Pawtucket Teacher Reinstated After Stern Reprimand by Administrators

Kiersten Marek:

Home state news!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Bill Ashton, a teacher in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was suspended for discussing opting out with his students. They launched a campaign to “Bring Back Ashton,” and he was reinstated.

But the leaders of the school and the district made it clear that he had violated district policy and was on thin ice. They accused him of editing anti-testing fliers that ridiculed the Rhode Island Department io Education. They were especially angry that his son was leading an anti-testing protest.

“Ashton was sent home on paid leave last Friday after telling students at the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts that the school would not lose funding if they did not take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam, according to a letter written that same day by JMW Principal Elizabeth Fasteson. Ashton was back to work on Tuesday morning, according to school.”

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Capital One is Funding Digital Skills. Here’s Why. — Inside Philanthropy

If your boss told you to tweet something for her, would you know what to do? How about if she asked you to help with the company’s website or database management?

If you don’t have these skills at the ready, you’re not alone. Now, Capital One, along with the Obama administration, is launching a new effort to get more workers prepared for the challenges of a digitally-intensive labor market.

While many job sectors took a big hit in the Great Recession, one area where growth consistently rises is jobs requiring digital skills. So you can see why Capital One is homing in on this area as it pushes into workforce development—one of several big banks now focusing big philanthropic dollars on helping bridge the divide between employer needs and the current population of job-seekers.

via Another Bank Is Giving Big to Boost Worker Skills. Here’s Why. – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

The Mizuho Foundation Pitches in for Effort to Remove Financial Barriers to Re-entry – Assets | Financial Inclusion | Grants – Inside Philanthropy

For my friends and colleagues who work in corrections and re-entry, I bet many of you can bear witness to how valuable this work is. If we can help individuals get on their feet financially when they get out of prison, they are much less likely to make return visits. Here’s one funder that totally gets it: The Mizuho Foundation.

It’s not easy getting back on your feet when you’re released from prison. Many detainees leave the big house with little more than a few dollars and a bus pass, returning to deal with unpaid bills and unreviewed accounts, and often no real income potential in the future.

The Mizuho USA Foundation appears is wading into these difficult waters. Among other programs, Mizuho is the major funder of the New Ground Initiative. Currently finishing its second year of implementation, this initiative has supported 10 organizations and 20 programs that are practicing financial development strategies, reaching over 4,800 individuals to help remove financial barriers to successful re-entry.

via The Mizuho Foundation Pitches in for Effort to Remove Financial Barriers to Re-entry – Assets | Financial Inclusion | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun’s Ledger

BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests

Pearson, the multinational testing and publishing company, is spying on the social media posts of students–including those from New Jersey–while the children are taking their PARCC, statewide tests, this site has learned exclusively. The state education department is cooperating with this spying and has asked at least one school district to discipline students who may have said something inappropriate about the tests.

This website discovered the unauthorized and hidden spying thanks to educators who informed it of the practice–a practice happening throughout the state and apparently throughout the country. The spying–or “monitoring,” to use Pearson’s word–was confirmed at one school district–the Watchung Hills Regional High School district in Warren by its superintendent, Elizabeth Jewett.

via BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun’s Ledger.

Can DataKind Help Save Humankind? Knight Thinks So – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Hear that crunching sound? That’s the sound of data being crunched all over the world, in the name of improving humanity. The Knight Foundation wants to add to that crunching, and make it do more for organizations. With $1.1 million in new funding, the Knight Foundation will help the group DataKind expand programs and help more social service organizations use data to advance their mission.

Nonprofit data geeks worldwide cheered the grant.

via Can DataKind Help Save Humankind? Knight Thinks So – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Back in December, we wrote about the Rhode Island Foundation blazing a trail for health care reform by convening Rhode Island health care stakeholders and getting everyone to sign on to a reform agenda. A key plank of that agenda is expanding and developing “alternative reimbursement models that reward value and patient-centric care delivery.” Translation: let’s scrap fee-for-service.

A few weeks later, we learned that this movement may have a national impact, with the Obama administration borrowing much of the language and many ideas of the Rhode Island health care reform agenda. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services announced ambitious goals for moving Medicare payments away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement.

via A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.