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Kathleen April 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm
Can't understand people on here advocating for their children to be 'friends' with their teachers onRead More FB...They are NOT friends, they are teachers, mentors and there are many other ways that they can mentor a child if they want to help them. How about the good ol' face to face discussion? Probably would do more to help a child that is in need of a little guidance better than FB. Also, many teachers today set up classroom blogs for day-to-day communication with their students, which is a great use of technology. Also, most of these kids shouldn't even be on FB since the rules of FB actually require that you be 18 to sign up. (though this is usually not enforced by FB or parents, me included). Once a student reaches 18 or 21 years of age and they are no longer students of their teacher(s), then fine if they want to be friends with their teacher(s). Just doesn't make sense to me that parents don't understand that their should be boundary lines while they are.
nedlam1968 April 9, 2014 at 06:48 pm
Unfortunately, we've become a society where too many do not understand boundaries. I don't thinkRead More it's appropriate for school staff to "friend" student's - there are "rules" that outline appropriate and inappropriate behaviors with students ... unfortunately, everyone thinks that what matters is being "buddies" with the kids ... too many professionals have forgotten how to be professional ...
Mrs. B April 10, 2014 at 12:09 am
Teachers friending students on Facebook is unprofessional. I would think a teacher would beRead More intelligent enough to know this without being told by authorities.
Jean Ann Guliano March 26, 2014 at 09:41 am
Tom, I don't necessarily speak about it, but if I do have an agenda its a personal one. My veryRead More bright, hard-working son, who happens to have autism, is at risk of not graduating next year because of his NECAP scores. In doing the research to help advocate for him, I have discovered how extremely unevenly and unfairly this policy has been implemented and executed - particularly for students with disabilities, English language learners and students who are economically disadvantaged. I cannot in good conscience only advocate for my own son without advocating for all students who are being treated unfairly. If you think I have another agenda, I have no idea what you think it would be. With regard to English language learners, speaking fluent English is not a graduation requirement.
EG March 26, 2014 at 10:20 am
I believe Jean Ann represents those with disability including her own children who might haveRead More learning challenge. This is my understanding from her previous blog/comments. Please correct me if my understanding is wrong. I support a different form of the testing for those with disability. We can't discriminate those with disability, Period. ESL is a different topic. Supreme Court has already ruled in the past.
Jean Ann Guliano March 26, 2014 at 03:35 pm
True, EG. In fairness, though, other states that use exit exams have much better ways of supportingRead More ALL students with learning challenges. For example, most states provide at least 4 opportunities for students to retake the test prior to the end of 12th grade. RI only gives them 2 retakes. The only other two states that provide 2 retakes (NJ & NM) also give students the opportunity to submit additional performance based assessments so their entire fate isn't resting on tests. And, yes, other states DO provide much more in terms of alternative or modified assessments, accommodations and supports for students with disabilities. In RI, apparently, by denying diplomas to students with disabilities, we prove that we have higher standards.
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Martha Magee March 23, 2014 at 08:32 am
You New Englanders really need to learn how to chill. Except for Prometheus. Prometheus is alreadyRead More cool. I say ban all shoes altogether. Require humans to walk barefoot on the Earth in the sunshine for a minimum of 1 hr a day and reconnect to Mother Nature. The problem is not flipflops. In fact, flipflops are a step in the right direction. The real problem is materialism ~ the disconnect with Nature.
Merry Christmas March 23, 2014 at 04:42 pm
I wear flip flops. Their especially good when you go to court because the judge likes people whoRead More dress well
Dark star March 26, 2014 at 08:49 pm
*They're
Miguel March 17, 2014 at 10:56 am
Providence already has Full-Day K so your wrong with your bigegst example.
Joe Smith March 17, 2014 at 02:29 pm
I stated that.. Providence, North Prov, East Prov, Pawtucket, Central Falls -- 100% (meaning 100%Read More full day K -- sorry for any confusion).. so that leaves the > 4,000 crowd of Cranston, Warwick, Woonsocket (which doesn't matter since the state pays 80% of their tab anyway) --- so no surprise these are Cranston and Warwick reps trying to squeeze other parts of the state to pay their bills..
Miguel March 17, 2014 at 03:26 pm
This is surprising to you? Generally in any form of Democracy (I use that term loosley) electedRead More representatives try to ensure their districts get as good of the pie as they can. Would you expect Reed or Whitehouse to lobby for Delaware over Rhode Island? Don't you think Pres. Obama would seek economic treaties that would benefit the US over Brazil? So I'm not sure why you expect a RI representative from another city/town to put Cranston's interests forward in the General Assembly.
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commonsense March 16, 2014 at 05:17 pm
Fred, Do you think the changes will make it less biased? If not, what do you recommend as anRead More alternative?
deb of see-attleboro March 16, 2014 at 05:24 pm
According to his Patch profile, he is chairman of the Foxborough Democratic Town Committee. NoRead More mention of teaching. Reading his comments, I hope I am wrong about that.
Kathleen March 17, 2014 at 10:17 am
Obviously Dennis hasn't been reading the local newspapers. Is he even remotely familiar with what isRead More currently going on in neighboring Salem MA with the Bentley school? There's an example for you. The school is a Level 4 under performing school that is in it's second year of a three year turnaround program with not much success. (Next step would be for the state to come in and take over the school). It's to the point where the Mayor now wants to contract with a private company to have them take over the day-to-day management of the school. Despite lengthening the school day, revamping the school schedule, seeking outside help and securing a $500,000 federal grant, MCAS scores have actually gone down (during the 'turnaround') under the current administration. To make matters worse, the school has been without a principal since December due to the current principal being out on an extended family medical leave. Seems to me that this is a perfect example of our public schools failing our children. Does the fact that the school has one of the highest percentages of poor & limited English speaking students make it OK with him to just sit around and let the school fail these kids? You only get ONE chance with a child's education. These kids deserve better!
Pacman731 March 7, 2014 at 08:25 am
Mark, I applaud Rep. Giarusso's bill and it will enhance the safety of our children. However, basedRead More on the information presented to date, it would not have prevented the situation at hand. The person of concern had background checks run, with no convictions found. As abhorrent as his supposed crime is. It is important to remember that in our system, we are innocent until proven guilty or admit guilt. So, an arrest.... does NOT equal a conviction and only an assumption of guilt, via a "no lo contendere", etc. or a conviction serves as automatically disqualifying conditions. So while it expands and tightens the rules, it appears that it would NOT be "closing the loophole" that allowed this situation to occur.
Winston Smith March 7, 2014 at 09:52 am
Rep Giarrusso said as much at the hearing on Wednesday. The system will always be imperfect, butRead More important to make it as easy as possible to identify potential problems.
Could virtual learning be the future of snow days for school children? Patch File Photo
JD January 31, 2014 at 10:11 am
Is anybody noticing how much more time we're spending at home lately, due to weather? Pretty soon,Read More we'll all have to live in a bubble if we don't start taking better care of the planet.
Tad Segal of Barrington heads the 'Stop Common Core RI' citizens group. Credit: W.Rupp
Sheila Resseger January 30, 2014 at 01:08 pm
There are many issues of serious concern about the standards themselves, even apart from changes toRead More the curriculum and the testing and data collection. If you google Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Prof. James Milgram, you will find numerous articles they have written about the inadequacies of the standards and the misguided approach they take to teaching and learning. Both of these well-respected long-time educators were on the validation committee for the CC (Dr. Stotsky for ELA and Dr. Milgram for math). They each declined to sign off on the standards. They had many criticisms that went totally unheeded. The other inexcusable situation regarding the small group who actually drafted the standards is that most of them came from Achieve, Inc. and the SAT/ACT organizations. These people were not and never claimed to be educators. They were primarily concerned with what could be tested. Also, there were NO early childhood professionals involved with writing the standards. The standards were back-mapped from what a graduating senior will supposedly need to know and do to attend a post-secondary program without remediation. While this seems reasonable, it's not reasonable to back-map these goals down to pre-K, which is what has happened. The youngest students are suffering inexcusable stress. The learning needs of ELL students, students with special needs with IEPs, and students living in extreme poverty were not taken into consideration. ALL children must meet the same high standards at the same pace, year by year. This is as impossible as that NCLB was going to ensure that all students would be proficient in ELA and math by 2014. As many have said before, children are not widgets. Each child is unique and needs to be respected. Individual strengths, weaknesses, talents, and interests cannot be met by a one-size-fits-all curriculum. The comparisons to the scores of students in other countries is also misleading. American public schools welcome all children, and provide a free education through high school. The countries that America has been compared to do not necessarily test ALL of their students as we do. The other vital factor is the poverty rate. Finland, one of the highest achieving countries, has a child poverty rate of about 4%. In American we have an obscene rate of about 24%, and many of the most impoverished families live in segregated areas. We need to improve education for all children, but the Common Core and PARCC testing is diametrically opposed to doing that.
Amy Segal January 30, 2014 at 01:21 pm
When talking about how the US compares with educational testing to other countries, one mustRead More understand that in other countries not everyone is tested. I have a slide from a presentation given to the Barrington Schools By Dr. Eric Milou in 2012 states that in Singapore (a country often cited as doing better than the US) the student population doesn't even include the children of parents who work in low-wage jobs. By the 6th grade they take a test to determine what kind of schooling they will get in the future. So, the schooling there is very differentiated and when you hear that the US doesn't stack up to other countries it is because we test every single child and other countries do not. If we tested only our best and brightest I bet we'd probably come out on top. Also, countries like Finland (another country often cited as doing better) have a very homogenous population and offer things like government-funded day care that really make a difference in how prepared all of their children are for schooling when they start.
Amy Segal January 30, 2014 at 01:34 pm
Asking questions about the substance of our current curriculum is excellent and I encourage you toRead More ask these things of your school committee members. It is almost impossible to find the curriculum that is being used on the Barrington Public Schools website (before CC was adopted this was very easy to find and browse by going to the curriculum section of the website). We had to ask Paula Dillon, curriculum dir., to point us to the right spot and I can tell you that the curriculum is almost word for word the standards. Here is an example from the 3rd grade math curriculum on the BPS website curriculum maps: "Find the areas of rectilinear figures by decomposing them into non-overlapping rectangles and adding the areas of the non-overlapping parts, applying this technique to solve real world problems." Is that better than before? Not in my opinion. When we talk about improving the schools in the US I don't think we are talking about such high-performing districts as Barrington. Of course there is always room for improvement, but to scrap an entire curriculum that has been working for so long and implement the new one across all grades in one year is ludicrous. Absolutely ridiculous. And our high-performing district and students are the guinea pigs in this expedient. Education should be about local control. What works and is needed in lower-performing districts (and I think CC is even worse for those districts) is probably not what works and is needed in Barrington.
Paula Dillon, director of curriculum and instruction in Barrington. Credit: W.Rupp
Sheila Resseger January 29, 2014 at 10:27 am
I was at the presentation last night. One of the points discussed was that some material that wasRead More formerly taught at the fourth grade level, for example, may now be taught at the third grade level. The problem with this is that the CC is being implemented this year for the first time at all grade levels simultaneously. That means that a 3rd grader who successfully completed 2nd grade last year, will now be confronted with material that would have been taught in 4th grade but is now taught in 3rd grade. How is the teacher to support the student to work on 4th grade material without knowledge that he/she was supposed to be learning in 3rd grade? This is impossible on its face. Add to that that the expectation is that a certain amount of material needs to be covered in each school year because the PARCC testing expects each child to make one year of progress every year--this is a recipe for disaster for students who typically do well in school, and a crisis for students who struggle for any number of reasons not under their control.
Sheila Resseger January 29, 2014 at 10:37 am
I appreciate the full reporting on the formal presentation, but I would have liked to also seeRead More coverage of the many important questions that were asked by members of the audience, some of which countered the view of RIDE and got considerable applause. That the Common Core Ambassadors spoke from a prepared script did not inspire confidence.
Despite gains in reading proficiency across the country, a wide gap remains between lower- and high-erincome students. Credit: NAEP
George Costanza January 28, 2014 at 01:57 pm
No wonder Newport has the 4th highest ratio of home schooled students in the State
Still Hope January 28, 2014 at 02:15 pm
Are we raising the floor, only to lower the ceiling? I would be more concerned about theRead More over-achievers being choked out of the opportunity to succeed. The focus in the last decade has shifted from "success" to "just don't fail". Sorry kid, the money for your iPad just went to fund in-house suspension. Enjoy.
EG January 28, 2014 at 08:59 pm
There is no accountability.
Mocktheworld January 28, 2014 at 07:24 am
Stick around to hear the rest of the story! WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 28th, directly following the RIDERead More presentation (around 8:30 p.m.) WHERE: Barrington High School Cafeteria WHO: Susan Giordano, Emily Conner & Amy Segal – parents with children in the Barrington schools Scott Fuller, Barrington School Committee Member & High School Math Teacher (Cumberland) State Rep. Gregg Amore (East Providence), East Providence High School History Teacher, Sponsor of Legislation to Pause High-Stakes PARCC Testing & Investigate the Common Core Tad Segal, Barrington Parent and Organizer, www.StopCommonCoreRI.org WHAT: Research, facts and information that you won’t get from RIDE – but that every Barrington parent should know. Question & Answer Session. Strictly non-partisan and non-ideological. WHY: Because the facts matter. http://www.stopcommoncoreri.org/
Meg Jones January 22, 2014 at 10:44 am
Bored! Need something to do? Art By You at Weirdgirl Creations Pottery Studio will be open fromRead More 1-5PM today! So stop by our warm and cozy studio and get creative! 33 Kent Street (corner of Sowams and Kent) Barrington RI 401 247-1397 visit online at www.weirdgirlcreations.com All age and ability appropriate. Like us on Facebook Check out our specials daily!
Stop Common Core RI member Emily Connor of Barrington. Credit: W.Rupp
Chase Fuller January 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm
JD: your comment completely misses the point. Your evaluation of the status of Rhode Island's publicRead More education may or may not be correct, but that's not what CCSS critics are addressing. The CCSS itself does nothing to ameliorate the underlying issues that contribute to achievement gaps, low test scores, and graduation rates, among other things. For example, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the claim that SES is strongly correlated with student achievement, and, therefore, test scores. This is an issue about families not having sufficient resources for their children's success. The CCSS carefully elides this point. Your suggestion that we ought to continue with the CCSS anyway because we lack the resources to independently test their efficacy is absurd on its face. First of all, even if we lacked the resources there are those (think tanks, other states, and so on) that don't, and it would be prudent to see what conclusions they reach. In fact, several think tanks and policy experts have already weighed in on the validity of the CCSS and, once again, the evidence strongly supports the notion that the CCSS will not achieve what it is designed to do. Hence, it is invalid. And think about it: what kind of policies do we want to see enacted? Should we simply tell the FDA to cease testing the safety of various health and nutrition products? Should we tell Toyota and Ford that they no longer need to pass rigorous safety tests to ensure they won't kill unwitting drivers? No, clearly we like our cars, food, drugs, airplanes, etc. safe. Because education plays such a formative role in a child's life, it seems entirely reasonable to suggest that we treat her education with the same care and attention as we do other, clearly less-valuable, things. Kids are certainly more cherished than material goods. It's one thing to believe the state needs an overhaul, and perhaps we have that in common; however, in suggesting a remedy we ought to approach the matter carefully, transparently, and with the utmost attention to detail. To do otherwise would be reckless and irresponsible.
Sheila Resseger January 18, 2014 at 10:50 am
Please investigate the writings and public testimony of Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Prof. Milgram, whoRead More were on the CC validation committee and refused to sign to validate the ELA and math standards, respectively. (By the way, they were required to sign a confidentiality agreement not to discuss anything about their committee work, ever!) These highly regarded professionals in their fields were two of the only qualified people on the validation committee, which was essentially a rubber stamp for standards written primarily by people employed by Achieve and the College Board. These people are not educators and have no K-12 experience. Further, there were NO early childhood professionals involved in the writing of the K-2 standards. These standards have been deemed developmentally inappropriate by experienced teachers of young children and other professionals who work with young children, such as psychologists and social workers. I watched the Barrington School Committee meeting via livestreaming. I applaud all of the parents who spoke so articulately, knowledgeably, and passionately. The stories about how this is affecting their own children were very moving, although they don't seem to have moved the school committee members one iota. Scott Fuller was the only school committee member to vote against the endorsement of the CC. He was magnificent. Having all of those materials literally at his fingertips demonstrated how much thought, time, and effort he had put into investigating what's really been going on with the CC, in stark contrast to the other committee members who just mouthed the PR and probably never bothered to look at anything closely. The Common Core State (sic) Standards were not developed by states and are not what is necessary to prepare our young people for the 21st Century. When you investigate fully you will realize that these standards were developed by an elite group who had no business promulgating standards for our entire country of diverse learners. Students with special needs, English language learners, and students from high poverty neighborhoods will be particularly ill-served by these standards and the PARCC testing. Yet the ill effects are not exclusively to these traditionally under-served groups. That kindergarten children in Barrington are coming home crying and saying they hate school should give everyone pause. What are we doing to our children in the name of "rigor?"
Tad Segal January 18, 2014 at 01:05 pm
This is a great article and accurate summary of the meeting. Thank you, Bill for following thisRead More important story and giving your readers access to more information about the Common Core. One of my biggest concerns with the Common Core State Standards is that they have been documented by early childhood education experts as being developmentally inappropriate for our youngest learners (grades K-3). The Common Core imposes rigidity on our awesome Barrington teachers. They have to teach to incredibly specific and convoluted national standards that are now written verbatim into our Barrington curriculum maps. For example, this is a math standard for Kindergarten from the national Common Core standards and appears verbatim in our Barrington Curriculum Maps (as all the national Common Core standards do): "When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object. Understand the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted." Did you get that? Remember, this is Kindergarten we're talking about. Our teachers are many things to our students - coach, friend, counselor, motivator, etc. - but now they must also apparently be magicians to be able to understand and teach to something as horribly confusing as that. If you think that we'll simply revise these standards in Barrington, think again. The Common Core doesn't allow for that to any meaningful or substantive degree. It's like it or lump it. I urge Barrington parents to do your own research and to look into the Common Core. Look at what's happened in New York State (which is one year ahead of us in terms of implementation). There is a lot of emotion (and unfortunately political partisanship) surrounding the Common Core - but please don't let that deter you from your own critical examination. Look at the facts, the research (or lack thereof) and what the education experts are saying. In other words, I would urge you to do your homework because your children's future literally depends on it.
Barrington School Committee member Scott Fuller. Credit: W.Rupp
C. Anderson January 6, 2014 at 09:53 am
The link to the Ten Colossal Errors article is bad. Here is another linkRead More http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/11/common_core_standards_ten_colo.html
William Rupp (Editor) January 6, 2014 at 10:31 am
Thanks, the link has been corrected.
Barrington School Committee member Scott Fuller. Credit: W.Rupp
C. Anderson January 3, 2014 at 11:55 am
Forget democracy--In the "republic," the federal government has no business in theRead More education field. Education is a state issue. Unfortunately, due to misbehavior of states in regards to basic rights issues necessitating federal intervention, the federal government has illegitimately extended its reach to control many other spheres of life--now education. The net results of these overreaches is not usually beneficial to the people. But even where it is, it comes at a high price-- federal control of the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of the people. As far as education is concerned, Common Core has nothing to offer Rhode Islanders that we are not already better equipped to do for ourselves. Certainly Barrington does not need common core. The only thing Rhode Island has to gain from Common Core is more federal control of its coffers, federal indoctrination supporting the assumed supremacy of federal public policy values, and forced conformity to some Washington think-tank’s idea of what it means to be smart.
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