Educator Musing Observations
Pulling the Trigger

Parent Trigger - Good idea?  It’s Race To The Top Intervention Models triggered by parents. A petition signed by 51% of parents to enforce one of these options 1. Fire principal 2. Fire half of staff 3. Turn school to charter 4. Close school  Plus 5. Use this power to bargain with districts.

http://parentrevolution.org/

Educator Musing: Adumbrating the Failure of No Child Left Behind

“I’m disappointed that House legislation passed today doesn’t fix the real problems with No Child Left Behind … and doesn’t give states the kind of flexibility and reform they’re asking for.”

- U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan July 13, 2011

"We’re pleased to see some recent progress among all age groups in reading and among younger age groups in math. We’re also pleased to see achievement gaps shrinking in reading, but we still have a lot more work to do. Our focus on raising standards, increasing academic rigor and improving teacher quality are all steps in the right direction."

- U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan April 28, 2009

"While flexibility is the watchword of NCLB those of us who must implement this important law have found that a lack of flexibility is causing us difficulty in ensuring we meet its promise."

- Then California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell March 24, 2004

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has come to a realization.  States need flexibility to create the reforms sought for in education.  That is quite a growth from federal government focus and control on raising standards and increasing academic rigor.  He has come to understand that No Child Left Behind has actually lowered standards, narrowed curriculum, and doesn’t work.  What could have caused such understanding?

11 Alive News July 21, 2011 – Elite Teach For America thrust into APS scandal

CNN July 20, 2011 – Seven Atlanta educators step down as cheating scandal unfolds

NJ.com July 20, 2011 – 34 N.J. schools to be investigated for possible cheating after state discovers test score irregularities

USA Today July 20, 2011 – N.J. schools probed for possible test cheating

Education Week July 20, 2011 – D.C. Update: Allegedly False Test Scores Used for Value-Added Calculations

New York Times July 17, 2011 – Cracking a System in Which Test Scores Were for Changing

New York Times July 16, 2011 – Atlanta Schools Created Culture of Cheating, Fear

USA Today July 14, 2011 – Ex-Atlanta superintendent at center of scandal to keep award

and Video

CNN July 14, 2011 – Flawed policy on testing drives schools to cheat

New York Times July 12, 2011 – Pa. Looking Into Possible Cheating on State Tests

New York Times July 12, 2011 - Schools Chiefs See a Path to Proposing Their Own Accountability Systems

FOX News July 10, 2011– Education Department ‘Concerned’ About Wave Cheating Probes Allegations

The Atlanta Journal Constitution July 10, 2011 – Cheating scandal adds fuel to debate over high-stakes tests

The Commercial Appeal July 5, 2011– Tennessee Eyes Waiver For No Child Left Behind

NPR: June 29, 2011– States Threaten To Defy No Child Left Behind

Baltimore Sun June 25, 2011 – Cheating scandals put tests in the spotlight

USA Today  March 17, 2011 – When test scores seem too good to believe

Washington Post: March 9, 2011- Most schools could face ‘failing’ label under No Child Left Behind, Duncan says

NPR January 30, 2008- 'No Child' Law Picked Apart as Renewal Fight Looms

Houston Chronicle December 15, 2006 – State discounts TAKS cheating

Amarillo Globe News December 2004 – Dallas paper finds evidence of TAKS cheating

California Department of Education March 24, 2004 - More Than a Dozen Schools Chiefs Join California Superintendent 
O’Connell to Fight Changes to No Child Left Behind Act

Now if DOE Secretary Arne Duncan will only also see that Race To The Top is No Child Left Behind on steroids.  Or will he continue to push for the direct federal centralization of public education?

Please join me in my reflections on 21st century learning.  I want to read your comments and opinions.  I will do my best to answer questions.

I would like to add you to my circle of friends on Google+. Please email me at carlosmendoza3@educatormusing.com if you are interested in receiving a Google+ invitation. 

I would also like to include you in my growing circulation of Educator Musing Daily Posts. If you are interested in subscribing to the free daily updates and news, please visit the publication and click on Subscribe.

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Educator Musing: Full Sail University Program Reflection Re-Post

 

Full Sail University was recently awarded three honors at the United States Distance Learning Association 2011 National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.  

Full Sail University was honored with the 21st Century Best Practice in Distance Learning award.  Isis Jones was awarded Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning.  And Kathy Craven received the Silver Award For Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching.

I graduated from Full Sail University and applaud them whole-heartedly.  Below is a repost of my program reflection.

I just finished my second master’s degree. It is a Master of Science in Education Media Design and Technology. Below is my program reflection:

I totally enjoyed my experience with Full Sail University. And I recommend the Education Media Design and Technology Master of Science program for those willing to go beyond the token education technology class in traditional teacher preparation courses.

I have some observations and advice for those interested in the EMDTMS program. The program does not allow you to be a spectator. You will participate, interact, and collaborate in many projects. This program is hands on – never doubt that.

You will be challenged. The pace and time commitment is intense. The standard for performance is high. Expectations are high. But you can definitely do it.

Come to the program with an open mind. Be prepared to leave your comfort zone. I had to sing a Bob Dylan song for our Musical Theory and Education Applications class. It doesn’t get any more uncomfortable than that for me. Oh, yes it did. I had to video record myself doing dance exercises. I’m not posting that on my blog.

You will make friends in the program. There’s something about comrades in arms living through the same experience and having to rely on each other that creates a bond. I would gladly collaborate with any of my classmates and instructors again.

And one last word, you will get out of the program what you are willing to put into it. Instead of sweating the grade (we’re all competitive that way), push the envelope on what you are able to do. Meeting the rubric of a project – that’s expected, does not impress your classmates and instructors. They want to be wowed by your passion and creativity.

Ok, one more last word. Don’t forget who you are and why you chose this program. You are uniquely created and special. You have support systems within and outside of the program. Come out of the program with more than you came in with.

It’s been more than a year since I graduated from the EMDTMS program and now more than ever highly recommend the program.

Please join me in my reflections on 21st century learning.  I want to read your comments and opinions.  I will do my best to answer questions.

I would like to add you to my circle of friends on Google+. Please email me at carlosmendoza3@educatormusing.com if you are interested in receiving a Google+ invitation. 

I would also like to include you in my growing circulation of Educator Musing Daily Posts. If you are interested in subscribing to the free daily updates and news, please visit the publication and click on Subscribe.

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“Capitalism is the worst economic system in the world – except for everything else we’ve tried.”
 Pat Dorsey – MorningStar.com
Ambient Insight, founded in 2004, is an international market research firm that uses predictive analytics to identify revenue opportunities for global eLearning and Mobile Learning suppliers.  They released a new report predicting that the worldwide market for Self-paced eLearning products and services will grow from $32 billion to $49.9 billion by 2015.
The Worldwide Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis report identifies a consistently growing pattern of demand for Self-paced eLearning in government agencies.  Countries with centralized educational systems, such as, China, are outspending corporate buyers for these products and services.  Even so, according to Chief Research Officer, Sam S. Adkins, North America is predicted to be the top buying region throughout the forecast period.
The global market is changing. Corporations are no longer the top buyers of Self-paced eLearning products. The demand is stronger now for academic products for government agencies.
According to Tyson Greer, CEO and Chief Content Officer (CCO) for Ambient Insight, “The global market is transitioning from a corporate story to an academic narrative.”
The growths of markets represent demands for products and services.  Here is another trend to consider that may explain the change in the global market for eLearning products.   For each new generation, more Americans are using the Internet.  This is backed up with a 2009 survey conducted by the PEW Internet and American Life Project stating that 95% of all teenagers ages 14 – 17 use the Internet.  According to a 2010 survey conducted by the same group, 90% of all young adults ages 18 - 29 use the Internet. 
In a news release by a private provider of technology products and services, CDW, the second annual 21st Century Classroom Report states that only 39% percent of students say their high schools are meeting their technology expectations.  Perhaps now is the time to consider that the Digital Divide now is more about meeting the expectation of today’s students than it is about making technology available.
The current formal school system is no longer working to the best benefit of our students and society.  This is being manifested in changing global markets and student perceptions of school. 
A congressional Act can abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Then they can establish and fund a private not-for-profit corporation to facilitate the development of public education. This would be  similar to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Such a move can place in motion the means to shape the growing market for eLearning to serve our students.  The current attempt to centralize public education through No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Race To The Top (RTTT) is not working.  The unintended consequence of direct federal government involvement in education is causing a collapse of the system.
A radical change in education from direct government control to government funded not-for-profit corporations is an idea worth pursuing.  Finding the right mixture of instruction, management, and structure for sustainable funding and accreditation will be a challenge, but our kids are worth it.
Please join me in my reflections on 21st century learning.  I want to read your comments and opinions.  I will do my best to answer questions.  

I would like to add you to my circle of friends on Google+. Please email me at carlosmendoza3@educatormusing.com if you are interested in receiving a Google+ invitation. 
I would also like to include you in my growing circulation of Educator Musing Daily Posts. If you are interested in subscribing to the free daily updates and news, please visit the publication and click on Subscribe.
Please friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.
My blog is Educator Musing.
Thanks!

“Capitalism is the worst economic system in the world – except for everything else we’ve tried.”

 Pat Dorsey – MorningStar.com

Ambient Insight, founded in 2004, is an international market research firm that uses predictive analytics to identify revenue opportunities for global eLearning and Mobile Learning suppliers.  They released a new report predicting that the worldwide market for Self-paced eLearning products and services will grow from $32 billion to $49.9 billion by 2015.

The Worldwide Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis report identifies a consistently growing pattern of demand for Self-paced eLearning in government agencies.  Countries with centralized educational systems, such as, China, are outspending corporate buyers for these products and services.  Even so, according to Chief Research Officer, Sam S. Adkins, North America is predicted to be the top buying region throughout the forecast period.

The global market is changing. Corporations are no longer the top buyers of Self-paced eLearning products. The demand is stronger now for academic products for government agencies.

According to Tyson Greer, CEO and Chief Content Officer (CCO) for Ambient Insight, “The global market is transitioning from a corporate story to an academic narrative.”

The growths of markets represent demands for products and services.  Here is another trend to consider that may explain the change in the global market for eLearning products.   For each new generation, more Americans are using the Internet.  This is backed up with a 2009 survey conducted by the PEW Internet and American Life Project stating that 95% of all teenagers ages 14 – 17 use the Internet.  According to a 2010 survey conducted by the same group, 90% of all young adults ages 18 - 29 use the Internet. 

In a news release by a private provider of technology products and services, CDW, the second annual 21st Century Classroom Report states that only 39% percent of students say their high schools are meeting their technology expectations.  Perhaps now is the time to consider that the Digital Divide now is more about meeting the expectation of today’s students than it is about making technology available.

The current formal school system is no longer working to the best benefit of our students and society.  This is being manifested in changing global markets and student perceptions of school. 

A congressional Act can abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Then they can establish and fund a private not-for-profit corporation to facilitate the development of public education. This would be  similar to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Such a move can place in motion the means to shape the growing market for eLearning to serve our students.  The current attempt to centralize public education through No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Race To The Top (RTTT) is not working.  The unintended consequence of direct federal government involvement in education is causing a collapse of the system.

A radical change in education from direct government control to government funded not-for-profit corporations is an idea worth pursuing.  Finding the right mixture of instruction, management, and structure for sustainable funding and accreditation will be a challenge, but our kids are worth it.

Please join me in my reflections on 21st century learning.  I want to read your comments and opinions.  I will do my best to answer questions.  

I would like to add you to my circle of friends on Google+. Please email me at carlosmendoza3@educatormusing.com if you are interested in receiving a Google+ invitation. 

I would also like to include you in my growing circulation of Educator Musing Daily Posts. If you are interested in subscribing to the free daily updates and news, please visit the publication and click on Subscribe.

Please friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

My blog is Educator Musing.

Thanks!

Educator Musing:We Need a Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 In 2012 For Education

“If midyear budget cuts are realized, AB 114 severely restricts the ability of school districts to deal with them.  … Consequently, midyear cuts, coupled with statutory restrictions on how they may manage them, could drive more districts to financial insolvency.  Ironically, this would result in those districts being “taken over” by the very state that forced their insolvency.”

- California School Boards Association

 Assembly Bill 114 in California is another example of why our school system needs to be privatized away from direct government control.  The bill specifically dictates to school districts how their budgets need to be presented, limits their ability to balance their budget, and forces districts to use misleading finance projections.  Micro-management of education from Sacramento and Washington D.C. has created a mess.  There are other alternatives to funding education.

The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 is an example of how government can and perhaps should fund education.  Through this act, Congress established and funds the Corporation of Public Broadcast (CPB) as a private not-for-profit corporation to facilitate the development of public media.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting does not produce any programming but instead provides support for independent noncommercial non-profit organizations, such as, the Public Broadcast Service (PBS), National Public Radio (NPR), and independent public television stations.  PBS, NPR, and public television stations then work with private corporations to produce what has been excellent public television programming.

Congress can dissolve the U.S. Department of Education and establish a private not-for-profit corporation to facilitate the development of public education.  The billions of dollars wasted by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Race To The Top (RTTT) could have been better spent by an entrepreneurial approach similar to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.  This is an idea worth pursuing.  Finding the right mixture of instruction, management, and structure for sustainable funding and accreditation will be a challenge, but our kids are worth it.

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Video - This Just In From CSBA: Executive Director Vernon Billy on AB 114

Around the Capitol – AB 114 (Committee on Budget) Education Finance

California School Boards Association - CSBA Budget Update: Analysis of Trailer Bill AB 114

Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) – About CPB

Leginfo.ca.gov – California Assembly Bill 114

Public Broadcasting Act of 1967

Public Broadcasting Act of 1967


Educator Musing: Failing to Make The NCLB Cut

"The law has created dozens of ways for schools to fail and very few ways to help them succeed. We should get out of the business of labeling schools as failures and create a new law that is fair and flexible and focused on the schools and students most at risk."

U.S. Department of Education Secretary – Arne Duncan

It’s all about the test scores.  Administrators, pressured to reach or maintain test scores to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) adequate yearly progress benchmarks, insists that teachers strictly adhere to the “essential standards” that will be tested on the standardized state test.  Only the courageous teacher will deviate to include the visual and performing arts, social studies, and other subjects with nonessential standards.

NCLB is federal legislation signed into law with bipartisan support in 2002 meant to improve public schools.  The original intent was to provide billions of dollars and other support to close the achievement gap between different groups of students.  Standards-based education was to be developed by the states to clearly define what a child should know and be able to do by the end of a school year.  And for the first time, visual and performing arts was listed as a core academic subject.  Standardized annual state tests were also to be implemented to measure adequate yearly progress in closing the achievement gaps.

The funds to aid the states never fully materialized.  And punitive damages to states, districts, and schools tied to the standardized state tests changed the dynamics of the law’s original intent.

Schools will do whatever it takes to avoid the punitive damage that NCLB will visit upon then if the do not reach the test benchmarks.  Cheating, unfortunately, has become a problem.  In the wake of the city wide cheating scandal in Atlanta, U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan, has expressed his concern about cheating – again.

Unfortunately, there are other ways of beating the test-based accountability system besides cheating. 

Did you ever see the 1990 movie, Pump Up The Volume, starring a young Christian Slater?  It was about a shy teenager with a pirate radio station connecting with other teens as he found his voice to speak his mind.  The story in the background was about a principal finding unjustified reasons for expelling poor performing students that will lower the school’s test scores.

Closer to real life is the closing and reopening of schools with a new name.  Changing the student testing population of a school.  Lowering the standard for what is defined as proficient on test scores.  Or, if it is a charter or magnet school, dropping low performing students back to their regular neighborhood public school. 

Such seems to be the case of Katherine Sprowal’s son, Matthew.  Ms. Sprowal was initially please that Matthew won the lottery to attend a New York City charter school.  It soon became clear that the school that will not let him fail was recommending that he would be better suited elsewhere to be successful.  Matthew was diagnosed with having an attention disorder.  Years later, Ms. Sprowal became convinced that her son was done an injustice.  Fortunately, he thrived at Public School 75.

In 2010, Harold Maready, superintendent of McKeel Schools in Florida, defended the charter school’s dismissal rate.  Charter schools must accept all students.  It is only when a charter school is filled to capacity that a lottery system is used to select students.  Once enrolled, however, a signed contract with a very defined policy on reasons for dismissal, including behavior, attendance, and academic performance may drop a student later.  Typically these students return to the neighborhood public school.

Soon it will not matter.  The system is falling apart. The NCLB test benchmarks are raised in intervals over the years to measure yearly adequate progress toward the goal of 100 percent of all students proficient or better in math and English language arts by the year 2014.  U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan has estimated that 82 percent of schools may be labeled as failed schools in the next test cycle because the benchmark has become so high.

Arne Duncan has called upon Congress to change the law.  It was suppose to be revised in 2008 to avoid the pending catastrophic test scores, but it never happened.  In the meanwhile he is offering a waiver from the test results to desperate states if they will agree to restrictive stipulations that will give the federal government more control over public education.  He did the same with billions of Race To The Top Grant dollars.

States are now abandoning NCLB and daring Congress to do something about it.  Congress will eventually do something, but they are so far down the wrong pass that it will not be the right thing.  Ultimately the federal government needs to get out of the school improvement business.  They are not very good at it.  We need to privatize public education out of direct government control without imposing tuition on parents and still meet the public good.  Finding the right combination of instruction, management, and structure for sustainable funding and accreditation will be a challenge, but our kids are worth it.

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The Commercial Appeal – Tennessee Eyes Waiver For No Child Left Behind

FOX News – Education Department ‘Concerned’ About Wave Cheating Probes Allegations


The Ledger – Maready Defends McKeel’s Policies 


NPR - 'No Child' Law Picked Apart as Renewal Fight Looms


NPR – States Threaten To Defy No Child Left Behind

NPR – Utah Is First State To Abandon No Child Left Behind podcast

NY Times – Message From a Charter School: Thrive or Transfer

Washington Post - Most schools could face ‘failing’ label under No Child Left Behind, Duncan says

Educator Musing: We All Have A Brain!

Superhuman: the Incredible Savant Brain.

Infographic by Smarter.org

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July 5, 2011 - Awesome visual of 2011 Phoenix Dust Storm!  For teachers - good intro to Dust Bowl of U.S. History. No seems to have gotten hurt.

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Awesome! Visual of industrialization around the world. Intro to a lesson plan?
NASA picture - Earth At Night
 
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Awesome! Visual of industrialization around the world. Intro to a lesson plan?

NASA picture - Earth At Night

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My main blog is Educator Musing.

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Declaration of Independence - 21st Century Redistribution Through Social Media

NECO_org NECO - ReTweeted by EducatorMusing

Tweet the Declaration of Independence! #tweetfrom1776 to enter & win $1776! #Happy4thofjuly #contest Ending today! on.fb.me/moDFIX

The Declaration of Independence written 235 years ago enjoys redistribution through 21st century social media.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. “

Thomas Jefferson – Declaration of Independence

These words still have great meaning today.

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