Friday, September 14, 2012

Diane in the Evening 9-14-12 Diane Ravitch's blog

Diane Ravitch's blog:

More Detail on Judge’s Ruling in Wisconsin

A friend in Wisconsin sent this just now.
“Colas ruled that the law violated workers’ constitutional rights to free speech, free association and equal representation under the law by capping union workers’ raises but not those of their nonunion counterparts. The judge also ruled that the law violated the “home rule” clause of the state constitution by setting the contribution for City of Milwaukee employees to the city pension system rather than leaving it to the city and workers.
The decision could still be overturned on appeal – the Supreme Court has already restored the law once in June 2011 after it was blocked by a different Dane County judge in a different case earlier that year.”

Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Law Eliminating Collective Bargaining

There will surely be an appeal, and more rounds of litigation.
But for the moment, there is good news. A county judge in Wisconsin struck down the law promoted by Governor Scott Walker to strip most public sector workers of their collective bargaining rights.
All those trying so hard to drive a stake in the heart of unionism must be in mourning. For now.

Why Big Business Intervened in Chicago with an Ad

I received an email from a parent who is also an educator in Chicago. She wondered about the identity of a group called Education Reform Now, which placed ads in the local media undermining the teachers’ strike. ERN is part of a group called Democrats for Education Reform. DFER is funded by Wall Street hedge fund managers who support charter schools, privatization, and using test scores to evaluate teachers. It is interesting that the charter schools they promote are often (depending on state law) exempt from test-based evaluation. Oh, and 88% of all charters are non-union.
She writes:
Greetings Ms. Ravitch,
I write this letter to you with both excitement and disappointment in my heart. I am sure you are well aware of by

A Science Teacher Says: VAM Is Obviously Unscientific

A reader points out that value-added assessment is fundamentally flawed. It is unscientific and lacks validity and reliability. It will narrow the curriculum and promote cheating. Yet Race to the Top has pushed it, Secretary Duncan lauds it, and almost everyone (except education researchers) thinks it must be right, because…everyone is doing it. But it’s wrong. No other nation is doing it.

VAM continues to strike me as unscientific. As a science teacher I am continually astounded by the lack of scientific integrity when these methods are employed to personally, and professionally, evaluate teachers.

The validity of such methods are the first red flag. VAM uses the philosophy of economics which should be a

Teachers: Come to a Meeting! The Latest Thing Is Here!

Arthur Goldstein, veteran English teacher in Queens, New York, is tired of all those meetings and all those consultants, all those well-paid traveling professional developers who waste his time with the latest Big Thing. Until the next Big Thing comes along. He wishes they would leave him alone and let him teach.

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