Wayne County judge rules Roberts to lose academic control over DPS

The Detroit Board of Education will regain its control over academics in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS), following a ruling by Wayne County Circuit Judge John Murphy on Tuesday, August 14. The Associated Press reported that DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts will retain control over financial matters involving the school district. In addition, the state will retain control of several schools in the system that Roberts had transferred over to a new state-sponsored district for low-performing schools. The Detroit Board of Education had challenged Roberts’ appointment, as well as the state’s control over select schools from the district. The board’s challenge centered around the fact that the state’s emergency manager law, Public Act 4, has been suspended pending the success or failure of a proposed repeal that will be on the November ballot…

Click here for the full story

tags

AT&T working on way for parents to disable texting and calling for driving teens

By now you’re probably — and hopefully — very clear on the dangers of texting while driving, not to mention the hefty ticket you can get if caught doing it (or talking on your phone without a headset) behind the wheel, Tecca reports. As much as parents would like to hope their kids are also also obeying the law when driving on their own, there hasn’t been a way to ensure they are — but there soon could be. AT&T is working on a smartphone and tablet app that will let parents disable texting, calling, and even internet access on their child’s phone remotely, switching these features off automatically if it’s determined that they’re traveling in a vehicle. The app could also send parents alerts if their kids are driving too fast or dangerously, keeping a log of potentially reckless activity so that they can be gone over once the child returns home…

Click here for the full story

tags

Groups launch joint accessibility campaign

Free technology and training is now available to low-income individuals with combined hearing and vision loss.

Thousands of Americans who have combined hearing and vision loss may soon connect with family, friends, and community through the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. Mandated by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the new program to provide support for the local distribution of a wide array of accessible communications technology.

The FCC is also funding a national outreach campaign to educate the public about this new program. The iCanConnect campaign will be conducted jointly by Perkins School for the Blind, the Helen Keller National Center, and FableVision.

iCanConnect will seek to ensure that everyone knows about the free communications technology and training that are now available to low-income individuals with combined hearing and vision loss. From screen enlargement software and video phones, to off-the-shelf products that are accessible or adaptable, this technology can vastly improve their quality of life.

iCanConnect aims to educate people about the availability of communications technology for this underserved population so they can remain safe and healthy, hold a job, manage a household, and contribute to the economy and the community.

“With the right technology, people with disabilities can link to information and ideas, be productive, and move ahead,” said Steven Rothstein, president of Perkins. “Perkins’ most famous student, Helen Keller, exemplified the potential of a person who is deaf-blind. We are proud to have a role in this transformational program.”

tags

A new way to evaluate teachers — by teachers

Teacher education has been under siege in the last few years, the first line of attack in the growing criticism and more aggressive regulation of higher education, says Stanford University Education Profession Linda Darling-Hammond, who directs the Stanford University Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and was founding director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Education proposed — in a highly contentious negotiated rule-making exercise — to use test scores of graduates’ students to evaluate schools of education, despite the warnings of leading researchers that such scores are unstable and invalid for this purpose. Furthermore, in an unprecedented move, the department would limit eligibility for federal TEACH grants to prospective teachers from highly rated programs, denying aid to many deserving candidates while penalizing programs that prepare teachers for the most challenging teaching assignments. This was only the most recent example of how education reformers have made teachers and teacher education a punching bag, painting those in the entire field as having low standards and being unwilling to accept responsibility for the quality of their work…

Click here for the full story

tags

Toyota USA awards more than $1.3M

Toyota USA Foundation today announced $1.3 million in new grants to support innovative K-12 math, science, engineering and environmental science education programs, with a focus on programs that serve diverse and underserved communities. These new grants, combined with the more than $3.8 million in multi-year commitments, total to more than $5 million that the Toyota Foundation has disbursed to nonprofit organizations this year. Specific dollar amounts for each organization can be found in the PDF here: http://bit.ly/O3etoy

These exciting initiatives range from hands-on oceanic restoration with the O’Neill Sea Odyssey, to interactive STEM workshops with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, to a bilingual computer game designed to teach math skills from the University of Denver, and more.  Both the new and existing programs build on the Toyota USA Foundation’s mission to promote diversity, inter-disciplinary learning and real-world STEM applications.

tags

Feds: City routinely violates basic student rights

Officials in east Mississippi operate a “school-to-prison pipeline” that incarcerates students for disciplinary infractions as minor as dress code violations with a policy that affects mostly black and disabled children, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday, the Associated Press reports. The Justice Department said police in the city of Meridian routinely arrest public school students without determining if there’s probable cause when the school wants to press charges for a violation. Federal authorities say the students are then denied due process in youth court and on probation. The Justice Department did not outline specific allegations of wrongdoing against the school district in a letter to state and local authorities. Instead, it appears from the letter that the problems begin once a student is arrested. Once arrested, the youth court puts the students on probation, sometimes without proper legal representation, according to the letter. If the students are on probation, future school violations could be considered a probation violation that requires them “to serve any suspensions from school incarcerated in the juvenile detention center,” the department said…

Click here for the full story

tags

NY Life makes $300K grant for ed services

The New York Life Foundation announced today a three-year, $300,000 grant to support Inwood House’s educational services that help approximately 300 pregnant and parenting youth and their children who are in foster care, are runaway and homeless, or are involved in the juvenile justice system.  The programs help these New York City teens achieve a high school diploma or other credential, and improve their life skills and their employability.

Inwood House’s individualized educational services start with an initial assessment based on an interview with the teen, a review of academic records, family input, and, when available, interviews with past guidance counselors.  The Inwood House Coordinator of Education Services assists each teen in developing an educational plan based on her current educational status, career goals, and parenting goals.  This educational plan focuses on meeting the young person’s educational needs through middle school, high school, a GED program, vocational training, a special education program, or college.

tags

$500,000 for New Jersey school kids forced to eat on floor

Seven students at a Camden, New Jersey, school forced to eat lunch on a gymnasium floor for two weeks as punishment won a $500,000 legal settlement, their attorney said on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The 2008 incident involved fifth-grade students at the Charles Sumner Elementary School who were disciplined after one child spilled water as he tried to lift a jug onto a cooler, said the lawyer, Alan Schorr. The students filed a federal lawsuit against the Camden Board of Education, which agreed to the settlement, the attorney said. He said the incident took place against a backdrop of discord between the black and Hispanic populations in the impoverished southern New Jersey city. The children were Hispanic. Schorr said the vice principal, who was black, punished all 15 students in a bilingual class by making them eat off paper liners normally used on lunch trays. (While there were 15 students in the class, only seven sued.)

Click here for the full story

tags

Author schools student who asks Yahoo! Answers for book summary

As academic year is beginning at schools across the country, some students are scrambling to finish their summer assignments before the first day of class — but one is gaining national attention for a public plea for help, the Huffington Post reports. Earlier this week, a student turned to the Yahoo! Answers community for a summary of DC Pierson’s “The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To” when he or she fell short on time to complete the assignment. But the student likely wasn’t expecting the author himself to respond — nor with a lengthy reprimand. Under the username “♥ Idiot America ~ ϟƘƦІןן∑x ♥,” the student asks, “I haven’t been able to finish this book. Can someone give me a complete review, including everything important? I REALLY need this! AND it’s not because I’m slacking.”

The next day, Pierson took to the thread in a response that user “Olivia” commented to the student, “You just got pwned by the author himself.” Pierson is a founding member of the Mytery Team improve troupe Derrick Comedy...

Click here for the full story

tags

Eli Broad: The world is moving forward, but American education is stagnant

I am old enough to remember when America’s K-12 public schools were the best in the world, says Eli Broad for Takepart.com. I am a proud graduate of them, and I credit much of my success to what I learned in Detroit Public Schools and at Michigan State University. When I was in high school, not long after World War II, the United States had the top graduation rate. Since then, we have dropped behind 20 other industrialized nations. In less time than you just spent reading the last few sentences, another American student has dropped out of school. American students today rank 31st in the world in mathematics and 23rd in science. If the academic rankings of our most precious resource — our young people –­ were the rankings of our Olympic athletes, it would be a source of major national embarrassment. The most shameful part of the picture — the one that, by my count, is the civil rights issue of our time — is the dramatically lower graduation rates for poor and minority students. These students are far less likely to have access to the best teachers. By any measure, America’s schools are in the grip of a profound crisis…

Click here for the full story

tags