Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Teachers as Scapegoats

“Since we can’t fire poverty, we can’t fire students, and we can’t fire parents, all that is left is to fire teachers.”

~ Diane Ravitch

NCLB Advocate Shifts Position

Diane Ravitch: First, Let's Fire All the Teachers

Common Dreams: Obama Backs Rewarding Districts that Police Failing Schools

Education Week: Obama Gets Involved in R.I Teacher-Firing Drama

Washington Post: Class Struggle (Jay Mathews): Obama Wrong, Weingarten Right

Maeve Maddox on Language and Popular Culture: Teachers as Scapegoats

The Sydney Morning Herald: Now the Class Scapegoat is the Teacher

J.B. Fabiano: Why Do Teachers Have to Be the Scapegoat of Public Education?

Google Earth Tours

by Olga LaPlante

There has been a lot said about using Google Earth to show places and look up things in relation to a location. We have already begun to take Google Earth for granted - some of us are still in awe, but most have been using it matter-of-factly, and unless a new feature pops up or is demoed at a workshop, we are sort of "yeah, yeah, seen that" about it.

It has also been a while that Google Earth has had the feature which allows you to add your own placemarks, insert images and text, create a sightseeing tour, by clicking on each of your recent places.

Google, however, is notorious for changing and improving things - should I mention the infamous streetview? - and today - thanks to a request from a teacher - I have discovered that you can now create narrated tours in Google Earth and share them using a Google Earth embed widget! That is a wow update.

This is very important to me as educational technology specialist on two levels. One is the creative/productive aspect of the tool. We have lots of things to watch or read; expressing yourself and producing a new mashup is not as widely-spread as we might think (hence the whole plagiarism and copyright violations issue). This tool incorporates the ability to share and create.

Secondly, I am simply excited because I already see the integration side of the Google Earth story. I am already planning future workshops, incorporating this tool, and I know they will be a blast.

Google has put up lots of helpful info on how to create, use and share layers from Google Earth, whether you use a narrated recorded tour feature or a placemark tour. These tutorials and lots of other relevant information can be found at Google Earth Outreach.

P.S. If you are one of those who have long discovered this, please be generous and allow for some excitement! :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Innovative Schools vs. Charter Schools

This bill enables school administrative units to establish innovative schools that meet the requirements of the federal Race to the Top Assessment Program application. The bill also requires that all applicable state statutory and regulatory requirements be met by school administrative units that establish innovative schools.

Public hearings and work sessions for LD 1801, 124th Legislature.
Education and Cultural Affairs
Public Hearings
SP 706, LD 1801An Act To Promote the Establishment of Innovative Schools

Mar 4, 2010, 0100PM Room 202 Cross Building
Full Bill Text

Clip Art Credit

Tying Standardized Test Scores to Teacher Evaluation

In order to qualify for the RttT federal funds (4.35 billion dollars), Maine, like every other State, is quickly passing legislation to make us eligible. One of the bills concerns educator job evaluation.

What do you think? Is this selling our souls for money or a reasonable response to hard times?

See cartoon here. . .

Education and Cultural Affairs
Public Hearings

An Act To Encourage the Use of Models in the Collection and Use of Student Achievement Data

SP 704, LD 1799
Mar 4, 2010, 0100PMRoom 202 Cross Building


This bill eliminates the prohibition on the use of student assessment data in the establishment of models for evaluation of the professional performance of teachers. It also extends the models for evaluation developed by the Department of Education to principals and requires that the models include multiple within the State shall have has the option to incorporate the models developed pursuant to subsection 1 for the evaluation of the professional performance of any teacher or principal employed by that school administrative unit.

Download Complete Bill: Download RTF, PDF

Teacher Evaluation at LIM Resources

Clip Art Credit