Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekend reads

Testing in kindergarten?
Instead of digging in sandboxes, today’s kindergartners prepare for a life of multiple-choice boxes by plowing through standardized tests with cuddly names like Dibels (pronounced “dibbles”), a series of early-literacy measures administered to millions of kids; or toiling over reading curricula like Open Court — which features assessments every six weeks. (NYT).
Huberman's "anti-violence" strategy

Former cop, now public schools CEO Ron Huberman, thinks he has a "series of solutions" for violence prevention at Chicago's Sullivan High.
Problem is, they're all about pushing and keeping kids out of school and back on to the streets:
One calls for the school to use multiple exits at dismissal time, which allows students to disperse more quickly. The school has also started requiring suspended students to sign an agreement saying that if they come within 1000 feet of the campus, they can be arrested for trespassing (Chi-Town Daily News).
Charters--Public or Private?
After learning that a majority of its teachers had submitted union cards to the state labor board in April, lawyers for Civitas petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to hear the case instead. They argued that Civitas teachers are technically private employees, working for a nonprofit, and are not subject to the state labor board’s jurisdiction...Teachers at Civitas schools want a recognized voice in school decision making. They say teacher turnover spiked in the wake of increased class loads. (Catalyst)
The latest study on Baltimore charter schools shows that...

it's foolish to talk about charters as if they are all one thing. It also shows that charter schools in Baltimore can't be fairly compared with traditional neighborhood schools. Why not?
The city's charter schools serve fewer special education students, over-age students who have repeated a grade, and students eligible for federally subsidized meals because of family poverty (Baltimore Sun).
A letter to the president of the IEA
Any legislator or union leader who does not stand firm fighting for equality in the way the state funds our schools and on the defense of our teacher pensions should know that our membership will hold them accountable. (Fred Klonsky)


  1. Great article on Baltimore charters. Thanks for posting, Mike.

  2. That's right. Even if a third-grade Chicago Public Schools student gets
    an "A" in every subject from her classroom teacher, she is sent to
    summer school if she scores below the 24th percentile on just one part
    of a state standardized test.

    Chicago Public Schools uses standardized test scores to override all
    other considerations in making student grade promotion decisions.

    Tell Chicago Public Schools to end this policy! Sign the petition here:

    Thank you,

    Wade Tillett


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