?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> California Father http://www.californiafather.com Educating Sullivan Mon, 30 Dec 2013 01:44:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Everyday I record notes for my son to listen to when he grows up. I use a Sound Devices digital recorder and pre-amp, and a Countryman headset mic. California Father no California Father californiafather@californiafather.com californiafather@californiafather.com (California Father) 2006-2007 Talk to You Later-Notes to my Son California Father http://lh4.ggpht.com/_JXuBCo3J2r8/Sw_3zMb0UAI/AAAAAAAAAGI/4WuMGkyTQFA/c_f_logo_rev.jpg http://www.californiafather.com Califather Live! (Show Starts 1 Min In) /?p=6969&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=califather-live-show-starts-1-min-in /?p=6969#comments Sat, 28 Dec 2013 01:28:47 +0000 /?p=6969 Hi, folks. This is my first “studio” (actually shed, but hey) live streaming effort. Watch me talk about Hannah Nguyen crashing Michelle Rhee’s party. Watch for upcoming eps!

Watch live streaming video from califather at livestream.com]]> Hi, folks. This is my first “studio” (actually shed, but hey) live streaming effort. Watch me talk about Hannah Nguyen crashing Michelle Rhee’s party. Watch for upcoming eps!

Watch live streaming video from califather at livestream.com
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Common Core and FAPE: On a Slippery Slope /?p=6962&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=common-core-and-fape-on-a-slippery-slope /?p=6962#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 16:53:28 +0000 /?p=6962 I am reposting this excellent piece by AMY SKALICKY on Common Core. Please read:

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and it means your child has the right to a public education that is free and that emphasizes special education and related services that are [...]]]> I am reposting this excellent piece by AMY SKALICKY on Common Core. Please read:

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and it means your child has the right to a public education that is free and that emphasizes special education and related services that are “designed to meet their unique needs” and to “prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.” 20 USC 1400(d).

This means that children with IEP’s need to receive “meaningful educational benefit.” Before I go any further, I want to help clarify what that means.

On June 28, 1982, in the .S Supreme Court decision, Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District, Westchester County et al., versus Rowley by her parents Rowley et ux., the Court held that the requirement of FAPE is met when a child is provided with personalized instruction with sufficient support services to benefit educationally from that instruction.

DB v. Sutton, 07-cv-40191-FDS (D.Mass.2009)required that at a minimum the school district must provide students with “a meaningful, beneficial educational opportunity.” Polk v. Central Susqehanna, 3rd Ci. 1988, further defined it by stating that educational opportunities must be “meaningful not merely trivial or ‘de mimimus’.”

In Cypress-Fairbanks Indep. School District v. Michael F., the Fifth Circuit Court quoted from Rowley and concluded that “the educational

Common Core will damage this child as well.
Common Core will damage this child as well.

benefit that an IEP is designed to achieve must be meaningful.” In order to determine whether an IEP meets this standard, the Cypress-
Fairbanks court identified four factors: (1) the program is individualized; (2) the program is administered in the least restrictive environment (in the regular classroom as much as possible); (3) the services are provided in a coordinated and collaborative manner; and (4) positive academic and nonacademic benefits are demonstrated.

Hearing officers and courts also consider whether or not the child is advancing from grade to grade and/or is making passing grades regardless of whether the child is at grade level. The Rowley decision itself it states “The grading and advancement system thus constitutes an important factor in determining educational benefit. Children who graduate from our public school systems are considered by our society to have been ‘educated’ at least to the grade level they have completed, and access to an ‘education’ for handicapped children, is precisely what Congress sought to provide in the Act.”

Why did I just explain all of that to you?

Because Common Core violates IDEA and makes it impossible to provide FAPE for students with IEP’s.

By mandating that all students meet the same standards in their respective grade levels, regardless of ability, Common Core ignores the intricacies presented by disabilities, as well as mandated provisions such as Individualized Educational Plans that are”designed to meet their unique needs.”

Further, it makes it impossible to create meaningful and measurable goals based on Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP), which means starting with baseline information about a child’s knowledge and skills and then developing appropriate goals for progress. Many students with disabilities are not able to perform at grade level, but they are able to learn and to progress.

Example of an appropriate goal: Johnny has a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to process information that he reads. He is in the fifth grade and currently reads at a second grade level. He comprehends 5% of common sight words for third grade reading levels. After identifying what reasonable progress should look like (based on historical evidence), as well as supports and services, an appropriate goal might read “Johnny will increase comprehension of third grade sight words from 5% to 45% by December, and from December to May, Johnny will increase comprehension fro 45% to 90%.

Example of an inappropriate goal (based on the same information) Johnny’s reading skills will be proficient at his grade level by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

The second example is what Common Core dictates.

I reblogged a post a few days ago entitled “Special Needs Out of Luck with Common Core” in which Jill Stine, a Trainer at The Center for College and Career Readiness, openly admits that Common Core does not address special needs students or provide for appropriate accommodations.

This decimates the ability of a student with disabilities to benefit at all from his or her educational experience. In fact, meaningful educational benefit comes to a screeching halt. Common Core puts students with disabilities at the bottom of a very steep corporate-made hill made of steel and ice–harsh, cold, slippery, unnecessary, brutal and impassable–and then tells them to climb it, blind and with no climbing tools. Alone.

When did Arne Duncan and his corporate goons decide that this was ok?

All children CAN learn!
All children CAN learn!

When did it become alright to throw out federal protections that took years to obtain, and that have been strongly upheld by courts, including the Supreme Court?

And how do they sleep at night?

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Ivy Academia Charter School /?p=6949&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6949 /?p=6949#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 02:28:16 +0000 /?p=6949 Once in junior high, I asked Miss Casey (on whom, like most of the 7th grade boys, I had a crush) if teachers ever went to the bathroom. She laughed at my joke and I have tried to make other pretty women laugh ever since.

By the way, she told me that, yes, in fact, [...]]]> Once in junior high, I asked Miss Casey (on whom, like most of the 7th grade boys, I had a crush) if teachers ever went to the bathroom. She laughed at my joke and I have tried to make other pretty women laugh ever since.

By the way, she told me that, yes, in fact, she did use the bathroom and that all teachers, so far as she knew, used bathrooms too.

Last night, I learned that charter school teachers also use the bathroom. That is, they are human, need a living wage and don’t like when their colleagues get fired at will.

In this case, the teachers work at Ivy Academia Charter School in the valley. I heard several of them speak at a rally where I learned how gutsy teachers can be.

Here is a vid I made about their struggles.

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The Gingerbread Man /?p=6943&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-gingerbread-man /?p=6943#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 01:10:19 +0000 /?p=6943 “Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Gingerbread Man.”

When Nathan recited this I realized in whose presence I’ve always been. Nathan is an autistic kindergartner who bolts from his class and shows up at my door wanting to play. I teach in an RSP classroom where we [...]]]> “Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Gingerbread Man.”

When Nathan recited this I realized in whose presence I’ve always been. Nathan is an autistic kindergartner who bolts from his class and shows up at my door wanting to play. I teach in an RSP classroom where we help kids who are having trouble in reading and math. Nathan has trouble staying in his class, I think, because it is noisy and very crowded. He needs a break so just walks out. Sometimes I claim that public schools are the only places for kids like him, but Nathan’s mother thinks differently and hopes to enroll him in non-public school for autistic children. In his case, she might be right. Sometimes Nathan seems to be hallucinating, stomping at creatures that don’t exist. I can’t help him with that. And I can’t get him into a quieter classroom.

So he runs.

I looked up The Gingerbread Man fairy tale and learned that GM is the son of elderly parents, that he is a fast runner, and only gets caught when a fox tricks him into ferrying him across a river.

GM thought he is a man and so does Nathan. Where ever Nathan ends up, I hope he keeps running, avoids rivers and does not trust any foxes. Because I never want to hear that he is a quarter of the way, half of the way, all the way gone.

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King Harvest /?p=6932&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=king-harvest /?p=6932#comments Sat, 16 Nov 2013 19:31:20 +0000 /?p=6932

Went to a UTLA rally Wednesday. I didn’t really want to be there but decided to go anyway. The chants were uninspiring: “We want a raise. We want a raise.” But as the crowd got thicker on the patch of Beaudry roped off for the rally, I found myself agreeing with much that was [...]]]>

Went to a UTLA rally Wednesday. I didn’t really want to be there but decided to go anyway. The chants were uninspiring: “We want a raise. We want a raise.” But as the crowd got thicker on the patch of Beaudry roped off for the rally, I found myself agreeing with much that was said. Where was the money from Prop 30? How can Deasy make his 360K and spend construction bond money on iPads for every student in the district–kids in overcrowded classrooms, sped children not getting the help they need?

The next day someone left a note on a rally carpool sign-up in the mailroom of my school. “You should be grateful you have a job.” I am and I was enlightened by some of the comments about a photo of the sign up I put up on Facebook. A young teacher said that with her student loan debt she could never go on strike. Another guessed that a displaced sub may have written the note.

Fair enough. But as I pointed out, if they kill the union we won’t have jobs anyway or positions at charters that can fire us without cause.

Am I a big union man, as a colleague once accused me of being? Standing in that crowd, briefly panicked, I had my doubts. Guess I’ll find out when King Harvest finally comes.
Untitled-2

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STEMming a Tide of Lies /?p=6928&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stemming-the-tide-of-lies /?p=6928#comments Sat, 16 Nov 2013 15:22:17 +0000 /?p=6928 Okay, THERE IS NO CRISIS IN EDUCATION

Gerald Bracey:

President Obama told the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, “8th graders have fallen to 9th place.” That statistic comes from the 2008 round of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. It’s true. But there were 45 nations in the study so being in 9th [...]]]> Okay, THERE IS NO CRISIS IN EDUCATION

Gerald Bracey:

President Obama told the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, “8th graders have fallen to 9th place.” That statistic comes from the 2008 round of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. It’s true. But there were 45 nations in the study so being in 9th place means being ahead of 36. More important, when TIMSS first began in 1995, American eighth graders finished 28th among 41 nations. Over 13 years, we have “fallen” up 19 ranks. Many would consider that extraordinary progress.

And THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF STEM WORKERS

Bracey again:

According to the president, “Of the 30 fastest growing occupations in America, half require a bachelor’s degree or more.” First off, that means that half do not require even a bachelor’s. More important, the fastest growing occupations never account for many jobs.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupations accounting for most jobs are low-paying service sector jobs. Retail sales alone accounts for more jobs than the top ten fastest growing jobs combined. For every systems analyst Microsoft lusts after, Wal-Mart and other retailers put about 15 sales associates on the floor.

Here are the occupations the Bureau projected as those with the most jobs from 2006 to 2016: retail sales, cashiers, office clerks, registered nurses, janitors and cleaners, bookkeeping clerks, waiters and waitresses, food preparers and servers, customer service representatives, and truck and tractor drivers. Shouldn’t we focus at least in part on providing these tens of millions with living wages and health benefits?

Or Robert N. Charette:

What’s perhaps most perplexing about the claim of a STEM worker shortage is that many studies have directly contradicted it, including reports from Duke University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Rand Corp. A 2004 Rand study, for example, stated that there was no evidence “that such shortages have existed at least since 1990, nor that they are on the horizon.”

And in the same article:

Clearly, powerful forces must be at work to perpetuate the cycle. One is obvious: the bottom line. Companies would rather not pay STEM professionals high salaries with lavish benefits, offer them training on the job, or guarantee them decades of stable employment. So having an oversupply of workers, whether domestically educated or imported, is to their benefit. It gives employers a larger pool from which they can pick the “best and the brightest,” and it helps keep wages in check. No less an authority than Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said as much when in 2007 he advocated boosting the number of skilled immigrants entering the United States so as to “suppress” the wages of their U.S. counterparts, which he considered too high.

So how can reformers prepare kids for the future when they don’t understand the job market?  And if they do understand it wherefore the lies?

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Inverted Totalitarianism /?p=6923&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=inverted-totalitarianism /?p=6923#comments Sat, 16 Nov 2013 04:48:40 +0000 /?p=6923 Whew, that is hard to say. Anyway, here is Chris Hedges on Sheldon Wolin: in classical totalitarianism politics trumps economics; in inverted totalitarianism economics trumps politics.  In classical totalitarianism power resides in a charismatic dictator; in inverted totalitarianism the invisibility of the corporate state.

 

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Whew, that is hard to say. Anyway, here is Chris Hedges on Sheldon Wolin: in classical totalitarianism politics trumps economics; in inverted totalitarianism economics trumps politics.  In classical totalitarianism power resides in a charismatic dictator; in inverted totalitarianism the invisibility of the corporate state.

 

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Autism Speaks (for People It Doesn’t Understand) /?p=6918&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=autism-speaks-for-people-it-doesnt-understand /?p=6918#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 20:21:59 +0000 /?p=6918 Like this guy here, I am tired of NPO’s speaking for people it doesn’t understand. In my case, this means NCLD, Easter Seals and others who think kids with disabilites need to be beaten over the head with standardized tests, in the name of “leveling the playing field.”

From Disability Scoop:

A prominent self-advocate [...]]]> Like this guy here, I am tired of NPO’s speaking for people it doesn’t understand. In my case, this means NCLD, Easter Seals and others who think kids with disabilites need to be beaten over the head with standardized tests, in the name of “leveling the playing field.”

From Disability Scoop:

A prominent self-advocate is resigning from his post with Autism Speaks citing “destructive” public statements from the organization’s leadership and their disinterest in his ideas.

John Elder Robison says he has resigned from Autism Speaks’ science and treatment advisory boards, which help review scientific proposals that the organization considers funding.

In the role, he was one of, if not the only, individual with autism actively weighing in on decision-making at the group.

Robison said he was prompted to resign after reading a commentary this week by Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright who wrote on the group’s website about an “autism crisis” that she described as a “national emergency.”

In the piece, Wright said families affected by autism have been left to “split up, go broke and struggle through their days and years.”

“Life is lived moment-to-moment. In anticipation of the child’s next move. In despair. In fear of the future. This is autism,” Wright wrote.

The words did not sit well with many in the autism community and, as a high-profile representative of Autism Speaks, Robison said anger over Wright’s piece was directed his way.

“I had been criticized right along for working with Autism Speaks, but the tone of Mrs. Wright’s recent essay made the current attacks much more strident,” Robison said in an email to Disability Scoop. “I too was troubled by her essay, and I realized her words reflected the thoughts of the top leadership of the organization.”

“I would never say the words she said in that article,” he said.

Robison said he notified Autism Speaks of his resignation from his volunteer role in a letter to the group’s president Liz Feld earlier this week and, when he received no reply, decided to writeabout the decision to step down on his blog. The posting generated hundreds of supportive comments.

Autism Speaks has long had a touchy rapport with many self-advocates who object to the lack of representation of people with autism within the group’s leadership and have criticized the organization for making statements characterizing autism as an epidemic in need of a cure.

But having a public figure in their corner like Robison — who has authored several books and is known for speaking about his experiences on the autism spectrum — helped Autism Speaks project an image of inclusiveness.

Now, however, critics say Robison’s break from the group is more evidence that Autism Speaks is a top-down entity that isn’t interested in views from those with autism.

“Robison was the only autistic affiliated with the organization’s leadership,” said Ari Ne’eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and a long-time critic of Autism Speaks. “I think his departure speaks to the fact that Autism Speaks is not an organization capable of reform.”

For his part, however, Robison said the situation is unfortunate given that Autism Speaks’ fundraising power far exceeds that of any of the other groups focused on the developmental disorder. Robison said that he had hoped to be able to promote change from within the group, but found that his suggestions of late were “politely ignored.”

“It’s a sad day for me because they have so much potential, but so little is actually realized. I hoped I could do more,” Robison said.

Autism Speaks spokesman C.J. Volpe did not respond to questions about Robison’s resignation, only saying that the group would prefer to talk about its policy summit in Washington, D.C. this week.

 

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Public Education: A Civil Religion /?p=6907&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=public-education-a-civil-religion /?p=6907#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:17:01 +0000 /?p=6907 One of the authors of this interesting book used to be a special ed teacher. Here he describes an experience I am afraid I know well. The thesis of the book is that we have confused public education for a religion. From the right, we get faith in business solutions. From the left, the [...]]]> One of the authors of this interesting book used to be a special ed teacher. Here he describes an experience I am afraid I know well. The thesis of the book is that we have confused public education for a religion. From the right, we get faith in business solutions. From the left, the idea that everyone can reach the same high standards:

It may have seemed obvious to the planners that this kind of mandate would lead to uniform excellence. However, those carrying out the plans experienced the demand as futility. One of the authors was once a special education teacher forced to administer standardized multiple-choice achievement tests lasting several hours to young adolescents reading three for four (or more) grade levels below the reading level of the test. All of the students were classified as “educationally mentally retarded.” Though working with this group of students was generally a wonderfully rewardnig experience, forcing them to take a state-mandated standardized test was one of the more frustrating exercises in which the author ever engaged. After staring blankly at indecipherable marks on the page, most students simply put their heads down after about 5 minutes of grimacing and went to sleep. Since some of his students had severe emotional and behavioral disorders, too, the author spent much of the time simply trying to keep these students in their seats. While this is, admittedly, a single anecdote, it does represent the experience of other teachers who found it utterly unrealistic to expect uniform standards among highly varied student populations.

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Jesse Hagopian & Monty Neill /?p=6901&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jesse-hagopian-monty-neill /?p=6901#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 23:46:20 +0000 /?p=6901 Here are two great voices in the testing reform movement.  I saw them at a recent United Teacher’s of Los Angeles Event hosted.  Thanks to all the new friends I made there.

 

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Here are two great voices in the testing reform movement.  I saw them at a recent United Teacher’s of Los Angeles Event hosted.  Thanks to all the new friends I made there.

 

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