Archive for June 20th, 2012

A vile school bus video goes viral and victim may get a well deserved vacation

The video of Greece, N.Y., middle schoolers verbally attacking an elderly bus monitor is disturbing and the language is abhorrent but condemnation of the kids has been instant and universal.  An Internet effort is under way to collect money to send monitor Karen Klein on vacation.

These kids in the video are oafs. I hope their parents aren’t and will make these kids own up to their repulsive behaviors. Do not listen to this video with kids in the room. It is disgusting.

Here is the video:

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

Greece police and school officials have questioned some students believed to have taunted and harassed a Greece Central School District bus monitor. A video of an incident, which happened Monday, is making the rounds online. It has gone viral with more than 100,000 hits by Wednesday afternoon.

Greece Police Capt. Steve Chatterton said Greece Central School District officials contacted police Wednesday morning regarding the …

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Rather than slash 10 days, could DeKalb schools shut down for month of July?

I watched the DeKalb school board meeting long enough today to hear the school chief announce that the state DOE said DeKalb could cut its school year by additional days.

With an $85 million deficit and no reserves, a proposal is on the table for DeKalb to slash 10 more days.

According to the AJC:

Paul Womack wants to cut an additional 10 days from the school calendar.In approving a tentative general fund budget, the board had already voted to reduce the school calendar for students by two days. Four furlough days approved for teachers in prior years would also remain, but they would not affect students.

Officials said it costs the system $3 million a day to operate, so the proposal could save $30 million — enough to balance the budget without a tax increase. But they needed time to check on the details, so the budget deliberations were postponed until 6 p.m. Thursday.

But Lisa Morgan, a teacher and representative of the advocacy group Organization of DeKalb Educators, …

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A Georgia Southern prof pours out his heart on school’s problems and hits send — to everyone on campus

I value people who are willing to speak out. And this Georgia Southern University professor certainly did that in an email he sent campus wide. The candid opus from veteran professor David Dudley is drawing national attention, at least among the ranks of academia.

His frank letter led to a meeting last week with the Georgia Southern president, according to Inside Higher Ed, which has a good piece on the letter and its reception at the Statesboro campus

Here is Dr. Dudley’s open letter to the entire Georgia Southern community:

I write this letter because I will no longer sit by silently as a crisis of leadership engulfs the university I love. No one has helped me compose it, nor have I sought permission from anyone to write and send it. I speak for no one but myself. No one will have seen it before it is sent.

My purpose is to invite dialog among the various parties who must begin working together if Georgia Southern is to move forward to attain goals upon which there is broad …

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UGA professor: Giving voice and hope to undocumented students. (Panel on issue at UGA today.)

Many immigrants in Atlanta joined the push to allow children to attend college legally. (AJC photo)

Many immigrants in Atlanta pushed to allow children to attend college legally. (AJC photo)

JoBeth Allen is a professor in the University of Georgia Department of Language and Literacy Education. She sent me an essay about the plight of undocumented students and the role that educators ought to play.

Here is Dr. Allen’s essay:

By JoBeth Allen

Gabrielle is a National Honors Society student whose goal is to be a translator at the United Nations. She speaks three languages, passed seven Advanced Placement courses, and leads her section in the youth symphony. Her parents work long hours and depend on her to take care of her younger siblings after school.

While her family came to the U.S. legally on work visas when Gabrielle was a baby, they have not been able to become citizens.

Gabrielle is undocumented.

Like thousands of students throughout Georgia, Gabrielle will be affected by the Barack Obama administration’s announcement that ends  deporting undocumented immigrants ages …

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Grading teachers: In the news and in dispute. Will Georgia follow suit?

over (Medium)A critical study of the LA Times teacher ranking project was released today by the National Education Policy Center.

The question of teacher rankings has particular relevance to Georgia, which, under its Race to the Top grant, will begin assigning teachers effectiveness grades based in part on student test scores. There is no indication yet whether those grades will be made public, a decision likely to fall to the state Legislature.

In explaining its controversial teacher ranking system, the LA Times said:

About 6,000 Los Angeles elementary school teachers and 470 elementary schools are included in The Times’ database of “value-added” ratings. Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers who taught at least 60 students from the 2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years were evaluated in the Times analysis. Most of Los Angeles Unified School District’s elementary schools are included. Test scores for charter schools that do not report directly to the district were not …

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A proponent rethinks cell phones in the classroom

A teacher who argued in favor incorporating cell phones into classroom instruction in a 2010 Education Week essay rethinks that position in a new piece.

Writing in Ed Week about his emerging doubts, Kentucky high school teacher Paul Barnwell says, “While summarizing is a real skill, do we really want students to further fragment their thoughts and attention in this age of incessant digital distraction and stimuli with 140-character blurbs? Do we want students to spend even more time in front of a screen, bypassing opportunities to converse and collaborate face-to-face?”

Here is a short excerpt of Barnwell’s essay “Why Twitter and Facebook Are Not Good Instructional Tools.”

A recent report by the Economic & Social Research Council refutes the notion that today’s youth, the “net generation,” is truly tech savvy. After interviewing and collecting data from 2000 first-year college students in Britain, researchers found that only 21.5 percent of students had blogged, and only …

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