Monday, May 13, 2013

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

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Surprise! Florida High-Stakes Accountability Promotes Gaming the System

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a study of Florida’s accountability system–the one that Jeb Bush brags about–and concludes that the system promotes behavior to game the system. Schools are assigning children to categories where they will not lower the school’s letter grade.
Here is a succinct summary of the paper:, from the Wall Street Journal blog:
“The way some schools are being held to account for student performance can corrupt how these institutions

Bruce Baker on NYC Charters

In response to the earlier post about Geofrey Canada boasting about the “100% graduation rate” of his charter, which was not true, while knocking the public schools, Bruce Baker reminded me that he had looked at NYC charters and compared them to NYC public schools in relation to a number of variables.
Geoffrey Canada’s charter is part of his analysis, along with other highly touted charters, like KIPP and Eva

Bloomberg Admits Snooping on Terminals

In this new world of high technology, will there be any private space for anyone?
Bloomberg made his billions by leasing high-tech terminals that contain up-to-the-minute financial news from all over the world.
Now the story emerges that Bloomberg reporters were spying on Bloomberg’s clients.

Wall Street Investors Worried About UNO Charter $$$ Problems

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Wall Street investors are very upset by the financial and ethical issues at the UNO charter chain in Chicago.
UNO is a politically connected charter chain. Its founder, Juan Rangel, was co-chair of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign.
UNO obtained $98 million from the state legislature to build new charters. It turns out that $8.5 million of that 

How the Walton Family Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Day

“Imagine that you are possessed of the surname “Walton” and happen to be sitting on mad coin—say a cool $90 billion. How do you celebrate the occasion that is Teacher Appreciation Day? Do you chip in to give the nation’s teachers a raise, knowing they’ve been hard hit by the recession? Do you send them gift cards to Walmart, the store that hath so enrichethed you? If you are a teacher in Massachusetts, the Waltons have an extra special treat in store for you: a fully-funded gala at the Statehouse urging the replacement of the state’s many non-excellent teachers with fresh new innovators who will share their excellence one renewable year at a time. Happy 

Jeb, Bill, Mike, Oprah, and Warren: What Gives?

The New Yorker magazine has a contest each week. On the last page of each issue is a cartoon without a caption. Readers are invited to dream up a caption, and the best one wins.
Now here is our contest. Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, and Oprah are meeting at a swank island resort off the coast of South Carolina. The news story suggests it is a secret conference convened by Bill.
Question: Why are they meeting?
Ready, set, go.

Geoffrey Canada: Just Tell the Truth

Geoffrey Canada gave a TED talk recently in which he did two reprehensible things:
1. He boasted that his charter school has a 100% graduation rate.
2. He used his talk to knock the public schools.
Gary Rubinstein, the extraordinary detective of miracle-school boasting, checked the New York state website.

Chicken Little and Corporate Education Reform

A new blogger enters the national scene!
This blog is devoted to fairy tales and other simple legends that show the fallacies of the corporate reform movement.
This post is about Chicken Little. Remember Chicken Little? He was hit on the head and went to tell the world that the sky was falling.
There are many other great fairy tales, Dr. Seuss tales, myths, etc. to explain the current madness of “reform.”
The one that comes to mind immediately is “the emperor’s new clothes.” Just guess who the emperor is? Who 

Diane in the Evening 5-12-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

mike simpson at Big Education Ape - 4 hours ago
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: GERM in Scotland by dianerav A group funded by a rightwing think tank calls itself the “Commission on School Reform” and attacks Scottish public schools. The BBC reports the “findings” of the “commission” as objective research, not advocacy. Sound familiar? A Teacher’s Life by dianerav A teacher writes to explain how life in the classroom differs from his earlier life in another field: I worked in industry for 15 years before switching careers and moving into education. I can honestly say I work harder as ... more »