Category Archives: Education K-12

Who Misbehaves?

Claims that school discipline is unfairly meted out ignore actual classroom behavior.

Race advocates and the media are greeting a new General Accounting Office report on racial disparities in school discipline as a vindication of Obama administration policies. The GAO found that black students get suspended at nearly three times the rate of white students nationally, a finding consistent with previous analyses. The Obama Education and Justice Departments viewed that disproportion as proof of teacher and principal bias. Administration officials used litigation and the threatened loss of federal funding to force schools to reduce suspensions and expulsions radically in order to eliminate racial disparities in discipline. The GAO report, which implicitly rubberstamps the Obama approach, comes just as Trump education secretary Betsy DeVos is evaluating whether to rescind Obama’s school discipline directives. DeVos should go forward with that rescission: the administration’s policies were fatally flawed, as is the GAO report that attempts to justify them.

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Father of Autistic Son Displeased With School

Jeremy Piper of Quispamsis says there’s nothing inclusive about an education system that restricts his nine-year-old autistic son Alex to 30 minutes of class time per day.

Piper says the Department of Education has failed to equip its teaching staff and schools to support students with special needs and he’s convinced the students are paying the price.  

“They don’t have the resources,” Piper said.

“They don’t have the training. They don’t have the experience. And they won’t make themselves get it.”

Piper was reacting to what he describes as his son’s suspension on Nov. 2 from Quispamsis Elementary School over a series of violent outbursts, including one that may have caused serious injury to Alex’s educational assistant.

“This is their solution — send him home, don’t deal with it.” …

Piper said that until this month, Alex had no history of violent outbursts and had been going to school full time, with very few issues.

Alex started kindergarten at Milltown Elementary School in St. Stephen, where he was enrolled until last year.

Last year, Piper transferred to the Sussex RCMP detachment but chose a home near Quispamsis Elementary School because he had heard it was one of the best.

Piper shares custody of his two sons with their mother, who also lives in the Kennebecasis Valley.

Piper said Alex’s first year at Quispamsis seemed to go OK.

Then, about six weeks ago, he started hearing vague and conflicting reports about Alex acting violently and outbursts in the classroom.

The most serious complaint seemed to involve Alex’s educational assistant.

“So the first call I got said that Alex pulled his EA by the hair to the ground and she cut her knee,” Piper said.

“Then in our meeting two weeks ago, [Paul Smith, director of schools] said Alex pulled her to the ground by her hair so violently that she dislocated her knee, or pulled something in her knee and she’s going to be out for a number of months.”

Piper said it’s a real concern and that’s why he’d like to see the documentation, but it hasn’t been provided.

“I don’t know if it’s as bad as they say, or whether it happened because they won’t show me anything.”

According to Piper, Alex, who is non-verbal, hasn’t received the resources he needs to manage his behaviour and make the most of his learning opportunities.

Educational assistants don’t get nearly enough training to deal with autism, he said.

And after about 18 months on the wait list, Piper said, Alex has yet to be assigned a speech therapist.

Piper said he purchased an iPad for his son and he also paid for the $340 software that enables Alex to communicate with images and icons, but in the last couple of weeks he noticed it was coming home fully charged.

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Assistant principal on leave after ranting at two teen abortion protesters

An assistant principal at the prestigious Downingtown STEM Academy has been placed on paid leave after being video-recorded cursing at two teenage anti-abortion protesters on school property, telling them that aborted fetuses were “cells,” that he was gay and didn’t “give a [expletive] about Jesus,” and then loudly singing “I Love a Parade,” apparently to drown out the pair.

h/t Todd

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Atlanta cheating scandal teachers go to cells in hand-cuffs

In one of the biggest cheating scandals of its kind in the U.S., 11 former Atlanta public school educators were convicted Wednesday of racketeering for their role in a scheme to inflate students’ scores on standardized exams.

The defendants – including teachers, a principal and other administrators – were accused of falsifying test results to collect bonuses or keep their jobs in the 50,000-student Atlanta school system.

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Nova Scotia to close all schools because student safety can’t be ensured after teachers take job action

ns_teachers_20161202

“The safety of our students is paramount in all of this,” Karen Casey said. “What we’re saying to parents is that we recognize that this will be an inconvenience in the short-term, but we believe that the responsibility to ensure that their students are safe is a priority and we will err on the side of that.”

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BREAKING: Gunman on the loose at German school

breaking news

A school and nursery in the German city of Hamburg have been evacuated and anti-terror police have been scrambled to the scene amid reports a gunman is on the loose.

From Bild.de – Twitter #Elmshorn

Elmshorn – police major operation to Elmshorner Waldorf School!

Because of an alleged threat in the Pinneberg district officials have evacuated on Friday afternoon at approximately 12:45 pm, the Waldorf School and the adjacent kindergarten on Adenauer Damm.

The red alert was triggered because a student wants to have a person seen with a gun near the school. The stranger said to have been dressed in black trousers and a black Hoodie.

The police marched out with a large contingent. In addition, professional firefighter were alerted. From the evacuation around 420 students were affected, confirmed police spokeswoman Sandra Mohr towards BILD.

Subsequently, the officers ransacked twice school, but without success.

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‘Threat is real’: France to deploy 3k troops, prepare students for terror attacks on schools

french soldier protects school

France will deploy around 3,000 reserve troops to provide security to schools, education and security ministers have announced. Anti-terror drills aimed at preparing students for potential attacks will also be ramped up.

Around 12 million French students are preparing to head back to school on September 1, but the government is also making plans of its own. Those plans are aimed at protecting pupils and preparing them for possible attacks on their schools.

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Federal Racial Discipline Quotas Create Chaos In St. Paul Schools

Tumultuous brawls are a fact of life. Today, fights that “might have been between two individuals” can grow into “melees involving up to 40 or 50 people,” according to Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman. Roving packs often attack individuals, and police have had to use chemical irritants to break up what they call “riots.”

Teachers fear for their safety. In the last school year, a vicious student assault landed one in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury. Another was punched repeatedly in the chest, while another required staples for a head wound. One high school has issued emergency whistles to teachers and assigned a guard to every floor. A teacher who was crushed into a shelf in a classroom invasion now instructs her students to use a “secret knock” to enter her classroom, according to City Pages.

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Tales from K-12: How high schools indoctrinate students before they even get to college

At my high school, I cannot recall hearing a conservative opinion expressed by a teacher, despite the fact that I lived in a conservative swath of north San Diego county. My teachers were almost entirely Democrats, and were vocal about their beliefs.

I was told by my Chemistry teacher that a single-payer healthcare was the only “fair” system. I had a World History teacher tell us that the natural and best way for society to progress was to turn to communism. Not Cuban Communism, or Soviet Communism, but “true Communism,” because the Soviets just didn’t implement it correctly, we were taught. I even had an English teacher who forced us to spend three months analyzing writing through a Marxist lens, because apparently we “have spent our whole lives hearing about capitalism.”

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Ontario Teachers Urged to Withdraw Own Children From Standardised Tests

For thee, not for me, ect:

The union representing Ontario’s elementary school teachers is encouraging its members to request that their own children not participate in standardized testing.

A memo sent to public elementary school teachers this month outlines how educators can request their children in Grades 3 and 6 withdraw from the provincial test.

The move by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is symbolic, because all students in publicly funded schools are legally required to participate in the provincial reading, writing and math assessments. There are few exemptions; special accommodations are sometimes made for students with special needs or English-as-a-second-language students.

Students in Grades 3 and 6 will take the test between May 25 and June 8, administered by the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office. The provincial testing body also conducts a Grade 9 math assessment and a high-school literacy test.

“The Federation views province-wide testing of every student in the primary and junior divisions and Grades 9 and 10 as both a misuse of student time, and an ineffective use of funds that should be redirected to support students’ learning,” the ETFO memo stated.

“It is ETFO’s position that teachers’ ongoing daily assessment is far more meaningful and efficient for students and parents.”

ETFO president Sam Hammond said on Sunday that his union has advocated for random sample testing, rather than assessing all students.

“Our members know that the ongoing daily assessment that they do in their classrooms is far more meaningful and important,” he said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Education Minister Liz Sandals said on Sunday that the provincial tests allow the government and school boards to improve programs, better allocate resources and pinpoint curriculum areas that need attention.

“EQAO’s provincial tests provide the Ministry and our school boards with information they need to target investments where they are needed most,” Nicole McInerney said in a statement.

Standardized testing has been the subject of much debate in Ontario and internationally. Teachers are particularly opposed to testing, which they argue does not promote learning and undermines their professionalism.

Bunk.

Standardised testing is a more complicated issue than simply concluding that most teachers are trying to cover their @$$es (which most are). Any test captures a snapshot in a student’s academic life. It may reflect any number of things: poor teaching, poor standards, poor student ability, poor parenting or poor timing of a test. What I don’t buy is the argument that standardised tests undermine the professionalism of teachers’ union that can move elections.

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Jonathan Haidt: High schools as baby asshat factories

From social analyst Jonathan Haidt:

A month before the Yale Halloween meltdown, I had a bizarre and illuminating experience at an elite private high school on the West Coast. I’ll call it Centerville High. I gave a version of a talk that you can see here, on Coddle U. vs. Strengthen U. (In an amazing coincidence, I first gave that talk at Yale a few weeks earlier). The entire student body — around 450 students, from grades 9-12 — were in the auditorium. There was plenty of laughter at all the right spots, and a lot of applause at the end, so I thought the talk was well received.

But then the discussion began, and it was the most unremittingly hostile questioning I’ve ever had. I don’t mind when people ask hard or critical questions, but I was surprised that I had misread the audience so thoroughly. My talk had little to do with gender, but the second question was “So you think rape is OK?” Like most of the questions, it was backed up by a sea of finger snaps — the sort you can hear in the infamous Yale video, where a student screams at Prof. Christakis to “be quiet” and tells him that he is “disgusting.” I had never heard the snapping before. When it happens in a large auditorium it is disconcerting. It makes you feel that you are facing an angry and unified mob — a feeling I have never had in 25 years of teaching and public speaking. More.

Reality check: At least if it is a private school, others are not compelled to pay taxes to support it.

But what kind of jobs will these junior jackboots get when they graduate from We’ll Fix U? Private industry recruiters say they are far too high maintenance. So who is Left?

See also: More good news: tax analyst Stephen Moore gets it too, Re Asscrat U, USA

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