Wednesday, December 18, 2013

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 12-18-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

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New School Board in Pittsburgh Cancels Contract with TFA
A newly elected school board in Pittsburgh voted to cancel a contract with Teach for America, reversing the vote of the previous school board, which planned to hire 30 TFA recruits. The motion passed with six affirmative votes; two opposed and an abstention. The outgoing board previously approved the contract, 6-3. This was remarkable because it is one of the few times–maybe the first time–that a

The NAEP for Urban Districts Was Released Today
You can view here the results for the NAEP for urban districts, known as TUDA, or Trial Urban District Assessments. Five districts volunteered to take the NAEP in 2002. Since then, the number has grown to 21 districts. Test scores have generally risen, though not in all districts and not at the same rate. Demographics affects the scores, not surprisingly. Watch for changes over time in the proport

The New York Times Editorializes on Teachers and PISA, with Multiple Errors
Once again, we are treated to a New York Times editorial on education that is a mix of good and bad. Bottom line: The Times blames teachers for the U.S. scores on PISA. And once again, the Times assumes that the scores of 15-year-olds on a standardized test predict the future of our economy, for which there is no evidence at all. On the good side, the Times recognizes that entry standards into tea

Steve Nelson: Education Isn’t Broken, Our Country Is
Some months ago, I added Steve Nelson to the honor roll of this blog because everything I read by this remarkable man made so much sense. He is the headmaster of the Calhoun School, a fine New York City private school. Yet he isn’t looking out for the self-interest of the private schools and their pupils, but for the good of American children and our society. In this article, Nelson surveys the me

Are Charter Schools Public Schools? UNO Charter Withholds Financial Information
Ben Joravsky, one of Chicago’s best writers on politics and education, describes here the refusal of the UNO charter chain to release financial information to the public. He writes: Mayor Rahm Emanuel keeps telling us that Chicago’s school system is too broke to adequately fund the schools it already has, but that hasn’t stopped him from gearing up to open as many as 21 new charter schools in the
New Mexico Chief Pushes Invalid Teacher Evaluation Method
Hanna Skandera was appointed state commissioner in New Mexico three years ago by Republican Governor Susannah Martinez but has never been confirmed by Democratic legislators. She has never been a teacher, but has worked in policy positions for Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. (I knew her slightly when she worked at the conservative Hoover Institution as a research assistant.)

Registration Closed for Westchester Event on January 16, But….
I earlier announced that I would be speaking on the evening of January 16 at Fox Lane School in Bedford, New York, but registration closed at 650 people. FYI, in my experience, there are always no-shows. I have been to several events that were theoretically “sold out,” yet there were empty seats. So, I would encourage you to come to the event and take your chances. The event begins at 7:30 pm a
Mercedes Schneider Studies Pearson’s Tax Returns
In addition to holding a Ph.D. in research methods and teaching high school English in Louisiana, Mercedes Schneider has become infatuated with tax returns. She has discovered that corporate tax returns tell interesting and important tales. When she learned that the Attorney General of New York had fined the Pearson Foundation $7.7 million for becoming involved in the activities of its for-profit
“Governing” Magazine Recognizes the Power of This Blog LINK ADDED!
Mark Funkhouser, the director of the Governing Institute in Washington, D.C. and former mayor of Kansas City, wrote a terrific article recognizing how social media–specifically, this blog–is changing the national conversation about education. While Funkhouser focuses on the debate about Common Core, he acknowledges that the underlying issue goes to the heart of our democracy. Blogging and social m
Wisconsin: Republican Legislators Seek Dramatic Expansion of Charters
Wisconsin Republican legislators in the Assembly have introduced a proposal to open many more charters across the state, as well as to increase the number of authorizers of new charters. The new charters would take funding away from existing public schools and would be non-union. This legislation continues the radical assault on public education in Wisconsin and the extremist drive to privatize pu
LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 12-17-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: New Book Demonstrates That Public Schools Outperform the CompetitionPlease read this article about an important new book by Christopher and Sarah Lubienski, scholars at the University of Illinois. Their book is The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools. The article contains an interview with Christo