I and a whole bunch of bloggers wrote about Rigoberto. You can find links in this post.

    Blood on Their Hands

    This morning GEM received this email from a colleague of Rigoberto:
    Hello Fellow Educators,

    I am a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School located in South Los Angeles. Recently, the elementary public school teachers of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have become the subject of a series of articles published by the LA Times which focus on the creation of a database that publicly ranks our performance as educators using a highly controversial evaluative method known as Value-Added Methodology (VAM). The pressure to increase test score output, along with the humiliation that came from receiving a widely disseminated poor review have seemingly resulted in the loss of one of our most beloved educators, Rigoberto Ruelas. This type of evaluation that is so highly regarded by proponents of "Race to the Top" brand of educational reform has caused irreparable damage and is being used as a weapon to destroy public school education. I ask for your help in spreading the word about what has happened to us and to stand in solidarity with us as we fight on behalf of our dear friend, Rigoberto Ruelas, and all educators and students across the nation who are being damaged by the policies of NCLB and the current administration.

    Here's a link to an article about Mr. Ruelas:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/27/rigoberto-ruelas-lausd-te_n_740544.html

    Peace and Justice,
    Grace Marroquin
    Also read this piece in the LA Times, which is trying to wash the blood off its hands.

Post Title

Brian Jones Made Sure to Touch on Ruelas Suicide on Education Nation Forum


Post URL

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Brian Jones Made Sure to Touch on Ruelas Suicide on Education Nation Forum

    Boy I bet they are sorry they allowed the fox into the pen. Standing all alone (don't count Randi on his side), among all the other points, Brian Jones made sure to bring up the suicide of Rigoberto Ruelas toward the end of the forum on MSNBC's ed deform fest.
    People have been asking for links but I can't find any. Since Brian's points dominated the discussion, they probably burned the tapes.

    We will be at Rockefeller Plaza today at 4pm with Leonie Haimson, Mona Davids, Julie Cavanagh and others - Parents Across America, Class size matters - CAPE, GEM and NY Charter Parents Association - to let them know what we think about this sham. map here.
    After Brian brought up the story, LA Teachers Union President AJ Duffy called out from the audience to confirm the story about a well respected teacher being so distraught over the embarrassment of having been publicly identified as a poor teacher. For most people it is hard to imagine but when a teacher goes so far beyond the call like Ruelas seems to have done, the devastation must have been intense. (See Brian's panel here: http://tiny.cc/wf4jh).


    Sunday night I and a whole bunch of bloggers wrote about Rigoberto. You can find links in this post.

    Blood on Their Hands

    This morning GEM received this email from a colleague of Rigoberto:
    Hello Fellow Educators,

    I am a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School located in South Los Angeles. Recently, the elementary public school teachers of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have become the subject of a series of articles published by the LA Times which focus on the creation of a database that publicly ranks our performance as educators using a highly controversial evaluative method known as Value-Added Methodology (VAM). The pressure to increase test score output, along with the humiliation that came from receiving a widely disseminated poor review have seemingly resulted in the loss of one of our most beloved educators, Rigoberto Ruelas. This type of evaluation that is so highly regarded by proponents of "Race to the Top" brand of educational reform has caused irreparable damage and is being used as a weapon to destroy public school education. I ask for your help in spreading the word about what has happened to us and to stand in solidarity with us as we fight on behalf of our dear friend, Rigoberto Ruelas, and all educators and students across the nation who are being damaged by the policies of NCLB and the current administration.

    Here's a link to an article about Mr. Ruelas:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/27/rigoberto-ruelas-lausd-te_n_740544.html

    Peace and Justice,
    Grace Marroquin
    Also read this piece in the LA Times, which is trying to wash the blood off its hands.

Post Title

Brian Jones Made Sure to Touch on Ruelas Suicide on Education Nation Forum


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/brian-jones-made-sure-to-touch-on.html


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Join us Tuesday, Sept. 28 to protest Education Indoctrination, NBC's non-stop propaganda

    I'm all excited. My co-editor on the new video going up now deals with the GEM/CAPE – Real Reformer rally at the theater showing WFS.

    Lots of discussion of the film today at the NBC sham Education Nation. I neglected the issue until today when I focused on Brian Jones' great work sitting right next to Michelle Rhee and a few feet away from Randi Weingarten, with Steve Brill in between and the head of the Gates Foundation along for the ride. Viewers might have thought Brian and Randi were allies, but of course Brian ran with the opposition to Unity and is with Teachers for a Just Contract. And has been somewhat active in GEM. Brian made a stand on merit pay and Randi waffled. Brian is a Real Reformer (he was at our rally on Friday - see my video interview with him in post below). Randi is not. I view her as a quasi ed deformer who in many ways has more in common with Rhee (who actually taught longer than Randi) than she does with Brian.

    Many bloggers have been out there on this issue - see my blog roll - Failing Schools, Flowers and Sausages, Accountable Talk to name just a few.

    But let's get to Tuesday's events: GEM meeting at CUNY at 4:30
    But before that at 4pm:

    Join Parents Across America, Class Size Matters, GEM, CAPE, and the NY Charter Parents Association at a press conference tomorrow, to protest Education Nation’s total exclusion of NYC parent voices and its unilateral presentation of views, unrivaled in its propagandistic flavor since the days of the Soviet Union.



    Ed Notes will be there to tape it.

    Here is a message from Leonie:


    Since Sunday, NBC and MSNBC have been running a non-stop series of programs called Education Nation, touting the top-down policies of school closings, privatization, charter school expansion, teacher-bashing and high-stakes testing that have failed so miserably here in NYC to improve the quality of our public schools.  (For more on our recent test score debacle, and how NYC has fallen behind other cities since the Bloomberg/Klein policies were put in place, see my testimony today at the City Council hearings.)

    At the very same time as members of the City Council, the Bronx BP Ruben Diaz and the UFT head Mulgrew were lambasting the fraudulent use of data by the DOE and the lack of positive results in terms of student achievement, MSNBC gave Bloomberg 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to read a speech on air, in which he touted the progress of schools under his command, without reporters being allowed to ask a single question.

    They have invited not a single NYC public school parent onto any of their panels, and have excluded prominent critics including Diane Ravitch.   Brian Williams spent two thirds of tonight's nightly news, with rosy segments about charter schools and the movie "Waiting for Superman.”

    The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when MSNBC scheduled a show, originally entitled, “Does Education Need another Katrina?”   (For more on this, as well a critique of "Waiting for Superman," see my Huffington Post column, Education Indoctrination)

    Please join Parents Across America, Class Size Matters, GEM, CAPE, and the NY Charter Parents Association at a press conference tomorrow, to protest Education Nation’s total exclusion of NYC parent voices and its unilateral presentation of views, unrivaled in its propagandistic flavor since the days of the Soviet Union.

    When: Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 4 PM
    Where: 50th and Rockefeller Plaza, in front of the ticket booth for the Observation deck; map here . (subway: take the B, D, F, M to Rockefeller Center.)

    Please join us tomorrow and make your voices heard! 

    And whether you can make it to the press conference, please send a message to  the President of NBC News, by signing the letter from Parents Across America,  here:

    Email me at leonie@att.net if you’re interested in making a statement at the press conference tomorrow, and please forward this message to others who care..

    Thanks,
    Leonie Haimson
    Executive Director
    Class Size Matters
    124 Waverly Pl.
    New York, NY 10011
    212-674-7320
    classsizematters@gmail.com
    www.classsizematters.org

    Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

Post Title

Join us Tuesday, Sept. 28 to protest Education Indoctrination, NBC's non-stop propaganda


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/join-us-tuesday-sept-28-to-protest_27.html


Visit kings avenue tattoo for Daily Updated Wedding Dresses Collection

Join us Tuesday, Sept. 28 to protest Education Indoctrination, NBC's non-stop propaganda

    I'm all excited. My co-editor on the new video going up now deals with the GEM/CAPE – Real Reformer rally at the theater showing WFS.

    Lots of discussion of the film today at the NBC sham Education Nation. I neglected the issue until today when I focused on Brian Jones' great work sitting right next to Michelle Rhee and a few feet away from Randi Weingarten, with Steve Brill in between and the head of the Gates Foundation along for the ride. Viewers might have thought Brian and Randi were allies, but of course Brian ran with the opposition to Unity and is with Teachers for a Just Contract. And has been somewhat active in GEM. Brian made a stand on merit pay and Randi waffled. Brian is a Real Reformer (he was at our rally on Friday - see my video interview with him in post below). Randi is not. I view her as a quasi ed deformer who in many ways has more in common with Rhee (who actually taught longer than Randi) than she does with Brian.

    Many bloggers have been out there on this issue - see my blog roll - Failing Schools, Flowers and Sausages, Accountable Talk to name just a few.

    But let's get to Tuesday's events: GEM meeting at CUNY at 4:30
    But before that at 4pm:

    Join Parents Across America, Class Size Matters, GEM, CAPE, and the NY Charter Parents Association at a press conference tomorrow, to protest Education Nation’s total exclusion of NYC parent voices and its unilateral presentation of views, unrivaled in its propagandistic flavor since the days of the Soviet Union.



    Ed Notes will be there to tape it.

    Here is a message from Leonie:


    Since Sunday, NBC and MSNBC have been running a non-stop series of programs called Education Nation, touting the top-down policies of school closings, privatization, charter school expansion, teacher-bashing and high-stakes testing that have failed so miserably here in NYC to improve the quality of our public schools.  (For more on our recent test score debacle, and how NYC has fallen behind other cities since the Bloomberg/Klein policies were put in place, see my testimony today at the City Council hearings.)

    At the very same time as members of the City Council, the Bronx BP Ruben Diaz and the UFT head Mulgrew were lambasting the fraudulent use of data by the DOE and the lack of positive results in terms of student achievement, MSNBC gave Bloomberg 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to read a speech on air, in which he touted the progress of schools under his command, without reporters being allowed to ask a single question.

    They have invited not a single NYC public school parent onto any of their panels, and have excluded prominent critics including Diane Ravitch.   Brian Williams spent two thirds of tonight's nightly news, with rosy segments about charter schools and the movie "Waiting for Superman.”

    The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when MSNBC scheduled a show, originally entitled, “Does Education Need another Katrina?”   (For more on this, as well a critique of "Waiting for Superman," see my Huffington Post column, Education Indoctrination)

    Please join Parents Across America, Class Size Matters, GEM, CAPE, and the NY Charter Parents Association at a press conference tomorrow, to protest Education Nation’s total exclusion of NYC parent voices and its unilateral presentation of views, unrivaled in its propagandistic flavor since the days of the Soviet Union.

    When: Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 4 PM
    Where: 50th and Rockefeller Plaza, in front of the ticket booth for the Observation deck; map here . (subway: take the B, D, F, M to Rockefeller Center.)

    Please join us tomorrow and make your voices heard! 

    And whether you can make it to the press conference, please send a message to  the President of NBC News, by signing the letter from Parents Across America,  here:

    Email me at leonie@att.net if you’re interested in making a statement at the press conference tomorrow, and please forward this message to others who care..

    Thanks,
    Leonie Haimson
    Executive Director
    Class Size Matters
    124 Waverly Pl.
    New York, NY 10011
    212-674-7320
    classsizematters@gmail.com
    www.classsizematters.org

    Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

Post Title

Join us Tuesday, Sept. 28 to protest Education Indoctrination, NBC's non-stop propaganda


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/join-us-tuesday-sept-28-to-protest.html


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