Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

“ A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.”~Henry Adams

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 at 12:16

“Students Matter, a Silicon Valley-based group that brought the suit, argued that these policies make it hard to fire “grossly ineffective” teachers and to retain high-quality junior ones, and that low-income minority students disproportionately suffer as bad teachers are shuttled into their classrooms” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/10/a-california-judge-just-ruled-that-teacher-tenure-is-bad-for-students/).

a “silicon valley-based group.” interestingly coincidental since bill gates is THE leader of the education reform (deform) movement AND has given the most money to fund it (over $200 million). not to mention, it’s his idea to have students and teachers wear gsr (galvanic skin response) bracelets to monitor activity (see:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/11-million-plus-gates-grants-galvanic-bracelets-that-measure-student-engagement/2012/06/10/gJQAgAUbTV_blog.html ).  that is so flawed in so many ways.  both moral and quantitatively.  no true validity or reliability.  don’t get me started.

this is NOT the way to reform education. teachers are not the enemy 


not to mention that effective teachers only account for a small percentage of student achievement/success.  

“Research dating back to the 1966 release of Equality of Educational Opportunity (the “Coleman Report”) shows that student performance is only weakly related to school quality. The report concluded that students’ socioeconomic background was a far more influential factor. However, among the various influences that schools and policymakers can control, teacher quality was found to account for a larger portion of the variation in student test scores than all other characteristics of a school, excluding the composition of the student body (so-called peer effects).”


but, instead of using the billions of dollars illustrated in the “common core money flow charts” (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18442-flow-chart-exposes-common-cores-myriad-corporate-connections) to get food, money, and better conditions for the poor, let’s spend it on a “new and improved,” “educational disruption” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/keep-your-disruption-out-_b_3791295.htmlbusiness-based model!  in what world do you not decide to go for the most “return,” but only choose something that might account for a small percentage of your “earnings” (high test scores and rankings).  i don’t get it.

look at the data (arne, perhaps…?) or the actual opinions of those “in the trenches.”  most will tell you (likely if they didn’t fear retribution, and most, do) this is heading down a bad path.  and, in the end, the kids will suffer.



i was nominated for the very inspiring blogger award!

In gratitude, Uncategorized on Wednesday, 4 June 2014 at 08:20



i am completely in awe and so very, very flattered that christine terry, of the terrytutors blog (http://terrytutors.wordpress.com/) has kindly nominated this blog for “the very inspiring blogger’s award”).  please visit her blog as it has a multitude of information regarding the WHOLE child and helping each and every one succeed.

as such, i am following terry’s guidelines as a nominee:

Paying It Forward:

If you’ve been nominated for this outstanding award, take a moment and pay it forward.

Rules & Guidelines:

  1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

following the rules:

1.  THANK YOU, TERRYTUTORS!!!  http://terrytutors.wordpress.com/

2.  see above; rules posted

3.  see below:

1.  i am a grammar fanatic (i.e. can’t stand the misuse of their and they’re; all of the sudden/all of a sudden; your and you’re; not realizing the grave importance of the oxford comma; etc.)

2. i do not like writing using capitals (when i am writing casually) as i have never learned how to correctly type so lowercase makes it easier and more able to follow stream of consciousness

3.  i am actively involved in humane education and animal rescue and my dream is that rescue groups and animal control facilities/shelters need not exist in the future

4.  i am a “walking dead” fan and have had a raging crush on andrew lincoln since “love actually”

5.  i have had the pleasure of knowing my soul dog, baloo, and still cry two years after his death but also believe his spirit is still with me and dedicate all my rescue efforts to him and fighting black dog syndrome

6.  i DO NOT like common core and think it will be the ruination of public schools and gravely hurt children and true pedagogy

7.  my two favorite places to be are anywhere in the caribbean or on a rescue facility located on a farm surrounded by all animals

4.  blogs i love and nominate:

  1. http://protectportelos.org
  2. http://themeditativebrain.wordpress.com/
  3. http://drasadonbrown.wordpress.com/
  4. http://tludwiglaw.com/
  5. http://thegratitudegarden.wordpress.com/
  6. http://ipledgeafallegiance.wordpress.com/
  7. http://addadultstrategies.wordpress.com/
  8. http://terrytutors.wordpress.com
  9. http://mrmck.wordpress.com/
  10. http://dianeravitch.net/
  11. http://pittsburghbuddhist.com/
  12. http://tibetreport.wordpress.com/
  13. http://buddhistglobalrelief.wordpress.com/
  14. http://helenwoodwardanimalcenter.wordpress.com/
  15. http://whatwouldmikesay.com/

5. proudly displaying my nomination!


vam needs to go vamoose!

In Common Core, Education, Education advocacy, School reform on Wednesday, 4 June 2014 at 06:32


as you can see  from the article (and, there are MANY more studies and research) show that vam DOES NOT WORK:

“VAMs should be viewed within the context of quality improvement, which distinguishes aspects of quality that can be attributed to the system from those that can be attributed to individual teachers, teacher preparation programs, or schools. Most VAM studies find that teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores, and that the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the SYSTEM-LEVEL conditions. Ranking teachers by their VAM scores can have unintended consequences that reduce quality.”


this is from the amazing diane ravitch, a true warrior against anything that HURTS our children and is unnecessary of downright wrong.  i respect and admire her so very much.

from arne-white suburban moms-duncan, who”told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were” (retrieved from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/11/16/arne-duncan-white-surburban-moms-upset-that-common-core-shows-their-kids-arent-brilliant/).  funny, because diane ravitch is not a white suburban mom, jonathan kozol is not a white suburban mom, richard woods (running for state school superintendent in my good old state of geaoria, is not a white suburban mom (richard,] is the ONLY georgia candidate for superintendent who is wholly against common core (see: http://woodsforsuper.com/teachereval-testing-standards.html)

AND…I am NOT a white suburban mom (my kids are furry and have four legs and, thankfully, no opposing thumbs for which to bubble in answer sheets).  additionally, i already know my kids are JUST as brilliant as i think they are!  arne would not convince me otherwise…even if they could take tests! 

let us go back to arne for a moment and his reaction to the ACTUAL quantitative research about vam.  in another brilliant diane ravitch article (see: http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/19/strauss-what-does-arne-think-of-new-vam-studies/), diane writes about valerie strauss calling the u.s. department of education to ask if arne was aware of the MULTITUDE of research (even a GATES funded study) proving vam was not an accurate and, as one study put it,  “VAM ratings had about the same relationship to reading and math scores as to changes in a student’s height”: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/05/13/32value-add.h33.html).  and she received the following response:  “Strauss called the U.S. Department of Education to ask whether Secretary Duncan was aware of the research and whether it had changed his views. The answers: yes, he was aware of the research; no, it had not changed his views.”

huh?!?!?!  maybe arne was playing basketball during his statistics class.

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