Friday, May 09, 2014

Ed News Roundup

Washington State charters, a terse OSPI tweet on the NCLB waiver, a district trying to growing their own Special Education teachers and NYC students talking about difference. 

Washington State just finished its first charter school conference (you weren't there? me neither).  And boy, were there a lot of tweets.  Some of them were funny like claiming a room was "full" when the photo in the tweet clearly shows empty seats.  Others were more troubling like:

By being an authorizer, we have a say in what charters come into our districts.  This from a Spokane school district rep.

This is not true because the law says either a district that has become an authorizer may authorize within their district OR the Charter Commission may authorize a charter school anywhere in the state.  A district becoming an authorizer does NOT mean they control their destiny in terms of charters coming in their district.

We need to use language that is inviting and speaks to parents in a way they'll understand.  This from Greg Richmond, NACSA’s President and CEO.  NACSA is the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.

The way this statement is written made me wonder if he meant when talking to children or talking to parents.  His statement kind of has that whiff of paternalism that is nearly always present when charter school supporters talk.

The oddest one was from one of their keynote speakers, Russell Okung, who plays for the Seahawks.

Servitude is leadership.

Now I know what servitude means but what it all means in relationship to leadership and charter schools is mystery to me.

One of the published "takeaways" from the conference?  The entrepreneurial bug is alive and must be allowed to flourish in public education.  (in Washington State). 

I again consulted my dictionary and sure enough, the references were to taking initiative and risk...in a business.  Again, public schools as businesses.   Maybe, like most bugs, this itdea needs to be waved away.

Speaking of tweets, OSPI tweeted this today:

Nothing has changed for WA state with regard to our for 2014-15.

Why?  Because today the Department of Ed told some state chiefs that they will get their waivers, even if their teacher-evaluations aren't where the DOE wants them to be.   Naturally, that statement would seem to fly in the face of the denial of Washington State's waiver but alas no.  It's just one more tweak from Arne Duncan.  I honestly hope some courageous districts in our states will stand up to the DOE and NOT send out the "your child's school is failing" come this fall.  I think they could cite costs and be on good footing. 

From Disability Scoop, an interesting story from Minnesota on one district's initiative to home-grow their Sped teachers.

But a first-of-its-kind University of Minnesota master’s degree program promises to groom education assistants such as Ovadal into special education teachers by training them on the job in the classrooms where they already work.

The newly approved program is designed in part to help metro area school districts “grow their own” special education teachers who are licensed to work with students who have emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).

Truly compelling reading from the NY Times Magazine - The Tale of Two Schools - one private, one public as told by the students in a joint program.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I debated attending the charter school conference just to hear for myself if the greed and BS that was evident in one I attended in AZ several years ago was also present in this one. Unfortunately I decided my stomach lining could not take another session like that, plus had to work. Sounds like the same old crap - throw out the buzz words (choice! Parental choice! Civil rights! More choices!) and pull in a few big names to lend credibility and/or get your BS noticed. Talk about status quo.

CT