Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Morning UPDATE: LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 9-4-12 Diane Ravitch's blog

Diane Ravitch's blog:

Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

NYC Funds “Pet” Schools, Not Closing Schools

Five years ago, New York City adopted a new funding formula, with great fanfare.
It was called, optimistically, “fair student funding.”
However, the New York Daily News released the results of their investigation and discovered that the new schools opened by the Bloomberg administration get full funding, but the struggling schools that the administration wants to close get budget cuts.
This is NOT fair funding. This is a conscious effort to cripple the schools that are already on the disabled list and 

When Is Your Education Worthless?

This teacher applied for a job, but was stunned by the hoops and hurdles required to get it.
Your education doesn’t count, they said, only your value-added scores. If you want a higher salary, get the test scores higher.
No gym. No custodian, you will scrub toilets.
And, oh yes, once you agree to all these conditions, please write a little essay about the word “feisty.”
This teacher needs a job. What did the teacher do?

College Sports: Where Are Our Priorities?

Joel Shatzky is Professor Emeritus at SUNY-New Paltz, where he taught from 1968-2005. He presently teaches at Kingsborough Community College. He sent this post:
On a recent trip to visit family and friends in Turkey and Israel I asked, a propos of the Olympics, what importance is given to sports in their respective national universities. After all, many Olympic athletes train at universities in the United States where the excellent coaching and focus is to develop world-class athletes. For instance, Ashton Eaton, the gold medal winner in the decathlon, represented the University of Oregon in 

Bruce Baker Explains What’s Happening in Newark

Newark is one of several districts targeted by the education reform industry, where there is a heavy concentration of money and effort to prove that reform works.
Mark Zuckerberg offered $100 million for reform.
Broad-trained superintendent Cami Anderson is in charge of the district.
Mayor Cory Booker is a leader of the Wall Street hedge fund managers’ Democrats for Education Reform  (which 

“Not Just Test Scores”

Henry Levin, the distinguished economist at Teachers College, has written an important new article in which he explains that test scores are only one dimension of student and national success. The link is only available for four weeks. It is only about 20 pages, so be sure to read it now or soon.
He shows, with extensive documentation, that non-cognitive qualities– like motivation, persistence, the ability to get along with others–are no less important than cognitive qualities and are undervalued in the present climate.
The international race to get higher and higher test scores ignores the non-cognitive dimension. It is a race that 

Talk About Nerve!

A group of 30 organizations associated with corporate reform wrote a letter to Secretary Arne Duncan to insist that he hold teacher education programs accountable for the test scores of the students taught by their graduates.
Groups like Teach for America, StudentsFirst, Democrats for Education Reform (the Wall Street hedge fund 

Another Hero Superintendent

When a superintendent has integrity and community support, he can stand up to the Governor, to Washington, and to the winds of fashion.
That’s Michael McGill, the superintendent of the Scarsdale, New York, public schools.
Scarsdale is one of the most affluent communities in the nation. But there are plenty of other superintendents in 

Gates Foundation, Please Answer Anthony Cody

Anthony Cody entered into a dialogue with the Gates Foundation about its goals and programs.
He just published a brilliant critique of the foundation’s powerful support for market-based reform of public education. 
Please read it and share it.
Cody describes many of the ways that Gates has supported privatization, despite the lack of any evidence for its 

Jonah Edelman Will Not Speak at ASCD

An earlier post today came from an educator who said he resigned from ASCD to protest its invitation to Jonah Edelman to speak at the annual convention. It appeared on Fred Klonsky’s blog. The writer was angry because he shared many of Stand for Children’s original principles and was stunned by its anti-teacher activities in Illinois and elsewhere.
Jonah Edelman is no longer listed as a speaker at the ASCD convention.

Karen Lewis Speaks to 20,000 Chicago Teachers

On Labor Day, Karen Lewis addressed 20,000 teachers about their struggle with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Do you know how hard it is to get 20,000 people to turn out for anything?
When Karen Lewis met with Rahm Emanuel after his election, he told her that 25% of the children in Chicago would never amount to anything. She was outraged.
Karen Lewis is a plain-spoken yet articulate leader of the teachers. She was elected because teachers were sick of the compromises and wanted someone who would speak up for them and for the children they teach. 

An Action Guide

A reader asked me to post this action guide again.
To support public education, good sense, and the teaching profession:
Do what you can when you can where you can and do it often.