Thursday, May 2, 2013

Diane in the Evening 5-2-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

The Cathie Black Emails

For the past two years plus, Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought legal battles to try to avoid releasing a series of emails written about the time that he named publisher Cathie Black as chancellor of the New York City public schools.
The mayor finally lost in court, and the emails were released.
They are surprisingly banal.
There is no bombshell, no smoking gun. Just a frenzied PR campaign to figure out how to build the appearance of public support for a person who had no qualifications for the job.
Many emails were written to and from Gayle King, Oprah’s confidante, to persuade Oprah to endorse Black as 

This Is Where True Reform Begins

Imagine this: An elected official who fought the parent trigger in Florida and worked with parents and civil rights groups to beat it.
Governor Rick Scott has been an enemy of public education throughout his term. His poll numbers are now in the 30s.
We need more public officials like Nan Rich in every state!
Nan Rich for Governor
Dear Xxxxxxxxx,
As the leader of the Senate Democrats last year, I considered the defeat of the Parent Trigger Bill one of the most important bi-partisan efforts in my legislative career.
Forging a coalition of 8 moderate Republicans to join our 12-member Democratic Caucus to kill a bad bill on the last day of the 2012 Legislative Session was an accomplishment few thought possible – but we did it.
And now it’s déjà vu all over again!
Today, a unified Democratic Caucus of 14 Senators was joined by 6 equally-concerned Republicans to defeat the latest version of the bill we stopped last year. It’s truly heartening to see that a legacy of bi-partisan leadership lives on in the Florida Senate.
The so-called “Parent Empowerment Act” (also known as the “Parent Trigger Bill”) had little to do with empowering parents and everything to do with letting for-profit management companies take over public schools.
In fact, all Florida parent groups, as well as the NAACP and LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) representing more than 1 million Floridians, raised their voices in unison against this terrible legislation.
Fortunately, their voices were heard – again!
Click here to support Nan’s Campaign
We all want the best for our children, and are constantly searching for new ways to improve their education, but this legislation was not one of them. Relinquishing control of our public education system to for-profit management companies essentially would have put a price tag on every one of our public school students.
But today, the Florida Senate again sent a clear message — our students, our teachers, and our schools are not for sale!
Nan Rich

The Mess That Is Obama’s Education Policy

Valerie Strauss does an excellent job of deconstructing the disaster of Obama’s education policy.
Remember when candidate Obama in 2008 spoke of hope and change. That kicked many educators to believe that NonChild Left Behind would be ended, tossed into the dustbin of history, where it belongs.
Sadly, President Obama built his Race to the Tip right on the flawed foundation of NCLB, and made teaching to the test a necessity.
As the for-profit charters proliferated, he said nothing.
As radical governors destroyed collective bargaining and teacher due process, he said

Testing Frenzy in Georgia Continues Unabated

Despite the massive scandal in Atlanta, which many attribute to the hyper-pressure attached to testing and scores, the frenzy continues.
I just received this story from Edward Johnson, a persistent critic of short-term thinking in Atlanta:
“CRCT Pep Rally at Thomasville Heights Elementary_

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 5-2-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

mike simpson at Big Education Ape - 2 hours ago
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: [image: Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch] As Reforms Fail, Will Duncan Make Mid-course Correction? by dianerav Norm Scott, retired New York City teacher and inveterate blogger, notes the mid-course corrections of some of the corporate reform cheerleaders. He is especially impressed by John Merrow’s change of views about Rhee. He wonders whether Duncan too will change course, though he doubts that he can do so. Scott, by the way, refers to the present misguided education movement not as corporate reform... more »