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Friday, August 29, 2014

MiSiS: 45,000 students missing from Los Angeles Unified’s new tracking system - ContraCostaTimes.com

MiSiS: 45,000 students missing from Los Angeles Unified's new tracking system - ContraCostaTimes.com

MiSiS: 45,000 students missing from Los Angeles Unified's new tracking system

In the third week of school, an estimated 45,000 students were missing from the Los Angeles Unified School District's new computer system, according to a union that represents principals and administrators.

Those students were not listed in the district's faulty record-keeping system, MiSiS, as of Monday, according to the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles. For its report, the union used an established system that forecasts enrollment, called E-cast.

Although district officials had previously said that less than 1 percent of students were affected by the faulty system, the report released Thursday by the union is the first supported measurement of widespread problems in the 650,000-student school system.

"We cannot begin to tell you the countless numbers of calls that have come into AALA about this catastrophe," stated the report that was sent to union members.

District officials did not immediately answer questions about the report.

At one unidentified elementary school, MiSiS listed 11,000 students as being enrolled, according to the report. At another school, MiSiS had zero students enrolled.

On Sept. 12, all LAUSD schools will need to report their enrollment to the district for "norm day" – a process used to allocate funding and resources to campuses. If the computer system is not accurately reporting all students, the work will have to be done by hand.

"It also means that administrators and staff are going to be even more overworked trying to do a hand count of the number of students enrolled in the schools," the report stated.

Counselors and other administrators have already worked overtime, dusting off old ledgers and breaking out pencils to schedule students by hand after the system's disastrous launch on school's first day, Aug. 12.






Education Is Not 'Moneyball': Why Teachers Can't Trust Value-Added Evaluations Yet - Education Week Teacher

http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/08/27/fp_eger_valueadded.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS2

The same poo-poo in new bags. | Reclaim Reform

The same poo-poo in new bags. | Reclaim Reform

The same poo-poo in new bags.

When Common Core State Standards (tests, texts and all) are given new CCSS "aligned" coverings by the state, does it matter?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott played the "save us from big government control" game even as the newly branded state education standards, texts, programs, tests, grading, etc, remain Common Core "aligned." The name was changed from FCAT to FSA. Same profiteers, same tax theft from public schools to profit international corporate education reform investors, same insane pressure on students, same failing schools scams – NEW Name. Same poo-poo in new bags.

Scott posed as the statesman rescuer of school children from nasty old Obamaeducation as he continues CCSS. He is similar to a person calling himself a savior on the Titanic as he tosses one deck chair overboard prior to sinking.

"We believe schools that have English language learners should not be penalized (for two years). Unfortunately federal officials disagree," Scott said.
- from Local10.com news

Huh? That's all Scott is going to do to make a difference?

"Like the standards, the Florida Standards Assessment — which replaces last year's FCAT 2.0 end-of-year standardized test — demands more from students…
In short, students' test scores will get worse before they get better…
Further, the state is moving toward having nearly all FSA exams administered by computer by the 2017-18 school year, which is taxing financially to school districts that already struggle to keep up with technology demands."
- from the Pensacola News Journal

Oh, fail more children, fail more schools, fire more teachers and charge local tax payers more. Now, THAT makes a difference! Even Scott's Tea Party backers might have a problem with the tax part.

Will people keep putting up with this self-destructive, state mandated politico-demolition?

Not Florida's Lee County School Board.

"Florida's Lee County became on Wednesday night the first school district in the state to vote to opt out of all state-mandated testing, including exams that are being designed to assess student knowledge of new state standards based on the Common Core."
- from the Washington Post

Huh? "New" standards "based" on CCSS?

That is the same poo-poo in new bags.

—————————————————————

WHAT IS YOUR STATE CALLING ITS SAME POO-POO IN NEW BAGS?

Opt-Out individually or by school district.

Visit United Opt-Out HERE for guides and sample letters by state.

Romero pressing for LAUSD board hearing on parent trigger

Romero pressing for LAUSD board hearing on parent trigger

Romero pressing for LAUSD hearing on 'trigger' waiver

Gloria Romero, former CA State Senator



Gloria Romero, former CA State Senator

Gloria Romero, the former state senator who authored the California Parent Trigger law is asking LA Unified board president Richard Vladovic to schedule a public discussion on the district's legal opinion that the law does not apply this year.

District lawyers say the Federal waiver granted LA Unified and seven other California school districts, allowing them to to create their own metrics for academic performance in the temporary absence of statewide standards, sets the law aside.

"Of course, I dispute the legal interpretation and I am in the process of seeking a state opinion on the matter," she wrote to Vladovic. "Nothing that I have seen lends support to the legal opinion of LAUSD."

She adds that none of the other districts granted a waiver has made such an interpretation.

Vladovic's chief of staff, Chris Torres, said in an email that Vladovic intends to help arrange to put her request on the agenda of a future meeting.

The district's legal interpretation is important, so far as parent groups who want to enact changes this year through the state law, which permits parents to initiate action at their children's school if they can secure signatures from a majority of school parents.

The district is contending that without state-approved metrics for measuring academic performance while Common Core testing is phasing in, the law cannot apply because action through Parent Trigger requires two years of data to show a school is failing.

In her letter, Romero questions several aspects of the district's decision, including whether the board was aware of such an exemption and why the legal decision was made without public discussion or announcement.

She also asks Vladovic that if the district was certain in its legal analysis, why did the district negotiate with parents at West Athens Elementary School for changes in exchange for their assurance not to use the Parent Trigger law, when in the absence of the law, the parents would have had no such leverage.

Finally, she asks, "Perhaps even more importantly — how could a District simply erase away a law and make a pact to keep this information away from the public?

Creating a Culture of Ethics in LA SCHOOLS : LAUSDeasy's Ethics Lesson #3 Homework Due Tuesday 9 -2-14 BY MISSDEED

Creating a Culture of Ethics in the Public Sector
Please read this and review the other reading material assigned this week. Consider it in the contexts of the iPad Deal . What could have been done to insire an ethical process? Explain why these issues must be avoided ? Write an essay exploring and explicating one error in the iPad deal that could have been avoided and explain why failing to recognize the conflict of interests had a negative impact in the district's duty to the community. Research the practices similar to the one you have chosen to investigate. Close your essay with a cogent examination of the potential consequences for these lapses . Are they of them crimes ? Do you have a duty to report them? Consider ways to avoid this repeating these errors. 
Is it through oversight? Accountability?  Restructuring? Training? 
For example, I would change Government codes concerning indemnity from criminal culpability and civil liability to deter wanton violations of the public trust . With that said , it may behoove me to alert the public that when a transgression involves the violation of someone' s civil rights, which is the case with LAUSD BOE failure to read and consider charges against teachers accused of misconduct from 2010 to present. 
The members of the BOE who are documented by minutes in meetings, their own comments and the record of votes willfully denied teachers a right to due process, which is an egregious  act, ironically enough . It is unlikely that the members are aware of this ; however, that does not release them from responsibility for the damages at least 167 teachers suffered due to their violation of our civil rights . 
The same would be true for mistakes made by the BOE and Deasy on the iPad deal ( and much more) if the CA Gov Code 826 did not provide administrators and officials an ability to act with impunity , even when they act in malice. 
I suggest board members and high ranking officials refine the essay into an appropriate apologia, post it publicly and comport themselves in the highest ethical fashion , working harder than ever to right whatever wrongs they are part of. 
http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/government_ethics/publc-sector-ethics.html

Creating a Culture of Ethics in the Public Sector

by Judy Nadler

The question of ethics and public confidence is not a new one. In 1952 Adlai Stevenson, governor of Illinois said, "Public confidence in the integrity of the government is in-dispensable to faith in democracy, and when we lose faith in the system, we lose faith in everything we fight and spend for."

Ethics, the standards of behavior that tell us what we ought to do in our personal and professional lives, applies to all individuals, organizations, and society as a whole. High ethical standards are especially important in the public sector because they are key to credibility and lead to increased support for government agencies and political leaders.

Creating a culture of ethics in an organization can best be accomplished with the adoption of a values-based code of ethics. The ideal time to undertake the effort is when the individuals and the organization are unanimous in their commitment. Ethics codes cannot serve as a "flu shot" to prevent a problem, nor can the codes be used as an "antibiotic" to cure an ethics problem. Once established, the code must apply to everyone including elected and appointed officials, professional staff, and commissioners, as well as volunteers, vendors, and contractors.

Case study
A major goal of an ethics program is to increase awareness of ethics and values in the workplace. An example of creating a culture of ethics can be found in the development of a code of ethics and values undertaken by the city of Santa Clara, Calif.

Once the city council endorsed the concept, a committee of stakeholders worked with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to develop a list of 70 values. They then consulted with groups from all sectors of the city to determine those values they considered critical as standards of conduct. These became the foundation for the code, which was adopted and has been implemented across city government.

As Santa Clara's ethics consultant Thomas Shanks, SCU associate professor of communication, explained, "Having in writing a clear definition of the values and ethical considerations that are important to the city helps people maintain the highest level of professional and personal conduct."

The simple adoption of a code will not ensure success. There are five keys to building an ethical organization:

1. Leadership: Public policy makers and top administrators call for ethics as a priority and demonstrate that in word and deed.
2. Commitment: All involved make the time, budget the money, plan the program.
3. Collaboration: All the stakeholders work to develop consensus and design the program.
4. Implementation: The program includes a strategy for making ethics an integral part of the organization.
5. Reflection and Renewal: Ongoing assessment includes annual re-adoption of the code and exploration of ways to communicate to new employees, vendors, residents, and members of the media.

Judy Nadler is senior fellow in government ethics and the former mayor of Santa Clara, Calif. These comments are excerpted from remarks she made at a leadership and ethics seminar at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.






Arne Duncan Declares Victory in War on Schools and Teachers | Alan Singer

Arne Duncan Declares Victory in War on Schools and Teachers | Alan Singer

Arne Duncan Declares Victory in War on Schools and Teachers

On Thursday, August 21, 2014, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan used his "Homeroom" blog to announce victory in his war on schools and teachers. After six years of decrying the inadequacy of education in the United States, Duncan "celebrated that "America's students have posted some unprecedented achievements in the last year." In addition, after battling against teacher tenure and seniority rights, Duncan decided, "we should celebrate America's teachers, principals, and students and their families."

After reiterating support for high-stakes testing at the center of Bush era "No Child Left Behind" requirements and the Obama administration's "Race to the Top," Duncan conceded that "in too many places, testing itself has become a distraction from the work it is meant to support" and "testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools."

I found three of Duncan's statements particularly ironic. He wrote about his continuing commitment to a "spirit of flexibility," flexibility that is completely lacking in Race to the Top mandates. And instead of ending the onerous requirements that are creating the "distraction" and are "sucking the oxygen," he postponed them for a year, granting states the "opportunity to request a delay in when test results matter for teacher evaluation." Curiously, one of Duncan's major partners in pushing Race to the Top, Common Core, and high-stakes testing, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is calling for a two year moratorium on using tests to evaluate teachers and students while we learn whether the testing policy actually makes sense.

Duncan also acknowledged "Too much testing can rob school buildings of joy, and cause unnecessary stress." However, I did not think the problem was that buildings are unhappy and what did he think would happen to teachers and students being evaluated by high-stakes tests -- they would become relaxed?





Finally Duncan expressed concern that "adults are gaming tests, rather than using them to help students." Isn't that what politicians and business do in the United States? Why should teachers and parents be any different? Perhaps Duncan should pay more attention to speeches by his boss President Barak Obama? In July 2014 President Obama called for a new "economic patriotism" and denounced "corporate deserters" who game the tax code by renouncing their United States "citizenship to shield profits." Since the 1980s over 40 U.S. corporations have switched their addresses to low-tax nations without really moving and according to Bloomberg News at least eight more companies are in the process of gaming the tax system.

Duncan's blog is reminiscent of the famous George W. Bush May 1, 2003 "Mission Accomplished" speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln where the President celebrated the end of major combat operations by the United States in Iraq, a declaration that now appears to have been at least twelve years too early. The vast majority of casualties in the Iraq war occurred after the Bush speech and unfortunately the dismantling of education in the United States and the high-stakes testing war on schools and teachers will continue long after the Duncan blog.

The U.S. Department of Education website where Duncan post's his blogs welcomes comments. My comment was that Duncan should resign. Either they were flooded with comments or they did not like mine, because as of this writing it does not appear.






NYC Public School Parents: Why you need to get involved & bring your family to the People’s Climate March on Sunday, September 21st

NYC Public School Parents: Why you need to get involved & bring your family to the People's Climate March on Sunday, September 21st

Why you need to get involved & bring your family to the People's Climate March on Sunday, September 21st



Parents, Grand-Parents, Teachers, and Families-- Please join us for this historic moment.  by Kate Finneran


Without action, climate change will affect our families in some pretty extreme ways.



1. Health: The overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative. Climate change affects the basic needs for good health- clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter. A few of the already known impacts may enhance the spread of some diseases. Insect-borne illnesses are spreading, and asthma and allergy season are getting longer. Also children's lungs are more vulnerable to the smog that is caused by higher temperatures.


2. Food: Agriculture and fisheries are highly dependent on specific climate conditions. Climate change is already affecting the global food supply and could threaten global food security. The rate of increase in crop yields is slowing -- especially in wheat -- raising doubts as to whether food production will keep up with the demand of a growing population. And ocean acidification affects seafood populations.


3. Places we love to play and the animals we love: Climate changes and its impacts  affect nature in a variety of ways. A changing climate is likely to worsen many of the threats to forests, such as pest outbreaks, fires, and drought. Coasts are sensitive to sea level rise, changes in frequency and intensity of storms, increases in precipitation, and warmer ocean temperatures. The oceans absorb CO2 leading to  acidification. Rising acidity means an inhabitable ocean for the creatures that live in it.


4. Immediately after the the People's Climate March on September 21st, world leaders are coming to New York City for a special summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution-- and we need to support that call with our voices, our feet, and our presence on September 21st.


We are inviting fellow parents and families to stand up for the health and well being of our kids and communities. We'll join together in an historic march to call on world leaders to take bold, global action on climate and clean energy.


Our goal is to organize tens of thousands of kids, parents, and families to join this peaceful call for global climate solutions. Parents and Grandparents-- Grab the stroller or scooter, and bring your kids! Kids-- bring your parents! Help push our global leaders to build the world our kids to build the world our kids deserve-- one that is powered by energy that is kid safe and climate safe, where our air and water is clean, and where our communities are healthy.

Here's how you can get more involved:


Teachers! Download our Teachers Toolkit, complete with curriculum based upon Next Generation Science Standards, with a goal of increased climate literacy leading up to the march. Download yours today, or send to an educator you know! www.PeoplesClimate.org/Schools


Parents! Sign up to be the School Captain and enter to win $5,000 for your school.


Logistics:


The People's Climate March is on Sunday, September 21st.

11:30 am at Columbus Circle, there will be a designated Parents, Kids, and Families block.

Kids-- want to save the world? Dress like superheroes and animals!


Question:



Sources

Supply Strong New Teachers | TNTP May Be Yet Another Affront to Our CALLING.

Supply Strong New Teachers | TNTP

Supply Strong New Teachers

Our Approach

We recruit and train strong new teachers. TNTP attracts new talent—particularly for high-need subjects—and pioneers new training. Through initiatives like the Teaching Fellows, TNTP prepares teachers to hit the ground running in challenging classrooms, with intensive practice and expert coaching on teaching essentials. Once in the classroom, we give new teachers the feedback and support to master core skills in their first year, and hold the nation's highest bar for certification.

We help schools and districts hire top talent. TNTP makes teacher hiring a core priority. We improve recruiting and hiring processes and prioritize quality, so districts can fill their vacancies earlier and draw from a large pool of talented candidates. Whether we're recruiting teachers, coaching principals on hiring, working with district Human Resources staff or shaping district policies, we ensure that districts consistently hire the best person for the job.

"TNTP year after year brings us the best of the best teacher candidates. Their recruitment and selection model is geared towards bringing teachers that truly make a difference." Chicago Public Schools

In Action

New York: Flooding a District with Talent >

New Orleans: Rebuilding a School System >

Memphis: Transforming Teacher Hiring >

We Need an Audit of LAUSD Tech Deals !

Dear Friends,

I just signed the petition "LAUSD: Don't Throw Good Money After Bad! Investigate/Audit Bad Ed Tech Deals" and wanted to ask if you could add your name too.

This campaign means a lot to me and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:

https://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/lausd-don-t-throw-good-money-after-bad-investigate-audit-bad-ed-tech-deals-1

Thank you!



P.S. Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It's really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or share this link on Facebook or Twitter:

https://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/lausd-don-t-throw-good-money-after-bad-investigate-audit-bad-ed-tech-deals-1

Don’t expect charges for wasting LAUSD money on iPads: Letters

Don't expect charges for wasting LAUSD money on iPads: Letters

Don't expect charges for wasting LAUSD money on iPads: Letters

Don't expect charges for wasting LAUSD money

Re "LAUSD rebidding contract for iPads" (Aug. 27):

Smart move! Los Angeles Unified School Superintendent John Deasy canceled the $1 billion iPad program before more information comes to light. The district attorney will not find any wrongdoing within the district's reports. Why would district employees incriminate their boss?

How much will it cost the district to get out of this contract? And how much has it already spent? Deasy will stop the program, but "not the payments" (at least 75 percent), and the board members who represent the taxpayers will provide their blessings. After all, it seems like their job is to justify the district's wasteful ways.

As capable as the board members are, they rely on staff reports, recommendations and findings, and each one of them knows that staff members will protect their jobs and the institution before our tax dollars.

Do they give teachers, parents and community members the same attention? Of course not. They don't want to hear teacher's comment about inadequate materials, raises or lack of support in the classroom. They do not want to hear complaints about low achievement, lack of information and restricted parent participation.

The bottom line is the $1 billion is gone courtesy of Deasy, LAUSD instructional chief Jaime Aquino and friends. The school board failed to look after our tax dollars, and there will be no criminal charges.

— Edwin Ramirez, Pacoima

Educators shouldn't be pushing Apple on students

Re "LAUSD rebidding contract for iPads" (Aug. 27):

After 40 years in business and industry, I'm now a teacher in Los Angeles and watch with disgust as the education community pushes Apple products consistently. Apple computers have about 10 percent of computer market share — mostly in the education community.

Once you graduate, everything in business is PC. Seems to me our schools should be preparing students for their future in business. Not to mention PCs are about 40 percent cheaper.

— Jim Ridosh, Northridge










5 Lessons drawn from the LAUSD iPad fiasco | Opinion | Jewish Journal

5 Lessons drawn from the LAUSD iPad fiasco

<em>iPad. File Photo</em>

iPad. File Photo

It's becoming difficult to read the news in Los Angeles these days without running across yet another article about the problems faced by the sputtering LAUSD iPad initiative. Finally, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy announced this week that they were suspending the contracts with Apple and Pearson amid increasing scrutiny and investigation of the bidding process. According to Deasy, "it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the project".

There were always valid questions surrounding a bidding process that granted enormous contracts for digital courses that had not yet been developed. It's unfortunate however that an investigation into the bidding process became the catalyst for the project's suspension when it was the planning and implementation that fell woefully short in so many areas. Hindsight may be 20-20 but many were already pointing out substantial flaws in the plan at its initial announcement.

As educators we know that failure is the breeding ground for learning and adapting. With that in mind, here are 5 lessons that can be drawn from the LAUSD iPad experience.

Lesson 1:  Change starts with a vision.

Recognizing the need for change and crafting a vision that defines desirable outcomes are vastly different missions. Most of us see an aging school system that's desperately in need of an overhaul but our actions often address the symptoms without digging down to the root cause of the crisis. Contrary to popular belief, the US spends more per student than any other country. That spending isn't always reflected in results that show US students continuing to drop in performance rankings. Technology is widely viewed as a panacea so it's not surprising that many districts and schools are investing heavily in educational technology systems and devices. However, the dominant trend maintains the status quo and patches technology use on existing pedagogical models. When we turn a blind eye to the massive disruption occurring in the world around us we fail to build new educational visions that harness the enormous potential of technology to reform learning. 

The cost of the LAUSD iPad initiative was initially estimated at $500 million but was quickly revised to one billion dollars within the first few months. If for no other reason, financial accountability would demand a well thought out and designed vision for technology use - a vision that addresses the evolving needs of modern learners and changes the rigid, curriculum driven instruction that has characterized institutionalized education for decades. Instead, whatever plan there may have been was sketchy, poorly communicated and certainly didn't stem from any attempt at educational renaissance. Rather than aspiring to renewal and reform, from the beginning LAUSD was mired in delays and technical fixes that were reflex reactions to unanticipated events. The classic example occurred when iPads were recalled within days of their initial rollout as students quickly found a simple way to bypass the web filters and r... that had been imposed on them. 

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As I wrote a year ago;

     "Technology can be used to empower students to research, discover, create and connect within more student-centered, experiential learning processes ... In contrast, LAUSD's iPad initiative is still entrenched within an age-old educational paradigm that stresses course delivery and administrative control. The iPad becomes a glorified digital textbook that contains extensive Common Core courses by Pearson for pre-K to 12th grade, designed to prepare students for standardized tests."

The plan seemed questionable from the start when Superintendent John Deasy tweeted, "We are transforming education!" alongside a photo of an African-American student holding an iPad. Equality of access is a laudable first step - but then what? Poor infrastructure, over-zealous filtering, incomplete apps, inadequate training … these are not the ingredients of an educational revolution. Transformation requires deep rooted re-evaluations of objectives, processes and expectations. Has anything of substance changed when the objective is to deliver Pearson course materials on iPads? Digital content delivery is still content delivery.

Lesson 2:  Top-down strategies rarely work without communication and consensus.

The project's vision and objectives need to be communicated and discussed openly with the primary stakeholders. A significant reason for the hasty implementation was the need to prepare students for Common Core testing that had to be conducted on digital devices. While some individual teachers saw an opportunity for innovation, as a group they didn't understand or buy into the concept of a 1:1 iPad program. A December 2013 survey revealed that a large majority of teachers would have voted to discontinue the iPad rollout.  Most teachers viewed it as an additional burden. They weren't given a voice in the formation of the plan and lacked the necessary clarity with respect to the project goals. The general school community still remains puzzled by the concept of Common Core standards, the perceived rush to purchase several hundred thousand devices and the continual stream of negative press after the initial rollout. LAUSD leadership was dictating terms of a very expensive and hastily conceived plan. They failed to communicate a clear understanding of the urgent need for reform in an education system that's becoming more rapidly outdated with every passing day. As a result, they didn't get the support of teachers and the community at large. 

Lesson 3:  Training requires more than an introductory "how-to" workshop.

If your dentist tells you he's about to remove your wisdom teeth you'd hope he has more experience than an afternoon workshop in tooth extraction. When it comes to using technology however, many administrators imagine that teachers simply need a few hours in a crowded room with a technology instructor and they're good to go. 

Effective technology use requires a change in school culture. Firstly, training has to extend far beyond simple "how-to" sessions. Teachers need to feel comfortable with technology in their classroom. Don't mistake that to mean that they need to be skilled in technology applications. Knowing how to use an iPad or a specific curriculum app doesn't translate into an understanding of how to utilize iPads as effective educational tools. Training should reflect the educational goals and stimulate discussion about new horizons and pedagogical practices.  

Secondly, educational technology training is not an "event". It's an ongoing process that's busy with ongoing discussion, experimentation and evaluation. Technology use can stimulate cultural change when it's energized by sharing and collaboration and encouraged to swell from the bottom up.

LAUSD pilot teachers were given an initial 3 day workshop - one day by Apple and two additional days by Pearson to provide instruction on their Common Core curriculum app. The result? When surveyed in December, a majority of the teachers reported they were using iPads in their classes less than 3 hours a week.

Lesson 4:  Technology should empower students.

Technology has the capacity to empower students to research, create, connect and collaborate. Close the spigot on a tap however and you can't get water out of it. When technology use is heavily restricted and locked down it loses the power to innovate. You can't plan a successful technology implementation that's based upon fear of what students might do if they aren't strictly controlled. Yet that's exactly what many schools continue to do.

Outside of school students are programming, creating and editing video, sharing, collaborating and more. They get to school and we block and monitor their every digital step. One LAUSD student put it simply when asked why students hacked into the iPads after the initial rollout. He said, "we couldn't do anything with it". If technology is to become a vehicle for empowerment then we have to loosen the reins and give students the flexibility and opportunity to create, communicate and innovate.

Lesson 5:  It's not about the device.

The LAUSD initiative was officially known as the "Common Core Technology Project" however most people referred to it as the "LAUSD iPad Project". The device became synonymous with the project – a project that's now developed into a discussion about which device would best enhance education. Rarely does this important debate touch upon the potential of the device - any device - to truly empower students and reform education. Technology is a tool. We can call for new proposals and change the tools but no device, iPad or otherwise, has the capacity to revolutionize learning if it's confined within the framework of traditional goals and processes.

Sadly, just as many thought the LAUSD initiative was all about iPads, many will now view the fiasco as a reflection on the overall merits of technology use in education. The calls for a "back to basics" movement have been loud and may now become amplified. Ironically however, the LAUSD iPad project has always been handicapped by that very "basics" mentality that frames its approach to technology use. The shortcomings of the LAUSD initiative only highlight an ever more pressing need for serious educational reform.

Author of iPads in Education for Dummies 
Contact Sam for workshops and professional development at samgliksman@gmail.com

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JUST IN: Vergara ruling stands, judge rules in final review

JUST IN: Vergara ruling stands, judge rules in final review
Judge Rolf Treu affirm vergara decisionThe j udge in Vergara vs. California today released his final review of the case, affirming his preliminary decision in June, that five state statures governing teacher employment rules violate the California constitution by denying students access to a quality public education.
In his final ruling, filed yesterday, Judge Rolf Treu, said, "plaintiffs have met their burden of proof on all issues presented."
The decision effectively starts the clock for the defendants — the state and its two largest teachers unions, which joined the case — on whether to appeal. They have 60 days to decide.
Jim Finberg, a San Francisco-based lawyer who represented the unions — the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) and the California Teachers Association (CTA) — told LA School Report that the unions fully intend to appeal "and I fully anticipate that the state will appeal also."
Treu's ruling stops with his interpretation of the laws that involve tenure, dismissal and layoffs, leaving the ultimate remedy to the California legislature.