I think the best way to summarize my experience with public education was when a substitute threatened to give me detention because I told her the C in my name made a K sound so she kept insisting my parents and I were stupid and couldn’t spell. When she finally asked why my parents made up such a stupid spelling I told her my name was Gaelic she told me she didn’t speak Irish.

5

Real students’ responses to what #IWishMyTeacherKnew will break your heart 

Kyle Schwartz asked third-graders in her Denver classroom to write her notes about things they wish she understood about their lives. Schwartz told ABC News she knew her students came from underprivileged homes but wanted to truly understand how that affected their lives and education. The movement has now spread across the country.

School Superintendent confirms Common Core publisher is spying on kids’ social media

They’ll say they need to do it to keep your kids from cheating, but this is just the beginning.

from Breitbart:

On Friday, Bob Braun, a former leading columnist for The Star Ledger in New Jersey, posted on his blog and Facebook page an email superintendent Elizabeth Jewett sent to colleagues regarding Pearson’s monitoring of social media posts by students in her district. The email reads:

Good morning all,
Last night at 10PM, my testing coordinator received a call from the NJDOE that Pearson had initiated a Priority 1 Alert for an item breach within our school. The information the NJDOE initially called with was that there was a security breach DURING the test session, and they suggested the student took a picture of a test item and tweeted it. After further investigation on our part, it turned out that the student had posted a tweet (NO PICTURE) at 3:18PM (after school) that referenced a PARCC test question. The student deleted the tweet and we spoke with the parent – who was obviously highly concerned as to her child’s tweets being monitored by the DOE. The DOE informed us that Pearson is monitoring all social media during PARCC testing. I have to say that I find that a bit disturbing. – and if our parents were concerned before about a conspiracy with all of the student data, I am sure I will be receiving more letters of refusal once this gets out (not to mention the fact that the DOE wanted us to also issue discipline to the student). I thought this was worth sharing with the group.
-Liz


According to Braun, he contacted Jewett by email and found she had discovered “three instances in which Pearson notified the state education department of the results of its spying.”

read the rest

The journalist who exposed this is already being targeted in tech attacks:

Pearson is a UK-based publisher that is being paid $108 million to run New Jersey’s Common Core testing program.

The 10 most ridiculous "zero tolerance" public school incidents of 2014

Reason has a groan-worthy list of the worst moments of public school officials implementing “zero-tolerance” policies. Here are the first five.

from Reason:

Are your children safe at school? That depends on if you’re worried about bullies or administrators.  Here are 10 of the most infamous “zero tolerance” punishments handed down to kids—and even some adults—this year.

1. Student, 13, shares lunch, gets detention

A 13-year-old boy at Weaverville Elementary School in California shared his school lunch (a chicken burrito) with a hungry friend. For this, he got detention. Superintendent Tom Barnett explained, “Because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals.”

2. Sunscreen not allowed on field trip—kids might drink it

A San Antonio, Texas, school forbid students to bring sunscreen on a field trip. Why? According to spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor, "We can’t allow toxic things to be in our schools.” The children, "could possibly have an allergic reaction (or) they could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.”

3. Kindergarten cancels its year-end show to allow more time for college prep

A letter home from the Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York, read, in part: "The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers.”

4. Teacher suspended on weapons charge for demonstrating carpentry tools

A second grade teacher at Chicago’s Washington Irving Elementary School was suspended for four days without pay for bringing screwdrivers, wrenches and other shop tools to class, and demonstrating how to use them. These are dangerous items.

5. School bus driver loses job for keeping kids warm when bus breaks down

This one’s in Canada! On a day when the windchill dipped to -34 Fahrenehit, school bus driver Kendra Lindon’s bus broke down. Knowing it could take a long time for a replacement to arrive—and that kids would be waiting outside till it did—she picked up the few children on her route (including her son) in her SUV. A neighbor noticed two kids sitting in the cargo hold without seat belts and called the bus company. She was promptly fired.

read the final 5 at Reason

This is just part of the reason why my kids will never, ever go to public school.