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Presuming Incompetence: Decolonizing Epistemologies of Deficit Thinking by Rebeca Burciaga

Presuming Incompetence: Decolonizing Epistemologies of Deficit Thinking by Rebeca Burciaga Email Message from local administrator: “Hi Rebeca, […] Do you know of anyone at SJSU who is an expert on Latino issues in education maybe in the area of decolonizing epistemology?” My thoughts as I read the email: I have known this school administrator for five years and I’ve discussed my work with her on this very topic, so why was she looking for someone else? Perhaps I need to be more clear. I have “this nagging preoccupation of not being good enough.” I decided not to respond to her email immediately because I was not sure if she did not remember our conversation, or because she presumed me incompetent and wanted to speak with someone else. I am becoming more accustomed to seeing surprise when I tell people I am a faculty member – their faces convey a clear message that I am not the one they are expecting. There are assumptions people make about what professors look like – I am not a White male. A must read. Here’s a condensed bio of Dr. Burciaga: Rebeca Burciaga is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and a member of the Core Faculty for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in the Connie L. Lurie College of Education at San José State University. Dr. Burciaga’s research centers on understanding and challenging educational practices and structures that (re)produce social inequalities for historically marginalized communities, including/specifically Latino students.  Her research in schools and communities spans over 20 years and includes mixed-methods research on pathways from preschool to the professoriate, the experiences of students who leave high school before graduation, and the ways in which geographic regions structure inequalities. She specializes the study of qualitative research methodologies including testimonio and ethnography. Her current research and teaching is focused on cultivating asset-based mindsets in teachers and administrators that work with youth of color.  Dr. Burciaga is a co-founder and co-coordinator of the Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California at Los Angeles.  Her research has been supported and recognized by the Spencer Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Institute of Health, and the American Association of University Women. Her most recent scholarship can be found in Equity & Excellence in Education, the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, and the Educational Administration Quarterly.

K12NN Site Admin November 30, 2014 November 30, 2014 deficit thinking, implicit bias
Impact of Governor Walker’s Budget Cuts on Wisconsin Public Schools (11/11/2011)

Via the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s YouTube channel. Please see the rest of the important information on budget cuts and the harm they inflict on public schools at the link. Only a partial summary of the resources are listed here. This press conference was held November 10, 2011, at Monona Grove High School to address the issue. Speakers include: – State Superintendent Tony Evers – Superintendent Craig Gerlach, Monona Grove School District – School Board President Susan Fox, Monona Grove School District – Superintendent Jamie Benson, River Valley School District – Sue Howe, family and consumer education teacher, Monona Grove School District – Dana Kingsley, parent, Wisconsin Dells – Kemal Kirchmeier, student, Pardeeville High School Map showing loss of teacher jobs in Wisconsin: http://dpi.wi.gov/eis/pdf/wasdasurveyresults.pdf#page=5 News release: http://dpi.wi.gov/eis/pdf/dpinr2011_127.pdf WASDA Survey: http://dpi.wi.gov/eis/pdf/wasdasurvey.pdf WASDA Survey Results: http://dpi.wi.gov/eis/pdf/wasdasurveyresults.pdf Video produced by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

K12NN Site Admin June 4, 2012 June 4, 2012 cuts to higher ed, cuts to K-12, school funding, WI budget cuts, WI Department of Public Instruction
Model School Board Resolutions: Jefferson County Public Schools District

See the clarification of what principals must do if approached by ICE and how any approach must go through the Superintendent: No Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers or other immigration law enforcement personnel shall be granted access to JCPS schools or facilities for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws unless: The Superintendent is notified of the intention to enter, with adequate notice so that the Superintendent can take steps to provide for the emotional and physical safety of students and staff; Those requesting to enter provide the Superintendent with credentials, the reasons for the requested entry, and written authorization, provided by law, for such entry; and The Superintendent determines, upon consultation, as appropriate, with District legal counsel, that the requested access should be granted. See also the inclusion of employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives who are not allowed to inquire or report information about a student or his/her family’s immigration status. JCPS employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives shall refrain from inquiring about a student’s, parent’s, or guardian’s immigration status. JCPS employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives shall refrain from requiring any student, parent, or guardian to produce documentation regarding immigration status.

K12NN Site Admin February 10, 2017 February 10, 2017 Kentucky, Safe Haven, school boards
Tennessee’s 2014 Community Schools Law

In 2014, State Representative Gloria Johnson passed a law to facilitate the creation of Community Schools in Tennessee. These schools are described in the law, Section 3.8: (8) A community school is a traditional school that actively partners with its community to leverage existing resources and identify new resources to support the transformation of the school to provide enrichment and additional life skill opportunities for students, parents, and community members at large. Each community school is unique because its programming is designed by and for the school staff, in partnership with parents, community stakeholders, and students; Social services, adult ed, health clinics, and other resources for the entire family are offered at Community Schools. See our brief description of what a Community School is in the FAQ here. Check out the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships on Community-Student Partnerships and also from UPenn, their examples of Community-Assisted Schools.   Here’s what the law’s text says: Tennessee Community Schools Law, 2014

K12NN Site Admin January 10, 2015 January 10, 2015 Best Practices, community schools, Tennessee
UC Davis’ Report on the State of the State of California’s After School Programs, May 2012

State and federal funding supports after school programs for children K-12. Some 450,000 children were able to attend safe, supervised, productive after school programs in 2011-2012, but over 2,600 schools were left out in the cold with no community partnerships or state/local funding to support these programs. Were you affected? What are you doing for your child’s summer and the after school hours if in summer school? What’s the picture for the year ahead? State of the State of California After School Programs, May 2012

K12NN Site Admin June 12, 2012 June 12, 2012 after school programs, K-12 after school, school aftercare, state/federal funding
Model School Board Resolutions: Pasadena Unified School District

Note the court case that establishes precedent of public education provided to children regardless of immigration/citizenship status, Plyler v. Doe (1982). Note also the key “whereas” statements here regarding restrictions on ICE raids made in sensitive spaces: WHEREAS, ICE’s 2011 policy states that it will not conduct immigration enforcement activity at any sensitive location, which includes schools, without special permission by specific federal law enforcement officials unless exigent circumstances exist; and WHEREAS, there is no written state or federal law that mandates that local districts assist ICE in the enforcement of immigration laws; The 2011 ICE document referred to above is also attached to this wiki entry as is the PUSD “safe haven” resolution.

K12NN Site Admin February 10, 2017 February 10, 2017
Basic Ed Tech Infrastructure Needs and Competency, Federal Department of Education, LAUSD Report, January 2015

Director of the Office of Education Technology Michael Culatta’s letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District serves as a basic guide to implementing teaching that uses computers to benefit a wide range of students.

K12NN Site Admin January 21, 2015 January 21, 2015 ed tech, education technology, ipads, ipads for schools, K-12, K-12 computers, LAUSD ipads, school district IT
North Carolina FAQ

North Carolina has been the site of attempts by the billioniare oil barons, the Koch brothers, to end public education as we know it, and re-introduce segregation. Here’s what happened in Wake County, NC, in 2009: This Mother Jones article documents how conservative, right-wing forces like the Koch brothers’ Americans For Prosperity warped local school board races and distorted the outcomes by flooding them with money.

K12NN Site Admin June 13, 2012 June 13, 2012
California: Strongest Student Privacy Bills to Become Law? (2014)

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that SB 1177, if signed into law, could become the nation’s most stringent student privacy law. It regulates “operators” (vendors) and what they may do with regard to student data. It says that any student data generated belongs to the district. Does it define testing companies as “operators”? Remains to be seen. Does it enable high-stakes testing? Perhaps. It may need revisiting to actually build in provisions to slow or halt HST. It’s a good start, at least. This piece from TechWire is an excellent overview of both SB1177 and AB1584. AB1584 spells out what the responsibilities are of local education agencies (LEAs) are to families and students regarding student privacy. For example, AB1584 requires that LEAs: Do establish that the local educational agency owns and controls student records. Do describe how students can keep control of their projects and other content created for school, along with a way to transfer their content to a personal account later. Do prohibit third parties from using student information for purposes outside of those named in the contract. Do describe how parents, legal guardians or students can review and correct personally identifiable information contained in their records. Do outline actions that third parties will take to make sure that student data is secure and confidential. Do describe procedures for notifying affected parents, legal guardians or eligible students when there is an unauthorized disclosure of student records. Do certify that student records will not be retained or available to the third party once the contract is over and lay out how that will be enforced. Do describe how local educational agencies and third parties will comply with the federal FERPA legislation. Do prohibit third parties from using personally identifiable information from student records to target advertising to students. Clearly our federal hole-riddled FERPA law needs updating. Anyway, here’s a link to actual bill text for both SB1177 and AB1584: SB1177 AB1584

K12NN Site Admin September 18, 2014 September 18, 2014
Washington State’s Democratic Party Opposes Common Core: How-To

Washington state’s Democratic Party passed a resolution opposing Common Core State Standards on Saturday, January 24, 2015. Here’s the text of the resolution, as well as a description of the dozen or so steps various Washington state Democratic Party insiders and affiliated people took in order to pass the resolution: Resolution Opposing Common Core State Standards WHEREAS the copyrighted (and therefore unchangeable) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of controversial top-down K-12 academic standards that were promulgated by wealthy private interests without research-based evidence of validity and are developmentally inappropriate in the lowest grades; and WHEREAS, as a means of avoiding the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment prohibition against federal meddling in state education policy, two unaccountable private trade associations–the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)–have received millions of dollars in funding from the Gates Foundation and others to create the CCSS; and WHEREAS the U.S. Department of Education improperly pressured state legislatures into adopting the Common Core State Standards and high-stakes standardized testing based on them as a condition of competing for federal Race to the Top (RTTT) stimulus funds that should have been based on need; and WHEREAS as a result of Washington State Senate Bill 6669, which passed the State legislature on March 11, 2010, the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction (OSPI) adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) on July 20, 2011; and WHEREAS this adoption effectively transfers control over public school standardized testing from locally elected school boards to the unaccountable corporate interests that control the CCSS and who stand to profit substantially; and WHEREAS the Washington State Constitution also calls for public education to be controlled by the State of Washington through our elected State legislature, our elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction and our elected local school boards; and WHEREAS implementation of CCSS will cost local school districts hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for standardized computer-based tests, new technology, new curricula and teacher training at a time when Washington is already insufficiently funding K-12 Basic Education without proven benefit to students; and WHEREAS some states have already withdrawn from CCSS; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we call upon the Washington State legislature and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to withdraw from the CCSS and keep K-12 education student-centered and accountable to the people of Washington State.

K12NN Site Admin January 26, 2015 January 26, 2015 Oppose Common Core, Resolution, Washington state

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