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Showing posts with label #StandUp4Kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #StandUp4Kids. Show all posts

Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act -- All Student Data to be Accessable



Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act
Summary
The Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act would require the [State Board of Education/State Department of Education] to make publicly available an inventory and index of all data elements with definitions of individual student data fields currently in the statewide longitudinal data system

CrowdGov Re-Boots the System

Crowd Government Re-Boots the System
MyVote.uk has been crowd-sourcing votes in the UK with Parliment for some time. They announced back in Sept that they were going to be even more directly involved with the voting process. This is the only way for the future. We have millions with smartphones and wifi. We can access the issues from anywhere at any time. We can give our representatives our vote directly. CrowdGov is not only possible, it is here and it is working. MyVote.uk has shown us the way.

There is no website yet called CrowdGov.com. Someone owns it, but they aren't doing anything with it yet. But this is the path to the future, and away from Presidents who torture, and Congress who does nothing except spend $660 million on things we don't want. This is the way to be rid of people like the Koch brothers, and other super-rich who lobby and pressure and buy their way into pushing this country where we don't want it to go. This is the way to get rid of useless, unwanted bills taking time from the floor, and oversight committees around subjects we could care less about.

It can happen. Look at El Paso Tx Schools! Texas!! If that can happen, this can happen.


Clarity of Purpose : Common Core

We need to keep sight of something -- which has been muddled and twisted. We need to keep sight of the fact that Common Core was sought out to keep Schools open and Teachers from being Fired by the repercussions of ESEA -- also known as Bush's "No Child Left Behind" Act. 

In Oklahoma the Governor, Mary Fallin, repealed Common Core. She did this to make herself more popular in the polls and to look better on TV. Why she believed that the repercussions of ESEA would wait to come down on necks of the Schools until after the elections I don't know. But she did, apparently, but they didn't. Now she has lost millions for her school kids and teachers in Federal funds. She also has to spend millions to create Oklahoma's own set of educational standards in weeks, and the required ESEA testing. Also, of course ESEA's "Corrections" from their last testing cycle, need to be applied, which means, many teachers are about to be fired because no school passed the AYP last time. The teachers will likely be fired because of a "Failure to Perform" -- so it is likely that they will not gain unemployment. [UPDATE-- Looks like the ED is going to have nearly a year to get their standards created before any repercussions happen, but they did loose all of their waivers and are operating this year under the full stringent ESEA -- basically, it is middle-ages with ESEA all over again.]
Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute asserts that the experiences of Oklahoma and Washington highlight "what a lawless process" the waiver system has become.  "I defy anybody to go through and find any shred of consistency in the decisions that have been made here," he said. 
Hess added, "States were ushered into signing up for the Common Core en masse ... and it’s brought us to this predictable place. They’re now stuck in this place where they’re told if you move off the Common Core, you’re supposed to come up with new assessments and standards in a matter of weeks ... it’s a somewhat unreasonable expectation." 
According to Fordham Institute President Michael Petrilli, the Department of Education's decision is a "terrible" one and Fallin has grounds for a lawsuit. "Nothing in ESEA gives the secretary of education the authority to push states around when it comes to their standards," Petrilli said.

First, to Petrili, who is usually more on top of things, but is probably having a bad day... ESEA is under the Executive Branch for enforcement.. right? Not only can the Executive Branch do what it is doing, it Must do what it is doing. Yes, it was a law created by Bush, and yes it is killing Public Education, but it is still a law and it must be enforced. -- And .. oh.. The Department of Education is in the Executive Branch. Firmly there in fact. Cabinet position and everything. It has been there since October 19, 1979.
A previous Department of Education was created in 1867 but was soon demoted to an Office in 1868. As an agency not represented in the president's cabinet, it quickly became a relatively minor bureau in the Department of the Interior. In 1939, the bureau was transferred to the Federal Security Agency, where it was renamed the Office of Education. In 1953, the Federal Security Agency was upgraded to cabinet-level status as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
So, Petrilli is right, technically. There is nothing in the ESEA which gives the Secretary of Education, the authority to enforce Bush's ESEA Act. -- but Duncan doesn't' require it to have any special instructions of authority described either. He has all the authority he requires. Also, Duncan really has very little choice in How the actions are proscribed, or What they require. Unfortunately the ESEA law is articulate as it is tyrannical.

The fix, was Common Core. A "reorganization" which would take the states out of the line of fire for a few years - hoping Congress would finally get around to fixing the ESEA law. Congress is the only one who can do this. However, since 2008 Congress has ignored more than 40 requests from Obama to make these changes and save our schools.

Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute .. is an idiot. Have you ever read any of his books or web pages? The Koch propaganda dipps off them like crude. Hess is a strong proponent of For-Profit education -- citing that Private Corporations would do a much better job than teachers who work for State Department of Education. The fact that declaring Proprietary Methods would shield these corporation from oversight and inspection is only one of the negative points he fails to recognize. Besides, look at how well Privatizing our Prisons has gone (Over population, near zero supervision, zero reform, zero support, return expectancy near 75%). Exactly the kind of outcome we are looking for in education.

 I've often wanted to tell him that it is not enough to say the positive points of an idea, while only highlighting the negative aspects of the current situation. But if it doesn't fit into a meme Tweet he doesn't pay much attention to it.
"I defy anybody to go through and find any shred of consistency in the decisions that have been made here," he said. 
I believe I already have. The consistency is that this is a police action decreed by a Federal Act that the state of Oklahoma, in purposeful action, has violated. Common Core was not required, and it still isn't. However, following ESEA is required, just as it was before Common Core was shielding her from it.

So kids. What we learned here today is -- if there is a big mean angry dog on the other side of the door... no matter how much you don't like the color of the paint on the door -- don't open it. 



Jeffco Students, Teachers and Parents Demand Resignation of School Board

Due to the Jeffco District School Board's complete lack of regard for the legal obligations and policies -- or even acknowledgement that there were laws they were obligated to regard, the community of Jeffco Colorado has started a public petition in order to begin the Re-Call process of three board members. The members in question are Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams.

Julie Williams is of course the member who after talking with like minded Education Board Members in Texas, began steps here to change or remove the AP US History program in Jeffco with apparent plans for further alterations to the schools of Jeffco County. Since she was unable to recall a single passage from the AP US History material which demonstrated a need for a committee evaluation, or such radical changes , Williams admitted that: “I’m not familiar enough with everything that is in AP history to make that judgment.” When asked about the kids and the protesting however, Williams said with strong confidence, the students were “uninformed pawns” of the teachers’ union. 

It’s not surprising she could be so definite on the one and so ignorant of the other, because Williams is one of the Jeffco 3, often referred to as the WNW of the School Board -- the recently elected, Koch-brothers-praised, ultra-conservative school board majority that has gone to war with Jeffco schools as we once knew them. This board of thee frequently disregard policy and practice -- often demonstrating that they aren't even aware of policies or best practices. The Sunshine laws of transparency are openly disregarded -- many times they boldly tell the public that a matter will be discussed and decided on in a "closed meeting" later. 

After blatantly ignoring the community's strong concerns (demonstrated by student walk-outs, teacher and parent support and a petition of 40k+ names)regarding the school boards intent for the AP US History program, and then their asinine declaration that this disregard was a "compromise" -- apparently on the grounds that ordering a firing squad for the malcontents wasn't available to them at the moment -- the community started a petition for RECALL
We demand Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams RESIGN from the Jefferson County Public School Board of Education immediately.

PETITION BACKGROUND

Witt, Newkirk, and Williams have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, harassed and insulted teachers, driven away experienced and effective senior staff, impugned students, ignored concerns of parents, broken Sunshine laws meant to ensure transparency and accountability, violated school board bylaws, betrayed the trust of citizens who voted for mill and bond in 2012, and publicly embarrassed our school district and its students by claiming our district is failing in written editorials, on television and on radio. We demand that all three of you resign before you do more damage to our community. We stand united in our support of teachers and students and the excellent quality of public education in Jefferson County.

School Board HiJacks AP - Forces Student to Christian CCU

UPDATE: Nov 05 2014 -- This is a dead issue and nothing reported to me about it seems to be true. All letters back to me have verified that this simply is not happening.  I'm leaving the post up, but be advised that this was not, is not and never was a true issue. 


UPDATE: OCT 21 2014 -- Wrote an email to Jame Flanigan the  AP U.S. History/ U.S. Government/Ancient Civilizations/U.S. History at Mountain Vista High School - who says that this is not true at his high school, but he can't speak for others. I rechecked the postings I found and they are still active. - hunt continues, still no verification.




UPDATE: I have been unable to verify  this alteration to the Douglas County HS offerings. Until I can I'm not going to be moving forward on this: The AP History classes at the HS locations are still showing on the web sites, with teachers assigned to them There is nothing in the Board minutes about the AP US History being dropped .Nothing regarding the course at all as a matter of fact. I hae emails out to teachers and students to see if I can get some type of verification.


Common Core Targeted -- Propaganda From Badass Teachers

Led by the National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State School Officers, the initiative to create national benchmarks in reading and math emerged from the “standards and accountability” movement of the 1990s. 
But since they were released in 2010, Common Core has faced mounting opposition — and it’s coming from the left as well as the right. -- Salon Web Source

I use to hate Bill Gates. Nothing personal really, as I didn't know him personally -- it was just on general principle.  I was a programmer, a systems administrator and I loved Linux. So, I hated MicroSoft and by association, Bill Gates.

I've changed my mind.

Bill and and his wife donated $50 million to the efforts against Ebola yesterday. Yes, I realize that amount isn't that much to him, but it might be enough for the research we need done.

GOP has been calling for action from the President, while continuing to do everything they can to obstruct him. Even in the face of a flesh eating plague they continue with their culture of obstruction -- they need to be fired. All of them. Democrat and Republican alike. So we can expect no funds, no help an dno resources to fight this plague from GOP Congress, and in fact, despite the fact that our Military men are now at risk, they will do all they can to hinder operations.

Bill Gates walks in and like a parent snatching the ear lobes of whining children, clears a path toward meaningful action.

Bill Gates and his wife have also donated (est)$200+ million to the development and installment of Common Core. Don't get this twisted. I can't find anything that says he owns any part of Common Core. Despite what I read in News-like editorials across the web.
Bill Gates was de facto organizer, providing the money and structure for states to work together on common standards in a way that avoided the usual collision between states’ rights and national interests that had undercut every previous effort, dating from the Eisenhower administration. -- Washington Post 
Let's clear up this once and for all. Alright? Bill Gates and his wife have chosen education to be one of their projects. They have been all over the world helping bring education to areas, cites and countries. They are into several areas, like water for example, which is not much of  a problem here, but tends to be a problem in  Nairobi, Kenya. They don't own any part of Nairobi either. But they did work their personal asses off and there is now a better water system there, with hope for a future where water won't be a daily issue.

Bill Gates and His wife do not own any part of Common Core, nor do they have any rights, claim in the standards or interest in Common Core other than to see it up and working for the children of our nation. Their amazing effort cleared the way for this to happen like no other government body could have accomplished. -- and I write that as a grassroots Linux lover .

Letter from Parent to Jeffco School Board -- Don't Tread on Me

The following is an Open Letter to the Jeffco School Board in Colorado originally posted on the Support Jeffco Kids web site. Where appropriate and where I knew of places to link information, I've added HyperLinks. In fact, all the hyperlinks are mine so do not blame them on the author of this letter or believe that she agrees with the juxtaposed information or any conclusions the matchup may bring to mind. -- Glenn Hefley



Letter Begins:

What all the media is missing is that these 3 majority board members have continually forced every decision with their majority vote down the throats of this community and continue to ignore us, so we have no reason to trust that they would do the right thing this time.  We all watch their friends at board meetings, organizing themselves into groups, names not matching the sign-up, repeated voices and most of these “friends” that Mr. Witt clearly recognizes and addresses by name don’t even have kids in our schools.  This is evident even on the LiveStream.

Open Letter to Mr. McMinimee: Jeffco Schoolss Superintendent

Dear Mr. McMinimee:


I am a parent with two daughters who attend Jeffco Schools. Yesterday I received the Super
News update from you in my e-mail with some explanation about the closures at Conifer High
School and Standley Lake. As you explained the situation you concluded with this statement,
I’m not going to speculate on why teachers were absent.” This statement has left me confused
about your awareness of what is going on in your organization.

I have a little experience with district and teacher issues. Might I suggest a few reasons why
teachers might have called in sick or taken personal days on the same day?

1. The election of the schools board brought a promise of better fiscal transparency and
stewardship of public funds. However this board has given money to charter schools with
proven records of mismanagement of budgets, and no record of increasing student
achievement. Teachers working in schools that have increased achievement in reading and
math might have felt a little disrespected.

2. After the Board forced Mrs. Stevenson out, the search for your position was a sham.
Thousands of dollars were put into a national search-ironically to replace a nationally recognized
superintendent with a track record of improving student achievement. After taking consecutive
pay cuts and salary freezes for the past few years in an effort to keep the organization fiscally
afloat, teachers might have felt a little disrespected.

Jeffco School Board vs Blaine - I Got One More Silver Dollar

The following, as requested, can be viewed as an OPEN LETTER, and may be copied and used on any website as Open Source under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; as a whole, or may be copied in part by any News venue as you wish without citation being required. 


To The Jefferson County Board of Education Members, Students and Teachers,


I keep telling myself that I'm 'just about done' and going to be back to my novel writing any day now. Not today obviously, but soon - which is also my humble way of saying, I'm not a lawyer, or a cop or a Republican or Democrat. I'm a writer. A writer who writes fiction. Thing is though, when people read my fiction, they know it is fiction. I tell them that right up front. I also dislike competition from amateurs, thus the recent activities of you and a few of your Board members has been a distraction. That and the presence of one Larry Krieger at the meeting of the State Education Board Sept 10, 2014, who should be run out of whatever town he is in right now, just on precedent. When those activities blossomed into the Kids of Jeffco demonstrating against them I became fully engaged.  


The full disclosure of Colorado interested me, and allows for a great deal of research from a distance. I've seen these directives called Sunshine Laws. I like that. Sunshine Laws. How could you go wrong with mandated full disclosure? 


Well, by not checking to see what might be lying around.  


There were in fact NO ISIS at the Border today... or any other day



Pants on Fire: Duncan Hunter makes unconfirmed claim Border Patrol caught at least 10 ISIS fighters | PolitiFact Texas
The California Republican, speaking to Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Oct. 7, 2014, said he’d learned from the U.S. Border Patrol that Islamic State fighters had been nabbed trying to enter the country from Mexico. "ISIS is coming across the southern border," Hunter said, adding a moment later: "I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas."
-- PolitiFact Texas
No state or federal law enforcement agency confirmed Hunter’s account when PolitiFact Texas inquired, and Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper declined to reveal the congressman’s sources.  Of course it is very difficult to reveal the non-existent.

Fox News, in its original Oct. 8, 2014, online news report on Hunter’s declaration, quoted the Department of Homeland Security disputing his account.
Homeland Security told PolitiFact Texas that no such apprehensions have occurred. An agency spokeswoman, Marsha Catron, emailed: 
"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground. DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border."

Why Is This So Hard To Understand? AP US History

From The AP US History Webpage 

-- READ ME -- 

First Lines of Content


The AP® Program unequivocally supports the principle that each individual school must develop its own curriculum for courses labeled “AP.” Rather than mandating any one curriculum for AP courses, the AP Course Audit instead provides each AP teacher with a set of expectations that college and secondary school faculty nationwide have established for college-level courses.

AP teachers are encouraged to develop or maintain their own curriculum that either includes or exceeds each of these expectations; such courses will be authorized to use the “AP” designation. Credit for the success of AP courses belongs to the individual schools and teachers that create powerful, locally designed AP curricula.

The AP U.S. History course should be designed by your school to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of an introductory college course sequence in United States history. Your course should provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the topics and materials in U.S. history.

There are no specific curricular prerequisites for students taking AP U.S. History.

All students who are willing and academically prepared to accept the challenge of a rigorous academic curriculum should be considered for admission to AP courses. The College Board encourages the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP courses for students from ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the AP Program. Schools should make every effort to ensure that their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population.

High schools offering this exam must provide the exam administration resources described in the AP Coordinator’s Manual.

http://www.collegeboard.com/html/apcourseaudit/courses/us_history.html


So I have to ask -- exactly what is the District Board and Williams going to Investigate?  THERE ARE NO LESSONS TO APPROVE OF!  Schools/Teachers using the Manual, following the EXAMPLES create their own lessons, and tests for their students. 

Julie Williams started this mess with the Kids, solely on the baisis of what she read about the AP USHistory posted by extremists on the Internet. She didn't check her facts. She didn't care about the Kids, her Schools, she only cared about her agenda. So, she incited a walk-out over nothing.  Please... Do something about this. 

The New York Times -- The New History


Board Violations -- Of the Repeated Type






Recall of Williams Appears the only measure to stop Obstruction of Education

Just read this article on Chalk Beat Colorado 

I didn't realize that the Jeffco Board Majority was being so obstructive to their student's education. While most of my interest in this area diminished with the AP Censorship, if I was a parent in this district I would be seriously concerned with what I'm hearing. 

This Julie Williams, who apparently has experience as an office manager in a medical office, and no experience or training at all in the field of education -- and after starting all of this because she didn't bother to read the instructions on the AP US History documents, but instead took the word of reactionists and extremist who also didn't read the instructions -- is doing more to disrupt education than anyone I've ever seen (Except perhaps the Governor of Texas). It really feels like she would prefer the schools to be closed. Several times she has been quoted as admiring the latest actions of the department of education in Texas -- which most people look at as a monumental travesty. Here are the instructions these people can't seem to find or read.

http://www.collegeboard.com/html/apcourseaudit/courses/us_history.html

I think Re-Call is in order. If only for this Williams woman who it appears is bent on destruction.

Oh.. and a look at Texas, who Julie Williams seems to be so enamored with..from News Week


...students reading Perfection Learning’s new textbook on American history will think Moses was right up there with John Locke and Charles de Montesquieu in influencing Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and their brethren. What role did Moses supposedly play? The textbook claims he contributed the concept that “a nation needs a written code of behavior.” Forget the biblical ignorance shown in suggesting Moses provided the code for a “nation” rather than for the Jewish people, who had no nation (failing to reach the Promised Land was kind of key to the Book of Deuteronomy). Forget the legal ignorance in suggesting the Constitution had anything to do with a “code of behavior” rather than establishing democratic government and the rights guaranteed to citizens. Forget the historical ignorance in suggesting that the first laws came from Moses when the sixth Amorite king of Babylon established one of the first written set of laws, known as Hammurabi's Code, hundreds of years earlier.
 I shudder every time I think of this... It is sedition and corruption of the highest -- and yet it is happening right now. 

"The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another ... in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State' ... That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. -- The United States Supreme Court

The article suggests that the publishers created these text books for Texas (under the board's direction) because Texas was such a huge purchaser of school text books (number one in the nation it seems). I think that the rest of the nation should insure that Texas is now their ONLY customer, for being so greedy that the students learning from these text books didn't matter to them at all. 

Seriously publishers.. shame on you. 

It is going to get Fakey this Year

This is a quote I found, I want to do some verification:  " On 7/31/2019 Trump has private meeting with Putin. On 8/3/2019, just three ...