What is rolling out after I'm sure a few years of 'consultants' is simply job training programs that should be in-house corporate Human Resources training but instead are now being paid for by taxpayers. The student is left with a cheapened program certification that cannot be used anywhere else and will have to return to similar training every time she/he starts a new job again at taxpayer expense. IT IS YET ANOTHER RACKET DESIGNED FOR CORPORATE PROFIT AT TAXPAYER AND STUDENT EXPENSE. Meanwhile O'Malley is cutting the financial aid to state universities because after paying for all this job training the state can't afford financial aid for middle/lower class students to attend an actual university. The Federal financial aid program under Obama will do the same thing. JOB TRAINING PAID FOR BY YOU AND ME IS IN YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE COURTESY OF THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS!!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!!
We know that Alonzo in Baltimore was charged with establishing a charter platform with similar ties to corporations and vocational training at the K-12 level. That is what O'Malley did as well as he appointed not only Alonzo but his business sector Baltimore City school board. Below you see the quality of teachers these Third Way corporate democrats intend to stick in our schools. Keep in mind......these charter schools will spread across the state and will be education for all middle/lower class families.
You can see by this online 'teaching school' in Maryland how cheapened our school system is being made by Third Way corporate pols like O'Malley. These online programs are by there nature providing a platform for educators that will lower quality and be less selective in students/graduates. Know where these online educators will ultimately teach? In charter schools that are being made into businesses. THIS IS MARYLAND FOR YOU.....HOME OF TIERED AND CORPORATE EDUCATION BY GOVERNOR O'MALLEY
Teaching Degrees (click here)teaching.onlinecolleges2013.com
Teaching & Education Degrees in Maryland
More than 35 percent of the people living in Maryland hold bachelor's degrees or higher. If you are interested in joining the ranks of the state's highly-educated, Maryland teaching degrees could be the path for you. Teaching programs in Maryland offer the fundamentals needed to enter this profession. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, middle school teachers employed in Maryland were some of the highest paid in the nation. The state is home to more than 60 colleges and universities, so you should be able to find many options to fit your needs. If the on-campus experience doesn't supply what you are seeking, you could find an alternative through one of the programs offering online teaching degrees in Maryland -- and even find yourself teaching online as well. Maryland teachers are qualified to teach at online elementary schools and beyond. No matter what method of study you chose, teaching programs in Maryland prepare you for teaching. Your courses should revolve around education philosophies, teaching strategies and how to identify and meet the needs of students. The 175,690 workers in Maryland's state's education, training, and library occupations earned mean annual wages of $56,460 in May of 2009, according to BLS data. Elementary school teachers earned mean annual salaries of $61,000, while middle school teachers earned mean annual salaries of $64,510. Not only do teaching degrees in Maryland offer an opportunity to enter a respected field, they could open the door to a satisfying salary.
You can get this same quality education if you live in a cave in Kenya or in the jungles of Columbia. That is for what these online classes may be helpful but for the US citizens it is an attempt to dumb down even further our education system for the 'masses'. That is middle/lower classes. Maryland is ground zero for this Wall Street-style online push! Look to what our taxpayer money in financial aid will go....just as with the for-profit career colleges these are taking from financial aid for students that should be attending 4 year public universities like University of Maryland. Maryland's Governor O'Malley actively travels overseas to recruit military to these online programs keeping them from quality 4 year universities. But wait....the 4 year universities are recruiting for wealth foreign students. SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING IS STINKING IN DENMARK!
If you look you see this is a program for a legal assistant...it is a certification not a degree. What is supposed to be job training by the business hiring an employee is now training paid for by taxpayer money and the certification leaves you with no other job opportunities. IT IS A LOSE LOSE FOR TAXPAYERS AND STUDENTS!!!!
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I wanted to share with you what one Third Way corporate democratic state....Illinois....is doing to protect labor and justice. These policies always make their way to Maryland so you will no doubt see this soon. I showed this to illustrate how unions are working together and shouting loudly for all labor in states across the country. In Maryland, they are silent and compliant. You only hear them come out to support the policies pushed by Third Way corporate democratic incumbents....even if it hurts the union members in the long run. WE NEED TO BUILD UNION STRENGTH IN MARYLAND!!!!!
I would add that in Maryland public pensions are simply continuing to be defunded and thrown into a collapsing stock market.
We are One Illinois
is an unprecedented labor coalition working on behalf of over 1 million statewide members to protect public employee pensions. We Are One Illinois coalition members include the Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, AFSCME Council 31, Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Service Employees International Union, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region, Illinois Public Pension Fund Association, National Pension Coalition, United Transportation Union, Laborers International Union of North America - Chicago District Council, AFSCME International Union, National Education Association, Fraternal Order of Police - Lodge 7 Chicago, Fireman's Association of Chicago - Local 2, Illinois Nurses Association and Teamsters Local Union #700.
October 24, 2012
Vote NO on the pension amendment to the Constitution!
In this fall's election, candidates aren't the only people on the ballot. So are teachers, police officers, fire fighters, nurses and tens of thousands more Illinois public employees and retirees whose pensions are under attack by politicians in Springfield.
You'll be asked to vote on a measure to change the Illinois Constitution to require a three-fifths majority of any public body to improve public-employee pensions. While the measure would do nothing to fix the state's pension debt, it would strip local control from school boards and city councils, lead to more political gridlock and wasteful court battles, and weaken the collective bargaining rights of workers.
VOTE NO on the pension amendment to the Constitution.
NO TO THE POWER GRAB. Put on the ballot by Springfield politicians, the amendment would deny local school boards, county boards and city councils their right to reach agreement with their employees as they see fit and to enact those agreements with a simple majority.
NO TO POLITICAL GRIDLOCK. The amendment would allow the minority party of any governing body to block or obstruct approval of any measure requiring a supermajority for any reason at all. That goes against the basic values of our democracy.
NO TO COSTLY LITIGATION. The amendment is confusing, vague and poorly written. Because no one can tell what type of measures might require supermajority approval, and because hundreds of cities, counties and school districts statewide might be affected, the ballot measure practically ensures that money and time will be wasted on court battles instead of working together to solve problems.
NO TO ATTACKS ON WORKERS. The millionaires and billionaires behind this amendment and other attacks on Illinois workers have carved out special treatment for themselves--they pay a state tax rate just half what most working folks pay! Rather than doing their fair share, the CEO crowd wants to shift the blame where it doesn't belong: To middle-class public employees like teachers and fire fighters who serve our communities.
In reality, politicians caused the pension debt by shorting or outright skipping their required contributions for decades. All that time public employees worked hard and paid faithfully toward their retirement from every check. They earn modest pensions--just $32,000 a year on average--and some 80% of them are not eligible for Social Security.
It's wrong for the politicians who caused the problem to shift blame with this foolish change to the Constitution.
Look who else is voting NO!
Illinois League of Women Voters: "Some people mistakenly assume that the higher the vote required to take an action, the greater the protection of the members. Instead the opposite is true. Whenever a vote of more than a majority is required to take action, control is taken from the majority and given to a minority."
Chicago Tribune: "The proposed pension amendment is a misleading gesture ... please give [it] your enthusiastic vote: 'No.'"
Chicago Sun-Times: "[U]surpation of local control and a violation of basic democratic principles, just one of many reasons why voters should say 'No' to the proposed amendment. ... The amendment also is harmful because it gives campaigning politicians cover."
Bloomington Pantagraph and Decatur Herald & Review: "[C]hanges to the basic frame of government should be well-reasoned and solidly outlined with facts, and this proposed change to the constitution contains neither. ... We strongly recommend a 'no' vote on this misguided attempt to change the state constitution."
Protestants for the Common Good: "Let us not be confused. This amendment does nothing, not one jot, towards solving the public pension problems of our state [but] could have serious unintended consequences. ... To protect recent and future public employees and the quality of public services, vote NO".
NEW! Citizen Action/Illinois: The state's largest public-interest organization "has taken a position to oppose the pension amendment to the constitution. Please vote NO when you are asked to vote on a measure to change the Illinois Constitution to require a three-fifths majority of any public body to improve public-employee pensions."
NEW!Peoria Journal-Star: "The full text of the abysmally written and probably purposely indecipherable amendment - leave it to the lawyers - will not appear on the ballot, so this is the equivalent of signing a contract you haven't read. ... It's a virtual invitation to legal challenge and even greater expenditures of your tax money. You know a measure is flawed when liberal labor groups and some conservative organizations alike oppose it ... Constitutional amendments are big deals. Nothing about this one feels right. Vote no."
NEW! Southern Illinoisan: "It’s a smoke-and-mirrors, feel-good measure to make it appear the General Assembly is doing something about the problem. ... This amendment is unnecessary, confusing and could have unintended consequences. Sink it."
NEW! Better Government Association: "In addition to doing nothing to address Illinois’ growing unfunded pension liability ... the amendment presents several technical problems. It uses new terms found nowhere in the pension code or in the regulations governing pension funds, making it impossible to understand the practical implications of the proposed language."
Maryland has a Fair Student Funding as well because Maryland embraces all that is Wall Street and Bloomberg. It is basically a tiered per student funding formula that values underserved students less than performing students and then special needs students even less. Meanwhile, schools and students are selected by private donors for all kinds of private funding making the entire funding system not only unfair......but illegal. This is Maryland's O'Malley.
You won't find this report in Maryland because all research data is released by the same institutions creating this policy!!!
WHEN YOU ARE USING EDUCATION FUNDING TO PAY FOR JOB TRAINING THERE REALLY ISN'T ENOUGH TO USE FOR ACTUAL STUDENTS!!!
Budget Office Finds Fair Student Funding Not So Fair Apr. 12, 2013
by Maisie McAdoo
2 Comments Filed under: Education Funding
The Independent Budget Office, in a report released on April 10, finds that the Bloomberg-era school allocation formula, known as Fair Student Funding, actually underfunds 94 percent of schools and “has a ways to go” towards creating a readily-understood and transparent formula.
The IBO report says the formula, which gives schools per-student funding weighted for need levels (extra dollars for an English language learner, for example) has more closely tied school funding with student needs. For example, middle school students, who were historically short-changed, now get an amount closer to their actual formula needs. But overall, schools are coming up short, the budget office writes.
“Effective per-capita [per student] funding is below per capita funding under the FSF formula in each year,” according to the report, which means that actual per-student funding in schools is generally below what the DOE’s own formula says they need — “a reflection of both the limited funding available and how available funds were distributed.”
Students funded below what the formula called for last year and at least two more out of the last five years were 1) middle school students below academic standards; 2) elementary and high school ELLs; and 3) high school collaborative team teaching students.
So as a budget strategy to direct money to students with the highest needs, Fair Student Funding doesn’t appear to have worked so well.
The UFT’s issue with Fair Student Funding was its potential effect on a school that had more senior teachers. Waving the banner of equity, the DOE began funding schools for their average teacher salary rather than the system wide average. This amounted to charging schools for the actual cost of salaries at their schools. The idea was to equalize funding for poor and wealthier schools. But the effect was to penalize some schools, forcing them to leave vacancies unfilled, raise class sizes and avoid hiring experienced teachers in order to meet budget.
But a 2007 IBO report found that teacher salaries were not even close to the main cause of inequities in school budgets. The main reason for disparities in spending was the numbers of students per teacher, it found, not teacher salary. That argument is not made in the new report. In fact, the new report perpetuates the idea that teacher salaries cause the inequities in school funding, a myth the IBO previously disproved.
The report is a major contribution on an important issue. If Fair Student Funding isn’t succeeding in creating fairness or sufficient funding, what is it actually accomplishing? Of course, the final irony is that Bloomberg’s insistence on principal empowerment means that when all the formulas have gone to bed, principals spend their budgets however they want, with little oversight of which students are getting extra help.
AS YOU SEE CITIES ACROSS AMERICA HAVE FOUND ALL OF THIS 'EDUCATION REFORM' TO BE A BUNCH OF HUEY AND ARE STARTING TO PUSH AGAINST THE CURRENT PLANS AND GO WITH REAL POLICY TO STRENGTHEN EXISTING PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
HERE IN MARYLAND THEY JUST KEEP PUSHING TRASH POLICY BECAUSE JOHNS HOPKINS HAS ALL POLICY CAPTURED!!
Market-Oriented Reforms Really Don’t Work. What Should We Do Instead?
May. 3, 2013
by Elaine Weiss
[Editor's note: Guest blogger Elaine Weiss is the national coordinator of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education.]
As many of us have long suspected, the impacts of popular market-oriented reforms are not as positive as their proponents would have us believe. Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, and then-CEO and now-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who ran the school systems in New York, Washington, DC and Chicago, respectively, along with the mayors who controlled the school systems they led, all exaggerated their successes. In fact, the report I recently co-authored as National Coordinator of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, “Market-Oriented Reforms’ Rhetoric Trumps Reality,” discovers that using student test scores to make high-stakes decisions did little good and more than a little harm.
We found that across all three cities, student NAEP test scores rose less than they did in comparable high-poverty urban districts. In Chicago, reading scores, already below average, fell further. New York City students achieved the second-lowest average test score growth across fourth and eighth grade reading and math of the ten districts studied, beating only Cleveland. And Washington, DC students, who had been gaining ground in both subjects, saw that growth stop or even begin to fall. Moreover, what small gains did accrue went heavily to white and higher-income students, so many achievement gaps grew rather than narrowed. Closing schools neither helped students nor saved money, and drove teacher turnover, not teacher quality.
These would be terrible findings for any districts. They are particularly troubling, however, given these districts’ power (mayoral control), money (NYCDOE increased spending far more than other large urban districts, and DC Public School spending rose throughout the post-recession years), and the fact that they are held up as models by their own leaders and by philanthropists, policymakers, and organized advocates who advance their agenda.
The question, then, is not just how these three districts should change course, but how we can derive lessons from the findings that other districts, states, and the federal government can use to advance smarter policies.
We would say, first, look to the districts’ own small, less visible successes, which tell the flip side of the quick-fix reform story. New York City’s small schools delivered their best results by focusing on strong, sustained teacher-student relationships and hands-on learning experiences. Chicago’s multifaceted college-and-career readiness strategy contrasts sharply with test preparation that deprives students of real knowledge and skills. DCPS’ high-quality universal pre-kindergarten program nurtures all of children’s developmental domains and increases the diversity of the early childhood education setting.
Second, listen to teachers and principals. Stripping teachers of their morale and professionalism, and the teacher pool of the expertise that principals need to build strong teams, is a recipe for disaster. Montgomery County, Maryland’s Peer Assisted Review system, which leverages excellent teachers to assess and mentor novices, builds trust and promotes continuous improvement, not churn.
Third, pay attention to poverty. In urban, rural and, increasingly, suburban districts, student and community poverty pose impediments that, unaddressed, stymie even the best reform efforts. New York City and Chicago both house large clusters of full-service community schools that acknowledge, tackle and alleviate the effects of poverty. If the next mayor advances this supports-based approach, outcomes could look more like those in Cincinnati — more engaged, higher-achieving students, taught by satisfied and motivated educators.
Achievement gaps are driven by opportunity gaps: in kindergarten readiness, access to health care, qualified teachers, the capacity to navigate the college application process, and others. Only reforms that address those gaps in opportunity can deliver real change.
THEY ARE FAILING AT THE HIGHER EDUCATION SIDE AND THEY ARE FAILING AT THE K-12.......
They will tell you that they have all kinds of foreign students filling these public university slots and that is the goal, so no failure to a corporate democrat.
They will tell you that we are trying to weed students that can't achieve as fast out of the system .....that is what these high-stakes policies are all about.
We all understand that all of this education reform could have taken place over time and allowed for transition and identifying what works and what does not work. That would have been the policy if the goal were child/student oriented. THIS EDUCATION REFORM IS ONLY ABOUT WHAT IS BEST FOR CORPORATIONS AND PROFITS!
VOTE YOUR THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRAT OUT OF OFFICE AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!!!!
Fear, Frustration, Failure and State Tests
Apr. 18, 2013
by Mr. Thompson
This will be the fourth year that my students and I have suffered through the New York State high-stakes elementary school tests. Although the mayor and the chancellor tell us this year’s tests are all new, my stories from the classroom are similar to years past.
As a new teacher and New York City transplant, I was astonished to discover 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-grade students were held over based on their scores from a series of limited assessments. After that realization, I was much less surprised to see the effect of these tests in the classroom. Both schools I have worked at ended regular instruction in early February to opt for test prep units designed to milk a few extra points on the state exams. Students’ and teachers’ health began to slowly decline around the same time of year, and behavioral incidents began to rise.
In my own classroom, I have fought to ameliorate the stresses of testing season by reminding my students how hard they have worked and telling them that their only job on state testing days is to try their best. But my efforts have been less than successful. One year a 9-year-old 4th grader asked me if it was okay to put the classroom trash can near her desk in case she got sick to her stomach during her English language arts exam. The next year a mental block caused a little boy to flip his desk over in a moment of panic and frustration while trying to craft an extended-response essay. Just last week, Natashi, a girl in my 5th-grade class who has only been in the country for two years and is still transitioning to English, asked me whether I would be disappointed in her if she tried her best and still wasn’t able to pass. “What if I just need another year in 5th grade to keep practicing, Mr. Thompson?” she said to me with tears in her eyes.
With a broken heart and tears in my own eyes, I turned to Natashi and told her I would always be proud of her. “You have fought so hard this year! I will be proud of you no matter what score you get!” Natashi feigned a smile and asked to go to the bathroom to wash the tears off her cheeks.
My students, Natashi included, have been attending an extended-day program on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school all year long. We have spent the last few months keeping students late on Mondays and Fridays for an hour and a half of extra instruction focused on test sophistication. For the past two months, we have asked students to come to school from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays for extra help to boost scores on their state tests.
Still, all the Common Core-aligned data I collect are telling me that my students are not showing mastery on the vast majority of Common Core standards. Many of the “grade level” reading passages and math problems I share with my students are far beyond their ability levels. The confusion these tasks generate leads to an overwhelming sense of failure among my students. And, of course, when my students feel like they are failing, I feel like a failure myself.
Should it surprise any of us that high-stakes tests, coupled with new standards, little-to-no teacher training, and no citywide curricula are a recipe for disaster? Should cheating scandals, state test boycotts, low teacher retention rates, and teary-eyed students come as a shock to the American educational system? Should I be surprised that my students score 30 percent lower than last year, as predicted by many educational experts? No!
The only surprising part about this whole process is the process itself. We have created a demoralizing atmosphere of fear, frustration and failure for teachers and students. I will always be proud of the hard work my students put into their education, and I sincerely believe they will succeed regardless of what their state test scores suggest. But if the mayor or the chancellor were ever to come up to me like Natashi did to ask whether I was proud of the reforms they had made to education, my answer to them would be quite different from my answer to her.
Mr. Thompson is the pseudonym of a fourth-year elementary school teacher in Brooklyn. A version of this post first appeared on the UFT blog edwize.org, where “New Teacher Diaries” is a regular feature. If you’re interested in writing a New Teacher Diary entry for edwize, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.