In Jurupa Valley (a small city near Irvine, California), school officials apologized to parents of high school Sped students because, as part of a "functional skills program," the schools had them dig through trash for items that could be recycled for money.
The Superintendent carefully phrased his apology:
“I personally apologize to any students who may have been humiliated,”
but also said:
Duchon said Tuesday that “this is standard curriculum” for the program’s students, who routinely collected recyclables such as cans and bottles.
“Up to last week, there has not been one complaint,” he said.
Gee, I wonder why students didn't feel they could stand up to their teachers over this nonsense. (It was discovered after complaints appeared on Facebook.)
Their Sped ex director said it was a common project to teach life skills.
Next, remember that HUGE planned iPad buy for Los Angeles Unified School District? It's been called off because it was discovered - through public disclosure e-mails - that two years previously, the LAUSD Super and his deputy had been plotting with both Apple and Pearson for the the contract. From the LA Times:
The suspension comes days after disclosures that the superintendent and his top deputy had especially close ties to executives of Apple, maker of the iPad, and Pearson, the company that is providing the curriculum on the devices. And an internal report that examined the technology effort showed major problems with the process and the implementation.
Among the findings was that the initial rules for winning the contract appeared to be tailored to the products of the eventual winners — Apple and Pearson — rather than to demonstrated district needs. The report found that key changes to the bidding rules were made after most of the competition had been eliminated under the original specifications.
Gee, changing the rules to fit a bidder. Where have I heard that before?
I cannot believe LAUSD isn't throwing their superintendent out.
The upside of today's Open Thread: the Seattle Times gets called out for their Gates-funded "Education Lab" by one of the top education writers in the country, Mercedes Schneider. (Mercedes, whom I met at the Network for Public Education conference earlier this year, is absolutely tenacious, thorough in her research and brilliant.) Her blog is Deutsch29. She starts:
Bill Gates lives in Seattle.
His money buys experiments there, too.
I added some details in the comments but she did find out something interesting:
That’s $450,000 directly from Gates to the Seattle Times, right?
Not according to the Gates Grants search engine, which indicates no grant paid to the Seattle Times on or around October 2013 in the amount of $450,000. The search engine also indicates no $450,000 grant paid to either Solutions Journalism Network or Education Lab.
…the Gates grants search engine does include this this July 2013 grant for $700,000, paid to New Ventures Fund of Washington, DC, for “communications” and “strategic partnerships”– specific to education journalism in the Seattle Times:
New Venture FundAs she says about the Times and their "disclosure" on the "Education Lab," so much for transparency.
Date: July 2013 Purpose: to test solutions-oriented education journalism that leads to problem-solving and positive outcomes with the Seattle Times Amount: $700,000 Term: 18 Topic: Communications, Strategic Partnerships Program: Communications Grantee Location: Washington, District of Columbia Grantee Website: http://www.newventurefund.org
What's on your mind?