[ECP] NetHappenings Headlines and Resources 8/13

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[ECP] NetHappenings Headlines and Resources 8/13/11 copyright
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[ECP] NetHappenings Headlines and Resources 8/13/11 copyright
How much Radiation exists where you live?
Sibley Music Library: Musical Scores
With over 10,000 digitized pieces of music in their online archive, the
University of Rochester’s Sibley Music Library is a force to be reckoned
with for performers, musicologists, and others. The works in the archive
come from the Eastman School of Music, and they are meant to be a
performance resource, as well as a resource for those with a passion for
music composition. Visitors can get started by looking over the “Musical
Scores Recent Submissions” area near the top of the page. Here visitors can
peruse romantic songs by G.W. Chadwick, a violin concerto by Carl von
Reinecke, and a concert fantasy for piano and orchestra by Tchaikovsky.
Lawyer Accidentally Decimates AT&T’s #1 Talking Point
For the first time the letter pegs the cost of bringing AT&T’s LTE coverage from 80% to 97% at $3.8 billion — quite a cost difference from the $39 billion price tag on the T-Mobile deal.
Save Our Schools march in Washington, D.C., Linda Darling-Hammond
explained why she and thousands of others had rallied — to challenge the “aggressive neglect of our children”: “We are here because we want to prepare children for the 21st-century world they are entering, not for an endless series of multiple-choice tests that increasingly deflect us from our mission to teach them well,” she told the crowd. “We are here to protest the policies that produce the increasingly segregated and underfunded schools so many of our children attend.” The march attested to the fact that “it is not acceptable for the wealthiest country in the world to be cutting millions of dollars from schools serving our neediest students… It is not acceptable to have schools in our cities and poor rural districts staffed by a revolving door of beginning and often untrained teachers, many of whom see this as charity work they do on the way to a real job.” However, Darling-Hammond stated, public education has a secret weapon: “the members of communities and the profession like yourselves who are committed first and foremost to our children and who have the courage to speak out against injustice.”
The Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST)
Senate renewing warrantless wiretaps
How The New “Protecting Children” Bill Puts You At Risk
Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives’ judiciary committee passed a bill that makes the online activity of every American available to police and attorneys upon request under the guise of protecting children from pornography. The Republican-majority sponsored bill is called the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011. It has nothing to do with pornography, and was opposed by over 30 civil liberties and consumer advocacy organizations, as well as one brave indie ISP that is urging its customers to do everything they can to protest the invasion of privacy.
“Protecting Children” forces ISPs to retain customer names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and dynamic IP addresses.
Equity and social justice the Ten commitments of a multicultural educator
we need to organize ourselves against attempts to discredit the value of multicultural education by those who are most invested in maintaining the status quo. To dismiss multicultural education is, after all, to dismiss ideals of equity and social justice. Even those of us who fancy ourselves as ‘progressives,’ somewhere on a continuum between liberal and radical, are subject to the influence of dominant ideologies. There are, for example, a number of my multicultural education colleagues in the United States who criticize high-stakes testing regimens as “culturally biased” or “unjust” and then proceed to comply with the neoliberal thrust behind these regimens by obsessing in their scholarship or practice over a so-called “achievement gap.” Paradoxically, they tend to describe this gap exclusively in terms of standardized test scores.

Center for Research and Learning: Multicultural Teaching Strategies

In recent years, there has been more of a concerted effort to teach
educators how to incorporate different learning strategies in the
classrooms. For some educators classroom settings may be much more diverse
than when they were in college or graduate school, so it is important to
offer resources to help make their classroom experience a successful one.
The Center for Research and Learning at the University of Michigan has a
website that is complete with factsheets and various documents that cover
about fifteen different aspects of this process. Each section contains materials that have been classroom-tested for their effectiveness and they are ready to be used.
How White Hats Spend Money
An Ohio judge has ordered charter-school operator David L. Brennan to turn over a detailed accounting of how his for-profit management company White Hat spends the millions of tax dollars it receives each year, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The state’s law “clearly and unambiguously requires operators of community schools to provide their governing authorities with a detailed accounting of how public funds are spent,” Judge John Bender wrote in a 12-page decision. Last year, charter schools in the Akron and Cleveland areas sued to terminate or renegotiate contracts with White Hat, saying their input was ignored and White Hat ran the schools “as they deem fit regardless of many legitimate objections, questions, and challenges that the (community schools) have raised.” Under contracts with the schools, White Hat receives 96 percent of the state aid schools are given. Bender’s decision means White Hat must turn over a broad range of financial data, including how much is spent on teacher salaries, computers, textbooks, and other classroom equipment; an inventory of personal property for each school; how much is spent on lobbying state lawmakers or making political contributions; and funds paid for security. Brennan is the second-biggest Republican campaign donor in Ohio over the past decade. His lobbyists wrote many of the proposals governing charter schools in the Ohio House’s proposed state budget this year, although most were removed by the state Senate.
Academic Ghosts should be charged with Fraud
Academics who lend their names to medical and scientific articles ghostwritten by the pharmaceutical industry should be charged with fraud under the the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), according to two University of Toronto Faculty of Law professors.
Instead of Billions for CyberWar
“A security researcher has uncovered a slew of vulnerabilities in Siemens industrial control systems, including a hardcoded password, that would let attackers reprogram the systems with malicious commands to sabotage critical infrastructures and even lock out legitimate administrators.
The vulnerabilities exist in several models of Siemens programmable logic controllers, or PLCs — the same devices that were targeted by the Stuxnet superworm and that are used in nuclear facilities and other critical infrastructures, as well as in commercial manufacturing plants that make everything from pharmaceuticals to automobiles.”
The Newark Shuffle
When Newark’s public school system accepted $5 million in federal dollars last year to turn around the poorly performing Malcolm X. Shabazz High School, the district agreed to replace at least half of the school’s teachers with better ones, reports The Wall Street Journal. Instead, some 68 teachers were shuffled among Shabazz and two other schools, Central High School and Barringer High School, according to a Journal analysis. “Federal money may have unintentionally funded the infamous ‘dance of the lemons’ that has been a harmful practice in districts for decades,” according to Tim Daly of the New Teacher Project. “If these teachers truly were not good enough for one struggling school, we have to ask whether it is a good idea to put them in another one.” For the 2010–11 school year, New Jersey awarded $45.3 million in federal funds to 12 schools, five of which are in Newark, part of the U.S. Department of Education’s $1.4 billion for turning around failing schools. Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson, who assumed leadership in May, said she has changed the policies that allowed swapping to happen. Yet because of state tenure laws, Anderson’s new policy will cost the district an extra $10 million to $15 million a year to pay teachers unable to find jobs within the district. “In other words, by doing the right thing, we created a massive budget issue,” she said. Newark schools have a $900 million budget and employ about 4,000 teachers.
Ofcom erroneusly publishes instructions on howtowork around site filtering
The site also explains how each of the systems can be circumvented (and how easily) and makes it clear (in big bold type) “All techniques can be circumvented to some degree by users and site owners who are willing to make the additional effort.”
National Security Archive: Eleven Possibilities for Pentagon Papers’ 11 Words
When the full Pentagon Papers were released on June 13, 2011, the U.S. government had attempted to keep under wraps 11 words on one particular page. Interestingly, these specific words had been in the public domain since the House Armed Services Committee published the government edition of the Papers in 1972. Recently, the folks at the National Security Archives at George Washington University decided to offer up 11 possibilities for the identity of these mysterious excised words.
Jailbroke IPhone AT&T Punishment
“AT&T will begin revoking unlimited data plans from customers who jailbreak their iPhones to use unauthorized tethering services, the company confirmed to Boy Genius Report today.”
For a reconstructed district, gains
Four years ago, only 32 percent of black students in New Orleans achieved grade level compared with 43 percent statewide, according to The Times-Picayune. Now, state data show that this spring, 53 percent of black students in New Orleans scored at grade level or better on state tests, compared with 51 percent of black students across Louisiana. Ninety-five percent of white public school students in New Orleans score at grade level; these are more likely to attend schools with selective enrollment policies and tend to come from wealthier families. The newspaper concedes that citywide proficiency rates in math and English don’t amount to a complete picture of school quality or reveal wide disparities between one campus and another. It also finds room to debate what exactly is driving these trends. The achievement gap has been shrinking fastest among students in the state-run Recovery School District, which took control of most city schools after Hurricane Katrina and began an unprecedented shift toward independent charter schools. But the local school board, left with 17 schools after the storm, has since embraced the charter movement and also made significant gains. There also remains the question of how permanent the gains will be in a city that has seen a huge and perhaps temporary influx of talent and philanthropic dollars.
LD Online is a website focused on providing information on learning
disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which
is geared towards parents, teachers, and professionals.  The site is an
educational service of public television station WETA, and also works with
the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities.  Visitors will find
that the site addresses both children and adults with LD and ADHD, and those
who are unfamiliar with LD and ADHD will appreciate the site’s “Getting
Started” link, which has “LD Basics”, “ADHD Basics”, “Questions + Answers”
and a “Glossary”.  The “Multimedia” link of videos, audio, and transcripts
will give visitors the opportunity to listen to or watch experts in the
field. They can also listen to the personal stories of families, teachers,
and kids with LD or ADHD.  Practical tips for parents are also offered in
the Multimedia link.
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
Since 1971 the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) has focused on improving “the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by providing advocacy for the member organizations that serve them.”  Upon visiting the website, visitors will see that 2011 is the Year of the Farmworker Child, and the AFOP website has a section called “Children in the Fields” that offers facts, reports, and multimedia.  The “Job Training” link offers visitors some great success stories and some impressive return on investment (ROI) figures for the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), which is a government program authorized under the Workforce Investment Act.  Visitors should check out the total ROI for every dollar of taxpayer money invested in the NFJP.
IBM unplugs from U. of I. supercomputer project – Chicago
Facebooks Privacy issues are even deeper than we knew
These developments mean that we no longer have to worry just about what Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and other social sites do with our data; we have to worry about what they enable others to do, too. And it now seems that others will be able to do a lot.
CMU researchers relied on just Facebook’s public profile information and off-the-shelf facial recognition software. Yet the CMU researchers were able to match Facebook users with their pictures on otherwise anonymous Match.com accounts. The researchers also had significant success taking pictures of experimental subjects and matching them to their Facebook profiles.
Good Teachers
A new report from Michigan State finds that having consistently good teachers in elementary school is as important for student achievement as small class size.  The study, which appears in Teachers College Record, is one of the first to find that teachers can affect student achievement over time in the crucial early grades, highlighting the importance of identifying and hiring effective teachers in the early grades and implementing interventions such as professional development to improve teacher effectiveness. Study author Spyros Konstantopoulos analyzed reading and math scores on standardized tests for several thousand students in kindergarten through third grade involved in the Student Teacher Achievement Ratio study (Project STAR) in Tennessee, the first major study of the effects of class size on student learning. Konstantopoulos found teachers in all four grades can have a significant effect on student achievement independent of other teachers. This means, for example, that a kindergarten teacher can have significant, measurable effect on a third-grader’s math and reading scores. Konstantopoulos also found that teacher effects were more pronounced in reading than in math, which made sense, he said, because “teachers in kindergarten and even first grade typically see their role as that of a reading teacher, not necessarily a mathematics teacher.”
A great way to get quickanswers to questions large and small. Visitors can type in their question into the text box on the Aardvark site, and the site will find just the right person to answer the question. Users are encouraged to send questions via Twitter or email as well.
RIM likely to turn over BlackBberry data to London police
“This assistance could come in the form of cooperation with the British police force, who have already hinted that Twitter users who played a role in escalating riots could face arrest. Compared to tweets, Blackberry Messages’ “BBMs,” are harder to trace. The data sent through the devices is encrypted and stored in RIM’s locked-down data centers, which they’ll open, the Telegraph suggests, if the U.K. government asks nicely. RIM is working with authorities in other words, but it declined initially to answer questions about specifics.”
Blackberry Reportedly Hacked for Cooperating with London Police
Now hackers have hit back, and are threatening to release sensitive information if RIM gives up rioters’ Blackberry info.
Snapshot 2011 Results
A new survey from the National Center for Education Information (NCEI) finds that an influx of individuals from non-traditional backgrounds and entering the profession through non-traditional programs has altered the teaching force. One-third of first-time public school teachers hired since 2005 attended an alternative to college campus–based teacher preparation. According to the NCEI, findings from the survey illustrate striking differences between this non-traditional population and their traditionally prepared peers, especially in attitudes concerning proposed school reform measures and ways to strengthen teaching as a profession: eliminating tenure for teachers, performance-based pay, higher pay in high-needs schools and for high-demand subjects, recruiting individuals from other careers into teaching and administration, and using student achievement to evaluate teacher effectiveness. The findings also show similarities regardless of background in lesson preparation, age, length of teaching experience, and other variables.
Progress in a decades-old effort
A new report from the Center on Education Policy compares achievement trends since 2002 on state reading and math tests for Title I students and non-Title I students in 19 states representing various geographic regions and enrolling more than half the nation’s Title I students. Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington were all included in the study, which found that achievement has improved in recent years for Title I students. For some grades and subjects, more than 90 percent of the 19 states showed gains. By definition, Title I students are among the lowest-achieving or attend a very poor school, so rising test scores and narrowing gaps suggest progress in the program’s goals. Researchers focused on grades 4 and 8, as well as whatever high school grade was tested for No Child Left Behind, usually grade 10 or 11. The size of the gaps in proficiency between Title I and non-Title I students varied greatly among states, ranging from less than 10 percentage points in several states to more than 30 points in a few cases. However, much of this variation stems from differences among states in the difficulty of their tests and their cut scores for proficient performance. More noteworthy, perhaps, is that gaps between Title I and non-Title I students were often smaller than gaps between low-income and more affluent students, or between African-American and white students or Latino and white students.
Duncan’s Back Door
In response to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s announcement that his department will be issuing waivers for NCLB requirements in exchange for adherence to parts of the administration’s “blueprint for reform,” Rick Hess writes in Education Week that it “represents a pretty novel theory of waiver authority, one which turns waivers into something more like a statutory bypass.” Hess points out that this seems to translate into states ignoring federal legislation in return for a pledge to follow the administration’s directives, adding that the president might want to “tread gingerly here,” since a future (Republican) administration could use a similar play to significantly alter, say, health care or financial reform. In Hess’s view, the announcement of an accompanying RFP process and peer reviews is tantamount to “a back-door grant competition.” He therefore sees two ways the waiver gambit can play out: “The happy version, if you’re Duncan, is that hard-pressed states are thankful for any relief, and Congress is too distracted by fights over the gas tax, the FAA, the super-committee proposal, and next year’s budget to pay attention.” The alternative is that “frustrated governors or irate Tea Partiers start to raise a fuss about this novel strategy for extending Uncle Sam’s reach, and it becomes a talking point for Bachmann and Perry during the GOP primaries.”
Getting the credentials
Gov. Jerry Brown has nominated Stanford University School of Education Professor Linda Darling-Hammond as one of a half-dozen appointees to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Waivers start the dance in exchange for his own reform demands.
With efforts to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act languishing in Congress, President Barack Obama has directed the U.S. Department of Education to grant waivers to states that agree to adopt a prescribed set of education reforms.
Security Flaws in Feds’ Radios Make for Easy Eavesdropping
“We monitored sensitive transmissions about operations by agents in every Federal law enforcement agency in the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security,” wrote the researchers, who were led by computer science professor Matt Blaze and plan to reveal their findings Wednesday in a paper at the Usenix Security Symposium in San Francisco.

Duncan Better Feed the Children, or else what does it matter.

Doctors at a major Boston hospital report they are seeing more hungry and dangerously thin young children in the emergency room than at any time in more than a decade of surveying families; the resulting chronic hunger threatens to leave scores of infants and toddlers with lasting learning and developmental problems.
Gov. Perdue has the right idea
Gov. Bev Perdue has ordered pre-kindergarten classes be open to all eligible at-risk children even if their families cannot afford new fees, saying would call upon the legislature to pay for the youngsters’ education if there isn’t enough money in the budget.
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel wants Chicago homeowners to pay about $84 more a year for public schools.
IRA: Elva Knight Research Grant
The International Reading Association Elva Knight Research Grant provides funding for research in reading and literacy. Projects should be completed within two years and may be carried out using any research method or approach as long as the focus of the project is on research in reading or literacy. Activities such as developing new programs or instructional materials are not eligible for funding except to the extent that these activities are necessary procedures for the conduct of the research. Maximum award: $8,000. Eligibility: International Reading Association members. Deadline: November 1, 2011.
NSTA: Farraday Science Communicator Award
The National Science Teachers Association Faraday Science Communicator Award will recognize and reward an individual or organization that has inspired and elevated the public’s interest in and appreciation of science. Maximum award: recognition at the Awards Banquet during the NSTA National Conference on Science Education; an all-expense-paid trip (up to $2,500) to attend the conference; recognition in NSTA publications and the opportunity to participate in a poster session during the conference. Eligibility: individual — The individual will not be a classroom teacher, but will work in, or have developed, a compatible setting for science communication: e.g., museum, nature center, zoo, state park, aquarium, radio, television, internet, or other science-rich institutions or media. The individual may also be connected to a science setting through his or her involvement with civic organizations and child-education facilities: e.g., PreK child-development centers, 4-H clubs, Girl and Boy Scouts, Girls and Boys Clubs of America, and so on. Organizational — The organization will facilitate and provide exemplary opportunities for science communication to the public at the local, state, and national levels.Deadline: November 30, 2011.
NCTM: PreK-8 Pre-service Teacher Action Research Grants
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics PreK-8 Pre-service Teacher Action Research Grants provide financial support for action research conducted as a collaborative by university faculty, pre-service teacher(s), and classroom teacher(s) seeking to improve their understanding of mathematics in PreK-8 classroom(s). Primary emphasis will be placed on collaboration by a team of researchers consisting of university, elementary/middle school teachers, and pre-service teachers from the undergraduate ranks. The action research should be designed, implemented, and completed with a focus on enhancing the teaching and/or learning of mathematics in grades PreK-8. Proposals must address the following: rationale for the research project, the expected impact on teaching/learning in the school setting, and anticipated improvements in pre-service student learning. Grant funds should be used to support project expenses to plan and carry out the action research. Maximum award: $3,000. Eligibility: current (as of April 27, 2012) full individual or e-members of NCTM or those teaching at a school with a current (as of April 27, 2012) NCTM PreK-8 school membership. The participating pre-service teacher(s) must be in an initial licensure/certification program at the undergraduate level and, at some point during the term of the grant, must be engaged in some form of practicum experience or student teaching. Deadline: May 4, 2012.

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