Check out our Facebook album, “2012 Labor Management Conference,” to see photos from the event.
Chalkboard is honored to have been invited by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to present at the second Labor Management Conference this week in Cincinnati. Teachers, administrators and a school board member are part of our team showcasing the CLASS Project.
The conference kicked-off with seven people signing a document, including top leaders of the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National School Boards Association, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the U.S. Department of Education. In other words, all the major players in public education. (more…)
Two recent events provide the opportunity to revisit a couple of recurrent themes in my blogs. The first of these events was the release of the NAEP science results from the 2011 administration. The results were predictable – no significant growth in the number of students achieving at the proficient level. Only about a third of all students tested performed at this level or better. Sound familiar?
The same general pattern was apparent when I reviewed the results from the last NAEP reading and mathematics assessments. And the reasons are also the same. There are no “breakthroughs” in NAEP results because this snapshot assessment program tells us as much about student ability as it does about student achievement. Not all students of a given chronological age will reach the same achievement levels at the same time – particularly when the resources invested per student are essentially uniform. The number of hours of instruction per day, week and year are broadly equivalent across the United States and students are focused on the same relatively narrow curriculum. (more…)
The pinch in the state budget has made the teaching profession the subject of much criticism. I often hear about how my benefits, pay, and retirement are devastating state services. Recently, someone in business asked me if I was a Tier 1 PERS employee. She said she could ask me that because I “worked for her.” She also mentioned that I needed to realize that my summer vacation and my 8-3 job are courtesy of all the hard workers in the private sector. Ouch! I thought, if someone is willing to say that to my face, many others are probably thinking it.
I think this attitude is a product of the fact that many people think they know what a teacher does all day. After all, everyone went to school, many have kids in school and some even volunteer in schools. Some vocations are veiled in mystery. What is a day in the life of a market analyst like? What does an investment banker do? The mystique often seems to deflect questions about huge pay, bonuses and tax breaks. We all know what teachers do, and because it seems so straightforward, the profession is an easy target for those who think educators are overcompensated. (more…)
Times are hard, as we all know. Our political leaders are preoccupied, understandably, with job creation.
But if they don’t put reversing the decline of public education as the highest priority, their efforts to bolster the economy by creating jobs are doomed to fail.
If we want a preview of what comes when public education goes into a death spiral, just look south. After years of economic crisis, the once-vaunted University of California college system, formerly among the world’s most envied, has lost appeal, with many high school counselors now advising high-achieving, college-bound graduates against applying there, due to declining quality from lack of funding.
The implications are obvious: brain drain/fewer college students coming to the state → a reduced pipeline of well-prepared young workers for the labor market → less interest from businesspeople in locating or expanding in the state → reluctance of smart people to move to places where schools are subpar = no way out of economic malaise. (more…)