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Tenure for teachers in California public schools ruled unconstitutional 

Tenure for teachers in California public schools ruled unconstitutional  | Public Education | Scoop.it

GThisTeacher tenure is an unconstitutional practice that keeps bad teachers in the classroom and condemns poor students to subpar education, a California judge ruled Tuesday.

Katie's insight:

This is an interesting article about a court ruling a few days ago regarding teacher tenure in California. The Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that teacher tenure is unconstitutional because it allows for bad teachers to retain their jobs for many years without the possibility of being fired. For many student this is good news because it means that they will not have to suffer from bad teachers, but tenure was originally created in order to protect good teacher's jobs so hopefully this does not give administration a reason to fire teachers without cause.

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Amy Argenal's comment, June 20, 2014 4:04 PM
I know. I have quite mixed feelings on this!
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Hackschooling makes me happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDxUniversityofNevada - YouTube

When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal. About TE...
Katie's insight:
This kid is really cool. He talks about how in public education kids are not being taught to learn how to be happy and healthy. "Much of education for better or worse is oriented towards making a living rather than making a life". He talks about how he "hacked" his schooling and is alternatively educated which I think means he is homeschooled. He writes about what he wants to write about and through his interests, and he learns how to live happily. This form of education seems awesome but very inaccessible for many kids.
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Public Education - Are We Under, Over or Just Misspending? Michelle Rhee at TEDxWallStreet - YouTube

Michelle began her career as a Teach for America corps member in Baltimore. In 1997, Michelle founded and led The New Teacher Project, which recruits and tra...
Katie's insight:
This is an interesting Ted Talk about budget spending in US public schools. She talks about the disconnect between expenditures and progress and how we are spending a lot of money on public schools but test scores are not improving and graduation rates are not rising. She uses a personal experience in a Washington DC school district to discuss misspending in the public school system
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Amy Argenal's comment, June 20, 2014 4:04 PM
There is a very interesting debate around her in the field of public education!
Amy Argenal's comment, June 20, 2014 4:05 PM
Some find her very problematic because of the school closures.
Sam Silvestri's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:11 AM

Michelle asks the question, "What is wrong with education?"

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Michelle Obama speaks on public education - YouTube

Michelle Obama in Laconia, NH
Katie's insight:
This video is from before President Obama was elected for the first time. I really like Barack and Michelle but this video seems problematic on a social justice level. In the beginning she talks about how she was able to succeed and go to college because her parents worked very very hard even with their disabilities. She then goes on to talk about how this is impossible for many families even though they try hard and work hard because of the debt the nation is in and because of their class. The problematic part for me is that she needs to address racial privilege when talking about class privilege.
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6-Year Old Girl Handcuffed, Arrested, Charged with Assault After Temper Tantrum

6-Year Old Girl Handcuffed, Arrested, Charged with Assault After Temper Tantrum | Public Education | Scoop.it

articASHEVILLE, N.C. - Salecia Johnson, age 6, grew frustrated in her Milledgeville, Ga., kindergarten class last year and erupted into a temper tantrum. Unfortunately, it's something that mothers sometimes must confront with raising young children. But what happened next was not routine, nor should it be happening to Salecia or any other children. Creekside Elementary school called the police, who said they found Salecia on the floor of the principal's office screaming and crying. Police said she had knocked over furniture that injured the principal. The African American child was handcuffed, arrested and hauled to the local police station. She was held for more than hour before her parents were notified and charged with simple assault and damage to property, but didn't have to go to court because she is a juvenile. But the ordeal has severely impacted the child. Her mother, Constance Ruff, says Salecia is traumatized, having difficulty adjusting back to school [...]

Katie's insight:

This article touches on a couple of important points. It focuses on Salecia Johnson's story: a 6 year old girl who was handcuffed, arrested, and detained at the local police station for over an hour because she threw a temper tantrum while at school. Her family is very angry and says that she is traumatized and is having a very hard time readjusting into school. The article also touches on the social justice aspect of this issue. It discusses The Advancement Project: a civil rights organization that tracks juvenile law enforcement and how it is affecting students of color more than white students. Due to racial biases on the part of teachers, administrators, and law enforcement officials, students of color have a higher likelihood of being punished (arrested, suspended, or expelled) even though there is no evidence that points to a higher likelihood of children of color acting out or being violent for whatever reason.

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Amy Argenal's comment, May 28, 2014 12:59 AM
Powerful story. I am happy that you shared work of the Advancement project!
Michael Pilossoph's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:50 PM

This article scares me because we cannot be treating our younger students like criminals.

 

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Education Spending Per Student by State

Education Spending Per Student by State | Public Education | Scoop.it
View spending on public elementary and secondary education per pupil.
Katie's insight:

This article has useful graphs that compare each state's average funding per pupil for secondary education. It also compares the fiscal year of 2011 to the fiscal year of 2010. California only spent $9,139 in 2011 compared to New York which spent $19,076 per pupil. This disparity could be having a number of negative impacts on these states' students. After graduation these students go on to drive the economy of the state they live in; which is why it is very important for states to invest in their student's education. Also, the less money the state puts into public school, the more of a gap there will be between students who received a private education and students who received a public education. How is the public school student in a state where the spending per pupil is very low supposed to compete with a student who received a private school education or a student who received an education in a state where there was more funding per student, especially when applying to college?

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Read the Standards | Common Core State Standards Initiative

Read the Standards | Common Core State Standards Initiative | Public Education | Scoop.it
Katie's insight:

This is the official website of the Common Core State Standards. Common Core is a federal bill that has been adopted by 45 states including California. It is meant to help level the playing field for all American students so that they are all equally ready for college or professional jobs by the time they graduate from high school. Common core relates to our topic of financial equity between schools because common core was enacted, in part, because of the inequity between schools and how this has negatively affected schools and students' educations. 

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Michael Pilossoph's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:57 PM

I like this organization because its goal is realistically attainable; standardizing a path for students to follow throughout school is noble.

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Guiding Questions for the term

 These are the guiding question I will explore during this term:

 

How are minorities and underprivileged communities in the public education system affected differently from privileged kids? What systems are in place to address student's needs? What systems are in place that do not address students' needs/enforce struggles that students face?

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Riley's discussion about the achievement gap

A discussion about homework and achievement.

Katie's insight:

A few weeks ago in my Stats class Riley had a discussion with us about the achievement gap and how teachers (especially math teachers) can help even the playing field and also make school more enjoyable and engaging for all students. He had read this study that shows that more homework does not necessarily result in better learning results for most students. He said that its not about giving more homework. Its about giving BETTER homework: homework that is engaging, relevant to the students, interesting and challenging. Homework that is not just busy work. He also said that creating word problems about students who are actually in the class is much more engaging and gives better results. Kids like to see familiar names and topics in their work; it helps hold their attention.

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Rose Paratore's comment, June 13, 2014 12:36 AM
This is super interesting because it seems like you would never think that something so insignificant seeming could be so significant! If we just change a few things about how we are teaching, it can make such a big difference!
Amy Argenal's comment, June 20, 2014 4:28 PM
I love this connection to your other classes! And this is something I think about a lot. Not just for other schools but also for Urban students well being!
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RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms - YouTube

This RSA Animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benj...
Katie's insight:
This is an interesting you tube view of an animation matched up to Sir Ken Robinson's talk about public education in the US/world. He talks about the toxic split in our society between "smart people and non-smart people". He then goes on to criticize the "ADHD Epidemic" which he says is a lie and that we are over diagnosing and handing out too many harmful drugs to our students who are having a hard time paying attention (rightfully so because of all the situation they are exposed to in the 21st century). My favorite part is when he talks about school as a production line because it was created during the Industrial Revolution where the model was a production line. He talks about thinking divergently (not linearly and laterally but rather thinking outside of the box).
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The story of Malala Yousafzai - YouTube

Fionnuala Sweeney profiles Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl and champion for girls' education, shot by the Taliban.
Katie's insight:
This is less related to California and American education but it is still valuable and interesting. Malala Yousafzai is a young Pakistani girl who is an education rights and women's rights activist in her community. Even after being shot by the Taliban on her way to school she continues to advocate for her rights and others' rights. She is brave and inspirational.
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The Revolutionary Optimists Filmmakers on Finding Hope in Kolkata's Slums

The Revolutionary Optimists Filmmakers on Finding Hope in Kolkata's Slums | Public Education | Scoop.it
Amlan Ganguly is a visionary. This lawyer-turned-community activist is not only changing a neighborhood, but also changing the way its youngest residents envision their lives. In this character-driven and highly cinematic documentary, acclaimed filmmakers Nicole Newnham (The Rape of Europa, Sent
Katie's insight:

This documentary about Kolkata's slums in India is really good although it isn't explicitly connected to public education. It addresses this issue of lack of education. This man named Amlan Ganguly has created an organization that empowers young children in the slums of Kolkata to advocate for their rights to clean running water. He also empowers young woman to not get married as young as 12 or 13 and to get an education instead of getting a job whenever possible.

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Amy Argenal's comment, June 20, 2014 4:06 PM
I love this film!!!!
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How America's 'Toughest' Principal Fights For Her Students

How America's 'Toughest' Principal Fights For Her Students | Public Education | Scoop.it
CHICAGO -- When CNN's new eight-episode docuseries "Chicagoland" premiered earlier this month, one thing was clear almost immediately: its brightest-shining star was not who many anticipated it would be.

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel's face i...
Katie's insight:

"Chicagoland" is a new TV documentary miniseries on CNN. Liz Dozier is the principle at Fenger Academy (a high school in the south side of Chicago). When she started at Fenger, the school was extremely dangerous for students. At that time the school had a graduation rate of 43%, which has now climbed up to 73% in the last four years. As it says in the movie in the article, in the 2009 school year there were 300 arrests and the administration had to have two districts worth of police in the school on day just to help the students change classes. The school sits right between two gang territories in Chicago and there is a lot of outside influence on the  violence happening in the school. Dozier was given a four year federal grant when she came into the school in order to get the school back to thriving. "Chicagoland" does not center around the storyline of Principle Dozier although it continues to highlight the successes that she has helped Fenger achieve and the challenges she still faces. 

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Michael Pilossoph's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:53 PM

I like how brave this principal was in dealing with the issues surrounding her school.

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Education rally to protest Common Core State Standards

Education rally to protest Common Core State Standards | Public Education | Scoop.it
As school districts across California prepare for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, a concerned group of citizens is holding a rally at the state Capitol to protest the new requirements.
Katie's insight:

This is an article about a protest in Sacramento against the Common Core Standards system. I have some personal experience with the Common Core system. My little cousin lives in North Carolina where they have also implemented the Common Core. He is in the 4th grade and he is struggling with the new system to stay at the same level as his peers. I talked to his mom recently, who told me that many of her friends also dislike the system (mostly in the math department) because it forces the students to redo problems many times in different ways even if they understand a concept. She said that this makes the students less inclined to work and stay focused during class. One line that I found very valuable from the article is, "The groups call the new standards a privately backed, federal takeover of the state-run education system". Also, the video in this article shows students working mostly on laptops or other technologies to do their studying. This seems problematic to me because many public schools are unable to pay for computers for every student.

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Michael Pilossoph's curator insight, May 30, 2014 11:38 AM

The new Common Core requirements are being protested by a concerned group of citizens.

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Bully (2011)

Bully (2011) | Public Education | Scoop.it
Directed by Lee Hirsch. With Ja'Meya Jackson, Kelby Johnson, Lona Johnson, Bob Johnson. A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America.
Katie's insight:

I've seen this movie a couple of times now. It's a pretty popular movie about bullying in public schools across America and the administration's efforts (or lack thereof) to try to stop the bullying. This movie covers a lot of perspectives (it gives voice to the administrators, the victims of bullying, the bullies, and the families of students. The movie's exploration of all of these voices draws me to the movie; I am impressed by this aspect of the documentary because it makes it more objective.

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Michael Pilossoph's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:58 PM

How are socially aggressive actions tied to the student drop out rates at a school?

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When Minority Students Attend Elite Private Schools

When Minority Students Attend Elite Private Schools | Public Education | Scoop.it

Many parents of color send their children to exclusive, predominantly white schools in an attempt to give their kids a "ticket to upward mobility." But these well-resourced institutions can fall short at nurturing minority students emotionally and intellectually.

Katie's insight:

This article is about a PBS documentary film that follows two African American boys through their time at elite private elementary schools in New York City. I loved this movie because you get an in depth look at specific experiences of people of color in the private school system, but this also means that the experiences of these specific families are unique and are not to be taken as representative of all of the families of color in private schools. 

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