Troy LaRaviere: My Statement on CPS' "Warning Resolution"
CONTEXT AND BACKGROUND I've been asked for my thoughts in response to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education issuing a “warning resolution” against me for opposing their backward educa...

A college friend of mine posted this on FB.  I find it very relevant to many #education discussions (ie: testing, privatization, parent-choice).  I found this part maddening:

The first warning is in regard to actions I took in response to a PARCC testing Opt-Out movement initiated by Blaine’s PTA. It was the most successful elementary school opt out movement in Chicago, with more than 80% of our parents opting their children out of taking the test. It was a parent-driven effort and I fully supported their right to opt their children out.

Parents submitted forms directing us not to give the test to their students. CPS responded by telling principals that we must defy parents and sit the student down in front of a test—that only when the student refused it, could we allow him or her not to take it.

I know of no other field in which the professionals are ordered to disregard parents’ choices and force children to refuse to participate in what their parents have already refused to allow them to participate in. If a parent tells a doctor that she does not want her child to take a particular prescription, the doctor is not ordered to disregard the parent and put the medicine in the child’s hand and make the child refuse it himself.

CPS’ directive appeared to be a thinly veiled effort to pressure students into taking the test in defiance of their parents. It is blatant hypocrisy for a district that promotes itself as supporting “parent choice” to go to such great lengths to get children to violate the choices their parents make for them.

Everything in the United States continues to get more expensive, wages have remained stagnant, and a good life seems far off for far too many. Bernie Sanders has always struggled for the average American and would continue to do so as president of the United States. Bernie 2016!

Anti American Spanish Lunch

I have been working on my Spanish this school year. I am fed up with having to call a Spanish teacher or ESL specialist every time I need to talk to a poor 12 year old who cant speak any English.  I don’t think it’s fair to those students and I want to help them feel more comfortable by being able to communicate more effectively. My Hispanic students love to help me and will even ask me all questions in Spanish first to help me have exposure to the language specifically in an education setting.  I love this!  Sometimes however I think the students enjoy it more…like when I mess up.

Student:  “Mr. C que tienes para almuerzo? (Mr. C what did you have for lunch?)

Me:  “Para almuerzo yo como aguilas” (”For lunch I eat meatballs” or at least so I thought I said)

Students burst into laughter

Me:  “Ugh what did I just say?”

Student:  “You said you ate Eagles for lunch!”

Student 1: Hey, Miss M, do you turn up on the weekends?

Me: Nah

Student 1: Do you know what I mean by that?

Me: Yeah, I know what it means but I like to think of what I do on the weekends as turning down- it’s all about Netflix and sleep.

Student 2: But with like, a glass of wine, right?

Me: Nope

Student 2: Psh, I don’t believe it.

Me: Trust me, you think I’m boring here?  I’m so much more boring on my own time.

*wakes up from impromptu 2 hour couch nap 11 hours after this conversation on a Friday*
How Schools Are Handling An 'Overparenting' Crisis
Two new books, The Gift of Failure and How To Raise An Adult, argue that too many children are being given too much.

We parents are overprotecting, overdirecting and doing a lot of hand-holding, ostensibly in furtherance of kids’ safety — physical, emotional — and security — emotional, academic, reputational, professional, financial. But also in furtherance of our own ego. Our kid becomes chronologically adult but still expects us to tell them what to do and how to do it, and is bewildered by the prospect of having to fend for themselves as an actual independent human. God help them when we are gone.


Earlier this month we met an owl who’d been given his own library card at a university in England. Today we’d like to introduce you to a scholarly feline named Bubba who spends as much time as he can at Leland High School and Bret Harte Middle School in San Jose, CA. Bubba doesn’t actually live at the school, he lives in a house next door with Amber Marienthal and her family. But you wouldn’t know it, because whenever the school is open Bubba is over there attending class, roaming the halls, and snoozing in the library. He’s spent so much time at the school over the years that administrators have given Bubba his very own student ID card.

The family initially tried to make Bubba an indoor cat, but he let them know loudly and often that he was unhappy in his confinement. Their home sits behind both Leland and Bret Harte Middle School, and Bubba became a frequent visitor to both campuses. Marienthal says she still gets calls from staff and students who see him on campus and think he’s lost.

Marienthal says she’s gotten no complaints from staff or students at either school about Bubba prowling the campuses. Her main worry is that Bubba has come close to shaving off one of his nine lives on several occasions. She’s seen him lay down on Leland’s soccer field in the middle of practice and wait for one of the players to pet him.

“He waits for school to start, and he doesn’t come home until all the sports are done,” Marienthal says. “As long as he’s alive, I think he’ll hang out at the school.”

Marienthal hopes the school will invite Bubba to put on a graduation cap and gown and walk with the graduating class of 2017, who’ve been at the schools since Bubba first started attending. We hope they do and that they award him a World’s Best Cat Trophy and a Perfect Attendance certificate.

Click here to learn more about Bubba, student cat.

[via mental_floss]
Bernie Sanders Warns Democrats They May Not Win in 2016 Without Him
Taking his outsider message into the heart of the Democratic establishment, Bernie Sanders warned party leaders that the huge crowds he has drawn may not vote for Democratic candidates in 2016 unless he is at the top of the ticket.
By Patrick Healy

I had an anon ask about organising your notes on a computer so I’ve decided to make a post about that for them (including my very first gifs!). These are just some sample files and documents that I’ve made really quickly; there’s nothing actually on them, they’re just to illustrate how to do it.

So this gif is just showing a really basic system for keeping your notes organised. For each major subject, have a kind of master file. Then within that file, have separate files for lecture notes, textbook notes, and extras. I find it useful to give the lecture notes a name, and a date to keep them in order.

I also usually have a school extras folder which typically includes things like important contact details, reading lists, term plans, and timetables. It just means that I have a copy of all the important documents saved in one place.

If you want to be really organised, you can add tags to your documents which you can then perform a search for. So you can see that I go to save the document as I normally would, but below that, there’s a small section labelled “tags” where I then enter some relevant tags (in this case just some random words).

Then when I want to find that document again, I can just search for keywords and documents that are tagged with that word will come up. This is why your tags should be a bit more specific than just “psychology” but you get the idea. So here’s the gif of me finding that document I just saved by searching for the tag.

And that’s it. Just some really quick basic tips on organising your notes on your computer.