Friday, October 24, 2008

Palin as President

Think about it... Palin's wardrobe allowance would educate a classroom of 23 students for a year in Colorado. We need to "CHANGE" this!

For your enjoyment check out Sarah Palin as President by clicking here. Very amusing!

PSP Committee

No, it's not about video games...

I was appointed by President Van Roekel to the NEA's Professional Standards and Practice Committee, and am spending the weekend in DC at our national headquarters. Our charge is to look at authentic student/ school accountability systems, online education, and teacher evaluations. I'm joined by 14 educators from across the country.

We have spent the day looking at online education through public schools, charters, for profit and nonprofit companies, distance learning etc. As we were examining policy and practice across the country, we had many rich conversations. Some topics covered were the lack of access for students and teachers to technology, lack of training, and the need to change the ways schools "work" in order to adapt to the needs of the 21st century and beyond.

Also discussed were student and school accountability systems. We learned about the work being done in NJ, VA, AR, WY, and IA. I shared information regarding DPS's School Performance Framework, the P20 Council, and CDE Standards revisions.

An analogy on student assessment from Alan Young of the DesMoines Education Association, "Does a doctor have to take all of your blood to test it, or just a sample?"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DCTA Math and Science Leadership Academy

Tonight, DCTA had the opportunity to present our Math and Science Leadership Academy to the Board of Education. We have spent the last 8 months talking to students, parents, and community members to help inform the design of our school. Over 500 parents, community/business leaders, and elected officials have signed a petition of support of our DPS Innovation School.

Why does the teachers union want to start a school?
We want to put our words into action. We want to demonstrate that collaboration between parents and teachers makes the difference for kids. Most importantly, we want to push our students to become the next leaders of the global society.

Thanks to Lori Nazareno (our teacher leader!), Julie Variot, Elaine Giromini, Kathy Koralewski, Linda Barker, and our Advisory Board. A special thanks to our union colleages at CEA, NEA, and TURN.

Monday, October 6, 2008

TURN meeting

After attending the TURN meeting this weekend, I am back and reinvigorated. We spent a lot of time talking about successful innovation led by teachers unions across the country including Los Angeles, Boston, Westerly (RI), and Milwaukee to name a few. It is exciting to see districts that trust their teachers to allow them to implement "reform without permission." In Denver, we still have schools where teachers are judged by the posters on their walls... imagine if we allowed to focus more on actual instruction instead of the poster checklist!

Please click on the following link for a great article (Short on Power, Long on Responsibility) from Richard Ingersoll from UPenn, and has done extensive studies on teacher retention.