K12NN Site Admin

K12NN Site Admin’s Docs Started By Me

You are viewing all docs.

Filter by: AttachmentsSearchTag

 Has attachment Title Created Last Edited Tags
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

January 10, 2015 January 10, 2015 Best Practices, community schools, Tennessee
Types of Public Schools: Overview

Alternative: publicly-funded schools where children (“discouraged learners”) who have behavorial, disciplinary, addiction, pregnancy, or other at-risk issues that make it difficult for them to succeed at everyday neighborhood public schools can be educated with the guidance of specially-trained teachers and staff. Here is research surveying the landscape of alternative schools by Gay G. Gnutson, Phd, Professor Emeritus of Education, Carroll College: “Alternative Schools, Models for the Future?” Examples of public alternative schools: Al Kennedy Alternative High School, Cottage Grove, OR News articles:  “Oregon’s Al Kennedy Alternative High School in Cottage Grove devotes its curriculum to sustainability,” OregonLive “RETHINKING EDUCATION: Al Kennedy High School Tries a New Approach,” University of Oregon Broadway Alternative Learning Center at Longfellow (for pregnant and parenting mothers), Minneapolis, MN News articles: “Unique school educates two generations,” Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder “Redefined high school for pregnant and parenting mothers,” Insight News Harvey Milk High School, NYC “The Controversy Over the Harvey Milk School,” NY Magazine Community: publicly-funded schools that tie together social service agencies, community groups, local businesses, and health and adult learning resources, usually in low-income or distressed neighborhoods, to ensure that children and families have the support they need to succeed. The school may offer longer hours, such as in the evening or on weekends, to ensure that families can truly utilize the school as a resource. Read the FAQ by the Institute for Educational Learning’s Coalition for Community Schools. (above) This is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discussing community schools and how they might function as 24-7 resources to the neighborhood. Aquila Elementary School, St. Louis Park, MN (from the website): ACT Program The ACT is a comprehensive package of school-based services at Aquila and Peter Hobart Elementary Schools and in St. Louis Park that includes case management for at risk families, teacher consultation, counseling intervention, and a school wide prevention program.  It is a joint effort of the schools and Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Minneapolis (JFCS). The objectives are to improve a child’s self-esteem and ability to succeed in school, improve family functioning, and assist teachers with student social or behavioral concerns. ACT offers four services: Case management for families that need resources for housing or transportation, or support for any problem that might inhibit a child in growing and developing within the school. A social skills curriculum taught weekly in most classrooms to help children boost self-confidence and effective peer interaction. Individual and group counseling for children at school. Volunteer tutors or ‘lunch buddies’ for children who could benefit from the guidance and support of an adult role model. Students often bring their family life and any problems they have to school.  The key to ACT is to improve the connection between home and school to meet students’ needs.   Neighborhood: publicly-funded local schools in residential areas, often within walking/bicycling distance or an easy car drive, that serve all students within a geographically designated boundary. Generally students living outside the boundary must apply for a permit to attend the school if there are any open spaces after students living within the boundary are served. All children’s needs are met, whether they come with special needs due to learning/physical/cognitive disability, or if their first language is other than English. Magnet: publicly-funded schools that can be either a “school within a school” or an entire school given over to a theme, specialized approach, or pre-professional emphasis. Entry can be universal by geographic boundary, by application (test score, portfolios of student work, perofrmances showing student ability), or a mixture of geographic boundary and application for entry. Criteria for entry must be transparent and well-publicized. Magnet Schools of America is an association of public magnets that helps disseminate information about this type of school. Read its mission here. Examples of magnet schools: The “Fame” High School, Fiorella La Guardia School of Music, & Art and Performing Arts The second-largest city public school district in the nation, Los Angeles Unified’s portal for magnet school information and applications A magnet for gifted students in a school in a low-income Charlotte, NC neighborhood, where devoted middle class parents shower the school with attention and have helped turn it around. And this brings us to — Charter Schools: Are they public? No less an authority on public school education than Professor Diane Ravitch asks this question. Take a look at the part of the FAQ devoted to charter schools to see the discussion there.

May 26, 2012 May 26, 2012 alternative schools, community schools, local neighborhood schools, magnet schools, public school main characteristics, taxpayer-funded schools, types of public schools
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

June 12, 2012 June 12, 2012 after school programs, K-12 after school, school aftercare, state/federal funding
Vermont Resolution Against High Stakes Testing

Vermont was known for administering its state standardized test in October, which I thought was brilliant. It truly made the test diagnostic, because teachers and parents had the information from tests to work on all year long. Now Vermont has taken another bold step: in late July, 2014, it announced the State Board of Education had approved a resolution that rejects high-stakes testing under NCLB and instead urges that “multiple and qualitative assessments” be used to evaluate student work. So why don’t more states adopt this resolution? I’ve attached below and linked to the pdf of the resolution.

September 18, 2014 September 18, 2014 State Board of Education resolutions, Vermont
WA State’s I-1351: Successful K-12 Class Size Reduction

Great news for WA state coming out of the 2014 elections! Voters there passed a class size reduction ballot initiative. Provisions include: Initiative 1351 would lower class sizes for kindergarten through 12th grade and create 25,000 more jobs, including about 7,400 for teachers. The state Office of Financial Management estimates the measure would cost $4.7 billion through 2019. Mostly supported by teachers’ unions, the measure would establish limits for class sizes – 17 students for kindergarten through 3rd grade and 25 students for grades 4 through 12. Low-income schools would have smaller classes. Read about the margin of voter approval and other details having to do with the funding requirements to support this new policy change here. Bill text from the state of Washington is attached as a pdf.

November 13, 2014 November 13, 2014 class size reduction, laws (passed)
Wall Street Connections to Charter Lobbyists

Those wonderful folks at Muckety created a map that shows Wall Street 1%ers funding charter school chains in NY state and elsewhere. What’s interesting to note is that you’ll see lots of banks and “charitable foundations.” It’ll take another Muckety map to tease out the relationships between bank executives and boards of philanthropic foundations. In order to understand why charter schools are so appealing to the 1%, you’ll also want to see the New Markets Tax Credits map and how this “community development” incentive has been the accelerant fueling bank and hedge fund interest in creating more charter schools. See below.

May 10, 2013 July 9, 2014 charter lobbyists, charters and foundations, New Markets Tax Credit, Wall Street and charter lobbyists
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.

January 26, 2015 January 26, 2015 Oppose Common Core, Resolution, Washington state
What Progressives Can Do to Stop the War on Public Education

Complete video of the session plus Q&A, and bios of the panelists. Watch live streaming video from fstvnewswire at livestream.com

June 15, 2012 June 15, 2012 Diane Ravitch, John Jackson, Kenneth Bernstein, Netroots Nation 2012, NN12, Public Education
Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC’s Influence on State Legislatures and What We Can Do About It

Complete Storify notes and video of the panel, Q&A, and discussion of ALEC. Not solely about education, but very much relevant as ALEC-pushed bills are the template for corporate takeover of public education in state legislatures.

June 15, 2012 June 15, 2012 ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate-backed laws, right-wing legislative clearinghouse
Why Are State Budget Cuts to Education the “New Normal”?

When the housing bubble ginned up by Wall Street went into freefall some time around 2007-2008, housing values plummeted and with them evaporated crucial state funding for K-12 schools based on residential real estate valuation. The Center for Budget Policy and Priorities has said that for 2012-2013, the budgets of thirty states will continue to reflect shortfalls in funding and that this graph shows how losses might not be made up until 2019 at the earliest: Consider that in 2010, a number of corporate reformers plotted a hostile takeover of public education and assessed their efforts so far. In 2010, billionaire donors like the Waltons, DeVos and Gates families gathered in Houston, Texas at a Philanthropy Roundtable meeting to discuss ways to create “breakthroughs” in public education. After patting themselves on the back for promoting organizations like Teach for America and KIPP, as well as recognizing Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee, they looked to the future. As they were brainstorming things to note in the current landscape, AEI’s Rick Hess suggested that unions could be co-opted by being encouraged to move from an industrial model to a “professional model”, and then offered this: The fiscal condition of states and towns will open up opportunities, too. “There’s going to be a sustained window of four to five years or longer where you’re going to find local districts with very tight budgets,” Hess said. “This is a huge moment of opportunity for funders to step up to the plate and say, ‘We’re going to help you out—but there’s a quid pro quo.’”[emphasis in the citation] That would be a textbook example of Shock Doctrine education reform right there, funded by the same billionaires who created and continue to maintain the fiscal condition of states and towns. Those same billionaires are now spending hundreds of millions of dollars to keep that window forced open while they work to shift public opinion away from traditional K-12 education into for-profit models that will present “opportunities” for a quid-pro-quo deal. Consider it a multi-pronged approach. Drive a stake into the heart of teachers unions and put proposals in front of them that will need to be “jammed down their throats”, demonize those same teachers in order to manufacture a “crisis” based primarily on flawed testing and unproven evaluation metrics. Add the online education movement amplified via ALEC and state legislatures, where online education isn’t simply an option, but is required in several states. Mix it up with a pinch of teacher humiliation, and the odor of “education deform” begins to permeate and bubble in every community. The tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina for the city of New Orleans was so textbook a case of Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein spent  a lengthy chapter detailing how the public school system was immediately replaced by for-profit charter schools. In the excerpted introduction to her book of the same name, Klein describes a conversation she had with some New Orleans residents who were at a temporary shelter: The news racing around the shelter that day was that the Republican Congressman Richard Baker had told a group of lobbyists, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.” Joseph Canizaro, one of New Orleans’ wealthiest developers, had just expressed a similar sentiment: “I think we have a clean sheet to start again. And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities.” All that week Baton Rouge had been crawling with corporate lobbyists helping to lock in those big opportunities: lower taxes, fewer regulations, cheaper workers and a “smaller, safer city” – which in practice meant plans to level the public housing projects. Hearing all the talk of “fresh starts” and “clean sheets”, you could almost forget the toxic stew of rubble, chemical outflows and human remains just a few miles down the highway. Over at the shelter, Jamar could think of nothing else. “I really don’t see it as cleaning up the city. What I see is that a lot of people got killed uptown. People who shouldn’t have died.” He was speaking quietly, but an older man in line in front of us overheard and whipped around. “What is wrong with these people in Baton Rouge? This isn’t an opportunity. It’s a goddamned tragedy. Are they blind?” A mother with two kids chimed in. “No, they’re not blind, they’re evil. They see just fine.” One of those who saw opportunity in the floodwaters of New Orleans was the late Milton Friedman, grand guru of unfettered capitalism and credited with writing the rulebook for the contemporary, hyper-mobile global economy. Ninety-three years old and in failing health, “Uncle Miltie”, as he was known to his followers, found the strength to write an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal three months after the levees broke. “Most New Orleans schools are in ruins,” Friedman observed, “as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity.” There, in essence, is the Shock Doctrine: your tragedy is my opportunity. Please do read the supplemental materials Klein provides, including the Milton Friedman newspaper editorial that proposes “vulture capitalism” as the way to rebuild New Orleans schools. This is why K12NN’s number one priority, and the priority of anyone who genuinely cares about strengthening public schools, is to fully fund existing public schools. We must repel the carrion-feeders who capitalize from misfortune, and if no natural disaster strikes, they ensure that man-made ones enacted through state legislatures’ austerity budgets, continued chronic underfunding, and cuts and triggers become the “new normal.” If hedge fund and billionaire philanthropists — who openly rub their hands in glee at the prospect of turning public schools into factory-like information delivery systems to children who are little else than sources of data — have their way, the impact of the 2007 Great Recession could be prolonged by deliberate political inaction into 2019 — long enough for profiteers to finish their hostile takeover of public schools. We cannot allow this to happen. We must continually remind each other that scarcity benefits profiteers. All cuts, no taxes ever is NOT the “new normal.” We must look to the ways that schools can and should be funded: by increasing revenue streams. Fund our public schools, or face losing a generation of young people and a vital pillar of our civil society.

June 21, 2012 June 21, 2012 disaster capitalism, Hurricane Katrina, Naomi Klein, New Orleans, public schools, shock doctrine, state K-12 budgets

There are no docs for this view.

Viewing 21-30 of 30 docs
Skip to toolbar