Thursday, June 16, 2005

Nathan Greeno, Strategic Process Consultant: Troops to Teacher Initiative Launched (NCLB) --

From Google comes this recent press release.

Nathan Greeno, the president and CEO of Drawing Board Consulting Group continues his strategic facilitation role with the No Child Left Behind funded Troops to Teacher Initiative. In San Antonio Texas earlier this month Nathan and the Leadership Team of the newly formed Western States Certification Consortium ( officially launched the beginning of the candidate recruitment phase...

..The Western States Certification Consortium (WSCC) for Troops-to-Teachers, a multistate organization, supports collaborative alternative certification pathways for U.S. armed forces service members transitioning to the teaching profession. Through training referral, job placement assistance and mentoring guidance as a career service, WSCC provides service members with professional career assistance and access to alternative and regionally approved distance delivered options to certification in all the member states...

Nathan Greeno, President of Drawing Board, is a Strategic Process Consultant and an Organizational Learning Expert. His focus is maximizing return on human capital investment. He works with fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions and the American Council on Education Corporate Programs specializing in Organizational Learning Strategy, Alignment and Measures...

Nathan Greeno, Strategic Process Consultant and Organizational Learning Expert, maximizes your return on human capital investment.)

Now my translation: If you live in a western state why would you want to hire a teacher trained in some LIBERAL university or college teacher training program when we, Corporate America can provide you with alternatively trained teachers with conservative values? (Pay no attention to the fact that recent research shows that alternatively trained teachers do not do as good a job.) And who could be more conservative than a former G.I trained by us? This is so important that we hired a high paid, slick and shiny consultant to get the word out paid for by a $2 million No Child Left Behind grant. Help us do our best to keep those Red States red.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

New Advocate is Up --

Joe Thomas over at has recently posted a new Education Advocate. Good reading here. Check it out!

Monday, June 13, 2005

26 of county's lowest-performing campuses found short of materials --

June 12, by Laurel Rosenhal, Sacramento Bee staff writer

Now it would seem to follow that if kids do not have the required text books they are not going to do well on the tests. The folks that brought us NCLB will try to you that you can't just throw money at the problem. Well, the problem is the money hasn't been spent for decades!

A check of Sacramento County's lowest-performing schools confirms what critics have long contended: Many needy children do not have textbooks and other materials required to learn.

...26 schools out of 71 reviewed came up short - lacking books for English, social studies, science or math. The majority are in the Sacramento City Unified School District.

The survey's results are little surprise to teachers and parents at schools with low test scores. They say their students have been shortchanged for years...

...The findings come as the county office wraps up the first round of audits required by the settlement of a lawsuit filed in 2000 on behalf of students in the state's struggling schools.

Williams v. State of California, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and settled by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year, alleged that the state had failed to provide all children with sufficient learning materials, safe and clean school buildings and properly trained teachers.

The settlement established new laws and provides about $1 billion to remedy problems in schools with Academic Performance Index scores in the bottom 30 percent statewide - mostly schools that serve impoverished, nonwhite children.

One of those new laws says that each student must have a set of state-approved books, or other learning materials, in each academic subject - math, English, science and social studies.

The settlement earmarks about $138 million for districts to buy textbooks and supplies needed to meet the requirement. About $2.8 million goes to schools in Sacramento County.

The agreement also requires that county offices of education check low-performing schools each year to make sure students have the books they are entitled to and report any emergencies in building conditions...

A lawyer with the ACLU said that Sacramento's experience is typical. Brooks Allen said visits to Williams schools across the state are finding textbook shortages. The procedure validates the group's original allegations, he said...

Apparently something good might come from the Gubanator after all.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Board member says meddling pushed him out --

from Juneau Empire, Web posted June 12, 2005, by MATT VOLZ - The Associated Press

In my state of Alaska our right wing republican administration appears to be right in line the with the national administration, that is, out to permanently damage public education. This past legislative session saw them do what Bush and company have not yet been able to do, take away retirement programs from teachers, police and fire personnel and state workers and replace them with a defined benefits package. We knew that was happening but now this. And all this is buried inside of the newspaper that serves the state capital.

A state Public Employees Retirement Board member has resigned, accusing the Murkowski administration of manipulating and interfering with the board and its duties.

The resignation of Pat Wellington, a 27-year board member, will have little effect because the board's final meeting was canceled at the request of Gov. Frank Murkowski.

In a May 31 letter to Chairman George Sullivan, Wellington said Administration Commissioner Ray Matiashowski and Retirements and Benefits Director Melanie Millhorn "have interfered with the board's duties, responsibilities and its members' professional integrity."

Most of Wellington's allegations focus on the administration's assistance with legislation to change the public employees and teachers retirement systems from a traditional pension plan - called a defined benefit plan - to a defined contribution plan with 401(k)-type investment accounts.

The bill, Senate Bill 141, passed the Legislature after a protracted political battle that forced a special session last month. The measure was pushed by the governor and Senate Republicans who said it was a structural fix to the systems and a first step to solving the systems' $5.7 billion shortfall.

This supposed shortfall has yet to have been proven and even if it's true this bill does not fix the problem. Sound familiar?

The bill includes consolidating the three oversight boards - the teachers, public employees and Alaska State Pension Investment boards - into one. The new board goes into existence Oct. 1.

Now this is new to me and I believe it is going to be a shock for all state workers.

"Throughout the process of getting SB 141 passed, Mrs. Millhorn has allegedly spent defined benefit trust funds in support of passage, provided misinformation to the Legislature regarding the operation of the PERS, TERS and ASPIB Boards, and as a result has been successful in getting all three boards eliminated," Wellington wrote.

The emphasis is mine. I can not believe that this is happening and likewise I cannot believe that this is not headline news!

"Through Commissioner Matiashowski and Mrs. Millhorn's efforts, the approximately 65,000 ... active and retired public employees now have no elected members on the new Alaska Retirement Management Board," the letter reads.

Reached Friday at his Utopia, Texas, home, Wellington contended administration officials were evasive or lied when he asked about their involvement in preparing Senate Bill 141 and pushing for a defined contribution system.

Matiashowski and Millhorn both denied the allegations.

Wellington also said he believed the governor requested the final board meeting be canceled because Murkowski did not want a public review of an attorney general memorandum whether retirement trust funds were spent on Senate Bill 141.

At least they admit it. "Murkowski did not want public review..." So this is what we have: A small state with many rural villages off the road system. The weather sucks. It's very dark and very cold most of the year in most places. The cost of living is very high. Rural schools are consistently underfunded. Teachers have always been hard to recruit. We used to be the best paid teachers in the country but that is not near true anymore and we are losing more ground all the time. Then, our administration continues to do things to make it harder to recruit good people.

Sounds to me like this administration does not care one iota about public education. And that sounds familiar to me.