Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Public Education News Wrap-Up (and what YOU, yes you, can do in 2014)

A great piece from @The Chalk Face by John Kuhn who covers both the year in review AND what to do in 2014. 

His queries for 2014:
Will the education reformers rebound from their numerous defeats this year? They still have the money, they still own the media and the US Department of Education, and they have fresh NAEP and PISA scores that “prove” whatever they want them to prove. (Tennessee and DC students showed major gains on NAEP, they enthuse, but then they conveniently forget to mention all the reform-friendly states that didn’t show gains at all. Asi es la vida.)

Will the Common Core be perceived by the masses as a sensible set of standards to guide instruction in 2014, or will progressives across America view it as another armament in the artillery trained on public education and teachers, while conservatives across the nation view it as a federal takeover of a traditional state responsibility and an attempt to brainwash the children?
Photo: This guy. 

His Five Resolutions:
1. Be active online, in the papers, and in your state capital.  In the blogosphere, in the halls of your legislative bodies, in the letters-to-the-editor section, and during every single election, public education supporters can’t afford to sit back. 

2. Be active locally.   The corporate reformers aren’t merely interested in statewide and national elections. They have found more bang for their buck at the local level.

3. Embrace your expertise.  I am a huge proponent of the Network for Public Education and The Educators Room because organizations like these put educators in places of engagement and efficacy. The motto of The Educators Room is “empowering teachers as the experts,” and that is exactly the thing that is needed.

4. Join others.  Relatedly, if you are serious about protecting the promise of public education, you have little choice but to join others in holding back the tide of corporate reform. There is diversity in the pro-public education camp. If you are progressive, there is a place for you.

5. Be great.  The best defense of the public education system is a strong public education system. 


Carol Simmons said...


Some 2014 Resolutions:

To support our new School Board Directors and Superintendent.
I believe that for the first time in a long time we have a school board that will work together to achieve equity and excellence in education for all students.

To continue to show our appreciation to Melissa and Charlie for their insightful and informative postings and tireless attendance at meetings.

To continue to remain involved with our schools and our city, and especially the underserved students in our care.

Anonymous said...

San Jose Mercury News has a story on Ramona Pierson, former chief technology officer with Seattle Schools and creator of "The Source."

From near-death to Silicon Valley CEO

It's quite a story.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Parent, an amazing story. I think maybe they should have students read this if they ever think "I can't". What courage.

Mary Griffin said...
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Mary Griffin said...

@-parent, That is the most awe-inspiring story I've read all this year. And last year, too! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Booze, the curse of the devil itself. Hopefully this marijuana legalization will cut into alcohol consumption and spare some lives and pain. Even at its worst, a stoner is better than a drunk driving a deadly weapon.

seattle citizen said...

I have had many conversations with Ramona Pierson. She is a remarkable person, and her current project is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Driving impaired is driving impaired - whether it's alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs. The state patrol is reporting an increase in drivers testing positive for marijuana. Though not all are testing at a level considered impaired, there has been an increase in the percent of drivers having "active THC" above the limit.


-reality check

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest doing a search on YouTube: kiro stoned driving test. It shows what happens when people smoke and drive, supervised and critiqued by state troopers andTHC levels monitored by blood tests as the drivers smoke more and more. Humorous and informative.

Dr Z

Nuri said...

Better check your facts, rc. Alcohol increases risky driving behavior while mj reduces it. Impaired is not impaired across the drug spectrum. Drunks fall into ditches and drown, stoners sit and look at the mud. Drunks start fights and get aggressive, potheads stare at the wall. Ask a cop what kind of inebriate they prefer.
I agree with Mary, pot is far less dangerous.

mirmac1 said...

Dr Z,

Anonymous makes your point for you...

mirmac1 said...
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