Saturday, October 18, 2014

STUDY: Are iPads for the Whole School a Good Idea?

1:1 iPad Four Year Study
Abstract
WAKE FOREST, NC-- The Franklin Academy High School implemented a 1:1 iPad deployment a the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Over the course of the next two school years, the pilot was expanded to include all grades 9-12 in the high school. This deployment has reached 475 high school students and all teaching staff. Our K-8 program deployed iPads across the grade levels in the form of class sets and mobile carts.

This study targeted our 1:1 deployment at the high school to investigate the impact the device has had on teaching and learning. The survey used to gather the student data was administered in April of 2014. Students included in the survey used the device anywhere from 1 to 4 years. The students use the iPad while at school and home.

Results of the survey hope to shed light on the impact the use of the iPad has had on academic gains as well as the development of the most important non-cognitive skills our program is founded upon.

DOWNLOAD HERE: http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/7377599/student-ipad-survey-pdf-2-5-meg?da=y

teachthought.com

Monday, September 29, 2014

Charter School Wars Come to Brooklyn

MORE (Movement of Rank & File Educators) Takes a Stand Against Eva Moskowitz at Hearings - Last Monday and Today in Manhattan

Thanks so much to all of you dear sisters and brothers who organized around getting folks out or going to the charter school hearing on Monday. These pics from DNAinfo are worth a thousand words and clearly show who's active and ready in the fight for Public Ed! So proud to wake up and see this today, so proud to stand in solidarity with all of you! 
A gaggle of 9 MOREistas attended the hearing last

Monday in Brooklyn as Eva intends to invade more gentrified areas in Districts 13, 14, and 15. The CEC presidents of all these districts, joined by District 23, are working together to address the charter problem. Noted Connecticut charter scoundrel Steve Perry, strangely, attended the hearing but left when MORE's Gloria Brandman did her "Eva the witch" impersonation.
MORE's Pat Dobosz with CEC14 Tesa Wilson behind her

Most of us spoke and the community people were very happy we were there to support them. Here's the full video with all of the speeches, followed by the announcement of today's hearing on 7th Ave in Manhattan.

See news story below the video.












 
WHAT CO-LOCATION MEANS:

*Public schools with limited financial support, forced to compete against charter schools with ample funds for the newest resources

*Overcrowding as schools deal with fewer rooms

*Competition between schools for access to the school's libraries, gyms, auditoriums, and cafeterias

*Parents pitted against parents in the same neighborhoods due to inequitable funding between charters and the district public schools.

*Increased importance of high-stakes tests to determine the future of students and teachers

*The excessing of quality teachers into the ATR pool of rotating teachers, as fewer rooms mean fewer classroom teachers

+Separate and unequal Schooling for our students!

-----------------------

Charter Success Hearing Suny Sept 22, 2014 from Grassroots Education Movement on Vimeo.
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Parents Fight New Success Academy Charters in Williamsburg and Park Slope


By Serena Dai September 24, 2014


 Parents and union members came out on Monday night to a public hearing discussing Success Academy's application to open charter schools in three Brooklyn districts.
Parents and Teachers Express Opposition to Success Academy Charter Schools
 
BROOKLYN — Parents and teachers are fighting controversial charter school network Success Academy's application to open schools in Williamsburg, Park Slope and Fort Greene — with dozens filing complaints during the public hearing process this week.

Success Academy has applied to open 14 schools in New York over the next two years, including one each in districts 13, 14 and 15, encompassing parts of Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, Park Slope, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill and Clinton Hill.

The schools would open in August 2016 with kindergarden and first grade classes at locations that have yet to be determined. The schools have said they plan to add one grade level per year.

While the current application only covers up to sixth grade, Success would like schools for all three districts to eventually expand to cover up to 12th grade. Pre-K, middle school and high school grades are subject to further approval.

SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which is tasked with evaluating charter school applications, will be voting on the Success Academy charters on Oct. 8, a spokesman said.

Though less than 20 people attended a Department of Education hearing on Monday inviting public comment about the planned charter, locals had 48 hours after the hearing to submit comments for public record.

So far, more than 100 people — most of them opposed to additional charter expansion — have submitted written comments to the DOE and SUNY through public school democracy parent group NYCPublic, according the group's organizer.

NYCPublic automatically sent the comments to the DOE, press, elected officials and the SUNY Charter Approval Board, they said.

Opponents decried the addition of new Success charter schools, citing problems including their unwillingness to teach students with special needs, including English as Second Language learners or children with behavioral issues.

As a result, public schools near charter schools end up being "dumping grounds" for high-needs students, some critics said.

Some opponents blasted charters for taking up space and resources inside of public school buildings, while others said they liked charters but didn't trust Eva Moskowitz or Success Academy.

"I am disgusted at the State Education leadership for creating this problem instead of solving the issues that affect our schools," one advocate wrote. "We have good elementary schools in District 14, we need support, not co-location!"

Tesa Wilson, president of district 14's community education council, attended Monday's hearing to speak out against additional charter schools in the district.

But the hearings often feel like "smoke and mirrors," with SUNY ultimately approving many charters that locals oppose, she said.

"It gives you a sense that the process is rigged," Wilson said.

SUNY declined to comment.

And while Success Academy sent a representative to the hearing to take notes, it did not give a presentation on the proposed schools or offer to answer questions — a lack of engagement that's become regular at public hearings, Wilson and others said.

Success Academy spokeswoman Ann Powell, who was not present at Monday's meeting, said that the academy has made "extensive outreach efforts," including information sessions, tours and presentations at daycares and pre-schools.

The network subsequently received “substantial” petition signatures supporting the new schools, she said, noting that 4,770 parents in those districts supported a new Success Academy in their area.

Its application includes 1,550 signatures from parents in district 13; 1,600 from parents in district 14 and 1,600 signatures from parents in district 15 in favor of the schools.

"It's important that parents have the opportunity to express their opinions, but the facts don't support the criticisms you cite," she said of the parent concerns expressed at Monday's meeting and in online forums.

A DOE representative at the hearing said the session had been recorded for SUNY and the DOE to review. The Success Academy representative at the hearing said the charter school network would be taking comments into consideration.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Increase Teacher Diversity in New York City!

Demand New York City's Board of MisEducation to Have Black & Latino Educators Be at Parity with its Black & Latino Student Population!
Sign the Petition and Pass It Along

SIGN AT: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/increase-teacher-diversity?source=c.tw&r_by=1921406

Increase Teacher Diversity in New York City!

To be delivered to Carmen Fariña and The New York City Panel for Educational Policy
Since the 2001-2002 academic year, there has been a 57.4% decrease in the number of Black teachers hired by the New York City Department of Education, and a 22.9% increase for white teachers hired during this same period of time.

We ask Chancellor Fariña and the Panel for Education Policy to:

• Make a policy statement that acknowledges the value of teacher diversity and the lack of such diversity in New York City public schools.

• Centrally monitor the racial demographic of hiring and firing in NYC public and charter schools. In public school data reports include the racial profile for the teachers and administrators in each school as is currently done for the students.

• Raise the percentage of Black and Latino teachers hired in the system overall, with a special focus on raising the percentage of male teachers in those groups.

• Raise the percentage of persons of color in the NYC Teaching Fellows program to more closely match the NYC student body demographic. Make public the number and racial demographic of NYC Teaching Fellows hired.

• Settle Gulino vs. Board of Education, in which a recent court ruling found that the NY State LAST certification exam was not validated yet was used in 2002 to dismiss thousands of NYC teachers who were disproportionately Black and Latino.

• Invest in a clear and distinct paraprofessional-to-teacher career path that offers qualified applicants provisional teaching licenses while completing graduate degree requirements and subsidizes both undergraduate and graduate tuition at CUNY and SUNY
There are currently 114 signatures. NEW goal - We need 200 signatures!

Petition Background

In a school system that is 67.5% Black and Latino (as of 2012 - 13), the 34% combined percentage of Black and Latino teachers in the system is disappointing at best.

This lack of diversity reinforces already existing practices of segregation and leaves out diverse cultural perspectives that inform curriculum, pedagogy and practice. It also shortchanges our students by replicating and reinforcing false societal structures that devalue the contribution and perspectives of non-dominant racial and cultural groups.

SIGN AT: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/increase-teacher-diversity?source=c.tw&r_by=1921406

Monday, September 22, 2014

Charter Schools = Apartheid Education + Vanishing Black & Latino Educators

Stop the Expansion of Apartheid Schooling in New York City!

The information below was obtained by the Teachers Diversity Committee (TDC) of NYC from Success Academy charter schools that responded to our request.  The percentage of white teachers at each Success Academy School is listed below for the 2013-2014 school year:

SA Cobble Hill 82%
SA Crown Heights 57%
SA Fort Green 100%
SA Harlem I 73%
SA Harlem II 63%
SA Harlem III 61%
SA Harlem IV 56%
SA Harlem V 76%
SA Hell’s Kitchen 89%
SA Prospect Heights 91%
SA Upper West 82%
SA Williamsburg 71%
SA Bed-Stuy II 80%
SA Bronx I 74%
SA Bronx II 66%


In 2012 58.6% of teachers in the NYC public schools were white.  Out of the 15 Success Academy Charter schools listed above, 13 out of 15 have a higher percentage of white teachers than was the city wide average for public schools in NYC.

According to a study prepared by Gary Orfield and reported on in the NYC Daily News (3/27/14):

“Schools in New York suffer from the worst racial segregation of any U.S. state, and city schools also earn depressingly dismal marks for diversity, a damning report released Wednesday said.  Many black and Hispanic kids in New York attend schools with almost no white classmates, according to the paper from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles.  City charter schools showed even higher segregation rates, with less than 1% white enrollment at 73% of charters. “To create a whole new system that’s even worse than what you’ve got really takes some effort,” said Gary Orfield, an author of the report.” 

(http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/new-york-city-schools-f-racial-segregation-diversrity-report-article-1.1736279)

The mandate to expand charters is increasing racial segregation of students and decreasing teacher diversity in NYC schools overall.


We call on The New York State Charter School Institute to:

1) Implement a moratorium on all further charter school approvals
2) Stop the expansion of apartheid schooling in NYC and...
3) Take affirmative steps to increase teacher diversity in all NYC charter schools.

Note:  The NYC DOE informed us that they do not collect teacher diversity data from Charter Schools and we were told to direct our requests to the Charter organizations.  Success Academy required us to ask each individual school in their network to provide the information.  Teachers Diversity Committee of NYC obtained the data above only after separate requests were made to each Success Academy school.  The request was for all years but only 2013-14 was provided.  A number of Success Academy Charter schools declined to respond to our requests. 

To support Teacher Diversity in NYC public and charter schools contact:  teacherdiversity@gmail.com. 
9/22/14

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


America’s Unspoken Education Issue: Black Kids Need Black Teachers

A new historical account is just the latest reminder that relying on white teachers to save black students has never been enough.

Posted:
 
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“Hiring more white teachers is not the best way to improve education for students, particularly students of color.” This recent commentary by a black student from New Orleans in the Washington Post predictably aroused the ire of readers who accused the young man of reverse racism, playing the race card and divisiveness.

That’s no surprise. Race is the third rail of education. Touch it and get scorched. But when it comes to the need for more teachers of color—and, conversely, the idea that placing black students with white teachers isn’t a fix-all—overwhelming research and historical evidence say that this is where our attention needs to be.

The idea that racial diversity in classrooms has automatic benefits is a proven myth when it comes to black educational achievement. Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, wide disparities exist between students of color and white students across all aspects of public education. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, black students trail white classmates on every academic criterion and marker of school quality, while black youths far exceed white classmates in suspensions, expulsions and arrests.

The numbers are stark and straightforward: Educational attainment is greatly influenced by race. But these bleak statistics don’t tell the full story of the impact of race on educational outcomes.

In all the discussion of resources, testing and parental involvement, what we don’t hear enough about is this: Students of color perform better with teachers of color (pdf)—academically, socially and emotionally. According to a Center for American Progress report on retaining teachers of color in public schools, “Teachers of color are more likely to work and remain in high-poverty, hard-to-staff urban schools and districts than their white counterparts. ... What’s more, teachers of color are known to be personally committed to the success of children of color ... ” Yet as our student population grows more diverse, the people standing in front of classrooms remain predominantly white.

For the first time, black children and other students of color are now the majority in public schools, and what was a racial and ethnic gap between students and teachers is becoming a chasm. But a new historical portrait of the teaching profession reveals that the racial composition of the teachers who instruct black children has been a perennial issue since the 19th century, full of highs and lows and fraught with resistance and setbacks.

Dana Goldstein’s recently released The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession tracks the journey of black students from Reconstruction, and black teachers inspired to “supplant memories of slavery with those of racial pride,” to today’s highly charged debate on teacher tenure, marketed to black and Latino parents as a cure-all for what ails their children’s education. Goldstein’s thorough historical treatment supports the principle that teachers of color matter. This isn’t a hunch—it’s a fact based on solid, extensive evidence.

The abolition of slavery and the subsequent Reconstruction in the South spawned the nation’s first historically black colleges, established to train black teachers to uplift the race. Black teachers taught formerly enslaved people to read and write, and the literacy rate increased dramatically. The outgrowth of this era produced the all-black M Street High School in Washington, D.C., whose faculty was better-educated and credentialed than white counterparts in the District’s public schools. Anna Julia Cooper, the principal of M Street and a leading black scholar of her day, steered black students into the nation’s top colleges and universities. Underscoring Cooper’s educational success with black youths at the turn of the century was a steadfast commitment to “black schools led by black educators.”
Fast-forward five decades, and Cooper’s dream was decimated. In the 11 years following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the ranks of black teachers plummeted, along with the great hope that the Brown decision would solve racial inequalities in education. In Northern cities, de facto segregation continued unabated. In the South, desegregation was slow and deeply resisted. As the displacement of black educators became the norm, and the “broken promises” of integration became more apparent, the resentment of black and Latino parents smoldered.

The drastic loss of nonwhite teachers for students of color is the thread that links the past to the present. In 1968 New York City weathered the Ocean Hill-Brownsville crisis, a manifestation of “long-standing evidence ... that suggested that white teachers often did have low expectations for their nonwhite students, and that those views negatively impacted academic achievement,” writes Goldstein. In 1970 community activists in Newark, N.J., clashed with unionized teachers over “their self-interest and disrespect for poor black children.”

Today the disconnect between white teachers and the communities of color they serve continues. Even as the increasing segregation of schools grabs headlines, one aspect remains underreported: how well black students actually fare in integrated schools. The New Republic found not so well: “Today, even in schools that have achieved some level of diversity, there’s evidence that students of different races are still being treated differently. Substantial scholarly evidence indicates that teachers—especially white teachers—evaluate black students’ behavior and academic potential more negatively than those of white students.”

The question is no longer whether black children and other children of color need high-quality teachers that share their cultural backgrounds but, rather, why boosting teacher diversity isn’t the top national education priority.

First lady Michelle Obama recounts her mother “holding [teachers’] feet to the fire if she thought they were falling short” and “looking over those teachers’ shoulders.” When parents of color have to become squatters in public school classrooms, the status quo is broken, and reforming it will require really uncomfortable conversations about race—the kinds of conversations that a New Orleans public school student started.
Melinda D. Anderson is a Washington, D.C.–based education writer and parent activist with a special interest in race, class, educational equity and educational justice. She is a founding member of EduColor, a collective that cultivates and promotes diverse voices in the public education conversation and policymaking process. Follow her on Twitter.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Newark Parents Boycott School For POWER To Control Their Neighborhood Schools

Newark Parents Want Local Control of Their Schools- Not Racist Corporate Takeover! 
Start a Boycott on Day One


A group of parents and students in Newark, New Jersey, boycotted the first day of school on Thursday to protest a new system that reorganized the state-run district this year.

One Newark, unveiled last December, gives students the option of attending a school besides the one in their local neighborhood. It has also expanded charter schools in the district, while consolidating or repurposing other schools. The plan is currently being investigated the U.S. Department of Education over claims that it has a disproportionally negative impact on minority students.

Some parents also think that state-appointed District Superintendent Cami Anderson did not solicit enough input from community members in making the plan, and others have claimed that the new transportation system created by the plan is disorganized and unsafe. Anderson as repeatedly disputed the charge that community stakeholders were not involved in the development of One Newark.

Tuesday's action was part of a series of protests and petitions that have been ongoing since reorganization was announced. Newark has 40,000 students, and is one of the state’s lowest performing districts. In 2013, for example, Newark had a 68 percent graduation rate, compared to 88 percent in the state.

Neither activists nor school officials had hard numbers Thursday on exactly how many children stayed home, though Anderson said she did not see high rates of absenteeism and thought the school day went smoothly. Prior to the boycott, hundreds of families committed to participating in the protest, according to press releases from the organizers, Parents Unified for Local School Education (PULSE).

Students participating in the boycott could attend one of three "Freedom Schools," where volunteers gave children instruction, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported.

In a press release for the boycott, Johnnie Lattner, a co-founder of PULSE, said that activists are boycotting schools because “we have used every organizing tool available to us.”

“Today we make a stand against Cami Anderson dividing, destroying, dismissing, dismantling, and disrespecting parents, students, teachers, and community. We say no to the One Newark Plan,” said Lattner.

Yvonne Malone, who pulled her 12-year-old son out of school on Thursday, told HuffPost that she participated in the boycott because she takes issue with the fact that One Newark expands charter schools in the district. Malone's son attends a charter school, but she said she wishes he didn't.

“Because of lack of resources, lack of protection for these children, I was forced to pull him out [of traditional public school],” Malone said. “Pull him out of a school that should be right for him, should be made equal for him.”

Malone also said she thinks the district should return to local control. Newark schools have been under state control since 1995.

“We have to boycott to say that we want local control, we want communication and we want to halt One Newark,” said Malone. “The district is failing and the schools are failing.”
However, Anderson said she hopes that One Newark will directly combat chronic failure in the district.

“I really hope we get to a place where we are looking to find solutions as opposed to exacerbating challenges. I am disappointed in the amount of misinformation being actively spread,” Anderson told HuffPost. “I don’t think preserving the past is an acceptable stance. I think we have to act boldly.”

Next Thursday and Friday, the student activist group Newark Students Union, which has repeatedly protested One Newark and Cami Anderson, plans to take further action against the reorganization with a school "shut down." On Thursday, members of the group plan to rally students to go to a park. 

There, they will provide classes about student rights and the history of the student movement, said Roberto Cabanas, a lead organizer with New Jersey Communities United, a grassroots community organization that provides funding and organizing space for the student group. Then on Friday, the activists plan to bring protesters directly to district headquarters, where they will demand Anderson’s resignation and a return to local control of the district.

In response, Anderson emphasized that she does not think students should be spending more time away from the classroom.

“Time in class is critical. Our kids are critically off track,” she said.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Charter Schools: The Real Deal Video

 
Education Activist, Fordham University Professor Mark Naison debunks Charter School mythology in this episode of Education News. Comparing the Charter School explosion to the subprime mortgage collapse, Naison reveals the startling failures and false promises of the Charter mystique.