Saturday, January 21, 2017

Michael Moore calls for mass opposition to Betsy DeVos as pushback against Trump’s education pick grows - The Washington Post

Michael Moore calls for mass opposition to Betsy DeVos as pushback against Trump’s education pick grows - The Washington Post:

Michael Moore calls for mass opposition to Betsy DeVos as pushback against Trump’s education pick grows

Filmmaker Michael Moore told the crowd assembled for the Women’s March on Washington Saturday morning that they should make their top priority opposing the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee to run the Education Department, Betsy DeVos.
“On Monday, call (202) 225-3121. Call your representative and your two Senators, and number one we do not accept Betty DeVos as our secretary of education,” Moore said. “That’s day one. Make it part of your daily routine.”
After a highly contentious Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, during which she displayed a lack of understanding of basic education issues, DeVos is facing growing opposition to her nomination as President Trump’s education secretary — including from groups that largely support the same issues she does. And now she will have to wait longer than expected for the Senate education committee to decide on her confirmation: Shortly after her ethics review was made public Friday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), moved the vote back one week amid calls from Democrats for more time to vet her.
Opposition to DeVos’s nomination has been growing since her Jan. 17 Senate committee confirmation hearing, where, under tough questioning, she raised concerns among Democrats with her answers about special education funding, guns in schools, and her position on whether to continue the department’s aggressive stance against sexual assault. A handful of petitions have been gathering a mountain of signatures against her confirmation, including one by the Michael Moore calls for mass opposition to Betsy DeVos as pushback against Trump’s education pick grows - The Washington Post:

Betsy DeVos Standardized Test - The New Yorker

Betsy DeVos Standardized Test - The New Yorker:

BETSY DEVOS STANDARDIZED TEST



1. The price of red bell peppers is, I assume, twenty dollars per pepper. Green bell peppers seem like they’re eighteen. If my housekeeper goes to Whole Foods Market and spends an equal amount of money on green and red peppers, what is the ratio of green to red that she will cook later for my extremely rich husband and me?


(a) 1:1

(b) 3:4

(c) 10:9

(d) 20:18

Answer: (d). My family deserves a lot of bell peppers.



2. Let’s say you have a 3.4 G.P.A. at Trump University during your first semester of enrollment. In order to receive the 4.0 Golden Real-Estate Plaque instead of a diploma, you must pay for at least seven more semesters. What does your average G.P.A. need to be to warrant this great honor?

(a) 3.4

(b) 3.5

(c) 3.6

(d) None of the above

Answer: (d). This is impossible, unless you are offering to pay for a few extra semesters, in which case this will be very possible.



3. Your current school, P.S. 132, is receiving ten per cent of its funding from the federal government. If I want to shut it down and turn it into a private school, I will personally save money.


(a) True

(b) False

Answer: (a). The taxpayer, who both President Trump and I definitely are, will no longer have to pay for your sad education.



4. Should the scores from this test later be used to determine your proficiency or your growth?

(a) Proficiency

(b) Growth

(c) Yes

Answer: (c)?



5. If you accrue thirty thousand dollars in student loans attending your local university, then pursue a career that doesn’t pay seven figures, like, immediately, how much money will you eventually have to pay a debt collector—let’s call it Not DeVos Corporation—after adding, oh, I don’t know, fifty per cent to the balance?


(a) My friends have Pell Grants

(b) forty-five thousand dollars

(c) What is a Pell Grant?

(d) ??

Answer: (b). But please answer (a) and (c) for extra credit.



6. A local high-school principal has with him a grizzly bear, a bag of beans, and a gun. He must use a boat to cross the river beside his home, but the boat can only hold him and one of the other items. How can he cross the river and transport what he needs?

(a) He can take the bag of beans first.

(b) He can take the gun first.

(c) He can take the bear first.

(d) He can shoot the bear, like he is supposed to, according to his job description, and then take the beans home and leave the gun at school. (He doesn’t need to bring the bear carcass home.)

Answer: (d). Confidently, (d).

Betsy DeVos Standardized Test - The New Yorker:

Does Betsy DeVos Mean the End of Public Education in America? - WhoWhatWhy

Does Betsy DeVos Mean the End of Public Education in America? - WhoWhatWhy:

DOES BETSY DEVOS MEAN THE END OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN AMERICA?
Just How Out of the Mainstream is Trump’s Chosen Education Secretary?

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to head the Department of Education, has long sought to end free public education and replace it with vouchers and for-profit charters — even though 85% of American kids attend public schools.
She and her family have spent a considerable amount of their $5 billion fortune trying to spread God’s kingdom in their Michigan schools and have created the largest voucher system for religious schools.
Separation of church and state in education is not something that DeVos believes in.
Diane Ravitch, Ph.D., a former Assistant Secretary of Education and long-time education historian, author and professor, points out in this week’s podcast that DeVos is so far out of the mainstream that even charter groups, like the Massachusetts Charter Movement, are opposing her nomination.
Dr. Ravitch tells host Jeff Schechtman that while DeVos can do considerable damage to our nation’s education system as well as staff and teacher morale, she won’t be able to do much about Trump’s long-time whipping post of Common Core.
A set of national standards evolved during the Obama administration, Common Core is directed by the individual states. It’s now beyond the control of the Department of Education.
All this upheaval comes at a time when technological and social disruption puts more pressure on the importance of a broad-based public education for the next generation.

Hartford Charters fail to accept and educate Latinos and English Language Learners - Wait What?

Hartford Charters fail to accept and educate Latinos and English Language Learners - Wait What?:

Hartford Charters fail to accept and educate Latinos and English Language Learners



As with Connecticut’s privately owned, but publicly funded, charter schools in Bridgeport, (See Bridgeport Charter Schools Discriminate Against Connecticut Children), the charter schools in Hartford also refuse to accept and educate students who require help learning the English language and those who need special education services.
Connecticut charter schools already collect more than $100 million in scarce public funds from the state of Connecticut, diverting money away from the real public schools that do fulfil their responsibility to accept and educate all students.
Instead of meeting their obligation to their communities, charter schools discriminate against children in need – all in an attempt to boost their test scores.
The following chart highlights how Hartford’s charter schools are failing the capital city’s children,
Hartford% English Language Learners% Special Education
Hartford Public Schools18%16%
Jumoke Charter School0%6%
Achievement First Inc. – Hartford6%9%

Also, just as with the charter schools in Bridgeport, charter schools institute unfair and discriminatory discipline policies designed to force out children who require additional services and attention.
For example,
Achievement First Inc. – Hartford suspends English Language Learners 66% more than Hartford public schools.
Achievement First Inc. – Hartford suspends special education students 83% more than Hartford public schools.
Hartford Charters fail to accept and educate Latinos and English Language Learners - Wait What?:

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: Meanwhile In Switzerland... + Confessions of a Trumpistan Teacher

CURMUDGUCATION:

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION





Meanwhile In Switzerland...
While we've been staring into the dark, distorted mirror that is our new American administration, the uber-rich and super-powerful have been gathering for the annual summit in Davos, Switzzerland. And they think the see a world a-comin' that looks very different from the one we're in. The event's official name is the World Economic Forum, and it's a reliable source for pieces about how the uber-ri

YESTERDAY

Confessions of a Trumpistan Teacher
Look, give me just a few minutes. I need to tell someone. Well, I screwed up. Understand, I was on edge. Maria didn't get our cups of espresso out on the veranda until a full minute after she had served the toast, and the toast was already cold. Do you know how hard it is to spread the butter when the toast isn't quite warm enough to melt it? Do you? I mean, seriously, do you, because I don't. I h
How Not To Improve Schools
The report is in from the US Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences-- " School Improvement Grants: Implementation and Effectiveness. " It is our last lesson in school reform from the Obama-Duncan-King education department, and although that version of the department is being bulldozed under even as I type, there are still important lessons to be learned here. The full report is
What Do You Want?
In teacher school, we're taught that effective classroom management involves focusing on what you want the students to do, not what you don't want them to do. In other words, "stop twiddling your thumbs" is less effective than "please read the story." I always think of Larry Shreckengost, my high school driver's ed teacher who told us to look at where we wanted to go, not at what we wanted to avoi

JAN 19

School Accountability Diet
One of the best things the feds ever created was the nutritional information panel for food. When I go shopping, I can quickly and easily access information about the food I buy. There's how much fat in these power bars??!! Look-- twinkies have far fewer calories than I imagined! The panels are a model of transparency, because the information is there for me to do with as I will. Years ago I didn'
Trevor Noah Covers DeVos
I'm not always a Trevor Noah fan, and he repeats the egregious characterization of Betsy DeVos as a "businesswoman"-- really? What business, exactly, has she ever run? She's an heiress and the wife of an heir. But otherwise, this is a pretty good mainstream take on DeVos's terrible hearing performance. MTV's set-up is problematic for embedding, but follow this link for the clip. And now we've got

JAN 18

The $1 Salary
So apparently billionaire heiress and presumptive Head of the Department of Things She Knows Nothing About, Betsy DeVos intends to take a salary of a mere $1 when she ascends her education throne. I think that's a lousy idea. I know it's meant to make her seem magnanimous and willing to take on the office just out of the sweet public servicey goodness of her heart. I suppose there may also be some
DeVos Song and Dance
I am grateful that work kept me from experiencing the DeVos hearing in one long take, like a thousand fingernails being dragged down a twenty-mile chalkboard. So just as I experienced a disjointed hearing, I will share my disjointed thoughts. The Reviews Are In Wait! I'm now famous because why..? And who wants to shoot me...? One of the reasons I'm not doing an in-depth review of the hearing is th

JAN 17

Meanwhile...
It has been one of those days. Not bad, but about sixteen hours long, and so I have followed the DeVos hearing via occasional peeks at Twitter, and I'll catch up over the hours ahead in short burst so that my blood pressure does not shoot the nails off the ends of my fingers. But I will confess that as strongly as I believe we should tell our senators repeatedly and loudly about Betsy's severe, ex

JAN 16

MLK & Another Christmas
Every year around December 25, a whole bunch of people who aren't actually Christians get all misty about a watered-down version of the original faith, make some generic noise about peace and good will while ignoring all the parts of the message that might be, well, more uncomfortable ("But wouldn't the moneylenders get upset if we threw them out of the temple? That just seems so rude and uncomfor
MOOCs and the Failure of Innovators
Today at IEEE Spectrum, Robert Ubell has a rough and telling explanation of " How the Pioneers of the MOOC Got It Wrong ." It includes some important lessons for many of the "innovators" in the education world today. Massive Open Online Courses took off five years ago, when Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig decided to stream the computer lectures from Stanford out across the internet to the world.

JAN 15

First 100 Reformy Days
Did Jeanne Allen ever oppose Trump? Long ago she may have expressed some misgivings, but she has since been swept up in the Great Migration of from Anti-Trump Land to downtown We Want To Be The Winner's Friend. So now Allen and her group, the Center for Education Reform, a reformy group that is friends with all the best charter school boosters (and even has a seat on the gates Gravy Train )-- now
ICYMI: Last Sunday Before Trumpistan Edition (1/15)
This week I'll start you off with a short video from the folks at Brave New Films about the DeVos nomination. Something to share with your friends who would rather watch than read. Sears in Death Spiral I wrote about this article earlier in the week, but if you missed that, you should still read this. Nothing to do with education, but everything to do with how terrible mis-management makes a hash


AZ: Fake-Dumping the Core
When Diane Douglas ran for the post of Chief Education Honcho of Arizona, she ran and won on a basic platform -- kill the Common Core. As it turns out, that was kind of a lie. Douglas was a bit of a dark horse candidate; her previous 
CURMUDGUCATION:





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