Monday, November 19, 2012


Diane Ravitch's blog:

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Thank You, G.F. Brandenburg

One of the bloggers I admire most is G.F. Brandenburg. Compared to me, he is a veteran blogger. He has been chronicling the foibles of “reform” since 2009. His blog revealed that Michelle Rhee’s claims of having been a miracle teacher were bogus. He has followed her career since she left D.C.; do a search on his site and you will discover an interesting number of blogs about inflated claims in D.C.
I don’t know Brandenburg but I do know he is a retired math teacher, which means he insists on evidence. 

The False Proxy Trap

I confess I never heard about Seth Godin. Then I read these interesting reflections and concluded I have to learn more about him. He is an author and a high-tech entrepreneur. He wrote the following wise thoughts, which are a direct hit on our current obsession with test scores. The scores are a proxy for good education. Our policymakers are satisfied to get the scores, even if the students don’t get a good education.
Godin writes:
Avoiding the false proxy trap.
Sometimes, we can’t measure what we need to measure, so we invent a proxy, something that’s much easier to measure and stands in as an approximation.
TV advertisers, for example, could never tell which viewers would be impacted by an ad, so instead, they 

DC Voucher Schools: No Accountability

The Washington Post looked closely at the DC voucher program and found a shocking lack of oversight or accountability.
The reporters found that there was little or no oversight over curriculum, quality or standards, and parents got no information other than te schools’ advertising.
“…Washington Post review found that hundreds of students use their voucher dollars to attend schools that are 

Unmasking Michelle Rhee’s Right-Wing Agenda

Daniel Denvir has been tracking the political activities of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst and learned that most of her support went to Republican candidates.
She pretends to be a Democrat but in state after state, she has given big money to candidates who support privatization and anti-teacher legislation..
Rhee “poured money into state-level campaigns nationwide, winning 86 of 105 races and flipping a net 33 seats to advocates of so-called “school reform,“ a movement that advocates expanding privately run public charter schools, weakening teachers unions, increasing the weight of high-stakes standardized tests and, in some cases, using taxpayer dollars to fund private tuition through vouchers as the keys to improving public education.
Rhee pretends to be bipartisan. But, as Denvir writes, “90 of the 105 candidates backed by StudentsFirst were 

Diane in the Evening 11-18-12 Diane Ravitch's blog

coopmike48 at Big Education Ape - 6 hours ago
Diane Ravitch's blog: Are Teachers Unions Bad for Education? by dianerav After several consecutive years of hearing that teachers’ unions are terrible, teachers’ unions are an obstacle to reform, teachers’ unions are greedy, it’s easy to cringe when the subject of unions comes up. I personally have gotten over that. I have come to realize that the war on unions is part of the larger war on public education. The unions are the strongest political ally for the public schools, which are the workplaces of their members, and they need make no apology to the far-right that wants to ... more »